TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE
This interview with the American extreme metal band Arghoslent was done by Josh Ngolls through e-mail in August 2002. The opinions and ideas presented in this interview are the personal views of the band members and have absolutely nothing to do with Tartarean Desire. I strongly disagree with many of the statements in this interview but one of the most important rules that I live by is that everyone should have the right to speak no matter what I think about what they have to say. It is only those people who think freely without the hindrance of pre-made morals and ethics that are real individuals.
Now on their 8th recording, Virginia's Arghoslent is a band that few will likely have heard to this point in time. What a shame. Here is a band that not only utilizes the best of death, thrash and classic metal, but covers lyrical topics of historical and sociological interest with an earnest conviction. Songs like "Branding the Peon" move from Iron Maiden gallop sections to blast-backed thrash breaks, while songs like the title track from 1998's "Galloping Through the Battle Ruins" have melodic guitar duels and a bass-heavy rhythm attack. This powerful concoction of metal is also fronted by a great singer in Von Demonicus, who lets loose some harsh black/thrash shouts. Truly a band that stands its ground in the face of criticism, Arghoslent graced me with a rare interview via email.
What's the current Arghoslent line-up?
HOLOCAUSTO: Alienchrist is our new drummer, Holocausto (guitars) Von Demonicus (vocals), Kommando (bass), Pogrom (guitar).
What's your latest release? The website I found isn't that updated.
POGROM: Arghoslent/Stargazer split 7"ep, and our new album "Incorrigible Bigotry" out on DRAKKAR PRODUCTIONS (France) - vinyl version on Death to Mankind Records (Spain).
Arghoslent has been censored and stifled in its previous releases. Why not sign to a US label that allows for your topics of choice?
ARG: There's never been any interest from any American label ever. That's mainly the reason why. Even though we deal with taboo topics, none are expressed or dealt with in a disrespectful or irresponsible manner. None of our albums has been specifically boycotted or branded illegal in any European country, regardless of how leftist or repressed it may be. Our previous label did have serious problems with distributors and other organization due to other bands on his roster. We happened to receive the backspit of that ordeal. With the bankruptcy of such label, ARGHOSLENT suffered too. Even though DRAKKAR PRODUCTIONS is bound to receive some slack for dealing with our band, it will not be sufficient to stem the tide. Besides, they've teamed up with MORIBUND PRODUCTIONS in Seattle, for a two-front battle. The label is being licensed for North America and to be released at the same time.
[This is the thing that I will never understand about political extremists. A band chooses to sing about issues which everyone agrees occurred in history, are prevalent today etc. As the band said, there's no disrespectful intentions: just historical facts or their interpretation of a situation or concept. So, by attacking a band like Arghoslent, the critics are saying that it's better to not discuss certain issues, or to throw money at them in a hope that they will simply disappear. This from people who seem to ignore the fact that rap groups influence a great many more people in the world with topics just as violent/controversial without real political pressure, not to mention mass media coverage and awards. Free speech? Only if it is in accordance with their views. If a band which they supported was censored, they would be up in arms. To turn around and criticize another band and demand it's censorship due to opposing views is utter hypocrisy. The left wing in particular seems to encourage ignorance, something they always claim to combat. Odd.]
You claim to be an "arrogant band". Exactly how are you arrogant?
ARG: I believe it is more of an attitude than anything else. Something like cutting our own path though a wooded area when there's a perfectly paved path 3 feet away that everyone else is taking. It is our stance, our determination to do things as we see them fit, that has plagued us with so many mishaps and barriers. We've been an active band now for 12 years, and our second album has just been released. Musically, we know we surpass the sheep and novices. Lyrically, we stand alone and alienated.
[This iconoclastic desire to discuss issues which only boil to the surface on occasion has no doubt cost Arghoslent some of their just rewards. But they remain undaunted, instead using this to further fuel their charge towards the future. One can feel this innate stubbornness in songs like "Incursions", as if you were along with the band on its ride for vengeance into the face of its enemies.]
You've said that you are a fan of soccer hooliganism. Any opinion/concern on who will win the World Cup? What firm has the toughest members?
ARG: Yes, and although I find it absurd and ridiculous, I am very much attracted to it. There's no other rush in the world like that of being at a soccer game with fanatics, being chased by riot police, or stampeding through a town causing harm. While Joel Avelange is associated with FIFA in any way, Brazil will reach the finals every time. Mafia and corruption runs rampant in FIFA.
What are your thoughts on Sept. 11? Do you think that it is actually Osama's crew who is to blame?
ARG: Western society is to blame ultimately for being so feeble, forgiving, liberal, ashamed, loving, accepting, condoning, and traitorous. Europe accepted Christ and Moses, now they will accept Mohammed as well.
[Personally, I can't say that I would disagree with the band on this point. With the last North American generation to see extended combat in any real numbers having been those who were bewildered in Vietnam, the bulk of those living in Western nations have never known anything but luxury and comfort, and now seem to be unable to attain anything of worth through struggle and hardship. Such a contrast from the brave souls who ventured out from Europe to build the New World through blood and toil!!]
Does the sedition of Arghoslent have anything to do with being based near what was the capital of the Civil War Confederacy?
ARG: I reckon it does, although we don't necessarily deal with relatively modern historical topics. I believe that we do share an appreciation for certain aspects of southern mentality, although I think we would think this way regardless of where we lived. Virginia is a great state, we have everything here ranging from Virginian wines, the Appalachian mountains, national civil war museums, historical battle sites, southern plantations, to Chesapeake bay, beaches, wildlife, caverns, etc...
