Enthroned remain one of the most vicious black metal bands on the scene today and their latest "XES Haereticum" is proof of that fact. Combining razor-edged, violent blasts with an intensely bleak atmosphere, Enthroned annihilate like few other bands out there today. The Gauntlet's Erin Fox catches up with guitarist/vocalist Nornagest to talk about the group's latest platter of hatred.
The Gauntlet: Why do you choose to make such a bold connection between your religious views and your music?
Nornagest: We are musicians and we do have our belied within the occult and some of us within deep Satanism, the reason why we decided to form Enthroned was to mix those beliefs with the most intense form of music which is metal, a musical style that we are listening to since our youngest age. Our goal was to pay tribute to ourselves and the force which is behind so many names (aka Satan, The opposer).
When we started to play Black Metal, it was ridiculous to think that BM would become that popular or trendy. We started with a personal objective and recorded our stuff for ourselves and for those who would eventually share our views, taste and ideology. Things went fast and we had a record deal with Osmose in 1995, the rest is history.
The Gauntlet: What is the process wherein an Enthroned song is realized? Does this process ever vary?
Nornagest: It varies all the time, each songs is written in a special way and is based on a certain feeling. We usually write the lyrics after the music or in the meantime. But it's pretty different from one track to another.
The Gauntlet: What has changed about Enthroned on "Xes Haereticum"?
Nornagest: We got rid of the shit and parasites that surrounded the band for years,
and since "Carnage In Worlds Beyond" we have managed everything ourselves and we have a label who respect the band and our ideology, no money grabbers who are after the dollar god only! There were also some major changes in our personal lives but this is our own business.
The Gauntlet: "Dance Of A Thousand Knives" is an extremely visual song title. How is it that you go about matching your lyrical themes with your compositions?
Nornagest: As I said, each song is based on a feeling or experience, so when that feeling or that experience is generating a song within ourselves, we transpose those into music and lyrics, which are not always to be taken in the first sense of the words. "Dance of a thousand knives" is a song about the great black Goddess Kali and I wanted something that represents the fury and beauty of her filthy presence and aggression.
The Gauntlet: What motivates the extreme hatred that is so prevalent in your lyrical concepts?
Nornagest: Just have a look outside and smell the putrid stench named humanity.
Humanity is a good influence; we are proud to be what we are when we see how dumb 99% of the walking scums are! We hate the social values built upon Christianity, the idea to worship a book of lies made by morons is not really something I can relate to. Though I enjoy the hypocrisy of most religions, I feel more pity for those who follow such a path of lights but hatred is taking over-I can't help it!
The Gauntlet: Do you observe the activities of other black metal bands or you more withdrawn and self-contained?
Nornagest: I follow some other hordes that share the same views and opinion as I do, but they are mainly guys that I know or write with. I like of course some bands here and there, but I took a step behind a few years ago due to the overkill of crap (not only from a musical point of view) you can find these days within the scene.
The Gauntlet: The new record is at once raw sounding, yet very well produced. How did you achieve this balance?
Nornagest: Nothing was planned, it's just how the tracks were composed and produced, this is how we wanted things to sound; having the same kind of production as our previous album yet keeping the essence and vibe of the tracks themselves. The good thing is that Harris (our producer) knows what we want and how we want it !
The Gauntlet: Please describe the sensations a concertgoer will experience during an Enthroned performance. Is it your aim to go up on stage and completely annihilate the crowd with each song?
Nornagest: Enthroned is a glorification of "Him" and Satanic audio aggression live.
Our aim is to celebrate a tribute to ourselves and to the force with a thousand names-and to reach some of those people who share those visions that are ours. An Enthroned show is also usually filled with hatred and blood .
The Gauntlet: A good amount of the music you perform requires an extremely high amount of physical dexterity. What do you do to maintain your strength while on stage?
Nornagest: We have four cross-shaped sticks, made of wood that is stuck within our asses. Seriously, everything is coming naturally I guess the secret lies within our dedication.
The Gauntlet: Why did you choose "XES Heaereticum" as the title of this latest release?
Nornagest: Simply because the title fit the whole idea of the lyrics. Haereticum is the etymology of Heretic / heresy and XES mean can be interpreted in several ways: 666 (Latin Numbers) and in relation with the Name of God versus the Name of the Beast. Also within the Greek alphabet which has numerical values. The 3 Greek letters used in Rev. 13:18 referring to this 'mark', were:
X (=Chi) 600;
Xi (shaped like a curled capital E) 60
s (Sigma) 6
Obviously 600 + 60+ 6...
The 1st and 3rd letters could also represent the first and last letters of the title "Christos" and the middle letter could represent the symbol of the serpent , strictly connected with the ancient Egyptian Mysteries.
The Gauntlet: What aspect of participating in this type of art do you most enjoy?
Nornagest: There's no enjoyment in the typical sense of the word, there's some enjoyments coming from the deliverance, pain , hatred and passion. Enthroned is not a hobby nor a music band I do to enjoy myself, Enthroned is the catalyst of all my feelings and dedication where I puke my inner self out!
The Gauntlet: What are the personalities of the members of the group? How do these personalities cooperate in order that the group functions as such a cohesive unit?
Nornagest: We are all different but yet the same in some ways, otherwise we wouldn't be able to stay in the same room for more than 10 minutes without botching the shit out of each other! We are pretty down to Earth I think, if we have something to say we say it right in the face, we prefer honesty rather than preserving others from their fear by telling them lies to secure them or whatsoever.
The Gauntlet: Describe the philosophy of "Blacker Than Black".
Nornagest: There's nothing to describe really, the track is just an ode and tribute to ourselves, myself in this case, but I guess most part of the people won't get it and others will think they do, but it'll be in the first sense of the words.
The Gauntlet: Do forms of music apart from your own influence any of the band members?
Nornagest: Yes, we listen to different kinds of music. It goes from metal to classical music, rock and some electro/ambient and everything that mates our tastes and pleasures. We are pretty eclectic persons. Still we can't stand hip/hop and techno shit!
The Gauntlet: What do you feel is the song that describes the sentiments behind the group the best? Why do you feel that this piece is the most relevant?
Nornagest: Good question. I would only speak for myself but I would say "Vortex of Confusion" because you can find a lot of elements that are typical to my style of composition, both vocals and lot of variations and it got that typical Enthroned touch. I also think that "Genocide" is a good example of what Enthroned can do the brutal way!
The Gauntlet: What is the current focus of the group?
Nornagest: Invade new grounds and start the elaboration of our next opus!