Dargedik Rock Metal Webzine

I will start this interview by remembering the first time I listened to Necromantia with his album “Crossing the Fiery Path” (1993), of low production and with many details that were lacking in time, but still, it is an album that to this day I can consider as a cornerstone within Greek Black Metal of all time. Since the band, it kept that ancestral magic of extreme and instrumental details that you did not hear in other bands in their country such as Rotting Christ or Varathron, but still had that magical essence that was very difficult to recreate in other bands. Maybe it was the production, maybe it was the idea, maybe it was the teenage moment where I listened to them, but to this day it continues to produce the same feelings from that time. So, the band led by Baron Blood and Wampyr Daoloth, is the first to completely withdraw from the metal world of Greece after the death of one of the founders, and as the final album we have "To the Depths We Descend ...", the which was to be first released as an EP, but the result became his fifth full length.

Leer la entrevista en Español: Entrevista a Necromantia

The Magus (bass, keyboard, and vocals)

DARGEDIK: Welcome Magus to the Dargedik webzine pages. It’s a great pleasure to talk with you guys about Necromantia and your farewell album “To the Depths We Descend...”. Starting off, how have things been in the past few years since the death of Baron Blood? Coz I understood that in 2019 you were going to release an EP and then dissolve the band. 

NECROMANTIA: Yes. Losing Baron Blood was hard for me. I knew him since high school and he was more than a band member. He was a dear friend. In the beginning, I had decided to do only an EP in his honor and then dissolve the band. Strangely with the COVID lockdowns, my inspiration flame was reignited again and since I found a great team, George Emmanuel and Yiannis Votsis, I decided to do a farewell album as a tribute to Baron Blood and not just an EP. 

DARGEDIK: This "To the Depths We Descend ..." has a very subjective title to the separation of the band. Therefore, within this album are their compositions of Baron Blood? And what is the correct meaning of the title of this album? 

NECROMANTIA: No unfortunately not. There is a song entirely written by him "And the Shadows Wept..." but not played by him. In Necromantia we wrote music when there was a reason: to release an album, therefore there is nothing unreleased before. We were considering making a new album with Baron but unfortunately, his sudden death canceled our plans. This was one more reason for me to do it.

DARGEDIK: I've been listening to this "To the Depths We Descend ..." many times where the sound and style of Necromantia remains as it was known with some more accelerated details. How was the writing process for this new album? 

NECROMANTIA: Exactly. The 6 new songs (+2 re-recordings) represent the whole spectrum of Necromantia’s music: from atmospheric darkness and epic moods to hellish black metal ferocity. It was a powerful procedure as me and George Emmanuel took over almost all of the music, except the ones made by our past members Inferno and Yiannisthe worshiper of Pan’. With George, we had perfect chemistry as composers and besides being a great musician, he is a fan of the band so it was easy for him to dive into the Necromantia universe. Of course, I would never use 8string bass because this belongs only to Baron Blood. This is why we used guitars again, since our promo 1990. 

George Emmanuel (guitar and keyboard)

DARGEDIK: Let's put ourselves in the case of here about 5 to 10 years in the future where many fans of the band ask to hear "To the Depths We Descend ..." live. Would you agree to do a reunion concert in the future? And would be the same line-up of this album to play live? 

NECROMANTIA: Definitely not. We never did any live shows with Baron Blood we are not going to do now! 

DARGEDIK: Necromantia along with Rotting Christ, Nightfall, Varathron formed a sound in Greece to make it recognizable around the world. How do you see the Greek Black Metal world after the split-up of Necromantia? Coz Greece has a firm table with 4 pillars and Necromantia is one of these pillars that says goodbye. 

NECROMANTIA: There are a lot of good bands now. Maybe we showed the way (concerning black metal us, Rotting Christ and Varathron, Nightfall was not black metal, though a great band still) I think they can manage. They can create great music and pay homage to the dark side as they are supposed to do. Creativity has expanded. I am sure there are hidden diamonds out there who can continue our legacy 

DARGEDIK: Speaking a bit about the band's discography. Necromantia has been active since 1989. But into this path, you have 5 albums and many small productions. Where one of the patterns is that the band always presents albums with a long difference from 2 years to 14 years. Why was this a pattern within every Necromantia album? And what is the mystery of each album from the beginning to now? 

