In following of the Scandinavian path to black metal, Houston, Texas, USA’s Necrofier have made names for themselves as purveyors of some of the genre’s finest early Swedish scene-heralding BM. It’s been through a taxing level of commitment and a deep-running spiritual connection to the music that these newcomers have so quickly risen to the heights of the USBM movement.
Blasphemy – a stand taken against the oppressive nature of Christianity, a passion for Left Hand philosophy, the utmost respect for the early scene’s progenitors and pure Southern Hellfire are what drive Necrofier on their way as they, along with the titans of the USBM scene: UADA, Hulder, Wolves In the Throne Room, Black Anvil and Panopticon bolster what used to be a shaky scene that was, up until recently, searching for its identity. During my latest interview, Christian of Necrofier talks about the dedication it takes to play in a black metal band, the spiritual side of black metal, his love of Dissection, the pitfalls of Religious Fundamentalism and of course Necrofier’s latest triumph, “Burning Shadows In the Southern Night”.
Hails and welcome. Necrofier formed in 2018 and already you have two very well-received LP’s in 2021’s “Prophecies of Eternal Darkness” and 2023’s “Burning Shadows In the Southern Night” to be proud of. Not to mention being a part of the prestigious Season of Mist roster. You’ve made it look easy, but I’m sure it’s been a challenge like any other sincere black metal project. What are some of the difficulties you’ve had to overcome as a band in order to have made it this far, and what were your expectations for Necrofier going in?
Christian: Thank you so much! It’s a real honor to be on Season of Mist. They support artists and let us be free to create what we need while having a great roster. Nothing is ever easy, but I am really pleased with how both albums turned out. It is a challenge being an American Black Metal band since Europe is king for it, but lots of good bands are coming out in The States lately. We stay true to the old ways with the music and the lyrics go in a mystic/spiritual realm. That’s always my favorite part when writing; trying to explain my experiences/ideas and watching them manifest into a song. Going in musically, we just wanted to pay tribute to bands like Dissection, Immortal, Necrophobic etc because we loved that style so much. For me it was also finally time to explore the dark side, unknown parts of existence and write about it. I love everything about black metal: the art, the music, the feeling you get when you listen to it. My family immigrated from Norway generations ago so it’s in my blood. Hopefully soon we can go to Scandiava and play in the land of my ancestors where black metal was created!
Personally, I see black metal as the most vast, versatile and artistically explorative sub-genre of music that the world of metal has to offer. It’s more of a challenge to cover black metal than it is other genres, and I feel like it demands more from the artist, whether he be a musician or a writer. Is Necrofier more of a commitment and more of a challenge for you compared to your other projects?
It is a much bigger commitment than some of the other projects I do. When it comes to the writing process I take the time to get into a certain mindset. Lyrically, I envision what I am going to write about and then pick up a guitar and see what comes out. It’s a real spiritual process for me and when it all hits, I usually don’t know where it came from. There is a lot more of a demand on me because I feel like I am letting a little of my soul go into everything we do. I wouldn’t want it any other way, but it can take a lot out of me during that part of the process.
Your new album, “Burning Shadows In the Southern Night”, was released on June 2 via Season of Mist. What can we expect from the new material and how does it differ from your previous effort?
Burning Shadows adds more elements of heavy metal than we had on the first record. so the Dissection / Bathory / Rotting Christ style we have been going for is much more in that direction than the first album: more solos, more epic etc. Lots more traditional heavy metal influence on the new record where it was slightly smaller on the last one. Lyrically, this album deals with selling your soul and burning for your dreams. Songwriting has grown a lot too and we became more of a band with our sounds as well going into the 2nd album. As a band, we have really developed and come together into what we are supposed to be. Overall, we have grown as a band on all levels and can’t wait to see where we go next!
What are some of the themes/concepts explored on the new record?
