WM: Hail Ritual Butcherer! Let’s begin this interview with some background on Archgoat. Who is in the band, what bands have you and the other members played with previously, what have Archgoat released so far over the years, how the band was formed and anything else you feel is important.
Ritual Butcherer: Archgoat was formed in 1989 by me, Angelslayer and Blood Desecrator. Angelslayer and Blood Desecrator had a grindcore band in ´87 and I played with Blood Desecrator in death metal band in ´88. These bands were ok but we all thought something special was missing and thus these bands were buried. We all we intrigued by the dark lyrics of Venom, Possessed and Hell Hammer about Satanism and we found us reading more and more satanic literature and philosophy. This was the moment of clarity that we understood what path was for us and that this was the element missing from our concept. We forget these philosophical aspects of ours to our music and thus in 1989 Archgoat took its first breath. The releases of ours are:
1991 – Jesus Spawn demo
1993 – Penis Perversor demo
1993 – Angelcunt (tales of desecration) mLP
2005 – Angelslaying Black Fucking Metal 7”
2006 – Whore of Bethlehem LP
2008 – Desecration & Sodomy live split dLP
2009 – The Light-Devouring Darkness LP
2010 – Aeon of Angelslaying Darkness dLP
2011 – Heavenly Vulva (Christ´s Last Rites) mLP
WM: If asked to describe Archgoat’s signature sound to somebody who has never heard the band before, what words would you use to describe it?
RB: Hammer of Satan
WM: What lead you to play such a dark, primal and ancient sounding form of music? What is “black metal” to you?
RB: Black metal is to me the musical extension of my philosophy. My thoughts put into a form that speaks out my words. The longer I have composed music the more I have wanted to strip the secondary elements from my creations to represent how my understanding of Satanism has deepened and evolved. This in a way portrays my path towards Darkness from 1989 on and till the end. There can’t be BLACK metal if the members have no understanding of Satanism as this would create only black METAL
WM: What ideals are behind the music Archgoat produces? Judging by the song titles, lyrics and artwork; one would assume a Satanic and/or Occult agenda, would you mind going in to some detail regarding your theological inspirations?
RB: Archgoat represents the ideologies of its members as we in same way represent the ideology of Archgoat. Archgoat is to me like a mirror that reflects back who I am and why I am here. We are the war horn of Lucifer aiming to promote traditional Satanism and it´s message in musical form of Black Metal.
WM: Expanding on my previous question, what musical influences have an effect on your songwriting? What type of music do you listen to on a regular basis?
RB: We had roots in grindcore as well as in death metal & early black metal. It was natural for us to create music that we liked taking influences from the bands we appreciated. We took the speed of Sarcofago and mixed it to the heaviness of Celtic Frost and then added the tempo changes of Carcass to create what is Archgoat style. I mainly listen to old bands and olds releases. At this very moment I am mainly listening of late 80´s to early 90´s Finnish death metal. Possessed and Carcass are among my all time favorites who created releases that are perfect to me.
WM: Why was the name Archgoat chosen? Personally, I think it is a great name for a black metal band such as this.
RB: When we had formed the band and knew our direction we wanted the band’s name to represent this. This was when we came up with name Archgoat. Archgoat is a word that represents the arch angel of Darkness.
WM: Let’s talk a bit more about the early days. I understand Archgoat was formed way back in 1989, which was a great time for extreme metal. What kind of response did Archgoat receive from the underground community back then? Did you play live much, if at all? Were you involved in tape-trading and other “old-school” methods of communication between scenes?
RB: The response of our demos and live rituals was good from the people who understood what we were standing for and bad by the people to whom the underground scene is constant run behind trends. We played between 1990 to 1995 about 20 live rituals and all in Finland. We were heavily involved in tape trading with bands and people around the globe. We released out first demo in this matter that you would order it with nominal cost of $1 and then would receive the demo recorded in cassette along with Xeroxed covers.
WM: What are your thoughts on old-school Finnish metal? Are/were you a fan of any of the early death metal bands such as Demilich, Demigod, Convulse, Funebre and so on? What about other Finnish black metal bands such as Beherit, Barathrum and other cult acts? Are there any newer Finnish acts you would recommend?
RB: I appreciate highly the mentioned Finnish death bands as there is something morbid and unique in their sound and composing that reeks of Finland. The old releases of Beherit are also in my top list. Funebre and Disgrace were from Turku like we are and were great guys. It is a pity that their careers were so short. Of the new Finnish death bands I would absolutely recommend Slugathor. They have understood what Finnish death metal is all about.
WM: Why, after so many years, did you choose to resurrect Archgoat in 2004/05? What inspired this decision? Do you have any regrets about taking such a long hiatus from music? Do you feel Archgoat has changed musically much, or at all, since reforming?
RB: The fire inside me was stronger and stronger seeking a way to be unleashed. The only way was my music and for me since 89 there has been only one band I would even think of being a member of. When talking with Angelslayer I noticed a similar situation and after some months we were at a rehearsal place trying how or could we even play the old hymns in the way they need to be played. From the first note we felt the black energy of our creation to be alive and stronger than ever and this made the final decision easy for us. To me the whole early 2000 black metal scene was a joke full of bands who were interested about how their hair was in photos and to promote themselves instead of true Darkness. Bringing Archgoat back was my fuck off to this plastic scene by showing what true BLACK metal is all about.
WM: I was recently notified that Archgoat will be appearing in Australia at the Evil Invaders festival in June of 2013, along with Sadistic Intent, Midnight and many Australian bands. Are you looking forward to coming here? Have you ever been to or played in Australia or New Zealand before? What are your general thoughts towards this particular festival?
RB: We are anxious to enter the stage in Australia. There are many interesting bands on the bill and we are looking forward of experiencing Australia. This will be among the highlights my path in the ranks of Archgoat. None of the members have been in the Oceania so this will be a very special trip to us.
WM: What should the Australian crowd expect from an Archgoat set?
RB: An experience what true BLACK metal black mass stands for; Blood, spikes, bullet belts and human bones.
WM: What are your thoughts on Australian metal? Were you into any Aussie bands in the early days? Do you listen to many Australian bands now? If so, what ones do you enjoy the most?
RB: I am very familiar with Phil from Diocletian and Vassafor and really looking forward of seeing the latter on same stage as we climb. I have been listening also Bestial Warlust for quite a many years. There seems to be something unique in these bands as what we have.
WM: Aside from coming to Australia, what other short and long term plans lie in Archgoat’s future? Do you have any new releases or touring planned?
RB: We have started to compose new hymns for the next LP.
WM: Thank you for taking the time to complete this interview. Any last words?
RB: Thank you for the intie.