Journalist Nathan Birk went in investigation of the Blasphemy phenomenon, and was able to wrest an interview from these guys 20+ years past their original works of hateful, apostatic skinhead black metal/grindcore crossover. Excerpts from the interview are published on the Zero Tolerance blog. Some insights:
Both Blasphemy albums are equally classic in my opinion, but why do you think Fallen Angel Of Doom resounds so powerfully with so many people over a number of generations?
DeathLord: Blasphemy were focused only on Blasphemy during the Fallen Angel Of Doom era. Soon after that, even as early as the Gods Of War era, their energies were spread to other interests.
Black Winds: Let me put it to you this way – I wrote the song ‘Blood Upon The Altar’ from Gods Of War after a bottle and a half of tequila!
Maybe… because Fallen Angel of Doom is the far better album.
While Blasphemy have certainly wielded a global influence on new generations of black/death metal, it seems the biggest pockets of influence are situated in the US, Canada, Australia, and parts of South America and South East Asia – to what do you attribute this to? That Blasphemy wield influence on countries that are…well, less purely ‘white’?
DeathLord: Where do you get this information?! I can find you 25 Burzum clones from Brazil and another 10 from Australia! Also, Burzum record sales are better than Blasphemy record sales in every country you mentioned, so explain why these “less purely white” people are into that style? All metal, all genres, is a worldwide phenomenon. You are obviously speaking about Europe in this question, yet we get the most requests to bring our live ritual out there and I get the most orders for Blasphemy merchandise from there, too. And to add to this, it doesn’t get more ‘white’ than Finland, yet I hear Beherit, Satanic Evil, early Impaled Nazarene, Archgoat, and newer bands like OfDoom and Black Feast, etc, that have a distinct bestial sound with a Blasphemy influence. Blasphemy are indeed “global” and equally listened to, per capita, in all regions of the world. I know this firsthand through my distro and contacts.
Black Winds: The South Americans are probably the biggest black metallers in the world. If we played a show down there with Mystifier or Impurity or someone, there would be thousands there! Traditional Sodomizer’s band Tyrants Blood just played down there, and it was crazy! We don’t notice skin colour, only how black metal people are.
He ducked the question with a false comparison.
So, how would you address charges of Blasphemy ‘resting on your laurels’? Meaning, playing those reunion shows but without any new material in almost two decades…?
Black Winds: Tough. If you don’t like it, don’t come and see it.
DeathLord: Have you ever noticed that people go crazy at a show when the band plays their old songs and are bored to tears when they do a set of newer material? Well, we don’t only hype up the crowd with a few old tunes, we play them ALL! They are eaten up with total frenzy for the entire duration of the live ritual! But, to answer your question, we’re Blasphemy and we do whatever the fuck we want! We don’t answer to any “charges” against us.
Well, it’s sensible. If you’re not going to be able to write newer material that’s better than the old stuff, you should just play the old stuff.
Interesting how bands like BEHERIT continued improving, BURZUM sold out worse than Metallica after peaking late, and ENSLAVED have become something entirely different, namely a hard rock/jam band. BLASPHEMY have stayed true to their roots, even if their answers in this interview aren’t entirely logical. Birk asks the right questions; he could ask all the old stuff, but instead he asked them about their place in the metal canon, and got some intriguing answers.