Thursday, 13 January 2011

An interview with ... Orcrist

Well, assuming you are reading this Blog chronologically, an interview with Orcrist was recently suggested based on the presence on their latest album "Fallen" of no less a person than our Austrian hero, Hugin. No sooner suggested than done!

Following Nazgul's last post, therefore, let’s briefly hear from the band about working with Hugin, recording the album "Fallen", and of all things Orcrist…

Welcome to Honour and Darkness, Grav
Hails Nazgul! First of all I wanna thank you for this interview!

Q1. Can you tell us something about Orcrist - the band members, and where and when you were formed, etc?
A1. About Orcrist, I’ll try to be concise but clear enough. Orcrist was born at the end of 1999; it was founded by me as drummer and by Bhaal as guitarist and singer. We recorded different rehearsals: among them, the first “Self Titled” and the second “Over Man’s Doom” (keep in mind that Orcrist recorded about 25 rehearsal tapes). After that Lucyfer joined the band as bass player: with him we recorded our two demos, the split album with Isvind and our debut album “Slaget Ved Trollheim”. Then Orcrist went back to be just me and Bhaal, for a short period of time.

Bhaal had a serious car incident and so I hired other musicians to create our second album “Black Blood Raise”: Ghosta of the deceased Italian band “Fullmoon Promises” as singer and Never999 of the Sardinian bands “Calvary” and “Tears of Christ” as guitarist and bass player.

In 2007 Orcrist changed its line up again, with the return of Bhaal as guitarist and the addiction of Lunedei as bass player (he was coming from the deceased Fullmoon Promises, too): we recorded two tracks for the split album with the Norwegian band Beastcraft. After that, Orcrist kinda split up and I remained the sole member. I then hired Mane (Defixio, Carnality, Baratro, Entity, Muculors, Aldebaran) as guitarist and bass player and Sacrifice of the band Mourning Soul for the vocals.

Our third album “We come in war” was then released by the Dutch label Apollion Records. Finally in 2010 Orcrist found a steady and final line up: my great brother and friend Goblin of the Norwegian band Isvind became our singer, guitarist and bassist, together with Mane. Goblin already wanted to join us for the recordings of “We come in war” but he couldn’t, due to some personal problems: three lyrics on that album were his anyway.

I think I am done. No, just another thing which doesn’t have to be forgotten: Orcrist also wrote the official lyric of one song of the band Ildjarn, which can be found in their first demo, and that didn’t have a lyric before. Since we recorded that track in the Tribute to Ildjarn, it finally has a lyric now.

Q2. The band name comes from the works of Tolkien, I believe?
A2. Yes, it was chosen by Bhaal, he and I were attracted a lot by Tolkien’s masterpiece!
[Nazgul’s note: Orcrist was a sword in Tolkien’s The Hobbit, nicknamed "Biter" by the Goblins of the Misty Mountains. Thorin Oakenshield carried the sword throughout much of The Hobbit, and it was laid on his tomb after he died in the Battle of Five Armies]

Grav
Q3. What is the philosophy behind your band and music - do you have a particular message or statement?
A3. With Orcrist we try to keep alive the true underground spirit that seems to not exist anymore by now. Regarding my lyrics, I mainly deal with the silence of nature but also with something else, which I can’t say during an interview…

Q4. Tell us a little about some of your past releases and where we might find them?
A4. I have already given you a brief explanation in my first answer, however our demos have been out of print since years and our rehearsal tapes never came out officially. Our debut full length is practically impossible to find because it came out for a small Scottish underground label called Desolate Landscapes, which doesn’t exist anymore, and our split with Isvind, limited to 300 copies, is sold out. I think that the other releases are still available somewhere...?

I don’t know about our split with Uruk-Hai: I gave away all my copies. People should ask Hugin!

Q5. Your recent album "Fallen" has just been released on Steinklang Records - how did you come to the attention of this Austrian label, and what is this latest album all about?
A5. Hugin talked to me about Max’s label and I must say that they are great indeed, they are serious and professional and they believe a lot into the underground scene!

To be more precise with you, when Hugin offered me this opportunity, he hadn’t heard anything of our album “Fallen”, only perhaps two simple rehearsal songs made by Goblin and I, with no voice and bass, just drums and guitars. Just think about that!

So our latest effort “Fallen” just came out: I consider it one of the coldest, gloomiest and most representative albums of the true UNDERGROUND spirit. The lyric of the sixth song, “On the Wings of night”, was written by Hendrik Mobus of the band Absurd in 1998: it had never been released before, and finally this lyric came back to life with Orcrist. I wanna take the opportunity to say hello to Sebastian and Hedrik!
Goblin
Q6. Hugin appears on the last track and I believe from the credits he wrote the music and sings the lyrics, although you wrote them: is that correct?
A6. Yes, correct, my friend Hugin composed the outro and he sang the lyric “The Return of Silence Part 2”, which was written by me.

Q7. How did your contact with Hugin begin - have you known him long? How did the decision to ask him to record with you on "Fallen" happen?
A7. I got in touch with Hugin not too long ago thanks to my friend Simone, just to purchase some underground items he had, then I talked to him about Orcrist and the story began. He immediately agreed to work with us - he likes Orcrist’s music a lot.

Q8. You also did a split tape release with Uruk Hai's "At The End Of The Third Age" demo with a rehearsal version of your "We Come In War" album on it - how did that come about?
A8. Hugin and I decided to create this split album but without the aim to make money out of it, it was just a split between friends.
Mane
Q9. What is your opinion on Hugin's own various projects and recordings - do you have any particular favourites?
A9. I think that all the music Hugin has created is great. I don’t have any special preference.

Q10. I think you also run the HOD label too, which has made a few recent releases including at least one Uruk Hai tape ("Battle Of The Southern Flame")? How is this project going, and are more releases from Hugin planned?
A10. My label has been doing great. I released our promo, our latest effort “Fallen”, the Valefar EP and the Uruk-Hai rehearsal, all on tape format. In the near future I’ll release the latest album of Lilyum, a compilation tape of Italian bands and an Orcrist/Inverno split.

Q11. Do you have any message for Hugin via the pages of Honour and Darkness?
A11. Oh yes, he is a great friend who will represent the continuation of the Lord of the Rings for all of my life. Stay necro Hugin!

Q12. And any message for the readers of Honour and Darkness?
A12. Sure! Guys, keep the flame of the Underground spirit alive!

Thanks for your time, and best wishes for the future!
Thanks to you Nazgul!


Nazgul hopes that these occasional interviews with artists who have worked and/or recorded with Hugin continue to be of interest. If you have recorded with Hugin and would like to see your tale in virtual print, feel free to drop me a line at the usual address: tall_dai@ntlworld.com

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