I am very pleased we managed to get the American OLD COVEN barbarians into the latest issue of Necrosphere, because what they show on their debut "The Awake of Ascendant Darkness" ī18 under Analog Overdose Records is mesmerizing as looking through the peephole to hell. The music is totally unleashed and insanely wild, it meets elements of Black and Thrash Metal in her nastiest moments. I have been fascinated by their unique leads and devastating riffs roaring like underground fires. OLD COVEN comes from Los Angeles, California, and consists of three freaks in the basic lineup. They were formed already in 2012, but until recently they had only two demos named with numbers, from 2012 and 2016. Only last year they released a full-length with killing production, which is a pure essence of underground feeling. The debut was released on tapes in 100 pieces but also on vinyl under Black Audiomancy. This proves their devotion and orthodoxy for hellish music. In the lyrics they deal mainly with dark topics such as Satanism, criticism of Christianity, and that was quite the main topic of the interview. Dig into another original interview with two members, Slit Throat (guit) and Putrid (drums).
How did the first plans to form OLD COVEN band come about? Did you initially have a precise vision of how your music will be designed, or you just simply closed yourselves into the studio waiting what will come out of you? Is it important for you to think about your own music, or you are walking the path of inner intuition?
Slitthroat: In the beginning Old Coven was Slitthroat on guitars, Putrid on battery, Tormentor on bass. The band first started when the band I was in called Xaster began to wither away due to lack of motivation from its other members. Towards the end of its existence Tormentor had been on bass duties. After the demise of Xaster I asked Tormentor if he would be interested in starting a new band playing in a different direction than what we were doing in Xaster. Putrid was then asked to join as he was playing in a band called Bloodstorm at the time. We also knew each other from shows and parties. I had already written three songs for the band which we then began to rehearse. The idea of the music at that time was minimalistic mid-paced black metal. Through the passing of time the music began to change as each member began to input their own personal touches into it. I would write the riffs and then present them to the others. Slowly the music would pretty much shape itself as each member was on the same level and we all knew what we wanted to express outward. Darkness and Evil!!!!I
I have to admit at first listening to "The Awake of Ascendant Darkness", this work engulfed me and made strong shivers down my spin, a good sign of great work! Could you talk about how the debut was made? Was it a difficult birth with details work, or all went damn easily?
Slitthroat: Great to hear that the album did what it was suppose to do, bring fear and despair to its listeners. The album was recorded on December of 2016 at Ironclad Studios. It was a very interesting experience as we had not recorded at a professional studio in the past. We rehearsed the songs on the album a lot prior to recording as we did not want to go into the studio and want to change things last minute, which eventually happened. Ideas begin to arise as the playback of the recordings were heard. The core of the tracks were recorded live and individual tracks were then layered. The solos were written as they were recorded with the exception of "Black void of despair". The beginning melody of the solo was written while recording but I felt that the solo could be better so I took it home and came back the next day with the finished work. I ended up recording the bass tracks on the album and Putrid took over the vocal duties due to the fact that Tormentor was no longer joining us. It was not a very difficult to record as we had been playing the tracks on the debut for many years. First sin is actually the first song I wrote for Old Coven in the early days.
What I was secondarily interested in on your music is the originality and your own way of Black Metal style. You just created an interesting and rather unconventional sound for this genre. Compared to other Black Metal hordes, you have added more organic, but also earthy sound, everything is more dense, yet it does not lose the signs of an underground understanding of the genre. How did you get this sound? Did you record in analogue mode, or the sound was just edited into this form by computer?
Slitthroat: I don't really know the details on how the final sound came to be. I know what we used to record but as I've seen from prior experience each recording has its own identity which is pretty much impossible to re-create exactly. One can use the exact same equipment but the sound will always sound different in its final output. The engineer that recorded the album is a total metal maniac and very detailed in the work he does. He gave Old Coven much of his time and much of his patience which we will be eternally grateful for. I know for sure that he used his computer to record the album but he had other equipment that was connected between us and his computer that I don't know the details of it. Maybe he should be in the next interview. hehe. The black metal that we play is closer to the evil ways of the 80s. We listen to a lot of music and our influences range from different metal genres. With Old Coven we try not to keep that typical black metal sound that is know from Norway. We try to stay away if we can to the forest style of playing although some of it might still make it in as that music is also very close to our hearts.
I have read somewhere they compared you to Katharsis band. What do you think of this comparison? Has this band ever affected you? Would you be able to look at what band you are closest to from view point of the author? What does originality mean to you?
Slitthroat: It is great that we are compared to such a great band although the band has no direct influence in the music we make. We are influence by the dark sounds that captivate our souls. The eerie feelings that those that came before us captured. Those that hear our music will know of what I speak. We are maniacs, fans of the metal!!!! Originality is very important to us. I try to write riffs that get my blood boiling and get my head moving. Its important that the music we write make us feel the same way we felt when we first heard those bands that captured our hearts. The maniacs of old. We do this for our self but in honor of those that came before.
Your music burns with flame of evil and darkness, riffs are insidious, aggressive, harmonies malicious and paces terroristically massive. You follow the left hand path in which must be sincerity if you want to achieve an authentic footprint. When did you begin to feel inclination for the darkness itself? Have you been brought up originally in Christian ideology, or you have felt from the beginning not all is right with you?
