It feels like ages since I’ve come across a high quality Black Metal band from the boot-shaped country so I was absolutely stoked when BLACK FLAME knocked me square on my ass with their latest album “Imperivm”, their first for jilted GORGOROTH guitarist Infernus’s Forces Of Satan Records. With a punishing sound that harnesses the controlled chaos of bands like ANTAEUS, FUNERAL MIST and “Destroyer”-era GORGOROTH, these Italian blasphemers are certainly onto something special with their latest disc. Their albums have also featured collaborations from MORTUARY DRAPE and ABOGOR members, which should act as a good indicator of the power inherent in their craft. I simply had to get in touch with drummer A Fog to find out just how strongly the Black flame burns. So read on, if you will…
Hails! Thanks for agreeing to this interview. First question – what are you doing right now as you answer my (hopefully) relevant questions?
Ave to you. Oh well, I’m just sitting here in front of the PC and working on the promotion of the new album. As you can guess, these are very busy days and we must take care of everyone that would like to know something about us and our new release.
I`m already considering your latest effort, “Ěmperivm”, as one of the year’s strongest Black Metal albums. How has it been received by the press/fans so far and what goals did you set for yourselves with this album?
Oh thank you. We are receiving some very good and unexpected responses from the media and from the fans. Rock Hard Magazine in
“Imperivm” is unfortunately my first encounter with BLACK FLAME. Can you please provide a short history of the band`s activities and whether, if at all, this new album is different from your back catalogue.
This new album is nothing but the logical evolution of the previous releases. All our releases have a solid and clear trademark, but they are different one to each other. It is like having the same core that changes its surface all the times. The previous release “Conquering Purity” (2006) was more atmospheric and more Black Metal oriented, and “Torment and Glory” from 2004 was more aggressive. So, with this new “Imperivm” we strongly wanted to balance the two aspects that predominate the two previous albums: to create something violent and aggressive, but also with obscure and dark moods. The very first releases like the demos and the self-produced album “The Third Revelation” (2003) are a bit different, but the main reason is that we were still growing as band and developing our style.
Listening to BLACK FLAME I can hear a lot of influences and elements, especially the guitar-oriented `chaotic` venom of bands like FUNERAL MIST (also in the vocals), GORGOROTH, ANTAEUS and the Grind-like Blackened noise of the cult Aussie group NAZXUL. Agree?
I can agree or not. I usually do not discuss this kind of thing. I just read your impressions and thoughts with interest: I think that it is a very subjective thing to come up with these kinds of paragons and similarities... But yes, it is interesting for me to see how our music stimulates people. Anyway I think we have a very personal sound, that can have influences, but it is recognizable and not derivative.
Being the first signees to ex-GORGOROTH guitarist Infernus`s Forces Of Satan records is certainly a significant event. How did this come about, and if it’s not some kind of conflict of interest what are your opinions on the continuing drama surrounding the two GORGOROTHs?
I have known Infernus for many years now and we are constantly touch. As soon as he started to run his label, we discussed the possibility of releasing our album through his label, and so we were the first to sign in September 2006. Of course it is more than a pleasure for us to work with such a strong-minded and prepared artist like him. No conflict of interests here, Infernus started GORGOROTH in 1992, so there is he is GORGOROTH, basically. Personally, I have no problems regarding the other two guys, but I do not understand why they acted the way they did.
Please state the bands that you view as the true leaders of future Black Metal.
Oh well... that’s not easy - there are a lot of good bands and I do not have too many points on which to discriminate against one band instead of another one. Personally, being a “leader” is not a goal to me... I prefer to say that we would like to grow even more as band and be always be able to satisfy our loyal followers. That’s our real aim.
Is BLACK FLAME a touring entity or just a studio band? If it`s the former where have you toured thus far and please name your more memorable `road memories`
Of course we are a live band and we like to play live gigs, but in the right conditions and on a decent stage. In
Am I correct if I see the band`s name as an obvious reference to the black flame that resides in the seekers of true/`forbidden` knowledge – the symbolic mark of the fireborn? How does the band interpret/apply the issue of Satanism – theistic or not?
We have our ideology and beliefs and we try to carry them through of our music but BLACK FLAME simply stands for the bright, chaotic and darkened burning of all the negatives out there. Of course we are fireborn - from fire we come and through fire we’ll end. I would not bore you with words and words of philosophical meanings: we have a strong core and a strong ideology and my previous sentence defines them simply and directly.
What do you intend for the listener to feel/imagine when he/she listens to “Imperivm”?
We would like to transport them into the realm of death. The album goes lyrically into a journey through the ancient roman culture, and its connections with the occult spheres. Rituals of death, rituals of evocation. The deep and sulphur aura of this album is meant to bring people the smell of an age where death was feared in chaos and in magick.
What are your views on your native Italian scene. I have always considered the cult act MORTUARY DRAPE as the leading light in the scene, as well as bands like BUIO OMEGA, MORTIFIER and even a new act like MELENCOLIA ECSTATICA. There has always been quality bands but still the Italian scene has never “taken off” like the Scandinavian, French, or even the Greek one. Do you agree, and why do you think this is?
Yes, we have some very cult and seminal bands, but – and I don’t know why – the Italian scene has always been undervalued over the years. I played in MORTUARY DRAPE, so I am not completely neutral in my opinion here, but they are one of the most important bands of this kind of music. And not only in Italy, I mean they were there in 1986, with corpse-paint, inverted crosses and necromantic lyrics, so of course I really consider them to be one of the very first prime-movers in this scene. We really have fucking lots of great bands, bands/people that play with passion and real will to power. Unfortunately, our country is always considered as a B-series country in this kind of music. As BLACK FLAME, we are working hard to reverse this trend and to bring our music as far as we can.
Well that`s about it! Thanks again for doing the interview and for spreading the word. Any last words?
2001: Welcome (Demo, self production)
2002: From Ashes I’ll Reborn (Single, self production)
2002: Orgiastic Funeral (Demo, self production)
2003: The Third Revelation (Demo, self production)
2004: Winds Of Flagellation (EP, Dark Side)
2004: Torment And Glory (CD, Eerie Art Records)
2006: Conquering Purity (CD, Worship Him Records)
2008: Imperivm (CD, Forces Of Satan Records)
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