HEXENWALD INTERVIEW

 

To kick things off, could you provide a brief history of Hexenwald for those unfamiliar with your work?

Hexenwald (or at least the concept of) was created around the winter solstice of 2001 with a solo project called Gallows Doom. The name was later changed in 2004 with the recording of the first official demo "National Satanisten." Following the demo, the first full length album "Nordland Okkult Mysterium" was recorded in 2006 and after some label issues the release was delayed until 2008. During the time from 2007 to 2009 a second album "Descent, Rebirth and Black Light" (not yet released) was written and recorded.
Why did you change the name from Gallows Doom to Hexenwald? Did Gallows Doom sound a bit too psychedelic/ doom/stoner for you? I noticed your logo has also changed from how it was on “National Satanism “and “Germanic Black Witchery” to how it’s presented on “Nordland Okkult Mysterium.”

The name Gallows Doom was inspired by a wooded path in my hometown (Hof, Upper Frankonia, Germania) where witches were executed by burning, hanging and drowning. That path was called "Die Galgenleite" or "Gallows Path." I was always drawn to that path because it was and still is a very obscure place. I changed the name to Hexenwald ("Witches Forest") to make it official and give it more serious tone, and to keep the germanic tongue alive here in Vinland.
The first Hexenwald logo i drew up with marker and when the "National Satanisten" demo was recorded i didnt have much computer knowledge so i just pasted it on top of the cover pic. Same story with the "Germanic Black Witchery" demo (which is not an official Hexenwald release, was only created for comrades and associates). With "Nordland Okkult Mysterium" more professional tactics were applied, so my comrade Alcameth from Nightbringer drew up the official logo that is used today and will be used until the demise of Hexenwald.


Others have been amongst the ranks of your band before, so how did it come to be a solo act? How do you think the atmosphere of black metal coming from one deranged soul differs from the music produced by a gang of multiple musicians?

Hexenwald has always been more or less a one-man operation. A full lineup was attempted several times but nothing really manifested. Even though i will not exclude the possibility of a lineup for the future, for now i will be doing everything, writing, recording, etc.  It seems that the more members you have, more influences and atmospheres come to surface. Which can be phenomenal if done right, but it could also distract from the main essence of whatever a band is trying to do.  I think Hexenwald has always had somewhat of a "cold" atmosphere probably due to the emptiness or lack of musicians, but that "coldness" is definitely something i felt appropriate for the band.

I see you’ve moved from Germany to Colorado, US and joined up with a group by the name of “Trollskogen Black Circle.” Is this something focused on black metal, or does its purpose reach beyond a mere musical genre? Is this another Les Legiones Noires or as the name suggests another “Black Circle” like the 90’s one from Norway?

The T.B.C is legion of bands and other occultists here in this mountainous region of Colorado and has meanwhile spread back into Germania. It does reach beyond "a mere musical genre" as you put it, but that is all i can reveal about that. It is definitely something not to be taken lightly, unwelcome outsiders do not wish to cross our path.
Another circle like in norway? no, because unlike in norway, here we have a certain "code", organization, loyalty and most important of all secrecy.

How satisfied are you with “Nordland Okkult Mysterium”? Are there any plans in the works for a new album? Will it continue on with the dark primitivism of “Nordland…” or is the band in a completely different stage at the moment?

"Nordland Okkult Mysterium" was a primitive german black metal album, nothing more, nothing less.  It was created from left over riffs from the "NS" demo and was recorded in 2006.  It was intended to be a follow up from the demo only a little better produced (which is not saying much). With the demo, the purpose was to create the ugliest sound possible being influenced (at the time) by Gorgoroth - Sorcery Written in Blood demo and Beherit - Oath of Black Blood. So on "N.O.M" i wanted to continue with that same essence but using a little more atmosphere and melody.
A second full length album has already been recorded and finished, just waiting upon release hopefully sometime winter 2009/10. The album will be entitled "Descent, Rebirth and Black Light" and will have a little more to offer than previous material. Still having a little bit of a raw quality (as black metal should have), there are longer songs, more in depth lyrics, both rhythm and lead guitars, stronger riffs, etc. It will definitely not be as primitive as "Nordland..." because this album is of a greater occult importance therefore better recording and musicianship was necessary to portrait the concept. Hexenwald will probably always advance in one way or another but i think the listener will always be able to trace certain elements back to the beginning.

