Interview of Sabathan (bass, vocals)

    I consider Enthroned like one of the best "true" black-metal band of the European scene... You are right, they are not Norwegian, not Sweden but I think it is not necessary to come of these countries to play an extem music and Enthroned shows us this !!!! However that may be, Enthroned dethrones many bands in Scandinavia and I let Sabathan expresses himself about this famous band...


 Q - You have just finished a tour with Marduk and Angel Corpse. How is happened this tour ? I believe that you were not appointed on the tour in the beginning…

    S. : Yes, we’re just back home from the mighty « PANZER DIVISION TOUR » with MARDUK and ANGEL CORPSE, two great bands which allied perfectly with the image and music of ENTHRONED.  It’s right that we was not appointed to make this tour, but in a first time Morgan (guitar) from MARDUK, have phone to us and ask if we would be OK to make the tour with them, we said « yes of course » but sometimes later, he phoned back and told us « there’s no more place in the bus » and it was conclude canceled for us, and METALLYSEE the tour promotor have phone us back that they were OK to rent a motorhome, and we could make the tour, and it’s was done, but they’ve rip-off us, cause the venues didn't now that we was additioned, and we was not appointed nowhere on the bills and venues.  Is the tour manager which have arrange to each date, for that we’ve right to have food and drinks, and to play.  Except these problems, the crowd was each days totally great and surprised that we were there, and we’ve got a incredible success almost each dates.
    We was the surprised band, and we don’t regret this tour, even if we’ve got tons of problems everydays, the principal for us, is to play live, and to tour, we love that and live only for that.  Metal Attitude forever ! ! !

    Q - Your last album « The Apocalypse Manifesto » has been released few months ago. What have been the reactions of the press and of your fans about this new C-D ? Could you come back in few words on « The Apocalypse Manifesto » ?

    S. : Yes, the reactions of « THE APOCALYPSE MANIFESTO », are much better than for « TOWARDS THE SKULLTHRONE OF SATAN ».  The musical evolution is certainly the gain of succes of this album.  We never stop to evoluate and to become more and more better musicians.  We’ve get more fans than before since the release of it, as well better reviews in the press, is the first ENTHRONED album which was composed, and recorded professionally, cause when we’ve released our 2 firsts albums, we was still a « beginner » band, and we’ve not work with professional technics for release’em.  The things goes different now cause also, we’ve a better line-up and got more experience in composition matter than before, we will continue in this way, more brutal, more technical and more aggressive, we never wimped out including tons of keyboards and Female vocals, we let those stuffs for childish bands à la CRADLE OF SHIT.  The best examples to follow are bands like MORBID ANGEL, MARDUK, SLAYER (til « Divine intervention »)….and all those who believe in their art, and not follow any kind of stupid trends of shit.  Trend is not a part of the Metal scene, is just the poison of the Metal scene.

    Q - It seems that your last album « The Apocalypse Manifesto » is heavy, more technical that in the past… Do you think to go in a same way for your new compositions ?

    S. : Of course even more technical and brutal again, we will follow more the way of composition of MORBID ANGEL than the one of DARK FUNERAL, if you know what I mean ?  We want compose very brutal tracks, but also very different each others and very more varieted each ones.  You will even find in our next compositions, some complicated parts a la DREAM THEATER by example, but of course in a pure Black Metal way, but we listen a lot of bands like DREAM THEATER, SYMPHONY X, Yngwie Malmsteen, cause they’re amazing high quality musicians, and it’s also time for us to become professional musicians, know and manipulate our instruments like those guys.  You learn a lot of things when you listen this kind of progressive bands, a lot of things that you cannot discover into Black or Death Metal, and it’s good.
I listen absolutely all kind of Metal music, HEAVY, SPEED, THRASH, DEATH, BLACK and also PROGRESSIVE.  And since I’m more mind open wide, I’ve learn a lot of things, different method and games for use my own instrument (Bass guitar), and is the reason why ENTHRONED will never stop to evoluate and composed more and more brutal tracks, but as well more and more technical.

   Q - « The Apocalypse Manifesto » has been recorded in the Abyss studio with Peter Tagtgren. Why have you chosen the Abyss ? Have you not afraid to be compared with the Swedish sound (Dark Funeral, Marduk) ? Do you think to use the Abyss for your next releases ?

    S. : No we’ll not return at THE ABYSS studio for our next releases, probably not, cause as you ask me, I think to much bands goes to record there, and got the same production, We’ve choose THE ABYSS cause we know very well Peter, and it’s a great producer, very talented, and we’ve try the experience to record a album there, and also at this time, before to release « THE APOCALYPSE MANIFESTO » we dindn’t knew any studios able to produce this album in Belgium, is for what we’ve take the way of Sweden, and record it at THE ABYSS.  But our upcoming fourth album will be recorded back in Belgium, in the most great studio of Belgium (studio GAM), with our own sound engineer as well producer.

