Interview with guitarist and vocalist Corpselord
Interview conducted by Luxi Lahtinen
Date online: June 22, 2021
Lord of Pagathorn used to be one of the northernmost metal bands from Finland in the early nineties, along with the mighty Beherit. The band released one demo, The Chaos Spirit Among Us, in 1994, which was widely circulated amongst tape traders around the globe. Sadly, they split up in 1995 before things had a chance to take.
It was 15 years before some vital signs started to emanate from this old corpse again. Since the band relocated to Helsinki, things started coming together, one little devil's baby step after the other. The band's debut album, Nekros Philia, saw the light of eternal darkness in 2014 and a follow-up album, Daimono Philia, followed in 2018. The band also played their first ever live show at the Rites of North festival in Oulu, Finland, on January 24, 2020 (along with the Norwegian black/thrash horde Nocturnal Breed, Attic from Germany, Embrace of Thorns from Greece and their country mates, Curse Upon a Prayer), which must have been something truly special both for the fans and for the band after many years of waiting.
The diabolical Lord of Pagathorn hordes haven't rested on their laurels much at all and are working on new material for their third album, titled Age of Curse, which could be said has truly cemented the sound of what this band is all about. We contacted the band's founding member, Corpselord, to ask about the new album, some lineup changes, and naturally what the future might hold for them...
How are things with you? Have you perhaps suffered from post-traumatic syndrome due to COVID-19 as it has basically cut two years from all of our lives?
Corpselord: Greetings Luxi! Everything is good here because at this moment I am listening to the Age of Curse test-press vinyl. Also, everything is good with the band. We haven't suffered from the COVID-19 situation that much to be honest. Actually, all this quarantine time has been a very productive time for us. We have composed lots of new material and I have written the lyrics for the new concept album.
Sounds great! The last time we had a little chat regarding Lord of Pagathorn was in 2014 when you were about to release your debut album, Nekros Philia, on Woodcut Records. Shit, that's seven years ago and obviously a lot of things have happened since then. In 2018, you released your sophomore album, Daimono Philia, also on Woodcut. There's a recording gap of four years between your debut and Daimono. What delayed the release of your second album?
Corpselord: Damn, time flies too fast. Well, the story is always the same; most of the time goes into the making of the album cover artwork. As you have probably noticed, we want to make a good album cover which meshes perfectly with our songs and themes in the lyrics. So that is the main reason why it always seems to take time before we can send our releases to the pressing plant.
How pleased were you with Daimono... when it was finally available to the fans and curious parties around the globe? Would you say it was a step in the direction you have always wanted to take the band?
Corpselord: The final result of the album was very good, in my opinion. That album was a little easier to make because it wasn't a concept album. I mean, if you do a concept album, you have to know beforehand what kind of lyrics you are using in a certain song.
CHAPTER III: AGE OF CURSE
Fast forward to the present. Age of Curse, the band's third studio album, saw the light of darkness on May 21, 2021. Could you talk about the process of getting this album to the point of being recorded and letting your record company take care of the rest?
Corpselord: Making the album was a long process. Our drummer Hellwind left the band after our second album, Daimono Philia. So, we had to look for a new drummer but luckily the answer was right under our noses. A drummer named Skalder was the answer, but he was abroad at that time. Luckily, we had already composed material for the next release, so I sent some pre-demo material to Skalder and asked his opinion and if he had any interest in joining our ranks. One year passed quickly and we ended up at our rehearsal place in June 2018. After a couple of rehearsals, we asked Ronitor to handle the bass and Skrubb moved from bass to second guitar because I felt that our new material needed two guitars. In May 2019, we started the album recordings. The drums were first, recorded in the city of Varkaus with K. Laanto (Unhoped) and then the rest of the instruments were recorded by Ronitor during the year of 2019 in the capital area of Finland.
All the material was ready for the mixing at the beginning of 2020, but we had to wait a few months before Trollhorn (Trollhouse Audio) started on the mixing and mastering process because he was completely booked with Finntroll during the whole spring. Also, Ronitor worked a long time on the cover artwork. In the end, everything for the release turned out be more than we hoped. The album sounds how we wanted it to sound and I must say that the cover artwork looks stunning, too.
Were there any minor or major obstacles (besides the lineup change) while you were writing the songs for this album?
Corpselord: Like I said in answer to an earlier question, we had only some lineup problems before the Age of Curse album recordings.
When it's time for you to wipe the slate clean in order to create something new musically, how much do you think of what you have accomplished on your previous releases?
Corpselord: Of course, I want to always aim higher and higher and make much better songs than what we have created previously. I am proud of our earlier releases, but I am sure we can compose much better songs in the future for sure.
How important and essential is it to stay true and loyal to your vision when you grab your guitar and start focusing on new material? Do you allow small compromises if you get stuck creatively or do you wait until you've found the right inspiration and mood to carry on again?
