From the ashes of several previous bands and the eerie corners of Sweden came Head of the Demon. In the eighth year of their existence, they are about to release their third album, aptly named as Deadly Black Doom, on Walpurgis Night, the 30th of April.
Their sound shares several characteristics with the “ancient occult black metal” bands like Mortuary Drape or Negative Plane. But first and foremost, the most defining sound of the band, which still strongly exists on the new album, is the doomy slow pace and the masterful use of heavy repetition that puts you in a hypnotized state. Very few lyrics are uttered in each song, but they are always carefully chosen to complete the work thematically.
The hypnotizing doomy approach to black metal is the one you can find in several other contemporary acts like Faustcoven, Occultation, or Cemetery Lights. Even with this, Deadly Black Doom actually does not come off as monotonous. There is enough going on to keep the album always dynamic, perhaps even more than previous two albums this time around. Some fresh variation in sound like the eastern melodies in the outro of En to Pan is integrated into the flow of the album really well.
As with the previous output, Deadly Black Doom is coming out by the collaboration of The AJNA Offensive / Invictus Productions. Below, you can listen to the album in full, exclusive to Ride Into Glory and read the interview with Konstantin, the main mind behind Head of the Demon.
You always called your sound “black doom metal” and now it is the title of the new album, which is also the third release of Head of the Demon. You also said in the past that you like the idea of trilogies. Does this all mean Black Doom Metal is the closing chapter of this story? Or does “the demon” still have more to say?
Deadly Black Doom is both a title and a statement. And judging from the state of the current world it couldn’t have come in a better time, wouldn’t you say? The title is how we have come to identify our music when pushed to categorize and label it. We released our debut album in a time (2012) when ”occult rock” and ”occult doom” was peaking. So when constantly asked if we were one of the previous categories we started calling us Deadly Black Doom. Since we felt that we were embarking on our own untrodden, unknown and obscure musical path.
I guess one can sum this release up as a trilogy in terms of being a synthesis of the first and second album, so it does close a chapter and begins a new one. But the Demon’s head has plenty more to say, rest assured.
Head of the Demon is an act of art that is strongly related to the topics you deal with in lyrics instead of the lyrics being some kind of afterthought to go with the music. When creating new pieces for this album, which inspiration came first, lyrics or the music?
Music always comes first, and then afterwards we outline the lyrics and try to put words on what the music is about.
Music of Head of the Demon, while inherently feeling “occult and evil”, puts the mind into a very relaxed, hypnotised-like state. How would you say this balance of two extremes comes to be?
Head of the Demon needs to be listened to from a certain state of mind I believe. If you are not in that meditative and receptive state the music will push you there if you give it a proper listen. Which is where it works best. I am guessing that it comes from the intelligence behind the music itself, that if you allow it to take you one a journey it will.
Does the writing process also have a meditating effect on you similar to what output has on the listener? Especially considering you had made somewhat of a “switch in genres” when you started Head of the Demon, does the music come more naturally to you now compared to writing of, say, debut full-length?
We write music in pieces as streams of consciousness and often arrange and re-arrange it later on in the process. It is foremost when the piece is fully written and we rehearse to verify its quality that the strongest meditative states occurs. If you go into trance-like states from it then it has filled its purpose, so to speak. The debut came as a ”bang” in pretty much a short period of time, out of of this world, and now we are working on unfolding it. So from there on the writing has come quite constant, sometimes as bangs and sometimes from longer periods of creative inertia.
From the beginning, you always worked with The AJNA Offensive/ Invictus Productions. However, this is not your first and only band so you have experience with other labels too. Would you say working with a label that is on the same page with you as far as the art piece goes is a big factor to ease the whole writing and releasing process?
Oh lord yes! Both these labels embrace our approach to our art and let us have free hands in pretty much every aspect of it. Which is essential in maintaining inspiration and creativity.
Is there any specific reading (books, novels, anything) you would recommend to go along with Black Doom Metal?
Specific no. But if one is acquinted with the Sinister Path it does aid in understanding the various levels and depths of the album.
Any final words you would like to add about Black Doom Metal or otherwise?
Deadly Black Doom is upon us!