This interview with Rune Andreassen of Shaarimoth was done by e-mail by Fjordi in March, 2006.

Norway seems to be beholding with dour glance the bleak aftermath of the glorious black metal bands inception in past years. I´m pleased to introduce you not the new black metal sensation from that country, but a crushing true death metal band. Wielding a thick ritual concept behind the notes and finely crafted songs, this band has been one of the recent sensations in the scene in my humble opinion. “Current 11” is a punch in the face of conservative, statue-like boring death metal overpopulating the stores today. Rune Andreassen, the man in charge of spread the dark anti-cosmic message portrayed on the lyrics through his mouth, is the person I got in contact with to discover interesting things about the band and the meaning of it all. The results have been worthwhile and they´re hereby featured.

Hello Rune, how do you do? First of all, could you explain to Tartarean Desire readers what are the purpose and goals of Shaarimoth as a band?
The goals of SHAARIMOTH is to spread our message, opening portals to the dark dimensions, to inspire and to be inspired, and to plant a dark seed within the subconscious mind of the listener. By this I mean that by the use of music/lyrics, which are shaped and charged by the dark currents and chaotic energies within and beyond, we have created a sonic construct that functions as a portal for the Dark Gods.

I´d like to know what the name “Shaarimoth” means.
The name SHAARIMOTH derives from hebrew kabbalistic traditions and is sometimes found within western esoterica in the glyph many know as “the tree of death”, where Shaari-Moth is one of the “seven infernal habitations”, one of the seven dark portals that the Taniniver (“The Blinded Dragon”) must pass through in order to transcend the cosmic state. The word itself is Hebrew, meaning “The Gate to Hell”. This is quite representative for what we believe, and what we are trying to achieve, on some levels, with our music. We are the portals to that which dwells beyond!

In my opinion the relevance of the ritual side on your music is really high. Tell us something about it and your point of view on this topic applied to the scene. Is the ritual/occult element generally understated or false in extreme metal?
Just to clarify one thing; Satanism and music are two completely different things. There are those of us who use music as a tool to spread a certain message, to manifest inner or outer changes, using the music as a tool to present our cause, - and you have those who do the opposite. For us there is a bigger cause dwelling behind the music, for the rest the music is the cause. We intend to take the EXTREME back into the extreme music. Still, this doesn’t mean that we should release shitty music just to spread our revelations. We believe in quality, both in music and lyrics, and would not settle with just one criteria fulfilled. The scene of today seems to have lost all of it’s essence, leaving only a few bands left who truly can stand behind the Satanic concept and lyrical philosophy which they present.

Correct me if I´m wrong, but I think your haven´t released any demos before releasing your debut album, “Current 11”. That´s very rare today... Speak something about that circumstance.
SHAARIMOTH has never before released any demos, and the simple reason are that ”Current 11” was supposed to be released under our old name, Antarctica. But after separating with our former drummer we decided that we wanted a fresh start and changed the name. Since we had put a lot of work into ”Current 11”, and thought that it was good enough to be released, we decided to take with us the material and release it under the new name. We created a couple of demos under the old name, but back in those days we were still on the search to find our musical path which today have become SHAARIMOTH. Another reason why we changed the name is that SHAARIMOTH suites the whole concept way better than the old one.