NECROMANTIA: There is no mystery. Necromantia was writing and recording music when they feel a need to do it. We are not professionals. We are amateurs. We love our art. Our music reflects our souls and when our souls need kindering we joined our forces and make music. Simple as that. We created when we wanted and NOT when we had to. 

Yiannis Votsis (drums)

DARGEDIK: Within a trend that exists today. Many bands around the world are touring or doing special gigs with their iconic albums. Necromantia has "Crossing the Fiery Path" (1993) and Scarlet Evil Witching Black "(1995) as two great banners into the Black Metal world. Did any of you think to play these albums integrally in concerts? Or which of the two would be the best option to play live and commemorate Baron Blood? And Why? 

NECROMANTIA: As I said I am not a fan of live shows. I consider our music too deep and esoteric to be experienced in a live show. We were never a “rock'n'roll” band. In general, I am not a fan of black metal live shows. I think that Black Metal is a kind of music to be listened to in isolation

DARGEDIK: Now there is a new wave of book publications about the scenes and about the bands. Where we have seen quite a few documentaries and chronicles of many bands. If you had to write a few lines in the book about the Necromantia legend, what would you write about Magus and Baron Blood in this book? And what do you think about the “Rites of the Abyss”? The history book about the Greek Black Metal scene. 

NECROMANTIA: I think that “Rites of the Abyss” is going to be a great testament for future generations. It is a standout publication made with dedication and a lot of work. The same guy, Aris, is preparing the Necromantia biography which weill contain quite a few surprises that I cannot reveal yet. To be released in late Spring 2022... 

DARGEDIK: Into the matter of how an underground band and a mainstream band was should be considered, there are patterns that more vinyl or cassette productions stick to the underground concept, and the CD only expanded the collections of the fans. What do you think are the factors for fans to stick to this underground metal concept? And where are located the digital platforms? 

NECROMANTIA: Without a physical product, there is no scene. I am not against digital because it spreads the message faster and reaches more people quickly but the pleasure of getting the album in your hand, reading the lyrics, seeing the artwork, etc is amazing. True music fans will always love the physical product as I will. Still, the digital is necessary but only as a complementary medium. Physical product is irreplaceable 

DARGEDIK: Another detail is about the listening methods of the fans, coz this new generation prefers to hear one or two songs on the digital platforms. What are you think about the albums doesn’t have the same impact in comparison to the 80s or 90s? And what do bands need to do to improve the listening of all songs in albums? 

NECROMANTIA: Wow! This is indeed a big issue especially for bands who write albums as a whole like us. Do you think that a fan who listens to only 2 songs is actually a true fan?? I think not. I prefer true music fans as I am one myself! True fans support your actual music, not the sound production, not your video image. Purely your music. And these are true fans. And they listen to the whole album. 

DARGEDIK: After the separation from Necromantia. What are your projects for the music, personal things Magus? Will you create a new band? Or will you continue with Yoth Iria for the next albums and more? 

NECROMANTIA: Yoth Iria is still one of the musical projects that I am involved in. The last year I am also thinking to do a solo thing because I have some musical aces up my sleeve... I do not know yet.... but If I, do it, the path it will go will be deeper into the abyss. Ritualistic magic metal.... if I, do it... 

DARGEDIK: For me, the explosive news in 2002 was that Necromantia was going to play in Peru with other Brazilian bands like Impurity, Blasphemy, and Expulser. Were you informed of that concert in Peru? 

NECROMANTIA: Yes! This was a hoax! We never agreed to any of it!!! 

DARGEDIK: Well Magus, the sad time arrived at this interview. I hope you enjoy this one as I did and thank you very much for your time. It was a tremendous pleasure to talk with you. Anything wants to add to your Latin American fans and Dargedik readers? 

NECROMANTIA: Support great quality music when you find it! Be true to your principles and spread the dark gospel! Thank you for your support all these years. Until we meet again!

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