Interview with Pogrom of Arghoslent 2008
By Bradley Smith
An amalgam of old and new riffs intertwined, Hornets of the Pogrom has achieved somewhat of a critical success as anyone viewing it with untainted eyes notices its sincerity and individuality. As an insider how do you view Hornets of the Pogrom both in respect to previous accomplishments and to the realm of music in general? What makes your music special?
POGROM: The album is more conceptually cohesive and very well arranged, without taking credit away from our past efforts. I honestly donít have anything negative to say about our previous albums because all 3 albums (plus ARSENAL OF GLORY which was released as a demo but was intended as an EP) have an identity of their own, much like each song has an identity of its own. Perhaps previous works were not as coherent or lyrically related. We donít vary from album to album, we vary from song to song, and I think that what makes our music special is that we donít have to be strange or insert ridiculous styles to come across as original. We keep it all confined within heavy, thrash, speed, death, doom, and black metal. It is the image and band ideology that fetters us to a small audience, not our music. When reviewers have a hard time comparing us to another band then weíve succeeded in creating our own particular sound.
One would not have to be too astute to hear that Arghoslentís compositions are riff oriented and driven. What makes that style of metal (or music in general) have such an emotional impact on the listener? Is it important to convey a connection musically to the spirit of Old metal?
POGROM: I think that people are tired of hearing the same riffs or just slight variations of the same riffs from every band. It is my belief that the listener is appreciative of hearing something unique, crude yet symmetrical, and played with such unyielding fervor. ARGHOSLENT is recognized not by the clever drumming or menacing vocals but by the dueling guitars galloping through a tune. We capture all the emotions of combat, victory and defeat, disgrace and renaissance, enslavement and cowardice, throughout a song. There is no dull moment in our music and the excitement is not even necessarily related to the tempo. Slow passages can also invoke sentiments of our forgotten esotericism. Iím not sure how much we share with the old metal formula, as that was very predictable and repetitive. Our songs follow no rules other than satisfying myself and HOLOCAUSTO when the last note has been played.
As a melting pot American meshes and mixes Cultures. What exactly does this word, culture, imply for you? And how does it become something of significance, in other words, what makes a worthwhile culture?
POGROM: Culture implies the same to me as it does to everyone else. Where I differ from others is the importance to civilization of such culture. Many do not deem it fair to judge cultures on traditional good/bad or advanced/backwards scales. Is it really unfair to compare the culture of the Amerindians (letís say the Iriquois for example) to that of the Berbers of Northern Africa? What if we compare the ancient Greek culture to the Maori culture of New Zealand? Without such comparison we can never attribute ethnic, climatic, or topographical factors to their progression, historic importance, or eventual decline. I believe all anthropological factors are important in determining the importance or value of any culture.
On a similar note I read that you feel that worthwhile contributions to world significance does not reside exclusively with whites cultures. What are some Non-white empires and contributors to high-art and architecture? What made these contributions significant and how have they appealed to your aesthetic intellect?
POGROM: Iím convinced that a good majority of what today is considered non-white ethnic groups have been influenced by ancient Indo-Europeans. Regardless of proving or disproving this theory, it is my belief that almost all cultures have contributed one way or another to our Western civilization. From ancient Mayan astrological advances to the Chinese alchemist discovery of gunpowder, from Basque influence in modern sports to Babylonian mathematics, from the Mesopotamian wheel to the Mesoamerican domestication of corn, from Roman cataract surgery to Russian opera and ballet, from Italian perfection of the modern piano to the French architecture and literature. Where I donít see much contribution of any sort with anything other than brute force and servitude is in sub-Saharan Africa.
When viewing Arghoslent I feel a certain unity of Philosophical ideals and musical expression. Do you feel that makes for more sincere art which in turn has a bigger impact on the listener? If so, why?
POGROM: I do believe music and message go hand in hand, however you may be reading too much into our death metal. It isnít a philosophical nor a socio-political movement. This is plain and offensive prejudice through music.
