This is the band's second album, and the first album in four years since your debut 'Resurrection Ov The Kult'. In what respect do you feel yourself has been made the most progress since that album, apart from the standard answer of course that you have grown in composing songs…
Apart from the improvement in composing songs we have also grown in the conceptual and in the lyrical aspect. I wouldn't say that 'Resurrection Ov The Kult' didn't deal with the topics that 'The Crimson Sacrament' deals with, but our latest opus goes much deeper concerning themes like spiritual death and the adoration of the Lord of Lords, namely Death itself. The one that holds the magick key to both, the Beginning and the End. The Lord of the eternal cycle.
It is hard to have a very original sound these days, so it often comes down to playing it well, and that is just what I think of 'The Crimson Sacrament'. Somehow I think that a mix of Satanic Warmaster, Taake and Kampfar with a little bit of the Austrian sound like Hellsaw (just without those insane bridges to displayed on 'Cold') is pretty close without limiting Stormnatt too much: how do you feel about that comparison, feel free to react, since this interview is about you and the album…
In some way you are not wrong with this comparison. I also have to admit that it's some kind of honor to be compared with such bands. Since the release of the new album, Stormnatt often was compared with bands from the Scandinavian region. Stormnatt, as well as a many other bands, is influenced by Scandinavian acts. It's always difficult to find that one unique sound that fits to the music, but in case of the 'Crimson Sacrament', I think the sound and the music fit perfectly together. We recorded the album in our own studio and then sent the mixed version to the infamous vaults of the Norwegian Necromorbus Studio for the mastering, this might be an additional reason why it sounds Scandinavian and in my opinion there was no better man for this job than Necromorbus.
Since I am in a tricky mood myself today, I thought it would be fun to have the band talk about themselves and the music in their own words instead of just answering questions. So, in the flood of good and great albums of these days, where do you think lies the strength of Stormnatt and the new album 'The Crimson Sacrament'?
I can't say if 'The Crimson Sacrament' is a good or a great album, others are much more objective thinking when it comes to give a sentence about this. For me it is something above these mortal categorizations, because me and all the rest of the band have put all of our heart and soul in this opus. It's a part of us and we are truly satisfied with the result True believers will understand, others not. “The source of life divides and yet gets multiplied into spheres made of gold with crystal steps and walls of glass unseen by man.”
'The Crimson Sacrament' was recorded in May last year, yet was released not until March this year: first of all, how does it feel to promote an album almost a year after recording it?
It doesn't even feel a bit different than if it would have been released just one day ago. We still feel the same strength and power like on the day we started recording it. It's a power that catches you and doesn't leave until the very end. Recording an album comes from the very inner, from a very special mood and you are chained in a certain way, but still it's good to see and hear the final result that makes us proud.
Why did it take almost a year to release the album? Did you send copies for instances of a ready product and than it was a matter of time (read: negotiating) of finding a suited label?
No, the label wasn't the problem at all, because for us it was clear to release it through Ashen Productions. We are in very good contact with our label and for me it is always very important to have a good view on things going on. The delay was because we had some kind of troubles with the artwork. Let me say that we'll be a little more circumspective, when it comes up to deal with certain things. We had to change some details of the artwork on ourselves, because we found ourselves in a kind of rip off situation and then we had some troubles with the printing plant as well. I think you know how such things go.
It is very hard in a declining market without any serious new developments to get some publicity for band and album: how does this apply for Stormnatt, how tough is it for you to bring the album under the attention of the right audience?
We have strong support from the side of Ashen Productions and they did some really good promotion job in major zines as well as in webzines for us. Also the album is distributed almost worldwide and if you don't find it in shops in your country, I am sure there will be a local label or distro, which carries 'The Crimson Sacrament' in it's mailorder. One cannot influence who buys his stuff and that wouldn't ever be my intention to restrict it to a very special group of people. There's a devoted core of die-hards all over the world, but if somebody listens to the Crimson Sacrament without knowing Stormnatt and he/she feels this very special connection, then I know that we've reached the right audience.
In the light of the previous question: how is the album doing according to your own feeling right now: do you feel that you are reaching out to the people you intended, or are there still fans that you feel you can not reach properly.
