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Antestor

It is generally known that the black metal went through a revival in the last few years. Cradle of this modern black metal movement has been Norway. Bands like Mayhem and Emperor served as examples. And it is clear that this music didn't prove to be unprofitable. The success of bands like Cradle Of Filth and Dimmu Borgir are showing that. "Dusk And Her Embrace" of CoF for example sold over 100000 copies. Prominent Black Metal label is Cacophonous Records in Great Britain. This label once    introduced bands like CoF, Dimmu Borgir and Gehenna.One of their latest releases is "The Return Of The Black Death". The band? Antestor. Some of you will recognize this name from the "Northern Lights" compilation album that was released by Rowe Productions. Reason enough to call drummer Armoth to hear what he has to say about the deal and their debut.

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Interview with: Armoth (drummer)

Date: December 12th 1998

Where: Interview over the telephone

Other bandmembers: Martyr (vocalist) Vemod (guitarist) Gard (bassplayer)

Band's Hometown: Oslo

Discography: The Return Of The Black Death (1998)

Contact Address: ssander@c2i.net

Interview by MPO

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How did you get signed with Cacophonous?

We had been in the studio. We made a few copies of the material on a promo-CD and we sent it to different labels throughout the whole continent, Europe, and a few in England. And we got a lot of responses from different labels but Cacophonous said they were interested in our music. We talked a lot back and forth and it ended up signing. That's cool actually, you know. Both Cradle Of Filth and Dimmu Borgir started their careers there, so to speak.

You wrote me once that you wanted to do an album with a Norwegian title: "Kongsblod" or "Gamlelandet".

Yeah, that's the same album. "Kingsblood" in English. It's the same material but we changed the title to "The Return Of The Black Death". It ended up having an English title.

Why an English title?

I don't know. It's just...I'm not sure, it happened. Maybe to reach more people, you know, all over Europe.

I thought you were signed with Morphine Records?

No, we were in contact with a label called Morphine Records. But that was about signing a deal for the "Martyrium" album. But we never signed a contract but that guy, Burrito, made several promotapes and sold every bit of it illegally 'cause he didn't have a contract.

How do you look back at that?

Well, it doesn't matter now. Because we look back and see what kind of person he was, it wouldn't be good for us. All they think about is money and stuff. It doesn't matter now because we're signed with Cacophonous and that's a lot better. Being on that label would do more than enough. I hope so.

Cacophonous had a lot of experience in the past with black metal bands like Cradle Of Filth. What does the label think of you?

We sent the CD and a short biography. They just wanted to sign us because of the music. And that's exactly what we wanted to do.

How is "Return..." received so far?

Honestly I don't know because we haven't heard anything from the label.

But you read magazines perhaps...

Yeah. A review in Kerrang! was more than promising. We got four out of five (points). We also had a review in a British zine called Terrorizer and we got there four out of five (points) too. So, I mean, I think it's been well accepted, at least by the critics.

And the fans?

They say it's a good album. Even if the production, the sound, is not so good, you know. It could have been a lot better. It just happened that way. We thought just to go into the studio and record it as a promo-CD or a demo. But Cacophonous just wanted to release it. It was good enough. So, people say different things about the album. Some just like it the way it is. Some say it could have been a lot better if it was a better sound. I agree with that.

So, does the label want you to do another record?

Yeah. We have signed a two-album deal. So, I hope we do.

You're still in the writing process, not recording anything yet?

I'm not sure. I mean, the guitarist is the one who makes all the music. I think he has a lot of ideas. But we haven't been abled to get together as a band and come up with our own ideas and put things together and make a song that way.

Because you have no place to practice?

Exactly. But we're looking. It's hard you know. The rental price is way high. It's too expensive to hire a place. It's kinda hard. It's hard to try to find some people who have some free space.

Another question now. You have played with bands like Old Man's Child and other bands.

Yeah, we played at a concert. It was a local festival thing. At that time they were called Requiem and not Old Man's Child. It's about four years ago.

You played with other bands like that?

Yeah, we played with Minas Tirith. They play very technical progressive semi-deathmetal.

And what do they think of you?

They like our music a lot. That's what they said. But we haven't gone any further than we have. It just took so long to find a label to release our album. So, they are good friends. They're from the same place as we are. So, we hang out a lot with them.

How do describe your music style?

We don't even call our music black metal even. We call it Atmospheric Sorrow Metal. Because that's more neutral. Then people wouldn't say, "oh, you play black metal, you are Satanists". There really is a sorrow sound, sad sound, in our music. And it's kinda cold, winterly, Nordic in a way.

Can you tell me about the idea, the message of "Return Of The Black Death"?

That's a hard question because the vocalist is the one who writes the lyrics. It's basically about trivial things. You know, personal problems, struggles and having destructive thoughts or bad thoughts. Everything a person goes through in everyday life. Like one song that's written about a Viking, in Viking style.

You also recorded a long time ago an album called "Martyrium". Three songs were on the "Northern Lights" compilation album. What did you do with that album?

Nothing yet. It has never been released. But I'm not sure that Cacophonous would like to release it. The lyrics are very clear. But we've been in contact with another label from Sweden, Endtime Productions of Samuel Durling. And he said that he likes to release it. And so, we'll see. I hope it will work out. And then, I have to say it's old material. It was written in 1994.

Note: I've been told that Cacophonous  has gone bankrupt. What this will mean for the band I don not know at the moment.

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