Coming from Colombia, the majestic duo under the name INQUISITION have gained greater appeal over the last few years and very deservingly so. Their new album “Bloodshed Across the Empyrean Altar Beyond the Celestial Zenith” was released this year and the band delves into it, they speak about touring and discuss their ideas and inspiration that led them to be one of the prominent ones in the scene of contemporary black metal.
New album! “Bloodshed Across The Empyrean Altar Beyond The Celestial Zenith” is its name – How would you describe it? How would you like the listener to approach this new creation of yours – I mean as a ritualistic process.
To approach it as art, as music and not simply to approach it as a genre in itself. In other words as just another black metal band and black metal album bringing preconceptions into the expierience before experiencing it. Many details can be lost if you go in with a narrow mind and assuming its just another Inquisition album; I think this happens every album and its why many people end up liking an album months or years later when they finally opened the mental gate and looked deeper into the songs.
Tell us a bit about the theme of the new album and the ideas behind it. What do you feel is different than previously?
Its an obscure topic, where I offered factual material combined with a mystical side. This album goes beyond Satan as a mythological figurehead, it has now taken the shape of a real living force. The universe began with a force from absolute darkness, it came from somewhere or some thing. This force molded and shaped the everything we are within, and along with this came the cosmic soup that spawned life on this planet where we have conciousness. The myth of Anu is possibly a perfect representation of how our DNA and the stars are one and all this from one single force.
Generally, where do you find inspiration on the composition of your music? Which genres/artists/eras played a significant part in your musical approach and sense?
Young brothers of AC/DC were my first inspiration in every way in the sense of playting and tone. Gary Holt from Exodus was a massive inspiration for tone and playing, Demonaz from old Immortal was inspiration, Baroque period music is a huge influence on me as a writer for its immense spectrum of dynamics and flamboyance in a particular way I like to add to our form of Black Metal.
Do you have a specific motif when it comes to writing lyrics? What are the main topics that you relate to and therefore write about? Do you feel that your lyrics have evolved over the years?
I think lyrics should be in between simple to understand but cryptic without being to difficult to decipher. A medium ground is perfect for me. They should place you somewhere, in a place, take you out of your current location either it be in the sense of time or place. Other things like word interaction with the music, as in what words are placed at the right time over the right riff makes for the perfect interaction of sound and word. Those two things should and must wortk with one another.
You have never been the typical metal duo – how do ‘fans’ respond to the esoteric nature of your music (both sound and lyrics) and its unconventionality?
The level of support Inquisition gets is and was mostly organic in nature; small mini tours throughout our early career kept us in the underground side and on the obscure side of the scene. Despite our growth I choose to think that our fans still see us as this slow growing Black Metal band that does everything unconventionally and honestly; I think this is the response we get from what you mention as “esoteric nature” of our music and what Inquisition is in essence. In other words, we do have a cult following and this alone speaks for what we do despite our growth.
Is there a difference between the European black metal scene and the one in North America and why do you believe that is?
The differences are much smaller today in 2016. Obviously the bands are different, Europe has such a great touring circuit but fans are the same everywhere. I think the US right now is releasing some extreme bands and I dare say much more extreme per capita than Europe right now in the sense of no limits.
You recently toured Europe with BEHEMOTH, ENTOMBED A.D. & ABBATH. How was the overall experience?
It was very good for us in the sense that we were able to perform next to high tier bands who have earned a legend status and our rawness was compatible with the lineup despite the contrast. In essence Inquisition is raw and violent, obscure and very much stripped down Black Metal especially by todays standards, yet again it was a strong offering to the lineup. Another strength was that despite being the first band and performing at 6:00 pm or 7:00 pm it was a full house for us every night, thats a good sign. The other bands gave us much respect, were very intrigued with Inquisition and always complimented us for our performances. The venues were almost all top tier, excellent sound, could not have asked for anything better.
Are you one of those bands who cherish a live performance and the act of touring or prefer to focus on the creation and studio experience? Do you feel it is important to bond with those who listen to your music? Do you welcome their feedback or ideas?
Absolutey live is where Inquisition belongs. Live is where you expierience Inquisition in its most pure uncompromising form, its real, its direct. Studio is where my heart and soul is, its where the music is solidified, where all creation is. The studio is where you play god and you are sparking the fire of creation. Both live and studio are equally exciting and important to me, I can in no way say one is more important to me.
Is this the second time that you visit Greece in terms of a gig? I remember the last time you were in Greece, your performance was so dark and riveting and everyone who witnessed the ritual that night was compelled with your unique ability to captivate the audience both live and studio-wise. Do you anticipate to come back?
Of course, we will be back this week. I am replying to this interview quite late and am writing this at our last show of the Bloodshed Rituals tour with Rotting Christ. We travel to Greece tomorrow. Prepare for absolute mystical chants.
The new album has just been released however are there plans for more?
More albums yes. I think 2018 will be the next album.
In general, are there any ideas about the future? Both in terms of Inquisition and as in terms of individuals?
Same two piece, no lineup changes; I calculate 2018 having a new Inquisition album. In the meantime I have a new Power Electronics solo project and will release the full length debut this year.
The last words are up to you.
Nothing interesting to add, but as always I have to express my gratitude for the support and loyal fanbase we get and have. Everyday I remind myself that this is a privilage, an honor, to make cult Black Metal and tour the world all because of the support we get. It is my mission to make sure we give you the best and most honest music possible.
Thank you very much for your time! We will meet in Athens for one more night to remember!
Hails to Greece. I wish you the best in the near future.