Hrizg is a solo black metal project from Spain that plays black metal in the old school. I recently awarded the second full-length album a score of 9/10 and was interested enough to ask Hrizg some questions...
Hello and thank you for answering these questions! Anthems To Decrepitude is a brilliant album that encompasses all I think black metal should be. Have you got any other feedback for Anthems and are you pleased with the reaction to your work?
Hails Mike, thank you so much for your words and your support with this interview. Well... as far as I saw some reviews in internet, I notify that there are many reactions about Anthems To Decrepitude. Some are quite good, some others not. Anyway, I don't care it at all, to be honest. I do not play, nor record music for other ones, just for me. If it is of the taste of others, much better, but reviews don't guide me to make music. In fact, I am glad to see those different opinions.
When did you start writing songs for the new album? What sort of things inspired you, musically and lyrically?
I just started to write the music some weeks before to start the recording sessions. In fact, I left some arrangements and riffs to be done when drums were recorded. I like to improve in studio, and I think you can feel that hearing the album. I like this kind of work. Sometimes is a hard way to work, but I think it sounds more fresh to my hears. Lyrics were written in the two previous years as a sum of perception and experiences when I was living in other place.
There are many things that influence my music and lyrics, from films and nature, to esoterism, alchemy, Satanism, paganism, even extreme feelings of the nowadays.
What process do you go through when writing songs? Is it easier or more difficult to write and record everything alone?
It is easier to do everything alone. I prefer this kind of work than a full band. I dislike work with others, in fact. It is tiring and the result is not totally of my taste.
The process is easy. I write some riffs before start the recording sessions, I record drums, and I adapt the riffs to the new song with the time marks.
Please tell us about the beginning of Hrizg, the band? What made you want to start this project? Have you been in any other bands?
I started Hrizg in 2005, when I recorded Oaken Path Of Grief demo version. I contacted with a Finnish label to release it in tape format, and just after of it, Wraith Productions released it in CD with some bonus tracks. Then, I recorded some more stuff with no release (till date) and the next Anthems. I created Hrizg with the sole intention to make Old School Black Metal in the early 90's way. I do not pretend to be original at all, just to make the kind of Black Metal I like to hear. Rotten, dark, insane, nostalgic, epic... that's the way I think it should be.
Yes, I have been in several extreme metal bands. Now, I run CrystalMoors, Eldereon and Briargh too.
There are many metal bands, especially in black metal, that are named after people and places, or that base the music around concepts and events in Middle Earth. What is it, in your opinion, about the works of Tolkien that seems to be such an inspiration for black metal artists?
I can talk about myself. I like the Tolkien's work, for sure. I love the books of Lord Of The Rings, as well as other pieces of this world. I think his work is very talented and mature, and it fits perfectly with the atmosphere of a kind of distant and dark place. The magic and their people are taken of some of our real history so, I think it is perfect for the atmosphere of the Black Metal bands.
Which bands inspired you to start playing? And which bands do you listen to most these days? I read that you enjoy OST's. Any in particular?
I love albums like early Satyricon, Emperor, Mayhem, Dhodheimsgard... and I enjoy hearing them now. I like to hear Heavy Metal, old Thrash Metal and Death Metal, like Running Wild, Manowar, Iron Maiden, Exorcist, Judas Priest, Exumer, Slayer, old Sepultura, old Sodom, Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, Pestilence, Morbid Angel, Deicide, Entombed... I like folk and Celtic music too, and as you said, OST's. The best music I've ever heard is Conan The Barbarian from Basil Poledouris.
What do you think of the state of black metal nowadays? How about the change in style of older bands like Satyricon and Darkthrone?
I don't use to hear new bands, but some new bands of my taste are Heilnoz, Sad, Dark Fury or Aasgard. I think the most of Black Metal bands have lost all their evil atmosphere with internet. I don't like the new stuff of Satyricon and Darkthrone.
Is there a strong black metal presence in Spain? Any bands you recommend?
The mentioned Heilnoz, Sentimen Beltza, Balmog, Bittencross, Nakkiga - and not much others - are good examples of good Black Metal here. Anyway, Here is not a strong scene, and in fact, I don't care scenes at all. I walk my own path alone and I just get in touch with the bands I really like and support.
Do you have any plans to bring in other musicians to play live?
I think I will do some gigs in the future. Not sure when, maybe with the release of a third album, and for sure, I will go helped with live musicians. But Hrizg will continue working as a one-man-band. I sometimes wonder about to use a really good drummer who could do it much better than me, but I think Hrizg has a total meaning done by only one musician.
What is the next step for Hrizg?
Moribund Records will release Inferno, a new MCD which contains five tracks. It is planned for this summer. Just after, I will start working in the new stuff for a coming album in the last of this year. Inferno was recorded last year, and it means a little change in the Hrizg style as a kind of mixture between Northern and Southern Black Metal sounds.
Thank you very much for answering my questions! I look forward to hearing more of your music in the future. The final word is yours...
Many thanks for your support, very appreciated. Si Vis Pacem Parabellvm!!! Salvd!
So a new MCD and a new album are on the way soon! Really looking forward to hearing those and I hope Hrizg does manage to play a few gigs. In the meantime you can hunt down Anthems To Decrepitude and bask in its old school glory.