Interview - Shaarimoth
We were caught off guard with the devasting power of Shaarimoth's return. The norwegian band was away for more that ten years, but "Temple of the Adversarial Fire" is a powerfull album that turns the absence into oblivion. So we went to talk with F., the guitar player from Shaarimoth to fulfill our curiosity about the absence and many other things.
WOM - Hi there, thanks for this interview."Temple of The Adversarial Fire" is a great death metal album, quite unexpected for those folks who only think that Norway breeds black metal. Your own members have or were in black metal bands. Is it easy to keep the waters separeted? If a black metal riff shows up do you leave it aside, for instance?
F. - Hello Fernando! Thanks for your interest in our latest album. Even though we consider our music to have its foundation in death metal, we are not bound to any specific genre at all. All three of us grew up under the second wave of black metal that burned through the 90`s here in Norway, so this genre has influenced in part how we express ourselves musically. But, when indulging yourself under the umbrella of creativity, you really don’t know what will channel itself through your fingers. For this recording we tuned in on the combination of riffs and melodies which would give the dark and majestic atmosphere we wanted. Shaarimoth`s music is about breaking boundaries and the ultimate freedom; not to be bound by any rules or genre. After a massive brainstorming we only kept, and built further on, the ideas that gave the darkest “feeling”, arranging and re-arranging until it ignited the right dark sphere. You can choose to stay and grow within a genre, or you can choose to evolve into something new. We chose to evolve.
WOM - How do you feel about "Temple Of The Adversarial Fire" It turned out the way you idealized?
F. - As with most records, the end result never ends up quite what you expected it to be. In this case we are overwhelmed by the end result, and we owe Thomas Tannenberger whom mixed and mastered this record a great deal of credit for this. He instantly understood what sound we strived for, and like a Beethoven he knew exactly how to help us to achieve this. “Temple Of The Adversarial Fire” is more a concept album to be endured in its entirety, songs perfectly aligned to create the right dynamic from start to end. We are indeed very proud of the end result.
WOM - This sophomore album is released twelve years after the debut. Why the long time releasing this second album?
F. - After our debut album “Current 11” released by Carnal Records in 2005, our drummer decided to pursue other interests. R. and I kind of decided to do the same after that, both agreeing to return to the altar of creation some day in the future. Over the years we met occasionally to create more music, and about three years ago we decided to finalize our plans for a second album. We recorded one song first, HVHY, and after receiving good response with this song we ended up making a deal with WTC records for the release of an entire album.
WOM - Is this entity more of a band or a project? Do you plan to tour or play live regularly for the promotion of "Temple of The Adversarial Fire" ?
F. - When we decided to make a second album three years ago we were just a duo, but we still considered ourselves to be under the creative banner of Shaarimoth. With the new drummer J. from Gehenna joining, and seeing the potential in the new material, we realized that we want to try our material live. Currently we are working on getting the right individuals, and hope to be performing live during the spring this year.
WOM - You've got groove but that doesn't make your music more accessible. The great dynamics is one of the best features of your sound. That and your sound with power. How important do you think is the production in the overall sound?
F. - The production is essential for creating the right atmosphere, and again we must thank Thomas Tannenberger for giving us just the right finish this record needed. The melodies would not have had the same soul if he had applied the more and more clinical & classical triggered death metal sound that is predominant in the death metal genre now. Nor would the record have had this power, if he had gone towards the old school black metal sound. The atmosphere we were aiming for requires analogue drums and heavy guitars to build the right sound, and we feel we acquired just the right mix with this record. “Temple Of The Adversarial Fire” invites the listener to be seduced by dark psychotic melodies, bone-shaking riffs while tormented by bottomless drums and ancient demonic poetry. Shaarimoth is about making your blood start to boil.
WOM - Although you're death metal as it gets, you still have a an occult atmosphere, mainly caused by your lyrics. What is Shaarimoth conceptual lyrics talk about?
F. - R. is responsible for composing the lyrics to the album, so I can only give a brief introduction. The lyrical theme for “Temple of the Adversarial Fire” is based around the anti-Kabbalistic/Qliphothic tradition deriving from the Hebrew religion, and is based around his experience and knowledge on the subject. They are hymns to the adversarial forces of Sitra Achra, to the powers and principles of the terrifying, transforming and liberating currents of the Other Side.
WOM - How do you see the next years? Not another twelve years of radio silence, I hope...
F. - We already have plans for new material, and hopefully within no longer than a year our followers can enjoy more fiery rituals from Shaarimoth.
WOM - Final question and just as a curiosity... if you had to name five albums that you can see that influenced this great record that you made what would they be?
F. - For me to name five albums that have inspired this album in particular would be an impossible task, as I find inspiration in so many forms of music. But here is a list of five albums that shows the diversity from where I draw inspiration from, as a guitarist and a musician. I guess you can recognise some elements from all of these, even though some are more obvious than other.
1. Domination by Morbid Angel
2. The Sound Of Perseverance by Death
3. Infestissumam by Ghost B.C.
4. The Ninth Gate movie Soundtrack
5. L`Enfant Sauvage by Gojira