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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Q&A with Satan's Host

Some bands make great music... but just never got to make it big. Satan's Host is one of them, and these peers of Iron Maiden are going back to explore their blackened power metal roots from their early years with the release of their fifth and latest studio effort, "By The Hands Of The Devil". Underground they may still be, but Satan's Host still haven't forgotten how to make darn good NWoBHM-ish music on this latest album!

Zetalambmary: Firstly, allow me to express my congratulations to the band for 34 years of existence thus far! When the band was first formed back in 1977, bands with overtly satanic names like this were still not very common. What prompted you guys to come up with such a name?

Patrick Evil: Originally, I wanted a name that would stand against Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin and all the other great bands of that time.
Evil Little Hobbit: Patrick Evil came up with the name when he was a teenager. He felt he had to come up with an evil name that was better than Black Sabbath.

Zetalambmary: You all are almost as old as the titanic Iron Maiden. In fact, both Iron Maiden and Satan’s Host seem to share some similar traits musically, such as the high-pitched wails done by the vocalists and the NWoBHM-ish guitar riffs. Yet you all have a lyrical theme that is dark and unconventional for a band that has a heavy/power metal playing style. So between Iron Maiden and Venom, which band would you guys consider to be a bigger influence on the band?

Patrick Evil: I would say that for me, both of these bands had a great fire that I had interest in.
Margar: Venom is a great band and I enjoy their work, especially “Black Metal”, but Iron Maiden has definitely been a bigger influence.
Evil Little Hobbit: For me it’s Iron Maiden. I’ve been an avid fan since I was a kid; both Clive Burr and Nicko McBrain have been huge influences on me. But as far as what Satan’s Host is all about, I’d have to say that both Iron Maiden and Venom have been an influence.

Zetalambmary: America is also home to the famed Kamelot led by suave frontman Roy Khan. Have you all ever considered moving Satan’s Host towards the direction of modern power metal by incorporating keyboards into your music and lyrical themes that deal with humane problems like questioning the purpose of existence and human solitude?

Patrick Evil: No, I would say I have always been a fan of the more extreme forms of music that are aggressive and guitar-cum-vocal driven. I do like keyboards if they are written in a certain way for the mood of the song.
Evil Little Hobbit: We have had keyboards in past albums, Patrick used to use them before, and the thought of bringing them back is always a possibility. I think the themes we have in “By the Hands of the Devil” does have a lot of questioning, but not on the purpose of our existence, but more about where we came from, what’s happening around us, and more about uniting against the lies and enslavement of the human race by governments and religious ideologies.

Zetalambmary: Do you guys think that there is such a thing as a “black metal star”?

Patrick Evil: It all goes into the conception of thought and mortality; it would be in the way you would look at the star. To me, all great people are different kinds of stars in their own way.
Margar: Sure, there are plenty of black metal stars.

The channelers of Satan - Clockwise from top-left: Leviathan Thisiren (Vocals), Patrick Evil (Guitars), Margar (Bass Guitar) and Evil Little Hobbit (Drums)

Zetalambmary: When Jon Nödtveidt of Dissection was still alive, he often criticised that most of the black metal groups that are active in the global metal scene aren’t truly satanic in the very essence of the word itself, but are “mentally passive, easily-guided apathetic flocks of cattle”. Do you all agree with him?

Patrick Evil: I would agree with him. I think that many people just follow like sheep and don’t strive to create their own sounds and beliefs.
Evil Little Hobbit: Yes. But that is just a human trait in any formal organization. The thing with Satanism is to live as an individual.

Zetalambmary: What kind of beliefs does each one of you hold and what kind of messages do you all want to bring across in the music of Satan’s Host?

Patrick Evil: I think as individuals we all have our own belief systems, mine being spiritual and Satanic. There are so many ways to open the mind; I think it is hard just to limit yourself to certain beliefs. I think there are so many avenues of mystery to be explored and applied in what we wish to attain.
Margar: I don't hold any religious beliefs whatsoever. Because of this, I like to leave the messages to the other guys. I care more about making good music than sending a message.
Evil Little Hobbit: The truth is in the unopened mind, seek enlightenment.

Zetalambmary: What are the 5 favourite albums ever for each one of you and which metal musician do you all admire the most?

Patrick Evil: I am not sure I could limit it to 5 albums. I would say “Blizzard of Ozz” by Ozzy Osbourne, “Heaven and Hell” by Black Sabbath, “Led Zeppelin 4” by Led Zeppelin, “Black Metal” by Venom, “Killers” by Iron Maiden, “Master of Disguise” by Savage Grace and many others.
Margar: Right now, it would probably be “Blackwater Park” by Opeth, “Sailing the Seas of Cheese” by Primus, “Horrorshow” by Iced Earth, “Viva Emptiness” by Katatonia and “Fate of Norns” by Amon Amarth. But that list changes about once a week depending on what mood I am in. I would have to say that I admire Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth because he is such an unbelievably talented musician and I like how he composes his music.
Evil Little Hobbit: “Powerslave” by Iron Maiden, “Melissa” by Mercyful Fate, “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd, “Sons of Northern Darkness” by Immortal and “Moving Pictures” by Rush. I admire King Diamond the most.

Zetalambmary: Since Harry’s rejoining of Satan’s Host last year, how do the other members feel about his contributions to the band so far?

Patrick Evil: With Harry, the sky is the limit. We can do anything we have ever dreamed of and more. There is so much room to grow and evolve as a band. We have such great chemistry together.
Margar: It has definitely been a welcome change. I am both proud and honoured to have the opportunity to work with such an incredible vocalist.
Evil Little Hobbit: Harry is stellar. He is a great vocalist, a great musician, a great friend and he has done all he can do to contribute.

Zetalambmary: The latest record, “By The Hands Of The Devil”, takes a nostalgic step back in time to Satan’s Host’s original power metal musical style and departs from the death metal musical style of the late ‘90s to 2009. How has fan reception of this new, or rather, old Satan’s Host been so far and how do you guys feel about it?

Patrick Evil: I think so far it has been an amazing reaction to this album. We wanted to go against the norm and invent something that has been lost for a very long time.
Margar: So far the fan reception has been great. It's satisfying to have something that we have worked so hard on be met with such good reviews.

Zetalambmary: Are you guys going to embark on any tours soon?

Patrick Evil: We do really want to go on tour because we live to play live. At the same time, we are loving song-writing and recording because we have so much fire inside of ourselves to create. We will tour and get the music out there to the fans, it is all just a matter of timing and to make sure we do it right!

Zetalambmary: Will you all ever consider coming to Asia to perform?

Patrick Evil: Of course, we know how passionate the fans are over there. All anyone has to do is make us offers and set up shows and Satan’s Host will play anywhere!
Margar: If the opportunity arises, the answer would be “Yes”.
Evil Little Hobbit: We want to hit every corner of the Earth at some point.

Zetalambmary: Before we end off, does any one of you think that Beethoven would probably make a pretty good heavy metal musician if he was still alive today?

Patrick Evil: I think he would make the ultimate metal musician, you can hear it in all of his works. Give him the technology we have and music would explode from him!
Margar: Without a doubt. Since metal has roots embedded so deep into classical music, he would probably be undeniably great.

"By The Hands Of The Devil" was released on 3rd May, 2011 through Moribund Records.

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