Crest Of Darkness was conceived in the mid-nineties when Ingar Amlien’s former band Conception was still at its peak. The idea behind C.O.D. was unquestionably a product of Ingar’s passion for sheer sonic brutality and devotion to the satanic ideology according to LaVey’s Church Of Satan and the Satanic Bible. His lyrics reflect these beliefs and his interest in vampirism. I asked some questions to Ingar about the new album "Welcome the Dead".
BRS – Hello Ingar and thanks to answer these questions. First of all I want to know if you already have a title to the next album and if it will be a concept album or not and the date for the release?
Ingar - I have a title, and it will be revealed very soon together with the release date. Unfortunately none of this is official yet, and I can´t give you this information here and now… Sorry about that! (This interview was made after the album production was finished)
BRS – Crest of Darkness exists since the early days of Norwegian black metal but you didn’t take part of the so called “Black Circle”. Why?
Ingar - The reason why I never had anything to do with the so called “Black Circle” has to do with the fact that I had almost no contact with these people. My musical companions at that time neither newed “the circle”, so even if we might had a lot of ideas in common with “the circle” I never even thought about contacting them or something like that. Remember that when all this happened everything were rumours for me, I didn´t know very much concrete about what was actually happening. I met some of the musicians at the now legendaric record shop Helvete in Oslo. I met Øystein Aarseth (Euronymous) and others. Good memories! And I did really like a lot of the music coming out from the first bands playing the music we are now calling Black Metal. After a few years dramatical things started to happen… Well, all this is history now.
BRS – Being there since the beginning you must start something as others but what were your influences in 1993?
Ingar - Morbid Angel, Deicide, Death… I was very much into these and other similar bands at that time. I also listened to bands like The Cult, Lords Of The New Church, Dead Can Dance and not to forget older favourites like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper and more... All these bands had a dark side, and I`ve always felt that dark, melancholic music touches my heart the most. I also like more aggressive, you can might call it “evil” music, and from the first beginning I was very much into the music of Darkthrone, Mayhem, Emperor and more...
BRS – Many people think that been satanic, it’s the same of been satanist but according LaVey’s ideology, it isn’t true. Explain us your vision about this.
Ingar - What I personally think about this is the fact that many people –most people actually- are acting in what you could might call a ”satanic way” in many situation. This has nothing to do with being evil, -it simply has to do with fact that all people are acting instinctly in many situations. In many situatins it´s absolutely right, and to the best for people just to follow their inner voice, -do what you think is right to do without following rules made by others. If you are a satanist the only difference lies in the fact that a satanist are more aware of these things. I´m not sure how to explain this with only a few words, but the essence of it is that a satanist is more normally reflected when it comes to these questions, -how to live their lifes. For a satanist everything start with himself and his/her ego. This can very often be missunderstood by others…. Again I´ll say that this has nothing to do with being ”evil”, it has to do with being a person taking the control over her/his own life. A satanist is his own god! When a LaVey satanist is ”worshipping” Satan he/she is actually ”worshipping” himself and the dark forces in the nature. A satanist doesn´t believe in neither God or Satan or other supernatural beings! A Satanist doesn´t believe in good or evil as explained in the Christian bible or other holy books!
BRS – You’ve sign a new contract with My Kingdom Music but you already release albums with this Italian label since 2004’s “Evil Knows Evil”. What this new contract have different from the existing one?
Ingar - The new contract hasn´t changed very much from the former one. Both me and the record label have seen the music bussiness changing very much through the years. It´s very hard to make good business in these days, but together with My Kingdom Music I´m trying to make the best out of the situation. I'm a positive, but realistic person. I don´t expect things to come easy, but I do still live with the hope that Crest of Darkness can become a much bigger band. To make this happen we have to continue releasing great albums, and we have to play more live gigs. We´ve already played more the two, three latest years than we've ever done earlier in our carreer. We´ve toured with bands like Shining (Sweden) and Marduk, and for sure it will be more tours in the future!
BRS – You’ve recorded recently a music with a famous Norwegian actor (Espen Reboli Bjerke). What was the idea?
Ingar - From the beginning the song we´re talking about was ment to be an instrumental, but after a while the idea came up that we wanted to add some lyrics to the song. This is the last song on the album, it´s moody with a kind of majestically feeling, an almost religious feeling…. I wrote a poetry based the titles of all the old releases from Crest of Darkness, and even if I don´t come up with any conclutions or answers in this poetry it works quite well as the climax of the album. We asked the actor Espen Reboli Bjerke if he could be interested in performing this vocal part/the poetry in this song. Espen thought this was very interesting to do, and he was actually quite excited about it! ….and he did a great job, and I´m really proud we was able to make this happen, and I´m proud of having this guest apearance from Espen Reboli Bjerke on the album!
BRS – Rebo is your partner since 2006 but Crest of Darkness do not have a stable line-up. This is difficult to achieve the objectives you want for the band, certainly. Why do not search musicians committed with the same vision as you, for this project?
Ingar - For the first time in many years we do actually have a stable line-up today! We´ve had the same line-up since we released the "Evil Messiah" EP nearly two years ago, and nowadays we´re working very well together! And we do work well together exactly because we do have a lot in common when it comes to musical taste and so on… We don´t agree about everything of course, but both Bernhard (drums) and Rebo (guitar) are working hard together with me with the purpose to help me realizing my visions for the project. I´ve very often called Crest of Darkness my ”brain child”, and through this ”child” I´m giving life to my darkest visions and dreams!
BRS – Last year you’ve been on tour with Marduk. Was important to reach more people to know Crest of Darkness?
Ingar - Very important! We have to do more touring in the future. It´s no doubt about that! It´s good promotion, and it´s important for me to meet people, to meet the fans! It gives me and the band such a lot of energy and inspiration to keep on making good music!
BRS – Many people don’t know that in many occasions the underground bands have to invest some money in these tours to reach more people and many times the money invested don’t come back. Can you explains us your experience over the years?
Ingar - I never go into details when it comes to Crest of Darkness and how we´re organizing our tours, but being an underground band can be hard sometimes, that´s for sure… It´s normal that support bands have to invest money in tours but you don´t have any guarantees that the money come back. As far as I know it has always been like this. For Crest of Darkness we´ve done many different things… Sometimes we we´re getting payed or all the costs are payed, other times we have to invest money on our own to realize different projects. Sometimes it might feels a little bit unfair, but on the other hand most bands are meeting this situations several times in their carreers.
BRS – Every C.O.D. fan want to see the band live but this is difficult especially when the fans live in the Western Europe as I am. It’s possible to see C.O.D. live, in the future for example, at a festival?
Ingar - I really hope so! We want to play more live shows in the future, and we´re willing to go pretty fare to make this going to happen!