Being as your lyrical content can be viewed as a sort of Revisionist history, what topics interest you and why bother rewriting history? Arenít historical events already tainted enough through distance and perspective or is that the whole point?
POGROM: Weíve always been interested in history, philosophy, and religion. They are the catalysts for our works. Our lyrical themes deal conjointly with the following topics: History, militarism, enslavement, colonization, eugenics, miscegenation, genocide, totalitarianism, homophobia, nationalism, social Darwinism, mythology, despotism, etcÖWe deal specifically with ideas revolving around the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, the Conquistadors, medieval chivalry, New World imperialism, and Greco-Roman-Teutonic grandeur. Besides being subjects that death metal bands donít deal with, they define our view of the world around us. It is only natural to be interested in these sciences. Iím not sure if weíre necessarily re-writing the history, rather what is different is our interpretation of the history.
One thing Arghoslent is not short on is controversy. Do you ever see Controversy as a means of awakening and motivation within your audience? Is this an intention and if so what effect would you like to have upon your audience?
POGROM: It isnít our intent to try to convert or enlighten anyone. Death metal is a negative form of music and we adhere to that concept. I am totally uninterested in the mob's reaction to an Arghoslent album. If you like what we do good, and if you despise what we do even better.
I also read that you view Democratic ideals as detrimental in their affect on American society and the world economic and political scene. How so? What sort of political engine should be driving American society? Obviously there are huge flaws in the republican ideals as well. Will you be voting in this election?
POGROM: Iím not a defender of democracy nor am I in favour of free speech or expression for others. American society today is much different than that of the founding fathers. What worked then and the ideals of the constitution may not be adaptable in todayís global society. I honestly detest both parties, but in times of need one needs to align himself with the lesser of two evils. Shame forced me to vote this year in an attempt to react to the embarrassment of having to be governed by a mulatto. The situation on the ground contrived by the buffoon George Bush Junior is so fragile that even a war veteran who sacrificed the majority of his adult life for the United States lost the popular vote due to his party affiliation with such. A protest vote? Perhaps. In retrospect, however, anything that accelerates the downfall of such a piteous herd of cowards, usurers, liberals, and unexplainable self-haters is exactly what they deserve. A distant hope is that life will deteriorate to the point where the masses will rise unlike ever before. Mussolini once said that ďWar alone brings up to their highest tension all human energies and imposes the stamp of nobility upon the peoples who have the courage to wage it.Ē
A Key source of pride seems to emanate from Arghoslentís rejection by mainstream metal press. Does this come as a source of pride and achievement for you? In general what are your views of the larger metal press? Is there anything worthwhile circulating in that maelstrom of information overload?
POGROM: When Zero Tolerance (gay rag) rejects even a paid advertisement for your album you know the band is threatening to liberal pinko pseudo-extreme metal queers. When Metal Maniacs refuses to publish an article about your work after playing metal for 18 years then you know youíve accomplished something huge. The underground has been run by synagogue labels for years, only interested in profits and greed, posers and glam rock attitudes, boring music, humanitarian ideals, heavy metal friendships, and homoerotic underground etiquette. These are my views of the underground so you can just imagine my thoughts on the larger, more commercial, metal press youíre referring to.
What does the near term future hold for Arghoslent and its members? Will we have to wait another six years for an album? And will yet another vocalist be spewing forth the lyrical bile?
POGROM: There will be a split release in 2009 with 4 songs recorded during the HORNETS sessions. This is a split with Kanadian band MARTIAL BARRAGE and will also be released by Drakkar Productions. Iím certain a few more 7Ēeps will follow as well as another album in the near future. We naturally prefer quality over quantity. Our short term plan is to play some shows in Europe during March of 2009. If anyone is interested, and has balls of steel, contact our label to organize.
TOTALITARIAN DEATH METAL