Blaze of Perdition‘s unique band format of utilising 2 vocalists was what made me initially interested in the band. With the release of their second full length album, The Hierophant, the band has proven themselves to be a force to reckon with, with numerous influences from bands such as Watain included in their music. We talk to vocalist Sonneillon to find out more.
S: Hails. Yeah, we are very satisfied with the outcome. Everything looks and sounds just the way we wanted. Reactions are rather positive. Of course there is a dose of criticism, but it’s natural, there always is.
Before we begin the interview proper, let’s talk a bit about the history of the band. Back in 2004, how did the formation of Perdition come about?
S: Perdition was formed by XCIII & Xaos Oblivion, released few demos and mCD and then was put to rest due to growing differences between the founders. Then me and Ashgan replaced the original vocalist and Blaze of Perdition was born in 2007. Few years later Golachab joined the band to take up the second guitarist duties and later N.K. was replaced by drumming veteran Vizun (Abusiveness, Deivos etc.). Golachab left BoP not long ago due to lack of time and he was replaced by Hemodope (Kriegsmaschine, ex-Stillborn).
In 2007, the band changed its name to Blaze of Perdition. Having only listened to Blaze of Perdition releases, how has the band’s musical direction shifted since it was called Perdition, and how has the band grown musically?
S: Perdition was a primitive, raw and straight-forward music to channel pure aggression, or that’s how I see it. I wasn’t member of the band then, so I’m unable to give you more details. BoP is more mature, complex art. It’s not only music, but multi-dimensional organism, which allows us to express our Will. Also musically it’s much more well-thought and sublime, as the instrumentalists progressed technically through the years.
Let us now talk about the band’s new album, The Hierophant. In the album, are there any underlying concepts that the album is based on? A hierophant refers to a person who brings congregants to a place deemed holy, and it seems that the band aims to bring about some sense of irony to people who are unfamiliar with the band…
S: Well, it’s not that ironic as it may seem. In our concept, The Hierophant is a high priest or a person, who reached the highest arcanes of forbidden knowledge and passes his wisdom to others, initiating them on their path towards enlightenment. Tarot cards (including The Hierophant itself) symbolize our spiritual path at its different points of development. And what we talk about, we do consider holy.
On The Hierophant, like previous albums, a two-vocalist approach has been utilised by the band. How did the idea of using two vocalists come about, and how has it helped in the band’s expression of the music on The Hierophant?
S: The idea just came incidentally and turned out to be a great way of expression and a powerful tool to create denser, but also more varied vocal lines. It also makes our live performances more visually interesting. We are still working on better use of two throats, such thing has a great potential that needs to be explored.
When writing the songs and lyrics on the album, how did you and Ashgan decide who should handle which aspects of the vocals?
S: We consult each other on who fits the particular moments more and then we try to arrange the lyrics fairly for both of us.
The band’s lyrical contents also contain aspects of occultism, alongside with Satanism. How do these themes and your personal beliefs come into play when writing the lyrics on The Hierophant? How are inspirations drawn for the lyrical contents?
S: We draw inspirations mainly from ourselves, our thoughts, reflections, occult practices or dreams, but exterior influences are very important too. Drugs, books, movies, particular kinds of music, even philosophical conversations with friends. Each element of the world, even the smallest one, can be a source of inspiration.
The music on The Hierophant at times reminds listeners of bands such as Watain, with the large melodies that are placed among the chaos. What are some of the influences that the band has incorporated in writing the songs on the album?
S: Dissection, Necrophobic, Unanimated, both modern and traditional black metal, old school death metal, heavy metal, thrash metal, psychedelic rock music… There are plenty of influences, it’s hard to mention them all.
The band also incorporates some variety in the music, with some tracks featuring slower parts that emphasise the atmosphere and the emotions that are present in the track, such as on the interlude Into the Hidden Light and Gospel of the Serpent’s Kin. How did the inclusion of these moments come about?
S: Atmosphere is the very first thing we aim at while writing music. Not blastbeats, but emotions and a touch of Devil himself makes black metal such extraordinary piece of art. I personally loathe constant blasts song by song, which makes all tracks sound the same. We want our music to be filled with various feelings, from the highest elevation, through rabid fury, straight into the pits of melancholy or even helplessness.
The Hierophant was mixed and mastered by Tore Stjerna, who has also handled Watain releases as well. How did the decision to have him handle these aspects come about, and what was it like working with him?
S: We didn’t want to fall into stagnation and produce our releases in amateurish conditions til death, so we decided to send the new material to fully professional studio. The choice was easy, we are fans of Tore’s productions such as “Sworn to the Dark”, “Defiance” or “In the Light of Darkness”. He is very bright guy and knows exactly how the band like BoP should sound like. After few mails the album was ready.
The album artwork for The Hierophant incorporates numerous symbols and sigils, such as the sigil of Lucifer, and is the band’s representation of the hierophant. How did the album artwork come about?
S: Frontcover artwork was made by Andrzej Masianis, polish artist, whose works can be seen on our first release under the BoP banner “In the Void and Serpent, the Spirit is One”. He consulted us on how it should look like and then put the pieces together. I made the rest of the layout myself, with help of few friends, who agreed to share their artworks with us (I mean both, quite different visions of Baphomet). Photos were taken by Hemodope, now our bassist. As you see, we’re mostly self-sufficient hehe.
The Hierophant is also the second release by the band under Pagan Records. How did this deal with the label come about?
S: Our friend recommended us and told us to send Pagan our promo stuff. Tomasz wrote back with fair conditions and we had a deal after just a few mails.
Besides Blaze of Perdition, the members of the band are also involved in other bands, such as Oremus. Does this affect the schedules of Blaze of Perdition in any way, and how does being involved in other bands help in the musical growth of the band?
S: Well, main members of the band don’t have that many duties as it may seem. Only two of us are very busy with other projects, so we manage to handle those difficulties easily so far. Oremus is just a studio project, so it doesn’t really have any negative impact on our activity as BoP. However, we are planning to start performing live with Oremus, but few things need to be elaborated, so the time will show.
We have come to the end of the interview, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions!
S: Thanks for the interview and cheers to Calvin from Pulverised Rec. Hails to the Blaze!