Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.
I think a lot of what one would need to know about the band's history is summed up nicely in the bio, so I'll include that blurb here for you or anyone new to Artach.
Artach is a two-man black metal band (Sruthán: Guitar/Bass, Fíochmhar: Battery/Vokills/Keys)based in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. Being from the foggiest, snowiest, wettest, windiest, and gloomiest capital city in Canada, one should not be surprised that this fuels the creation of Black Metal. Their inspiration comes from the land, nature, the bleak weather of the Canadian North, and influential black metal bands.
Since the duo’s formation in the spring of 2019, Artach has been consistently releasing new music. The band’s debut album “Chronicles of a Black Winter” was released digitally during February 2020 and later unleashed on physical CD by Depressive Illusions Records. The full length contained 9 songs of extreme, harsh, and haunting sounds, which included a cover of Celtic Frost’s ‘Jewel Throne’.
Now in 2021, the band returns with their next offering “Sworn To Avenge”, a full-length scourge of raw and relentless bruting gloom. From the calming blasts and savagery of album opener “Tuiteam an Duine” to the ingrained black metal blast beats, and headbanging riffage on “Shimmer” to the 20-minute exploration for the epic “Endless Tundra” about the doomed Franklin expedition of 1846 to the Immortal-esque riffing and unorthodox exorcism of album closer “Winter’s End”, Artach delivers a 65-minute cold deliverance of their surroundings.
How would you describe your style? Which bands influenced your music?
While the best judge is the listener, I think our style is best described as epic black metal. It creates an inescapable, cold and at times unhinged, grimness. Raw aggression tempered with bouts of melody evokes the grandmasters of the genre while incorporating first and second-wave black metal influences. As for the bands that are a big influence on Artach I would say the key ones are Immortal, Celtic Frost, Venom, Darkthrone, and Satyricon.
Why should a metalhead buy your demos/albums?
Because you'd be able to brag to all your friends that you discovered us first lol! Other than that, because we think it's solid and enjoyably unhinged raw epic black metal.
What have you released so far and how were your releases received by the public/media?
2020 – Chronicles of a Black Winter
2021 – Sworn to Avenge (coming June 25th 2021)
Since the second album is just getting to press now and isn't out, we don't really know how it will be received. The first album wasn't covered by the huge zines, as they typically don't cover a lot of deep underground unsigned bands like Artach. But for those who dig deeper, the reviews were almost all positive. Below are some press quotes for the first album should you like to include them with the interview:
brutalism.com: "The album is definitely black metal – but there are some really nice elements in that that make this author think the musicians are truly having some fun. In particular, ‘Frozen In Time’, exhibits this by delivering several rhythmic textures and a variety of guitar techniques. The vocals are also just well placed in this track in both timing and style."
HeavyNFLD: "Artach have overnight become one of the most interesting bands to come out of the Newfoundland metal scene in some time, not only for the Darkthrone-esque duality of their lineup, but for their genuine appreciation for all things grim and frostbitten and their unique flavour of first wave meets second wave black metal. If you’ve not given Chronicles of a Black Winter a listen yet, give it a spin or two. It’s definitely worth checking out."
blessedaltarzine.com: "This is the first release from this Canadian band and even if it is a bit “primitive” it was a good surprise. What they bring is nothing new or amazing, to be honest. Is Black Metal in the most epic and primitive way, at least to me but with some very good leads. Check them."
Metal-Rules.com: "Artach is a mysterious two-piece Black Metal band who have issued their debut CHRONICLES OF A BLACK WINTER. Artach have spawned some fierce raw and primeval Black Metal. I’m hearing lots of classic Hellhammer/Bathory/Venom and maybe even dipping into second wave stuff like Immortal. It is all very black and grim the way this type of stuff should be."
Metal-temple.com: “Like the album’s title may suggest, this album’s atmosphere is as cold and bleak as the North winds. The album is very riff focused with modern production, but it isn’t too clean—I actually really enjoyed the production. Vocally, it is very unique and [not] just the same ol endless blackened screams.”
Astral Noize: "A solid dose of second wave black metal."
The Metal Crypt: "This is an album that took a little time to grow on me and after more listens than I care to count, I still hear little twists that I hadn't heard before. Pretty cool debut from a band that's doing its own thing in a genre where bands are often content to imitate." Rating: ⅘
VM-Underground Fanzine: “It‘s nice to hear that there are still bands nowadays who pay such a tribute to the good old Black Metal days.”
What should labels/zines/promoters know about your band? Why should they be interested in it?
We are productive, creative, have lots more ideas to come. We are hard-working, love the style of black metal we are forging and have a DIY attitude that has seen us through 2 albums with no outside support. Like the mightly Darkthrone, we are not a touring or live band at the moment. It's just the two of us who create, perform, and records all this madness ourselves. As for why someone should be interested – it doesn't come more honest than this. This isn't a rockstar dream band. This is just two dudes hammering out angry music because it must be done. If you like it, awesome, if you don't, then go listen to the same 10 bands you've always heard and rot. lol
What plans do you have for the near future as a band?
The new album drops June 25th 2021. Physical copies can be obtained from Depressive Illusions and digital can be obtained from our Bandcamp page or from wherever you stream your metal. We just released a lyric video for the track “Into the Frozen Woodlands” and we will have another lyrics video available soon. Then on album release day, we will have a new music video. That's the plan for the near future. Hopefully, more people hear about us and check it out. We're always writing new music so there's often something new to check out from us.
Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?
The New Album: SWORN TO AVENGE
Depressive Illusions Records: https://depressiveillusions.com/
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