Your lyrics seem to have been carefully prepared and inspired by the aforementioned Sumerian cults. Do the songs flow from the lyrics, or do you put the words on the riffs you create?
On this album we did an instrumental demo tape so that I would have better references when arranging the lyrics. The original lyrics that I wrote the first time were longer, but had to be adapted to fit the songs, and as a result of this the lyrics became short and the message direct. In one way this is negative because we never got a chance to fully ”express” the whole concept, nor include every lyrical passage written for this album. On another side this can also be of positive character, where you leave the listeners with certain questions that demand some studying to find the answer. Read between the lines and you will discover more than first meets the eye! The lyrics are based around certain beliefs from old Sumerian traditions, a thousands of years old religion and origin of most of the religious traditions of today. Most of the lyrics are based around (and inspired by) religious writings and rituals from this period, and also modern aeonic transmutations like the “Kagiri Ushumgal”, which can be found in the book “Liber Azerate” written by MLOs Grand Master, Frater Nemidal. This chapter is based around that which is best described as “Sumerian Chaos Gnosticism”, and the whole book must be seen upon as a must for those interested in the occult philosophy of the anti-cosmic tradition. Also Frater Niazoth of MLO contributed with one of the lyrics (Incantation of Hubur), as well as taking part on the manifestation of this song when recorded. The lyrics are a combination of these things as well as personal notes around the subject.

Sincerely, I reckoned a certain rite feeling present in the music, as if the very songs were sonic rituals. The communion of lyrics and music seems to have been carefully expressed. Could you share your thoughts on that with us?
Both music and lyrics have been ”charged” in various ways, both with written formulas and music composed under the influence of the gods of the formless chaos. When creating and composing the music we wanted to create a certain feeling, fitting to the concept which became the album. Both of us are fond of both ambient music and music written for horror movies (Omen, The 9th Gate, Eyes Wide Shut etc.) and I guess that the result of these genres combined with death metal have created the sound of SHAARIMOTH. Each song is a ritual in itself, where the album is starting with an opening ritual and ended with a closing ritual. The written passages in between these two songs/rituals can be seen upon as a variety of ways to describe/invoke/evoke the one and same force, which are different aspects of the raging chaos. This ain’t music, this is ritual! Chao Ab Ordo!

The sound of guitars isn´t devoted of massive reverbs or long chords, I feel the impression the sound is cleaner and less swollen than most of the modern death metal recordings. This was something I really found strange in the first minutes, but subsequently enjoyed. It´s like an old death metal trait. Therefore, guitars utter distinguishable notes without going astray in a loudy mess as other bands do. Is that guitar sound an important part of Shaarimoth´s style?
Definitely! This album was recorded in a studio that have never worked with this kind of music before (something that may seem as a cliché nowadays), which resulted in this grim sound. We wanted to get the good ”old” death metal sound to the album, but after the recording we didn’t think that the sound was any good at all. We sent the material back and forth to the studio a couple of times to make some adjustments, and at one point we had booked Akkerhaugen Studio to do a full ”makeover” of the sound. Now I’m just glad we didn’t do so, I think that the sound fit for the material written and that there lays a certain charm over the product. It is amazing how much the sound has grown after some listening, and this is also something that seems to be appreciated amongst most of the critics we have received so far. Also, the oriental guitar-riffs are a part of creating the atmosphere that creates a perfect synthesis between the music and lyrics. Frode is a very creative and ambitious guitarist, and deserves every credit given. He is quite a perfectionist, and judged by the later material he has written for an upcoming album, than he will mark himself even more as a creditable composer. The music and lyrics fits perfect, and together with the added samples and oriental instruments, I think that the ”concept” of this album became very satisfying.

