About Me

Interview with Acherontas

Greek Black Metal is one of my favourite scenes… huge and intense bands come from those lands… Acherontas is one of them! The band, mentored by V.Priest have once again, excelled themselves with their upcoming album “Psychic Death – The Shattering of Perceptions”… in this time of social distancing when concerts and festivals are being cancelled, Acherontas will release the album in a few days and V.Priest took some time to answer a few questions from Metal Imperium. 

M.I. - Acherontas is one of the greatest Greek Black Metal band and you’re back with a new full-length. What can fans expect of it?

Greetings, thank you for this invitation and the powerful support to the Coven of Acherontas as well. The new release is for sure a new step towards our path of progression and the listener will first of all witness this evolution. After the trilogy that has been completed with the previous offerings, “Psychic Death” initiates a new era of sound, will and perception for Acherontas.

M.I. - The last 3 albums were a trilogy… what’s the difference between those albums and “Psychic Death – The Shattering of Perceptions”?

All of the parts of the trilogy themselves as well as the new album are self-completed entities but still remain on the same spectrum, the woven path that we have laid for our musical and lyrical acts throughout the years. Although, “Psychic Death” steps a level forward, materializing the experience and dedication of all the previous albums in sound, severity and performance.

M.I. - Is there any correlation between the musical and thematic path of the trilogy and “Psychic Death – The Shattering of Perceptions”?

As with our sound, same goes for the thematic and lyrical concepts, yet each one symbolizes a new step, mirroring our personal and spiritual evolution. Our Art is strongly tied to our beliefs and perceptions, we become more solid and dedicated with every step, progressing, changing and yet loyal to our standards and esoteric axioms.

M.I. - Will this album have a follow-up linked to it?

It is very early to uncover such information, but of course there is nothing made in random, as noted above, our music is a straight channeling of our inspiration and experience, ever-changing and ever-evolving.

M.I. - What’s the message behind “Psychic Death – The Shattering of Perceptions”? What is a psychic death after all?

There is not one, or a clear, easy definition to explain and approach the subjective aspects of the album with, but to enthuse the listener to delve into with all of his awareness set to the cause. Psychic Death denotes the ultimate, relentless shattering of Perceptions, the complete unfolding of the Psyche. Across all the cardinal directions, the core elements of the Psychic structure detonate and flourish, risen and aflame as a newborn supernova, embedding axioms and attributes on the vital points of existence, on the ethers as in the depths. The uncharted map of man’s subtle anatomy becomes flooded with the governing universal force of Vitae, the arrows of Life, the nectars of Death and the flames of Rebirth. Conceived as a frame and a spiritual concept, the listener should dive himself into this visualized perception and further explore the contents.

M.I. - How clear an idea did you have of the musical direction for this album? How do you usually come up with the conception and guidelines for every album?

Before we begin working on new material and start recording ideas, we also have a clear vision and direction regarding the result, the sphere that will enclose the spiritual ignition that gives flesh and bones to the whole creation. The vision shapes the music and the music reshapes the vision, a dynamic process that is not a standard album composition process, but rather an esoteric outcome. What we really had in mind was far from driving the album towards a certain direction. There are many other factors, esoteric and internal that guide our inspiration and the creation of the albums, as has now happened with the recordings of Psychic Death. The musical outcome is just the materialization of the influence from the spiritual factors that drive the process and we are most of all loyal and faithful to our intuition, magical and musical, the full of our will imprinted on our Art.

M.I. - Each of your albums seems to be a pure and honest channeling of the Art of the Devil. What inspires you?

Our inspiration is multifaceted and drawn from multiple sources, both musically and spiritually. They are linked straightly and depending on each other, flowing out of our experience and empirical values. Declaring powerful axioms as Art of the Devil is something with higher meaning for us than just an immature Black Metal statement to draw some attention, as you can see very often happening in the nowadays circus of the BM scene in total.

M.I. - From a logistical standpoint, does recording in several places pose any challenges? Why does that happen?

Our members hail from several countries and we cooperate using several methods that nullify the distances, as if we were all working in the same room. It is not just technology that helps us, but a strong bond in many levels that we have created and so it surpasses the relevant distances.

M.I. - Is there a moment during the process–writing, recording, mixing, etc in which all the members are actually together?

There are several instances indeed, but this is not actually the point, our goal is to be aligned and synchronized, despite the mundane parameters.

M.I. - The only founding member is V. Priest. How complicated was it facing all the line-up changes throughout the years? 

