ACHERON "Let The Hate Flow"

By Dr. Abner Mality

In Greek mythology, Acheron was known as the "river of woe", flowing through the underworld (in some cases, Hades; in others, Tartarus). The souls of the dead would be transported over the Acheron to their final destination by the grim ferryman Charon. Also, the Acheron is an actual river in Greece in the Epirus region.

For the purposes of this discourse, Acheron is the long running metal band helmed by Vincent Crowley, one of the leading figures of the dark metal underground. Much like the river, the band Acheron has a winding career throughout the last 25 years, sticking to their fundamental death/black metal sound through shifting tastes and weathering a lot of line-up changes. Crowley has been the "Charon" of the good ship Acheron, guiding it with a steady hand through dangerous currents and past menacing obstacles.

The latest statement of purpose for Acheron is the new album "Kult des Hasses". This may be the defining moment for Crowley and the band. Anybody into pure oldschool death metal with pitch-black Satanic inspiration should bow in worship to this powerful platter. And thus we come to my discussion with Mr. Crowley. Herewith are revealed the secrets of Acheron, "Kult des Hasses" and much else besides...

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES:  Hails, Mr. Crowley, and congrats on the new masterpiece, “Kult des Hasses”. Was this new record something that took a long time to put together or did it fall into place pretty quickly?

VINCENT CROWLEY:Thank you very much. There wasn't a lot of time with the song writing, that actually flowed rather fast. And so did the various ideas we did in the studios. But the actually recording sessions took up almost every weekend for 2 months, which made everything kind of drawn out. BUt in the end everything worked out well.

WC: I think this is the best sounding Acheron ever.  Some bands try too hard to sound “old school” and they wind up crappy. Then others go for the modern digital triggered junk. This seems to be the perfect middle road. How did you get that perfect sound?

VC: Well, my goal for the album was to have it sound like it could have been released in the late 80's or early 90's. We worked on getting that vibe. Then when we sent the album to UNISOUND in Sweden to be mixed by Dan Swano. Dan really put the icing on the cake. His mix and mastering took tis album to another level.

WC: I noticed the album starts with the longer, more epic songs and then the tunes get more concise and shorter as the record evolves. That struck me as kind of unusual. Was this the plan?

VC: Yes, indeed. I wanted to take the listeners on a dark journey at first than unleash complete HELL on them. I think each song has its own feel to it and nothing really repeats itself. It is like being on a roller coaster ride. I think that is why there are so many people who have different favorite songs on this album, as opposed to having just one or two so-called "hits".

WC:You wound up with a lot of great guest performances throughout the record. Did guys like Kam Lee and John McEntee just come into the studio and let it rip? Or did you work with them on their contributions?

VC: Kam Lee and Jim Lippucci had a couple solo parts in a few songs, while the other guest vocals were used to help layer up my vocals on some chorus parts. They all recorded their tracks at their own home studios and sent us the track to mix in. Everything worked out well.

WC: Do you come up with the lyrical themes and concepts for your songs before you write the musical parts? Or does the music drive the lyrics?

VC: It all depends, but for the most part the music comes first and the lyric content follows. The vibe of the song decided the direction of the lyrics almost 99% of the time.

WC:  Do the same ideas motivate you now as they did at the beginning of Acheron? Or have they evolved?

VC: I can honestly say they have evolved. Everything in life influences me now, not just the Occult, Satanism or my hatred for religion. Within all our songs are metaphors and symbolism for real life stories or philosophical beliefs. The band is much more deeper than we were years ago.

WC:  I would ask also about your Satanic faith, which is a strong part of what Acheron is about. Has that faith changed through the years? Has it been tested?

VC: Well, I have no "faith". My personal ideas have indeed evolved and changed a bit throughout the years. These days I consider myself a Heathen that lives a Satanic lifestyle. I'm not bothered being called a Satanist, but in this day and age they are too many people giving their own definition of the label. Satanism to me is a philosophy and lifestyle, not a religion. It is the foundation of my being. But I also have my own personal views on the Occult and a strong hatred for ALL religions. I have no time to battle over such petty bullshit such as "This is Satanism" or " No it's not,  this is Satanism!" That is a waste of time and energy.

WC:Would even Satan be appalled at the idiocy running amuck in the world today? Or would he be pleased? Or is your concept of Satan truly beyond good and evil?

VC:Satan is a mythological character that I use as an archetype. He also symbolizes a force in nature that surpasses good and evil. If he was indeed an actual anthropomorphic being he would look on the world in disgust. Mankind is so pathetic!

 WC:Of course you draw some inspiration from your “namesake”, Aleister Crowley. What inspiration do you take from him specifically?

VC: I think The Great Beast was a very interesting human being. He tested things and went against the grain. And in the end he was labeled The Wickedest Man in the World. That alone is a lot to influence a person.

WC: Do the other band members share your ideals or is the alliance strictly musical?

VC: We all share very similar ideas, but we own have our own paths. But there are no followers of the holy ways in this band! Everyone in the band knows what the band symbolizes and they agree and respect that.

WC: “Thy Father Suicide” is bound to be a controversial song. What are you trying to say with this one and is it possible for it to be misinterpreted?

VC: Some people say it is a pro-suicide song. Others say it is a song that tells the listener to think long and hard before he takes these steps. But the main message s that the Reaper is always waiting with his hand out when a person is at his lowest. And it is very easy to take it and end all the pain you feel at that time. But there is no turning back after you have taken that path, so make sure you understand the final result of your actions. Death is our final chapter. Make sure you really want to end it before you do it. I just think it is a song to make people really think about the subject.

WC:  Do you consider yourself “black metal”?  Or are such labels unimportant?

VC: No. I actually kind hate labels, since ACHERON have many influences within our music. Everything from Black Metal, Death Metal, Thrash Metal, Doom Metal and even classic Heavy Metal.

WC: Do you have any inspiration or sympathy with the European BM bands?

VC: Not really. There are some really great European Black Metal bands, but they don't influence me or my writing. ACHERON just does our own thing.

WC: What live plans do you have for 2014?

VC: Right now, we don't have anything booked. But we hope to change that later on in the year.

 WC: If you could ask any 3 people from history to dinner, who would they be?

VC: Anton LaVey, Aleister Crowley and Charles Manson.

 WC: What was the last CD or release you got just because you wanted to check out the band?

VC: The new AMON album "Liar in Wait" from the Hoffman Brothers formerly of DEICIDE. It is really great stuff. People sound check it out for sure.

WC: What was the last gig you attended just to see the band?

VC: I think it was OBITUARY or DANZIG. Both great shows.

WC:  In the long history of Acheron, has there ever been any “Spinal Tap” moment where things went wrong that you could share with us?

VC: Of course. Any band that says otherwise is lying! (Ha, Ha) One time we were playing a small show in Cincinnati, Ohio. We had some really cool fans hanging out and they kept burying me shots of Jagermeister. Needless to say I got pretty fucking blitzed out of my mind. While we were playing I was losing focus and fucking up left and right during the first song. So I resorted to hitting open notes while I sang to mask my fuck ups. After a couple songs I got into the groove and did ok, but the first few were a drunken mess! (Ha, Ha) Lucky it was a small crowd. Nothing to be proud of for sure. (Ha, Ha) Thus I don't like to drink before shows anymore.

WC: Last words of inspiration for the faithful?

VC: We hope everyone picks up a copy of the new ACHERON album "KULT DES HASSES on cd, vinyl or legal download. We need your support to keep this band active and alive. We hope to support this album with some live performances and follow it up with a new album next year. Hope to see you all soon and raise a shot of Devil's Black Blood together! Cheers! Ave Satanas!