After some good releases over the years, the Swedish band MORDANT surprised me a lot with their last demo "Back From Hell" and their new album "Black Evil Master". Pure old school Black Metal with a lot of Heavy Metal influences and a touch of NIFELHEIM. I think the band deserves all the support, so here is an interview with their singer Bitchfire…
Hello guys, how are you? Enjoying the dark and cold Swedish winter or what?
"Hola! We are in the rehearsal-room and working to get all of our supporters a well invested visit at our next show. We are now ready to enter the stage to knock down like a fist in your face. The snow and the freezing moon has entered the north…. For me, I can’t see the darkness in a cold winter. I can just see problems! For example to go between my home and the rehearsal-room and just freeze. I want to sit in a chair in a summer day, drinking beer and listen to Korrozia Metalla!"
Ok, let’s go to your new album "Black Evil Master"… in my opinion it is a masterpiece that finally shows your full potential as a band. How do you see the album now that it is released? Are you happy to finally see your stuff released on vinyl?
"Finally we release a vinyl!!! “Black Evil Master” is the sound of the ultimate MORDANT, the songs are mostly new and some are unreleased old songs. My opinion is that the whole record (music, lyrics, artwork etc) has the right feeling and together it is an evil soul bringer."
You have released the album through To The Death Records, a label that is mostly known for releasing cult stuff by old bands. If I’m not mistaken you’re one of the first ‘active’ bands to release with them a full length. What expectations you have with the album and the label? How did you get in touch with To The Death?
"I just bought some records with OBSCURITY from the boss “Cronis” at To The Death without any thoughts to be a part in his legion, and the rest is history. Now we are under his spell… Or is he under our spell???? Hahaha… So now it is an honor to have the privilege to work with a true label, with the same thought as we have. We have no demands or expectations for To The Death Records. We co-operate to face the world together. With this album, we are going to show all out there how music shall be done. Its time for the “Infernal Evil Pain” under the tones of Black Metal. We haven’t been so active before the “Back From Hell" demo because of troubles with members. So now, it is time to get gigs and shows out there, to show the posers out there what real Metal shall sound like… Hell…"
Ok, let’s go to the music. In my opinion, in songs like ‘Council Of Evil’ and ‘Daemones Lucifer’ for example, and in all the album in general (and on the last demo), there’s a lot of guitar parts influenced by 80s Heavy Metal bands (which, of course, is great), and some melodies, but never losing your dark essence. How do you see your evolution as a band?
"Correct! We are strongly influenced by the N.W.O.B.H.M, I can say IRON MAIDEN and VENOM then you can feel the combination of excellent melodies and the ultimate darkness. The most of the music in both ‘Back From Hell’ and ‘Black Evil Master’, is created by our mighty Necrophiliac. He is a sort of a instrument hero. The arrangement we have done together so it fits all of us. About our “evolution”, we have been older since 1997, so the technical musicality has grown more and all members know their place and there are no problems anymore. And a great part of our “evolution” is that we don’t hurry up with MORDANT, it is better to wait until the feelings and ideas come to you, instead of just make a production to release things just to do it."
Also the influence of BATHORY is stronger than ever (‘Reaping The Angels Of Christ’, for example), which is, of course, great!!! What represents BATHORY for you? Do you think the Death, and specially the Black Metal scene have gone too far away from its roots?
"Quorthon was a genius! That’s the best way to describe BATHORY. He had a special building–up in his songs that were amazing in my world. He had his own technique when making music and lyrics. And as the part of the Great Evil Masters of Black Metal, like Cronos from VENOM, he has influenced us very much. Nowadays there is, like I say in another question, to much shit in the songs from new bands. Maybe, because they don’t know and haven’t ever listened to Metal from the beginning. They have missed too much at the journey in time. Then it can’t be good music nowadays. Because the new bands haven’t the same influence as the older bands and a simple thing like this, they have never heard obscure bands from eastern Europe or South America or all the N.W.O.B.H.M. bands. They have grown up with the black album by METALLICA, and even more worse they were born with SLIPKNOT in their nappies. I mean, how many of the new bands (when I mean new bands I mean those who are young nowadays) have listened to TREBLINKA (SWE), OBSCURITY (SWE), CHAKAL and SARCÓFAGO from Brazil, FIST (UK) KORROZIA METALLA (Russia), FLAMES from Greece, TÖRR and CITRON (Czech Republic), EVIL BLOOD (Croatia), BLACK HOLE (Italy), HELLER (Serbia) or SARGOFAGUS (Finland) etc etc. I think many of them even ever have heard ARIA who is the second greatest band in the world after IRON MAIDEN together with VENOM."
