miércoles, 29 de marzo de 2023


Good evening, thank you very much for answering these questions, how is everything going in Charleroi?

Arachnid Saar: Well, it's going well, a dream between assaults, drugs, and police (sarcastic laughter).

GÆTN: We just played a concert at MCP Apaches on March 18th to celebrate the release of our album with our fans. It's like playing at home. We are all from this region and played our first concerts here after reforming.

 1. The band started around 2015, why did you decide to create the band? What does the name Spectral Damnation refer to and why did you decide to use it?

Arachnid Saar: After the split of Mystica, I had the right people to continue making a more old-school black metal, based on the 90s. We needed a new name to signify this new beginning. There are many bands, finding a name is harder than composing music these days, so the name came out and was validated by the members of that time.

GÆTN: There isn't really a dedicated translation for Spectral Damnation. It expresses judgment, divine punishment. The condemnation of any divine entity, created by man to satisfy his need for superiority.

 2. The road to the release this year of your first full-length has been somewhat tortuous, with only the release in 2018 of your first EP “Out of Control”, how have you dealt with this period of changes within the band? Has the continuity of the band been in question at some point?

Arachnid Saar: Just before the release of our EP in 2018, Yohan Thibaut, our drummer at the time, had a serious car accident, and it shook us all up and we took a moment before talking about Spectral Damnation again. We searched for a replacement drummer, and it was really not easy to find someone with his level of skill and open-mindedness. So after the accident, I put the band on hold for many months. Several people asked me repeatedly to take up the torch and continue. That's when I looked for new members. 

Tsebaoth immediately accepted because I had already talked to him about wanting to start a black metal band with him, without immediately thinking of Spectral Damnation. Arkhon was more difficult to recruit because he was involved in other projects (Naked Evil, Revolt 666, Katassamalass), but he eventually accepted. GÆTN responded to an ad on social networks and it clicked right away between him and us. We had several drummers with different levels of skill and we quickly realized that it was going to be tough. We were very demanding about the intensity and speed that had to be brought to Spectral Damnation. Finally, Ahephaim accepted and joined the band 6 months before our studio entry.

3. How has the process of writing and recording your album “Extra Æcclesiam” been like? How do you think your way of working on new songs has evolved over the years? What brand of instruments have you used for the process? 

Arachnid Saar: My way of composing has always been the same for years. I use Ezdrummer, jamming on different drum patterns and so on. I submit the composition and we evaluate together what needs to be modified. Then we improve in rehearsal. Maybe we become better with practice, I don't know. My riffs come from my heart, my guts. I don't know how it's supposed to sound or what bands I should listen to in order to create a certain type of composition. No. It's based on the inspiration of the moment. 

I used an ESP for the studio and I have an Ibanez. Currently, I play on a Solar, a true gem!


4. This “Extra Æcclesiam” can be framed within the black/death sound, however we can also find differentiating aspects such as the good work done in the search for a dark atmosphere, how would you describe the sound of the album for those who haven't heard it yet? What bands have influenced you when defining the sound you wanted for this album?

Arachnid Saar: We talked a lot together about how it should sound. Then Déhà, the sound engineer at Opus Magnum Studio (Blackout Studio - Brussels) is experienced in all kinds of Black Metal. He brought us a lot to the creation of the sound, like the atmospheres and keyboards. He is a very open-minded guy and fits perfectly with Spectral Damnation.

GÆTN: I would say we play Deathened Black Metal. I don't know if this label is common, but I would say it's more appropriate than Blackened Death Metal. Our sound is suffocating and dense, made of infernal blast beats and divine atmospheres. We came to the studio with fairly simple musical influences. Marduk, Dark Funeral. The personalities of the musicians, the vocals, and Déhà did the rest.


5. When talking about Belgian black metal it is impossible not to have a band like Enthroned as a reference, curiously in the formation of Spectral Damnation there are a couple of musicians who were part of Enthroned in the past, in what way do you think the presence of Ahephaim and Tsebaoth in Spectral Damaniton have been able to influence when defining your sound?

Arachnid Saar: Yes, Enthroned is indeed a very popular band. But I don't think that Tsebaoth and Ahephaim have predominantly influenced the sound. We all had our say, and when the mix was released, we saw Déhà and told him what needed to be corrected.