    Q - When we see the tracklist of « The Apocalypse Manifesto » and when we listen the album, we can see that their is one track which are not on the C-D, « Post Mortem Penetrations ». What is happened with this track ?

    S. : Is our shitty label which had fucked-up the mastering of « THE APOCALYPSE MANIFESTO » they’ve lost the track on the mastering, before to pressed the CD’s, But this tracks will appear on the re-release of «PROPHECIES OF PAGAN FIRE », As bonus track, as well with the demo and some live tracks recorded on the « Commanders of Chaos tour’ 98 » tour with DARK FUNERAL.
    Our label is just a bunch of incapables, they are not worthy to hold and manage a label, they’re just incompetent people who try to make money on the back of their bands.

    Q - On the contrary of many bands, your success hasn’t changed your personality that is to say you are stayed yourselves and you haven’t caught « the big head ». What do you think about bands which change their personality with their success and catch the « big head » and a « rock star attitude » ?

    S. : They just sucks, and don’t know what is the true Metal feeling, and a true Metal life, they don’t live like real Metalheads, they want to live like kings.
    I could never change of personality just cause my band works and get more and more success day by day, I will stay always the same guy, til I’ll die man, I will always goes bang my head and drink beers, and fuck chicks at all concerts, festivals and Metal party or pub, til my bones will be to old for let me move my ass, and I don’t give a fuck to those « rock-stars attitude » stupid bands which want to be the best, and which are just a bunch of wimps, affraid of themselfs, they can go fuck themselfs with their big-shithead, and move in another world than the true Metal world.

    Q - One of the characteristic of your line up is that it is stable, if we except the death of Cernunnos (R.I.P.) and the coming of a second guitarist Nebiros. How do you explain that since the beginning, the line-up of Enthroned is the same ? I believe that you have others projects in parallel with Enthroned…

    S. : Yes, it’s true that since the dead of our brother CERNUNNOS, and since the arrival of NAMROTH BLACKTHORN, the line-up is stable, and I hope it will stay, cause we are all very motivated to play and compose in the best way possible.
NAMROTH BLACKTHORN is a old friend to me since more than 15 years, and a incredible drummer, he play drums since 1983, he’ve start with a old SPEED METAL band in 1984, a kind of KILL’EM ALL (METALLICA) style.  I’ve knew him in the same time as CERNUNNOS, and he was also the second drummer of my first band MORBID DEATH in the eighties.  He have bring something new in ENTHRONED music, our next compositions will be very different than the other ones, more brutal but also more technical and less « linear » if you know what I mean.  It will be more like a kind of MORBID ANGEL into a pure Black Metal way.  I take as exemple MORBID ANGEL cause is the most strong and technical band that I know, is one of my fave bands since their first album, they are just GODS, they rule the Metal world and they are the best exemple to follow.  Even if I did prefer with David Vincent, Steve Tucker is excellent too, and I will not miss them in December, here in Belgium.
    Yes we have some parallel project, myself I play in a HEAVY/SPEED METAL band as bass player, in the vein of BLIND GUARDIAN, is also one of my fave bands in another style of music, their music is great and original, they just KILLS.
I like all kind of true Metal music (speed, thrash, heavy, death and black) METAL IS THE ONLY LAW, and the differents criteria conflicts SUCKS ! ! !
    Metal is Metal, is the same world and same attitude.
    Is not only a kind of music, for me is a way of life, I couldn’t live without METAL.

    Q - I have heard that your new album « Armoured Bestial Hell » is already finished. Maybe, could you tell us more about it…

    S. : Yes, it’s finished of compositions, we start the recording of it in December 99 (only drums session) and January 2000 (guitars, bass, vocals, samples and final mix).
    We hope it will be release in April 2000, and available in the stores around end of April, early May 2000.
    It will be more brutal again than « THE APOCALYPSE MANIFESTO », but now we find it too much linear, is not again the perfect top that we want.  But the next one will be top, fuckin’brutal but very varieted and aggressive, but always fast and brutal as hell.
    We would like arrive to play like MORBID ANGEL, but as I’ve explain you always in the true ENTHRONED tradition.  We want to be original now and not to be a sheep copy of MARDUK or DARK FUNERAL, to much bands try to copy each others or the most biggest bands, and the result is never so good, and everything's sounds the same.  We want to be different, and that the people can say « ENTHRONED is a original band, it don’t sound like MARDUK or IMMORTAL or EMPEROR, it just sound like ENTHRONED, and it’s different than all », we would like compose in a way that no one Black Metal band have ever done.  And is that we check now for our next album,
    The fifth one.

   Q - Your next album will be your last release for Blackend, the English label. For the moment, are you satisfied by the work of Blackend ? Do you think to sign once again with them ? If not, have you received others offers by others labels ?