Your songs have always had the typical structure with refrains you can sing along (‘Black Evil Master’, the song, it’s just amazing!) and strong parts that stick to your mind and makes your blood boil! Do you think music must have this refrains and structures instead of 1000 riffs in every song?
"I can’t answer you why we are doing it this way, we just do it unconsciously, the only thing I can say is that I hate it when it’s a thousands of riffs and too much shit in a song. I hate to do something just for doing it without a red line, I mean to hurry up and create things just to follow “So you have to be, to be correct” – shit. Just keep it raw and simple. Less is more, if you have it in your soul and do it the right way. Don’t try to do this if you don’t have it in your soul and veins. IRON MAIDEN and many great bands have three riffs in their songs as a base, keep that as a law when you do it yourself."
A simple one. I like your music because I think it has a lot of feeling and sounds very honest, and nowadays it sounds more original than ever… Where do you get your inspiration from? How is the process of doing a song in MORDANT?
"We are just ourselves and do what comes from our souls. I think the inspiration is what we are exposed for in our everyday life and from the music by the record players together with our instincts, made from music that we been exposed for in the young days. I suppose that if you are a musician or not, and you listen at music, which make the hair on the body raise, your soul and brain start to work instinctively. We are not working the way to follow anyone else and we are not try to create or changing our style or sound. The process is very simple, some of us get a music idea, and then we try it in the rehearsal room. When we have a lot of ideas which feels superb, we start to create a release. It is not time which is the steering power, it is when we feel the correct feeling. The whole release must have our feeling of having a red line cross over it."
This time you have surprised us with a full colour cover… some comments on it please?
"It’s an amazing result of a simple question to a good painter. We were a little bit nervous how the result should be, but when we saw it, we faint. It was much nicer than we counted with. Many thanks to Daniel Devilish for a superb artwork, which has the MORDANT feeling within it. I can strongly recommend him for other bands. The background of being a full color artwork is that we felt that this record needed it to get the red line being completed."
Ok, time to talk about your past. "Back From Hell" was a masterpiece of a demo if you ask me… How was the response? Any offers besides your label? Are you still satisfied with the songs after some years?
"We had and also have a great response for that release and we had a lot of offers after they heard “Back From Hell”. There wasn’t anyone which had / have the same serpent as To The Death Records. Back to the things I said before, we don’t hurry up. It is better to wait until it feels perfect."
Death Invocation Records released some months ago your "Suicide Slaughter" and "Back From Hell" demos on tape. Do you think Metal sounds better on tape and vinyl? Is it important in these days of internet to keep obsolete formats like tape alive (I think yes, even if it’s only for nostalgic reasons)?
"It is not just a nostalgic thing I believe. It is more feeling to listen at a analogue format, it feels more true! And as a musician it feels more real to release the music in these formats, because everyone can make a CD or upload a song on the internet, but there is few who can do it on, for example, vinyl."
A lot of years passed since your first album "Momento Mori" until you released something new. What can you tell me about this period? Were you always an active band during these years or you splitted up?
"We had a lot of member trouble. That sort of troubles, are not the friendliest thing if you are a band and of course not for us. Our creation got a negative input and the frustration took over. But we never split-up. MORDANT will always live as long as I (Bitchfire) or Necrophilias are alive."
You were formed in 1997. How do you remember your early days as a band? Have you released some demos or rehearsals before "Suicide Slaughter"?
"We released one demo “DIE!!!” just as a test to see some reactions. There is few persons who have heard this demo. The early days were the early days. We were full of energy from the evil blood pumping in our veins. We have much interesting stories to tell, but I think it’s better to save these things until the future, who knows, maybe there is someone who wants to release something nice when we are at the bed of death."
This is the polemic question… In the past I’ve heard a lot of bad rumours about Agonia Records (the label who released some of your old stuff)… what can you tell me about them? Are you happy with the way they dealt with MORDANT?
