domingo, 7 de marzo de 2021


1. Beltez started operating in 2002, why did you decide to create the band? Why did you choose the name Beltez and what does it refer to?

Dominic: At first Beltez was just a birthday project for a good friend. Our singer at that time "Nameless" and I wanted to give him a short album, which should remind very much of Burzum. Eventually it turned into another tape and we did a handful of gigs until 2004. 

The name Beltez had no deeper meaning in this context. It was simply an artificial word at the beginning, which we filled with meaning over time.

2. In 2002 Beltez released their first album, which continues in the form of two demos released that same year, what do you remember of those early years of the band and the recording and editing of these first releases?

Jens: I remember playing with Dominic, Stephan and Christian (Flagg) in a Band called Orkus at the time. And how we record the bonus track for “Beltane” in my parents basement. That was my first introduction into Beltez. Good times.

Dominic: That we were completely drunk on every recording and the requirement was that each tape had to be written and recorded in 48 hours. Accordingly, the recordings and the summary of both demos in the form of "Beltane" have also aged badly.

3. From here comes a period of almost ten years of silence, what happened within Beltez at this time until it regained activity in 2013 with the edition of “Tod: Part 1”?

Dominic: Beltez was on ice. Our singer at that time had stopped listening to Black Metal and since then he is no longer part of the Metal scene here near Cologne. The song ideas were dormant for several years. When I had new recording possibilities in 2010/2011, everything went by itself and quite fast. With Marc (aka Gezuecht) was also quickly found a much better replacement on vocals.

4. Although your recent “A Gray Chill and a Whisper” belongs to your most current time as a band, it is true that the leap in terms of sound with respect to the previous “Exiled, Punished ... Rejected” is very important, especially in aspects such as the atmospheric plane, what has changed in your way of composing and recording this new album with respect to the previous ones? How has the work in the studio and the recording of the new songs been?

Jens: Well, for me there isn´t such a big leap between “Exiled...” and “A Grey Chill”. Both are -in my opinion- a blend of traditional and modern black metal, post metal and ambient. But the new one sounds more massive. What was different? Dominic opened the floor for the rest to contribute material, and we did. While “Exiled” was almost 100% his work, this time I wrote or co-wrote almost half of the material and we spend long hours with the band to arrange the songs. On the record itself, we recorded more rhythm guitar tracks, which makes the sound thicker. Plus we used additional instruments like e-bow and synthesizer to make the sound fuller and more layered. Working in the studio was more less not that so different then last time. This time we went with Mario Dahmen at the Liquid Aether Studio, whom is an expert in brutal, yet not to modern sounds. This definitely paid of.

5. Surely, as I mentioned previously, the sound of Beltez in this “A Gray Chill and a Whisper” is much more ambitious and complete, not only because of the weight of the atmospheres but also because of the post or progressive elements present in the sound, but how Would you describe the sound of the album for those who have not yet heard?

Jens: A dive into a deep, black pit with a faint ray of light at the bottom. Or, in more musical terms, as a brutal, yet beautiful, intense, yet atmospheric, musical journey.

Dominic: And a musical journey that definitely combines traditional and modern musical values of black metal without being too alien to the scene.  

6. The album revolves around the short story "Black Banners" created by the German writer Unlike Serowy, how did the contact with Ulrike Serowy take place to make this collaboration? What is this story about and how does it develop in the album?

Jens: As we did print the full story in the booklet of the cds and on the sleeves of the LP, i do not want to give away too much. The story is about a city lying almost dormant, forgotten by time and oblivious to the rest of the world. This city is terrorized by strange beings coming from a nearby fortress, picking up the cities people one by one to become one of them. One young man does not accept what seems to be fate when his close friend is to be taken and decides to fight.

We met Ulrike some time ago at a festival, where she did a reading. As we knew that we did wanted to to a kind of conceptual record again, but did not want to adapt another book, we were on the lookout for somebody who could really write. No one in the band felt up to that task. Ulrike asked us a couple of questions -like “hot or cold”, “colors or gray”- and then went on it.

7. Starting from the base of “Black Banners”, in what way did I determine the musical direction of the album? Was it very difficult to surround this story with a musical plane in a coherent way?

