Interview for ABLAZE Magazine (2015)

Answered by Commando Wolf - March 2015
1.Hello! Your debut demo, „Archaic Conjurations“, has just been released but already managed to garner much praise throughout the worldwide underground scene. How is the feedback you receive thus far, and was this exactly what you expected when releasing the demo in the first place?
Thanks for your good words. Yes, the response for ARCHAIC CONJURATIONS has gone beyond my expectations for sure. But I don’t know if it’s on the level that you describe. When a band that I’m involved in release something, I’m not expecting anything, either positive or negative.My involvement in a band is first and foremost for spiritual/ideological reasons, a cathartic way to write down and put into music what I see around me or things I achieve in my Esoteric quest. I have often the feeling that what I have inside me is going to explode and I’m looking for ways to transfer it outwards. Music is one of those ways. To answer your question, my expectation in the release is if I managed to do successfully what I described before. Now, if some others share the same vision with us then this is in a way rewarding.
With ARCHAIC CONJURATIONS we achieved exactly that.
2.DREADFUL RELIC is a new band, but the musicians involved are anything but new to this particular genre. Could you elaborate on your band biography, as well as on the “career” of each participant in the years prior to coming together for DREADFUL RELIC?
When I created DREADFUL RELIC, I had in mind the music and lyrical concept. But it would be impossible to put this in shape without the proper persons. The first person that came in my mind was Hjarulv. I know him more than 20 years and we share the same ideals and fanaticism (See the answer in first question) in Black Metal. Since this day, we talked for many hours about everything in DREADFUL RELIC. From the music, the lyrics even down to the last detail of how the website should look like. He is and will always be the main creator of DREADFUL RELIC`s music. The third person we thought about is Blackhammer. We know him since more than a decade and he is a very talented drummer. A real maniac who is not simply playing, but he’ beating the skins. The perfect choice! When we explained him how the things are, he joined the ranks without a second thought. The meeting with the fourth member, Desolate Wings of the Pagan Dawn, was pure luck. He appeared exactly on the right time. I`ll give more details about him in the fifth question.
Prior or during DREADFUL RELIC’s existence, the members involved: Commando Wolf (DER STURMER from 1998 to 2014 & WINTERGODS from 1994 to 1998). Hjarulv Henker (DER STURMER & WODULF and before in LAMENTATION/ NACHTKAISER). Blackhammer has not any other band before. Desolate Wings of the Pagan Dawn (used to be in early DEMONCY & BLACK FUNERAL and since the mid-90`s totally out of the scene)
3.The demo bears a strong resemblance to the sound and style of the 1980ties Black- and Thrash Metal, I’d say. I take it you deliberately wanted to avoid any similarity with the Black Metal sound and style that is so popular nowadays, is that correct? In that case, can you tell us the reasons for this decision?
You are correct. DREADFUL RELIC’s inspirations are going back in 80’s, to albums such as TO MEGA THERION, OBSESSED BY CRUELTY, UNDER THE SIGN OF THE BLACK MARK etc. but also to early 90’s releases such as BARATHRUM V.I.T.R.I.O.L. , INTO THE DRAPE, BURZUM, RITUAL and more...
During the time in-between the creation of DREAFUL RELIC and till the day that the recordings were finished, I was listening a lot all the above mentioned releases and also stuff like MERCYFUL FATE, PAUL CHAIN, TANGERINE DREAM, MASTER`S HAMMER, ISENGARD, BLACK SABBATH (the Dio years), TORMENTOR (Hun) and watching a lot of films, series etc. Even if this is not audible in the music or obvious in the lyrics, I’m sure there was a certain influence from them on the way we worked in the "Archaic Conjurations" era.
But I want to state that DREADFUL RELIC is NOT A RETRO band or something of the kind!
The style and sound that you mentioned that is so popular nowadays simply IS NOT Black Metal but some limp-wristed idiots, mostly newcomers, who plagiarized the term. Facebook whoredom, squat gigs, noisey interviews and music awards can’t have any similarity with a music created as a REVOLT AGAINST ALL THAT, something that is destined not for collective listening, but to cause terror and fear to the eyes of the ordinary modern man. DREADFUL RELIC belongs to a completely different world and far from being involved in the punk-rock urban lifestyle of the current so-called "Black" metal bands that are so popular nowadays. Crush "sex, drugs & rock `n roll" - Hail Tyranny and War!
