– Hello Gorath, thanks for taking your time. What are you currently up to?
Currently we are rehearsing for the upcoming gig (with Horna, Heretic and Stormheit) which will take place in the band’s hometown three weeks from now. Also the process of writing new material has slowly started already.
– First of all I would like you to tell us why did you pick «Alghazanth» for the band’s name (both its origin and meaning).
It is the name of an entity that appeared to me in a dream in the shape of a white wolf. He spoke of a mission I was to carry out before it would be my time to leave this world behind. Considering the nature of this revelation and the fact that this name is so strongly linked only to myself and none other, it was quite natural to take the name and use it as the monicker of our band.
– Though your latest «Vinum Intus» was released several months ago I would like to get a bit into it if you don’t mind so first of all, what does the album’s name refer to? And how is it connected to the lyrics in the album?
It is a reference to the act of using both male and female sexual fluids in a ritual context. This “wine within” that is produced when these fluids mingle is a very potent offering to the God(s) of Night as it combines two polarities and is charged with the energies of both (or in some cases, of several) participants. On a different level the name also refers to the use of blood as a sacrificial offering. Both of these aspects are rather strongly connected to the textual part of the songs on the album as most of the lyrics deal with devotional work and all matters related to it.
– I could say since «Wreath of Thevetat» you have a more melodic approach (though melodies have been an important part of your sound since the beginning, I’d dare say). Was this something intended?
I don’t personally see it that way, in my opinion we’ve pretty much always been very melodic. Apart from our second full-length, that is. Our debut and the third album show rather strong evidence of this fact. But something has changed on the two newest albums, that is something I can wholeheartedly agree on. After our fourth album, The Polarity Axiom, we went through some quite drastic line-up changes and this eventually led to the situation where Grimort became our main composer. His style of writing tends to lean towards the more straightforward approach with melodic riffs and atmospheric leads so it is quite natural that this can be heard throughout both of the albums. My point is that even though this has been our recipe from the beginning, on the two newest album all this has reached a whole new level. The songs are more balanced and the atmosphere is exactly the way we prefer it to be.
– As I said, melody has always been an important part of your sound; how easy is to blend these with Black Metal? Or adding these more melodic elements, as you create a good balance between a melodic/beautiful/majestic sound with the usual raw sound of Black Metal.
We don’t make any effort to reach this result, it comes rather naturally. So it’s not a matter of adding melodic elements to raw black metal, it’s just that we create melodic black metal already from the start. If something sounds too soft, cheesy, too out-of-place or just doesn’t work for some other reason, we change that or leave it out altogether. What is important to us is that it pleases our ears 100% and that it gives us a certain feeling, whether the composition is melodic or raw in nature.
– Cold atmospheres are also a trademark of the band; how important are they? What do you want to express with them?
A certain atmosphere is a result of something else, it can’t really be a means to express anything in itself since it is merely an end result of, for example, the combination of lyrics, compositions and arrangements. In our case, the preference to both create music with melancholic melodies and to deal with occult and Satanic topics in a rather poetic way tends to give our material a certain aura of coldness and a touch of dark beauty. This is something we like to have in our music and it stirs something greater within us. The general atmosphere on an album is extremely important to us, but it is not something we set out to achieve, it just happens.
– Due to all the aforementioned I would like to know how the songwriting tends to be like in the band or how was it like this time around.
It has always been the same for us: first someone has a bunch of riffs or an initial song structure ready which we then start to go through and modify together. That’s how it always goes and that’s what suits us the best.
– This time yo have even used a violin, would you mind elaborating a bit? How did you come up with the idea, who played it, etc.
We just thought that viola might fit these two parts perfectly and so we decided to give it a try. Our sound engineer knew this pro guy who he then asked to play the parts. That’s pretty much all there’s to it, really.
– I read you recorded «Vinum Intus» on your own but with the help of your personal engineer. How turned out this way of working? I guess it may give a more confident and honest result but, did you work under morepressure due to this or the opposite?
It was the perfect choice for us at the time, and the whole process of recording and mixing the album was quite laid-back and relaxed. Apart from some occasionally lost nerves, that is. The schedule wasn’t fixed at all so we recorded everything when we felt most like doing so. I’m not sure if we’ll do things the same way next time, though. We’ll assess the situation then.
– Both «Wreath of Thevetat» and your latest «Vinum Intus» were recorded with the same line-up. Could you say this affected the final output in any way?
Yes, in the sense that we didn’t have to waste any time searching new members and breaking them in. Instead we were able to concentrate fully on writing and rehearsing the songs. But other than that, I don’t think it affected the end result that much.
– In fact before getting this line-up you had several line-up changes; how has this affected ALGHAZANTH throughout the years? And could you say the current line-up looks like a steady one?
Well, you probably missed the news telling that we decided to part ways with Goat Tormentor just after the release of Vinum Intus? So, it wasn’t a steady line-up even though we broke a record of our own when we recorded two albums in a row with the same members, haha. We haven’t still made up our mind on how we’re going to continue. Currently it looks like we’re going to go with Thasmorg doing the vocals again (he was the voice of the band when we started out, and even when we recorded our debut), and personally I think this would easily be the best decision. We still have to find a bass-player, but everything will work out just fine in the end, I know it for a fact.
– Finland seems to have a good Black Metal quarry nowadays but, what are your thoughts on this as an insider? What Finnish bands could you suggest?
I think the scene is really great in our country. There are rather unique and strong older bands but also a talented new generation has risen. I guess everybody is familiar with bands like Behexen, Horna and Satanic Warmaster, but if namedropping is what we’re looking for here, I’d like to throw in names like Charnel Winds, Kadotus, Teloch, Cosmic Church and Verge.
– And finally, what are your near-future plans? I’ve seen you only have one gig before this years ends.
Yes, that gig will be our last for some time. After that’s done we will concentrate solely on composing and rehearsing new material for our next full-length album. I have no idea when that will come out, all I know is that there will be a new album for sure.
– That has been all from my side, thanks once more for your time. If you now want to add some final words, last lines are all yours.
Thank you for the support!