Although more than three years have passed since the debut and so far the only album of Rex Satanachia “First Legion of Hell” has been released, for me personally this EP still presents tumultuous emotions. Among today’s Post-Black Metal and DSBM trends it was very refreshing and incredibly powerful, evil, fast, aggressive and satanic Black Metal attack. Was the style of the band reasoned by the ideas or was it some kind of “anti-attitude” in the broader sense?
What was presented on the EP “First Legion of Hell” cannot be compared to what kind of trends rule the scene today. It was originally written back in 2003, by a Satanist which was heavily into fast Black Metal and all that. I think the intention which formed and shaped these 6 songs was simply to impress and possess. In many ways “First Legion of Hell” was just pure tongue to cheek satisfaction of a certain audience. But “anti” only in the sense of what the scene always had been lacking: dedication to the one true Devil!
I’ve been following the feedback on your album, some of the responses were really great, others - good or average. However, even following the printed Metal press, maybe I was not very careful, but I did not find any interview of the band. Does this mean that the record still has not reached the target audience? Or vice versa - the band chose the way to stay in the shadow?
We, or let’s say I did a few interviews back then with some printed zines and also a few e-zines. Still, the EP should be able to speak for its self, loud and fucking clear! But I think by now, all these years later. That we did in fact get through to our main audience, but only in the satanic underground! It was a very overlooked release in general, I would say. Mostly here on our native soil. Almost “boycott” or so to speak, by the so called established “scene”. But I can’t really say that we chose anything as in a general direction/attitude when it came to release/promote this thing. It was an effort between “Grom Records” and I. As already by release the originating flame had burned out and its creator stood passive/uninterested in this project. Died upon entering this world...
At least for me, one of the strongest sides of “First Legion of Hell” is vocal. The screaming fits the music’s overall environment well, but I still cannot stop wondering with even more surprising clean parts - both semi-choir and epic intonations. Just between us, it is the clear vocal that conveys the message of satanic side of the disc. What did promote the use of such type of vocal in the music? Is it an internal chaos, which invites the devil? Or maybe some kind of very strong influence from the environment or even inner unconscious?
Well, I am a singer - which means I sing! So there is no surprise with these so called “clean” parts. I do not distinguish between let’s say growls and these harmonic parts, it’s all vocalisations and I simply do as I see fit. I knew from very early on in this project, that I would throw in there every trick I knew (at the time) to work with the very dynamic interaction between drums and guitars. So the result was a very varied expression and maybe even (in a good way) a bit chaotic. When looking back today, it kind of sounds like the drums, guitars and vocals are all in a fight for domination over one and the other - but how did prevail in the end then? I’ll let you decide!
In the band’s pictures, images and drawings there are many devilish characters - goat heads, the pentagram, etc. In addition, you use corpse-paint too, which could be considered as old-fashioned. Does the use of such symbols is relevant today? Maybe it is the opposite - it allows concentrating on anger, feelings and ideas of self-expression more?
So you noticed all the satanic stuff?? Haha, well... These symbols are the visual representations of what the music is meant to summon forth. All these visual metaphors are the true epigraphs of the Devil; Our Lord Sathanas and the sigils of his essence. And hell-fucking yes, still most relevant!! As this is the sole reason for my part to join this project and (should be) the sole reason for any real Black Metal to exist; to portray Satanism. Satanism is timeless, so is Heavy Metal - times may change, but the core values stay the same! Have faith in the craft...
It is difficult to get deep into the ideas of the band without having the contact with the lyrics, as well as direct interviews, but still - I have no doubt that Satanism and anti-Christianity are central parts to the ideas of Rex Satanachia. Are you humble servants of the Horned? Or do you convey these dogmas more through indirect connections, metaphors, psychology?
Humble I am not, as such may be considered a virtue among those who kneel before god of the bible. But yes, I am the servant of the one true DEVIL and I do sacrifice unto him! I am what in common words may be called a “Satanist”. But in the sense of a person whom through ritual magic worships the DEVIL/SATAN or rather “Sathan” as I summon him forth. But, I fully understand the symbolism, the metaphors and the psychology behind all that and surly, I utilize it to my advantage when practicing Black Metal. Spiritually though, honestly and truthfully, I acknowledge the living essence of Sathan as a real conscious being! Not of flesh and blood, but still as “physical” as any other embodiment of energy or vibration in this cosmos. I have witnessed his influence over my own and the lives of others, confirmed his presence among us and I know of his creations and times to come...