There’s a good amount of Occult themes hidden in the lyrics. It does come off as a lot more philosophical thought. Selling your soul makes a couple of appearances on this album. To achieve something great you have to give up things and sometimes burn for it! I only touched on death a little as I went into that more on the last album. The theme of the unknown always runs though when all the lyrics are written, and go through the album as well. You can’t see that there are forces around us that influence our lives. What happens during this topic is what the record is focused on. Its my favorite thing I have written lyrically and it means a lot to me.
What was the songwriting/recording process like for the new material?
A lot of the writing is done by Dobber & myself but Semir & Mat make some good additions to everything as well. Most of it starts with demoing out songs at the house, and then we bring it to the band and rehearse it to feel it out and see where it goes. This can change parts or lead to adding or cutting things. Before it comes to the band, it’s more of a sketch and we see where it takes us as a band when we play it. Ultimately, the song takes you where it needs you to go if you let it. I never really feel like I write anything, and it just comes out of nowhere.
For some artists, BM is an avenue for the exploration of spiritual concepts: Satanism, Luciferianism, Qliphoth, Paganism and even various forms of black magick. This holds true mostly in the Swedish, Finnish and Greek scenes. Do you subscribe at all to the spiritual side of black metal?
Completely, it’s one of the things that first drew me into black metal. I think if you’re truly doing a black metal band, it must have this in it. Black metal isn’t just tremolo picking and screaming; it has meaning! It has intent! Luciferianism is the one that makes its way into most of the lyrics and thought processes when I am working on lyrics and the general approach on the album. The ideologies of it realy sit with me personally. Everything I write for Necrofier is founded in the spiritual realm in one way or another.
I wanted to talk about “Plague Requiem” from your previous album, “Prophecies of Eternal Darkness”. It’s a mixed series of sound clips that give you more than a taste of the hysteria associated with Christianity along with the fear tactics used by Southern Evangelicals in the United States. Being from Virginia, I’m also familiar with this as someone who spent his every Sunday as a child in a small Baptist church. Was there anything specific that inspired you to embrace blasphemy and take a stand against Christianity?
Religious fundalismists cause so many problems all throughout the world. When I was growing up, it just didn’t sit with me. The people that were into it around me didn’t seem right, so of course I started to rebel against it in my early teenage years. One of the things that bugs me the most is how it’s just used to control people. On a big scale, it’s more of a corporation than it is a religion – one where its rules are from God so everyone has to obey. Basically, everything it is and stands for makes me embrace blasphemy.
There’s some Dissection worship in both melody and lyric to your music. What is it about the legendary Swedes, particularly the late Jon Nödtveidt that inspires you the most?
Dissection are one of my favorite bands. I love all of their albums and there’s something really special about the band. They are in the middle of Black, Death and Heavy metal and usually everyone in all those scenes is into them. Its rare that a band crosses all those genres. I can’t get enough of it since I first heard them. Jon’s lyrics and songwriting were over the top, and its why people are still obsessed with them today. Our last record actually had a song, “Return to Chaos”, that was inspired about Jon.
I feel like the black metal scene is one that is really fighting for the preservation of the olde ways: the traditions, attitude, mindset and the music associated with the genre in its true form. As I see it, It’s a fight against commercialization and popularity – two things that I feel are a danger to the integrity of BM. How do you envision the future of the genre?
Black Metal I think is the last scene that really embraces all those old school things, so I completely agree. Popularity at the cost of integrity is unexceptable! There are really Black Metal bands like Watain that are 190% the real thing and have gained popularity, but I don’t think it hurts anything when its real. It really affects everything when people are playing it for all the wrong reasons and there’s nothing behind their lyrics and intent. Trve black metal will shine through all these imposters, and I think the genre will stay on the same path it’s currently on. Of course their will be some fakes that pop up here and there but thats just kinda how it goes in metal in general.
Do you have a message for the horde?
Burn for your dreams and walk the dark path into the fire!
A special thank you to Christian Larson and Necrofier.
Experience “Burning Shadows In the Southern Night” by Necrofier right here as presented by Black Metal Promotion: