Q: When was LORD IMPALER formed? How did you come up with the band’s name?
A: LORD IMPALER were created in 1998 and when we weren’t struggling with the line-up changes we usually released music. The most notable releases are “The Ascending Novelty” (a 4-way vinyl split we did with NETHESCERIAL, CROSSOVER and THE ETERNAL DARKNESS), “Admire The Cosmos Black” (our debut album) and the recent “Babylon Whore” (EP/split with ATHOS). The name LORD IMPALER was taken from MARDUK’s song “Kaziklu Bey” because it sounded like a good black metal band name and also because we all liked the story of Vlad Tepes, the Impaler.
Q: Which are your basic influences as a band and as a musician?
A: We all listen to different stuff and so carry different influences, but we do have a common love for old school melodic black metal. Bands like EMPEROR, DARK FUNERAL, old GEHENNA are something we all enjoy. When it comes to vocals, I personally admire Attila Csihar for constantly going outside his comfort zone and trying new stuff with his voice, and Satyr for the way he builds his lines.
Q: Which are the future plans of LORD IMPALER? Are there any plans to release a new full length album or plans for a tour?
A: We are actually working on our second full length album “In Full Regalia”. We have 8 songs ready with a duration somewhere around 45 minutes. The track listing –in no particular order- is “Genesis”, “Devour the Divine”, “The White Dream of Ziz”, “Babylon Whore”, “The Fall of Man”, “A Fire That Burns”, “Howling at the Sea”, “The Last with Prophetic Blood”. Of course nothing is set in stone yet and we may change things as we go…
Q: Tell us some things about the other bands that the band members of LORD IMPALER have played in.
A: At this point most of the other bands and projects have been disbanded. The only active ones are the personal band of Nodens called NORTH GATE and the bands he also contributes such as PROMETHEUS and KULT OF TAURUS.
Q: Does LORD IMPALER have an official site and/or a Facebook page from where the fans can buy stuff and be informed about your news?
A: We have a website at http://www.lordimpaler.com and many online outlets that can be reached through it. Our Facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/Lordimpalerband. We also have a bandcamp page at http://lordimpaler.bandcamp.com where you can stream or buy our music, and a merchandize page at http://lordimpaler.totomerch.com.
Q: Which stuff is commercially available right now from LORD IMPALER? Tell us some things about your new release; “Babylon Whore”.
A: The available releases are “Admire the Cosmos Black” which is available on CD and it will be re-issued in both CD and vinyl by Unmerciful Death productions, “The Ascending Novelty” is available in 10” vinyl, and of course the new EP “Babylon Whore” which is available as a digital release through our bandcamp page, and in CD-R format as a split with ATHOS. It will also be released in cassette tape by the French Infernal Kommando Records. “Babylon Whore” contains two new songs that will also appear in our second full length, its duration is about 10 minutes. The drums on this specific release where tracked by George Trakas (MASS INFECTION) and it was mixed and mastered by George Stournaras.
Q: Why did you choose to release this split CD, “Babylon Whore”, with ATHOS by yourselves?
A: Mainly for two reasons: we wanted to try out some new distribution options since we tend to do DIY releases anyway, and we also didn’t want to spend much time seeking for a publisher for this release. We wanted it to close the gap between the debut and the follow up album, so we needed to have better control of when we were going to release it.
Q: Tell us some things about the lyrics of LORD IMPALER, about your great logo and about the covers of your releases.
A: Our lyrics are mainly antichristian, though we also touch a bit of ancestral worship and epic stories. I get inspired by pretty much everything and I note down lots of ideas, but there is a filter in the back of my head and you will probably never see lyrics in LORD IMPALER outside those three topics. We are a black metal band after all! Our logo was made by George Sbonias, he did an amazing job there! As for the covers of our releases, we want them to be appropriate for what we do: to have the old black metal aesthetics, to radiate our vision for each specific release, and to be of high quality. We want people to see a LORD IMPALER release and even if someone judges from the cover alone, to know that this is some pure black metal and it is probably going to be a good one too!
Q: Give us a catalogue of the unofficial releases that the band had (demos, promos, etc). Is it possible to re-release some of them in the future?
A: We have “The Lord Impaler” demo of 1998, the “Twilight Wander” demo of 2001, the “Promo 2005” of 2005 and lastly our “Demo 2009” of 2009. We are actually planning to re-record some of those demo tracks and release them as an anniversary EP this year (which marks the 15 years of existence of LORD IMPALER). Again nothing is set in stone as we tend to work on what is important for the band at any given time, but if we find some free time, this is on the “to-do” list…
Q: How are things for extreme metal nowadays?