Throughout history the concepts are constantly changing and this is natural. Many say that underground is dead already, but I do not agree - the concept has changed. How would you describe the development of underground concept from the 90s up to now? What do you think is better: to cling 90s underground model, or, in respecting the laws of natural selection, adapt to the new? What further development (evolution) of underground do you foresee?
I don’t know, as things for me have not changed that much. I do as I always have done, but sure we all use computers now and for the most it makes things easier and faster. Like for instance communicating via email. Still, good old fashioned tape trade and so forth is what binds the underground together! (or was it denim and leather??) So to me there is no 90s model vs. anything. There is just my model, which to me is always the right model. So it’s essentially the same, but with some welcomed additions! As it’s not how - but why it’s done!! There is a reason, a method to all this madness and in the end it comes down to the band, the message and the music. Technology will never become a threat to Heavy Metal nor Satanism. As if!
Finally, why did you choose Serbian “Grom Records” for the releasing of “First Legion of Hell”? In fact, it should be noted that this label’s musical taste - almost without exceptions is perfect. And although their recent activities are more intense, but if someone offered me a label in Serbia five years ago - I’d look quite trustless to it... Have they properly performed their duties?
I took contact to “Grom Records” with the intention of signing up for a tape release with Rex Satanachia, but as we all know settled for CD and then later founded “Satanic Deathcult Productions” to handle the tape. There has never really been any issue of trust between “Grom” and I, this can’t be said for my then partner though! But never-mind, like I said; post-release he was not in the picture! And man, I recall signing in blood the record deal, at the centre of a graveyard Halloween 2008 and sending off the final master + contract the next day. And it was fucking released and out on the streets by middle of fucking December!!! Just a little over a month or so in the pipes - must be some sort of UG record! HA! But yeah, “Grom Records” pulled off this stunt and only “Grom Records” could pull off such a stunt!
Currently you focus your attention on the Temple of Baphomet activities. In fact, compared to Rex Satanachia, I would say that it is dirtier and more chaotic project, but the ideological sense, hardly a lot differs, does it? Can you comment a little bit wider, how does it differ from what you did and were led by in Rex Satanachia?
Temple of Baphomet is deep underground Black Metal and unquestionably exemplifies the ghastly stigmatization of this genre. While on the other hand Rex Satanachia is of a more mainstream and “death metal” feel /orientation in both performance and production. I really don’t like to compare the two, as both are their own unique and separate entities. Still untimely both related by one strong and common denominator and that’s me! Of which may also explain the common spiritual agenda which both bands do share! Black Metal is Satanism!
It seems that Temple of Baphomet started in the year 1997. During that time, the project involved some other members too, but today it is your personal outfit. Was it a fate that today you can be the only force of the band? Or does it seem like a natural evolution?
Temple of Baphomet is the result of how my life has progressed, and I surely have come a long way! I started out as just one guy, back then with only basic understanding of instruments and music. Now 15 odd years later I master most of the instrumentation needed to record as a band. A couple of faces have come and gone, and by now I have lost contact with the most of them. But as always Temple of Baphomet goes on! Still, I can truly say, that I prefer to keep Temple of Baphomet for myself, as to simplify the whole writing/recording process. This of course, does not limit me to not include others. As on the EP “In Morbid Fascination of Sathan” I had my cousin Dr. Holocaust joining up for the session. But like you put it, Temple of Baphomet is my personal outfit and surely the Captain goes down with his ship! Haha!
Variation and evolution (shape-shifting) are important parts in Satanism and satanic adepts. How is this reflected in your music? Please reason, why these items may belong to this category of satanic evolution?
Temple of Baphomet is a true shapeshifter within the world of music, often evolving from one universe (reality) to another. A good example of this may be the fact that there are two common manifestations of Temple of Baphomet. One is that of the ambient/neo-classical and the other that of distortion/blastbeats. Often shifting back and forth between shapes (realities) within just one single track - kind of like the metaphysical journey of a sorcerer/shaman between the two worlds. But ultimately evolving into one common shape: the mutant offspring of both realities: in which the opposites meet to become a single entity (deity) - very much like the esoteric nature of the Baphomet! Food for thought! Ritual communion!
The days when the aid of terrorizing Christianity in Metal subculture was shocking, have passed away, and want it or not, everything has become part of a mass culture. So, I think it could be argued that these themes are obsolete, although still among the hottest topics in the BM subculture. How do you see the further evolution of Black Metal? For example, such bands like Dissection, Watain and similar have planted the foundations of a new, much deeper ideology (though I think that these bands are also becoming trend due to Wikipedinian anti-cosmic Satanists). Could Black Metal return to the wider exoteric activities or terrorism (as, for example, quite known Canadians Ouroboros did)?
