Aphazel's Almighty Ancient
Chronicles of Chaos chats with Norway's Ancient
by: Gino Filicetti
Life for Ancient, started in beginning, as all lifeforms on this great green (or should I say, frozen white) earth do, alone. In the beginning (or 1992 to be exact), there was Aphazel, and Aphazel alone. Ancient was a solo project who's mastermind, Aphazel, has brought to the fore front of the black metal scene. CoC spoke with Ancient's guitarist during on of his many lay overs in the United States.

CoC: How has Ancient changed since it was a solo project?

Aphazel: Well, I had a drummer named Grimm join the band in 1993. He also sang and wrote lyrics. The band consisted of two members until 1995 when Grimm basically retired from music altogether. Then I got a vocalist from the band Grand Belials Key named Lord Kaiaphas, he's now playing drums as well as singing and we got a female vocalist from Avernus named Kimberly Goss, she also plays keyboards. We also have another drummer from Norway named Kjetil, he plays five songs on the new album.

CoC: What has Lord Kaiaphas brought to Ancient?

A: Well, he writes all the lyrics and he sings and plays the drums on four songs. But he didn't really have any creative input into the music as I wrote all the songs on _The Cainian Chronicle_. Later on he'll become more involved with the making of the music. He was pretty much a new member when we recorded the album. The way it is now, me and Kaiaphas are the main members of Ancient.

CoC: How is the relationship between yourself and Kaiaphas?

A: We get along great. I stay with him whenever I'm in the United States. I met him in June of last year when he was still in Grand Belials Key. I was in Virginia and I met him down there. Then when Grand Belials Key split up, it was the same time Grimm left Ancient, so Kaiaphas was the perfect guy to take Grimm's place. It's been working out really good.

CoC: I think the lyrics on this CD are the best I've read from ANY black metal band, where does Kaiaphas get his inspiration?

A: He reads a lot of books on magick and that kind of stuff. _The Cainian Chronicle_ is based on the book of Nod which is like a vampire story. He's really into the stuff he reads, and the lyrics for Grand Belials Key were really good too.

CoC: Has anyone ever questioned you or your band's true-ness? Have you ever been seen as imposters because you have Americans in the band?

A: Not really. But I myself don't think we are a pure black metal band. Basically you can say its black metal, but we have a lot of influences from different types of metal and we keep the music very atmospheric. Sort of cross breeding black metal with all kinds of different styles.

CoC: What is your opinion of the whole black metal scene in Norway?

A: There are a lot of good bands, but recently there have been too many new trendy bands that have come out. But I think it's a very good scene. The country itself only has four and a half million people and there are just so many good bands I think it's something to be proud of. In Norway though, there are a lot of people that play black metal, but there aren't too many non-musician fans of the music.

CoC: Do you think band's like Cradle of Filth and their story in Terrorizer show that black metal bands aren't really as "true" as they claim to be?

A: I never really read that story, but I looked at it briefly. In a way it's kind of funny but it's stupid too I think. I don't think we'd do anything like that. But I don't really care too much what other bands do, it's just entertainment for me basically.

CoC: Did you know Euronymous? What was he like in YOUR opinion?

A: No, I didn't know him. I met him once briefly in Oslo in 1991. He seemed to be pretty much like every other normal guy. He seemed like a cool guy, I just didn't get to know him.

CoC: Where does Ancient get its musical inspiration?

A: Well, a lot of the music I'm listening to is music that came out in the early eighties. I also listen to a lot of gothic music like Dead Can Dance and a little bit of Fields of Nifilem. I also get a lot of inspiration from myself and just playing my instruments, I don't spend a lot of time listening to music.

CoC: Do you make music alone to give yourself time to think and concentrate on it?

A: That's pretty much what I've always done in the past. When Grimm was in the band he helped out a little bit, but I'm the only guy who does the guitars and keyboards. For _The Cainian Chronicle_ I made ALL the music, it's totally just my creation. But in the future the members are going to work together more, and it's going to be more of a band thing.

CoC: Why did you decide to record with Dan Swano at Unisound? I think it was a wise choice because the production of this CD is superb.

A: Well, he's really experienced and he doesn't charge a hell of a lot of money. It's like half the price of recording in other studios. He works really fast too, we recorded the album in 85 hours. He works really well and he helped out with the female vocals and keyboards especially. He's better than other producers we worked with who didn't care too much about the music, they just cared about their job and getting things done. Plus he's an excellent musician himself, so he gives us a lot of advice and helped us out a lot.

CoC: Have you done any work for your next record yet?

A: No not really. I haven't started on anything yet. Right now it's about getting inspiration and talking about different ideas and things like that. We plan to record the next album in the summer of next year and hopefully release it by December 1997.

(article submitted 12/8/1996)


ALBUMS
4/12/2002 A Wee 7 Ancient - Proxima Centauri
2/5/1997 D Schinzel 0 Ancient - Mad Grandiose Bloodfiends
7/17/1996 G Filicetti 9 Ancient - The Cainian Chronicle
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