1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
We are Labyrinth Spell and we have been around since 2000. At that time, we decided to get together to play some kind of Folk and Traditional Black Metal in the veins of the one that had been made in Norway and Sweden (back to 90’s), from where we got most of our influences and earlier compositions. At the beginning, the band started out as a trio and then became stronger as a quartet. Things were quite difficult to produce and record something valuable or even remarkable and after a long time, we could finish our official first release that was the demo called “The Labyrinth Spell”. This recording was mostly influenced by our friendship and personal experiences that were related to occultism, paganism, nature and existential thoughts. We used to go to very desolate places to explore deeply our own selves and everything that happened during this period, was entirely connected to what became our art, music and rehearsals in studio. These times were the foundations of our most intense appreciation of darkness, satanism, paganism, occultism, philosophy, music, art, death and of course Black Metal in its wide sense.
2.Recently the band has released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from your 2 previous demo's?
Back to early 2000’s, our personal goals and feelings were not entirely fulfilled or even clear to many of us. So the chaos and uncertainties that surrounded the whole band maybe were essential to lead things where they reached up at the time. With great effort and will power, we could record “The Labyrinth Spell” that for us, was something extremely important and definitely a turning point. In Brazil, that music way was not so powerful and evident, so we could consider ourselves one of the first bands to walk this path that was a mix of some Pagan and Black Metal sounds. Therefore, considering everything that happened to us in these almost 14 years, like personal evolution, achievements, experiences abroad, intellectuality, playing in other bands and projects, the results couldn’t be different. This new release is much more aggressive and dark. It was polished by time and by the growth of each one of us. The feeling of playing and live according to our own Black Metal philosophy has just become stronger and more powerful and now I think we are much more conscious and competent in making it real. So, in the end, that’s the main difference between what happened in the past and what’s going on nowadays.
3.The band has been around since 2000 but so far has only released 1 full length and demo, can you tell us a little bit more about the gap between releases?
Well, as mentioned above, the first demo was recorded in around 2000-2001 and it was the only register we had in years, because after its conclusion the band split up. Some of us traveled abroad and moved to other cities, so it was impossible to continue that way. But the fire kept burning, and even with all the distance and tragedies we’ve been through, we maintained the entire appreciation and passion for darkness and extreme music and went on playing in different bands and of course being in touch through all these years. Only in 2008, the band decided to come back, with a new line up (2 founder members: Nephal and Avernalis) and the ideas and rehearsals started off again. Then, in 2010 we released the demo “DCLI” (in homage to Kern – a friend and former member that died in a very grim circumstance) and in 2014 “Mountains Enthroned” that is our first official debut album. That’s just the beginning!
4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Our main focus is to talk about our own personal goals and feelings, of course, poetically and lyrically adapted to Black Metal and extreme music. Since the beginning, the driving force was our connection to occultism and personal experiences with darkness, magick, satanism, paganism and everything related to these topics at all. At first, our appeal was more connected to some folk bands such as Isengard and Storm as well as traditional Black Metal ones like Darkthrone, Mayhem, Satyricon, Emperor and many other ones from the early and mid 90’s. As the time passed, we could reach new levels of understanding and making music, as well as shaping our own way, which led us to new concepts and processes of transforming all of these sources of inspiration into phantasmagoric atmospheres and a journey into the underworld, death and chaos. So it has been applied in almost every moment of our lives, be it in a studio or in a solitary moment whatsoever.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Labyrinth Spell'?
The whole inspiration and concept for the name “Labyrinth Spell” came up through our incessant debate sessions and ideas about the mysteries of universe and all things that cannot be explained by science and reason. We used to go to many forests and nature sites to explore our own bestiality, atavistic conditions and even madness, because this was the only way we could connect ourselves to these themes and transform them later in our art and music. So the main idea behind it all is about the inexorability of our existence that was called “Labyrinth Spell”, since this whole existence is a tortuous and chaotic labyrinth, full of uncertainties and illusions. Maybe death is the only way out of it, maybe not. Only by walking the path and assuming its consequences is possible to reach true knowledge of it. Despite all the limitations we had at that moment, the intensity of our coexistence led us to everything that happened there and even many years later.
6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
The band has chosen to perform just few concerts along the time. We prefer to dedicate ourselves to the composition process, rehearsals and recordings than to the live experience.
We would like to emphasize two very specific concerts that we have had in the last years as the most remarkable ones. The first happened in the state of Minas Gerais, in a city called Contagem, and it was a great event, very professional, with an intense and special atmosphere, where we have been so welcome. And the other happened in our city, that’s called Vitória, and it was made by a friendly couple of ours and featured great bands from our local scene. The concert was pretty great and we had a very good response from the audience.
