Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Interview with Dayal Patterson, author of the upcoming book "Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult"

Tonight Lachryma Christi has for you a different interview. Not with a band but with a writer. Dayal Patterson is a British writer who has been contributing with some metal magazines, such as Metal Hammer (UK), for example. He is also a photographer but right now he is about to release his own book about Black Metal, called Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult. (Read more about it here:
The book should be out in November. It has around eighty interviews to Black Metal bands, among other things, so it should be a very interesting reading.

How did your life as a metal writer started? Besides Metal Hammer, Record Collector and The Quietus, where else have you been working? What has been your path?

I was (and still am) a photographer originally and fell into writing by accident after creating a fanzine (Crypt) and then being asked to write and/or photograph for bigger metal magazines on the strength of that. I worked regularly with Terrorizer from about 2003 to 2010 and for Metal Hammer since 2006 (originally for their extreme metal imprint but branching into the main mag soon after). From there I guess I expanded somewhat more consciously, hence The Quietus and Record Collector (and some others). I still take photos and do retouching/design work though.

Why a book about Black Metal, and not another genre? Is this your favourite kind of music? Your favourite kind of metal music?

Both, probably. I listen to a lot of different styles of music – both within metal and outside of it - but black metal is probably the one I spend the most time with. I also felt that there was more to say about black metal because of the huge variety of music and ideas the genre contains, and also that someone needed to write an accurate book, if only to balance and counter some of the misleading written/filmed  material out there and highlight some of the more overlooked artists.

How was it to write Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult? How long did it take?

It was certainly easy to motivate myself to write it because this is a passion, and I really enjoy digging up information that hasn’t been told before. The practical side of writing a 600 page tome covering over thirty years of activity and evolution wasn’t easy at all however, and it has been a four year journey to bringing this book to the readers (plus another decade or so preparation as a fan I suppose).

 In your book you feature so many bands, there are so many interviews to renowned bands, was it “easy” to reach all these musicians? Did you meet them all in person, or did you have to contact them more remotely?

It varied hugely to be honest. Some of the bands and artists I already knew on a personal level, some were friends of friends and others were complete strangers (and a few still are). Black metal musicians are not – generally speaking – the most forthcoming or organised people and so that obviously presented a challenge and required a huge amount of patience, not to mention a fair bit of detective work at times. Surprisingly perhaps, the bigger bands were maybe the easiest to hook up with I guess because they have press agents and managers to organise things, it was the bands who were smaller or inactive that were more of a headache. A big factor in getting them involved was the collaborative approach I took I think. In terms of the actual interviews, some I did some in person, lots by phone, some by online conversations and even a few by email.

What was the band/artist that gave you more pleasure to interview? Why?

There are about eighty interviews and it would be very hard to choose one to be honest. The first meeting with the founders of Mayhem (Necrobutcher and Manheim) was very memorable, and was kind of where the book started. But finally interviewing all of Mysticum was also very rewarding, talking to Cronos and King Diamond for such a long period of time meant a lot, reaching Snorre Ruch of Thorns meant a lot at a personal level,  Kristoffer from Ulver was a pleasure to interview… etc etc. Too many to choose basically.

Is there any part of the history of Black Metal or phase of Black Metal history, if we can put it that way, that you think is missing in your book? Was there any important subject or were there any remarkable bands you left behind for any reason?

I would hope not actually. Of course, even in a book with some 210,000 words you have to be as concise and selective as possible, but I don’t think anything important has been left out. On the contrary, unlike those writers and film makers which focus solely on either Norway, the early nineties, or the contemporary scene, this book looks extensively at bands from the last three decades. The emphasis for this particular book is evolution (hence the name) and influence, so I have chosen to focus primarily on bands that broke new ground musically or culturally. So it wasn’t possible to report on all the good (but perhaps not so original) bands out in, say, South America or Asia at the moment. But there’s plenty of time for that I guess.

What do you expect from the public with this book? Do you expect to instruct them, or do you think it will be something people will consult when necessary? It is a massive work, hard to imagine someone having it on their bedside table :)

That depends on the size of your bedroom table ;)
I think this book is capable of both educating and entertaining those who are new to the genre, while also being packed full of new information for people who have (like me) followed this movement for the best part of two decades. There is a lot of new stories and that was one of my main concerns; digging for the truth and offering new perspectives on events that have been much reported (and misreported).

If you had different conditions (let’s say for example different budget, different deadline, different timing/era), do you think you would change anything on your book? Any regrets so far?

