Another week, another bitchin’ new black metal release from Finland.
That probably sounds sarcastic, but I mean it as anything but. Go type ‘Finnish’ in the search box up above and take a look at what comes up. I think it can be safely concluded that 2018 is the year that Finland laid definitive claim to the title of Black Metal Capital of the Nordic Countries.
It’s not just established acts like Archgoat and Sargeist that are making the Finnish scene so fucking deadly, though both bands released what may be their best albums in 2018. There are also a fuckton of younger bands keeping the underground alive in the Land of the Thousand Lakes, the most promising of which may well be Mikkeli-based Morgal. Formed in 2014 by Lord Warmoon (vocals, bass), his brother SS Exiler (drums), and Crusher (guitars), the strength of their discography to date belies their youthful ages – if they were to tour the States any time soon, only Lord Warmoon could legally drink alcohol. That discography, though, has been incredibly difficult to find since Morgal has preferred to limit their physical releases to only a few hand-numbered copies. For example, Forever Dead Records’ two pressings of their first full-length Käärmesielu came to a total of 60 copies: 30 CD-Rs, and 30 tapes.
On November 30, however, that’s going to change, because Werewolf Records/Hells Headbangers will be releasing Morgal, a fifteen-minute blast of True Black Fucking Metal that’s guaranteed to this fiendish trio on the international black metal map (preorder here). Consisting of four re-recorded songs from their earlier discography, it’s the perfect introduction to the band, and we’re stoked to be streaming it in full here today at the Vault. I also had a chance to chat with the band – check it out while listening to the unholy racket (in the best way, of course) that is Morgal.
Indy Metal Vault: For starters, thanks for the interview. I think I’ve chatted with more black metal bands from Finland bands than any other country in Europe. The black flame of the classic Scandinavian second wave still burns brightly in the Finnish underground. What do you think makes Finland such fertile ground for black metal?
Morgal: HAILS! First, Finland is a place where it is cold and dark for over half of the year. Also, Finnish black metal has a very unique sound, which is primitive and brutal. People who make this music in here are really serious with their thing. We think that certain kind of nihilism and misanthropy runs in the veins of Finnish people.
IMV: I’d not heard of Morgal previous to your forthcoming EP, but it’s easy to see why – just about everything you’ve done has been issued physically in runs of ten or twenty copies. In fact, there will likely be more copies of Morgalpressed than there are copies of the rest of your discography combined. Why did you release your earlier material in such limited quantities? What made you decide the time was right to make the jump to a larger label for the new EP?
M: We are not surprised about that. The reason we did such limited releases is simple. We didn’t have the resources to do bigger releases, but we wanted to do physical copies for our few fans. Actually, we didn’t search for a bigger label or deal on purpose. Everything just happened.
IMV: Even though I referred to the EP as ‘new,’ that’s not an entirely accurate statement: it’s actually comprised of reworked songs from your earlier releases. Since Morgal will be your first widely available release, why did you decide to revisit your earlier material for it?
M: We didn’t have new material back when this release was recorded. So we decided to pick our best songs from our point of view and re-recorded them at the Satanic Metal Temple because we knew that we could play them better and faster than at any time before, and because they needed a second chance with better quality recordings.
IMV: One thing that surprised me a bit as I was looking into Morgal’s history is the relative youth of your members. When you formed in 2014, SS Exiler would have been around sixteen, and Crusher appears to be of a similar age. Here in the U.S., bands with members that young tend to have a difficult time being taken seriously. Is it the same way in Finland? Since you are a band that plays live, did you have any difficulty getting gigs when you were starting out?
M: Age is not a problem when you play fast and with hellish energy. When we formed this band, we understood that we are definitely a live band. At the beginning, we had to organize our own gigs and events, but everything starts from something.
IMV: Where did the name ‘Morgal’ come from? At first I thought it was from Tolkien, but that’s actually spelled ‘morgul.’
M: The MORGAL name was founded by our drummer back in 2012. The name itself doesn’t mean anything, but it is short, catchy, and for us, it means ultimate strength and speed.
IMV: When it comes to occult/Satanic lyrical themes, I find that the Finnish bands are far more serious than most, so ever since I interviewed Ritual Butcherer from Archgoat earlier this year, I’ve been asking every Finnish band a variation of the same question: what does Satan mean to you? Does music have to be Satanic in order to be black metal?
M: Satan is a Being that is not of this world. The Satanic character will not bow to the laws of man. We could not care less what others do. We do what we want to.
IMV: What’s next for you after Morgal comes out? Any chance this is just a teaser for an upcoming full-length?
M: We have done some gigs this year and we will do some more in 2019. A full album is our next goal, and it will be most inhuman album ever. Fuck weakness, fuck humanity.
IMV: Thanks again for being willing to answer a few questions. I like to leave the final word to the artists – anything else you want to add?
M: Thank you for the interview. STAB THE WORLD AND LET IT BLEED!! NO MORAL, NO LAW!