You've said that you support anything that helps modern society crumble, including drugs, AIDS and famine. Does this mean that you are a junkie yourself, or a drug dealer etc.? Haha...
ARG: No, I'm not a drug dealer, although I would support anything that would accelerate the process of deaths caused by overdoses. I'm under the belief that society in general must degenerate even further before even thinking of creating something new. There shall be no birth until there is a death. Drugs are for subhumans, social incompetents, gays, and other undesirables. Drugs and alcohol are the only way they can face reality.
[Hence the controversy surrounding the band. They are of the few who speak what statistics on social controversy constantly tell us. Once again, it's hard to disagree with Arghoslent on the fact that the current state of affairs is undoubtedly part of the decline which the later part of the 1900's has brought on, whether it be through moral corruption, human apathy or oligarchic globalism. They present the problems and suggest solutions; nuclear holocaust might be a rather harsh solution, but it seems to be a common one in the metal scene, as if it's the last resort in a tired and frustrated world.]
You say that you are inspired in ways by evolution, yet seem to prefer old school bands and frown upon musical evolution from these roots. Does this evolution not include the musical sphere?
ARG: I frown upon people that use the term 'progress' as a pretext for selling out and betraying their roots. The word 'evolution' does not have a negative connotation to me unless is it misused. I will give specific examples so my comments aren't misconstrued. Take SAMAEL or TIAMAT for example. Both bands claim to have 'progressed' as a way to rationalize and justify their queer, almost comical, musical careers. There is no excuse for such a change in direction, ideology, sound, and attitude in the span of 10 years. Many bands just exist to earn an income from their music and nothing else. It is not from the heart anymore. SAMAEL, as well as a horde of other bands, should have simply changed the name of the group and started over. TIAMAT had already done that by killing off TREBLINKA. I don't frown upon musical evolution, but that's not the case here, and that's precisely what I was referring to.
You sing alot about history. What differences and similarities do you see between people today and those in the days of Castille, King Alfred and the Celts, to name a few of your chosen topics.
ARG: There are numerous differences ranging from life span, medicinal and scientific advancements, technology, that it is not easy or even fair to compare. I do believe, however, that man is infinitely weaker in character, spirit, and fighting vigor than in forgotten ages.
You've predicted widespread ethnic warfare. What factors impel you to make these predictions?
ARG: Man's self-destructive nature cannot be mended or detoured by man-made laws. The destiny of man is to prepare for final battle, as envisioned by most religions, even pagan beliefs. Religious morality attempts to tame man's natural instinct, his warring inheritance, his desire for lebensraum, his chauvinism, his need for dominance, his enmity towards other breeds, but to no avail. For that matter, man and his hatred are incorrigible.
[With race riots fresh in the memories of citizens from Los Angeles to London, from Cincinnati to Moscow, this type of blunt honesty could clear the air of many misconceptions and force people to have a long look at what Westerners seem to know only as a forbidden subject; almost a sacrosanct type of living mythology. No matter what your opinion on the subject is, you'd have to be a fool to think that ignoring it will in any way change the situation. Would you let a malignant cancer in your body continue to fester? Then why stop there? Apply the analysis to society as a whole.]
Your lyrics seem to focus on an old European view of slavery. Aren't there still problems in Africa with slavery today, or is this just a piece of Euro-centric history that all descendants of slavemasters should shamefully suffer for?
ARG: They should suffer for being unable to displace their guilt. If his person is so susceptible to blame imposed on him by the agenda setting leeches and governing vermin, then let him be tormented and haunted. Under this criteria descendants of slaves should walk equally in shame for their ancestor's lack of progress, ingenuity, culture, and resistance. Perhaps they wake in the middle of night wondering why none of their forefathers were capable of contributing to Western civilization with anything other than brute labor; no science, no mathematics, no literature, no architecture, no government, nothing! Who is the one who should be shamefully suffering?
Would your home country of the USA have the racial problems that it does today if it had not once used slave labour?
What are the opinions of Arghoslent on slavery reparations?
ARG: I assume you're referring to Trans-Atlantic slavery from Africa to the Americas? When people talk about slavery today, they refer to the Middle Passage experience, fields of cotton, sugar cane, tobacco, etc… Political talk about reparations to offspring of former slaves is just opportunistic. Every ethnicity has been at the mercy of another throughout the history of humanity. Why would reparations for the most recent victims of forced servitude be considered? Talk of reparations by any groups is just for political leverage.
[This from a citizen of a country that is being asked for over 700 billion dollars in slave reparations to be paid to people who have never known servitude under any people other than their own. A strange situation, indeed, and one that is no doubt encouraged by the Wests' hesitance and unwillingness to speak of such matters.
In a time when the metal scene is over-saturated with gore and Satan-themed bands, it's bands like Arghoslent that will turn heads. While their indifference to political correctness could definitely be construed as a new form of shock tactic, one has only to listen to their music to realize that they are simply writing and playing from the most primal of human feelings. With a new album ready for sale, Arghoslent is a band for open-minded people who are ready to see a change in the metal status quo.
As you likely did when you first got into metal, ignore what the masses tell you and explore the unknown. This 5-piece is definitely a unique band who have selflessly martyred themselves for the sake of artistic integrity. Get a hold of an Arghoslent album and revel in its abundant strength.]
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