Enthroned hailing from Belgium, is one of the most important, successful and well known Black Metal bands in that scene. From the early ’90s till now, have build a strong name, considered in the elite of trve Black Metal. This Is Black Metal Webzine had an interesting talk with Nornagest, lead vocalist, guitar player and composer of Enthroned. We talked about their new cooperation with Season of Mist, the forthcoming new album “Cold Black Suns” (official release date: June 7th, 2019) and the future plans of the band. Enjoy!
This Is Black Metal: Thank you for this interview. After your 2 latest releases in Agonia Records you decide to move on to a new label, Season of Mist. Could you tell us your thoughts? What can we expect from this change?
Nornagest: We reached the end of our cooperation with Agonia, who had done a fair job for the band but we were open to exploring other possibilities. Season of Mist have been interested for a while now – they offered us the best deal and huge support from day one, therefore it was a natural choice to ink the deal with them. I think Season of Mist will give the deserved support we need from a record company, putting back Enthroned where it belongs. The new album and first one for them is not even out yet and we already see and feel the difference.
TIBM: Tell us about your new “baby”?
Nornagest: The new album is actually finished, composed, recorded etc… we’ve been working intensively on this album for the last 2 years and I am very proud and satisfied with how this new opus turned out. It is a little different but you will definitely recognize the “Enthroned signature” throughout the album. You will find all the elements of what made us who we are as well as some new aspects of our art. You have fast, aggressive, mid-tempo, ritualistic ambiences… There is a strong feeling and atmosphere of this one, but the best is that you check it out for yourselves when the album is available.
TIBM: When can we expect your new album?
Nornagest: The new release is schedule for around 7th June 2019. Some excerpts will, of course, be revealed beforehand around March or so.
TIBM: Will the new album be in the same path musically and lyrically as the previous?
Nornagest: It is DEFINITELY different, but not drastically so. As I said, the album is quite different from song to song, you will find some fast/aggressive songs but mostly DARK and COLD, which are to me the two words that qualify this album the best. We have some epic parts, very twisted ones, martial… the album is full of variations and uncomfortable at times but all wrapped within that cold-dark atmosphere. Let’s say that it is the worthy successor to “Sovereigns”, but in my opinion it is miles ahead. Lyrically we will, of course and always deal with our approach, experiences and interests within the Dark Side/Median path of the Occult. This time, we deal with a more anthropological approach, exploring several aspects of philosophies found over the ages and different cultures as well as our own.
Enthroned – Hosanna Satana (Official Music Video)
TIBM: Sovereigns cover is amazing. Who did this cover? Did he do the cover for your new album too?
Nornagest: Thank you for the appreciation, Neraath [our guitarist] and myself have been taking care of the artwork and layout of our releases for several years now and we have teamed up once more for this next release. Neraath took care of the front cover. We both have an artistic education and who better than us could identify visually our own musical and lyrical creations?
TIBM: You exist as a band from 1994. After 25 years in the Black Metal scene what could you tell us about this entire long journey you have? Do you feel that you have evolved as a band?
Nornagest: The band exists since 1993, actually, and yes, we did evolve – it would be kind of sad if we did not. Enthroned is a mirror reflection of the beings who are involved, therefore the band matures and evolves as we do as individuals. Each album is a testimony of the era in which it was composed, what we felt, lived and experienced as human beings in our private life and beyond; that is one undeniable fact to us. There is, of course, the 20 and something years of experience behind that backs up our input and how this or that song will sound in the end. Until now it has been an extreme and pleasant bumpy road, basically everything that could happen to a band did happen to Enthroned, but in the end this is what made us who we are, as a band and as men, but one thing is certain, we are stubborn cunts and we are not ready to put an end to The Blackened Horde, we still have much energy to canalize and things to spit out of our guts.
TIBM: What is Occultism for you?