4.Also visually and lyrically, DREADFUL RELIC’s demo appears anachronistic. I have noticed the blatant lack of any “occult” (i.e. “qliphotic”) references that are so widely used by Black Metal-bands nowadays, from Greece too (ACHERONTAS being a prime example, for instance). How come? What is the spiritual / philosophical concept behind DREADFUL RELIC, if there is any to begin with?
I think "Anachronistic" is the prefect word for DREADFUL RELIC. In general, I think our entire lives are anachronistic. As it seems we have a hard time, or better, we don’t want to fit in this world and we are proud of it! 
Again as in your third question, about the whole "Black Metal" matter, what you are referring to as "occult" is not occult at all. Not the one we know as occult, for sure. Since you mentioned "Qliphothic", Kabbalah is a hebrew offspring (its so-called "truths", "wisdom" and "higher meanings" are nothing but European esoteric and alchemical teachings stolen by the jews during the 12th century, who, as usual, renamed and twisted them to fit in the "tikkun olam" and then present it as their own) created exclusively for non-jews. It’s not surprising that it is embraced by so many in the "black metal" scene as it consists mostly by uneducated and low IQ scum who just want to look "cool" or to pretend to be "deeply involved" in the eyes of whatever herd is following them. Other than that, the "ideology" that this pseudo-occult ("anti-cosmic" included) bands that often represent, is nothing but a mix of indian-persian-hebrew-egyptian and other oriental mixed nonsense. Everything and nothing at the same time. To put it short, typical new-age bullshit! And when I was in a point that I believed I have seen everything, the "Occult Rock" trend arrived. A fashion-show run by a bunch of bourgeois lady-boys and some sluts who want to live their hippie dream. Wake up fools! You can`t bring back what is drowned in blood by the blades of Helter Skelter!
Despite all that, fortunately TRUE OCCULT METAL exists and there are bands that uphold the real meaning behind these words and stand far above the imitators. Some of them coming to my mind at the moment are: MORTUARY DRAPE, ABSU/EQUIMANTHORN, BLOODSTORM/GOREAPHOBIA, ALTAR OF PERVERSION, SPEAR OF LONGINUS etc.
Of course there is a philosophical background behind DREADFUL RELIC. That’s the main reason why I created the band in the first place. Our music is a sonic manifestation of concepts inspired by Sword & Sorcery, Dark Epic European Myths and History, Blood Mysticism, Esoteric & Hermetic traditions. 
5.DREADFUL RELIC is a four-member band, and we already have talked a bit about the people involved. However, the collaboration of one “Desolate Wings” appears to be outstanding: He played on the (now widely hailed as) cult demo “Faustian Dawn”, by DEMONCY from the USA, in 1993. Afterwards, he contributed to BLACK FUNERAL as well as DARKNESS ENSHROUD, but ever since he seemed to be gone from the scene. Now he makes a comeback, on your debut demo, and thus underscores that the demo may be a new release but the musicians are anything but new to the genre. Have you been in touch with him all along or how did you get hold of him after all these years? Will he remain a member of DREADFUL RELIC in future, as well?
Desolate Wings "appeared" just in time. By clear coincidence, I got in touch with him a few weeks before the recordings of "Archaic Conjurations". All these years I thought he was totally out of the scene, so I was surprised when he told to some friend that he is aware of the bands I used to be involved in. I got his e-mail right away and wrote him, explaining to him in every detail the musical and lyrical concept of DREADFUL RELIC, asking if he can contribute with something similar of his old works. Some days later I got his answer and a variety of tracks to choose. You can hear them in the demo. It’s an honor that after 20 years he emerged from the shadows and joined DREADFUL RELIC. His music have become an important part in our music and I can`t think any future release without his cursed sounds. As a matter of fact, right now, as this interview is written, he has already begun working on new pieces for future releases. 
Further than that, we will work together also in SERMONES AD MORTUOS. That’s a new band formed by me, Desolate Wings and Hideous Abomination (of Goatvomit/Kiss of Shame Records). It will be Dark Ambient/Horror Orchestral Music influenced by late 80’s and early 90’s stuff. The concept of this project is inspired by the works of H. P. Lovecraft, Edgar Alan Poe and more of this kind. A full-length album is planned for 2015.
6.In our day and age, it’s not unheard of for an extreme metal band to become an “instant celebrity” with one (the first) demo. BOLZER, for instance, managed to headline festivals with nothing more but a demo and an EP under their bullet belts. Does this strike you as odd, in a way, considering that a “demo” recording meant to demonstrate the existence of a new band and to give a glimpse into their musical skills and gifts? Or do you deem it appropriate that in the era of one world wide web, when even the most limited (physical) release can and will be duplicated digitally numberless times, any band can reap the maximum of fame and glory that comes from internet-induced as well as –fueled “hype” even though there is not much to show, other than a few songs recorded for a demo tape?
