Archgoat is one of the most emblematic bands of the extreme world scene. Absolute protagonists of the underground scene of Finland in the late 80’s and early 90’s, where some of the most morbid sounds known to mankind were brewing. A seedbed of bands that would change the course of extreme music forever, combined by the love of distortion and an intransigent ideology, totally opposed to trends and diverse stylistic poses.
With thirty years of experience, and about to release a new album in a few months (one of the most anticipated events of this year), I had the honor to exchange some words with the legendary guitarist, philosopher and founder of this iconic institution known as Archgoat: Ritual Butcherer.
And the legendary axeman told me about his journey through the paths of Luciferian worship, the beginnings of Black and Death Metal in Finland, the new album by Archgoat: “The Luciferian Crown”, about mortality, and the hypocrisy and suffocating light devouring madness of mass religions, among other things.
With you, my interview with one of the most timeless, pure and authentic legends of true black metal. Enjoy it.
– Ritual Butcherer, I greet you, on behalf of the entire staff of Blessed Altar Zine. It is an honor to exchange some words with such a legend of music.
I would like to start by asking: (And I apologize for asking such a personal question).
Before starting Archgoat, what things made you willing to walk the path of Lucifer’s adoration?
– Well, interviews are all about asking and answering so I have no problem with this and the question is also interesting one. I have thought about this a lot and even on the new LP “The Luciferian Crown” wrote a song called “I am Lucifer’s Temple” where lyrics go:
Who called Me before My Birth,
I have taken Thy Name,
As a Part of Myself.”
So I thought about this dilemma and is it a conscious walk towards the Light or is it something I have in me that lead me to the source I don’t know. But regardless of philosophical thinking, when I heard for the first time Venom and LP Possessed I was instantly hooked to know more what are these mysterious satanic lyrics about. I wanted to know more and started to order books from USA about Satanism, Left Hand path and Occultism and so on. But when entangling into this world for each answer you get two or more questions so in a way it is endless road to travel but a very rewarding as I have found this Light to be my Lighthouse that is guiding me in my journey and forming out to be the backbone of my existence here.
– Archgoat was one of the most extreme bands in the world, at the beginning of the 90’s. And you were part of a very important scene that originated in Finland. What do you remember of that time? Are you still in contact with other bands, like Beherit? Or Death bands, like Demilich, Funebre or Convulse, for example?
– We very in contact with the mentioned bands but not really so much that it would have been meaningful. Bunch of kids writing each other and asking about what is happening with the bands I would now later say. I am now and then briefly in talks with Antti from Demilich when we bump into each other and we have played few shows with Convulse who are making a new LP so it’s good to have old bands back from the grave. I would say that even today we are a band that does not fit into the scene of modern days but stand firmly into the scene of Late 80´sand early 90´s as that is when we started and since we haven’t changed the big elements in Archgoat.
– All the Death and Black Metal bands of Finland in that scene managed to develop a sinister and morbid sound without equal that distinguished that bands all over the world. Do you think that there are currently Finnish bands that are up to such a legacy?
– I would say that back in old times there was no sandboxing in black or death metal scene. The extreme bands were extreme and people were willing to put more of their own soul into the bands compared to today where the originality is lacking, unfortunately. Of bands younger than Archgoat I am certain that Satanic Warmaster will leave a grandioso legacy behind once buried and dead.
– Stylistically, the music of Archgoat was always defined as War Metal or Bestial Black Metal. Is it right to pigeonhole the band within these terms?
– I really hate when people attach this label “War Metal” to us because first of all we started when there was no such thing as “War Metal” and secondly we have never been about anything but openly Satanic and Blasphemous so just because we happen to have few fast songs we are labelled as band about extension of failed/successful politics??? No thank you, we are a very serious Black Metal band and so it has been, is and shall always be. To be blunt I would say that whoever categories Archgoat to that moniker does not really have a clue about who we are and what we stand for.
– What were your main musical influences to define the aural destruction that characterizes the Archgoat style? Is it correct to say that bands like Sarcófago were fundamental in this regard?
– We have for sure had our influential share from Sarcofago and especially the album I.N.R.I. but there have been other bands as well that I would position high as being affecting our works. For example musically Carcass and “Reek of Putrefaction” has been may be the number release alongside with Celtic Frosts “Morbid Tales”. If I look now back I can still recognize elements from these bands in form of tempo changes from blast beat to doomish slow parts as well as middle tempo parts with certain “groove” on them.
– The band is about to release a new album, in September of this year: “The Luciferian Crown”. Like many people, I am very excited about it. What can you tell us about the new work?
– I could tell you really much but for me, it is important that people personally take on the album and interpret it without me telling what I meant with what. That would be taking the important and interesting part away from the moment you hear it. For the lyrical concept, I can say that this album was much more about the Spiritual development towards the Light of Lucifer than the previous. As my journey has been developing the lyrics especially on “THE OBSIDIAN FLAME (FROM MY DEPTS)” and “I AM LUCIFERS TEMPLE” are very personal experience and interpretation of how I understand and see this philosophy and where it has lead me. Musically the main elements are there but also there are new aspects in form of new capable drummer Mr. Goat Aggressor who has offered our palette more tools to be used when composing new songs. I never thought I would but for the last 3 years I have been taking guitar lessons regularly so I on purpose did not want to make our songs radically different compared to old works but for “Jesus Christ Father of Lies” I did incorporate two guitar leads that are not something one might expect from Archgoat album.
– Do you plan to tour to promote the new album? Where would you like to start?
– We will start to promote the new album first with 3 single shows in Norway and in Russia to after that play 5 show mini tour in Asia followed by 3 week European tour in November to December. For the end of winter to early spring 2019, we will play a 3 week tour outside of Europe. So I would say that we will be promoting the album properly in a way it deserves. It took us a 6 month break to finalize all the work in the new album as well as to load our batteries and now we are ready to spread the Luciferian Works.
– How did you change your way of composing, from works like “Angelcunt” or “Penis Pervesor” to the present?
– Did I change? On the new LP there are few songs that I made on purpose very “Angelcuntish” so I would disagree with you. On the other hand I am now capable of composing more complex material of what you will find evidence in “The Luciferian Crown” so I would not say I have changed but rather that my ability is today better than what it earlier was.
– What do you think is the best legacy that Archgoat will leave to humanity, once you cease to exist?
– I would hope that our legacy would be about Archgoat being in a way the AC/DC or Motörhead of Black metal. By this, I refer that we have been around for 29 years now and not compromised our works ever and representing what this genre was about when it all started in the late 80´s. But how people see it might be very different and not positive in any way.
– What message would you give to all the Archgoat fans who are reading this interview, and who are fed up with the lie and hypocrisy disseminated for countless centuries by Catholicism?
– Use your own brains and think for once. I wrote about this to the lyrics of the song “Jesus Christ ´father of Lies” that tells exactly how I feel about this suffocating light devouring madness. Mass religions are only means to control and to benefit from the people who are rendered to almost vegetative state by the lies and brain washing.
“For those who enjoy,
Thralldom for the lost ,
Smothering the flame.
You are mere Worms ,
Following false Prophet,
To Labyrinths of Madness.”
– Thank you very much for taking the time to conduct this interview. We look forward to the launch of “The Luciferian Crown”, and I wish you all the best. Thanks for so much good music!
– The pleasure was all mine – thank you for the intie and see you on the road.
Interview by Sergio
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