Corpselord: It is very important to stick to your vision. If I end up with writer's block or the wall or other things that don't really fit in a song, then it is better for me to stop and wait for better inspiration.
I am curious to know how much your fellow partners in crime contributed to the songwriting process on this new album.
Corpselord: For the earlier releases I wrote all the material before we started to rehearse anything. Most of the time we did not make any changes. This time it started in the same way, I wrote most of the material beforehand but at our rehearsal place everyone in the band brought in their own ideas, for example guitar leads, solos, bass lines and those kinds of things, how drums should be played, etc. Our second guitarist Skrubb is a very talented songwriter, so he also brought lots of good ideas, riffs, etc. for the songs.
THE LORD OF PAGATHORN SOUND
Having heard your latest album in advance, I must congratulate you for such an amazing job! To me the album sounds like you are more comfortable with everything that you are doing and have really trademarked a unique sound for Lord of Pagathorn. I suppose you see things in much the same way, correct?
Corpselord: Thank you very much! Everyone in the band can handle their instruments well, so the recordings went very well, too. I think the "Lord of Pagathorn sound" definitely comes from the players who are in the band. Also, we had a strong vision of how we wanted the mix for the album to be and how it should have sounded at the end.
One of my personal favorite numbers off this new album is a song called "Insatiability of Man", which is actually a pretty creepy, simple yet melodic number, but damn, it works very well. What is this song about lyrically?
Corpselord: To make it short, it deals with death. And yes, that song differs from the other songs because it is slower and the most melodic track on the album.
Another song off this new record that got under my skin instantly was "Prophecy of Androgyne Being", which is a straightforward and raw song, full of unexplained and dark energy, reaching its climax at the end with genius riff patterns and infectious melodies. Did this track come together easily, or would you say it was one of those songs on this record that took some extra time to get it finished?
Corpselord: That was definitely the song that took some extra time to fully complete. The ending part of this song was first in another song but eventually I buried and forget the song. I came back to the ending part again and thought there was something special in the riffs, so I decided to start making a new song. This time I had already made the second riff part, by which I wanted to honor to the old Greek black metal bands (Necromantia, Rotting Christ, Varathron, Thou Art Lord) and finally all the pieces started to fit together. In my opinion, the result turned out absolutely great.
Is Age of Curse a concept album?
Corpselord: Age of Curse is not a concept album, no.
The album has eight songs in all. Did you write any other songs that didn't make the record but may turn up on an EP or some other release in the future?
Corpselord: Yes and no. The opening song on the album was written sometime in 2014 when we released our debut album, Nekros Philia, and started to compose material for our follow-up record, Daimono Philia. I felt at that time that this song should definitely be an opener, but we already had one for Daimono Philia. It had to wait for its turn to be a part of a future release.
Who is behind the somewhat shamanic oil-painting artwork on the cover?
Corpselord: The album cover artwork represents the lyrics from the "Age of Curse" song. The painting was made our bass player Ronitor. Also, that album painting will work as a gateway to our future release(s) as well.
What are some of your personal expectations regarding this new album? Do you hope that it could also bring some nice gig offers for you later on when playing gigs is possible again, being it here in Finland or abroad?
Corpselord: Maybe it is cliché to say that we make our black arts for ourselves. But it would be good if the Age of Curse album also gained enough interest so that our current record company would be interested in releasing our future material, too. Of course, we are interested to play abroad if we get some good offers. But one thing is for sure: We are not going to play at any gas stations or the like because all the members in the band have done that enough already in the past.
Talking of playing live, you did this Steelchaos live-streaming thing on October 31, 2020. How was it for you? Was it something that you might consider doing again, or did it feel a little bit odd to play in front of cameras only, without a real audience's presence?
Corpselord: We have somehow tried to avoid playing live at all, but after the second album the idea of playing live started to not be such a bad idea after all. After our second album, we had enough songs for a live set. That Steelchaos festival was originally supposed to be a real festival but because of this COVID situation they unfortunately had to change the festival to the live-streaming thing. It, of course, was an interesting experience to do the gig in front of the cameras and for a few invited quests. But to be honest, I would rather play in front of a real audience instead of cameras.
Playing shows is a nice and very important way to promote your band. Do you have any plans to get some gigs booked for the fall of 2021, or have you already given up possible opportunities for playing live this year and are focusing on 2022 instead?
Corpselord: The next time we are supposed to invade the stage is at the Finnish Death Metal Maniacs festival, which will be held at the beginning of July 2021 here in Finland. But, of course, it is up to the Finnish government whether they will allow festivals to happen this summer or not. That remains to be seen.
Hey, that was all from me this time. I want to thank you for getting this interview done and wish you all the best with all future endeavors with the band. The last commentary is naturally left for you, so just go ahead if you have something in your mind...?
Corpselord: Thank you Luxi for your interesting questions. All of you, go check out latest Age of Curse album!
|Other information about Lord of Pagathorn on this site|
|Interview with vocalist and guitarist Corpselord on November 11, 2014 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)|
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