Interview with vocalist and guitarist Corpselord
Interview conducted by Luxi Lahtinen
Date online: November 11, 2014
Like most corners of the world, Death Metal became hugely popular in the early 90's here in Finland. Alongside this huge Death Metal boom there were a few bands that tested the waters outside the Death Metal genre. Beherit, Impaled Nazarene and Archgoat chose to perform a vicious form of Black Metal and paved the way for many other Finnish bands with similar black ink in their souls.
One of these bands originated in the small city of Rovaniemi, located not too far from the Arctic Circle. Lord of Pagathorn was founded in 1992 and released their first 3-track demo, The Chaos Spirit Among Us, in 1994. It became an insanely popular demo among the underground tape traders of the day. Like many other extreme bands in those days, Lord of Pagathorn called it quits before they fully spread their black wings of disease.
Who would have guessed that Lord of Pagathorn would be resurrected in 2010 and, with a new line-up, once again ready to spread their disease. A 6-track demo, Msilihporcen, was churned out the same year and soon after Lord of Pagathorn inked a deal with indie Finnish underground label Woodcut Records. A new chapter had begun.
The Metal Crypt contacted Lord of Pagathorn founding member Corpselord to ask about the band's second coming and the band's forth-coming album, Nekros Philia. This is no sweet fairy tales for lil' kids...
Luxi: It's like wine; the longer you age it, the better it tastes in the end. The infamous Lord of Pagathorn hordes haven taken their time finalizing the band's first ever full-length studio album over the past few months and it is going to be called Nekros Philia. What should the fans know about it?
Corpselord: The Nekros Philia full-length is concept album consisting of seven dusty chapters. I wrote the lyrics for the album in 2007 and we started rehearsing the songs for the album in 2010. Recording, mixing and mastering took place during 2013-2014. It has been quite a long journey leading up to the release.
Luxi: Before I ask some detailed questions about the new album let's go back in time for a moment, shall we? Lord of Pagathorn's history dates back to 1992 and you managed to put out The Chaos Spirit Among Us demo in 1994, a release that has gained "classic" status in the underground over the years. Soon after that, Lord of Pagathorn was deep-frozen. Do you recall what made you put the band on ice back in 1994?
Corpselord: Actually, we made the Rehearsal demo in 1993 before The Chaos Spirit Among Us demo in 1994. We are now planning to release both demos on vinyl format and it will be handled by Mexico's Satanic Records. We had to put the band on ice in 1995 because of line-up problems just before our next planned studio sessions. We were hoping to record more songs for a promo tape, because Head Not Found records, from Norway, was looking for a band to make a split with Gehenna. I think everyone knows the First Spell release very well nowadays.
Luxi: How happy are you with The Chaos Spirit Among Us today and how well do you think it has stood the test of time? It's amazing to think it's been 20 long years since it caused the foundations of the extreme underground Metal world to tremble...
Corpselord: For me, it doesn't feel like it has been over twenty years. I still remember the time we spent recording that demo (a well-spent six hours in the studio). I am still very satisfied with The Chaos Spirit Among Us demo 1994 and I think it has stood the test of time very well.
Luxi: On Christmas Eve December 2010 the Lord of Pagathorn legions gathered together again and eventually released the 6-track demo, Msilihporcen. Did you feel like the songs on this demo represented a continuation from The Chaos Spirit Among Us, with a twist of new ideas?
Corpselord: The Msilihporcen demo represents the beginning of the Nekros Philia album. The writing process for the songs on the demo was similar to how I wrote back in the early 90´s. I think Msilihporcen demo honors The Chaos Spirit Among Us. Of course, the new line up also brought some new twists to the songs.
Luxi: The Msilihporcen demo was released on cassette and 12" vinyl by Mexico's Satanic Records in 2012. How did this reissue come about?
Corpselord: I was contacted by the label a few years ago saying they we interested in releasing our earlier demos. They have now released Msilihporcen as a pro cassette and a 12" vinyl version.
Luxi: During that same year, Woodcut Records released a 7" of Lord of Pagathorn called Shine Throvgh My Scars, Morning Star! In addition to the title track this release also features a cover of Venom's classic song "In League With Satan." What made you decide to cover that particular song and were there any other candidates you had in mind for a cover song?
Corpselord: We had a few other candidates for the cover song but we ended up saluting the pioneers of Black Metal; Venom! "In League with Satan" is just a hell of a song!
Luxi: Now let's turn to Lord of Pagathorn's debut album, Nekros Philia. As was the case with your Msilihporcen demo the songs on Nekros Philia have been split to seven separate chapters. Was it clear from the start that you would follow the same recipe or was the idea something that you came up with during the songwriting process?
Corpselord: I wrote the lyrics for the Nekros Philia album in 2007 and it was already split to seven chapters before we started to write music and rehearse the songs.
Luxi: Lyrics play an important role for the band. Could you enlighten us about your lyrical contributions to Nekros Philia? How personal or fictional are they?
Corpselord: I was doing research and studies about necrophilia itself, about the rituals, human behavior, diseases, etc. related to necrophilia cases. After that I started the writing process for the Nekros Philia concept album.
