Interview with Neraath of Enthroned
ENTHRONED was formed in 1993 by Cernunnos in Namur, Belgium. He soon recruited guitarist Tsebaoth and later bassist/vocalist Sabathan. The band released a 5-track demo tape in mid 1994 which brought them to the attention of several independent labels. A 7″ split EP with Ancient Rites was then released by the underground label Afterdark Records. After the label’s demise, Evil Omen Records (a sub-label of Osmose Productions) released ENTHRONED’s first full-length release, Prophecies of Pagan Fire.
Shortly thereafter, the band enlisted second guitarist Nornagest. Eventually, Tseboath was replaced by Nebiros, a very extreme musician who not only brought new blood into the band, but also complemented Nornagest’s brutal and barbaric style. Since the release of their first demo, ENTHRONED has always nurtured their amazing live reputation. They have shared the stage with the likes of Marduk, Enslaved, Dark Funeral, Angelcorpse, and Emperor, to name but a few. In 1996, along with Ancient Rites and Bewitched, ENTHRONED began an extensive tour of Europe.
In April 1997, as ENTHRONED was to begin recording Towards the Skullthrone of Satan, Cernunnos took his life. Albeit a heavy blow for the remaining members, ENTHRONED forged ahead, recording the album with a session drummer in honor of Cernunnos. The blackened horde went on to perform at the Dragons Blaze festival with newly acquired drummer Namroth Blackthorn. The crowd’s response could not have been better.
HMA: First off, what is Enthroned definition and meaning of Black Metal?
Enthroned: Black metal in the sense, as we know it today is the combination of Metal music and satanic/occult message and/or belief. This would be for the definition, as far as the meaning goes, its deeper than that; as people tempt to just perform BM as a hobby or a way to “find” themselves. For us it goes further, way further and since day one we don’t like too much to be associated with those people, we do our thing first of all for ourselves and for what it matters as far as WE are concerned, Enthroned is simply the catalyst of our thoughts and life.
HMA: Since 1994 you have provided the Black Metal community with outstanding recordings, what inspires Enthroned?
Enthroned: Our every day existences, I know; one would have expected or wanted a more original answer but this is just how it is. Each album is the reflection of a certain period in our existence and all those feelings are channeled through this catalyst I spoke about, but for the last years all has been centered around what matters the most to us as far as Enthroned and this side of our existences are concerned.
HMA: “Obsidium” stands proud in the Black Metal landscape; can you tell us about the record?
Enthroned: Sure but you have to see the whole picture here: You can consider the three last albums (“Tetra Karcist”, “Pentagrammaton” & “Obsidium”) as three chapters of the same book which is yet to be finished. “Tetra Karcist” was in some sort of way the introduction, talking about some specific domains within the Occult as it is, without any gimmick, just how things are. You can say it is from a Satanic, Setian or Luciferian point of view, but even for a Buddhist or Muslim is still remains reality, what is really there. The album after that, “Pentagrammaton”, deals with real life experiences through the Occult vector previously explained, and “Obsidium” is now about achievements, what we did learn through those experiences, what we achieved, what has changed and what hasn’t. The music, which should be as the soundtrack, reflect this spontaneous feeling I had while writing the lyrics (everything about Obsidium was done in 6 months, recording, composition…), each song has its own personality and is the musical support for the lyrics.
HMA: …and the master artwork?
Enthroned: As usual, the artwork/layout is directly and intimately linked to the concept of “Obsidium”; the figure in the centre represents the being that is Enthroned, in osmosis with its universe, transparent, clear to its own purpose surrounded by the knowledge of what we stand for, no suppositions or “maybes” involved. The answers to what we are and accomplished came from the experiences we went through our everyday’s work, path and philosophies and made us what we are today. As one knows, energies received or given are conducted through the solar plexus, which is represented as well upon the figure, and all is wrapped within the scales of the black serpent symbol of knowledge and wisdom.
HMA: How important is the subject theme? Is it Satanism and Occultism in the Christian sense or is there more to it?
Enthroned: There is more to it than the Christian legends or myths…
I am that kind of person who believes what he sees, and I saw… not under the effect of drugs, medication, tiredness etc… There is definitely more to it that those Christian pranks, it is just not for everyone and shouldn’t be dealt with if not prepared…
HMA: There is a lot of Latin in your content, how is it important?
Enthroned: Latin being the base of our own language it would be a bit normal to use it now and then especially when it has its purpose. Some words “vibrate” better than others…
HMA: What make the ideal Black Metal artwork? Is the explicit Satanic symbology always essential?
Enthroned: The ideal BM artwork would be at one with the music and lyrical content. It is as simple as that!
HMA: Since “Xes Haereticum” we see a great distinction in art direction. Would you say that this is true, and how is it progressing?
Enthroned: It is maybe because since “Black Goat Ritual” I decided to take full control over the artwork, I am an artist myself doing artwork for bands, labels, companies etc… so I know what I want and at the exception of “Tetra Karcist” all the artworks after “XES…” where done by ourselves. Me and Neraath are professionals within this domain so why asking someone else to do our artworks? “Tetra Karcist” was an exception due to the fact that Napalm Records back then, wanted the band to use that very artist for some reasons, he did a good job, sure but following OUR direction and believe me, I was very pointy on the matter!
HMA: What literary works influence and shape the band?
Enthroned: Our own ha! I don’t know… there might be an influence from here and there but not literally or a song about this or that book. I have my own favorites in literature which of course might have or have influenced my way of perceiving things like “The Book of the Five Rings” from Miyamoto Musashi, but Enthroned is not based upon books but upon the individuals within the band and their own experiences with the Occult and Satanism.
HMA: Thanks for the insights and for joining us in this interview?
Enthroned: Thanks for the interview!
Copyright 2012 © Interview with Alex Milazzo, Heavy Music Artwork. All rights reserved.