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BALSERAPH INTERVIEW | Harm.us - Death, Black, Doom and Gothic Metal WebZine, bandlist, cd reviews, interviews, mp3 and forum

Balseraph, an upcoming melodic black metal bland who are planning to take the genre by storm. This is an interview I did with Pyrael, one of the guitarists. Make sure you check these guys out, they'll blow you away!

Morbidius: So how are things in the Basleraph Camp?

Pyrael: They're going pretty good. We took the last month off to start concentrating on writing the final few songs for the full length album. Plus we took some of that time to move into one big house together so that it would be easier for us to write and rehearse.

M: For those who don't know the band as it's quite new can you give a brief history of how the band formed etc.

P: Well, that really is a long story. Seance and myself had been friends for quite sometime, but we were both in separate bands at the time. I met Beleth through gatherings with the local goth group and he ended up being in my project. Well, at the end of 2001, myself and Beleth ended up being in Seance's band Mortiicde for a short time. But the usual creative differences split that band and Seance ended up with me and Beleth. And that's when Balseraph came to light. We wrote several songs and recorded First Suffering with just the three of us. Not less than a month after it was recorded, we found Kabal, Andrealphus, and Ambriel in one shot. We got quite lucky in that area to find everyone almost all at once, especially since we all share the same ideas and visions, and they're all very talented.

M: How's the recording process/writing process for "Raping The Veil Of Purity" going?

P: Well, we've got 7 songs completely done and 2 that are at various stages of the writing process. The songs seem to come at their own pace. Some take just a day, then some have taken weeks. Then there are others that just get an overhaul when you think they're already done! (laughs)

M: Will the album be a concept album and will it be anything like the "First Suffering" demo, or was that just an experiment to find your sound?

P: The album itself won't be a full concept. There are themes that are revisited throughout, but not an overall concept. 3 of the songs do form a sort of trilogy as they are really the same story. We've talked about doing a concept album, but that's the type of thing you really need to work on from the beginning of the process. If we were to do that, about 5 of the songs we have now would just end up collecting dust, and we felt the material is to strong for us to let that happen. As for the sound, First Suffering is a very good general idea of where we're going, but the songwriting has grown so much since then. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with the new material.

M: At the moment do you feel gigging is the most important thing or writing the new album?

P: Well right now writing is more important to us, but mostly because of where we live. There's not a huge crowd for metal in this area, and what crowd there is, is mostly a college crowd; but college is out for the summer break right now. So we took a break to finish writing so that the new songs would be ready when the shows pick back up in August.

M: What is the song writing process like for Balseraph?, do you have a set method?

P: There really hasn't been a set method. About half of the songs we have right now were written before Balseraph even came together. The First Suffering and Beauty Bathed in Blood are examples of that. And others were written before the line-up was even complete. But with the new songs, every one contributes. We're lucky to be blessed with versatile musicians who for the most part can play more than one instrument, which is what I think gives us an original sound. Everyone has their own approach to writing and when you meld that with the whole, it's something very interesting.

M: Have you had a good reception from the underground so far?

P: So far the response has been mostly positive...and mostly from Europe (laughs!) People here in the US just don't get what we're doing. Some people have actually said that they couldn't like the music because they couldn't understand the vocals. But we realised when we started this that America wasn't the best place to try and start from as the musical climate here right now is pretty much unreceptive to anything that's not Creed or Brittany Spears.

M: Have you been able to re-create all your songs live? and would you say you come off better live or on cd?

P: Well, the songs don't get recreated exactly. There's something like 3 or 4 keyboard tracks on the demo, and as great as Ambriel is, she doesn't have 2 extra hands!! But the songs come off extremely well live. Much more intense, a lot faster. I think we're a better live band than recorded, but that's all a matter of opinion.

M: What bands/individuals influence Balseraph, I can imagine it being quite varied due to your music and image.

P: It's so varied! We all have our own musical niches. But for the most part, the main influences would be a lot of 80s thrash such as Testament and Metallica, some 2nd generation black metal bands such as Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth, and some good ol' death metal such as Deicide and Morbid Angel. But there are so many other small nuances that end up in songs here and there. There's bits of Hypocrisy and King Diamond/Mercyful Fate in there as well. The image itself is more influenced by bands like Alice Cooper and King Diamond. I remember wanting to do the whole makeup thing before I had even heard of what black metal was. The way King Diamond used it to portray his characters and his stories is what really made me want to do it, but not as over the top as he had done it. We wanted to make it more subtle, more menacing. Keep the concentration more on the music, but still have the image.

M: As i'm unsure and probably a lot of other people are to, what exactly does the name Balseraph mean?

P: The Balseraph are the highest choir of demons in Hell. They are the Seraphim who were cast into Hell with Lucifer after the war in Heaven.

M: Any comments you would like to this interview, use this question to say what you want.

P: To anyone who has heard or plans on checking out the demo in the future, a big fucking THANK YOU for the interest. It means more to us than you can possibly know. HAIL!!!

July 11, 2002
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