Our live performance is based on the idea of reproducing live the closest possible to the musical experience of listening to some of our recordings, in other words, we really want to execute our songs the best way, allowing the audience to listen the real sound we make. At the same time, we also search for the interaction with them, as an attempt to make the concert, an authentic Black Metal celebration.
7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
As we have said before, our main focus is not playing live or touring. Therefore, at this right moment, there are no plans towards this, although we may consider any possibilities in a close future, especially in some places that we haven’t performed before and if it involves serious concerts that match our thoughts and ideas.
8.The album was released on Vacula Productions, how did you get in contact with this label and also how would you describe the support they have given you so far?
All the contact was made by the internet, through our bassist, that talked and defined all things straight to Andriy Molchan. For now, the whole experience has been great and we have no objections to the way Vacula Productions has supported the release. It has been an honor to us to have our stuff directly spread in the old continent and we really expect that this partnership brings us all very good things.
9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
On the earlier work, I think the feedback was very low, because we made just some few independent copies that were spread only to our closest friends and some fans of ours in Brazil. So, the result was pretty much underground (as we expected it to be), especially because we didn’t have any internet stuff or anything like that back then. Moreover, Black Metal here was a very strict sound and movement, very far from what it has become nowadays. We only played to ourselves and we didn’t have any interest or capacity of spreading our art worldwide. As the band split up sometime later, that release was forgotten and buried by the time until our rebirth. On the other hand, speaking of the new release and all the things we’ve been through all these years and experiences, the feedback has been great, especially here in our country. The atmosphere we reached in this new release is something that is no longer evident and even created anymore, so that many people that grew up listening to the “golden age” of Black Metal could feel some kind of revival and immediately got connected to it. We haven’t exactly felt the real impact of releasing an album worldwide (it’s too early for that), and we really hope that it can reach people that have the same old feelings and nostalgia and of course, contribute for the maintenance of Black Metal in its truest and radical way.
10.Are any of the band members involved with any other musical projects or bands these days?
Some of the band members have been playing in some other bands and projects as follows:
Pagan Warrior – Forest Moonless (All Instruments), Shadow Moon (Guitar), Labyrinth Spell (Bass)
Thrymr – Saturn (Guitar), Labyrinth Spell (Guitar)
Avernalis – Labyrinth Spell (Drums, Keyboards)
Nephal – Labyrinth Spell (Guitar)
K.W.V.A – In Nomine Belialis (Guitar, Bass, Vocals), Saturn (Guitar, Vocals), Throne of Might (All Instruments), Labyrinth Spell (Vocals)
11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
The band is basically following the same path that was walked before, but now in a more mature and wise way. The main difference is that now, we can see things much better than we did and we are stronger as well. Our goals and plans are extremely focused on composition and new releases and of course, all the structure and experience we have, can lead us towards greater heights. This album “Mountains Enthroned” was entirely composed and recorded by us, in an independent and underground way, and the results were extremely satisfactory! The new stuff will be as dark as this one and maybe darker, as well as the whole composition process, themes, lyrics and everything involved with it. 14 years of existence have only made us stronger and wiser ‘cause we are forged by fire and blood!
12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Music is something extremely important to us and since our early days we have all been strongly connected to it. The main bands that really influenced us were at most the Norwegian and Swedish ones from the early and mid 90’s as mentioned above: Darkthrone, Mayhem, Satyricon, Emperor, Isengard, Storm and many others as Enslaved, Dark Funeral, Marduk, Dissection, Dimmu Borgir, Immortal, etc…
Besides, we have also been interested in many other ones as Black Funeral, Enthroned, Bethlehem, Watain, Thulcandra, Besatt, Absu, Gräfenstein, Inquisition, Seth…
Also, we could mention some Dark Ambient projects that were extremely important to us as well as Elend, Penitent, Dead Can Dance, Summoning, Profanum, Lord Wind and movie soundtracks such as Conan The Barbarian, Brave Heart, Gladiator, Lord of the Rings…
Nowadays, things have become a little complicated, because that feeling and originality that were behind the Black Metal scene seems to be gone. So it made us focus more on our own music and get a little disconnected of what is going on now. So, I think we usually get back to the same old stuff we have heard all of our lives.
13.What are some of your non musical interests?
Occultism, Satanism, Paganism, Philosophy, English, Literature …
14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
We really hope to spread our art as far as we can and also that it reaches mostly people with the same thoughts and feelings, to keep this way of Black Metal alive and forever underground. Everyone that feels connected to our ways, lyrics and art, please contact us on email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
We would like to thank you, from Occult Black Metal Zine, for this opportunity of spreading our thoughts here, and we are really honored to have our stuff released on Vacula Productions and also worldwide. It’s a great honor to have our CD released abroad and we really hope that we can forge some very strong alliances from now on, no matter the distance or even time. Long Live True Black Metal! Hail Thy Self!