I as well served my time in the Danish resistance against the church. Back then we were angry and young, and so we spoke up against this age old institution! It was not so much a factor used as chock effect - but because we really hated fucking christianity so deep and intensely!! This came to expression in both our music and lyrics but also in acts which was both criminal and crude. Obviously passion for the fight died slowly over the years, as admittedly the church was not really giving us much of a fight. So I think, for a long time now we tend to focus more on the things we are into as opposed to the things we are against. My story is no different, as by now my musical expression focuses more on conjuring the demonic rather than banishing the angelic. So to this day and age, I cannot confess to have been into any “trend” nor movement which differs from the origins of the cult. Although I do smell a new “ideology” formed by the old scene and not a new scene formed by an old ideology. Undoubtedly in terms of lyrics, theme and atmosphere I swear ONLY to Black Metal in its classic form, which is an extension of Satanism! Black magic is the ultimate form of terror!
By the way, it seems that all the things that you touch, sequence the old traditions and ways of Black Metal. On the other hand, any activity is also presented in a separate MySpace.com page. Don’t you see any opposition here?
The traditions of old and the ways of Black Metal is that of Satanism and Heavy Metal. And these things can never be affected by any form of technology! So this subject is really none of my concern. Not consequently trying to be “old school” with the stuff I do. Well, maybe it’s just because I am into some (by now) pretty past days stuff? Still, I see no opposition in what I do and how I operate!
Not too long ago a new EP “In Morbid Fascination of Sathan” of the band was released on cassette format through your own label “Satanic Deathcult Productions”. Until then, all releases of Temple of Baphomet (by the way, again only the demos) were passed through mystical “DarkFate” productions. Isn’t it another one of your own labels? And besides, the abundance of demos, and more specifically such format leads to conclude that it is the best form of expression for Temple of Baphomet, isn’t it?
“DarkFate Productions” was to begin with, just a name to slap on the demos/promos. But actually at some point two other individuals became involved with “DarkFate”. And by their involvement it later became a big problem! Especially with the early internet promotion, of which I had nothing to do with! “DarkFate” is not really dead, nor is it alive. The truth would be that “DarkFate” evolved into “Satanic Deathcult Productions” and gave way to the deathcult and its activities. Well, maybe not all Temple of Baphomet releases are listed correctly then. Some were indeed demos, a few were promos. But most were like compilations of demo sessions, joint releases of different recordings. In retrospect it’s kind of hard to define! Like “Offertorium” from 2004 could almost be defined as a DIY album, but released in typical demo style. And to make matters even more confusing; a lot of home dubbed tapes was also loosely distributed. Often with content that differed from the “official” “DarkFate” releases.
Black Metal and Death Metal have been in contradiction for quite a long period of time due to Norwegian propaganda. Do you accept such a contradiction? If you watch the situation in 2012, could you say that Death Metal is still a more commercial style than Black Metal is? For example, in underground forums you can see discussions that Black Metal has become a parody because of all the clown bands of the style, while Death Metal managed to maintain their dignity at least...
Hehe yeah, “Norwegian propaganda” may have had you believe so! But again, I see no contradiction here. Black and Death Metal both came from the same roots and to me what divides is simply lyrical content. Surely both genres have evolved their own unique style and sound, but let’s say a brutal Death Metal band wrote songs about Sathan and praised his name? Well to me then, they would not be any less Black Metal, than let’s say Temple of Baphomet. This is also the case with Rex Satanachia and bands like this, musically we are talking more Death Metal orientated stuff but thematically it’s defined as Black Metal. Sure Death Metal has its grips on a wider audience and could therefore be defined as more “mainstream”. But certainly many of the bands which arose from the BM genre have become just as trendy and commercial. It all depends on the band, the musicians, the producer and not so much the “genre”.
If you had the opportunity to arrange a concert of your dreams (100% dedicated musicians, the scenery, the atmosphere, the audience) with Temple of Baphomet, how should it look like? Whether it is a totally Rock’n’Roll concert with much beer, or a more a morbid and dark performance?
I have never thought about that, as I really don’t (and never have) written music for Temple of Baphomet with the intention of performing live. I am not even sure that my songs would work out on stage. But to arrange the concert of my dreams? Well anything with the audience sitting down on chairs and actually listening would be nice, but this is Metal culture and this will never happen! Haha! And to tell you the truth, I rarely enjoy going to concerts myself. Too loud, too many drunk idiots and too much chaos for the music to be fully enjoyed. But to be a good sport and to answer your question; something personal, small and in a ritual setting... The Black Mass on stage!!!