"There is always positive and negative feelings between two parts in a deal. We have no problem with him now, and maybe it’s because that we don’t care about that label anymore. I hope that he helps the labels which are going to release our vinyl versions of “Suicide Slaughter” and “Momento Mori”, without any trouble."
Some months ago you were part of a SABBAT tribute with the song ‘Rage Of Mountains’. What does SABBAT mean to you? Have you ever tried to collect all their stuff (splits, singles, etc.)?
"SABBAT from Japan, is one of the great evil masters who made Black Metal come true. For us they are a great influence besides VENOM, HELLHAMMER, KAT, BATHORY, SARCOFAGO etc. Personal, it feels like a dream come true to do an official tribute to the mighty SABBAT. I have a lot of records but not all yet… Hahaha… Soon I hope it will be complete."
Let’s talk about your gigs. A lot of bands use blood live nowadays, but you do it in a very powerful and even original way. What inspired you to act this way live? Anecdotes? Would you ever play in a place you’re not allowed to use blood?
"Blood means death and the work of a butcher… When you see blood it means that bodies are in pain… Fresh blood is the purest thing besides a virgin…I do it to let all know that death is more near than you can believe and in that moment you die the reality is that the blood doesn’t belong to you anymore… When you see blood you automatically think of death, but remember that it also is the rebirth of something else."
You played in Barcelona some months ago. What can you tell me about your trip? Sex, drugs and rock and roll or what? Any other interesting gigs lately?
"It was a great trip with an excellent horde of evil friends. The first gig ever for MORDANT outside of Sweden. Thanks Lorenc and Soraya!! I can say that this premier were full-ended when I (Bitchfire) and Necrophiliac started to fight because of just sex, drugs and rock n roll…Hahaha… and Angelreaper wanted to fly from a window… Thanks you all for being an fantastic audience! After Barcelona we focused only on “Black Evil Master”, so the answer is no gigs after that. We have also said no to some gigs when were in the studio, because we needed to be focused."
Time for the yellow press. You come from Dals Långed, a city known in the Metal scene basically because the NIFELHEIM twins are from there. They even did some covers for some of your past releases. How is your relationship with them? What do you think about NIFELHEIM? Could you recommend me some more bands from Dals Långed?
"NIFELHEIM…once again an interview when they get free promotion…Hahaha… They are good friends of us, especially Hellbutcher and Tyrant. We are born in the same small village, they have a younger brother, same age as I, that has been my friend since childhood. That was the star and one reason that we are friends with the twins. There were a lot of Metal bands in Dals Långed. I can recommend you all to listen at WOLFSBLOOD (split-up), LOCOMOTIVE DEATH (split-up) and STARKING (active one man-project) from Dals-Långed. All of them are demo bands, but if you search after them on the internet, I think you can find some interesting things from them. Nowadays there is just MORDANT who has rehearsal room and live here. And some other bands which aren’t Metal."
Ok, time for the typical ‘test’ question… Feel free to explain your answers… BATHORY or VENOM?
"I answer VENOM or BATHORY."
NIFELHEIM or DISSECTION?
"NIFELHEIM, I am a village patriot."
VULCANO or SARCOFAGO?
IN FLAMES or AMON AMARTH?
"I haven’t heard these combinations of names before, what is it? Some new dramatic movies?"
God or Allah?
"God, because he gave us Lucifer!"
Swedish girls or Spanish girls?
F.C.Barcelona or Real Madrid?
"I didn’t now that these citys have these names. I thought it was Barcelona or Madrid. I say Barcelona, friends of mine (an evil couple) live there. I suppose you know who you are."
Ok, that’s all this time, feel free to promote your stuff / merchandise or add something…
"MORDANT were back from Hell 2008 with a mission to made the raise of the Antichrist and release the "Black Evil Master" from the black dungeons…Finally it’s released!!!! Our new album is the "Retaliation From The Dark", a work of evil art, made by our souls to shows how Metal shall be composed if it comes from the darkest depths with Lucifer as the BLACK EVIL MASTER. Thanks for the Interview!!!! Darkest Regards / Bitchfire."
Pascal Rovira Llorenç