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Belgium's best known black metal band Enthroned just released their seventh full-length album 'Tetra Karcist'. Not only does the album marks a break with singer Sabathan but also introduces a new musical path for these veterans. A path with coupled to an increase in quality I would say, as 'Tetra Karcist' is along their best works yet. We contacted vocalist and guitarist Nornagest about all these changes and the new album.

By: Roel de Haan | Archive under black metal

band imageGreetings! How are you doing?
Ave! fine, fine. Still a bit exhausted of last weekend though.

For those black metal fans that have been hiding under a rock the past ten years, could you give a short run-down of your musical career?
After our latest studio album 'XES Haereticum', we released our first official live album, 'Black Goat Ritual', recorded during our first tour of Brazil. After desecrating several stages and festivals, the band was once again forced to tackle a line-up change. We parted ways with long time vocalist Sabathan, at which time I took over the vocal and Phorgath joined the band on bass. In June 2007, Enthroned recorded the seventh and most accomplished album 'Tetra Karcist', seeing the return of old drummer Alsvid for the studio sessions. We then toured in Mexico as headliners with support acts as Belphegor and Inquisition. Afterwards, we finally got a stable drummer; Ahephaïm, who is a long time friend of the band.

You've just released your seventh album already. Are you satisfied by the result?
I couldn't be more satisfied; this album is the album I wanted to release for years. It was a big relief to be able to finally do an album with all the feelings, touches and especially concept I wanted to do for the last decade but couldn't be accomplished due to a lot of compromise with the old vocalist. Perhaps 'Tetra Karcist' isn't the most original album but at least it's the most honest Enthroned ever did as the message and essence behind it represents 100% what we are and every single member of Enthroned is standing and is being a part of that concept.

After all these years of making music what would you say has been the driving force behind Enthroned?
My stubbornness, my will to go up front but as well the motivation and dedication of people who were involved in Enthroned in the past like for example Cernunnos, Nerath Daemon, Alsvid, Glaurung and the actual members. I couldn't just say then, the devotion of those people.

What does 'Tetra Karcist' mean? Why did you choose this title? How does it relate to the music and lyrics? Is there a concept?
The title is the communion of Latin and an old form of ancient Greek 'Tetra' meaning 'four' and 'Karcist' translated by “Invocators” or “summoners”. Tetra Karcist is a personal vision of eternal ascent. We use the abilities that were learnt through some teachings within obscure doctrines that must remain untouched by the impure. A way we learn how to control every aspect of ourselves and our universe, rising from ashes and commanding the alliance of some entities in our behalf. The glow of Divinity which is within each one of us becomes a powerful blaze that will obliterate all that is vanishing and will praise all that is eternal... the Gateway to Eternity. The visions and experiences of the invocators of Enthroned through the Median path, the path of balance through the roots of occultism and Satanism in it's purest and original form, that's the concept behind 'Tetra Karcist'. Each chapter or song if you prefer, is a phase where a manifestation of our soul expresses itself upon the communion between us and ”them”. Every single detail from the music is linked with the lyrics of the song to which they are related.

Compared to 'Xes Haereticum' I would say your music has got a new kind of maturity. The songs seem more balanced. Would you agree? Did the writing process differ much this time around?
The writing process was quite different yes, as the whole band was involved in the creation and elaboration of the album. I totally agree when you say that this album got some more balance and that the overall feeling is more mature. The lyrical concept is going way deeper than the cliché of the Antichristian concept which was so close to Sabathan's fantasy. I didn't mind having some Antichristian texts, not at all, but with an objective view on the past, I still wonder how we could still accept such kind of teenager alike lyrics from a guy of 35!

band image

You have a new singer on this album. What was the reason to part ways with your old singer?
After the release of 'XES Haereticum' we started to have some troubles with Sabathan, meaning that we couldn't rehearse as he was always complaining about the fact that we had to change the location of the rehearsal room because me and Nguaroth are living something like 2.30 hours from his place and the previous place was there, so, regarding our schedules it was impossible to travel five hours a day to the other side of Belgium. So in the end we managed to get a rehearsal room at an equal distance but he was still complaining, being unemployed we thought it was a bit over acting coming from him. Anyhow, after a while we even tried to rehearse at his place again, but he always managed to find an excuse to escape the rehearsals, while we heard he was doing barbecues, playing hours with his playstation etc... a really childish attitude. Afterwards he started to talk more about money, free festivals, how many girls he could fuck on tour than the real feeling, the devotion etc… Along these annoying factors, some other unpleasant things happened concerning him, so we took a drastic decision and we kicked him out.

Can we view 'Tetra Karcist' as a turning point in your musical style?
Definitely, 'Tetra Karcist' is pure Enthroned but it's just the first stone of a new edifice. The main differences are in my opinion, the concept and the different vocals which makes a whole different approach, but this approach was already in our heads for years we just couldn't achieve anything concretely while the old vocalist was still around as he obviously didn't get anything of it. That's when thing started to get too far with him that we kicked him out and that we finally could reveal our true face. The album is the darkest and more accomplished and the next ones will definitely be in that vein. As far as I am concerned, there's no turning back.

This album features some new elements like Gregorian singing, which adds something obscure and ancient to the music. Is the incorporation of these kind of elements something you want develop further in the future?
Those elements were a part of some old songs we wanted to use, something like nine or ten years ago, but for the reasons I stated before, we couldn't. I don't know if we will use some of those chants in the future, but we will use what is necessary to achieve and render the right feeling, as good as possible, of every song we will create from now on.

The production of the new album is icy-cold and sharp but still with enough definition luckily. Is this sound something you set out to reach from the beginning or did this develop during the recording process?
Harris Johns (the producer) came to my place two days before the actual recording started; he knew that this album would be something important for us regarding all what happened lately. So he came here and we talked about the production and the most interesting of all he wanted to talk about the concept, he wanted to have some photocopies of the lyrics etc. We drank some special Belgian beers while talking about our beliefs and about his ancestors etc, and then he knew what kind of production 'Tetra Karcist' needed. We heard the final result one month later in Berlin: amazing, just how we were figuring out the whole album in our heads.

With a new album under your belt, I take it you're going to tour in support of the new record. When will you be on tour and with whom?
We will do an extensive tour, first starting through Europe and Scandinavia in November/ December co-headlining tour with Gorgoroth and supported by Tyrant from Sweden. Then we are working on some dates overseas for the United States and Asia.

Besides touring what are your plans and goals for the future? What do you still want to achieve with Enthroned after your seventh album? Does Enthroned still has ambitions to fulfil?
Everyone has ambitions to fulfil, a man without a goal or without any new challenges can as well be dead meat. We will then start to work on the successor to 'Tetra Karcist' and we have some more ideas for other projects as well.

Thank you for your time and effort and of course the final words are for you.

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