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Ereb Altor Talks Newly Released Third Album "Gastrike"

Starting with debut full-length "By Honour" (reviewed here), Sweden's Ereb Altor has been on a journey of musical discovery as the band breaks away from the doom sound of primary act Isole and heads into faster, more black metal influenced territory. While sophomore effort "The End" was originally meant to cap Ereb Altor's activity, inspiration struck again and now the band has released a third album, "Gastrike."

With the third release out now, Ereb Altor's Ragnar granted an interview to Metalunderground.com to discuss how the group's sound has evolved, why a new album happened at all, and how the band recently changed from a duo to a trio. Check out the full interview below.

xFiruath: Ereb Altor has a third member now, Tord on drums. How did you pick him up?

Ragnar: The pace increased on this album, so we needed a faster drummer who could play this stuff faster, and this was also the drummer we had used for live shows before, so there was nothing strange about bringing him on.

xFiruath: It seemed like the last album “The End” was supposed to be the final output from Ereb Altor. What changed your mind and kept the band going?

Ragnar: When I was writing “The End” it was supposed to be the last one, but inspiration thrived. There were so many new ideas I really wanted to try out, so we had to keep on going. I already have plans for a fourth album, so it will still be a couple more albums I think. It was an end to that kind of sound, as we now play a different kind of music.

xFiruath: Speaking of that, what I’ve heard of the new album “Gastrike” so far seems less slow and doomy and more like black metal this time around. How would you compare the sound of this album to the last two records?

Ragnar: There was some black metal influences on “The End” as well, but not as much as on the new album. The pace is faster and we use a lot more harsh vocals this time. I think we will use more clear vocals in the future, but this one we used a lot of harsh vocals and there’s a darker approach to reflect the lyrics of ghost stories and old legends taken from where I come from. It kind of has a spooky feeling.

xFiruath: Tell me a bit about the artwork. Who handled that and what connection does it have with the music?

Ragnar: It’s a Swedish painter not very known. He showed me some of his earlier work and he’s really talented. I let him on the details of the songs and let him know I wanted it to connect to the image somehow of the dark elements in the lyrics. He did an excellent job putting the devil with the violin and the river, it has a lot of details. I think it reflects the music well.

xFiruath: Will you be taking the new music out for any live shows?

Ragnar: We are working on it. We have a festival booked and we’re working on a couple other festivals. I think we will try to go on a proper European tour as well.

xFiruath: I’m always interested in hearing about the local scenes of musicians from extreme or underground bands like yours. Are there any shows going on in your area that you get to check out?

Ragnar: There isn’t a local scene where I come from. We had a metal club, but it was shut down a year and a half ago. So there’s no live shows here, except for a festival in July where bigger bands play.

xFiruath: What’s going on with your other band Isole?

Ragnar: We’re trying to get as many live shows as possible, but it has been quite hard because of family matters. Our drummer recently had a newborn. A lot of the guys have families so it’s hard to go out and play all the time.

xFiruath: What else would you like to say about the new Ereb Altor album?

Ragnar: I think this album has the same vibe as the previous ones, we haven’t abandoned our main theme, it’s just expressed differently. So it’s kind of an experiment adding more black metal into it.

xFiruath's avatar

Ty Arthur splits his time between writing dark fiction, spreading the word about underground metal bands, and bringing you the latest gaming news. His sci-fi, grimdark fantasy, and horror novels can be found at Amazon.

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