Two of the most intense bands in black metal today have joined forces for a common release. Israthoum from Holland and Chalice Of Blood from Sweden contribute one song each for this split, which will see the light in the coming months via Daemon Worship Productions.


The upcoming release is bound to be a celebration of all things chaotic. A glance at the stunning cover that has been made public is enough to spark interest, but we thought we’d see how the bands themselves comment on it. First of all, despite the obvious fact that they are labelmates, why this collaboration?


“From the bands willing to do the split with us, Chalice Of Blood was the one with both concept and general sonority closest to our own. Also they said they had their song pretty much ready at the time, so it would imply no further delays. When we actually heard their track for the first time it was startling how it fitted like a glove-in-hand with our own track!” Arvath, drummer and multi-instrumentalist of Israthoum, says. “After getting in touch with Israthoum it turned out that the track they had was simply stunning, and that fact alone made it difficult for us to not collaborate with them for the publication of this EP,” adds Chalice of Blood.


It appears that the two bands attach great importance to lyrics and atmosphere. What is the direction they are taking on this split, then? “Chalice of Blood have always been quite primitive when it comes to lyrics and music; both elements have usually been more or less improvised during the recording sessions. For our impending return, this had changed for the most part, although this particular track was a bit different to the general course of action. The music itself was channelled during a sleep deprived state one late night, and quickly recorded the morning after. The trademark simplicity of the lyrics might be considered somewhat similar to our earlier works, although the topic of investigation is perhaps a bit less banal.”


On Israthoum’s side: “We tend to approach the works of Darkness in a different way each time, without making it too intelligible for those who read it, so as to create sort of a barrier by means of which not everyone is able to ‘enter’. For this song I used several theological literary sources as inspiration, adjusting them to fit the one and same perspective. The music tends to get more complex and strange with time, as we broaden our horizon. This translates as a general more obscure sound and eerie atmosphere. Yet we do not force anything into that direction. It all just happens naturally.”


Finally, with such cutting-edge material, how do they see the future of black metal? “Regarding the future of black metal, I don’t know and I don’t care. We only listen to worthwhile bands, and I would expect there to be other decent bands pushing the boundaries of the genre for many years to come. We might not be fighting on the barricades ourselves, but we will surely be around,” comes the bite from Chalice Of Blood. Israthoum point out that “the scene has become more mature during the last years, which also makes it easier to separate the wheat from the chaff. There are plenty of good bands with serious and devoted people behind them, assuring that black metal isn’t seen anymore as just another form of entertainment but as a dead serious orthodox movement to be respected and feared.”


Both bands are currently working on their individual albums, which should be recorded and (hopefully) released next year.

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