Jens: Not really. When we got the short story, we had three songs already finished. We fitted them into the storyline and then wrote the rest of the album with the story in mind. We did split the story in segments and wrote the lyrics in accordance to these segments, but whenever we wrote new music, we did thought “ok, this will fit here”. In the end, it felt like a very natural process for us. Nothing was “forced”.


8. Anger and despair on the one hand in clear contrast to strength and temperament are sensations that emanate from the music of “A Gray Chill and a Whisper”. Are these sensations new in Beltez's musical proposal? And are they sensations emanating from the musical development of “Black Banners”?

Jens: Puhh... i don´t know. It is not that we force us to try to convey these feelings. I mean, anger is something that is certainly channeled in our music all the time, but all the rest as well. It is hard to put into words. We did not had to emulate something, if that's what you are asking. All these emotions were fitting for the record, but we never said “we do need an epic part here because this is where this or that happens”. The music was still written very freely, but of course with the story in mind. Plus, I do not like to overanalyse my own work and tell the listener what to feel. If you as the listener feel like you do, it is great no matter what! Roger Waters once said, “the only important thing in the end is, if it moves you or not” and i totally agree with that.

Dominic: There are two kinds of songwriting for me. The first variant is, I have a melody in my head and if it is still present the next day, then it can be used. The second variant is to just write and record. It quickly becomes apparent whether a riff or a song captures a suitable mood. So I also have quite a lot of things that I discard.

The feelings you describe are a natural aspect of my songwriting, which is why Ulrike's story was a perfect fit for us.

9. For this album you have had the collaboration of Alex Newton from Dzö-nga on keyboards, how does this collaboration take place and what do you think Alex has contributed to the final result of the album? Are you open to collaboration on future occasions of Representative new bands such as Dzö-nga?

Jens: While i did record all the other keyboard and synth parts for the record, i did struggle with the piano parts for the intro track. It was Dominics suggestion to ask Alex, as he is a fan of the band and he and him had been in contact for some time. I did send Alex a video of me aping the part and he send me back what is now on the record. For the future, well I don´t know. On the one hand i like working with other musicians, but on the other hand i like to do whatever is possible inside the band. If there will be something that we can not do well within the group i am absolutely open for collaborations. The end result is important, nothing else.

Dominic: As Jens said, it's not about the easy collaboration aspect but about what other musicians can add to our music in terms of mood or talent. Alex is a gifted musician who actually managed with Dzö-Nga to coherently incorporate all the things in his music (dominant keyboards, female vocals, triggered drums) that were traditionally frowned upon in black metal and has greatly enriched the scene with both albums.

10. The album has a special edition with audio-book in which Dan Capp from Winterfylleth and Evan Hunt from MetalTower have collaborated, how did these collaborations come about? And what was it like to have Corinne Henderson on vocals?

Jens: Very early on, pretty much right after Ulrike droped the story, we thought that this was all way too good not to be read out loud as an audio-book. At the same time, it was clear that this would have to be done by a native speaker. It was Ulrike who suggested Dan. He agreed and did an superb Job. We thought it felt weird to have a guy reading the woman's dialog, so we asked Corinne, whom is a colleague of my girlfriend -and not a writer, as you could read in some reviews-, to read these lines. Corinne is from the same region of England as it Dan, so this was a perfect match. On the night before we were supposed to hand in the recordings for the mastering, i realized that we did not had an introduction or anything for the audio-book. So I wrote Evan on the other side of the world in New Zealand, if he could just record a couple of takes of the introduction right now. He did and saved the day... again. We did the spoken parts on “Exiled” as well, as you may remember. So again, he was a lifesaver.

11. The album was recorded, mixed and mastered by Mario Dahmen at Liquid Aether Studios in Schleiden, why did you decide to work with Mario? Are you satisfied with the final result obtained?

Jens: Mario is very well respected for his ability to record fast and yet achieve a great sound. Plus his studio is not that far from Cologne. And yes, we are very happy with the final result.

Dominic: I enjoyed the work with Mario so much that I’m currently working at his studio again.

12. Beltez has never renounced the possibility of being able to offer concerts, even for the presentation you had to do something special, however the situation derived from the Covid has made it impossible to perform it, how special were these presentation concerts going to be? standing in the future to be able to realize you?