What is the thing you find more interesting on Sumerian Gods that you miss in other cults? Is their arcane existence? The traits of all the cosmogony and legends?
I don’t set the Sumerian tradition above any other traditions. At the time we created ”Current 11” I was very obsessed (if not to say Possessed) by the powers of these energies. One can use different myths trying to explain the one and same thing, but behind all these mythical systems there is a red thread that has been carried out through the centuries. Even though the forms might have changed over the years, the essence dwelling behind them is still the same. Seek behind the forms to discover their true essence! For instance you can find a lot of similarities between the Sumerian creation epic and the newer Christian and Jewish creation epic, the structure and form have changed but they are all intended to carry out the same message. It is important to note that myths are man-made stories and metaphors used to explain certain things. These can be interpreted both direct and in a deeper philosophical way, and has been so by various cults and religious followers. There are endless ways to explain the same doctrines and occult systems used over the centuries, and only through gnosis one can find the truth. It is also important not to be narrow minded and only explore/search one tradition, cause each tradition may lead you closer to the truth, unveiling different aspects of the same powers and thus leading you closer to the truth. All myths have been used over the aeons to set laws for man (both moral values and actual laws), dictating the society, binding it to the creation and limiting ones thinking and rights. The Satanist acts according to his FREE will, breaking the taboos, creating his own laws which he acts upon and therefore becomes the opposition to what the casual, stagnating cosmos represents. True Satanism is about following the law that leads to the freedom of the Self, not submitting to the laws of ”god” or man, but to strive towards total perfection, destroying the shackles of the false light and transcending from the prison of cosmic illusion. Our Will is the Law, and our Law is Chaos!

Do you think the bands called after Sumerian inspired names as Absu, Marduk or Tiamat have music and lyrics which fit in the concept those entities really meant in the past? I´ve often considered some bandnames are just used to be nice-sounding and then the lyrics are often far from the topics represented by those.
A band name should be something that you associate the band with, or what it represents, not taking a name because it sounds nice. To be quite honest I have to admit that I have never studied the lyrics from any of the bands mentioned, but I can’t see how any of these bands are connected to any Satanic tradition in any way. They have picked these names for their bands (or the powers behind the Names have picked them), but how serious they are I don’t know – you will have to ask them. As for “Marduk”, this is the Sumerian name for the “creator god” of the universe/cosmos and can be compared to “Jehova” from hebrew religious literature.

Curiosity makes me wonder about the meaning of “218”. 2+1+8=11. Eleven is a number with dark hermetical ressonances. Eleven names of entities you mention in the title song. Please, could you unveil this subject as much as you want?
11 is a number of great significance within the anti-cosmic tradition. The most “known” of these traditions is the qliphotic one, where the number eleven manifests as the eleven acausal gods of darkness. Our lyrics use similar forms that date back to the Sumerian tradition where they take form as the eleven warriors of Hubur. The 11 was formed by the wrathful Chaos (Hubur) as a counter reaction to the creation (represented by the number of 10) that spawned out from the dark waters. Eleven can be seen upon as the antithesis of the ten, and stands for ever-changing energies, evolution, revolution, the broken circle, lawlessness, acausal being and total freedom beyond any limitations. Whereas Ten stands for stagnation, the closed circle, causality, law, order and cosmos, in other words 10 represents the creation in it’s whole context. 11 is the number of acosmic transmutation and finally the transcendence of the spirit (i.e. the Black Flame), which can be seen upon as the ultimate goal for the Satanist walking upon the burning left hand path. Man has given the Dark Gods a lot of faces and names; Satan, Lucifer, Set, Hubur, Ahriman etc, and is used as a way to imagine and describe the energy that acts as an antithesis to the cosmic order. Azerate is within our tradition a name for the collective powers of the raging chaos. Azerate = 218 = 11 (2+1+8=11) and the numerology mentioned (218) is a coded gematric number used for this power. This means that Azerate is the Eleven, but united as one. If you imagine the Eleven as rays into a lens, then the focal/burning point would be Azerate, the one who burns black holes in the barriers of cosmos, the focus scorching the world and anima mundi. Azerate is the Eleven combined, being a more powerful and concentrated form of the raging chaos than the Eleven are separated. These powers cannot easily be described, they must be experienced on a personal level. Names cannot describe the Nameless! Vedar-Gal Tiekals Somdus Azerate!

Death metal in Norway is apparently starting to grow to a wider extent. Tell us something about the development of the style there in your country.
My knowledge about the current situation of the death metal scene in Norway is not of any significance. I’ve listened to a couple of them, but the last few years I’ve lost track of the whole thing.

