Interview with 1349’s Archaon

Norwegian black metal band 1349 have just released their fifth album Massive Cauldron of Chaos, a great thrashy black metal album that’s their best since Hellfire nearly a decade ago. On the back of the release frontman Archaon took the time to answer some questions for Swirls of Noise ahead of their European tour:

You’ve just released your sixth album Massive Cauldron of Chaos an it’s the best since Hellfire. How pleased are you with the way it turned out?

Archaon: We’re extremely satisfied with “Massive Cauldron of Chaos”. It’s by far the best production we’ve had on an album up until now, and with regards to the presentations it also feels accordingly great.

The production is fantastic and the album does indeed sound massive. How did you get such a great sound?

Archaon: Basically, we had some pointers/references ready before we encountered the studio. We we’re looking into pulling inspiration from (possibly) the best decade of heavy music, namely the 70’s. Also, to incorporate Bathory’s take on extreme-sounding, cold guitars mattered here. To crown the entire recipe, we brought in our FOH from America since 2008, Jarett Prichard,  to produce the album with us. I believe the result speaks volumes itself.

There seems to be a much bigger thrash influence on Massive Cauldron of Chaos than on previous albums. Was this intentional or did it just happen naturally?

Archaon: We’ve always had a thrash-gene in our music, especially “Beyond the Apocalypse” shows this I believe. Not such a strange nor unnatural thing, considering the fact that we’re all quite fond of several of the titans of the genre. But yes- this time we also felt that the album suited a more thrashy edge to it, so that side is emphasized to a great extent.

Do you have a particular favourite from the album?

It’s kinda tricky to pull out one, as I believe they all have got their own strengths to them- albeit in different ways… But currently, I guess “Exorcism” and “Postmortem” are the ones that I enjoy the most.

Have you decided yet what songs from Massive Cauldron of Chaos might appear on future setlists?

Archaon: As a matter of fact, we played a bunch of these new songs live a week ago, at the release party in Oslo, Norway. There, we performed 4 songs off MCoC: “Postmortem”, “Exorcism”, “Golem” and naturally the single, “Slaves”. Seems like they get the crowd going in almost a different way than the old tracks… It’s with great excitement that we now take the stage again.

Frost has been 1349’s drummer since the beginning, but doesn’t play live with the group any more, what reasons are there for this?

Archaon: I have no idea where on earth people get that idea,  Frost is definitely performing with us as much as he’s able to, besides his other band Satyricon. In those situations, we’re in touch with some truly great other drummers, that performs beyond our satisfaction. But, of course we always aim to perform with the band’s original line-up.

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What would you say have been your best and worst live experiences?

Archaon: Worst: I try not to cling on to these too much. But some are just sticking to your mind, such as when Frost & I were to open the Wacken-show in 2010 with firebreathing- and basically just blew out the fire of our torches… Uncool, indeed.
Best: The shows where you know that you’ve performed on top of your game and at the same time goes accordingly well with everyone else. Some of these are the first time we played the Inferno festival in 2002, WFF 2003 as well as Inferno 2008, which quite possibly was our best live show ever.

What does the future have in store for 1349 past the upcoming European tour now the album is out?

Archaon: First & foremost, it is Europe that is our focus now. We’re doing some shows in our homecountry before going out in Europe in November- you can find dates/info at our website, <>  <> . As we haven’t toured Europe properly for quite some time now, this’ll be great. Then, it’s over to the US at least once, if not twice, before the festival season sets in next year. So: The future is (a)live!

Many thanks to Andy Turner for setting up the interview. Massive Cauldron of Chaos was released on September 29th 2014 through Indie Recordings.

Catch 1349 on their upcoming European Tour:


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