Recently I reviewed a great little split release from Austin, Texas featuring two excellent Black Metal projects; namely Brüka, and the focus of todays interview Temple ov Ahriman. Thornicator tells us all…
Greetings Thornicator and thank you for answering my questions. How is life currently in Austin?
Thanks for having me. Cost of living keeps rising and traffic is abysmal. Other than that, no major complaints.
To date you have released one song, that being ‘At Ropes End’, which you put out as a single. It has since featured on a split release with fellow Austin Black Metal band Brüka. Can you tell me about the lyrical theme behind the song?
The lyrics are pretty self-explanatory on that one. It is about being completely despondent and at the end of one’s rope. I endured an abrupt and very traumatic loss a few years back, and that song was my catharsis.
As mentioned, both yourself and Bruka are Austin based. What is your relationship to Bruka, and how did the split release come about?
Brüka and us are “brother bands” of sorts. They were establishing themselves around the same time as my other group, Triacanthos, and we even co-headlined their first gig. How the split came about is actually an interesting story. “At Rope’s End” was released digitally and I was looking to have it released on a physical format as well. So, I approached Red River Family who had put out the original Triacanthos EP on cassette. I guess they were hesitant to release a single from a relatively unknown band, so they suggested a split with Brüka. Cause of our history together it was a no-brainer to include them. Collaborating on the project was an enjoyable experience. For a while we would meet regularly at pubs to discuss the artwork and even did a photo shoot together.
Can we expect any new material from you? If so, do you have any details? Will it be another single release or are you working on something bigger?
Yes, we are currently recording a full-length album. It has been a very long, drawn out process made all the more frustrating because “At Rope’s End” is our only officially released song. We often get mislabelled as a DSBM band because of it, but people are going to soon realize that there are many different shades and flavours to Temple ov Ahriman. We are a black metal band that just happens to have a DSBM song.
How did you come to start the Temple ov Ahriman project? What is the meaning behind the project’s name?
TAO can best be understood as an extension of my other band Triacanthos. The Triacanthos full-length was first recorded in the autumn of 2019. After getting the final mixes back we realized that the recording was simply too flawed and needed to be scrapped. So, we found a new studio to re-record it at. Due to the pandemic the actual start date of the recording sessions was pushed back multiple times. I took this as an opportunity to begin writing for the follow-up. Before I knew it I was sitting on a mountain of material. Far too much music for a single band to realistically learn and record. So, the decision was made to start Temple ov Ahriman. I had the name swirling around in my head as far back as 2014 or 2016. The esoteric meaning of the name is taken from the work of occult author Michael W Ford. It means to make oneself a living conduit for the adversarial current with Ahriman being the oldest personification of such. It is also a lyric lifted from the title track of the Triacanthos album. So, there are multiple layers of meaning to the name. The decision to spell the word “of” with the letter V is also symbolic as it represents Venus, the Morningstar, Lucifer.
What are your long-term plans for Temple ov Ahriman? Will there be an expansion into a full band? Maybe live shows? Or will it remain your solo studio project?
I have a love/hate relationship with shows, so TAO was intended to be a studio project. It soon became apparent that shows were a necessary evil for promoting oneself. So, I put together a live band and on January 20th we played our first gig. The plan for the foreseeable future is to play select shows here and there with a focus on recording and releasing new music.
How did you first get into Black Metal? Which bands drew you towards this unholy sound we all love?
I have always been drawn to heavier music. When I was young and impressionable, I listened to all things “extreme”; death metal, grindcore, old school thrash, etc. For better or worse, my introduction to black metal was through the “gateway” BM bands like Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir. They presented the genre in a way that was palatable to the uninitiated. My affinity for the more “trve” stuff came later as sort of an acquired taste. There is a sincerity to the music that just cannot be matched.
You are active in other bands. Would you like to give some details as to your other work?
I have played in metal bands off and on since I was 17. Vesperian Sorrow was my first real band worth mentioning. I played bass for them from 2008 to about 2012. And again from 2017 to 2019. That same year I joined Triacanthos as their lead vocalist. For a brief while I was in both bands, but it became apparent that it was an unsustainable situation. I had lost a lot of my passion for the synth laden, technical riffing of VS and wanted to play a rawer, more primitive form of black metal so I left VS to do Triacanthos full-time and the rest as they say is history.
Can you tell me more about the Austin Black Metal scene? Are there any labels or bands you would like to promote?
Right, the Austin metal scene is changing. 10 years ago, it was den of vipers, a bunch of toxic individuals that would be nice to you in person then talk ill about you behind your back. Nowadays, there is much more comradery. We are not in competition with each other so much. I must commend Val Rozar of Brüka for doing a lot to foster a sense of community in the scene. I would also like to thank Red River Family for giving Triacanthos and TAO a leg-up by releasing our earliest stuff on cassette.
That is all I have for you. Thanks again for your time. The final words are yours.
Our upcoming album is just the tip of the iceberg. We have so much more music to offer so follow us on social media for any and all updates. Ave Lucifer, hail thyself.