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Interview

Lightning Swords Of Death Discusses New Album "Baphometic Chaosium"

The occult metal troupe Lightning Swords of Death broke through "The Extra Dimensional Wound" (reviewed here) into our world back in 2010, and the group has spent the interim working on a proper invocation to Baphomet and the magical arts.

Newly released album "Baphometic Chaosium" is exactly what it sounds like, and Lightning Swords of Death vocalist Autarch wasn't shy about spreading its message. "The new one is pretty much a love letter to Baphomet," he stated during a recent chat with Metalunderground.com. Discussing the album, he went on to say "When one invokes Baphomet you are usually seeking a certain wisdom that will be left inside you after the ritual. That’s the feeling I wanted the CD to have. I wanted something to enter the listener for the duration of the playtime and then leave traces of itself within you."

With the album having just seen official release through Metal Blade, along with a music video directed by Autarch himself, black metal fans now have the chance to decide for themselves if that lofty goal was achieved. To get an inside look at what went into the creation of this new assault of occult heaviness, check out the full interview below.

xFiruath: We’re now getting on into 2013 – for you what was the most exciting thing to happen last year?

Autarch: I’m going to say recording “Baphometic Chaosium.” My own music is the most exciting thing for me.

xFiruath: Where did that recording take place and how was the process?

Autarch: That was recorded with John Haddad in California, the same place where we tracked “The Extra Dimensional Wound.” We went back to John and it was a very challenging experience to be honest. When you invoke the god of chaos, chaos happens. Even though the results were spectacular as far as I’m concerned, getting there was full of challenges and obstacles. It was our first recording as a five piece. We had a new guitarist that had only done a brief tour with us, which went very well. We got back from that and hit the studio for writing. There was a little bit of a learning curve involved recording together, but it came out perfect and kind of opened up new doorways and we stepped through them. That’s probably why the new record has a lot of new sounds on it that weren’t previously associated with Lightning Swords of Death. It’s a more atmospheric, experimental release. It’s not completely strayed from the path we were on before, but it’s another layer of mystery we’ve put on there.

xFiruath: You mentioned writing these tracks after the tour. What was the writing like for this album?

Autarch: The songs kind of evolved, since some of it was written in 2011 and we dug it out and streamlined it with the concept of being a five piece. For this record it was more of a collaboration between every member. Everyone goes into their dark place and evokes a certain sound and then we bring it together. The whole idea of making it a concept record, the record is devoted to Baphomet, I would actually describe the entire project as the band itself invoking Baphomet on the record. I think it comes through the music. It breathes the same sort of energy that that deity does. The record is a sort of temple for the adoration of Baphomet. I think the listener will feel that when they listen from beginning to end. It begins and ends in a peculiar way, it opens up the body and allows you to crawl through the entrails of that entity. When one invokes Baphomet you are usually seeking a certain wisdom that will be left inside you after the ritual. That’s the feeling I wanted the CD to have. I wanted something to enter the listener for the duration of the playtime and then leave traces of itself within you. I think it’s succeeded in doing that.

xFiruath: Would you say the same thing was going on with the last album in creating those themes and having a listener take something specific away from it, or is this something new to “Baphometic Chaosium?”

Autarch: The last album wasn’t so specific. This record is aimed specifically at that particular deity, while the last one was kind of an entrance into this world for us. The last record was Lightning Swords of Death coming through “The Extra Dimensional Wound.” At the time a lot of us were getting into concepts like the multiverse and ritual magic merging. We had a lot of views about the tree of life and death being a sort of metaphor for a new world, so “The Extra Dimensional Wound” covers a lot of concepts of possession and ritual work, but the new one is pretty much a love letter to Baphomet. There’s maybe one tune that strays a little bit from that. “R’Lyeh Wuurm” is a brief instruction in creating a servitor by way of chaos magic. Even that act though is done in devotion to Baphomet, who is a god of magic and witches, so pretty much the whole thing is done in the honor of the father of understanding.

xFiruath: You just did a music video as well. Can you tell me about shooting that clip and what’s happening on it?

Autarch: Well it was the first time I’ve ever directed anything with a camera before. It was an incredible learning experience, and everyone is pretty stunned at what we got out of it. It was filmed in Los Angeles in a warehouse with a cast of people in the know that cooperated in this strange idea. It could not have gone better. I have a lot of really talented and creative people in my circle. I put out the word that I wanted to do this and I was delighted to find that everyone was ready to go for it. Without giving away too much, it deals with everything we’ve been talking about. It’s a dramatization of the invocation of Baphomet and it’s got all the trimmings, it’s all there. A lot of things just lined up perfectly to do something like this. We seized the opportunity and filmed our first music video. I honestly really hate music videos, and I didn’t want to do some kind of green screen thing like everyone does. I didn’t want to rely on cheap SyFy channel special effects. The results were amazing.

xFiruath: You mentioned shooting that in L.A. What’s happening in your metal scene there and do you guys have some tour dates lined up yet?

Autarch: We have a tour coming that we haven’t announced yet, but it looks like it will be in late Spring. We’ll announce soon after crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s. As far as metal in L.A. is concerned, it’s better than it used to be. There really wasn’t much of a metal scene thriving, which was disheartening at times. Our approach was kind of serious and not really a shtick, but slowly but surely people started coming here from all over specifically to play music. Labels relocated here and before you know it there’s a thriving metal scene. There’s good people out here who take their metal seriously. We’ve enjoyed our experience even though it was rather desperate at first, but things are looking up. Being in L.A. helping to line us up with Metal Blade. They heard about us from word of mouth being a local band. I think a lot of people have ideas about the way Los Angeles is, like it’s all phony and bullshit about television. It’s easy to come up with a quick dismissal of anything from L.A. and taking it seriously, but I don’t think it’s like that for the locals, especially people who were born here. I’ve always found L.A. to be a really magical place. I don’t even have any interest in leaving. Most of the L.A. assholes aren’t from Los Angeles, they are transplants that came here with a preconceived idea of what the city was like.

xFiruath: What are you listening to lately and what are you looking forward to that’s coming out this year?

Autarch: I’ve been listening a lot to King Dude, which isn’t really metal, although it’s definitely atmospheric. I spend so much time to listening to metal my whole life, so lately I’ve found myself listening to stuff that isn’t metal. King Dude is a former black metal friend of ours who’s playing these songs that are still rather dark but folky sounding love songs. Sometimes I stray from the norm to get new ideas, like weird noise stuff to help my imagination go places I’m not at if its metal constantly. As far as metal is concerned, I like stuff from Ascension from Germany. I’ve been getting enjoyment out of primitive, punk-style black metal bands.

xFiruath: What else would you like to say?

Autarch: I think people will be surprised by this record. It definitely introduces some new emotions that weren’t present in our earlier music. The recording is really crisp and there’s a lot of opportunity to let the eyes roll back into the head and do an inward journey. It’s a psychedelic kind of experience. The record talks a lot about duality, life and death and what’s in-between. Most of our music has always been about magic, but not dogmatic stuff.

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Ty Arthur is a freelance writer who writes for both entertainment and technical instruction sites. An avid fan of many different forms of metal, he has been involved in reviewing music for several years and is currently a contributing editor for Metalunderground.com

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