An Interview With Drummer Baal-Thamor Of Gothmog
Band Photo: Gothmog (?)
Spanish black metal band Gothmog, one of the more recent to come out of the growing metal hordes in Spain, just released their first full length album "A Step In The Dark" on January 1st, 2009 through Xtreem Music. Gothmog's drummer Baal-Thamor was kind enough to conduct an interview with Metalunderground to provide some insight into the Spanish scene and let us know about their debut album.
xFiruath: Congratulations on getting signed to Xtreem Music for the release of your new album “A Step In The Dark!” How did you guys get hooked up with Xtreem Music?
Baal-Thamor: Thank you. We got hooked up with them due to the “Spain Kills” metal compilation that Xtreem Music released a few weeks ago. We took part of it and thus, Xtreem Music discovered us and offered us the business.
xFiruath: Gothmog is described as a black metal band, but that particular phrase can mean a lot of different things. How would you describe the sound of your band to someone who hadn’t heard it before?
Baal-Thamor: It is said we are in the crest of what it’s beginning to be dubbed as the “Iberian Black Metal” wave. Ours is a melodic and epic black metal, fast but not extreme, powerful but not brutal, melodic but not symphonic. Our lyrics talk about epic stories, tales from our imagination, the dark side of the human soul, the devil’s inner thoughts… We are not into Satanism even though we are against the church and the way religion is used to justify every war and every disaster. We are from the south, we are Iberian, so our way of enjoying life is very different from the northern’s and thus, our music sounds just different; dark but intense, with an edge to it that makes us sound different, even though the northern influences are there. Norway is the mother of black metal and the influence is undeniable.
xFiruath: What draws you to play black metal as opposed to any other type of music?
Baal-Thamor: It’s the perfect mixture between speed, power and melody that draws us to play this way. It’s not that we wanted to play exclusively black; we all listen to black and other kinds of metal and our music is the natural reflection of what we’ve been listening to since we were kids.
xFiruath: Gothmog was the name of the second-in-command to the Witch King of Angmar in the Lord of the Rings novels. Does your music or lyrics deal with the events from the Lord of the Rings or did you settle on the name for how it sounds?
Baal-Thamor: I have to add some extra info about that, I’m afraid. Gothmog was the lord of the Balrogs (the demons of fire) and in honour of it, later on in history, came the one you said. We took that name ‘cause I personally love The Lord of the Rings, it’s my favourite book ever, and the story surrounding the lord of the Balrogs is great. Even though, there are no lyrics making reference to Tolkien’s creations, but there will be…
xFiruath: You guys used to be known as “Torn Asunder,” what made you change your name to Gothmog?
Baal-Thamor: There was a band that was already using that name, apart from the fact that the name was not that powerful.
xFiruath: Tell me about the recording of “A Step in the Dark.” Where did you record at, who did the mixing/producing, and how was the process overall?
Baal-Thamor: “A Step in the Dark” was recorded, mixed and produced in Valencia, at Fernando Asensi’s studio during April-May 2008. The process was very funny, except for the fact that we couldn’t enjoy all the process due to job facts, some of us have jobs. Any way, it was a great laugh, we would record some parts, then got pissed and again to the studio. It all was very funny ‘cause all we get on really well and we have a great laugh every time we get together.
xFiruath: Now that your first album is released what do you guys have planned for the immediate future? Any touring or a special release show?
Baal-Thamor: Our plan right now is to play and play and play anywhere we are booked to promote the album. No touring yet, just dates here and there.
xFiruath: While there have been plenty of great extreme metal bands that have come from Spain, it has tended to be overshadowed in the metal community by places like Norway and Sweden. How have you personally found the metal scene to be in Spain and what has fan reaction to your band been like in other countries?
Baal-Thamor: Well, Spain is beginning to awake to the world in the extreme business with many good bands. You should check the “Spain Kills” compilation out, 10 CDs of several metal styles, to see what Spain’s made of in the metal genre nowadays. We all know that Scandinavia’s got the fame and the status, well deserved by the way, but there’s more to it in the rest of Europe, and Spain is the prove. Anyway, the metal scene in Spain doesn’t still have the popularity that it enjoys in northern Europe, but it’s a matter of time that the growing metal legions reach a notable number of followers in less time that we all suspect. About the foreign fans reaction, it’s a bit soon to talk about that since we’ve just released the album a few days ago, but we’re getting fairly good critics in the reviews all over the world. So, let’s wait to see.
xFiruath: What has been your favorite show or venue that you’ve played at so far?
Baal-Thamor: I’d probably say the 1st time we ever played, some 3 years ago, still unknown as a band in our own town, Alicante. The place was packed, there was snow in the mountains, it was a cold and rainy night of January. Yeah, that was magic…
xFiruath: When you aren’t playing music, what is your favorite album to listen to and what do you like about it?
Baal-Thamor: There are sooo many great albums and we all listen to such a variety of metal that I wouldn’t know what to say. We may have Dimmu, Emperor, Maiden, Symphony X, Slayer, Dark Tranquility, COB in our top 5, so, who knows…
xFiruath: If you could tour with any band, past or present, who would it be with and where would you go?
Baal-Thamor: Emperor and Dimmu Borgir would be the greatest options (apart from Iron Maiden) and we would go wherever we could. We would go everywhere!
xFiruath: That’s all my questions, so do you have any extra parting words for the fans?
Baal-Thamor: Of course, we thank all the fans, present and future, for supporting us, for coming to see us play and for sharing our music. We hope to see you all on the road! Thanks for everything. Cheers!
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