Interview – Enthroned
We thought to hell with all this blasted sunny weather threatening to tan our pasty skins… so we’ve decided to put up a recent interview with Belgium’s finest purveyors of black metal, Enthroned. Molten’s Mike McGrath-Bryan chats to vocalist Nornagest.
You’ve just signed with Agonia for a two-album deal, how do you feel about settling with them after working with a litany of labels in the past?
Things do not always happen the way you want them to; if we had the choice we would have settled about 15 years ago, but we had to face corrupted labels, a label went bankrupt and [we] got better offers elsewhere.
Since Regain stopped their activities we received a tremendous amount of offers from big and small labels. This time we wanted to focus not only on the offer, but also on the passion of the guys, and we know that the Agonia Team have always been fans and were following us since the demo days, supporting the band in every way they could. That played a big role on top of the fact that they sent us the best deal, respecting what we stand for both musically and conceptually.
‘Obsidium’ has been recently released (in Europe) and there’s a feeling of a return to your roots, is there a sense of coming full circle, or looking to move things forward from here?
Wait, ‘Obsidium’ is NOT a return to the roots, this album is an osmosis between what we are known for nowadays and the essence/ style of the early days. It’s completely different in the sense that the album is not a copy of ‘Prophecies of Pagan Fire’ nor ‘Towards the Skullthrone of Satan’ BUT it’s true that some musical hints or even songs will strongly remind you of those albums, not because we had a need to return to such tones, but because it was a natural thing to express certain sides of the concept through these sonorities; it’s a part of what we are and whatever you do, some things never ever change. Evolution is not a straight line forward but a roller-coaster track, which goes back and forwards, and vice-versa so you can carve within yourself the marks of what is becoming ”achievement”. So no particular will to close any circle, this will be done in time and will, when the band will write it’s last chapter which is not for the time being.
You’ve officially retired from playing guitar live owing to tendonitis, did you play on the album and is the temptation there to ever strap the axe on again?
The problem is that I cannot play a tour or too much intensive guitar in a short period of time. I can play as much as I want as long as I warm-up and take a pause as soon as the pain starts to appear. So you can imagine it would be a bit stupid to play guitars on single shows and no guitars on tours, it makes no sense to me. But I still compose as much as in the past and record the guitars on every album; there is absolutely no problem with that. I still consider myself lucky that I still can play guitar! Some people have such infections that they are not able to play instruments, paint or simply use their wrists the way they used to… So, yes I wish I could just pick up my axe and shred the hell out of it on stage again, but only time will tell…
Various people have come and gone, Sabathan and Nguaroth in particular have come back for reconciliatory appearances, is there the temptation to bring as many former members together as possible for a reunion for your twentieth anniversary in 2013?
Heu… nope and we never had any arguments (so no reconciliation needed) with Nguaroth… We don’t even know yet what we will do to celebrate those 20 years of blasphemy, we are the kind of people that focus on one thing at a time, so first this album, then we will see… but there will definitely be something going on then!
What’s the plan for hitting the road with the new album?
We have several offers and we will make an official statement when we find the right one, both for us and the fans, a reliable tour where promotion is done correctly and no dates cancelled regarding the mood of the promoter, which is always a pain in the arse both for fans and the bands.
Any plans for more Irish dates? Last time this writer saw you were supporting Gorgoroth in Cork in 2008.
I certainly do hope so! Ireland was one of the best places I’ve played. The audience is “how it should be”, I wish more places had your devotion, plus after parties are always neat!
Have you any plans for the festival circuit this summer?
Festivals should be confirmed in the next few weeks, but as you noticed we are not a “festival” band, especially these days where emo bands/ fans are taking over what are suppose to be Metal festivals.
We prefer to play less but real metal fests!
Speaking of upcoming anniversaries, what is your status with Napalm, Blackend, etc.? Would there be any chance of reissues in the near future?
Yes, this is the plan, first we will re-release officially the demo on 12″ Vinyl through Detest Records and the rest should follow with bonus etc.
After nearly twenty years of recording and touring, how do you feel when you sit down and take in all that’s gone on?
That we’ve been on a fuckin’ chaotic path, more than a usual band would go through and we are still kicking! Maybe this comes from the fact that we’ve never been a band who was seeking for fame, cash and in the early days, not even looking for a record deal. We’ve always been doing this with our guts for our own. I don’t know, but the fact is that I’m proud of what we achieved!
Before we finish, any words for your fans here in Ireland?
Move your asses and get us back in Ireland!! XEPER!
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