Q: First of all give us a short band bio and introduce the line up to the readers.
A: Lord Impaler were created in September 1998. We played something between black and death metal back then. In 1999 we released our first demo, under the title “The Lord Impaler”, which is a bad recording of a rehearsal and you can hardly hear what we play! Anyway, it never reached to any magazines and only a few people had it, mostly our friends. The same year we gave our first gig. A night to remember, where funny (at least, if not stupid) things happened. In 2001 we released our second demo, “Twilight Wander”. Again, this was only a recorded rehearsal, but with better sound and much more worked tracks. The following years was a time of troubles. Much happened, and it is expected when a band have seven members! But the fact is that we survived. And today as a quartet we released the “Promo 2005”, which is our best release, as I see it, more mature, and away from the mistakes of the past. Our line-up today is Necroabyssuss (vocals), Lord Nebulah (guitars), Nosferatu (synth) and Illuzion G. (bass).
Q: You belong to the extreme, primitive and old school black metal with a strong Norwegian flavor. Do you agree with me? Why have you chosen to play this specific kind and name some of the bands and albums that have offered you “guidance” towards this direction.
A: Actually, I don’t think that our music is so primitive or old school, but surely is far away from modern “intelligent” black metal. We like the 1994-95 era of black metal, and this is easily understood when you listen to our material. As for the Norwegian flavor, I guess it is the climate and the environment of Kastoria which is cold and green, with mountains and the lake and rivers… Even more, I think it is because the Hellenic scene has only a handful of albums in the style we like and today’s scene is even more distant. So it is a bit natural that we sound more like a Norwegian or Swedish band. The albums that “guided” us to this point are Emperor’s “In the nightside eclipse”, Satyricon’s “Nemesis Divina”, Immortal’s “Battles in the North”, Marduk’s “Panzer Division Marduk”, Dark Funeral’s “Secrets of the Black Arts”, Dimmu Borgir’s “Enthrone Darkness Triumphant” and Summoning’s “Stronghold”. From there on, everyone of us has different listenings and inspirations…
Q: Nowadays Black metal is quite popular in the metal scene, but not the kind you play. I’m talking about all those atmospheric black metal bands with keyboards that sound either like Cradle of Filth or Dimmu Borgir. What do you think of such bands and how do you “see” the contemporary black metal scene to be? Do you think there is space for bands like you?
A: To be honest, I don’t have anything against bands like these, I just don’t like Cradle of Filth, and naturally I cannot like their clones too. I really like keyborads and female voices in black metal, but this must be done properly. And even if I am ashamed to admit it, we never used correctly the female vocals, when we had a singer… As for the contemporary scene I expect it to be more… noisy. I don’t like this “noise for the noise” attitude, I want something meaningful, or else I don’t hear it… Hopefully, as long as there are people like me, there will always be a place for bands like Lord Impaler.
Q: Your compositions are very dark and aggressive with frozen riffs and a demonic atmosphere accompanied by some twisted black metal screams. However, if you were given the chance to present and review your demo, what would you say, trying to be as objective as possible?
A: Thanx for your kind words! First of all, this is our most extreme and mature release. The songs are well worked and with lots of riffs and many changes from blast to mid-tempo sections. Musically, we are playing a mixture of majestic/symphonic Black metal, with howling vocals. Some people compare us with bands like Cradle of Filth or Dimmu Borgir, I guess because they have used to think that every band that uses keyboards will sound somewhat like these bands. From my point of view, I see that we have a basic difference from bands like the above: while they have a simple guitar line and leave the synths to build all the atmosphere (or vice-versa), we have complex guitar riffs, a bit too sharp for symphonic black, but also we give huge free space to the synths to expand our music and not only follow in the background. The production is a bit “weak” since we recorded the promo in my house on a PC and we did no mastering. Finally, there are some obvious faults in the drum machine.
Q: Tell us a few things for the lyrical content of the demo by introducing each song. Which are your sources of inspiration?
