Interview with Inquisition vocalist and guitarist Dagon | By Christopher J. Harrington
“Blessed are the valiant, for they shall obtain great treasure,” writes occultist Anton Szandor LaVey in The Satanic Bible. “Cursed are the believers in good and evil, for they are frightened by the shadows.” There’s a strong logic to this statement, and although it can seem at times like Satanism and its shifting angles are shrouded in a sort of low-lying abstract veil, LaVey’s writings are, for the most part, sound and mindful advice: a little bit of natural science mixed with a mathematical bent. If there’s one thing that rings amazingly true about black metal legion Inquisition‘s newest album, it’s that they are a band who get stronger, more dynamic, and more interdimensionally daring with each new offering. These guys continuously seek out and embrace the ubiquitous shadows that lie around us. Bloodshed Across the Empyrean Altar Beyond the Celestial Zenith—set for release Aug. 26 on Season Of Mist—is the band’s most spectacular and interstellar record yet.
“If I was a sculptor and just finished my last piece, I could look at every corner of it, every angle, and I could die 100 percent happy,” Inquisition founder, vocalist, and guitarist Dagon acknowledges. “I’m extremely satisfied with the new album—every single little piece of it. As usual, we thought outside the box on this thing, and I became obsessed with the production. It needed to be the best thing we could possibly do.”
Stream Bloodshed Across The Empyrean Altar Beyond The Celestial Zenith below.
Inquisition’s new record is noticeably thicker, mightier—if you can believe it—more diverse, and more thoroughly ripping than anything the band have created yet. The immense organic technicality and heightened richness that swirl with every darkening form carry the new record beyond the cosmos: an equation solved, mastered, and raged. There’s neck-splattering headbangers, eerie forest stomps, thrashers beyond thrashers, and a combined total sound that is honest and striking.
“We had a lot more options for this record,” Dagon notes. “We recorded the album in Seattle at London Bridge Studios, which has a lot of vintage oriented gear, and also houses a Neve 8048 mixing console. The hyper-frequencies you get on those kinds of vintage boards are really spectacular. The drum room they have there is world-renowned, and this was a really an amazing opportunity for us. I’d say, if we were talking percentages for every option we could ask for, we got about 95 percent on this one.”
As a duo, Inquisition are a unique specimen: two entities as one, a lightning rod of flashing mysticism, science, and unparalleled black metal. Their drummer, Incubus, navigates the double kick bass like a prophet from Hades, merging lusciously with Dagon’s brilliant guitar infusions and unique vocal style. You always know you’re listening to Inquisition when you hear them: a phenomenon—especially in black metal—that applies to only the most epic of bands. The Satanic and mystical architecture that forms the epicenter of the band is built upon a dynamic belief in the self and the power of progression.
“Satanism is the pinnacle of everything I believe in,” Dagon says. “As an individualistic thinker, you can choose who and why to believe in something—it’s about following the path to see what’s hidden behind the darkness. The new album speaks of a great many things: ancient Sumerian mythology, astronomy and creationism, and the occult in general. Music is an art; it’s about playing your gear well, but it’s also about putting things together. Keeping an open mind and seeking new ideas is essential.”
Inquisition live for the shadows, crossing through the planes of being, vivid and true. Bloodshed Across the Empyrean Altar Beyond the Celestial Zenith is a further step toward the infinite darkness: the core of essence. “Blessed are the mighty minded,” LaVey states, “for they shall ride the whirlwinds.” Inquisition truly do.