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In Words: Ereb Altor

- Crister 'Mats' Olsson - April 2010 - Mike Thompson -

Ereb Altor
© Ereb Altor

Crister 'Mats' Olsson - April 20th 2010 (by email)

Ereb Altor have just released The End via Napalm Records. Time to learn a bit more about Ereb Altor! Thanks to Crister 'Mats' Olsson for answering within no time.

I've read the name Ereb Altor comes from a Swedish role-playing game in the style of 'Dungeons And Dragons'. Is this true? And why did you choose this name?

Yes, Ereb Altor is the name of the world where an old Swedish RPG 'Drakar och Demoner' take place. It's a fantasy world similar to the world Tolkien created. We played this game in our youths and at first we planned to write lyrics with fantasy themes, but later on I decided to write lyrics about our inheritance, I want all lyrics to have a connection from where we come from. Nordic myths, legends and mythology. We decided to keep the name anyway, a remembrance from our youths.

Ereb Altor was formed fourteen years before your other band, Isole, so what took so long to release a demo or album under the Ereb Altor name?

Ereb Altor is a child of underground Doom band Forlorn which later changed the name to Isole. The more Bathory influenced material became Ereb Altor 2003 when we decided that some of these songs were too good to fall into oblivion.
So in other words Ereb Altor was formed in 2003 and not in 1990, but the songs we recorded on The Awakening demo was written as Forlorn songs in the early 90's, but they didn't really fit under the Isole monicker and the idea to do a more Bathory sounding project was born.

How long did it take to write and record The End? Does it take longer to record an Ereb Altor album than an Isole album as there are only two members in this band?

It's a lot more pressure when it comes to Isole, and we are four rather strong wills pulling in all kinds of direction and everyone has to be pleased with all compositions. So Ereb Altor is kind of a relief, I feel that I could do as I wish and don't have to consider what everyone thinks.
The recording of the album took almost a year. But I must say it worked smoother than I expected, I knew it would take a long time due to my busy time schedule. I had to record one hour there and one hour here and sometimes I didn't go to the studio for a month or two. The most important thing that we finished the album so we can move on. I had this album in my head right after the release of our debut.

What's different about The End and your first album, By Honour?

Better drums, more variation with the vocals, better production, slightly faster pace and less doom, more Scandinavian melodies and a mightier atmosphere.

Any plans for a tour or maybe some festival shows?

I hope we will do some live shows, but I'm not sure about touring.
I think the live performances of Ereb Altor will improve in the future though, we are discussing about using three guitars and backtracks of keyboards and choirs live to do the songs more justice, it's hard to do big choirs with only two vocals you know.

Despite Bathory's huge influence on the black, folk and viking metal scenes there are very few bands who have actually managed to achieve the same sense of grandeur and the same epic sound as Bathory in their albums. Why do you think this is?

It's almost impossible for me to say, but one thing that maybe make us being able to catch this epic Bathory feeling is our interest in Scandinavian folk music and us being Scandinavians. And of course our experience of DOOM!

Which is your favorite Bathory album? Would you ever contribute to a Bathory tribute album?

When I first heard Hammerheart the feeling was overwhelming, I could almost feel the Viking ship rocking on the waves at sea, from that day I have been a huge fan of Bathory and Quorthon is one of the main reasons why I got into being a musician, a doom metal musician. It's all about emotions and atmosphere.
Hammerheart is closest to my heart, but maybe Twilight Of The Gods is even better, well.... my answer is that these two albums are equals.
We have no plans to contribute to a Bathory tribute albums at this point. Future is clouded.

Aside from Bathory who or what are the biggest influences on Ereb Altor, both musically and lyrically?

Our Scandinavian inheritance, both when it comes to music and lyrics. I want everything to be connected to our heritage.

Viking metal has within it several bands who are openly nationalistic and even with national-socialist sympathies. What do you think of this?

I think that has nothing to do with Viking mythology.

What do you think of the viking metal genre in general these days? Are there any bands you listen to or would recommend?

I'm not following the scene I'm afraid. To be honest I'm not really sure what the Viking metal genre is besides to write lyrics about Northern mythology. If I got it right there are many different musical styles within the Viking metal genre. To me there is the Bathory sound, but I haven't heard many band sounding nowhere near them.

Mike Thompson


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