Finland’s Behexen have the good taste to traffic in occult black blasphemies, and the good sense not to bludgeon their audience, um, senseless. Christian-slaughtering speeds certainly take their due, but Behexen take the time to smell the burnt-offering entrails, too. The year 2012 finds the occult Scandinavian crew unleashing its fourth full-length recording in its sixteenth year of Satan-hailing, and Nightside Emanations is a killer. Catch the whole album right here, and get to know “new” guitarist Wraath (he joined in 2009) and his perspective on Behexen’s past and future.
Behexen has an extensive history. How have the band's musical/philosophical goals changed over the years?
Vocalist H.Torog told me this: We have shed our skin after each release, and every time our form has become blacker, darker, sharper and more dangerous. We have grown spiritually, and also we have been re-born again numerous times. We are not the same persons as we were 20, 10 or 5 years ago. We had climbed the tree of Daath and enjoyed its fruits. We have awakened the sleeping serpent, which now reaches from its glowing chamber. It has been 20 years with different eras and experiences, but now I feel it is a new beginning!
How have membership changes affected the sound or direction of the band?
Well as I am the newest member of the band I can't say much about it. But in my opinion not much have changed as it is. Horns, our drummer that has made all the music up until now, where me and Shatraug has contributed with some material. And on the lyrical side H. Torog has always written everything and focused only on one thing: his spiritual work and the Left Hand Path. Maybe the only big change has been the focus and dedication which is stronger now than ever. But that's my opinion.
Do you feel Behexen has musical brethren still active in the current metal scene?
Naturally we have a strong connection to the Nidrosian scene where I live. Also in Finland there are many great persons which I respect. But as a band I feel that Behexen stands alone. What is the songwriting process like for a Behexen record?
Riffs are worked on at home and then brought to the rehearsal chamber were we put it together, listen and let the energies flow and see what happens. It's never easy for me to talk about the creative process as it changes all the time. But naturally for this record the rehearsing was intense at times as I have to travel over to Finland for short periods of time and try to use the time there wisely.
How has recording Nightside Emanations been different from earlier records?
That I cannot answer as this is my first recording with Behexen.
How important is the makeup/clothing/prop preparation to Behexen recording or shows?
Very important as we consider every concert a ritual. Also live is where the music will come alive, where the energies flow and the music becomes not only an audible medium but also an visual one. We want to experience it with all senses, and therefore everything is thought through and prepared before a ritual. It is where we burn with the Serpent’s Fire and spreads the venom of our Gods!
What ideas (either musical or philosophical) are interesting right now to you and influenced the work on Nightside Emanations?
This should be answered by H. Torog as he has written all the lyrics. But I know that Lillith has been of great important to this record. But for myself I must say that the search inwards can be one of the most inspiring and horrible influences. I read different occult literature mostly connected to the Left Hand Path, I listen to different music also so I really can't say that ONE idea or thought has influenced me. My well is deep and there are many different demons there.
What are your plans for the coming year?
Hopefully we will do a tour, but the only thing planned right now is the Nidrosian Black Mass in Belgium in February. Also I think already now we will start to write some new material. The world is moving towards the end and what else can we do than to glorify it!?