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Astaroth Incarnate

Na het beluisteren van de dertig minuten durende debuut EP ‘Omnipotence - The Infinite Darkness’ was ik tamelijk onder de indruk geraakt van deze veelbelovende Canadese extreme metalband. Met de obscuur geschminkte zanger en rochelaar van dienst, Sam Asteroth, had ik dan ook een leuk gesprek over de band en hun eerste album.

Door: Koen W. | Archiveer onder death metal / grindcore

Astaroth Incarnate is a complete new band. Can you tell us who is in the band is and what Astaroth Incarnate stands for?
Astaroth Incarnate, literal meaning being Astaroth in the flesh. We are a Blackend/Extreme Metal band formed in October 2013 in Toronto. We consist of 5 members – Astaroth (Sam) (vocals/lyrics), Pablo (guitars), Ric (guitars), Sergio (bass), Emile (drums) and our vision is to bestow the ideologies of Astaroth to our hell spawns through our interpretations and relating them to our world and society of today. Our goal is to create extreme metal which feels limitless in its creative form while staying true to our roots and influences in metal.

According to Wikipedia, Astaroth (also known as Ashtaroth, Astarot and Asteroth), in demonology, is the Great Duke of Hell, in the first hierarchy with Beelzebub and Lucifer; he is part of the evil trinity. He is a male figure most likely named after the Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar. Are you guys that "evil" and is there a certain philosophy behind it, or did Astaroth just make a cool band name? ?
Our front man Astaroth (Sam) from researching and reading up on demonology feels strongly connected with the demon Astaroth and in many ways connects with a lot of the ideologies that surrounds his myth. Sam believes that through invoking the spirit of Astaroth within, we are able to connect to our spawns and talk about various aspects of life as we know it and further more into the unknown and beyond.

Now I don't want to sound like an insufferable know-it-all, but there are at least 28 other bands known in metal history that used the name Astaroth one way or the other already. Aren't you afraid people can't tell 'm apart?
Yes that is true. We actually started off the band name in the beginning as just Astaroth. Upon realizing how many other bands there are out there called by the same name, we decided to go with the name Astartoh Incarnate as there are no other bands that are called by the same name. We feel, it also brings more value and meaning to the band name.

Your brand new EP 'Omnipotence - The Infinite Darkness' is the band’s first recording. How difficult or how easy was the making it?
We have been working on these songs for the last four years since the bands inception. Everything was already written aside from the intro song Obscurity which we wrote upon deciding to put the album out to give the whole album a solid feel. We took our time and demoed all the 5 songs and knew what we were getting into before entering the studio. We also worked with one of our close friends Tyler from Monolithic Productions who pretty did all the recording, mixing and mastering and he was very understanding and helpful throughout the whole process so it actually felt quite natural and easy.

It seems to be impossible to me that this is the first record you guys ever made, so what's your history in metal music?
All five of us grew up with music one way or another. Whether it was metal or not, we have all been involved in making music of some sort. We have been in previous bands before and have put out recordings; however, this album is our collective effort in releasing something that we all feel will stand the test of time and a record that we are proud of in terms of quality of workmanship with a professional approach above anything else.

The EP sounds amazing, but why didn’t you add a few more songs to directly put out a full-length? I mean, the playing time of the EP is thirty minutes, and that's already quite long for an EP.
As we stated above, the songs on the EP were already written from years ago and we didn’t get to put an album out earlier because we kept going through lineup changes. Finally when the five of us came together and we felt confident in our current lineup, we changed the band name to Astaroth Incarnate and decided to put this EP out. We already have a few new songs written and are working towards a full length album.

The band plays a combination of black and death metal. And the last song ‘Re-Creation’ starts with a sharp thrash metal riff. The bio states that fans of Belphegor, Dying Fetus, Behemoth, Gojira, Death, Mayhem probably would like this. Can we assume that you are influenced by these bands?
Of course we are influenced by these bands along with many other bands. We don’t like to conceal our creativity by trying to just write one type of music. As long as the music sounds dynamic and interesting, we’ll keep drawing as many influences as we please and keep evolving as a band.

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Elaborating on the question above, could you name the five metal albums that have been the most influential on the musical development of Astaroth Incarnate?
Belphegor – Blood Magick Necromance, Mayhem - De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, Dying Fetus – Reign Supreme, Gojira – The Way of All Flesh, Behemoth - Evangelion

The promo for the EP has been out for some time now, so I guess the reactions from the media are coming in by now. Any ideas about how well 'Omnipotence - The Infinite Darkness' is being received by the critics? And do you really care about good or bad reviews?
So far we are overwhelmed by the features we are getting from all over the world. No one has really said anything bad but the full album hasn’t come out yet. We have only released a single so far and the reviews on that has been generally great. We have had a couple album reviews as well and those have been great as well. When the album does come out, we would love to hear what everyone has to say. We appreciate both negative and positive reviews as they allow us to analyse how our music is being received and what we could do to further ourselves.

You hail from Toronto, Canada. How is the general metal scene over there? And how's the scene there for bands like Astaroth Incarnate? If you would have to point out things of interest for metal fans that bring a visit to your city, what would you recommend?
In our opinion, it’s the most diverse metal scene that we have seen anywhere. There are metal heads of all races, ages, cultures and religions here. It’s quite an accepting scene over here and as long as you write solid music, make your connections and market your band properly, you will go places. Toronto being a major city, there are always tons of metal shows going on from local to big ones. So anyone visiting here can always look up upcoming shows, bars and events that are related to metal.

With a great EP under your belt a supporting tour would of course be amazing. Are there any plans in that direction, and if so, will you also cross the pond and play in Europe as well?
We have setup a few shows already and are in the process of locking in some more shows from September and onwards inside Canada. We would love to play Europe if given the opportunity as majority of the bands that we are highly influenced by are European bands.

You already played as support for Goatwhore. If you had a free choice to support one band, what band would that be and why?
We actually got to play with a few bands that we are quite proud of. Notable bands being Beyond Creation, Shining (Sweden), Origin and Goatwhore. We have a show coming up with Aura Noir which we are very excited for. There are a lot of bands we would love to play with given our wide array of influences; however, if there is one band that we respect the most out of anyone and we ever get to open for, it would be King Diamond.

And to finish the interview, are there any last words of wisdom you want to share with our readers? The space below is yours....
We, Astaroth Incarnate, would like everyone that listens to the album to look at it with an open mind. Read the lyrics, enjoy the music and make of it however that satisfies you. Also, be on the lookout for our full length album which we will be working on next to bring you spawns in the near future.

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