In practical terms, it is natural for professional bands to have multiple member changes, the main point and task is to maintain a very strong core that emanates the musical and lyrical outcome untouched.

M.I. - The line-up hasn’t suffered any alterations since “Faustian Ethos”, released in 2018… has it somehow “helped” in the conception and creation this album?

It was surely a strong element that helped the Coven to mature even stronger, developing a very powerful core that is cooperating excellently in many levels, producing a solid and composed album in result.

M.I. - For the first time in many years, the album includes a track “Magick of Mirrors” in Greek. Why have you opted to do it in your native tongue?

This wasn’t the first time we used Greek, as we have done this in the past too, several times. There was not any limitation regarding the language, English, Greek, Hindu, Egyptian, Sumerian and many more, our inspiration derives from many languages and gathers elements from their magical vibrations ever since our beginning.

M.I. - The band often collaborates with people which you consider of high caliber and integrity… what’s their impact in Acherontas?

Every guest we invite and implement his Art into our releases is a special addition for our Art as well. There is nothing being done in random and our releases have always gotten a powerful boost, for which we are honoured and grateful.

M.I. - Nowadays, some believe the genre seems to be falling… what’s your opinion about this?

It has become very clear that the genre has been falling for many years now, gradually degrading since the early 00s. There were of course great exceptions but the quality, dedication and severity of Black Metal has drawn into commercialism, trends and tragic ignorance of the ideological cornerstones that once built and shaped the genre. As said before, the scene becomes a circus more and more every day, but there will always be several dedicated bands and albums that will stand out. This is not the same scene nor the same music we grew up with, Black Metal for us is not this circus we are now witnessing, nor the self-ridiculing occult charlatans of the last 10 years, nor the cyber goth BM trend of 20 years ago. We just laugh with all of this parade, feeling nostalgic for the old, pure days and devoting ourselves to our creation, artistic, spiritual, lyrical and musical. It is left for the listener to choose which ones to follow.

M.I. - What’s your definition of evil?

Evil is a tangible axiom, a living paradigm and a perception mirroring our human, inhuman and spiritual nature.

M.I. - The trilogy of your full-lengths: 2015’s Ma-IoN, 2017’s Amarta अमर्त, and 2018’s Faustian Ethos has solidified your reputation as one of the greatest Black Metal bands to ever come out of Greece. How’s the Greek scene these days? Any bands worth mentioning?

Thank you for your words, it is a great honour to be into such a parallelism. We surely adore the golden years of the Greek Black Metal era, the early 90s, the musical vibrations we grew up with and which made us aware of our purpose and inclination. Apart from that and later though, there is very little to be impressed by, as in all scenes across the world. There is quantity for sure, as there is a specific sound more or less, but this is not always connected to quality as well.

M.I. - Besides being the mastermind behind Acherontas, V. Priest has another project, the dark ambient Shibalba. Is there any kind of connection between these two projects?

Both Acherontas and Shibalba are parts of our psyche, channeling a different aspect of the same source. Accordingly, the connection is far stronger than it is denoted and made clear, not just two projects by the same artists that create different music on each release. On this level we regard every aspect our musical channeling, album, project and release equally important and powerful for us.

M.I. - How much impact or damage will the corona virus cause to Acherontas? 

The effects of the pandemic have of course been sensed as we have several cancellations of the last month shows already, but we are confident we will survive any practical or logistic impact of this crisis and make sure that we will return to those countries that had their shows cancelled, delivering even stronger in the near future.

M.I. - The new album will be coming out in April… are you thinking about tours or concerts already? In spite of the current worldwide situation, do you have any idea when news regarding this might be available?

The year already began powerfully with live shows and performances that prepared the ground for a dynamic acceptance of the coming release, regardless the difficulties and turbulences that the scene, organizers and the whole industry is facing right now. We are working towards more and more concerts in the coming months after the official release of the album.

M.I. - Once V. Priest said that the coven will stop breathing once he decides his work is done… doesn’t band the work collectively? Don’t the other band members matter?

As we have mentioned over the years the word Coven means a strong union above and below. It is not a just a term we used. Old and newest members know that and all people crossed our lines honoured for his sacrifice in Honor and pride. But V.Priest is the womb of Acherontas Vision. So it is a bit metaphorical his words but also reasonable that as he is the fountain of this Expression many things reigns by his core of empiricism…

M.I. - Final words to share with our readers please…

“Psychic Death” is due to be released in April, with some excerpts having been revealed already to the listeners... Stay focused for the coming full release of the Coven, breathe in its essence and rejoice.

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Questions by Sónia Fonseca