Slitthroat: I thank you for appreciating our craft. The details you speak are what strive to achieve. Evil and Darkness is at the core of our work. We play each song with the utmost sincerity and I am glad that it is received by those that seek what we make. I first felt the power of this musical style in high school. Listening to albums such as Darkthrone "Under a funeral moon", Bathoy "Bathory, Under the sign of the black mark", Gorgoroth " Antichrist", Kreator ďEndless painĒ. These were great times listening to classic albums for the first time. Itís somewhat difficult to recapture the feelings one felt listening to something completely new. It totally set the path I currently walk. Die Hard for life!!!!!
I was brought up in a christian household. My parents took me to their churches when I was a child. Religion was never something that interested me. I don't feel a connection with any of the people that go to church. I prefer to spend time away from such activities.
Could you write how OLD COVEN tracks are created? Where does inspiration blow from? Is it all just in your heads, minds, or you use some aids for creation, either drugs or you need a special surrounding with a strong atmosphere that you follow in some way? Do you use any rituals, whether small or stronger for the flow and atmosphere of the songs?
Slitthroat: Old Coven tracks start with the riffs. Iíll be jamming on the guitar whenever and a riff might just appear out of nowhere. Iíll try to dissect it and sometimes try to make it better. Iíll have a certain drum beat in my mind when I play the riff and also try to recreate the drums with my picking hand, adding a certain groove. The interesting part is when I present the riffs to Putrid who then plays what he wants and many times plays beats that I had not thought to use but that sound great. The song slowly takes a life of its own then. Hard to explain but the music just kind of comes out and we donít really have any control over it because it just sounds good. There have been times when Iíll have a riff from a band that I like in my head and Iíll try to play it without listening to the actual track and a new riff is made because itís not that exact riff. I'd just have the idea of what I want to play in my head. I guess you can say it was influenced. The only aids we really use is alcohol but thatís just because jamming is pretty much a party and alcohol takes the party to the next level.
Your OLD COVEN name sounds really right and straightforward, it well corresponds with the overall result of your art. Who invented this band name? What does it symbolize for you? Also, the logo is as impure and distorted as your music. Who is its author?
Slitthroat: Yes the name of the band is very fitting to the musical output. The name has its roots in the days of my high school. Some buddies and I had some musical projects at the time and the name was tossed in around that time but was never used. Over the years I kept the name in my mind and it was used here and there as a song title or a private project of mine. It was not until I joined with Tormentor and Putrid that the title was used seriously. We are Old Coven, praise darkness!!!!! The logo was drawn by a friend, Seul Contre Tous. He is a very talented individual. He made many different versions but the one we kept was the best. Putrid was the one who drew the logo version on the demos and the one we used for the album cover. You might think that to be the first logo but it was his interpretation of the original logo which is the logo you see on the poster included in the vinyl. The logo at the back end of the album was drawn by another friend of the band named Morbus Shores. He drew it and offered it to band. We liked it and kept it.
Do you take your dreams as something special? Do you have any interesting experiences with the world of dreaming or sleep disorders like sleep paralysis, nightmares, somnambulism and the like? Have you ever had a dream so strong that you wouldn't like to wake up anymore, or vice versa, a very hideous one that you wanted to get out as fast as possible? Do dreams have any impact on OLD COVEN inspiration?
Putrid: The answer is yes. Many years ago practices such as meditation, lucid dreaming, self induced nightmares and sleep hypnosis trances were a great interest of mine. Not so much anymore, but I am still fascinated by these subjects none the less. My goals were to tap into the occult psyche of my subconscious in order to bring these unknown powers into my wakeful state. I believe they are powers/forces deep within us that we can bring into this world... so yes, dreams and nightmares are a great source of inspiration to our Old Coven.
Are you a band that wants to primarily associate with American Black Metal, or you feel as a part of some scene, or a group of certain bands, or you take your art strongly individualistically? Is individuality an important point of existence for you on the Black Metal scene?
Slitthroat: We are an individual entity. We only represent ourselves. We have our associations with bands we have know for years in our home scene and from abroad but we do not speak for them. We are not part of any groups and although we are American we are an interpretation of black metal that is to be discovered by those who share the same likeness as us. Our music is for those who walk the path we do and share similar thoughts as us. Not for the masses. Individuality is very important in the existence of the black metal scene. Without it itís nothing but normal. I believe it take real individuals to write music that can last ages and affect people years after its creation.
There are different places on earth, whether with positive or negative vibrations, especially sensitive individuals can feel such places. Could you write if you ever found yourself in a strange place, a place you couldn't sleep after, or vice versa, dreamed of it back then?
Putrid: I would be very much excited in writing about my experiences! I already do! There is lots around us to influence us or make us see things in other shapes, thoughts or forms! I have a spiritual inclination towards the supernatural/paranormal enigma. If the impression of the phenomena has an effect on my mood I find it useful to share it in my lyrics. I feel I am such a person, always walking towards these strange mysteries while being aware of negative and positive vibrations in people or places.
Slit Throat, Putrid 1.7.2019 Mortuary
Devilish Moonlight Praises