Swedish Black Metal Ledgends LORD BELIAL have done it again! Their latest release Nocturnal Beast has taken a whole new approach to black metal and has created quite a phenomenon. A more instrumental approach, focusing more on the overall atmosphere instead of pure brutality, these Swedes have let the world know that LORD BELIAL is still one of the top black metal legions. And to tell us all about their latest album is Micke Backelin.

Lord Belial

Ashley: You guys have been around since 1994 that is a long time! Can you describe what it is like to have grown up in the black metal scene? OR can you describe you thoughts on how the metal scene has progressed since 1994?
Yes we got our first record-deal back in 1994 but we have been around since 1992 with LORD BELIAL and even earlier we were involved with some other bands from mid 80’s. The metal scene has progressed a lot and one of the main things to reflect over is of course the musicians skills… nowadays the level is so much higher than it was in the eighties and beginning of the nineties. Metal in general is more technical now and the different genres in metal have been more and more mixed together and also mixed with non metal styles as well…

Ashley: Sweden is better known for its death metal, except for bigger bands like Marduk, what is it like being a black metal band in a death metal world?
It is no problem at all… I like death metal as much as I like black metal. I don’t think about it that much actually.

Ashley: You debut album Kiss The Goat, was quite a phenomenon - except for the front cover! So, how exactly did you end up with a pink cover?!
Hehe… well it was supposed to be a quite dark red cover, but obviously someone fucked up the color codes when it was printed. We don’t really know who to blame for this mistake but I guess it was the responsible layout-guy at No Fashion Records that made a big mistake.

Ashley: You guys have released countless unforgettable albums, so which one is your overall favorite?
I think you already know my answer hehe… Nocturnal Beast of course! :) To be honest I really think this is our best album until now; at least it is my absolute favorite. I always think that our latest album is our best of course, because it would be very unsatisfied for us to make an album that is not better than the previous one. But I do really like the style of the songs on Nocturnal Beast and I think it fits LORD BELIAL better than for example the songs of the Angelgrinder album that was much more death metal riffs and grinding drums.

Ashley: Along with the amazing albums under your belts, what was the most memorable show you have ever performed?
One of the most brutal shows was definitely in Paris in 1997… the audience was totally crazy! It was like a big fight on the floor all the way through the whole show, it was just great! Another really great gig was at the Party.San festival in Germany in 2005. The whole festival was great and except for a technical problem with microphones for the bass drums it was really one of the most memorable gigs ever.

Ashley: In November 2005, you released Nocturnal Beast, which was more focused on the overall atmosphere of the music, rather than the speed and brutality that you are better known for. What made you decide to go to this sound?
Actually it was not a decision we made before we started to write the songs… they just turned out to be like that. We write songs the way we feel like for the moment and we don’t use to discuss what direction the songs will take. If we write a slow album it still is OK for us since we don’t care about any speed records at all :)

Ashley: Nocturnal Beast was amazing I gave it a 9 of 10! You newer approach on the sound was a refreshing treat! So are you planning on touring any time soon?
Thank you! Yes, we are right now planning a tour in Europe this spring. We will make all dates official at our website as soon as everything is confirmed with the booking agency. It seems like we will be supported by Dark Fortress, Azamoth and Born Of Sin.

Ashley: If you could choose any bands to play a gig with, who would they are and where would you play?
Slayer! It would be cool to play at some big arena somewhere.

Ashley: What is the best show you have ever seen?
Hmm, that was a quite difficult question since I have seen so many bands when we have been on tour and gigs… but one of the best performed gigs ever was definitely Opeth in 2005. Another really memorable show was Judas Priest in Gothenburg on the Painkiller tour.

Ashley: Are there any side projects amongst the members of LORD BELIAL?
Yes we are involved in a few other bands as well. Thomas just started a death metal band called Fleshbound and I joined that band as well. Some other bands we are involved in are Enthralled (Hjalmar), Latex (Micke and Thomas), Septic Tanks (Hjalmar), Domini Cultus (Thomas and Micke) and Vassago (Micke). (www.fleshbound.info.se) (www.latex.info.se) (www.theseptictanks.com) (www.dominicultus.cjb.net) (www.vassago.se)

Ashley: Who are some of your favorite bands? Both local and international?
There are so many great bands so I could make a list of hundreds of bands… but still it would look different in the next week… but some of the favorites are; Slayer, Bathory, Black Sabbath, Cannibal Corpse, Opeth, Atheist, Angelcorpse, Morbid Angel, Emperor, Exodus, Enslaved, Root etc…

Ashley: What is the metal scene like where you are from?
It is quite dead… there are some bands from here but there is not very much gigs and stuff like that.

Ashley: Are there any local bands that you enjoy?
Of course our rehearsal-roommates Born Of Sin! They play some really good death metal. I also enjoy both Impious and The Crown that is from Trollhättan as well.

Ashley: Describe, in your own words, the sound of LORD BELIAL.
Black metal with elements of death.

Ashley: What are your top 5 favorite albums of all time?
Slayer – Reign In Blood
Slayer – Hell Awaits
Slayer – Seasons In The Abyss
Slayer – South Of Heaven
Grotesque – Incantation
This list would most likely look different if you asked me this some other day, it is really difficult to just mention five albums out of several hundreds of really great historical albums.

Ashley: What are you top 5 favorite albums to headbang to?
I think it is the above mentioned albums… at least for now :)

Ashley: Is there anything else you would like to say to your fans?
Hope to see you all on tour really soon!


01/2006 © Ashley Coleman • Lord Belial