When the first time I heard VARATHRON, and it was in the early 90s of the last century, it knocked me out! What a eerie Black Metal! From Greece !? The music was so powerful, predatory and aggressive as this Nordic Black Metal, and it also was majestic and monumental like ancient Greek objects… Today we know how huge impact on the all Black Metal scene had and still has VARATHRON… And on the occasion of the forthcoming release of their sixth album I decided to talk with Stefan Necroabyssious, co-founder of VARATHRON!
Hell-o! On April 27, 2018 will be released your next album “Patriarchs Of Evil” under the flag of the Polish label Agonia Records?
Hail to you! Well, we have a contract with Agonia Records for two full albums. So, after the dark opus „Untrodden Corridors of Hades” coming the new manifest from „Patriarchs of Evil”!!!!
We’re satisfied with Agonia Records and we have a great collaboration until now and i hope to continue!!!! He makes a great distribution and promotion for us! Rules!
“Patriarchs Of Evil” is an epic and powerful material. I guess, musically it is very diverse, from fast and furious themes through crushing and melodious slowingdowns to climatic and calm motifs referring to old times… Could you describe track by track in short?
Well, I’m total agree with you. Yes, the new material is a big „return” into our first steps, into our roots when Varathron start to created apocryphal psalms in thy name. The eight tracks of our opus are:
- Tenebrus – A song who remind me the days of „walpurgisnacht”, dark melodies with evil riffs and blasphemic lyrics.
- Into the absurd – A thrash/crushing song like the songs of our demos! A song who I love to heard on stage!!!!
- Luciferian Mystical Awakening – The first song who I wrote the lyrics and I recorded it. A ritualistic psalm who crush your mind.
- Saturnian Sect – That song talks for an apocryphal sect who wants to reborn the Mught One. Fast and dark, so beautiful.
- Remnants of the Dark Testament – Our video-song! Reminds me our old classic songs and I think is amazing.
- Hellwitch – Pure evil and black with mid-tempo and bizzare riffs.
- Orgasmic Nightmares of the Arch Desecrator – A fast song who the lyrics are so abysmal and evil.
- Ouroboros Dweller – The first song who uploaded from Agonia Records. I think is so epic, so dark and black. That song reminds me the days when my brother Quarthon and the Almighty Bathory reigned the scene!
Oh yeeeaaah… The clean guitar passages remind me motives of BATHORY from the Viking Metal period. However, VARATHRON undeniably breathed into own music a powerful dose of dark occultism…
Yes, you talk right, Bathory, my brother Quorthon was a great inspiration for us. On the same lavel as Hellhammer and Celtic Frost. Besides on our first steps we had these elements on our songs.
I know that not all of you are involved in the occultism. But you are… Does occultism apply in everyday life? Or is it just an interesting hobby?
Well, I like to speak for myself because the other guys have their own „view” on this life-chapter. For me, is a everyday life, a philospphy and status of my life. I have my values and my beliefs who servant the dark side. Really I think the word „hobby” is so fucking shit for our music and our beliefs. For me, „hobby” are the collection of stamps, to drive fast cars, to walking on mountains and more. I NEVER can use that word for our beliefs and our faith. Is not a game, is the status of my everyday life!
But let’s get back to the topics related to the latest album… Te music of VARATHRON constantly brings something new, while not cutting off the roots… “Patriarchs Of Evil” is still dark and powerful Greek Black Metal, but this time even more epic, and even progressive (especially rhythmically)…
The new album is more epic, more atmospheric, more bizarre dark, more…. more Varathron. You know that is the style and the indentity of Varathron from the first glorious years of 1988!!!!
So, we return on our origin like a traveller who return to he’s homeland after a big travel, after a huge exploration. Yes, Varathron play the typical mediterranean black metal like a true pioneers of Greek black metal scene, that music who the golden night of 1988 start to play!
So, do you consider this album more special than the previous ones?
Yes, I think is more special for some reasons like:
- this album contains more „short in time” songs,
- the riffs are more „easy” for the ears and the songs have so many heavy metal elements and,
- I think we put all ourselves on that, just for the passion without a basic reason!
What was the creative process of creating songs?
I think we never follow a „manual” but we follow our thoughts, our dreams, our desires, our ideas and our instincts. The most of times, we wrote the riffs and on that we’ll building the lyrics and we continue. I think we have some moments when I wrote the lyrics and we start to wrote the riffs later. The basic are the results and I think we’ll so hard for that.
According to the title, the cover-art shows the figures of five patriarchs (of evil). Who are these patriarchs? Is this the Satanic equivalent of the Christian “pentarchy” – the concept that the authority over the Church belongs to the five patriarchs who remain in the unity of faith?
About the cover, we’re the Patriarchs and we give the unholy communion to the paranormal-crowd. That communion who they lead them through the gates of the Dark Kingdom. The world is destroyed and the one Patriarch gives salvation to the people who their worship him and take from him the unholy present. Is like a dream who will come true! Yes, that concept have some influences from the christian „pentarchy” but my idea is more beyond.
