I have the absolute honor of publishing my interview with GM of the dark and mighty Barshasketh! For your enjoyment…
Greetings and salutations! Can you introduce Barshasketh to the few of us that don’t know you and speak a little on your history?
Barshasketh is a black metal band that was founded as a solo project by Krigeist in 2007 in Wellington, New Zealand and expanded to a full line up starting in 2010 by which time Krigeist had relocated to Edinburgh, Scotland. We aim to create pure black metal that channels the spirit of the old masters, while incorporating extensive polyphonic ideas and counterpoint to an extent that is perhaps unusual for the genre.
Until recently, I harboured the sinking feeling that the UK did not have a particularly great BM scene, especially in comparison to Poland or France. Then I started asking around some more and found The Wolf Garden, Stroda and of course Barshasketh. The real question is – Do you guys consider Barshasketh to be a UK Black Metal band?
We don’t consider ourselves to be attached to any particular scene. Although we have developed bonds of friendship with certain UK bands such as Lunar Mantra, Deitus or Deus Vermin over the years, we have equally strong ties to other bands across the continent of Europe such as Thy Darkened Shade, Dysangelium or Devouring Star, among others. We’ve always turned inwards when it comes to finding musical inspiration rather than looking around us, so it follows that Barshasketh should be thought of as independent entity and not considered in the context of a scene.
I’m off to Dark Easter in Munich, Hellfest in France and Waken, Germany. Where can we catch you play live shows or festivals over the coming months?
We have just returned from a run of shows across France, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands, culminating in an appearance at SWR festival. We will close out the year with appearances in Hungary, Cumbria (Blackwood Gathering), Mexico and Finland. We are also working on some additional dates in North America at the moment, so keep an eye out for announcements.
(I will be attending the Black Woods Gathering – see you there)!
When can we expect a new album cover t-shirt?
Soon, we hope. We’ve handed over designs for shirts, longsleeves and hoodies to our label and we’re now waiting for them to handle printing and distribution.
I’m absolutely positive that fans would appreciate a music video… any thoughts or plans for this type of stuff?
I very much doubt that we will ever produce a music video. I feel that the format is not suited to express the message that we want to put across. If we were to ever produce one, it would have to be something very atypical that is barely recognizable as a music video at all.
Onto some inspiration.
- Name some top musical inspiration and how about other types, where do you get most of your ideas from?
When it comes to our influences in terms of songwriting for Barshasketh, it’s impossible to underestimate the importance of the early work of Mayhem, Emperor, Kvist, Setherial and Gorgoroth. We’re also heavily influenced by the output of NoEvDia in the 2000s with bands such as Ondskapt, Deathspell Omega (SMRC in particular) or even early Ofermod. When it comes to contemporary bands, we continue to find inspiration in Black Metal with bands such as Thy Darkened Shade or Ascension. I also tend to draw on some ideas from Medieval and Renaissance music for voice-leading. Composers such as Carlo Gesualdo, Solage or Guillaume de Machaut have all had an important influence.
- Have any of you ever dabbled in the dark arts, Black magic, Wicca etc.?
We haven’t recited incantations from a book in a darkened room if that’s what you mean. However we have had some experiences that I would describe as transcendental, where there was a connection to something disconnected from the mundane. There are various means by which one can attain this state such as meditation, psychedelics or even a particularly intense live performance.
- What are some of the bands favourite quote and by whom?
Pulvis et umbra sumus (Horace)
How long did it take to finalize the Barshasketh concept album?
It’s hard to say precisely how long this took, but I remember we commenced work on the S/T album before the release of Ophidian Henosis back in 2015. After we put the finishing touches on Ophidian Henosis we had a very natural sense of where we should go next and such we were able to jump straight back in to the creative process. It took us quite a long time to distil the songs down to their final form, given the level of detail that there is on BARSHASKETH, which is certainly our most ambitious and complex release to date.
I took the liberty of collecting a few questions from fans of Barshasketh… here goes.
- What was each of your favourite albums of 2018?
Adaestuo – Krew za Krew
- Have you played a show yet that you’d call your best experience so far?
There have been a lot of highlights, but I think our performance at Hymns to the Dead in Hobart, Australia stands out both in terms of the quality of our performance, crowd reaction and setting.
- Which other band, if you could pick, would be your first choice to tour with?
Probably Thy Darkened Shade. I have an immense amount of respect for their integrity and sense of craft that they bring in the creation of their music.
- Have you any plans to do another split – Sein/Zeit was excellent?
Yes, there are several in fact. We hope to finish work on them later this year, so keep an eye on our Facebook page for announcements.
Thanks very much for taking the time, I and Antichrist Magazine extend our best wishes towards the mighty Barshasketh.
The last words are always given up to our gracious interviewee…