A: “Antichristian Hordes” is a call to war against the religion of “Love”, the same that destroyed our glorious ancient civilization some centuries ago. The song “The Lord Impaler” is a tribute to Vlad III Draculea, who “built” us a great name for the band. “Admire the Cosmos Black” is only a darker perspective of the natural world, and a promise that we will be near our ancestors wherever they are, may that be the stars of the sky or the flames of hell! My basic source of inspiration is reading. I read a lot and for many things, but my favorite are history (especially the Hellenic), the occult, and philosophy. Other sources are movies, music and images of nature, be it printed or seen with my own eyes.
Q: What’s the best and what’s the worst part in your music, according to you? Where do you think you need further improvement?
A: I cannot break our music into best and worst parts. I like it all as it is. I guess we need to improve our sound (actually we haven’t yet explored all of its aspects), and the drums.
Q: Have you sent the demo to any labels and zines? What kind of feedback have you received till now? Are you under negotiation with any label?
A: We have sent it to many companies and magazines in many countries. We are “flattered” by the feedback we have received, as most comments are excellent. We are not under negotiation with any labels, but we haven’t yet heard of all who got our promo.
Q: What is the best and what the worst comment you’ve received?
A: The best was something like “WoW! I don’t believe in my ears!” and the worst “Get rid of this silly drum-machine!!!”, but it was a fair comment, so we’re not offended.
Q: You haven’t got a cover artwork, but instead you only have the band logo, which by the way is very beautiful. Why? Do you think that your music could only be presented with a plain cover or are there any other reasons behind that?
A: I believe that a good cover is important, because it completes a good album. If our music was bad to hear, I don’t know how could a good cover help it! I think our music can be presented without a cover, but the main reason we actually did that was the time and the cost. A better artwork would cost almost 8 times more, and since we give this promo for free, we had to do it that way, not to mention the extra work-hours for us to prepare it…
Q: If your music were an emotion, what would it be? if it were a painting, what would it show?
A: I guess the strongest emotions of our music are Scorn and hate (against Christianity). As for the painting, I have in my mind an image from my summer vacations in the mountains of Kastoria. I think it is good for our music and given the opportunity it might become a good cover for a forthcoming release: It is a river, sliding as a noisy snake among two hills filled with trees, reflecting the fullmoon that shines above it!
Q: Things are difficult in Greece. I’ve come to realize quite many years now that few greek metallers support the scene. Have you realized that or do you think metalheads supported you?
A: It is true that most of the metallers are more concerned in getting albums of big groups such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest than supporting their own country’s scene. I wonder, can’t they see that in few years these bands will meet their end? Who will take the lead then? Surely, someone from the underground. I believe it is important to support the underground scene if we want to have a future as music kind!
Q: Are there any plans for live shows in the horizon or do you think it’s too difficult for a Greek band?
A: It is not difficult to play live, it is most like a game “the right person in the right place at the right time” thing. If you meet the right persons you can play in many important gigs… Unfortunately, we have problems finding a good drummer, so we had to cancel all plans for live appearances.
Q: Let’s suppose that suddenly one day electricity ceased to exist. What do you think would happen to Heavy Metal music? How would such a world be?
A: Funny you ask that, since Lord Nebulah’s studies are in this subject!!! I guess the world would be relaxing without all these unfriendly noises most of the electric devises do… The celtic and pagan music would for a first time be extremely popular and achieve great things! And when we feel bored, there are always Alternative power sources such as the solar, or the hydroelectric to continue from where we stopped…
Q: If you could invite famous musicians to participate in your album, who would you choose and why?
A: First of all a good drummer, since we don’t have one. I guess Hellhammer would be perfect for the job. I can’t think anyone else at this time…Well, maybe Samoth if I had to call someone from the guitarists “class”, Silenius and Vikernes for the vocals…
Q: What title would you like this interview to have?
A: I don’t know… How about “Nordic Confession”?
Q: Thank you! Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
A: I want to thank you for the interview and the interest in Lord Impaler. Support The Underground!
Interview: Christine Parastatidou