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In June, after a long break, the sixth album of the cult Norwegian sympho black metal band ANCIENT has been released. The band, which is considered one of the founders of the style, who influenced the black metal development, has created a very well-performed and composed album, which is obvious due to its high ratings in press and Metal Blade records. At present, ANCIENT are preparing the Night Visit support tour, and the "Night Visit" video you can see on various underground TV channels. In the recordings took part former vocalist Lord Kayafas, who did the vocal parts on "Rape the Children of Abel". The line-up of ANCIENT changed often, but now after Christine's (vocal) departure two years ago, it is still the same:: Aphazel - Guitars and vocals, Grom - Drums and percussion, Dhilorz - Bass, Jesus Christ - Guitars. Let Aphazel, bands creator, tells us his opinion about new album, musical concept changed, what he knows about Ukrainian scene and thinks about possible concerts in Kiev.

Dargaard: Hi Aphazel, are you satisfied with your work on the new album?

Aphazel: Yes, I am quite satisfied. It's never "perfect" everything you do, you know, but I think the result was very good.

D.: What is the difference between your albums, in your opinion?

A.: Well, I think they all sound a bit different, in the early days ANCIENT had a more basic and rough sound, and later on we developed our own sound more, and today we still have a black metal sound, but with influences of many other genres..

D.: What about female vocals?

A.: In the new album , we had a girl to do some vocals in the first track ( just some spoken parts) and in the last track Omega did some vocals ; )

D.: What is the last track about?

A.: It's about the girl who is haunted ( from the story in the title track ) who is out in the huge forest behind her mansion, and while she is there one night, she gets to hear and feel a lot of scary and mysterious things, and visions etc etc.. It's a kind of sonic horror "film" or at least that was the basic idea when we made it.

D.: Outro sounds a bit unusual, I have a feeling that it should sound more special to Ukrainian people.

A.: Well, yeah, it was actually just a track that was made here in my house, on my pc. Me, Dhilorz and Omega did it together, first we were just kinda playing with different kinds of sounds and effects etc. and in the end it turned out quite interesting and atmospheric, I think, even though some people would say it's mostly noise, hehe


D.: What is the meaning of "true" for you?

A.: In the meaning of "true" black metal : I think what matters is that you are doing what you do, cause you are really into with your heart and soul, and don't play black metal for other reasons, like being cool, or having some hobby, or wanting to play concerts cause it's fun etc etc.. but that you really have black metal in your heart

D.: What emotions make you create your songs?

A.: Mainly emotions like anger, hate, depression, dreams, the night, movies, etc etc.. I live quite like a Night Creature and not like most people who wake up early in the morning and go to work etc etc.. I kinda feel like I live in my own world a lot of the time..

D.: Were you a nice kid? Weren't your parents against your hobbie?

A.: Hehe, they were quite against it, they actually don't care much about music in general, but they were always rather tolerant and it rarely happened that we had fights etc. I think they realized at an early point that I didn't care much about what they were trying to tell me, and I just did what I wanted to do, so I guess they kinda gave up, hehehe, when I was like 11 I had my room covered with posters of metal bands, so u could not even see the wall-paper behind, hehe, they didn't like that kind of stuff, and dressing with spikes etc etc. but I didn't listen to them, so I didn't really have a problem, hehe, they did a bit though...

D.: Whose performances did you see and like lately, which festivals you went to as a spectator this year?

A.: I liked to see DIMMU BORGIR and CRADLE OF FILTH this year at Graspop in Belgium ( in june), they had a cool atmosphere and a good stage show etc.. in the past I remember I enjoyed the gigs of KING DIAMOND, MERCYFUL FATE, KISS, ALICE COOPER, MORBID ANGEL + + + . I also enjoyed the show of IN EXTREMO at Graspop, though I wasn't so familliar with their music..

D.: Which of the bands you listed in the previous question you have connection with?

A.: I don't know any of those musicians, just Sarah of Cradle.. a bit..

D.: Tell us about your first live performance. What kind of impressions you had about it?

ANCIENT на сценеA.: Our first performance with ANCIENT was in Bergen, Norway in august 1993, we had a session bassist ( from Molested ), we played as headliners of a metal festival, so there was many people there and so on, I still have the gig on video, we played in robes and corpsepaint etc, it was a good atmosphere and a good start for us ( in doing live shows ) I think

D.: What is your most vivid recollection from your childhood, and your life?

A.: From my childhood: maybe when me and a friend put Grimm ( the ANCIENT drummer ) up in a flag post so he was hanging there and could not get down, hehe, while people were around and saying we were bastards etc etc.. at the moment I don't remember anything in particular ( we could email it to u later, when I think about it more, hehe )

D.: What Ukrainian bands do you know?


D.: And do you like them?

A.: Yeah, I didn't hear so much of them, but it sounded quite good, better than I expected for sure

D.: Your personal life philosophy

A.: Do what you think is right and don't care too much about what others say. Remember that you live only once, and in the end you are alone…

D.: What is the most that you hate ?

A.: Stupidity, christianity and incompetence.

D.: Which of your own performances did u like the most?

A.: Wacken festival 2000 and Rochester, NY 1998, they were great gigs in their own way and the audience was really into it as well.

D.: In what country do ANCIENT feel most welcome ?

AphazelA.: Heh, I really don't think there is 1 particular country we prefer, cause it's different every time we play somewhere, but I think the places we feel best to play in ( cause of the audience ) is South America, France and Holland. But every gig is different, but these places are normally very good to play in cause the audience are really wild and enthusiastic about the performance, and that's inspiring and a good feeling for us.

D.: Which of the new- formed bands that you know could you call "promising" ?

A.: HORTUS ANIMAE, EVP, FAUST and AMPHITRIUM for sure, but.. I haven't heard such a lot of great new bands though, I guess I am not so much into the newer stuff that comes out, I am mostly listening to the same stuff as always before, you see.

D.: Should Ukrainian fans hope to see ANCIENT live in Kiev ?

A.: Maybe that's a question we could ask to you, hehe, I mean, if a serious organizer from Ukraine will offer us the possibility to do a gig there, we will come for sure, it's just a question of money and organization, u know. But we pretty much play everywhere as long as it can be arranged well and without problems, or bad promotion etc. We enjoy a lot to travel around and to meet and play for our fans all over the world.

D.: What would you like to say /wish to Ukrainian fans?

A.: We hope it will be possible to come over there and make some hell on stage, and I wanna thank all our fans for the support so far, keep pushing concert organizers to book ANCIENT, then it will happen !


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