Luxi: Was it easy to choose the album cover for this record and how pleased are you with how it turned out, I may ask? I happen to know that you united forces with Helgorth from Babalon Graphics, the figure directly responsible for creating it. How much input did you provide as to what you wanted the cover art to look like?
Corpselord: The cover concept for the album was easy to choose and luckily we had worked with Helgorth from Babalon Graphics before. I did not tutor Mr. Helgorth that much because he was easily getting into the ideas that I was presenting to him.
Luxi: How much did you have material ready for Nekros Philia when you entered the studio? Did you have a lot of material to choose from or just enough so that you had nothing left over...
Corpselord: I had made many "demo" songs, which I presented to others in a band, and we selected suitable ones for Nekros Philia before we started to rehearse. We really had favorable situation.
Luxi: How has working with Woodcut Records been for you so far? I assume you have known the label owner Mikki Salo for years, so working with him has been painless thus far...?
Corpselord: Yes, indeed. Everything has been good with Woodcut Records. Working with Mikki and his label has been very easy and painless.
Luxi: Were there any other labels that showed interest toward Lord of Pagathorn when you were looking to sign a deal? What made you decide to enter into a deal with Woodcut?
Corpselord: Yes, there were several labels that were interested. One of our main goals was to get our records released on vinyl and it's always easier to communicate with a label if it's located in the same country. We decided on Woodcut Records because they are interested in vinyl releases and we knew the owner already. Woodcut Records has released lots of good records over the years.
Luxi: As Nekros Philia will be released on several different formats, along with some merchandise, naturally, I was just wondering if you plans to shoot a promotional video for one of the songs? A properly made video is always an effective promotional tool, as I am sure you know...
Corpselord: We just released a lyric video for the "Chapter VI" song, taken from the Nekros Philia album. At this moment, we don't have any plans to shoot real music videos but I have been thinking of some ideas for a video and how does it should look, if we do end up shooting one some day.
Luxi: Are there other ways you have planned for promoting your forthcoming album? Getting the word out via the Internet is easy and cheap thanks to the existing social media sites and stuff but you cannot ignore the power of playing live, either. Do you have any shows planned?
Corpselord: At this moment we are working with three different record labels, Woodcut Records (Finland), Satanic Records (Mexico) and Witchhammer Productions (Thailand), so that helps to spread the word around the globe. We have also considered live performances and we have gotten some very interesting offers from the gig organizers around the world but, at this moment, we are not doing any live rituals. But you never know what may happen in the future.
Luxi: What can people expect from the Lord of Pagathorn hordes live? Have you planned something special for those people who attend your shows, perhaps?
Corpselord: We have some plans but let's keep them secret.
Luxi: Finland has become well known for its quality Black Metal over the years. There's a really strong and active Black Metal scene in Finland these days and many records are getting sold far and wide. Where does Lord of Pagathorn fit among all these other Finnish Black Metal hordes? Do you share a respect for other bands or do you feel like Lord of Pagathorn is its own entity that doesn't have much to do with the Finnish Black Metal phenomenon?
Corpselord: I see Lord of Pagathorn among the other Finnish Black Metal bands and we share mutual respect with them. I am not interested how much our records sell. I hope that a trademark "Finnish Black Metal" is not the reason people are buying the records. I hope people are really interested about the music and don't buy the records because they are cool or trendy.
Luxi: What about your favorite Finnish Black Metal releases of all time? Can you pick three albums and why you chose them?
Corpselord: Beherit's Drawing Down the Moon LP is a milestone of a Finnish Black Metal. Next is Impaled Nazarene's Tol Cormpt Norz Norz Norz, because this album is a fist to the face of God. The third album would be Archgoat's Angelcult (Tales of Desecration), the most brutal Black Metal release of all time.
Luxi: Is there anything in this world that you hope to change with the music that you create like trying to make the people on this dying planet realize that true evil lives in us, in our minds and how our actions are destroying everything that's really human in us? I know you are no preacher but I am sure you have pondered some questions about our existence on this planet, right?
Corpselord: The true evil really lives in us and we are destroying each others anyway. But if I have to wish for something then I wish that people will learn to open their eyes, think with their own brains and stand on their own feet instead of being cattle that follow their brainwashed leaders and obey beliefs and thoughts from old fairy tales.
Luxi: Okay, without going too philosophical in this interview, what pleases you most about the fact that Lord of Pagathorn is back?
Corpselord: It pleases me when I can write songs for Lord of Pagathorn and channel my visions through the band.
Luxi: One last question; what would you like to see written on the tombstone of Lord of Pagathorn when Armageddon is here and all humans have been wiped away?
Corpselord: "Death is certain, life is not!"
Luxi: Thank you so much for your time and effort to get this interview done. I want to wish you all the best with your future endeavors with the band. If you have any closing comments, here's your last chance to spit them out...
Corpselord: I hope that those who are interested of our band are going to grab the original copy of our debut Nekros Philia album because that way they are going to get possessed into the mysteries of Nekros Philia via the lyrics and, at the same time, they can enjoy the great cover artworks. Thank you for the interview and for the interesting questions, Luxi.
-Corpselord / Lord Of Pagathorn X / 2014 A.B. - www.lordofpagathorn.com
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