Your music has to do with witchcraft and other such dark, left-handed path types of things. So, how does this chilling inspiration manifest itself in your music? I’m also curious as to what some of your personal connections to the occult are if you’d be willing to speak of them.

The occult nature of Hexenwald (in its basic form) is usually manifested through the study and practice of mainly Luciferian witchcraft and Aryan mysticism (although other various pagan and vampyric elements come through at times), only to be converted into diabolical sound frequencies to the best of my current ability. Absorbing the strength and wisdom of the ancient pantheons and seeking the eternal Black Flame, enlightenment through darkness so to say. i try to achieve this wisdom through ritualistic meditations (always in solitude), descending through astral and abyssic planes with the controlled use of certain mind expanding drugs or substances. One must descent, before ascending onto a higher plane of existence. I also usually interpret everything in a Nordic/Aryan perspective, with the use of appropriate runes and terminology. The ancient Germanic aspect plays an important role in Hexenwald, for it is the essence of my blood and being. 

How is your label Heerwegon Tod Productions treating you? How did you come into contact with them? A lot of underground bands have had problems with labels lately. The label generally catches the blame, but do you think that sometimes bands can expect too much from these small, self-sustained labels?

Heerwegentod Productions has been good to Hexenwald. They released the first album "Nordland..." and did a great job with it.  Heerwegentod is elite because its an obscure label from Poland that seems to be dedicated to its bands and its agenda. Since Hexenwald is currently quartert in the U.S. for the time being, its nice to still have the proper european distro. i dont remember how we got in contact, just happened. i have also experienced troubles with small labels in the past that ended up backing out, and i think its because we are in a "trend-like" time of black metal where you have all these newcomers and hipsters that have this need to be part of something extreme and blindly try to build a label in a hurry and then realizing that its a lot more work than presumed. At least that is what it seems like to me. Just have to distinguish the elite from the pretentious...
By the way, Heerwegentod Prod. will be releasing Hexenwald/Tedd Deireadh (pol) split cassette, limited 100 copies. It will feature some unreleased tracks and a remixed version of the "National Satanisten" demo with bass. Just a small treat for the die-hards before the second album comes out.


How is your time balanced between Hexenwald and your other band Midwynter? It’s interesting to note that Midwynter’s pagan/black metal inspired by nature and ancient folklore seems harmless compared to the violence and witchery of Hexenwald.

Midwynter is a pagan black metal band that i was fortuned to be part of. I simply perform some drums when needed and vocals, that is all. Its founder V.v. runs the whole operation so it would probably be better to contact him for further information. Midwynter goes at its own pace so its nothing full time at the moment. The concept of Midwynter is of elite paganism and the inspiration of forests and the spirits within. Some violent aspects also come to surface concerning battles against the three main cancers of Midgard (christianity, Judaism and Islam). Midwynter is definately something that inspires me on the side, it is music for the wood...

What about black metal’s enchanting pheromone drew you to the genre?

In my youth i was immediately attracted to black metal due to its mysterious and dangerous appeal. Also, back in Germany in the 90s black metal was something that was feared and hated. After the murder of Sandro Bayer committed by the band Absurd, christian germans feared satanic/heathen aspects more than ever. But it was fascinating to me, the devilworship, the chains and spikes, etc. i was intrigued by how powerful something negative or "evil" can be.

One important element in much of black metal is Lucifer or some equivalent of this being. So, does Satan/Satanism have any impact, any place in Hexenwald?

Hexenwald has always been powered by Luciferian forces; Jormungandr (one could also call him Leviathan) the serpent, and the witches Angrboda, Hecate and Lilitu (Lilith).
So yes, the concept of Satan and its many equivalent attributes have shaped and formed the gnosis of Hexenwald.  And as i stated before, i convert these aspects into Nordic perception, not to re-write ancient doctrines and formulas, but only to make them best suitable for my personal taste and without neglecting my germanic past.


What lies in the future of Hexenwald?

The future of Hexenwald is in the hands of the Gods of the Abyss. In the meantime, the writing process for a third album has already begun. But it is too soon to elaborate on that. Legions of Hexenwald can definitely expect more to come in the future.

Thank you for the interview. Are there any more words you’d like to leave with Tanin’iver Zine, to share with readers?
Thank you, may the serpent awaken from His slumber, Veni Omnipotens Aeterne Diabolus!