I wanted to know more about PANTHEON OF BLOOD so I decided to set up an interview with them. Here it is. Anders Ekdahl ©2013
Just so we know what we are dealing with could you please give us a short introduction to the band?
-Pantheon of Blood performs traditionally executed Finnish Black Metal while concepts involve thematics concerning metaphysics of national identity, occultism, etc. The band was put up in 2009, soon after that we made our first demonstration cassette giving the first impressions for the “wider” audience – since that release, we’ve managed to grow our name slowly yet hopefully surely.
How important is the name of the band as a declaration of intent? Is it important that you from the name alone can identify the metal you play?
-If the band name correlates strongly enough with the content and also happens to be aesthetically powerful, so to speak, then in that case it creates a powerful aura surrounding it. Misinterpretations are always there for the hasty ones, yet an enigmatic name can be extraordinarily effective as well.
What role does that cover to the album play in setting the ambience?
The whole artwork itself must be resonating with the content: the musical / lyrical expression are way more comprehensible for the audience as well when they manage to correlate with each other. There are certain excitement in a cryptic expression as well, but quite often that only unnecessarily obscures the whole picture. Our preference is to make it accessible to an ordinary listener, while still not unfolding it completely into a useless object – the Magic of the Unknowable will be always there.
How pleased are you with your latest recorded stuff? What do you expect for it to do for the band?
-Still satisfied with all the records we’ve managed to do with this band: they reflect the spirit of a certain time, yet not excluding the universal element within the works. “Tetrasomia” came out pretty good, but of course there is still much to be discovered and cultivated in the future – there won’t be such a thing as a 100% perfect album, that would be a deadly shot to a movement, which plays an important role on the practice itself.
What part do the lyrics play? Are they just there to not make it an instrumental album?
-They are as important as any other particular aspect on the album – with one piece missing, it’s like flogging a dead horse. When it comes to our latest offering, “Tetrasomia”, the lyrics tie themselves cohesively with the concept of Elements; the Elements are in no way separated from each other, but they can be comprehended separately from what mankind knows about their qualities manifesting in Nature & Man.
Of course there are artists who’re able to express the important ideas without vocals, just by doing emotionally and intellectually touching music with instruments – however, this has never been the case with Black Metal.
Now that almost everybody has access to the internet and can reach out to the whole World how important is a strong local scene?
-A strong local “scene”, if one prefers to use that word, may be one of those factors, which imprint their collective identity for the group – not necessarily a bad thing, but not always good either: in my opinion, the artist must be able to stand for their own and with their own merits in case one does really want to rise up from the mediocrity. But it’s definitely a good thing when the band finds their spiritual connection with the likeminded artists, as one can share their resources – whatever they may be – with each other.
What kind of respect do you get from your regional/national press? Do they recognize local bands or is it just the big bands that come through on tour that gets the “headlines”?
-We haven’t been able to catch the attention of the press, and that comes as no surprise, as our musings are done in the underground. Whether it ever rises up from there, is no concern of us: we do what we do, fully concentrated on the Art itself – all other priorities are put on a secondary position.
The local press isn’t very supportive for this kind of music, mostly because the representation does not follow the current conventions the music business is used to chew down into its lungs. It gives us a very special kind of freedom in order to express the musical ideas without any expectations, that would be only a hindrance when the creative work takes its place.
What ways has been the best for you in order to promote the band? What do you do to reach as many interested as possible? How easy is it to get blinded by 5000 Facebook likes or 3000 hits on Youtube and think that you’ve made it big? How do you best utilize the interest you get on social media to actually have it mean something in real life?
-Nothing is easier than just point-and-click and assume that one really likes the band – I really do not consider it as a real perimeter for that matter. Honestly, I don’t have any clue from where the probable audience finds their way on the things they like nowadays – but the social media isn’t without benefits when it comes to promoting your art, unfortunate as it may be for the hard-core traditionalist, who rejects the social media as one the factors reflecting the corruptive state of mass-media culture.
What would you like to see the future bring to the band?
-I certainly have no high hopes for breaking massively in for the music market, that playground is reserved for others. But what I would really like to accomplish at some point, is making an album that would stand for its own: crystallized, focused and doing honor for the source from where the current of inspiration flows.