Majestic epic metal music is what Bal Sagoth play on their recent album “Atlantis Ascendant”. Lord Byron who writes the lyrics and is the singer of the band, talks about their music, about the movie “Lord Of The Rings” and the fantasy literature that inspires the band!
1.First of all, I heard your latest album, which I think is an excellent symphonic epic metal album and I really liked it. Tell us all the latest news from the band.

B: HAIL! At the moment we are beginning the preliminary writing process for the forthcoming 6th album, and also planning to do some more UK and European shows in the spring. We'd like to get another European tour arranged, and then we'll begin preparations for the recording of the sixth opus.

2.I believe that you like very much to write epic symphonic music and I can say that you do it Very well and with a unic and specific way!!!I wonder what are the things that insired you to write such a majestic music?

B: The Bal-Sagoth concept was something which I dreamed up a long time ago... back in the 1980's. I wanted to form an extreme metal band which would create powerfully symphonic, bombastic and dark black/death metal, all entwined in and guided by a grand lyrical concept. It took me many years to finally locate personnel who were suitable to enlist, and in 1993 we recorded a very brutal, raw demo tape which only hinted at the greatness to come. The thing which inspired me the most was the desire to create such a symphonic odyssey of dark metal, and it was cool that I found Jonny & Chris Maudling who had the willingness and the musical ability to help me in this quest.

3.What do the lyrics talk about? Which are your favorite lyrics subjects?

B: The lyrics are the manna which sustains this mammoth cosmic engine... they are the coruscating crystals of power which energize the Bal-Sagoth war-machine. All the Bal-Sagoth lyrics are part of the same grand saga, a saga that encompasses the entire vista of creation from the beginnings of the universe to the cataclysmic end of all there is. They are tales of ancient kingdoms, epic battles, distant worlds, dark sorcery, diabolical demons, rogue gods, and incredible journeys beyond the parameters of humanity to spheres of existence unparalleled in the annals of the cosmos. My tales are born of the imagination and are inspired by many things, including ancient myths and legends, arcane history, dreams, and a myriad other sources. The alternate-universe of my lyrics is a fantastic place teeming with dark and sublime wonders, a place complete with its own unique history, theology, geography, mythology and cosmology... a place of glorious carnage, epic adventure and unparalleled darkness. The saga is eternal and there are countless stories yet to be told...  

4.What kinds of music do you like most to listen to in your free time? And what kind of movies do you like to watch?

B: I mostly listen to black, death and thrash metal, as well as classical music and epic film soundtracks. That's about all I listen to, as I don't really like any other kinds of music! My favourite kinds of movies are science fiction, fantasy, horror and action movies, particularly stuff like Star Wars, Jason and the Argonauts, Aliens, Conan the Barbarian, Bride of Frankenstein, King Kong, Dune, Blade Runner.... and newer films like LOTR, X-Men, Gladiator, etc.

5.Did you see the movie Lord Of The Rings? I think that it was a great movie!!! Do you believe that Bal Sagoth could handle to write the sountrack for such a movie? Personally I would like to hear that Bal Sagoth have written the soundtrack for a movie. Are there any plans to do such a thing?

B: Yes indeed, the first LOTR movie was great. The photography, acting and SFX were all excellent. It was a wonderful adaptation of the first book and I'm very much looking forward to the next two films. We would certainly like to provide the soundtrack for an epic SF/fantasy movie... that would be cool. Our keyboard player Jonny is currently doing some work for a company which provides music for video games and TV shows, so perhaps one day we'll get the chance to provide music for a cinematic undertaking, which would be great because our music is very much inspired by film soundtracks.

6.Are there any plans for a new album? Have you record anything yet? Can you give me any song-titles? The new album how will be called and when it's going to be released?

B: All the stories and titles for the sixth album are complete, but they won't be disclosed until much closer to the release date. Several of the epic storylines from previous albums will be continued on the new opus, and the cover artwork will once again be provided by Martin Hanford. We have begun the preliminary writing process for the music, and we hope to record the next album in early summer of this year, which means it will probably be released in the late summer or early autumn.

7.And now we go on with the "Weird Questions"!!!...Which are the 5 albums that you wish that you had written?

B: Bathory: Blood Fire Death
Celtic Frost: To Mega Therion
Manowar: Kings Of Metal
Iron Maiden: Powerslave
Morbid Angel: Altars Of Madness

8. If you were the DJ on a "high society's" party where it was full of VIP's, which 5 songs would you choose to play in order to wake them up and make them "high", or make them to freak out completely?

B: Bathory: Of Doom
Deicide: Dead By Dawn 
Cannibal Corpse: I Cum Blood 
Slayer: Angel Of Death 
Morbid Angel: Maze Of Torment

9.Coming to the end, please tell us what it is that occurs to you with regard to the following classics: a) Venom - Black Metal, b) AC/DC - High Voltage c) Death - Individuals Thought Patterns d) Hawkwind - Hall Of The Mountain Grill e) Judas Priest - British Steel?

B: a)This is a cool album, and a work, which inspired a great many extreme metal bands over the years. 
b)Never heard it!! (Interviewer's note: Unbeleivable!!!) 
c)I much preferred "Scream Bloody Gore" and "Leprosy". 
d)Not familiar with this album. I was never into Hawkwind. 
e)I was never a big fan of Judas Priest, so I don't really have a recollection of this album.

10.Ok Byron, we wish you the best for that album. The last words of this interview belong to you.

B: Many thanks for this cool interview, and hail to all our supporters reading this. Hope to see you later this year for some further live carnage!! Remember: our 5 albums and our range of award winning shirts are available now! Keep your blades sharp!! Check out the following websites for information and merchandise relating to Bal-Sagoth:

by Thanos & Kyriaki