GÆTN: The drums are an important part of the sound of Spectral Damnation. You can't miss them. So in that sense, yes, they influence the sound. Just as Tsebaoth brought some great compositions to the album. But as Arachnid Saar stipulates, the final sound is the result of a joint effort.

 6. Your lyrics follow a theme of death and anti-Christianity, why do you deal with these issues in your lyrics? Who is in charge of writing the lyrics? Do the lyrics adapt to the music or vice versa?

GÆTN: I have been responsible for writing the lyrics for Spectral Damnation since the band's reformation. On the album "Extra Æcclesiam," I wrote all the lyrics except for "Out of Control," which was written for the band's first EP by the singer at the time.

No! The music doesn't adapt to the lyrics. It's the opposite. We start with the compositions, and the vocals themselves are studied as an instrument. Each placement and tonality is worked on to best fit the music of Spectral Damnation. The search for themes and lyrics completes the creation of a piece and gives it a name.

The lyrics are not positioned as anti-Christian blasphemy or other derivatives (such as Satanism). We use Christian historical events and beliefs to illustrate our vision of man and religion. How man has used religion and popular beliefs to make it a tool of power. The darkest oppositions rooted in the Christian faith, which prove the human reason behind religion. The establishment of an ecclesiastical power, a self-proclaimed holder of the sacred word, the direct hand of an authoritarian empire that prevailed in the West for centuries. That's what "Extra Æcclesiam" is about.


7. To finish shaping the sound of the album you have worked with Déhà, in the Opus Magnum Studio. Why did you decide to work with Déhá? What do you think the work done by Déhá has contributed to the final sound of the album?

Arachnid Saar: It was Ahephaïm, our drummer, who recommended him to us for the simple reason that they had already worked together several times in the past. Déhà is very open-minded, and his work is recognized on the world stage. So we were eager to work with him on our album. He immediately put us at ease, there was no pressure. It helps a lot when creating something.

GÆTN: We arrived with our raw compositions, without arrangements, and he brought his vision to the project. The samples, synth orchestrations, and some effects on the vocals are all from his overflowing imagination of darkness. We knew we wanted to bring in synths to finalize the album, but we didn't want to fall into something too symphonic or too much like Dimmu Borgir (an easy example to find at the time). Déhà knew how to give the right balance to his arrangements to bring that divine and ostentatious touch to the project.


8. The album cover gives off an aroma of death and occultism with a good balance in the image that it offers between reds and blacks, who was in charge of the design of the cover? What does it represent and how is it related to the lyrics of the album?

GÆTN:  The work of Gustave Doré is incredibly precise and soulful. The scenes he designed are dramatic and you can feel all the darkness of the human soul in them. His illustration work on the Bible in the 19th century is a perfect art to illustrate our Black Metal, whose lyrics are greatly inspired by the Bible and Christian antiquity.

The artwork we have selected is "The Darkness at the Crucifixion". For us, it represents all the drama of humanity as it has been presented to us for centuries. It conveys both the hatred and fear of men and the supernatural beliefs that are unleashed.


9. Unlike your first Ep that was self-published for the edition of this first album, you have chosen to work with the Necktwister label, which has made a complete edition on CD, why did you choose Necktwister for the edition of your first album? Are you satisfied with the work done on your part?

Arachnid Saar: We contacted many labels, even some big ones, but we hit a wall. It was difficult to get responses. There were the Covid-19 pandemic, and the market is saturated with bands, as we are all very aware. There are many bands like us looking for a label, and I think labels are also saturated. In the end, we signed with Necktwister. For now, I have nothing to complain about; the label is attentive, and we have frequent exchanges.

GÆTN: In the end, we are working with a Belgian label that is becoming increasingly important in Belgium. It has under its wing some very promising Belgian bands, and we are very satisfied to be able to join them. I can mention Serpent Oath, Patroness, Provectus, and Artefacts.

10. You have already offered a concert to present the new album, how has your public's response to this new album been? Have you closed enough dates to present the new album live?

