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THE METAL OBSERVER - Interview - HORNED ALMIGHTY - Online Jul 2006

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Horned Almighty - An Interview of Death and Damnation (S.) - Online Jul 2006

“The Devil’s Music” has been out for less than 2 months yet has been inundated with positive reviews and nearly universally praised as HA’s best album to date. How do you feel about this album in relation to “Black Metal Jesus” and the praise it has been getting?

Well, for it to be praised as our best album yet so far isn’t the hardest achievement since we only released one full length prior to this. I hardly recognize the EP and the split with SARGEIST as albums… Of course we appreciate the acknowledgement it has received, I mean who wouldn’t after having worked their asses off for a half a year trying to create something as fucking crushing as we did. So far we have only seen few bad reviews, and most of them coming from Norway, which doesn’t surprise me, since they act like they have ownership concerning the genre. There are many differences between this release and BMJ, where mainly I would state the production and the entirety as the most important advances.


The band has seemed to grow musically by leaps and bounds in the past two years. Do you see the renewed focus and evolution of sound as a direct result of the acquisition of Luger and Aries? Or has the band been continually heading this way since the release of the “Hellhordes” demo?

No, the band would have continued it’s development, regardless of the addition of more members. You can see and hear a progression from each release, starting with Hellhordes and up to “BMJ” and this would also have been the case with “The Devil’s Music”. This said though, it is obvious that Luger (Bass) and Aries (Strings) have had their impact and influence on the new songs as well and have also contributed to the songwriting and composition. We do strive to achieve continuation and evolvement, hence avoiding stagnation, which equals death for us.


In addition to Black Metal, what other sub-genres have had a great impact on HORNED ALMIGHTY’s current sound, and what are some of the major bands that have influenced you?

There are way too many to mention and since most of us have listened to Metal for over a decade, the influences are many. The initial doctrine of HORNED ALMIGHTY was to return to the filthy and catchy Black Metal, which we all hold dear. By this, comparisons such as DARKTHRONE and GORGOROTH, are inevitable but as time went on and the band progressed, a more catchy, filthy and ugly approach were found, were Rock N’ Roll influences, not unlike MOTÖRHEAD, emerged. These starting points combined with our own style makes what Horned Almighty represents in the year of our Lord MMVI”.


Can you briefly walk us through the writing and recording process for “The Devil’s Music” and any difficulties the band may have encountered?

The writing of the album occurred over a period of approx. a half a year and then we recorded a weekend in February 2006. When writing the album, we had a rough start with trying to find out what the hell to do – every band have their whole life creating their first album, but when having to get started on the follow up, you are faced with the difficult task of having expectations from the outside. We couldn’t get started and it wasn’t until Aries wrote an entire song (“Repentance”), that we got into gear – then one song took the other and the process had begun.


Bjørn Bihlet’s artwork is impressive. Do you see him contributing to future HA releases?

We are all very pleased with his artwork, but let’s see whether he will contribute again. Hellpig and him have some personal issues with each other…


What’s your favorite track from the new album, and why?

It varies a lot. First it was the title track, simply because it was the anthem of the entire album. It is so damn straight forward catchy and not to be swept away by this song, requires that you’re death – or dead for that matter. At the moment, it is “Malicious Mockery”, which is actually based upon an old song from the demo, which we rewrote.


Let’s talk a moment about the hidden track, “Forest Of Bones” found at the end of the album. Why did you choose “Forest Of Bones” over a previous track, and why Necrolaisen on guest vocals?

Forest Of Bones” is a rerecording from the “In The Year Of Our Horned Lord” EP, which always deserved better sound. We still play this song live and many do not know it, since it has only been released on the vinyl EP. It’s form and representation is still relevant in our approach, so it felt like the right thing to rerecord it. It does not have the same lyrical theme as the rest of the album though and that’s why we chose to have it hidden and without lyrics printed. Necrolaisen is a friend of ours, who has been with HORNED ALMIGHTY since the beginning. He was there back when we wrote the song, so it felt natural to have him contribute on it”


One must not be too bright to realize HORNED ALMIGHTY as a band professes the worship of the Devil. How involved are the members in this worship, and do you identify with Levay’s church of Satan?

