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Interview: ALGHAZANTH
Title: Gospels of darkness

Finnish majestic Black Metal violators Alghazanth came to life in September 1995 and took its first steps as a duo with Veilroth on guitars and stickswinger Gorath Moonthorn on drums.

One year later Alghazanth started planning their first release and due to this keyboard wizard A. Simonen joined the band as a session synth player. The overwhelming sound of the horde was born!

Years gone by, releases were thrown out, and the band worked continuous on their own singularity. In July 2001, time came for Alghazanth to enter the studio facilities once again. After a tormenting month, their new breathtaking full-length album „Osiris-Typhon Unmasked” was crafted. I can listen to it hour by hour without any second of boredom.

Of course I fell once more in unholy dark love with Alghazanth. Therefore I couldn´t wait any longer to know more about this raging Finnish horde. My questions were answered drum-sorcerer Gorath Moonthorn.

How the musicians of Alghazanth have found together?

„Veilroth and I go back a long way so we knew each other long before Alghazanth came to life. We both were into Black Metal and as both of us had been playing our instruments for some time, we decided to form a band of our own and see if it had something to offer to the genre. The other members of the first line-up were also familiar to us so the thing got started more or less on friendship basis. From the starting line-up only Thasmorg, A. Simonen and I are still in the band.”

Please give a band history, which contains the cause(s) for founding.

„Alghazanth was officially founded in September 1995. The reason for putting together a Black Metal band was our collective interest in both extreme Metal music and Satanic philosophy. After two demos and one promotional tape, we signed to Finnish Woodcut Records. In June 1998, we recorded our debut album titled `Thy Aeons Envenomed Sanity`. The follow-up for the debut, `Subliminal Antenora`, was recorded in May 2000 and our third full-length titled `Osiris-Typhon Unmasked` was recorded in July 2001. During these years of existence, Alghazanth has performed live a couple of times but there’s no point in being too exact about these gigs.”

Which deep inner dark feelings were tried to reflect from the beginning on with the music of Alghazanth?

„I think it’s a bit complicated for me to start analysing what feelings other members shed into the art of Alghazanth so I’ll speak just on behalf of myself. I personally don’t aim to capture certain feelings into music. It’s rather a matter of what kind of feelings end up on an album and not so much a matter of trying to consciously capture selected feelings in the composition process. My point is that our music reflects the feelings that we happen to have at the time we are composing. They may be either neutral or aggressive or whatever.”

How deep are you guys interested in Occultism and Satanism?

„Again, it’s difficult to speak for other members with absolute certainty because I am not fully aware of their most concealed thoughts. I know that Nebiros is into Occultism and Satanism and so am I. Thasmorg, Grimort and Infection are into Satanism in their own personal way and, as far as I know, A. Simonen isn’t that much interested in stuff like that. I personally see Satanism as the path towards excellence and self-enhancement whereas occultism is the light that illuminates this path. I guess that the majority defines Satanism as mere cultivation of man’s own `dark side`. I must disagree with that definition because I see Satan as something much more than just a hidden part of our psyche. To me, the Satanic path is a quest for truth and knowledge. It’s all about both discovering the connection between ourselves and the powers of the universe around us and rising above all common values and notions that restrain us as individuals.”

Which bands were your early idols out of the Black Metal scene?

„I guess they were bands like Marduk, Emperor, Mayhem and Satyricon. Before discovering these bands, we all were (and still are) into Deicide and some similar bands.”

Which bands influenced the music of Alghazanth?

„Every single band that we’ve listened to has influenced us one way or another so it’s almost impossible to point out certain groups. Anyway, I think that there are bands that have had a deeper impact on us in comparison with the others. Maybe bands such as Emperor, Satyricon, Gehenna and Mörk Gryning have left the deepest wounds on our skin. It’s hard to say for sure, though.”

Gorath, please give a detailed list of Alghazanth releases, which have been released so far, incl. demos!

„`Behind The Frozen Forest` – demo 1996; `Dim Is The Moon’s Light` – demo 1997; Promotional Tape 1997; `Thy Aeons Envenomed Sanity – CD 1998; `Subliminal Antenora` – CD 2000; `Osiris-Typhon Unmasked` – CD 2001.” Alghazanth collectors should now knowing all.“

In which city of Finland do you guys live?

„We are from a city called Jyväskylä, which is located pretty much in the heart of our country.”

Exists there a active Metal scene?

„Actually, there are quite a few promising/talented groups in our area when comparing the amount to the population of Jyväskylä. Alghazanth, Unveiled and Funeris Nocturnum are the best Black Metal groups but of course we have Enter My Silence, Obscurant and Devoid Of Faith around here that perform more or less melodic Death Metal.”

Finnish Metal bands becoming more and more popularity through their high quality of music. One thinks about Count de Nocte, Throes Of Dawn, Funeris Nocturnum, Horna, Thyrane and Thy Serpent, to name a few of the elitists. Which Metal bands are in your eyes (ears) the very best from Finland nowadays?

