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Interview by Jason Parker


This Is Black Metal Webzine had the chance to talk with the mighty Sorath Northgrove, Vocalist from Legendary Bands such as Beastcraft, Vulture Lord and Urgehal (Among Others)!

This Is Black Metal: Hails Sorath, Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule for our readers… Tell us about where it all began …when where and why did you decide to form a Black Metal band?


Sorath: I started High School in 1990, and soon I formed the band DEFORMED CORPSE together with people there who shared my interest in music. Shortly after, I also began the fanzine OBSCURE EPITAPH. Both the band and zine started in the most extreme genres at the time, mainly Grindcore and Death Metal, but we evolved together with the scene into (the second wave of) Black Metal in the twilight of 91 and 92. Once I discovered Black Metal, and especially its underground scene and everything within, there was no return.


TIBM: You’ve worked on many legendary albums over the years, run us through them, from start to finish. What was the most enjoyable project you’ve worked on?


Sorath: Oh, damn, that’s quite a few, even if I don’t count the numerous demos in the nineties, the splits, singles, EPs, or the many compilation albums… Well, it started with lyrics for the first URGEHAL album in ’97, but the first album recording I did wasn’t actually until “Profane Prayer” with VULTURE LORD in 2001. An interesting side note for you might be that I got my first record deal already back in 1992, with none other than the Colombian label Warmaster Records which was run by BullMetal from Massacre. Anyway, next up was a few BEASTCRAFT albums, “Into the Burning Pit of Hell” (2005), “Dawn of the Serpent” (2006) and “Baptised in Blood and Goatsemen” (2008), before teaming up with Malphas and recording HAGL’s “Lenkettil Livet” in 2013. I recorded vocals for the last URGEHAL album that year as well, which was released as “Aeons in Sodom” in 2016. We recorded the last BEASTCRAFT album, “The Infernal Gospels of Primitive Devil Worship” in 2016, before I took part in forming ULVEHYRDE and released the “Englemakersken” album in 2021. In 2021, was also time for the release of the second VULTURE LORD album, “Desecration Rite”. Apart from those, I’ve had guest appearances on albums such as URGEHAL’s “Atomkinder” (2001), KOLDBRANN’s “Vertigo” (2013) and ENDEZZMA’s “The Arcane Abyss” (2017). Recordings from my old band FAUN have also been released in album format in the latter years, but I don’t count that as an album, as it just features demo material from 1993 and 95…

I guess the first BEASTCRAFT album must be the most enjoyable project and recording, without any deadline and doing everything ourselves, from cover to mastering. Primitive DIY and total limitless, freedom. That being said, I also enjoyed working on the ULVEHYRDE album, where we worked back and forth with a lot of ideas at the rehearsal place, reminds me a lot of how things were done back in the early nineties.





TIBM: I know you’re recording at the moment, Tell us about the new material you’re recording and when it will be released…


Sorath: We’ve done band demos/pre-prods for the next Ulvehyrde album and hope to record and release it next year.


TIBM: What were your musical influences growing up?


Sorath: My taste in metal evolved together with the scene and a natural progress in extremity. I guess it started around 82-83 with Heavy Metal like Twisted Sister, Accept and Maiden, going into Thrash Metal around 86 with Anthrax, Metallica and Slayer, turning into Death Metal towards the end of the eighties with Death, Carcass and Morbid Angel, before joining the rise of the Black Metal scene in 91-92. Due to a combination of being too young and the availability for me at the time, I never got into the first wave with Venom, Bathory and Hellhammer, but that was a real revelation once it hit together with the second wave.




TIBM: When did you start playing music? And what was your first instrument?


Sorath: I started playing drums in ’89 or ’90, don’t remember. Just bought instruments and formed a band.


TIBM: Do you have any other projects in the pipeline or are you planning any for the future?


Sorath: The 2-year tour with Urgehal has taken all recent focus, but once it ends in December, it will be good to start the creative process with new lyrics and songs for Ulvehyrde. We have also talked about new recordings with both Hagl and Eswiel, so I have more than enough in store.


TIBM: What have been your best and worst experiences as a musician so far?


Sorath: We’ve had awesome experiences on tour, really great times, but I must say that the whole experience of the early nineties had both the best and worst sides. It was just a great time of unity, creativity, elitism, danger and curiosity, but also a fucking witch hunt from vigilantes, police, community and media.



TIBM: What are your top 5 albums of all time?


Sorath: Almost impossible, but with a gun to my head, I would say “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas” by Mayhem, “Reign in Blood” by Slayer, Mercyful Fate’s “Don’t Break the Oath”, Celtic Frost’s “To Mega Therion” and “Under a Funeral Moon” by Darkthrone.


TIBM: You are infamous for your strong and imposing presence on the live stage, what motivates you and gives you that energy?


Sorath: I am preparing for a fight backstage, the audience gives me extra fuel once I hit the stage.


TIBM: As a part of the early 90s ‘old school’ movement, what is your opinion of modern Black Metal , and how do you see the scene developing over the next few years? What are your favourite newer bands?


Sorath: It’s impossible to recreate what we once had, but I think there are quite a few good things moving in the underground. It’s way better now than 20 years ago and I see a healthy and strong dedication all over the scene! I have no favorite bands for at least a decade…




TIBM: What advice would you give to any new musicians that may be looking to follow in your footsteps down the left hand path?


Sorath: Believe in what you’re doing and honor the past.


TIBM: What is the inspiration behind your tracks?? How do you write the music/lyrics? Do you have a set formula when writing?


Sorath: I don’t write music anymore, but lyrics are really important. For Beastcraft it was based upon primitive devil worship and ancient texts of black magic, Vulture Lord was generally blasphemy and war against religion, while Ulvehyrde is about true and dark, Norwegian history of murderers and executions.


TIBM: Would you like to add anything for our readers?


Sorath: Thanx, Jay, for your dedication in the underground, especially in releasing physical formats! Support Masters of Kaos! Hail the ancient fire and honor the second wave!


TIBM: A massive thanks to Sorath Northgrove

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