SPITE “With Eyes Full of Vengeance” 

By: Lord Randall

In which Lord Randall wanders the catacombs of SPITE with founder/sole entity Salpsan, discussing the customs, myths and histories which fuel his hatred and, well, spite. On the second curve of the second horn of the twelve-horned dragon that is surely to be anno 2018, the Antimoshiach is born via Invictus Productions. On we slouch, away from Bethlehem…

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: With the glut of single-member black metal projects these days, why does the world need SPITE? Or, rather, are you simply part of the soundtrack to the march of humanity towards its inevitable self-destruction?

SALPSAN: Furthermore, it was forged in spite of the world's overarching fear of a divine presence, cloying trends towards mainstream and recycled aesthetics, and people's unwillingness to take the helm for themselves and light their own path. Those ideas fuel the artistic gestations of SPITE.

WC: Is SPITE in 2018 the way you’d envisioned it in 2010 when you first took up the idea? What has changed over time, and do you feel your abilities to form thought and inspiration into song have improved since the "Desecration Rites" demo?

S: I slowly but carefully worked to create the eight songs on this debut for a few years, and intentionally wrote ‘Countless Blasphemy’ (from the Evil Spells, Vol. I compilation) and the ‘Trapped in the Pentagram’ single in the meantime to be standalone tracks to offer a taste of the sound I was honing for the album. For SPITE's previous releases, I only played through them one or two times in Malebolge's rehearsal chambers before recording them properly, but for "Antimoshiach" I had a lot more time to rehearse. On "Antimoshiach", one will certainly find more complex song structures and varied styles than I've been able to present with my limited prior releases. I took my time with these songs to make them all feel very complete, but also flow well together as an album. "Antimoshiach" deals centrally with the notion of an Anti-Messiah revealing himself in our world, and naturally there is some conceptual continuity between most of the songs. There are even lyrical references to themes and characters in SPITE's older songs, as this project is intended to be a cohesive canon of blasphemous mythology. I'll leave it up to the listener to find all the connecting threads. Additionally, one will hear a much stronger produced album, as it was recorded and mixed by the extremely talented and meticulous Jamie Elton of AMULET (UK) in a proper studio in London.

WC: Is progression   or forward/upward movement   important at all for what you see as black metal? Obviously, some would feel the more primal roots should be adhered to, while others see the various tangents and approaches taken by others as breathing life into stagnation. Where do your thoughts lie?

S: I try to write music that hearkens back to the legendary foundations of black metal's raw, caustic sound, and not latch on to the modern sounds of trendy blog metal drivel. This project, after all, was created as the antithesis of those who misrepresent black metal to be some ritualistic and egotistic charade to hide a lack of musical capability or historical understanding of the genre. That being said, my wide range musical and artistic interests acts as a filter through which ancient inspirations take on a fresh and unique sound, in my opinion.

WC: Is there a point when, driving spirit or beliefs aside   something ceases to be black metal by virtue of the music alone? Just as a case in point: If MAYHEM is black metal, then ENSLAVED is not, despite their similar origin. If GORGOROTH is black metal, then ALCEST is not.

S: Indeed, proper black metal possesses a certain ethos by which it may be identified, but to me, black metal has become a vast network of tributaries flowing directly from the wellspring of heavy metal itself. The first three bands you mention not only exhibit the black metal ethos, but their origins are intertwined in the history of black metal itself, and they helped to drive it in somewhat different, yet harmonious, directions. Now that black metal has branched off into so many different sounds, people can argue for an eternity whether a certain band fits into black metal's canon. Those who understand its historical foundations, however, will be able to weed out the pretenders for themselves.

WC: I do have to let you know, the feeling I got on first listen to the album, when ‘The Devil’s Minyan’  blasted from the speakers, it reminded me of the ecstatic frenzy I felt with the first NADIWRATH demo back in 2007. Too few albums these days just grab you by the throat and don t let up. So thanks for that. 

S: I'm glad you appreciate the intent of the album's structure - indeed ‘The Devil's Minyan’ was intended to go straight for the throat and not relent.