Do you have any problems with the Christian Church or with some religious or non-governmental organizations because of your attitude, music and image?
Yes, I had before years, especially when I returned form Athens to my homeland Ioannina, I had problem with church and police. You know my hometown is a small city with „blind” people who follow the every routine and they don’t like the unique people, the different ones who they crush their piggy-beliefs and shitty-values! Now I have some years who they live me on my own private life.
I am asking because, as you know, many years ago in Norway (in the twentieth century) there was a great war with Christianity… Although I think that the burning old churches was mindless vandalism, which only strengthened the faith of Christians. Did you have ever similar situations in Greece?
I know the situation in Norway, I had my brother Dead, Euronymous, Burzum and so many bands and friends. Here doesn’t happen anything like that but we had a „hunting” from police-first- and secondly from „faithful” christian pigs.
In Greece there are many temples made of stone, especially those ancient, pagan. Why did not you turn to your pagan heritage?
Thanx for your idea I like it but my own beliefs are not a pagan beliefs. Besides I make it before years when Panos and me start the Kawir.
You probably watched Alejandro Amenábar’s “Agora” from 2009? It totally shook me…
I watched the movie, I think was so similar to reality. Great stuff. The icons, the places, the buildings and the ancient monuments are so real and they surpise you every time when you watched! Perfect!
A friend who is a fan of Black Metal (but in the style of the second wave) described Greek Black Metal as “such some warm”. For me it’s logical… Scandinavian Black Metal is frosty because of its location, and Greek – is warm – because of your climate. Do you think that the life in a particular climate has also influenced for the climate of Black Metal? In Norway there is not much a sun, and you have more of a sun on your side…
I like that approach my friend!!! If the sun was the basic reason, Central Africa will be the “Mecca” of Black Metal!!!
Well, my pure opinion is the culture, the ancient tradition. The influences who you received from your youngest years and last – but not least – the music who you want to create.
The Greek culture on any faces of art is more atmospheric, lyrical and more “sensitive”, I think. That’s the reason for our unique style.
I like every expression of Black Metal, despite the fact that for me Scandinavian Black Metal (of the second wave) presents pure uncontrolled emotions in its explosive form enclosed in simple compositions. On the other hand, Greek Black Metal is a combination of balanced emotions and intellect enclosed in intelligent arrangements… Do you follow the current Greek Black Metal scene?
As I told you, Varathron are the pionners of Greek Black metal scene from 1988. Yes, we’re a big chapter of our scene and I’m agree with you about the balanced emotions and the rest stuff. That is the style of our entire scene and we try to keep it alive through the years. We have a lot of new bands who they trying to keep the Greek „legacy” immortal!
VARATHRON, ROTTING CHRIST and NECROMANTIA – The Unholy Trinity of Hellenic Black Metal… The Patriarchs of Hellenic Black Metal… According to the maxim of pentarchy (which I mentioned above), if must be five the patriarchs, could you indicate yet two of them?
Well, the Unholy Trinity is the bands who you wrote, ofcourse. We’re three bands, we born on the same years almost and we presents that unique style who worshiped from the fans around the world. That is the Ungodly Trinity ever. We talk for Gods not for Patriarchs, in that case!
Oh yes, it’s a completely different status… Did you read the cycle of Dayal Patterson’s books about Black Metal? The Greek Black Metal also had its place there…
I have the book and I read it. Is a great work and i think one of the best ever!
This year you will celebrate the XXX anniversary of the band’s existence. Will VARATHRON make something special for fans on this occasion? Of course, except of the release of the album?
Yes, we ‘ll make a tour in South America and we’ll play the whole „His Majesty at the Swamp” album. Also, exept our new release we have some special –celebration- releases for our 30 years of life! Maybe we’ll add something else or we’ll have a new idea on the next months. We’ll see!
Where will you play this year?
As you know we have our celebrate year and we have so many proposal around the world. We’ll play in North America, South America, Europe and South East countries of Indian Ocean.
This will be great invasion. Many thanks for the interview! The last words belong to you!
Thanx a lot for your attention and support to us! I salute all the black soul brothers there, keep the Black Flame alive! Beware for our new blasphemic invasion, Patriarchs are coming to give the …Utter salvation!!!!!!!!! Worship Him!!!!!
Home: Parczew (Poland). Interests / Hobbies: music, musical journalism, oriental studies, anthropology, psychology, medicine, sociology. Favourite music genres: first of all the all genres of Metal, Hardcore and Progressive Rock as well as Gothic, Ambient, Classical Music, Ethnic Music, Sacred Music, Choral Music, Soundtracks, New Age Music, Folk Music i sometimes Jazz, Electro, Experimenta or Alternative Music... He co-founded magazine & webzine Born To Die'zine as Gnom.