„I consider Thyrane to be the most talented and innovative Black Metal band in the Finnish scene. I also place Enochian Crescent, Black Dawn, Trollheim’s Grott, Unveiled and Funeris Nocturnum quite high in the hierarchy but of course there are also other great bands emerging from our country.”

Which is the current line-up of Alghazanth and how long does it exist?

„Nebiros – vocals, Grimort – guitars, Thasmorg – guitars, A. Simonen – synths, Infection – bass and I, Gorath Moonthorn, – drums. The current line-up has existed since last November when Veilroth’s path departed from Alghazanth.”

How often during the week the band is meeting for rehearsals?

„Usually we rehearse two or three times a week but whenever a gig or studio sessions are closing in on us we tend to rehearse a bit more frequently. We all live in the same area so there are no bigger difficulties in getting each member to come to the rehearsals.”

How do you guys writing on new compositions?

„In the past we used to write our songs at the rehearsals but not any longer. Now, some member has a whole song structure finished and presents it to the rest of the band at the rehearsals. Then we start to learn to play it and if there are some parts or arrangements that need to be shaped or changed, we do that. Usually the structure that someone presents for the first time doesn’t remain as it is because each member has his own views on how something should be done and, when we start working on the song, new ideas tend to surface and they shape the song towards its final form.”

How have been found the record deal with Woodcut Records?

„We sent that promotional tape ’97 to some labels and Woodcut Records expressed their interest in Alghazanth and offered us a deal. The conditions were quite reasonable so we decided to sign the contract.”

Are you satisfied with the work of Woodcut so far?

„When looking back to the days of the debut album, `Thy Aeons Envenomed Sanity`, I can honestly say that we were quite dissatisfied with how Woodcut operated. But now things have changed a fucking lot. Woodcut has improved in every possible way and I must admit that currently things are going great with them.”

How is to understand your band name Alghazanth?

„Alghazanth is the name of an apparition that appeared to me in my dream telling me that I have to complete a certain task before he will take me from this plain of existence. This entity manifested itself to me in the shape of a talking white wolf. The name is very personal especially to me and I think it suits our band just perfectly.”

What does the title of the new album „Osiris-Typhon Unmasked” mean?

„In certain contexts Typhon is one of the aspects, the shadows, of Osiris rather than an independent entity of its own. Thus, Osiris-Typhon is the name for the `dark` side of Osiris. On a universal level, the title presents the dark and passionate side of both deities and man in its unhidden and acknowledged form.”

Please bring the songs out of „Osiris-Typhon Unmasked” a bit closer! What are the meanings behind them?

„The whole point in the lyrics of Alghazanth is that the reader reaches his own interpretations of the meaning behind the written verses. So, therefore I will not start listing what I mean with certain metaphors and sentences. It’s better for the reader to draw his personal conclusions even though they might be different from what I have tried to capture within the lyrics. There’s no right or wrong way to understand the lyrics. That much I can say that the topics are more or less traditional in Black Metal but they are written in a quite personal and somewhat original manner. Check them out for yourselves and form your own ideas about the meaning behind them.”

Which were and still are the main inspirations for the music of Alghazanth?

„Inspiration tends to awaken from all sorts of things. Yes, sometimes from literature or movies but also from everything in our everyday lives. At times, some musical masterpiece wakes up the artists in us and forces us to write something own, sometimes inspirations hits you in the face right in the middle of work or studies. The sources of inspiration are many and most of all they are quite different.”

What is your definite artistic and idealistic goal with Alghazanth?

„Artistic goals are a bit difficult to define because they change as time goes by. As we reach a higher level, we set the goal even higher, you know. Maybe the basic goal is to maintain that same passion for music that we have carried within us ever since the beginning. If that passion should ever fade out, we’d not do this anymore. This all would lost its meaning. Idealistic goal is on the contrary much more easier to define. We want to open people’s eyes that have been glued shot by all moral codes and dogmas of the modern world. We want to put emphasis on individual thinking and self-awareness. Even if only a few persons start thinking with their own brains just because of our music and lyrics, we have reached our goal.”

Live gigs: anything planned there?

„No, any dates aren’t settled yet but of course we’ll throw a gig whenever such opportunity is given to us.”

What do you feel deep inside yourself, when you act on stage?

„It varies a bit from gig to gig. Basic feelings are those of grim, dark and inhuman nature but crappy sounds on stage and stuff like that may lessen the outlet of the band, you know. I personally enjoy playing live even though the sounds may suck a bit. It’s always great to perform our gospels of darkness to people who we don’t actually know.”

Plans for the future?

„We’ll do some gigs if we get the chance to do so. We will probably start working on new material sometime in next summer but a new studio visit is not planned in detail. We don’t have any hurry to do that.”

How long you will play this kind of music?

„It’s virtually impossible to answer to this one.”

Last few words here, Gorath?

„Thank you and Metalmessage for your interest in us! To the readers I can only say that check out our albums and see what we have to offer. Stay blasphemous!”

© Markus Eck, 13.01.2002

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