ENSHADOWED “Manifested, Bloodstained” 

By: Lord Randall

Grecian black metal blizzard beasts, ENSHADOWED, have been at it for over 20 years and – while “Stare Into The Abyss” is only their fourth full length release – consistently churning out quality darkness in the process. Lord Randall sat down recently to speak to founding guitarist Necro and bassist Golgotha…

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: Looking at ENSHADOWED over time, when you joined/started the band, did you envision “Stare Into The Abyss”, and how do you look back on the history of the band from today?

NECRO: Well, before 22 years it was impossible to have the precognition of our new album. The years passed, and many members changed again and again. The last ten years we have a standard line up, so we found the way to become more complicated as persons with experience and a deeper unique view of our vision.

GOLGOTHA: Back in 2005 when I joined the band, things were very different. We all were much younger; our needs and obligations were not the same as today. Looking back to what we’ve done I couldn’t be prouder, even the choices we’ve done had a meaning and all of that led to “Stare Into The Abyss”.

WC: Into the album, it’s been 7 years since “Magic Chaos Psychedelia”, and 10 years from that one to the one before. When one album is complete, is there an expectation that there even will be another to follow, or have you begun to approach each release as “This will be the last”?

G: It’s neither of the above. In every record we try to captivate our state of mind of the period that we were creating it. I think that boundaries such as a time limit, could be fatal for the artistic creation and inspiration. For me each record should be listened and judged as a unique piece of art.

N: Art has no deals and without any deadline, we create music when we feel ready. I don’t know when we will stop. 

WC: The drums were recorded in another studio in the same town by George [Trakas]. Was this just down to logistics? Easier to do it this way? Availability? 

N: We created a structured album with a real reason for existence. We chose Ignite studio because of its tall ceiling recording room. We wanted to capture a big stereo image of the drums. Moreover, for this result, we needed a drummer with skills and “soul”. George joined us and he got our musical feeling. Everything happened naturally without pressure. It was the right time for ENSHADOWED with the right man behind the drum kit.

WC: How have you seen the Greek black metal scene morph over the years into what it is today? It’s one of the (very) few places on the planet with its own identifiable take on black metal, and has very little to do with most of the countries that receive the bulk of the attention. France is another, to me. 
N: I really appreciate few bands from my country. Here, the black metal bands have the “heavy metal” syndrome. I prefer the death metal scene of Greece. In nowadays, I find more interest to bands from France, Sweden, Poland and New Zealand.

G: Of course, there are changes to the scene over the years. I don’t think that the bands nowadays try to stay close to that old school sound of the Greek black metal. But I must agree with Necro, I find more interest in our Death metal scene where bands try to stay focused to their music and not to their image or philosophy.

WC: It is all well and good to speak of nihilism as a philosophy, but I’ve come to the mind that no one that creates anything of any sort – be it music or painting, a flower garden or a sculpture – can be a true nihilist. The creation itself betrays the soul of nihilism. Nihilism can influence belief, but not be belief. Thoughts?

G: I understand why we have the need to put on “labels” as a mean of common understanding but in the end it’s just terms. If I say that I don’t believe in any greater power and that nothing exists beyond this world, yes, I am a nihilist, but only for this aspect. 

Necro: This happens because of the different point of views. I am a pure rationalist, a searcher which accepts only science and realism. So, the nihilism for me does not exists. I prefer the word “Realism”. 

WC: Can you go a bit into the lyrical inspiration for the ‘The Great Animist’ and ‘Entropy Of Men’? 

N: All the tracks of the album are a lyrical concept about death and its view from the eyes of different characters. Serpent is the creator of the lyrics; we really love his theatrical performance on this difficult role.

WC: Do you think that we’ve, as a culture, lost the ability to sit still and be immersed in music, film, art, literature? I primarily listen to music via headphones, so it’s easy to turn off outside stimuli, but I find myself, especially with movies, always having the need to be doing something else while watching, be it a puzzle, reading the mail, cooking…

G: Back in the days when we grew up, at least here in Greece, we didn’t have internet. We used to buy a record and listen to it for weeks. Unfortunately, many times I catch myself in that position of yours. Everything is accessible nowadays and that doesn’t give us the time to truly understand what we are consuming. Especially in art time is a great value both for the creator and the receiver. Of course, there are exceptions but there are only exceptions.

N: I totally agree. This is the reason that we did an album like the old days. The artists have a pressure of time, life is so fast and stressful. If you don’t get in the mode, you cannot be creative. 

WC: Following that, do you believe that this lost ability – or sometimes outright loss of desire for silence/solitude – contributes to people closing off their minds to the spiritual forces, be they dark or light? 

N: This is an illusion of the human brain. Human brain has many reasons to search for mysteries and spiritual paths. There is nothing real on this, a simple scientific search will give you the answers. I understand the thirst of the people to feel dark, more unique and something more than the others in a dogma or a sect. But this is the illusion of weakness. You have a short time of life with an insignificant existence in the universe. Accept it, be calm and follow: Observation, Experiment, Conclusion.

G: Everything that is given to you fast and easy can make your mind idle. You see many people that the only concern they have is how to get to work, how to eat and how to sleep. No, there are more things that meet the eye and I’m not talking about spiritual forces. If anyone understand its uniqueness and not just try to show it, then everything will become clearer. Light is life and dark is death; we are destined to experience both, so it’s simple.

WC: How has the current pandemic affected your tour plans for the remainder of the year? As bands don’t really make a lot of profit from album sales anymore, if you can’t tour, it’s an income stream – and emotional release component - that just isn’t there. 

N: It’s  a natural phenomenon for human race. We didn’t have any tour plan, so we weren’t affected as a band. In our main life, yes, our jobs get on hold.

G: I guess that this situation affected many bands especially if they had arrangements for touring, but for us ENSHADOWED isn’t a way to make money in order to live. For now, we have to wait and see what the future unfolds.