OTHENDARA play old school mid-paced Black Metal with a real dark atmosphere. The band formed after Hvelvengel Av Helvete split up. Both members have been active within Metal bands for years including the early stages of Nachtmystium.
The EP “Blasphemous Revelation Arise the Ancient Evil” was released by Northern Horde (Canada) in 2004 after the original label (Sombre) finished. Much of Othendara’s (and several related projects) material remains self-released under Helvete Cult and within the US. These are: Hammer Of The Witches (Demo 2001) Dae Of Nox (Demo 2002) Blasphemous Revelations Arise The Ancient Evil (EP 2003) Hvelvengel Av Helvete/Othendara (Split 2004).
You can visit the Othendara myspace here.
Todestrieb wrote to Othendara to hear a complete history, learn about the bands ideological background and find out any current news after a year or two of relative silence. Highest regards to Kriglord and Noctis for the thorough answers!
Interview with Kriglord & Noctis
01 August 2006
You have been involved in several projects since the 90’s, what was the first? How did you originally get interested in writing and recordings BM?
Kriglord - The first project I was really involved in was Hvelvengel Av Helvete. Interest was sparked almost entirely by the Metal I was listening to at the time, and by wanting to play.
Noctis – It all comes back to heavy metal, it’s the only form of music that truely spoke to me, It’s something that’s been apart of my life since I’ve been very young. It started with traditional bands Judas Priest-Iron Maiden-Angel Witch, naturally progressed into faster, harder things like Slayer-Venom, to Morbid Angel-Deicide, and later things like Mayhem-Darkthrone really made impressions on me in my youth, and it came out in my guitar playing. I began playing BM with a band called Helms Deep sometime around ‘98 or ‘99, with a close friend Azentrius of Nachtmystium.
What is the timeline of your bands?
Noctis - Helms Deep lasted 2 years with a couple lineup changes here and there. during which time (’99-”00) I began singing for Ezurate, which also lasted 2 years for me, H.A.H was created sometime in ‘2000 and was active till 2003.
Othendara came to life, I believe in the winter of early 2001.
As for other projects I’ve been involved with there are many, like:
Virgin Killers formed 2002 (80’s styled thrash, think Razor, Sodom, Destruction.)
Trist Vintry Vandre (bizarre BM), The Crazies (Heavy Metal think Mentors, Plasmatics…) and other current ventures which will be released as demo’s on Helvete Cult Rec.
You released a split between Hvelvengel Av Helvete and Othendara. Do you see Othendara as a completely different beast to H.A.H?
Kriglord - Musically there are some similarities for some songs, but in many ways I find them to be entirely different. Theme wise, they tend to be drasticly different. HAH is far more out right blatant, and set on being utterly, and completely hateful, and self righteous. Othendara leans more towards the imaginative, and further expressive, as far as offering, and creating, a wider spectrum of thought, and feeling with in the tunes. So yes I find them to be different beasts, so to say.
Was a decision made to end Hvelvengel Av Helvete then immediately start Othendara?
Kriglord - Othendara basically came about from songs Noctis and I had written. We had done Hvelvengel Av Helvete for a while, and we just started writing, and jaming some new songs, recorded them, and decided they just did not fit the HAH style. Thus we founded Othendara,… and that’s about how it came to be, in short.
Do the names Hvelvengel Av Helvete or Othendara have special meanings / translations?
Kriglord - Hvelvengel Av Helvete translates to Archangel Of Hell; Othendara is a name which came from a map of an ancient fictitious realm.
2002-2003 you recorded a lot of material. How much of this has remained unreleased? Do you plan to use either the original recordings or re-record them for future releases?
Kriglord - That was a particularly active time for us. Most of the material has been released, but some still is waiting. As for re-recording, I don’t believe we would, simply because we are always moving forward, and to try and recapture the past just doesn’t seem meaningful, nor the right thing to do. The past is where you grow from, and to reproduce it would inevitably, in my mind, lead to stagnation.
How do you rate each Othendara release, how did you change/progress with each recording?
Kriglord - Each album showcased a rise in ability, and from the first three there is a very large distinction between lyrical subject matter. For each the process was very much the same, and there wasn’t any equipment change.
