As Belgian black metal masters Enthroned prepare to return to the UK for another run of dates in support of their ‘Obsidium’ album, we sit down with frontman Nornagest to catch up with the latest instalment of the band’s story and his views on making it 20 years at the forefront of European underground scene… which sort of pre-empts our first question, doesn’t it:
This year is the band’s 20th anniversary: is this an important milestone for you?
Of course, this is something that not a lot of bands, especially within the black metal scene, manage to achieve, and we are certainly proud to have those 20 years behind us.
In your opinion, how has the black metal scene changed / evolved over those past two decades?
Well, the scene went up and down – and vice versa – as we all witnessed, except for the younger ones…
Things are better now than during the last years in my opinion: there no big ridiculous trend anymore… there are still some followers here and there, but it has always been this way. At least we have some decent shows with decent bands and decent fans.
At some point, the BM scene became so ridiculous that it was almost unbearable; this scene looked like a fashion show with people caring more about how long your hair was, what kind of boots you were wearing, etc… ha ha , what a shame…
It’s also 15 years since Cernunnos tragically took his own life: do you ever feel that his influence is still present in what Enthroned do?
Of course: without him, there would have been no Enthroned – and certainly not the way it is today!
After so long creating extreme music for such a length of time, is it challenging / difficult to continually come up with new and fresh ideas to move the band and the sound forward?
Not really, each album represents some personal experiences, and we just translate those into sounds: so, as long we have “things” happening within our life, there will be inspiration – at least, as far as WE are concerned, which is the most important.
Your latest album, ‘Obsidium’, came out last year, and you’ve toured it pretty heavily since: how have your audiences reacted to the new material?
Very good! The latest tours were a huge success – a lot of sold out shows and good responses.
This is the album that put the old and new fans on the same common ground; both seem to really appreciate the album.
This leg of the tour brings you back to the UK and Ireland, with this being the first time you’ve visited Northern Ireland: how important is it to you to bring your music to new territories?
I always look forward to performing and invading new places! Although it is not the first time we have come to the UK and Ireland, it is always a pleasure to perform there – especially Ireland, Scotland and London!
For those of us who haven’t seen an Enthroned live show before, what can we expect?
Intensity – and I hope bloodshed within the pit!
Is it difficult for you to re-create the intensity of the studio sound in the live environment, or do you have to take any shortcuts?
It is very difficult to bring some songs to the live element: most aren’t, but tracks such as ‘Thy Blight Vacuum’ are very hard, due to the fact that we have parts with three guitars and seven people choirs…. but we manage pretty good for the rest.
What does the rest of 2013 hold for Enthroned, and when can we expect another album?
We are working on the next album at this very moment: hopefully, it will be out this year. It would be really nice to celebrate our 20th anniversary with our tenth album, actually!
Enthroned play the following dates:
Wednesday February 27th – Voodoo, Belfast
Thursday February 28th – The Pint, Dublin
Friday March 1st – Audio, Glasgow
Saturday March 2nd – Electrowerkz, London
Sunday March 3rd – The Cavern, Exeter
Enthroned released their ninth album, ‘Obsidium’, via Agonia Records last June. Read our review at https://planetmosh.com/enthroned-obsidium/