Norwegian black metal stalwarts 1349 are releasing The Infernal Pathway on Season of Mist records very soon and they are also embarking on a tour of North America. We took a few minutes to catch up with vocalist Ravn to talk about this new record.
One of the songs that really stands out on this new record is “Striding the Chasm.” There’s a different sounding guitar solo that really stands out. Is this something new for 1349? Are you experimenting with more traditional sounding solos?
Archaon was basically mocking up leads spontaneously. He basically made it up on the fly. Archeron was surprisingly happy with the finished product. It was instinct and he might not have thought much about it. It was spur of the moment basically. It is a bit different.
“Stand Tall in Fire” also really stood out to me. This is different than many 1349 songs. It’s a little bit slower and it’s 8 minutes.
This song came later in the process and it wasn’t until Frost and Archaon started rehearing that we knew the direction it was going. Archaon didn’t have many thoughts for the drums (he often does) beforehand. With this song very little was planned with the rhythm section and it was interesting to see what would turn out. The slower beats come from the riffs being slower. As long as its groovy, it’s nice. We are always playing fast material, so why not showcase that we can also play slow and do it well also? It adds very well to the album and it challenges us to slow down a bit. It also gives me a different space to work in in terms of vocals. I have to approach a slower song a little bit different than a fast song. It’s also nice to have your voice take a different level in the mix when the song is a little bit slower.
We were recently able to see Tryptykon on both coasts in the United States. I know for years you’ve been close with Tom G. Warrior. Can you tell us how Tom has influenced 1349?
Tom, I’m proud to say, is one of my very good friends. And this goes all the way back to when we released Liberation, our very first album. Tom contacted the record company upon hearing the album and he wanted to get in touch with the band. We met on tour in Switzerland. It’s been a relationship and friendship that has developed over the years. We toured with Celtic Frost. We toured with Tryptykon and its become a real friendship in general. His musical legacy, of course, stands on its own. It’s the impact of Celtic Frost that I like the most, starting with their first album of course. But I think that Monotheist is probably the best Celtic Frost album. It came out so many years later but everything that’s captured on that album is so massive. When Monotheist came out I thought that might have been the most full album that they ever recorded. It’s just so sincere. It’s one of the comeback albums ever recorded and really stands out in their catalog.
You guys did some American dates and you have an American tour coming up. What’s different about playing in the US compared to Europe?
In Europe, it varies from country to country. In the US, the audience is a bit more alike. There are, of course, small variations. In general the (US) audiences are really energetic and really into the music. This will be our 13th US tour and we have done far more US tours than European tours. We quickly grew to like and found a good audience in the US. There’s always been a demand for us to return. It’s proven harder for us to get good tours that are financially sustainable in Europe. But we’ll do one with Vltimas and Abbath in Europe that should help us get back into that market.
Who’s going to be playing drums for the US tour?
It will be Dominator. He’s the one that will be able to get a visa so he will be on this US tour.
1349’s The Infernal Pathway releases on October 18, 2019. It can be pre-ordered here.
1349 tours North America with Uada. Tour dates can be found here.