Arachnid Saar: We did 2 concerts for the release of the album. One in Flanders (north of Belgium) and one in Wallonia (in the south). In Flanders, there weren't too many people, I don't know the reason despite the quality bands on the bill (Provectus, Kurgaall). The date in Wallonia was sold out (Alkhemia, Exutoire, Krater & Serpent Oath). The reception was exceptional and we received very good feedback on our performance, the people were very enthusiastic and so were we naturally.


11. Slaughter the giant, Ater, Ars Veneficium, Iron Death or the aforementioned Enthroned, give a good account of the extreme metal scene in a country like Belgium. What is your opinion of the black metal scene in your country? How do you Do you think it has evolved over the years?

Arachnid Saar:I think there is a revival of black metal, post black. I think it's a good thing to have more bands compared to previous years. Recently, hardcore, metalcore, and deathcore were omnipresent. We need to support our black metal scene as best we can. Organizers often struggle to maintain their business. I often see cancellations due to too few pre-sales. It's a real concern that needs to be taken into account. Rare are the organizers who manage to break even and they often stop their beautiful projects.

GÆTN: Wiegedood, Heinous, Sabathan, Serpent Oath, Sagra's Cult.. it seems you forgot some and the list is not finished. Honestly, black metal will never die in Belgium.


12. How were your beginnings in music: first concerts you attended, first albums you bought? What event in your lives pushed you to want to be musicians?

Arachnid Saar: I've been involved in music since I was 24 and just turned 50. My life has been about forming bands, I've been in a few, but mostly it's about being with friends, drinking beers, going to concerts. It's the social aspect that I love most about music. I think my very first album, if I remember correctly, was Testament's "The New Order". The concerts, of course, the energy, the response of the crowd, it's an atmosphere, it's a state of mind. To me, metal is summed up in one thing: It's life.

GÆTN: My attraction to this music started during my teenage years. First influenced by more general metal, I then discovered Dimmu Borgir, Marduk, Dark Funeral, Mayhem, and since then I knew I would be an actor in the Black Metal scene and not just a listener.


13. What album represents for you the essence of black metal? What last albums have you bought?

Arachnid Saar: I'm a fan of the second wave black metal. Secrets Of The Black Arts by Dark Funeral is still in my top 3 today, Panzer Division by Marduk like I said before, the years '95-2000, it was awesome. Today, there are some post black metal bands like Der Weg Einer Freiheit that I love, Uada, Batushka, Ov Shadows, Serpent Oath, Wiegedood...

GÆTN: If I really have to choose one, I would say "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas" by Mayhem. I'm also very attracted to these 3rd wave black metal bands and the Icelandic scene. Mgla, Mysphirming, Darvaza, Enthroned (since the change of singer), Inferno, these are some that make me vibrate with each listen.


14. What future plans do you have for Spectral Damnation in terms of expectations about this new album, concerts or reissues?

Arachnid Saar: We would like to venture out of Belgium and explore other horizons. It would be great if the album could be released on vinyl, as there is a certain demand for this type of format and we would like to offer it to our fans.

GÆTN: There are few concerts scheduled for the coming months. We are in talks with Necktwister to handle our booking. The label should soon release "Extra Æcclesiam" on cassette.


15. Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions for Black Metal Spirit, if you want to add something for the fans of Spectral Damnation this is the place. I hope the questions are to your liking.

Arachnid Saar: To our fans, a big thank you for your feedback, it's really great and of course, come to our concerts when we play near you. We need to keep the underground scene alive. Metal isn't just about big organizations. Small bands will be the big ones of tomorrow, but they won't make it without you.

We mainly communicate with our fans on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/spectraldamnation) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/truespectraldamnation/)

Watch our “Serpent on a Cross” Movie here: https://youtu.be/jE8m9FwBRHM

You can buy the album on Necktwister Agency Website (https://www.necktwister.com/product/nt023-spectral-damnation-extra-aecclesiam/)

and get our merch on our Bandcamp page (https://spectraldamnation.bandcamp.com/merch)

 interview with Arachnid Saar (founder, Lead Guitar) and GÆTN (Vocalist).


 Akercocke ‎– Renaissance In Extremis (Clear vinyl or black vinyl) 18,99 € 

2LP black vinyl 180g in a gatefold sleeve.

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