Hammer of the Witches, which contains our first recordings (and some of my very first songs), I wouldn’t rate very high, but I still retain pride for what we were able to create. The production is vile, and the songs aren’t my proudest moments, but I do believe we were able to create, and tap into a very interesting sound/mood.
Dae Of Nox, showed a large improvement in production, and ability, and I think really brought forth more of the sorrowful melodic elements than any other work of ours. I would rate this very high, and would consider a couple of the songs to be some of my favorite recordings I’ve ever done (for any project). I find the songs strongly convey, on a personal level, the moods, and feelings I felt at the time, and had wanted to sculpt into song.
Blasphemous Revelations Arise The Ancient Evil again showed musicianship improvement, and was a much different album than the previous two. It is much more aggressive, more hateful, and also a tighter execution of our imagery in sound. I would rate this highest amongst our released catalogue.
Hvelvengel Av Helvete / Othendara split is a compilation of early tracks that never made it onto the demos. Some of the material is rather under developed, and too crudely produced, but I still remain think all of it is good, and easily worthy to be representative of our earliest moments. I would rate this as mediocre amongst our catalogue.
What is your approach to Satan and Satanism? Is the music a natural and important extension of the ideology you hold?
Kriglord - I do not believe in religion intrinsically. I do however support philosophies, and causes of whom I find merit it.
I see “Satan” as a religious based manifestation of all that represents pain, and/or negativity. Baruch Spinoza wrote, “I recognize only three primitive or primary emotions, namely, pleasure, pain, and desire”, and I see Satan as simply an idol of which religions/religious people/artists/etc may place upon the self, or things, future, past, or present pain, and or negative (depending on pov) desire. Satan is an ideal which can be modified to fit a cause.
I see Satanism as a religion based upon many principles the Christian, and Judaic religions frown upon. It’s also a religion of mockery. It would seem to me more based on solipsism (well possibly for some), a strong sense of self pride, a clear want for self fulfillment and/or overindulgence, and a some what clear rationale, at base, than most any major religion.
I completely embrace the philosophies of Satanism in many ways, but I would not call myself a Satanist for I align my self wholly with no religion.
In many ways the music is and is not a natural extension of personal philosophies for what I attempt to create through music is overly more an aggrandizement of my emotions, and imagination than any direct philosophical or ideological message. With said, I do find that in all our music a strong anti-authority/humanity/religious message can be found, but I believe people enjoy thinking for themselves more about ideas, or subjects than just being preached too,… so I guess the message is simply there for one to interpet as one may wish.
Do you think the history of Othendara would be different if Sombre had released the EP? Would it have exposed you to a wider audience, more labels – would you even want that?
Kriglord - I believe it would have been very beneficial, yes, but as far as having more deals, and being more recognized such is not a real want. Art is not about recognition, but of creation, and exorcizing the self through an exploratory catharsis, or so I have found. Interesting question, and definitely one I’ve not put much thought into before.
How widely distributed are the Helvete Cult releases? Did they remain largely within US underground circles?
Kriglord - Yes, we’ve remained largely within the US cirlces. I had made contacts online from all corners of the globe (Europe, Asia, Australia), but mostly kept it to personal trading, and some small deals nationally
You have never played live but do you consider it? What’s the perfect way of representing your music live?
Kriglord - We would consider this. The perfect way to represent the music live would be quite costly, and would consist of many nude women, quarts of blood, raining fire, and goat heads littering the stage.
Feasibility for perfection seems impossible, but we certainly would like to play out when possible.
Noctis - I have always enjoyed the bands who put on shows, like Venom, Mercyful Fate…ect. they created atmosphere’s that complimented their music, it stimulates something very powerful.
What is the status of the “From My Throne The Heavens Burn” album and the five-song EP? When was this recorded, how does it compare with the older recordings?
Noctis - From My Throne…. was recorded in 2003, and was originally thought to be released through Helvete Cult, but as time passed we were unable, do to financial reasons. The sound of the recording is very different from any thing else we have released in the past, musically it is an improvement to Blasphemous Revelations, but is almost uncomparable in many ways.
2005 was an inactive year, has this continued into 2006? Is there new material, or a desire to write new material?
Kriglord - New material is on hold, but we had done a video with a well known photographer. The video is in its post production stages, and has no scheduled release date, but it will make its way to release some time before the end of the year.