Jens: Right now, it looks that we have to postpone these concert again, as the Covid numbers in Germany stagnate. We will have to wait an to see. But we want to go back to the stage as soon as possible.

13. Many bands have seen dwindles without income due to Covid by not being able to offer concerts and tours, however others have seen how their sales did not suffer due to having a greater number of people discovering and acquiring music from their homes, how have you been Have you been affected by this situation? How have you kept in contact with your fans during this time?

Jens: As we are not doing this full-time, we are not affected financially by the unabillity to perform. We did sell a lot more records in a lot shorter time with the new one. I have no idea if this is because the new one is perceived as so much better, or if our label Avantgarde is simply doing a very good job with the promotion or if people spend more on records these days. Probably a mixture of all three... We are always reachable via our social media and keeping in touch with fans and other bands during this strange times.

14. The physical edition of the album has been made by the Avantgarde Music label. How did the possibility of working with them come about? Are you satisfied with the work done by Avantgarde Music in terms of editing and promotion? What can you tell us about of the special edition with audiobook?

Jens: Avantgarde approached us to release the vinyl version of “Exiled...”, but we had just signed a one-off deal with Crawling Chaos Records. So we signed with them for the future. We are very, very happy with all the effort Rob and his team are putting in our band. Regarding the “special edition”, all editions contain the audiobook. If you like to get a physical copy of the audiobook, you have to go through our web store, where we carry a limited supply of physical copies.

15. How were your beginnings in music: first albums you bought, first concerts you attended? What did you do in your lives that made you want to be musicians?

Jens: My first album was a Best-of from Depeche Mode, first concert was a local band at age 11, I think. I was always and very early on into music, as my father did play several instruments and my older brother and my older sister made music easily available.

Dominic: My enthusiasm for rock music began with a best-off Iron Maiden bootleg tape, which I got as a gift in the fourth grade, but somehow in my youth I was drawn to punk rock. When I heard Gorgorth's "Destroyer" on the release, I was hooked on black metal for the first time. The energy and raucousness that I liked about punk back in my youth culminated in an energy and noise on the album that I found hard to resist.

16. Which album defines for you the essence of German black metal? What last albums have you bought?

Jens: I honestly do not think that there is a thing like “German Black Metal”. Black Metal in essence for me is making intense, dark, atmospheric music to dive into and to get lost in. I could not care less which country you and your music came from. Good music can come from everywhere. Last albums I bought was the new Solstafir, the new Tribulation, finally the current Mayhem and the live record of Triptykon of their last roadburn show, which i attended.

Dominic: As Jens said the term “German Black Metal” only fits for location not for a unique sound as my all-time-favourite list of German artists will show:

Nagelfar – Hünengrab im Herbst

Nargaroth – Herbstleyd

Lunar Aurora - Elixir of Sorrow

Helrunar - Baldr ok Íss

…and many more

I recently bought Atlantean Kodex – The Course Of Empire.

17. What more immediate future plans do you have for the band? Are you already working on new songs for an upcoming album? Do you owe your fans a second part of Tod?

Jens: Well, it would be nice to go back to the stage sooner than later. First, we have to integrate our new drummer as we split with Sebastian recently. His successor is Dominik, whom you might know from his other Band Damage Source. If not, check them out. They are a great Death-/Thrashmetal Band and a totally demolition squad. There are ideas for new songs, but only rough sketches. Also, yes, we do want to do the sequel to Der Tod soon.

Dominic: As we currently speak I began writing with new songs for a possible Der Tod sequel.

18. Thank you very much for the time dedicated to Black Metal Spirit, if you want to add something for Betltez fans this is the place. I hope the questions have been to your liking

Jens: Thank you so much for your support. Speaking of which, please support your local music scene or we all running into a real danger that there would be nothing left when all this is over. Stay safe and stay away from each other.

Dominic: Thank you for your support! Please let us all contribute to support our whole scene, clubs and their staff in these strange times so that there will be a chance for concerts in a time after the pandemic. 


Blut Aus Nord ‎– Deus Salutis Meæ (Gris) 17,99 € 

Grey Vinyl, All copies come with insert & A2 poster.

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