    S. : Absolutely NOT, we are not satisfied of this label, they just SUCKS.  We have not any promotion in the magazines.  For exemple, have you seen in your local magazines in France (METALLIAN, HARD ROCK, HARD’N HEAVY…) the most small advertising about our third album (apocalypse…) ? ? ? ?   NO !
    A small review or interview ? ? ?  NO !
    Is the same shit EVERYWHERE ! ! !
    We are totaly unpromotioned, and we make everythings ourself, that’s crap.
    Even for the tours, we must arrange everythings ourselfs with our manager, they don’t take care about us, just suck our money.  We don’t get any royalties, and any statements of sold, we are ripped-off totally.  I’m sure that we sold a lot of albums, but never see the color of one coin of money from them, just some publishing very small payment that’s all.  We leave after the release of our upcoming fourth album, as we’ve sign for 3 albums, « ARMOURED………. » will be the last one before to be free.
    No, we’ve no one offer of other labels, I don’t understand for which reason, we ask for a deal, but we never get any answer, but I don’t care, I will not stop ENTHRONED cause the business people prefer to sign Norwaygian or Swedish bands than a uninteresting Belgian band.  Is the big problem actually, the labels looks more on your nationality than on the quality of your music.  Would you imagine one day that GORGOROTH could sign on NUCLEAR BLAST ? ? ?  Is incredible no ! ?
GORGOROTH is a great band, I like their extreme music, but If we was playing the same kind of music than GORGOROTH, we were still not signed by any labels, I’m sure and certain ! ! !  is very hard for a Belgian band to be signed, even if you play like YNGWIE MALMSTEEN or DREAM THEATER, the stupidity of a great part of label managers laugh when they recieve Belgian material, even if the musical quality is top level, but if they recieve a demo played by a band which play on their instruments since no more than one week, and it sounds very false and debutants, they will sign if they it comes from Scandinavia or USA.

    Q - What do you think about the new musical way of the bands such The Kovenant (ex-Covenant) by the use of new sounds or Dodheimsgard ? Could you consider that one day Enthroned will take a such musical way ?

    S. : I don’t know those bands and it doesn’t interrested me, I hate industrial music.
    I like the 2 firsts DÖDEIMSGARD albums, they’re killer, I’ve heard about their changement of style, but I will never listen their new material.
    About THE KOVENANT, I’ve never like their music, and now is more than lamentable, is pathetic.  Once again they’re sign cause they’re Norwaygian and during this times tons of others bands from Belgium, France, Germany….and more works hard and looks hard for a good deal and they are forsaken cause of their nationality, and their music just KILLS.  I’ve some demos here from French and Belgian bands, and believe me they are very amazing stuffs, but they don’t find any deal, it’s a shame from the part of labels.  About ENTHRONED take this kind of direction (of the bands that you cite here) DON’T EXPECT IT IN ANY WAYS !  NEVER !

    Q - I thank you very much for your answers. If you want conclude this interview…

    S. : Yes Fabrice, I thanx you too for your interview as well your support.
    I conclude my interview with a big HAIL to all French Metalheads, you guys rule,
    Thanx for your support all, and your excellent reception when we are on tour in your nice country.  WE WILL BE BACK…STRONGER THAN ALL…SEE YOU SOON.



SABATHAN from ENTHRONED here, I would like to send my apologies to BLACKEND/PLASTIC HEAD, for what’s happened in the interview for the magazine DARK WAVES from France.  If I’ve spoke bad things about them is a little bit cause I’m so sick of all the problems we have in the band, all the tours which failed and all who is wrong.
We will soon release our fourth album, and have already release three albums and a mini album and have a nice notoriety in the Metal scene in General,
And we must thanks PLASTIC HEAD for have release and paid the studio costs for the three albums that we’ve make under their contract.
But my own opinion is,  comparatively to others Black Metal bands which have less albums than us, we are nowhere, and suffer of a big lake of promotion and is the reason why I’m always complaint.  I’m not pissed-off of their work for CD releases and support of studio, I’m just pissed-off cause the lake of promotion in the biggest Metal magazines over the world, and is for this reason that all our tours failed, not enough people known us and also I’ve meet a lot of people in the southern lands, and they’ve told me that is almost impossible to find our albums in those countries.  And if my wrath have dominated me during this interview, is also cause we’ve ask several times to our label BLACKEND to make an effort in matter of distribution and promotion, and never seen any changes, this is the reason why I was out of myself when I’ve answer this interview.  But now, I conclude that my attitude was very stupid, and promise to never speak shit about BLACKEND/PLASTIC HEAD in the interviews anymore.  And once again I present’em my most sincere apologies fo all that shit happened.

    - Demo 1994 (1994, Demo)
    - Promo 1994 (1994, Promo)
    - Split EP with Ancient Rites (1994, EP)
    - Prophecies Of Pagan Fire (1995, Evil Omen Records, C-D)
    - Towards The Skullthrone Of Satan (1997, Blackend, C-D)
    - Regie Sathanas : A Tribute To Cernunnos (1998, Blackend, mini C-D)
    - The Apocalypse Manifesto (1999, Blackend, C-D)