I regret nothing! :)  I only started shopping for a publisher two thirds of the way into the book and I can say from the bottom of my heart that I would not have released this had I not been completely satisfied with it. A different era? No, I would say this is actually the perfect time for writing a book like this, because most of the main protagonists are still alive and creating music, but have also had the benefit of time to reflect on the real meaning of things.
There was no deadline for the project (or I sure as hell would have done it in less than four years!), I just worked until it was complete. Unfortunately there was also no budget, and if there had been I might have hired an assistant to send all the millions of emails necessary and do the other boring admin stuff.

Music apart, what are you reading right now? What is your bedside table book?

To be honest, I only read non-fiction, mainly biographies and books about music, politics, philosophy, crime and so on. The last book I read was a compilation of Nick Kent  articles. Lately there is no bedtime book due to being caught up in book promotion duties!

What is your favourite writer? Music or other, doesn’t matter.

I couldn’t name one actually, would be like naming a favourite band. Boring answer but an honest one!

Have you thought of writing something different, other than music related?

I think a time may come when I do look at branching out a bit, yes. I’m not a writer whose interviews focus solely on chords and song structures anyway, I’ve always looked a little deeper into digging out the character of the musician and touching upon subjects outside of music. I’m fairly sure I could do the same with people of other walks of life.

What about new writers, people starting their journey as a music writer, what is your advice?

That’s a hard one because my route into writing was a bit unusual – I mean, I’m sure creating your own paper zine/magazine would still be a good way to catch an editor’s eye but it might be of a time-consuming way of doing it. I think these days you’re probably best off getting some work experience at a magazine for a few weeks (I didn’t do that, but most people I meet in the music journalism business seem to have) and writing for online mags until you get a chance to contribute to a printed magazine. Maybe keep your best examples of your work and send them periodically to people you’d like to write for.

Anything else you would like to add to Lachryma Christi readers?

The book is out 12 November, you can preorder it now at and/or sign up to the facebook page ( for updates and other information. Thanks for the interview and interest, and for supporting black metal bands on your site!

Read more about Dayal Patterson and his book on:

    Wednesday, August 21, 2013

    Interview with Hecate Enthroned (UK)

    So, as promised, after a month off as in holidays, Lachryma Christi is back with an interview with Hecate Enthroned, Black Metal band from UK. Sadly, many people stopped believing the band still had a future, but looks like things are going pretty well this year, after all they got a new vocalist, Elliot, who suits very well the position, and they just finished recording their new album. 
    Lachryma Christi had the pleasure to interview one of the former bands of Hecate Enthroned, the bassist Dylan Hughes, let's see what he has to say about these and other matters.

    Why Hecate Enthroned? Is it about Hecate the Greek goddess?

    Her name is usually thought to be a derivation of the Greek word for ‘will’ or to move directly meaning ‘She who works from afar’ and she or various incarnations of her do appear in many cultures and mythologies, such as Hebrew, Persian and European.  The Queen of the witches sabbat is none other than Lilith, known in Persian mythology as AZ or Jeh, the harlot who is embodiment of sexual power.  We use the European Hecate; the triple goddess who is mother of death, shades, witchcraft and necromancy. In the Manichaean Erigious tradition, Az came first to the blackness of hell, before the fallen angels came to earth and when Lucifer or Azazel fell they joined and Az became the bride of the devil and this is basically the tradition we take with Hecate – Lilith, Baphomet and we incorporate the Baphomet, Goat of Mendes in our logo as Az -Lilith - HECATE is Lucifer, Satan's (which ever name you choose) Concubine.

    How did the band start? Hecate Enthroned have been around for such a long time, how has it been to survive to so many changes and tendencies in Black Metal?

    The band started in North Wales as a thrash/death metal band in the early 90’s before becoming Hecate Enthroned in 1995 and playing Black Metal on the demo AN ODE FOR A HAUNTED WOOD.  It started as a group of friends wanting to play and create extreme metal and with an interest in the darker arts.  Members changed as the band developed but the original passion to create dark extreme metal remained and i think that’s why we have outlasted a lot of other bands and continue to exist as to us it is all about our music and the love for what we do.  It has never mattered to us what other bands do or what is popular in the scene, we always continue with our own goals.  If you have the passion and belief in what you do then nothing can distract or halt you.

    This year you acquired a new vocalist, Elliot, how has it been to work with him? Since you had a few different vocalists along the time, do you think Elliot is there to stay? Changing vocalist is always a huge thing, it always changes a bit the soul of a band, do you think this change brought anything new to Hecate Enthroned?