As I have already mentioned, you also run “Satanic Deathcult Productions” label. I can’t say that there are only several labels, which produce just cassette releases, but certainly there are not abundant of them. What does force you to keep this activity? I understand that for you, same like me, cassette is the eternal cult, but it should be some other compelling reasons for releasing this simple, but unique and attractive piece of plastic...
There is a nice handful of cassette labels out there and the tape trading scene is still going strong! I just like this format and to me it never became obsolete. I am not trying to be retro-smart, maybe a little nostalgic though - but my reasons for choosing MC is that it’s a strong and versatile format. I prefer tape over CD any day. I would love to do releases on vinyl though, but up until now it has been too expensive. I then made the decision to release the new Temple of Baphomet EP on tape, mainly because I wanted to keep it from being uploaded without my consent. Which happened so fast damn with the Rex Satanachia EP!! So this time I went all analogue all the way when it came to publication and thus far I am loving the result! Digital representation will happen sooner or later, just in this case I chose it to be later.
By now you have offered only the releases of your own projects - Rex Satanachia and the Temple of Baphomet - haven’t you? By the way, there is some kind of a compilation, too... Could you speak a little bit wider on these releases and why did they come to see life and support for this format under the banner?
Well, not entirely true. As I also did release albums with both Bane, Kozeljnik, Orbis and The Stone. The compilation “Satan’s Cure for christianity” was an interesting project and one very close to my heart. As it consisted only of Satanic/Devilworshiping Bands. It was a concept that came about 2002 - hence the very hostile title/concept. But back then, I really had to give it up due to the lack of dedicated hordes. It was just up until a few years ago it got picked up again through conversations with Unholy Carnager (Angelgoat). He did promise to bring the bands to “Satanic Deathcult Productions” if I was to release it! Then we got the guy behind the “AVR” label and Iguman to do the cover artwork and the rest is now history! These days I am thinking of how nice it would be to do a Vol. II on that one... Well, we will see... Any worthy bands for such a project? - get in touch!!!
“Satanic Deathcult Productions” releases are of high quality, with professional printed covers and cassettes. As the follower of old-school traditions, didn’t you want to release much simpler means and forms, i.e. manually re-written cassettes, xeroxed covers, and so on?
Sure the DIY way feels nice and it’s where I come from. But I do have an actual budget now and my main concern is getting quality music onto a quality format. There are many reasons why the scene has left the tape format over the years, but “Satanic Deathcult Productions” is not adding to them !! Simply, putting out material which in both sound and packaging matches CD quality is surprising to many. And on a very small level “Satanic Deathcult Productions” is contributing to the continued lifespan of the audio cassette! A nice little fact is, that “In Morbid Fascination of Sathan” was the last pro done tape release by the established Danish music industry. But don’t worry, there is more to come!
Have you already defined any specific plans for the future with “Satanic Deathcult Productions” releases? What criteria do you apply for the bands, who wish to get beyond the wing of your label? Is musical side the only importance, or ideological expression is no less relevant?
I try not to plan out that much with “Satanic Deathcult Productions” activity. I just release what I feel like and mostly that’s just titles I would like to own for myself. Main criteria is that I like it, and that we are talking about a band/musician who is proven worthy to me and in most cases on a personal level too! First release was “First Legion of Hell”, so it also kind of sets some very high standards to live up to. I try my best to keep it interesting, relevant and most important of good quality! Surely I would prioritize any material with a satanic content. But the fact is just that there’s not many upright and honest satanic acts producing quality music these days! So I decided to keep a less tight chain around the necks of the bands I releases for. Hence this is what the “deathcult” part of the name deals with. The satanic bit is obvious though...
Your last blessings with what hasn’t been shared so far...
I would like to thank “Forgotten Path” zine for this opportunity to speak of my many activities, both past and present! And as for the future; watch out for Temple of Baphomet! An album is underway and it will be sure to satisfy many deathcultists and devilworshipers alike. As for now the bigger part of the Temple of Baphomet legacy is available on audio cassette on both “Satanic Deathcult Productions” and “Darkness Shade Records” (for PayPal customers). So if any of your readers has additional questions, and/or would like to order any of the above mentioned releases please write to firstname.lastname@example.org. This has been a pleasure, may the Devil Be with you!! Blessed be - support true Gnostic Baphometheandom - support Temple of Baphomet!! All Hail Lord Sathanas!!