Interview with Enzifer of Urgehal 2007
By Bradley Smith
2006 is almost half way through and you guys are unleashing a new album, Goatcraft Torment! How do you feel this albums stands in comparison to all your other releases?
E: Yes we are really satisfied in consideration of the major delay. Everything is more complete and the production turned out exactly the way we wanted it. This time we concentrated on the details I felt we missed on the previous album. Compared to our previous albums this is absolute the one with most variation in Urgehal’s existence. A good mixture of every ingredient old school black metal should carry.
It seems that there is a dearth of bands in Norway that carry on the tradition of “True Norwegian Black Metal” with Urgehal being one of them. How do you feel about the Norwegian scene in this regards?
E: We don’t care much about any scene. We stick to our self like we have always done and keep our comrades close and our enemies closer. People should know there are still bands with the same intentions like we had back in the early 90’s and they are all gathered under the same horns. We are one of the few left in the Norwegian scene to keep the true satanic roots alive in black metal.
A lot of the bands have abandoned what has been known as Black metal aesthetics, such as corpse paint and bad production/atmosphere. I feel this has hurt a lot of the Foundations that black metal was built upon. It is great to see you guys carry on with the torch of these aesthetics. Do you feel they are important to black metal as a whole?
E: Yes, that’s true and then they also gave up Black metal. I don’t know what they want to tell the audience. “Look! We are gown up now” or something? I think it only shows it wasn’t meant seriously from the start.
I don’t think that way if it’s important or not to us, because it’s natural mentality. To not use it would be totally senseless and stupid. Either you feel the devotion or not and as you say it’s the foundation of BM we are keeping alive.
Along the lines of the Aesthetics question, what is up with the face spikes that Enzifer wears? It sort of gives the appearance of a Cenobite from Hellraiser or something along those lines. What sort of effect is he trying to achieve with it?
E: This has become a true classic question. I made the mask because I wanted to mirror my inner darkness and to reinforce Urgehal’s disease during our live rituals. It was never in my mind to copy Cenobite and I wasn’t aware of the similarity before people started to mention it.
You guys recently played at the Festung Open Air festival. How do you feel that concert went? What did you think of some of the other bands that you shared the stage with?
E: Yeah, the show went pretty well in consideration of we played really late and were way too drunk. But the audience was too so no one noticed. The Festival was well organized and professional in all ways thanks to Roter and his comrades. Hail!!! Destroyer 666 and Audiopain were great!
I see Agonia is rereleasing your earlier material such as Atomkinder and Through Thick Fog til Death on Pic Lp and CD. Why is this? Has something happened to Flesh for Beast records? Will there be any additional material such as live tracks added to these releases?
E: Agonia own the rights of these releases after Flesh For Beast sold his rights. FFB is put on ice because Sorgar wanted to concentrate on his band Endezzma. We signed with Agonia for a one-album deal and released the “Goatcraft Torment” We also just released an anniversary album entitled “The Eternal Eclipse – 15 years of Satanic black metal” which contains 3 new tracks from the “Goatcraft Torment” recording session and also some other rare and unreleased stuff.
Nefas splits time with Vulture Lord. How does this affect Urgehal and what do you feel are the main differences separating Vulture Lord from Urgehal?
E: It doesn’t affect us in any particular way. It’s pretty calm in the Vulture Lord lair and I don’t know when they will record their new album. Vulture Lord has a lot more death/trash elements than Urgehal. And like Northgrove state, its death metal in the true meaning of the word.
On Atomkinder you guys recorded some pretty powerful and bestial Coversongs. Would you consider doing any more of this in the future? Perhaps participating on a tribute album? What is your overall view of tribute albums? If you could do one more coversong what song would it be?
E: Yes, absolutely. Our last effort was the VON- Veadtuck for the Norwegian tribute 7” together with TAAKE, AMOK and NORWEGIAN EVIL. It really depends on which band it was and if we could contribute with some good material, but probably yes. Ah, difficult to answer, but the first I think about is a Sepultura track from Morbid Visions / Bestial Devastation or Schizophrenia. Or a track from the “Rites of the Black Mass” of ACHERON.
A once in a lifetime date has recently passed. Some people treated it with silly recognition and some treated it with devout seriousness. Did you do anything special to commemorate the 6/6/06 holiday this year?
E: Nothing particular. It was a Tuesday so I had to work as usually, but I did have it clear in my mind.
I have notice an increase in the use of magic and satanic rituals amongst the more extreme bands. Are you guys practitioners of any of these Dark arts? Do you feel they add to the creative and instinctual inputs of your music and black metal in general?
E: I have of course read and tried different spiritual and satanic rituals, but apart from that I don’t find it very useful except from the inspiration and understanding. I have my own philosophy and don’t need any religious guidelines to tear this life apart. It consists of a more rationally view and way of thinking and I have my own way of practice rituals and sex and nature are two big parts of it. Urgehal is not a religious band even though it’s satanic. Satanism is much wider than what’s written in any book, and how to interpret and understand it is up to every single individual. We use Satan as a biblical and metaphorical expression of the inner evil of Man, because that’s the fear which lies deepest within every Christian person.
What single band do you feel had the greatest impact on the development of black metal as a musical and artistic lifestyle? What do you think of this band if it is still around? Has your view of them changed over the years?
E: It’s difficult to not mention Darkthrone here. I believe they inspired a lot of today’s bands and they have been also our biggest through the time. They will always have a special place in our hearts. Even though I didn’t expect a new “Under a Funeral moon” album from them they still surprise me with new and different sides of their music.
It seems to me that a lot of people in extreme music these days are starting to explore the history of metal and rediscovering the roots of the music they play. Do you feel it is important to understand where the influences of a band come from? Do you listen to other styles that are not black metal such as thrash or death metal?
E: Yes, it’s really important, but also interesting to be aware of the roots. People should know what first generation BM bands got the inspiration from and so on. Without the old gods we would probably not be here today. That’s also the reason why we recorded cover tracks just to show our appreciation. For me it started with heavy metal, trash metal and death metal before black metal so yes I listen to a lot of other kinds of music and also classical composition. As long the music gives me more, like a certain atmosphere or mood I could like it.
E: Thanks for your interest and support in Urgehal’s desecrations. We will record our new album during this autumn/winter so await another release of pounding Norwegian darkness.