WC: When deciding on "Antimoshiach' as the title, is your antagonism against God (rather, the Judaic Christ) or those who follow him? To be fair, even Lucifer and Satan - any belief system, really - have their share of idiot sheep who blindly tread behind, and who pervert their teachings to satisfy ego or their personal desires. Are you averse to any sort of spiritual journey/search, or more those who follow what they are told without question? 

S: "Antimoshiach" is a Hebrew word which means Anti-Messiah. This can be taken to be the Antichrist, but also even more generally as an unholy anointed figure who will ascend and be the catalyst for Armageddon. Despite the religious subject matter of this work, I do not have any intention of presenting SPITE as a ritualistic cult or anything of that nature, like many modern bands offer as a gimmick to sell albums or concert tickets. Offering true and untainted black metal is my most pressing concern. That being said, my lyrical themes are extremely paramount to the canon of SPITE as an artistic project. To this end, I have adapted much from the passages of Judaic and Christian mythos, including apocalyptic themes, the death and shaming of Christ, demonology and the occult, and even the recounting of Old Testament prophetic tales from a satanic perspective, a yarn I've been slowly weaving since ‘Desecration Rites’, and will continue to elaborate on in the future. It is with a truly misanthropic and deviant hand that I write these songs, but the music is the only dark art in which I partake.

WC: Does  Vision Of The Merkabah  lyrically deal with the use of meditation to enable inter-dimensional travel? I’ve experienced my share of strange thoughts/moments while in a meditative state, and have found that reaching out of that sort can be done without mind-altering substances. Do you feel that our mind’s capabilities can be aided or are only inhibited by the use of drugs? 

S: Of course, some may surely find some inspiration or even enlightenment entering into altered states of consciousness. I enjoy your creative interpretation of the song. Your question does beg an interesting consideration, however: if these Biblical characters did truly exist, what may have triggered the divine visions and prophecies they recounted? One might wonder if some sort of hallucinogenic agent or even fatigue or delirium weren't the causes...

WC: Who/what were your influences when first determining the sound of Spite, and how have they changed over time? Do you feel that you will, or even should attempt to move beyond them? 

S: There are many intentional nods - some subtle and others blatantly up front, if you're paying attention - to artists who have influenced Spite within all of its songs. In terms of the specific style of black metal I am aiming for, I can directly point to the old guard of Norwegian black metal – IMMORTAL, SATYRICON, DODHEIMSGARD, EMPEROR, DARKTHRONE, MAYHEM, and the like - all of whose earliest releases had a tremendous impact on me. Outside of this scene, bands like CRAFT, BEHEXEN, OLD, MORTUARY DRAPE, KATHARSIS, and NEGATIVE PLANE also had a great influence on SPITE's sound. All that being said, SLAYER is still the greatest source of inspiration for me, and in my opinion "Hell Awaits" is the finest black metal album ever written. There are countless homages to SLAYER in the works of Spite. Nowadays, new, genuine black metal is getting harder to come by, though I do listen to a plethora of different bands, new and old, from many genres and eras. My tastes and interests are ever-changing, but I can never forget those foundations. Newer bands such as OCCVLTA, OBLITERATION, ANTICHRIST, and OCCULT BURIAL are certainly worth noting as well.

WC: Isn’t ‘The Devil’s Minyan’ simply another form of servitude? Either way, you’re bowing to the will of a power you see as greater than yourself. 

S: In the Judaic religion, a Minyan is a group of ten religious adults (traditionally men) assembled to perform certain religious duties, which are often quite menial. In Antimoshiach, the Devil's Minyan are the ones who carry out the Devil's work to herald the arrival of the Anti-Messiah, and achieve their own form of martyrdom in doing so. They are his servants, yes, but they are certain of their impending triumph, unlike the God-fearing masses.

WC: Do you ever see Spite becoming more than yourself? If you were to find another compatriot with like-minded sensibilities, would you invite them in?

S: Though I welcome collaborative efforts and ideas, I would like everything to flow entirely from my mind in order to maintain musical and thematic continuity. I am not opposed to showcasing Spite in a live setting, but I haven't yet been able to form the right band of likeminded individuals, at least in proximity to my home base. 

WC: Plans for the year?

S: For now, I plan to continue writing new material. Even before I recorded this album, I had already begun writing material for the next full-length album and other releases. I will continue to work on this, and lie in wait to see what the world makes of "Antimoshiach".