Carnal Records seems to be a label absolutely compromised with their bands despite they´re a small young company. What is the thing you like the most of the deal you have with them? How many records are you going to release under Carnal Records? How did you contact them (or they met you)?
We came in contact with Bjørn from Carnal Records through Shamaatae (Arckanum), and sent him a couple of songs from ”Current 11”. Obviously he must have liked it, and responded by offering us a deal. So far Carnal Records have done an excellent job for us in every way, and we are satisfied with our current situation. The idealism and basic supportive foundation what we want to achieve with our music is the main reason why we wanted to work with Carnal Records, and hopefully will continue to do so in the future as well.

In your opinion, the biggest lack of the new death metal bands nowadays is...
Essence. Will. Meaning.

Are gigs and albums the same important? Are Shaarimoth fond of concerts?
I would imagine that they are equally important, since both of them are ways to achieve our goals, yet in different manners. We haven’t had the opportunity to play to many concerts, not that we haven’t got the offers, but simply because we need a complete line-up. We will do our best to solve this problem in near future, and hopefully also have the opportunity to meet our supporters face to face in a live-coherence.

The ethnic instruments really shocked me in the way they´re managed and put in the proper dose. Tell us something about the feelings or effects you want to cause on the music using them.
The ethnic instruments and samples used on this album were not created before we entered the studio. We decided up front that we wanted to create a couple of ambient/ritual tracks for the written invocations, and the result came quite naturally. As mentioned earlier, we took advantage of these tools to create a more ritualistic and oriental sound in order to tie the songs even better together, to make them fit to the concept of the album and creating a product that sounded more complete and elaborate.

I suppose Shaarimoth haven´t given many interviews so far. What is your general opinion on interviews? Don´t you think they´re quite often spoiled by cliche questions? (By the way, forgive me if I fell on any of those...)
You are right, we haven’t done to many interviews yet, the reason for this is that we wanted to wait until the album was released, mainly cause we wanted questions regarding our album, not a ”what do you think about *insert some shit regarding Norway*..” interrogation. The cliché questions/interviews are not stimulating at all. I don’t see the point of sharing my thoughts concerning total meaningless topics to others, and I can assure you that people wouldn’t like my answers either.

Knowledge is the gate and books are one of the keys. Which books have you read lately? Do you draw any inspiration from literature? Don´t you think books are becoming an almost underground habit, in front of the technological environment the system wants to depict around us?
The last book I read was “The Pillars of Tubal-Cain” (Nigel Jackson & Michael Howard), which was OK. Most of the books I’ve read lately are books concerning the dark aspects of the Jewish religion, the anti-Cabala, the Luciferian tradition and alchemy. Of course I draw inspiration from literature, every book I read that can enlighten my path and lead me towards my utter goal is time well spent. The ones who doesn’t seek answers to their questions will never find them either, and as long as you’re not willing to pay the price, then you can’t blame others than yourself. Theory is an equally big part of the tradition as practicing the black arts, and one must understand the theory behind the practice in order to achieve results. As for technology, for me it just makes it easier to access more writings and information. What other people choose to do with their life is none of my business. To tell you the truth, I really don’t give a shit. People seem to be more interested in living a lie and finding intermediate comfort in their own cognitive prisons. As always, the forbidden Light of Lucifer remains darkness in the eyes of the blind!

This interview probably has grown longer than expected due to my great curiosity in all the band´s aspects, so I must apology for the time taken to you. I´d like to show you my gratitude for answering these questions and wish you Rune and Shaarimoth the best for the future. Of course your words will end these lines, to express whatever you want.
For the Eleven Flames of Azerate and the Dark Blood of Kingu! Ana-ku Sa-Mi Mu-Zu Azerate! Halam-Nignam Azerate Ushumgal Lemnuti! Silim-Madu Azerate! Silim-Madu Ama-Ushumgal-Tiamat! Victory will be ours! This Ain’t Music, This is Ritual!

Links of interest:

Carnal Records