To start, can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
Marthyrium was born in 2006 from the ashes of old musical projects in which Tharngrist and Cannibal have taken part, the former founders that are still part of the trinity of the beast. A path that is still being travelled nowadays without signs of ending. The first revelation came forth under the title of ‘Rites of Vengeance & Darkness’ in the middle of 2007, released in tape format by the band themselves and limited to 250 hand-numbered copies. This first opus has been re-released in 2007 by Antichristian Front Records and in 2016 by ChristFuckingChrist Recs as a tribute for the ten years of the blasphemous existence of Marthyrium. The second revelation came forth under the title of ‘Morbid Omen of Devastation’ in the middle of 2009, released in 7’ EP vinyl by Antichristian Front Recs and limited to 500 hand-numbered copies. The third revelation came forth under the title of ‘Psalms of Plagues & Cult of Death’ as 7” Gatefold Split in conspiracy with ERED and released by Negra Nit Distro in the middle of 2014, limited to 500 copies. The fourth revelation came forth under the title of ‘Beyond the Thresholds’ in the dawn of the 2017 in conspiracy with BlackSeed Productions, first complete album after 10 years of devotion. The abomination has been summoned, the beast has been unchained… Marthyrium's lineup changed several times after the release of ‘Morbid Omen of Devastation’. In 2011, Balc (Balmog, Banished from Inferno) becomes the 4 String Sepulchral rapist, closing the circle so the trinity of the beast was complete again. After this impasse, the band continued travelling the path of darkness.
What kind of bands were you into when you started listening to metal? And what is it that makes black metal important to you?
The black metal is the vehicle that we use to spread our message. A projection of our inner darkness, a visceral expression of our inner chaos.
If I am correct, Spain is a very catholic country. Do you ever run into problems being a black metal band?
Yes it is and we don't care about it.
Black metal is a very crowded genre. How do you set yourselves apart from the rest? And how is Spanish black metal different from the Scandinavian version?
There is not a stylistical current or musical movement which can be labeled as ‘Spanish Black Metal’, simply it doesn't exist beyond a purely territorial approach. Due to this, it's difficult (and boring) trying to compare the music of two different areas or countries like Spain and Scandinavia. Each band always seeks their own path, regardless of what the rest do.
Where do you get ideas for the lyrics?
Knowledge is the key. We dive into many books, old and new ones, related to different themes like occultism or philosophy that inspire us to write our lyrics. Having a lot of sources of inspiration is the best way to grown as a writer and even as in a personal/individual way. We are directly influenced by everything that we learn throughout our life and all the things that we reach in the journey through our own subconsciousness. We could say that we have evolved / matured when it comes to lyrics, writing more visceral lines and focused on deeper aspects if we compare them with those of the beginning of the band. There are not special formulas, only dedication and patience.
How did you get in touch with your label? And do you really need a label these days (with internet and social media) to release your music?
Neither the Internet nor social media are enough, especially now. We prefer the traditional way, the physical edition in conspiracy with a label that supports our creation. In this case, BlackSeed Productions is the entity that decided to support Marthyrium with our path ‘Beyond the Thresholds’.
What goals did you set yourself when you started the band and did you reach any of them?
There is something that has always been in our mind since the early days of the band...creating the music that we want and how we want. It's a goal completely achieved without any doubts. In addition, there are more milestones in the path Marthyrium has been walking for ten years that we can also consider as achieved goals. ‘Beyond the Thresholds’, our first full-length, is one of them, an important one.
How do you write your songs? Does it always start with a riff or does it involve some jamming with the rest of the band?
All our songs begin with an idea, at times it comes from the individual work of Tharngrist and sometimes this involves the complete band in the rehearsal cave. Creating music is not a formula, is not a regulated process in which you only have to follow a sort of guidelines to compose something.
Music is something alive and the process to create it have to be real and dynamic also. Beyond the origin of the seed, the real important thing is the hard work of each member of Marthyrium to create our hymns.
You are described as ‘black metal'. This is of course because music has to be labelled in order to be marketed, but how would you describe your music?
It's possible that this label it's too simple to describe Marthyrium's music. Marthyrium could not be defined as the paradigm of classic Black Metal. Our musical background is very rich and that makes our music influenced by many other different sources out of Black Metal. All those sources leave their mark on our hymns and enrich our music.
How do you feel the band has progressed or changed sin since you started the band?
As we have told before, Marthyrium has evolved and matured since the very first song created almost eleven years ago. The path followed as s band is a process as the life itself, a lot of things have evolved, changed, appeared or even disappeared in both ambits. A vital process that marks our music and our life. On the purely musical side, the reflection of this process can be clearly seen in the complexity of our lyrics and compositions. You grow, evolve and seek to pass the barriers previously considered unattainable but that are now in front of you. It's easy to see that progression, you just have to listen to our first demo, ‘Rites of Vengeance & Darkness’, and then our first album ‘Beyond the Thresholds’.
Modern metal is always produced in a more or less clinical way with ProTools and other programs helping bands to create a slick sound. On the other hand you see that about every band releases vinyl again. Where do you see music go in the near future? Will vinyl take over again, including a more organic production? Do extreme music and a slick production even go together?
We think that it's important for a band to look for their own sound, that's the real way to grow and evolve. However, it's important not to fall in this modern current of overproductions, be restrained with that ‘clinical way’ and keep the music natural and organic. As we mentioned in previous answers, Internet and social media are not enough. Our musical vision is traditional, the physical format prevails always over the others. So we have been supporting vinyl editions for many years, since our ‘Morbid Omen of Devastation’ in 2008. We don't care about that other band releases, we'll do the things in the way that we want. We think that the conjunction between music and artwork should become a single entity, something valuable, unique and meticulously thought out as a whole. A concept itself, that's the way. This is something that a fucking mp3 of doubtful quality, downloaded from a website, can't give you. This is not going to change. It was the path for ‘Beyond the Thresholds’. We always try to be honest with our own music by creating songs that works both in live rituals and studio recordings. This is the perfect approach for us now and in the future, no doubt.
Are there any non-metal bands that you like and can recommend?
How would you convince the pope to listen to your music?
We do not have to convince anybody.
Finally, when will you be playing live shows to promote the new album?
There are some dates already fixed to spread the word contained in Beyond the Thresholds:
- 15th September with Antlers (Ger) and Lóstregos in Ortigueira.
- 23th September with Rimruna (Ger) and Lóstregos in Vigo.
- 18th November with Orthodoxy in Granada (Spain) + tba.
- 19th/20th January in Catalonia Extreme Winter with Dead Congregation, Graveyard, Ruins of Beverast, Altarage, Sheidim and tba in Barcelona (Spain)
There also other rituals in the way to be confirmed, there will be more info about them soon.