    Yes Elliot joined us this year and has only had a few months with us now and played one show.  He has been a very welcome addition and his enthusiasm and input has been a boost for the band and is helping to drive us on and create more.  He has a great voice and an impressive range, he sits perfectly with our Black and Death Metal style and his delivery is powerful and aggressive while live he has a very dramatic and theatrical style.  Already he fits in very well with us personally and professionally and will be with us a long time we hope.  We haven’t had to change anything in our style as his vocals fit perfectly with our sound and the old material is sounding better than ever.  When we come to writing new material with him we will discover more and that is when he will shine i think as he has recorded and wrote lyrics to our new upcoming album and it sounds amazing.

    Apart from Elliot, who is also vocalist in Aeternum, does any other member of Hecate Enthroned play in side projects?

           There are some side projects within the band but at the moment these are on hold due to the current HECATE schedule.  Andy was up to recently playing with Colonel Blast, Gareth with Northern Terror and Gorgonik with Nigel and i was with Art of Mutilation and Nierty.  Maybe these will pick up when there is more time. 

    What have been your biggest influences during all these years?

    As a band besides various other bands and other art forms our biggest influence has been creating and maintaining our legacy, to drive forward using all the negativity thrown at us.  Our environment and experiences in life also.  But our biggest influence has been our fans, we have been lucky to have probably the most loyal and incredible fans out there who have constantly supported us and driven us on to produce for them. 

    What are your lyrics about usually? What is the main idea you try to transmit to your public?

     Our lyrical content has always been satanic based as i outlined in the first question and this theme has continued through all our albums and material.  Whether this has been delivered through a more ritualistic and witchcraft based guise as with the early albums or a more directly personal satanic assault on the later releases. Always blended with a large dose of anti-Christianity and this won’t change.  Elliot’s style of writing is more along the ritual witchcraft line and he likes to tell a story with his lyrics and take the listener on a journey through each song and that’s how we compose our songs as individual pieces to a larger puzzle.

    Looking back, which of your albums do you think had more impact in Black Metal history?

    I think most bands would say the first release as being the most historic and influential and that can be said for AN ODE TO A HAUNTED WOOD along with the first full length album THE SLAUGHTER OF INNOCENCE, A REQUIEM FOR THE MIGHTY.  But personally i think it was DARK REQUIEMS AND UNSILENT MASSACRE just because it was the zenith of our total Black Metal energy, it summed up everything we had created, experienced and felt up to that time and the feelings encased in that album will be felt through every listen. 

    How do you see Black Metal nowadays? What do you think about all these new ramifications and influences? 

    If a genre is developing then it is growing and it is healthy, we may not like a lot of the different variations within it but that fact it is developing means people still have the drive and passion to do it and to look for new ways to play the music they want in the genre they love.  I must admit their aren’t many newer Black Metal bands i really like or have interested me but the fact their continues to be so many new bands is a good sign and we do get some really talented bands emerging that play some amazing progressive Black Metal as well as blasting it old school.

    If you could chose an artist or band to share a stage with, who would that be?

    For me it would be Led Zeppelin....impossible i know, but there was a band that was not only incredibly talented and wrote amazing songs creating an entire genre; but despite becoming one of the biggest bands ever they never compromised.  They are one of the all time biggest selling acts and did it by never releasing a single and doing a very minimal amount of press or interviews.  They did what they wanted as a band and as musicians in a time that labels and the media dictated what bands did.  Respect.

    Last album came out a while ago, few years. Are you planning to release anything at any time soon? Basically, what can we expect from Hecate Enthroned in a near future?

    Yes we have just finished recording the new album; VIRULENT RAPTURE we are looking to start mixing and mastering with a release for the end of this year.  We are currently in discussions about a release but it is looking like November/December. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages for updates and for a new web page unveiling.  It has been a long time since the last album REDIMUS and this has been due to various personal and professional reasons but this new album will start a new era in productivity for HECATE and more regular albums will follow, backed by more shows and tours.

    Any gigs happening soon? Anything you would like to advertise here?

    We have a new booking agent and are currently negotiating a new management and label deal so fans can expect a lot more shows from us and not just in Europe but other parts of the world we haven’t visited yet.  So look out for future announcements on tours and festivals.  Our next show is in Liverpool at The Lomax on September 7th.

    Any special message you would like to leave to your fans and readers of Lachryma Christi in general?

    We would like to thank our fans for their undying support and Lachryma Christi for the interview and for those out there that are still to experience us.......where the fuck have you been?!?!


    Line up:

    NIGEL - Guitars
    ANDY - Guitars
    DYLAN - Bass
    GARETH - Drums
    PETE - Keys
    ELLIOT - Vocals

    Latest release:

    The Blackend Collection (2005)


           You can find more information and music of Hecate Enthroned in: