jueves, 24 de agosto de 2023


1. Alghol started working around the year 2020, why did you decide to create the band? What does the name Alghol refer to and why did you decide to use it?

I actually started working on stuff for what would become Alghol at the beginning of 2019. Maybe earlier. I originally was trying to make more Death Metal oriented stuff in the vein of Thou Shalt Suffer. I've got a couple tunes from that time that I never released, although there are 3 copies of a tape floating around out there that have those tracks on them. But I started the project really just to see if I could pull it off. I've been a fan of extreme metal for the majority of my life, and a musician for even longer, but I had just never tried my hand at making this kind of stuff even though I've always wanted to. I also never really knew anybody else who was interested in playing Black Metal or Death Metal, and didn't think I'd be able to do it all myself. Listening to Mortician actually gave me the push I needed to try. The shameless use of the drum machine was quite inspiring as I can't drum to save my life haha. 

As for the name, Alghol is just a misspelling of "Algol," which is the name of a star, also commonly referred to as "The Demon Star." I came across the name in the Lovecraft story "Beyond the Wall of Sleep" and thought it would make for a cool band name. I found a couple other bands called Algol so I decided to put a silent "h" in the middle of mine to differentiate this project from the others.

2. After a split and an Ep in 2021, you released your first album "The Osseous Key" which will soon continue with the release of your second album "Night Eternal", what has the process of writing and recording the new album been like and what main differences may exist between the two releases? What brands of instruments have you used for this process?

My writing and recording process hasn't changed a whole lot since "Forgotten Paths." It has certainly become more refined, and I'm always working on finding ways to improve my flow, but the overall process is essentially the same. The writing and recording processes are deeply intertwined for me. Since I don't have a band to work stuff out with, I write and record simultaneously. I usually start by writing a guitar riff, then record it, and build drums and the rest of the song around it. Once I have a basic structure of the song, I will go in and do a bunch of editing and keep tweaking it until I'm happy with the end result. Once I have the music all recorded, I will write lyrics and then go in and record vocals. I'll usually keep tweaking stuff and adding little finishing touches after that too. 

I think the main difference between the releases is the overall quality. With each release I try to show some form of progression, whether it's improved production value or better riffs and synth hooks. I basically just try to out-do the previous release, and I think with "Night Eternal" I managed to pull that off. For me, it's a step closer to the sound I'm aiming for with this project. The production is a little cleaner, the riffs are catchier, as are the synth hooks, and I think the storyline and lyrics fit nicely with everything else. I had a friend tell me it sounds like a more "mature" version of "The Osseous Key" which I think is a great way to explain it.

On "Night Eternal" I used a wider variety of guitars than on "The Osseous Key". I've got a Gibson Explorer that is my go-to guitar, but also a custom built Star from Black 35 Guitars that I absolutely love. I've got a LTD Black Metal Arrow which is an incredible guitar, especially for the price, a Legion Nihilist, and a Gibson Les Paul, and all of those make some sort of appearances on the new album. And then of course, I used a variety of virtual instruments. If anyone wants to go deeper into my gear and recording setup, I'm always happy to chat about that kind of stuff on Instagram or in an email.

3. From my point of view, in this new album he continues to delve into the roots of second wave black metal, with a taste for darkness and certain melodies, however he has also managed to add his own elements such as the presence of synthesizers, elements that can have progressive influences. How would you describe the sound of the album for those who haven't heard it yet? What bands and styles have influenced the sound of this new album?

I'm not exactly sure how to describe the sound other than just calling it Black Metal. I don't think it necessarily fits into any singular subgenre or anything. It's just my own interpretation of what Black Metal is. It is absolutely influenced by a lot of the classic Second Wave bands, particularly the Scandinavian bands like Dissection, Satyricon, and Windir. Like I said before, the production is a little cleaner, but not overdone I think. It's definitely heavy, but with a primary focus on creating catchy melodies. If anything, I'd say it's got a kind of creepy, almost Scooby-Doo type feel to it if that makes any sense haha.

4. In principle, the lyrics of the songs deal with themes with a fantasy component, far from the stereotypes of the genre. Can you elaborate a bit about where you get the ideas for the themes of your lyrics and why you consider it important to deal with them? Do the lyrics adapt to the music or vice versa?

With lyrics, I've always really liked artists that tell stories. For this project, my primary lyrical influences are King Diamond, Ghoul, and Jimmy Buffett. I love the storytelling that King Diamond and Buffett do, and Ghoul does it as well but also do a lot of world building which I think is super cool. It's all stuff that you can really immerse yourself in, and my goal with Alghol is to try to emulate that. There's definitely a heavy dose of escapism in all of it too which I think is important. Being able to sit down and fully immerse yourself in an album for 40 minutes and sort of tune out real life is something that I know I find helpful and enjoyable. It's good to take breaks and reboot now and again haha. 

Inspiration for the lyrics and storylines comes from all over the place. For example, the idea for the "Night Eternal" storyline started with this sick Witch Doctor Tiki Mug I have, and then I refined it a bit with some help from the book "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad. There's all sorts of other influences, but those are the main ones. It really just comes from whatever I happen to be interested in at the time. I'm not really sure if the music adapts to the lyrics or the lyrics adapt to the music. I think probably a little bit of both.

5. Although the entire recording process has been done on your own, it is true that for the final touch of the mastering you worked with Dan Randall from Mammoth Sound Mastering, at what point did you consider taking out all the work you did with the recording yourself and what facets were more complicated for you? Why did you decide to work with Dan Randall and what do you think he has contributed to the final result of the album?

I decided to work with Dan this time around because I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to mastering. I've got a much better idea of what's going on with respect to recording, producing, and mixing, but mastering is really its own beast. I figured it was time to enlist the help of a professional because I wanted this album to sound as good as it could, and Dan absolutely made that possible. Dan actually lives near me and was recommended to me by my friend who runs the label Out of Season. He's a super talented mastering engineer, a rad dude, and a hell of a guitar player. I would 100% recommend anyone looking for mastering to hit up Dan at Mammoth Sound.

6. The album has been self-released in various formats and on vinyl by the Swiss record label Black Occult, just like the first album. How did the possibility of doing a vinyl edition with them come about? How important do you think a format like cassette is today when it comes to offering your music?

"Night Eternal" will actually be the third vinyl release I've done with Black Occult. The "Forgotten Paths" LPs were the first Black Occult release ever I think. But I met the guy who runs it on Instagram when I was just starting out. He bought a "Forgotten Paths" tape from me and we've been friends ever since. I'm super grateful he likes my music enough and trusts me enough to put my stuff out on vinyl, especially since having my music on vinyl has always been a dream of mine. He's also just a blast to work with and does a really great job on his releases. The quality on all the records we've done together has been top notch.

I personally really like cassettes. I make sure every release I do has a tape option. I think they're just as important as any other physical copies. Some people are into CDs, some are into tapes, some into records. I like to have all of them available so people can get my music on whatever their preferred format is. The tapes I did for "Night Eternal" are going to be super cool too. Anyone into collecting tapes should absolutely check them out. 

7. Logan Hamilton has done the artwork for the album, why did you decide to work with Logan? What does the cover represent and how does it relate to the content of the album?

As far as I'm concerned, Logan is basically a band member at this point haha. He doesn't play any instruments, but he is without a doubt the visual aspect of this project. We started working together for the art on "The Osseous Key" and had been friends before that. He also runs Grim Graphics which is his screen printing business, so he does all my merch as well. I highly recommend checking out his shop. He works with a ton of great bands, and just makes some really high quality stuff. But whenever we do anything together, I typically will send him all the music and lyrics, and if I have any vague ideas of what I might be looking for, I'll let him know those as well, but then I just let him do his thing. He's an incredibly talented artist and his style really compliments the music I make. At this point I pretty much trust him blindly to come up with something awesome whenever I need art haha. He's also just a super rad dude to work with and always down to toss back some beers haha.

The cover art he did for "Night Eternal" depicts The Heart of Darkness, which is the object the whole journey is based around. I could go more into the storyline, but if anyone is really interested, I suggest they listen to the album and read along with the lyrics. That'll be much better than any sort of summarized explanation I could give here haha.

8. Is there the possibility of getting to offer a concert with Alghol thanks to the participation of other musicians?

I've actually been toying with the idea of putting together a live lineup for some one-off shows but I don't have any concrete plans yet. It's definitely not impossible though haha.

9. Nowadays, the USA has a solid black metal scene, whether we are talking about bands themselves or those one man bands, a fact that previously was not so developed, especially due to the predominance of bands and styles such as death, what do you think about the black metal scene in your country today?

I think the Black Metal scene in the states has definitely come a long way. I mean, of course there are those bands like Judas Iscariot, Leviathan, Xasthur, or Profantica, who have been around forever, but I think there's definitely some really solid stuff coming out of the States these days as well. I also think that geography matters a lot less these days thanks to the internet and all the advances in music technology. Pretty much anyone from anywhere can put together a good release with pretty minimal equipment, and with social media and what not, a scene is no longer limited to the area bands are located in. The fact that there's a whole instagram black metal scene just kind of goes to show that. 

10. How were your beginnings in music: first concerts you attended, first albums you bought? What event in your life pushed you to want to be a musician?

I'm not sure exactly what it was that kicked off my interest in being a musician, but it happened early on. I grew up skateboarding, and there's definitely a link between music and skating, so that probably had something to do with it. I started off listening to skate punk type stuff and whatever else was on the Tony Hawk Pro Skater soundtracks, and then started getting into classic rock when I was like 10 or 11. From there I started getting into bands like Iron Maiden and Motorhead, and then I remember an older kid at school showing me Dragonforce's album "Sonic Firestorm" and that kind of bridged the gap from more classic Metal type stuff into the more extreme styles. Shortly after I found Dragonforce, I found Dimmu Borgir and heard all the stories about the Norwegian Black Metal scene and then it was game over haha. I was hooked from then on.

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

"Storm of the Light's Bane" by Dissection is the perfect Black Metal album in my mind. It was definitely one of the first Black Metal albums I got really heavily into. There are definitely plenty of others that I think really capture the essential Black Metal sound and convey the kind of emotion I look for in Black Metal, but "Storm of the Light's Bane" does it best I think. I think the most recent album I bought was Fomóraigh by Dratna, and that's a great album. I highly recommend it.

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

Thanks for the opportunity! I really enjoyed answering these questions! The only other thing I can think to say is go check out the new album!


Battle Dagorath ‎– Abyss Horizons 23,99 €

Second press in aqua blue/grey vinyl.
Limited to 100 copies.
Includes a 12" x 24" foldout artwork & lyric/credit insert included.

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