Uncompromising and absolutely relentless, Hellsaw presents a scathing black metal assault that will surely pummel the senses of all who venture out to give a listen. Trist is the latest artillery of sonic devastation, recently unleashed worldwide via Napalm Records.
We recently interviewed this Austrian collective to find out more about their new album, live shows including an appearance at the famed Wacken Festival, misinformation on the Internet, and other topics having to do with the negativity within. Read on for dark enlightenment…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Hellsaw, and how long the band has been together.
I’m Aries and I’m the vocalist, as well as writer and lyricist for the band and one of the founding members who created HELLSAW back in 2002
Where is the band based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
We’re based in the Austrian region of Styria. The local music scene in Austria is healthy, with a lot of both established and upcoming bands and a good solid fan-base. There are a lot of metal heads in Europe, and fortunately Austria is no exception.
Is there any story or concept behind the CD title Trist?
“Trist” in German means sad or melancholy. I liked the word because of all the emotions associated with it. My writing springs from the negativity inside me, so it was a very appropriate word to use for the album, and I’d decided on it before we started working on it.
Please select any two songs from Trist and what inspired the lyrical content.
“Beldam. 1450” is about the persecution and burning of witches that’s taken place over the ages in the name of Christianity has always interested me. I quite often use historical events or figures in my lyrics. “The Forerunner of the Apocalypse” is about what we could feel both physically and emotionally as the Apocalypse dawns.
Who did the stunning cover art for Trist and how much input did you have on it?
The artwork is by the Brazilian designer Marcelo Vasco, with whom we also worked for our previous album “Cold”. We give him an outline of what sort of thing we are looking for and he works from that. He knows the band well, and how we like things done, and he’s a very talented designer, so we work well together.
Is Aries still involved with Horned Almighty and what is the current status of the band?
I think you must have been reading Metal Archives where, as in this case, the information is quite often completely wrong. I have never had any connection at all with Horned Almighty. That’s the problem with sites that allow anyone to contribute information; they become so full of errors that you can’t rely on them at all. It’s very irritating for bands, especially when they make it virtually impossible for the bands themselves to correct the errors. The only information you can rely on these days is on Official band pages.
With your ten year anniversary coming up, what do you think has kept Hellsaw a thriving entity for nearly a decade now?
Probably the fact that we all believe in the band and in what we are doing. We all give it 100%, and we don’t compromise on what we want from our music. With everything we do, whether it’s a show or an album, we try to give it our best, and make sure that we are constantly improving and not stagnating.
How did the tour with Shining go and what was it like being on the road with them?
It was pretty much a tour like any other for us. We are all musicians who focus completely on the job in hand, and we don’t get distracted by other things.
Has Hellsaw ever played any shows here in the States and/or are there any plans to do so once Trist is released?
We’ve never played in the States, and it’s something we would very much like to do as soon as possible. Playing live is very important to us and we like the interaction it allows us with the fans.
Many metal fans here in the States would like to go to Wacken. What was your experience like playing the Wacken Festival?
It’s a fantastic experience, and is something that most bands would give their eye-teeth to be able to do. It’s not just the fact of playing at what is probably the foremost Metal event in the world; it’s also that you can also be one of the fans so you get to enjoy the experience from both sides.
Will Napalm Records be releasing Phantasm, Spiritual Twilight or any of the other Hellsaw previous releases?
There are no plans at the moment, no.
And looking back on older Hellsaw recordings, what do you think of them now?
All our albums are products of what we were at the moment in time when we made them, and I still like them immensely. Obviously since then we have all grown both as musicians and as individuals, and we have undergone many more experiences, so our later albums are a reflection of that development. It’s always been our philosophy to make the next album even better than the one before, but it certainly doesn’t change how I feel about any of them.
What does the term “Satanism” mean to you, if anything?
Satanism means so many different things to so many different people, and we’re not a prosthelytizing band. Our lyrics are based on the negativity inside not only ourselves, but inside everyone.
Any messages for metal fans here in the States?
We hope to be able to come over and play in the States so you get to see Hellsaw in action.
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions! Hope to see Hellsaw play here in the States sometime soon! Congrats on the amazing new album!!!
Hellsaw thanks you.
Aries – Vocals
Malthus – Guitar
Isiul – Guitar
Desderoth – Bass
Neuroticon – Drums
(Interview by Kenneth Morton)
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