A: I think the extreme metal is in its best state right now. It is easier than ever to make good productions and this helped all kinds of ideas to evolve and get out there. On the other hand, I also see a lot of nostalgia for the old school. Many bands are going back to the roots and just give it a new life with modern sound and all the advancements these genres have mustered. So I think there is a huge crop and a good one too, in all extreme metal genres.
Q: Introduce us to some good new bands from Greece and tell us some things about them.
A: I am not a huge fan of death metal, but I do have a place in my little black heart for BLOOD ERECTION (a brutal death band from Kastoria), MASS INFECTION (tech death from Levadia) and DUSTYNATION (prog death from Thessaloniki). If you like OPETH you just CAN’T miss the last one. When it comes to black metal, the list is fucking huge. I will stay on just a few names that pop in my mind every time someone asks something like this: ATHOS (ancestral worship at its best by this one man band from Kalamata), THE ETERNAL DARKNESS (old school melodic black metal from Ioannina), DAWN OF DIVISION (melancholic/melodic black metal from Ioannina) and last but not least PROMETHEUS (melodic Hellenic black metal from Thessaloniki). This last one is highly recommended to fans of NOCTERNITY…
Q: Describe to us one of your live shows. Is it difficult to perform your stuff live?
A: Well, we haven’t played live for over a decade now, so that can’t be answered really. We recently completed our line up for the first time after the “Twilight Wander” era, and while we do practice a lot right now, I honestly don’t really know how it is going to be on a stage yet. There was a point just before the “Admire…” album where we started to simplify our music a bit, to be playable live. We weren’t sure we could hit a stage anytime soon, but we knew that missing 4 guitars up there would sound weird, so we took a different approach, more so on the second album. “In Full Regalia” is being written in this approach and although there are parts with 3 guitars, this can be covered in a live situation without the listener noticing.
Q: You recorded you first album“Admire the Cosmos Black” in Norway and the drums were recorded by Hellhammer (MAYHEM). Tell us some things about that!
A: We actually recorded “Admire…” in our home studio and just mixed and mastered it in Norway. Except for the drums, those were also recorded at Mølla Lydstudio were we mixed. When we decided to mix our album we started seeking for a good studio. We sent demos to studios both in- and outside of- Greece and when Knut M. Valle said he would like to work with us we just decided we couldn’t miss the opportunity to work with a top sound engineer, in a great studio, and also make one of our dreams come true: visit Norway. While we were arranging the details for the trip with Knut, Lord Nebulah asked –in a semi serious tone- if Hellhammer would possibly want to track the drums for us. We knew that Knut and Jan are friends, but we didn’t really expect it to happen. I mean this guy IS a legend. Knut said he would ask, and two days later Hellhammer said yes. The rest is history as they say…
Q: Do you think that the Internet has helped the bands by making their name known and “offering” samples of their music or has it harmed them because of free downloading of whole albums? If it is true that both happen, where does the balance hang out more?
A: It certainly helped them. When you are in the underground the enemy is not piracy but obscurity. Sure, when you do everything by yourself every lost sale is going to hurt financially, but when people don’t really know you they are probably not even going to illegally download your music. They have to care to get it first. Of course the game has shifted quite a lot lately, because the technology got cheaper, the information is mostly free, and bands left the labels out in the cold. You don’t really need a contract anymore to make an album. And this gave an opening to innovative ideas to blossom, like Bandcamp. This is the most helpful service for independent artists as it gives you all the tools to market and sell your music, without robbing you in the process.
Q: How has the press and the fans reacted to LORD IMPALER all these years?
A: Both the press and the fans have been really supportive. We have a loyal fan base and it gives me much joy to know that there are people out there who find value at what we do. It gives me the energy and motivation to keep going and never give up. I would like –given this opportunity- to thank each and every one who supported us throughout the years!
Q: Thank you for the interview. Is there anything you wanted to say and I didn’t ask you? Leave a comment to our readers.
A: No, I think you covered pretty much everything. Thank you for the interest in us and for the interview. To everyone who read this: support your local bands, it means more than you think. Keep the black flame burning \m/
Interrogator: Ioannis “Knight of Light” Kaskamanidis