We each practice our fascination for the Devil individually. Needless to say that everybody have their saying, when it comes to our lyrical presentation although I am the solely composer. If they do not agree, we find a better meaning of the phrase. As any worship is supposed to be, since it relies on belief, it is best practiced individually. Who am I to force my convictions upon others and vice versa. I merely express my opinion and way of worshipping all that is ugly, grim and evil. Laveys Church of Satan is nothing but a bunch of comic book readers, who are into roleplaying in the forest with cardboard swords – let them have their fun, but stop taking His name in vain!


What are your thoughts on the current Black Metal scene and how do you see it evolving in the next 5 years?

Up until very recently, I would say very potent but now I’m beginning to have second thoughts. So much utter crap is being released these days, and the sad thing is that there is a label for every band. Sometimes I wonder whether there might be more labels than bands now. Even sadder it is, that there must be people enjoying this shit because it gets sold anyway. Quality in music is apparently much underrated nowadays. Fortunately it is not all shit and there have been a great evolvement especially in the Finnish, French and Swedish scenes over the last couple of years, breathing much needed fresh air into the embers. It will be interesting to see if these bands can hold the legacy or a new wave will emerge – honestly, I have no idea…


What was the first Metal album you really fell in love with?

I knew I was on the right track, when I got “Covenant” with MORBID ANGEL and it is still one of my favorite albums. Sheer brutality, the way blasphemous Death Metal is supposed to be!”


Do you give a shit about the industry’s current problem with the downloading of music and do you see that affecting you guys at all?

I’m not sure how much it afflicts the Metal labels, but the commercial labels loose millions. I am in somewhat of a dilemma towards this question, because since I myself am a musician, I would prefer that people bought our albums instead of downloading it, but then again I download myself, so that would be double standard from my side. I justify it, by buying the albums that I download and happen to like. Then I save a lot of money and the crap bands get what they deserve. There are many advantages toward this matter as well.


What are your thoughts on performing live, and do you see that as a major part of what HORNED ALMIGHTY is about?

Absolutely. We are all skilled live musicians from other constellations, so it is only normal, that we perform live with HORNED ALMIGHTY as well. To me, there are some general dogmatic sentences that define a band and that is among others being able to rehearse, record and play live. Especially our music is very much fitted for live desecrations, because of the energy and rarely do I see any who does not submit, when we spit forth our aggression and wrath on stage.


Vinyl or CD?

I prefer, as most of the BM scene, vinyl – surprise surprise. But it is actually only Harm and me who collect vinyl, the rest do not give a fuck. And when it comes down to it all in the end, it doesn’t really matter what format it is, it’s just music. Some who pay thousands for an album should remember this sometimes.


How will HORNED ALMIGHTY continue to refresh itself and evolve after such a vicious album which just bleeds quality?

Only time can tell. When we will gather once more to create new offerings, it is a matter of many obstacles to be handled. The same did occur when starting the writing process of “The Devil’s Music” after having had a creative break from “Black Metal Jesus”. We follow an album till its end, before starting anything new, and have done so since day one. When there is no more need for performing or promoting the new album, a new chapter begins. Where to go from here lies in the unknown for now. If following the path which we have chosen so far, the first new compositions will have the same feel as the last, but then they will start to change. Perhaps there will be an already planned theme or maybe it will be a collection of different songs like “BMJ”. It’s too soon to say at the moment”


Thanks for your time, do you have any final words you’d like to leave for your fans or enemies?

Hails for the insightful questions, they are appreciated. Thanx for the support and submit to the Devil’s Music – surely it will crush everything you hold dear!


2003: Hellhordes (Demo, Self-released)

2004: Horned Almighty/Sargeist split (CD, Moribund)

2004: In The Year Of Our Horned Lord (EP, Infernus Rex)

2004: Black Metal Jesus (CD, Infernus Rex)

2006: The Devil’s Music (CD, Infernus Rex)

Charles Theel

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