Nornagest: That is a hell of a vast question… it’s like asking someone to define what the Universe is in some ways. But to keep it very short, our philosophy consists of the Left Hand Path and its ideology, also exploring the balance within the Median Path or Scorpionic Magick, when deemed necessary. The Left Hand Path is based on a philosophy that defines two main spiritual routes, simply put: Yahveh and Satan. We deal with many forms of spiritual and mass movements. Our access and purpose is the elimination of the brainwashing individual doctrine and the rejection of God and its concepts, but mainly our ascent as persons, developing our uniqueness, divergence and exclusiveness, what most common people would call black magic, which is liberation, freedom of mind and anti-poisoning. The left path is a demanding way that considers that the advisor is willing to be self-disciplined, patient, responsible and brave. Those who live this philosophy, reaching the divine within, are able to achieve a free will in all its forms and thus become a god in him/herself. Unlike many “interested people”, new age ideologists and satanists who believe we are already gods and only have to do it, we work on ourselves to become closer to the divine within, not being afraid to go through the darkest planes of existence to achieve this goal. We believe that we introduce the inner interior as a potential, but that we can only wake up and develop this side with difficult initiative training. No pain, no gain – but the gain is so rewarding and beautiful. Well, that would be what WE are partially busy with, but the occult in its generality is that science, or rather wisdom, provides a correct explanation of the functioning of the laws of nature, along with their application throughout the universe. Since all truth is one, its teachings must necessarily correspond to all proven facts of science, whether ancient or modern. He must further explain all the facts of history or the laws governing the relationship between men among themselves; all mythologies and the relationship in which man lives in the rest of the universe. It is, in fact, the science of the origin, destiny and powers of the universe, and all the things in them. The essential point of the difference between occult and modern science is that the former uses the forces and materials of nature in their natural state, while the latter uses them in a limited and separate state on the lowest plane of their manifestation. For example, the occultist himself uses the invisible forces of nature when he wants to produce heat, electricity, and the like, as elements in their higher and more spiritual forms, while the scientist is obliged to use materials like light, water, etc., and first have to separate them, as it exists in the lowest material plane, into what is called primary substances before carrying out their experiments. The Occultist views a whole unity and attributes to all the diversity that this unity is composed of manifestations on different planes, the perception of planes that depend on the adept’s or practitioner’s development. As occultists, the only limit is ourselves. We are open but not naive, sceptics but not inquisitors, it is a world of facts and possibilities.
TIBM: What are the things that you like and don’t like in today’s Black Metal Music?
Nornagest: Well… there are very few bands I listen to in today’s Black Metal scene to be honest, simply because it lacks authenticity and/or it just doesn’t appeal to me. To me the ultimate, newest band that gives me that drive, feeling and energy I am looking for would be Funeral Mist for example, if you consider the band “new”. This is not out of stubbornness, it simply is. I am more into the older bands, not because they are old or due to nostalgia but I miss THAT feeling in 90% of today’s bands. On the other hand, when you have one band that has “it”, it fucking does. My latest “crushes” in BM would be Iteru and Possession from Belgium as well as Ultra Silvam and Murg from Sweden.
Enthroned – Silent Redemption (Official Track Premiere)
TIBM: Do you have upcoming live shows this period?
Nornagest: We are performing in Ukraine, Belgium and Czech Republic, in the coming months. More shows will follow after the release of the new album, of course. For the time being we are working hard on the release of the new opus and preparing everything that goes with it.
TIBM: In which countries you had your best live acts?
Nornagest: No specific countries to mention, most of the time we play with other international bands, some local bands are going from pleasant surprises to very bad. Brazil puts on some good line-ups, but so does Finland, Canada or Ukraine, so… it all depends a bit on who organizes and who plays.
TIBM: You have the chance to do an all over the world tour with Black Metal bands that you pick. Which bands would you choose?
Nornagest: Bands that we know personally, as we have to spend 24/7 together and even then sometimes… when you are all over each other for such a long time and with little sleep, there comes a point that we want to kill each other, even in our own bands – but definitely with people we get along with, who are easy-going and share the same approach to things. Sometimes you don’t really have a choice but if or when we get the chance to choose, we go for those things.
TIBM: Are you listening to other kinds of music except Black Metal? Please tell us what do you do in your free time?
Nornagest: Of course, I wouldn’t be able to listen to Black Metal ONLY, even if it is a big part of my life. As I always say, there are two kind of music for me: the one I like and the rest. I enjoy some pure rock, some classical music, dark ambient, old New Wave and some more alternative music as well. As long as it gives me something, that’s what matters to me. For example, I am a big Pink Floyd fan, a band that transcends what the term music is about. As for my free time, I guess like many people, if you don’t count the teachings and learning of the occult, I go for walks in nature, work around the house, craft things, write, paint, go out when I can…
Enthroned – Vapula Omega (Official Track Premiere)
TIBM: What are your thoughts about Belgian Black Metal? Tell us some Belgian Black Metal bands that you respect.
Nornagest: The Belgian scene has always had excellent bands in my opinion, especially for such a small country. The problem is that not many people give a shit because “it’s from Belgium” and not Sweden, Norway, USA and so on… But we have a strong scene, always have actually. Here is a list of bands worth checking out: Black Shepherd (a band from 1984, one of the first to be pretty aggressive with satanic lyrics), Paragon Impure, Ancient Rites, Goat Torment, Possession, Iteru, Emptiness, A Thousand Sufferings, Bathsheba, Grimfaugr, Coldborn, Verloren, Saqra’s Cult, Absolutus, Lugubrum, Gotmoor, LVTHN, Plague…
TIBM: We reach to the end of this interview. Any last words to your fans and the readers of This Is Black Metal Webzine?
Nornagest: We can’t wait, after almost five long years, to release our new album. Keep an eye out for the new encyclopaedia of dark gospels coming your way this June. Khep’r!
TIBM: Thanks for your time.
Nornagest: Thanks for the interview, see you!