Alghazanth has been in existence for 18 years and has throughout its rather lengthy lifespan incorporated elements of the more melodic kind into its more or less traditional brand of black metal. The lyrical aspects of Alghazanth have always revolved around Satanism and all that it entails, but just like the musical expression itself has been refined, also the blade of the Living Word has become sharper as the years have gone by.
Initially, in 1995, the band started as a two-man show but grew into a bit more real band soon after this. Alghazanth’s history has its fair share of line-up changes and as such things are both boring and inconsequential in respect to the present day, there is no need to go into detail about these matters. What may be of relevance, though, is that Gorath Moonthorn (the other founding member, responsible for all lyrics) and Thasmorg (the original vocalist/guitarist) are still aboard and steering the ship.
Alghazanth’s first demo was released in late 1996 and the following year brought with it another demo as well as a promotional tape, latter of which landed them a deal with Finnish Woodcut Records.
Alghazanth has released a total of seven full-length albums, these being Thy Aeons Envenomed Sanity (1999), Subliminal Antenora (2000), Osiris-Typhon Unmasked (2001), The Polarity Axiom (2004), Wreath of Thevetat (2008), Vinum Intus (2011) and The Three-faced Pilgrim (2013). Even though the basic components have remained somewhat the same on all seven albums, the current approach took shape after The Polarity Axiom when half of the sextet parted ways with the band and the responsibility over the compositions moved wholly onto Grimort and Thasmorg’s shoulders. Adapting to such drastic changes took some time but it was clear right from the start that all this was only for the best. The three most recent albums certainly stand testament to this fact.
The Three-faced Pilgrim is not only lyric- and musicwise Alghazanth’s strongest album, it also symbolically marks a new revolution of the wheel as, after over a decade of concentrating solely on the guitar, Thasmorg is now handling the vocals again. In addition, he also switched from the role of a guitarist to that of a bass-player. This change, along with Mordant joining the ranks to share the guitar duties with Grimort, brought a welcomed breath of fresh air into the rehearsal space.
When the time came to start recording the new tracks, a decision was made to find someone new to work with, someone who would be exactly on the same page as the band. It so happened that the person to fill these shoes was not entirely new as Jari “Tupi” Tuomainen, the engineering wizard behind the seventh full-length album, worked as an intern at Tico Tico studio back in 1998 when Alghazanth was there recording Thy Aeons Envenomed Sanity. New line-up adjustments and different decisions in production elevated Alghazanth’s sound to a new level – and the evidence to back up this claim is for all to hear on the brand-new offering, The Three-faced Pilgrim.
Alghazanth line-up 2014:
Thasmorg – vocals, bass
Mordant – guitars
Wulture – guitars (live)
Ekholm – synths
Gorath Moonthorn – drums
Pic: © Maija Lahtinen