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Eternal Helcaraxe – Monsters Of Rot preview interview

PlanetMosh is proud to be sponsoring the main stage at the fourth incarnation of Monsters Of Rot, which takes place in Letterbreen, County Fermanagh, on Saturday August 16.

The festival brings together some of the best extreme metal bands on the island of Ireland.  As part of our build up to the event, we will be interviewing all of the main stage acts:  today it is the turn of Maulgrim from black metallers Eternal Helcaraxe to go under the PM spotlight…

Eternal HelcaraxeHow would you describe your style of music?
We have heard alot of different descriptions of our style by other people:  melodic, atmospheric, epic, emotive and even pagan black metal. We play our own style of black metal but we can see how those words are used to describe it.

Who all is in the band and how did you come together?
Eternal Helcaraxe was formed in 2003 by Praetorian and myself.  After several line-up changes we decided to release our first EP as a two-piece in 2004.  Shortly after this release we joined by our drummer Tyrith, the band have been going strong since then.

Do you have any material available?
In 2004 we recorded our first EP, ‘Palest Kingdom, as a two piece.  It was a rough bedroom recording but we are still very proud of the songs.  In 2009, as a full line up, we released our second EP, ‘To Whatever End’ (This is also available on cassette tape through Sword Productions/Blood and Soil Productions).  We released our first full length album in 2012 on Abyss Records titled ‘Against All Odds’.  All of these releases are available to buy from our website and bandcamp (see links at the end of the interview)

Do you have any new material coming out in the near future?
Our first vinyl release will be coming out on the 25th of September through Elemental Nightmares (www.elemental-nightmares.com), a vinyl project that will have 28 bands across 7 ten inch vinyl splits.  It will feature our latest song titled ‘Flames In The Darkness’.

We are almost finished writing our second full length album, ‘In Times Of Desperation’.  More news on this as it develops.

Have you played with any of the other bands on the MOR bill before?
We have played with both Dead Aeon and Aeternum Vale before, and they put on a great show.

What other bands on the MOR bill are you looking forward to seeing?
Coldwar and Overoth are always great bands to watch live.   I’m looking forward to seeing a few for the first time.

What is your assessment of the current state of the Irish metal scene?  Is it in a good state of health?  Are there too many bands and not enough venues/promoters, or is there a good balance between the two?
There are alot of great bands doing the rounds right now, but saying that there is  alot of crap too – but that can be put down to my personal taste.  I wouldn’t say there is too many bands but the number of venues and promoters these days has seemed less.  I’m sure these problems can be put down to the hard times Ireland is in right now.

Is there enough support for the metal scene in the Irish media?  Or is that important?
Personally, I never thought that there was much support for metal in the Irish media, so I don’t see this as important.

Is social media more important that traditional channels (ie newspapers/radio) in communicating with your fans and attracting new ones?
Social media is definitely the best way to get band exposure these days, its by far the fastest way to get your band updates and news to your fans.  People don’t bother much with the likes of fanzines anymore, apart from the major magazines like Zero Tolerance.  But I do think that radio is still very important for discovering new bands.  We have gotten alot of emails from people telling us they heard our music through different metal radio stations around the world.

Outside of the bands at MOR, what other Irish bands would you recommend PM readers check out?
Celtachor, Legion Of Wolves, Dark Matter and Thy Worshiper.

Apart from your instruments (obviously), what is the one essential item you always carry when playing a gig or festival?
Band merchandise!

Finally, MOR is a week after Bloodstock:  do you think a festival like BOA would work on the island of Ireland?
I think something like that would work… it’s just the weather here can be worrying when organising a festival, so an indoor venue would be essential.  I don’t think it matters where it would take place, if the line-up was good enough people will go.

You can find out more about Eternal Helcaraxe at www.eternalhelcaraxe.net or www.facebook.com/eternalhelcaraxe.
You can check out their EPs and album – and download them – at www.reverbnation.com/eternalhelcaraxe, www.soundcloud.com/eternalhelcaraxe and www.eternalhelcaraxe.bandcamp.com.

You can find out more about Monsters Of Rot at www.monstersofrot.com.

About Mark Ashby

no longer planetmosh staff