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Interviews : “The music should be harsh, violent and dark” – An interview with N.H (Heresiarch)

By on June 15, 2019

Aggressive yet immersive, jarring yet relentless: these are the hallmarks of blackened death metal. At this complex nexus of enraged fire and dissonant nihilism, one finds Heresiarch. Hailing from New Zealand, this four-piece has become renowned for its dark and brutal form of blackened death metal since forming in 2008. In a perfect storm of confrontation and darkness, Heresiarch is bound for Tasmania to perform at the annual Dark Mofo ritual, Hymns To The Dead.

“The music should be harsh, violent and dark,” states Heresiarch’s vocalist N.H. on what defines their intense approach to blackened death metal. War metal, as this is sometimes known, is the theatre in which some of the gravest concepts are given the spotlight, and Heresiarch is unafraid to delve into the darkest reaches of what is possible, as N.H. explains, their “early material covers mass annihilation of mankind from inhuman forces. The murder of gods and the rejection of belief, hope and fate are central themes.”

More recently, Heresiarch has painted a desolate image of humanity’s future, “Our 2017 album [Death Ordinance] covers the fallout of apocalyptic war”, N.H. recounts, “resulting in societal and moral collapse, the malformed remnants of humanity fight for resource and survival with no higher purpose.”

This June, Heresiarch will perform at Hymns To The Dead as part of Dark Mofo Festival in Hobart, alongside Brazilian grandmasters of blackened satanic fury Mystifier, which promises to be a night of sonic intensity like no other. “The World Is So Good That Who Made It Doesn’t Live Here by Mystifier is a classic for me and had some influence on earlier material,” N.H. recalls as he reflects upon this massive lineup, “I purchased Funebrarum’s first album on LP when it came out. … We are looking forward to experiencing Hymns to the Dead.”

“It doesn’t change our approach,” N.H. resiliently states, regarding performance in the wider context of the Dark Mofo arts festival, for Heresiarch is unwavering in their musical mission, “we will perform our onslaught as we always do.”

So, how does N.H think an audience unfamiliar with Heresiarch will react to their intense, aggressive sound? N.H. enigmatically offers but one suggestive line, “We will see.”

On what we can expect from Heresiarch’s set at Hymns To The Dead, N.H. indicates that we are in for a chaotic ride through Heresiarch’s catalogue. He informs us, “The majority of our set will be Death Ordinance material with some songs from Wælwulf [2014] and Hammer of Intransigence [2011].”

Heresiarch has recently released a new single titled Dread Prophecy. Is this a sign of another album forthcoming? “Yes,” N.H. confirms, “we have been active with shows since Death Ordinance, touring the US twice as well as shows in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Following Hymns to the Dead we have no further scheduled shows for the immediate future. We will be recording another release in late June and we will continue writing our second album following this.”

Dread Prophecy will feature on Scorn Coalescence, a forthcoming four-way split with Serpents Athirst, Genocide Shrines and Trepanation, and is Heresiarch’s first new release since 2017’s Death Ordinance. How do you feel that your style has developed since then? “Our sound is further solidified, new material will continue to evolve and regress simultaneously,” N.H. reflects, and it seems that what is to come is even more dire, as he continues, “thematically we are continuing on from Death Ordinance but will amplify it with a more violent, bleak and darker direction.”

Hymns To The Dead tickets available here. For more details on Dark Mofo click here.