The dark art known as Black Metal may be unleashed from anywhere within the confines of this dismal planet. Narbeleth is based out Havana, Cuba out of all places – a mysterious country isolated politically and aesthetically from the world at large. Dakkar is the visionary mastermind behind the blackened hymns of Narbeleth, unleashed from the depths of the Cuban metal underground. A Hatred Manifesto has been issued worldwide through Folter Records, an absolute triumph featuring such devastating cuts as Land Of The Heathen, Posercorpse, and the mighty F*ck Off! In this interview with Dakkar, we discuss the metal scene in Cuba, some of the powerful songs contained within A Hatred Manifesto, their live shows, Cuban beer, and other grim topics on interest. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Narbeleth, and how long the band has been together.
HAIL! I´m Dakkar, and I´m NARBELETH. As a solo project, I manage everything in the band; from composition to recording every single instrument, producing, mixing… I began with this band back 2008, so 5 years.
Where is the band based out of and what is your local metal scene like there? Are there any other local bands you could recommend?
I live in Havana. The metal scene in Cuba is quite big, for being an island on the Caribbean Sea. We have a lot of metal supporters and some good bands. I could recommend to check out BLACKULT and ANCESTOR, both Black Metal. COMBAT NOISE, Death Metal, and ZEUS, Thrash, the oldest metal band in Cuba.
Being from Cuba, how did you wind up signing to Folter Records?
I got in contact with Folter Recors in order to play at Under the Black Sun Festival. Then when I was finishing the new album I sent to them a couple of tracks and they agreed in releasing it.
Is there any story or concept behind the title A Hatred Manifesto?
Black Metal is the concept behind all NARBELETH releases, and within Black Metal are my own visions and feelings channelized into art. So, “A Hatred Manifesto” is what the same title announces, a piece full of hatred against nowadays stupid society.
Select two songs from A Hatred Manifesto and what inspired the lyrics.
Let´s see… “Posercorpse” for instance, I think the title speaks for himself, is a statement against those posers that are always into any metal scene, fucking and soiling the prestige of genres as Black Metal. And “Nihilistic Propaganda” is about searching the truth within you, look at your own strength, your principles and your values to become a better being, to become your own god.
What could one expect from a live Narbeleth show?
Just all the energy we are capable to put out in order to reach the audience and transmit to them all the feelings through the music.
Has Narbeleth ever played here in the States or plan to do so in future days? Would it be easy or difficult for you to do shows outside of Cuba?
No, NARBELETH has never been abroad, yet, and I think it would be a little bit difficult to bring the band to the States, but not impossible, so any promoter interested? It´s difficult to have shows outside Cuba, of course, because we don´t have resources to afford the expenses, but with a little help from outside, it can be done.
If Narbeleth could open up for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
That´s a difficult question… From the past, JUDAS ISCARIOT, no doubt of it, because the huge inspiration I got from this amazing band.
Do you still keep in touch with any of the members of your previous band Ancestor?
Absolutely! We still in contact of course. We are great friends.
Are you currently involved with any other bands outside Narbeleth?
No, right now just NARBELETH, although I´m working in some songs for a new Blackened Thrash project I want to record with a friend.
What is your favorite Cuban beer of choice and why?
Hehe! Good question! Bucanero! Is the strongest cuban beer here, and is really tasty.
When you look back on your previous album Diabolus Incarnatus, what do you think of it now?
“Diabolus Incarnatus” is an album I like a lot, although it has some sound matters, I think that, as part of NARBELETH´s history, it shows the state of the band at that moment, and I´m very satisfied with it.
Has Darkthrone heard and/or commented on your cover of The Hordes Of Nebulah?
Would be great if they could listen to it and share an opinion! But I think they haven´t.
What’s up next for Narbeleth?
Right now, just preparing for the show at Under the Black Sun in Berlin next July.
Any final words of wisdom?
Just listen to the new album and hope you can find it interesting and matching with your ideology.
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions! Hope to see you play out here in L.A. sometime soon!
Thanks to you for the interview and thanks to all NARBELETH´s followers around the world. Hope too to play someday in L.A. HAIL!
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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