Interview with Altarage

Altarage have recently released their début album Nihil, a well cradted slab of abyssal yet technical extreme metal, previously reviewed here. The band took some time to answer some questions about this fantastic beast:

Hello and thanks for talking to Swirls of Noise. 
Hails and thanks for the support.
The brand of black and death metal you play is extremely heavy with a dense dark atmosphere, how important do you find atmosphere when it comes to extreme metal?
Vey important, but this must come along with the song itself, you have to have good material first to go forward wherever you want to go.
That said the technical side of the your song writing is also excellent, the musicianship is really tight. In a sea of bands that go for tone over substance how do you compare what you’re doing to contemporaries at the moment?
Not sure about it. We first and foremost do songs, write actual riffs. We came from the classic rock and metal school. You can be twisted and crazy but you must have the core, strong pillars and you can only achieve that by focus on songwriting. Don’t care about how others bands does their thing.
For a début album the production is exceptionally good, how much of a perfectionist are you when it comes to the sound?
Very much. All must be in place before enter the studio, well rehearsed. Later, things can be changed here and there only if the idea is good enough. We try lot of things to get the results needed, no matter what.
Who are your main influences?
Nothing specific, we listen to tons of different bands and different kind of music but regarding death metal we love Morbid Angel, Immolation, Impetuous Ritual, Bolzer… Bands that we like, rather than be influences.
The lyrics aren’t available on-line, and they’re so bestial it’s hard to make out whether they’re in English or your native Spanish. Can you confirm, and also tell us about the lyrical themes for the album?
In English, indeed. Lyrics are available inside the physical album. Lots of metaphors about life and death, questions about existence, different planes of reality, fear of your own mortality, the horror to be alive…
There seems to be an increasing number of metal bands these days who play without revealing their identities, what makes Altarage follow the same path?
Nihl cover art
Some of the members shares duties with other bands so we didn’t want to be compared or asked about this matter. Not that famous people are involved in cause we belong to the most obscure underground but we wanted to put the faces and names aside and let the listener focus on the band as a group of entities doing this sonic torment.
You’re playing your first show at Porto’s Amplifest later this year. Are you looking for other shows to play, or are you going to see how this one goes first?
Amplifest will be the first of many shows to come, we hope.
What other metal bands from Spain should we all be listening to?
Teitanblood is a must for sure, one of our favorites, Wormed, Looking for an Answer…
And finally, what’s next for Altarage after Nihil?
We will be supporting this beast wherever we can, and record a sophomore album, already written, by next year. The carnage has just begun.
Stream and purchase Nihil below:
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