When it comes up for a band to release something new the mind of the listener is always a little skeptic. I am sure that we've reached a much more expanded audience with 'The Crimson Sacrament' album than we did with the 'Resurrection Ov The Kult', but I am also sure that some people were disappointed, because they don't want a band to change. 'The Crimson Sacrament' is the first dive into the pits of the great Khaos, the return into an anorganic state, the recirculation into foul womb of the mother. The one who dares shall follow.
I can understand that you picked a Norwegian name because of the influences of the band, yet after nine years, don't you ever regret that you have picked a Norwegian name instead of an Austrian name. After all, Sturmnacht doesn't sound so bad either…
We picked the name because of our influences, you're right. It's also a kind of tribute I would say. In the nine years of our history I never regretted anything and for sure not the name we picked. I think it fits perfectly to the concept and the music. The night of the final storm, when death comes to take us. When the Lord rides the storms that bring perdition to all kinds of cosmos and bathes his true disciples in the splendor of his holy light.
I hardly ever use the bio leaflets that the label sends along, but there is one phrase that caught my eye: Ashen calls you “the Black metal elitists of Stormnatt”. If you happen to see yourself as black metal elitists, in what respect should Stormnatt or its musicians be regarded as such?
We wouldn't see ourselves as the elitist core of a so-called “scene”. We see Stormnatt just as the relics of a Kult long buried in Austria. There are so many bands over here, but almost none survives longer than two or three years. We are still around and that for almost ten years without changing our personal views about what black metal has to be, instead of changing we fall deeper day by day into the bottomless pits of uttermost possession and madness. I might repeat myself, but the only thing I can say is that Stormnatt does not consist of empty shells, but of true devoted souls. And that's an aspect rarely to find on Austrian soil.
At the moment I see two shows coming up: one on August 22nd in Trier Germany and one in Vienna on October 30th with Dornenreich. Is Stormnatt one of the many bands that also have difficulties in obtaining good shows (so many venues, so many bands and often so little visitors these days in Holland for instance) or do you keep the number of shows limited as a deliberate choice?
Germany has been relentlessly raped by the magick of blood, fire and death and so will be the show in September with Corpus Christii and the one with Dornenreich. It's not really difficult to obtain shows, but it's difficult to obtain shows where the elements of Stormnatt fit into. The audience is always kind of split. So when you play with such acts as Dornenreich you can't await maniacs to come that blindly worship the powers of spiritual deathmagick as on other shows. All in all why try to limit our shows in a year, because every show is something special, it's a ritual of our seven holy Sacraments, an invocation for the Omegadragon to wipe away the stars.
Connected to the previous question about live shows: are you working on some more shows, like a small European tour for instance, and in what respect does the label Ashen support you in getting shows?
Ashen does a lot of promotion and also organizes shows for us, but due to the advantage that our contacts reach nearly all parts of Europe we try to get the most shows on our own. We would like to play a European tour and it was offered to us for several times, but it was always cancelled due to the lack of competence from the organizers side. All bookers and organizers can get in touch with us if there is interest.
The band has been around since 2000, almost nine years now. What have, in nine years time been the “highs” and “lows” for the band so far?
Highs and lows are always present. Concerning Stormnatt we had the most lows in our line up, which has finally changed into a stable one and for sure the most highs with the tremendous support of our devotees, the release of 'The Crimson Sacrament' and all the promotion stuff, like an interview for a local TV channel. Hopefully there are more highlights to come, we are ready for everything.
Going on about the previous question: any highs that Stormnatt is still seriously aiming at?
In spiritual way of course, but I think I've already explained this aspect in other questions. For now we are currently writing new gospels, much more deadly and abhorrent. One track originally recorded for Sombre Records (R.I.P) will be featured on a compilation (to be released this year) and two split releases are going to follow. In 2010 there will be the release of the next album. Hopefully some more shows and touring as well.
What more is the band working on at the current moment, and when do you think the listener can hear the first results from that?
We are writing new songs that can be pre-listened on shows from now on. Just two or three new ones to give some impression of what the follow up will sound like. And believe me, it will be some really deadly and cruel stuff.
Anything essential I have forgotten to ask yet that you want to be publicized nevertheless in this interview?
No, nothing left to say. Thanks for the interview and sorry for the delay.
“and it shall come the time
that death shall be in me
thou shalt have great faith
and I will be with thee”
the Lord hath spoken