"Celebrity", "Headline Festivals", "Fame and Glory", "Digital Duplication" etc. I`ll have completely failed (according to my own world-view of course) if by starting a band, had these words in my mind. It’s completely discouraging when people put you in the same category with bands of this kind ‘cause we are standing on the completely opposite. But I understand your point of view. The internet age has many negatives but also some positives. The positives are that underground ideological bands don’t depend anymore on big labels or distributors. In this way they don’t have to compromise in order to spread their stuff or release an album as they can easily do this by themselves. The biggest negative is the demystification of Black Metal, the loss of its elitist arrogant nature and its over-exposure to the masses. Suddenly, through the plague of social media, every worthless newcomer, wannabe model, third-world subhuman and other shit of this world, raised his voice and demands of how Black Metal must or must not be, on acknowledgment of the fact that their opinions and even their whole existence is futile to the bone. 
7.Speaking of festivals: Is playing live an option for DREADFUL RELIC someday in future? If that’s on your to-do-list, then do you already have contemplated how a live performance of yours should turn out and look like? Plus, are there any bands you’d love to share the stage with and are there any you’d refuse to?
Perhaps one day. Right now it’s too early to talk about it as our playlist will be too short for a gig. The appearance on stage is something that I have not thought at all. We will see about that in due time, but if there will be any, it will be in a way that will represent in the best way possible our Black Mythical Metal concept.
8.In particular for Black Metal, Hellas does have a long as well as legendary history to show. Do you consider DREADFUL RELIC to be a torchbearer of this legacy or do you rather wish this band to be independent of the local scene? Needless to say, you don’t have that distinctive “Hellenic” sound, either. However, I am sure you are affiliated to the scene in your homeland in one way or another, so I reckon you can tell us a bit about other bands one ought to pay attention to? From your point of view, what does make Hellenic Black Metal so unique worldwide?
I don’t think that Hellas has a "long legendary history" in Black Metal. The greatest years were 1988-1995. In between those years, some masterpieces were released indeed. But after that, suddenly everything changed (exactly the same that happened to Norway) and the scene became a parody of its old self. We don’t want to see ourselves as torchbearers in anything that has to do with the local scene. If we’d ever hold a torch in hands, it will be used to burn it down to ashes. A fate that truly deserves.
As much as I can think of right now, I can’t find any band worthy of any attention. What you call "Hellenic Black Metal" nowadays is just cheesy balkan music. There is nothing "Hellenic" and definitely nothing "Black Metal" (and most of the times not even proper Metal) on it. 
9.For a few years already, Hellas is making the international news with headlines about soaring debts and grinding austerity. How much does this affect you on a personal level and the music underground scene in Hellas generally? I can imagine it’s getting much harder to purchase new records, for instance. Or else, to attend any concerts (if there are any at all, that is). How do you cope with this situation and has the idea of immigrating to another country ever come to your mind?
Hellas is the perfect example of when a Nation is not independent, then it’s easily turned to a playground for a clash between the big modern economic powers of. In history, respect exists only amongst the equally strong, not between the one who carries a sword and the other who holds an olive branch. For decades, Hellas trusted its fate on the descendants of Shylock and now the time has come to pay the "pound of flesh". Europe’s turn will come too, Hellas is simply in a more visible picture.
As far as I know from some people who run record stores, crisis has not affected so much their business. In Athens there must be more than a dozen Metal record shops and all of them are still there. On a personal level, for a strange reason, my financial situation is now better than before and also the numbers of records I’m getting for my personal collection are higher than ever.
10.Last but not least, your demo is still fresh but I am sure you’ve got your next steps already laid out: What else can be expected from the DREADFUL RELIC in this year, and beyond?
For some time now I have already finished the lyrical concept that will become a 7"EP. We plan to record and release it this year. Right now I’m writing lyrics for something after this EP, but of course it’s too early to talk about it.
11.Thank you for your time, good luck with DREADFUL RELIC, and now you may add whatever comes to your mind:
Thanks for your support and the interesting questions. Firebreathers, Pagans, Heretics and other Fanatics interested in DREADFUL RELIC can check the official website at this address: www.dreadfulrelic.com
"Someday, when all your civilization and science are likewise swept away, your kind will pray for a man with a sword."
Robert E. Howard "Rogues In The House" (1934)