Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life are very excited to bring you an interview with atmospheric black metal future heavyweights, Saarkoth. The band has a two track demo out now & you can read our review of this excellent release here.
1. Tell us a bit about yourselves. How did Saarkoth get going?
Saarkoth started back in 2016 when Lewis and I were both interested in starting solo Black Metal projects. After we realised our ideas and influences were very similar we decided to collaborate and started writing and recording songs together. We soon included a third. Our bassist and co-vocalist, Asa. After having him do a bit of a session bass and realising the similarity of our writing style with regards to things such as influences.
2. What inspirations lie behind the two track demo?
Musically each song was written independently by two different members of the band but our writing styles work well together which I think comes through in the demo. The first song, Awake in Eternal Sleep is about the idea of out of body experiences and near death experiences. This is a topic I found myself interested in and spent a good deal of time doing research into. It’s a more harsh, piercing black metal vibe. The main riff has a very claustrophobic feel to it which I think complements the lyrics well.
The second track, Beyond the Horizon, is largely influenced by the suns effect on the world. For example how it brings life to the planet and similar themes such as that. It came about from a very Darkthrone inspired riff and in a single evening of demoing it just became what it became. The first half has more of a groove to it and the second half is a more atmospheric style which is a musical embodiment of the nature themed lyrics.
3. How important is melody amongst the more traditional black metal sound? It’s become something of the norm nowadays.
Melody in Black Metal is important if you’re playing a style of BM that benefits from it e.g Atmospheric or DSBM. However, it isn’t necessarily essential. I think having bands who stray from the melodic side is good as it gives the sub genre variety. So it doesn’t over-saturate it with a billion bands who sound the same.
Despite our belief that a lack of it can set a band apart from others, good use of it can do the same to another. We personally love melodies. We feel they add a certain emotional strength to our music. It can really help paint a picture with what we write.
4. Have you played live? If so how has that experience been?
We haven’t played live, no. We have every intention to. However, we’re still in the writing phase and don’t really have the equipment to play live at this moment. Though it’s definitely something that we want to do.
5. Has the rise of streaming services/YouTube helped or hindered you as a band?
For established bands who make a living from their music, I’m sure that streaming services can be a massive hinderance on their work. However for a brand new band like us, free services like Bandcamp and YouTube have been by far the best way for us to get our music heard. So without streaming services, we wouldn’t have been able to put our music out anywhere yet, aside from the limited physical copies we did of the demo. However they were gone in a matter of hours when I was giving them out at Bloodstock.
6. What’s the future plans for Saarkoth? An album is going to be hotly anticipated!
These two songs are actually from the upcoming album, Jera, which we’re hoping to release in 2018. We have revealed the artwork for it already and will be releasing a third song in the form of a music video at some point in the near future. However we have already begun brainstorming idea for our second album as we’ve suddenly found ourselves rather inspired about the theme we want to touch upon with it.