The new Nordic weapon Night Shall Drape Us represents black metal at its finest. Without a doubt, Night Shall Drape Us’ debut album, Lunatic Choir, is the best surprise of the year. The celebrated French/American label, Season of Mist, will unveil Lunatic Choir in its full brilliance on April 26. As gorgeous as it is brutal, Lunatic Choir consists of eight miraculous hymns. These tracks feature beautiful melodies, killer riffs, crushing drums, and astounding vocal performances. Lunatic Choir delivers raw and authentic passion paired with top-notch artistry.

Night Shall Drape Us, a group of ridiculously accomplished veterans, was founded by LRH, who composes and performs all of the music single-handedly. He enlisted his fellow Horna bandmates Spellgoth and Infection as well as Trondheim’s Wraath to provide the vocals. Horna is clearly one of Finland’s leading bands. The men from Horna involved in Night Shall Drape Us have also played with outfits such as Ajattara, Bythos, Trolleims Grott, Peste Noire, Grieve, etc.

Wraath is not only one of the key figures in the Nidrosian black metal scene, but he is one of black metal’s greatest frontmen and multi-instrumentalists. In both my view and the minds of countless music enthusiasts, Wraath is nothing short of iconic. He plays with Infection in the revered Behexen. His other bands, past and present, include Celestial Bloodshed, Mare, Ritual Death, Darvaza, Fides Inversa, Beyond Man, Kaosritual, Dark Sonority, and One Tail, One Head. Whether live, as a guest, or both, Wraath has furthermore lent his expertise to Djevel, Funeral Harvest, Whoredom Rife, Misþyrming, Slagmaur, Dødsengel, Black Majesty, and so forth.

During our discussion, the most excellent Nosophoros from Mare, Ritual Death, and Dark Sonority surprised us by popping in. As metal historian Finn Håkon Rødland has pointed out in his writings, journalist Roy Kristensen Bakland remarked of Mare’s first full-length album, Ebony Tower: “… about 25 years after Mayhem released De Mysteriis Dom. Sathanas, there finally is an album that can be considered a worthy successor.” Kristensen Bakland continued that Ebony Tower is not only capable of standing next to other classics like Darkthrone’s A Blaze in the Northern Sky, but it “rises to the top of the tower.” Indeed, this statement is true of all of Wraath’s offerings.

On a personal note, I must say that I’m extremely grateful to Wraath for his support, especially back when I started my now-defunct black metal column. Wraath wasn’t the first musician that I interviewed, but, due to my immense respect for his work, he was the first artist that I personally chose to interview. We spoke about the release of Ritual Death’s debut album, a remarkable triumph that I urge readers to experience. Without further ado, please enjoy our conversation about Night Shall Drape Us and more.

I love Lunatic Choir. It’s truly magnificent. In many respects, this is the album that a lot of us have been waiting for. So, LRH gave birth to Night Shall Drape Us. At what point did LRH bring you, Infection, and Spellgoth into the picture?

I remember LRH asked me when Behexen and Horna played in Canada. What was that, 2015-16 or something? He just mentioned: “Hey, I have a project, and I want my favorite vocalists to sing on it.” And I was, of course, an asshole like: “Okay, who do you want me to ask?” But he said: “I want you, Infection, and Spellgoth to sing on it.” Like: “Yeah, okay.” There’s always a lot of talk of those things, right?! But LRH, he’s a man of action, so suddenly he was like: “Hey, I have these eight songs. I want you guys to sing on them. I’ll send them over.” I was shocked because he was just a (splendid) drummer, right, but he recorded all that music, and his guitar playing is fucking through the roof. His solos are through the roof. I go: “What the fuck?! What the hell?!” And then I go: “Okay, now, I need to get sharp here.”

So, we wrote some lyrics, did some demos and then he flew me over. In the studio, me, Infection, and Spellgoth took turns doing the vocals. Every song has different vocals, and we combined them. So, it’s not like one vocalist that’s leading. Everyone is working like this. The first song, I sing alone. And the last song, Infection sings alone. And Spellgoth has one and so on. It was really-really interesting for me. I never worked like that, and I never knew the depth of their voices either. I could sit there in the studio and see how they sing. I was like: “Holy fuck.” Infection’s vocals shake the whole room when he sings sometimes. The whole atmosphere and the whole project of going through that weekend in the studio was truly great and mind-blowing, but all the respect to LRH because he was sitting there and controlling everything, and he made all that music. So, a lot of people ask me about my new project. It’s not my project. I’m pretty much just a guest vocalist, but we’re three vocalists.

Was it at all hard for you to figure out where you all fit in?

No, no, no. For the first song, I had everything clear in my mind. And I said: “You can fight me on it, but this is how it’s going to be.” And everyone was okay. Then we went through song by song, and they made all the right choices. We had some like: “We can try this. We can try that.” But we were working like a unit the whole way. Everything worked out perfectly.

That’s truly amazing. And so, again, you did the first song on your own, but how did putting each other’s lyrics together go?

It was pretty much that we got the songs, and the first song is mine. I’ll take that. I grabbed that. And then, everyone else just wrote their own lyrics. So, we didn’t write everything together. Everyone wrote their own lyrics, did demo recordings and then we went to the studio.

Did you have to change much?


Wow, that’s fucking incredible. From my personal experience, I can say that Satanists are more reliable to work with. So, maybe your unbelievable chemistry has something to do with the fact that you’re all Satanists and therefore share the same agenda and spiritual understanding…

Yeah, we’re all different people, but, of course, we have common ground. We know where we’re coming from. For me, those guys are like family. I trust them with my life, so I know they wouldn’t write any bullshit. And I know even if they tried something that sounds weird, they’d explain it to me, and I’d say: “Okay, now it makes sense.” We know each other so well. It would never be a subject that anyone would ever feel weird about any lyric or anything because we know where we’re coming from, and we’re grounded in the same place. We are like family.

That’s great. Spellgoth and LRH are brothers, so does that complicate things at all or not really?

No. Not at all. I haven’t seen that. We are all like brothers. Everyone is like bitching with each other.

Again, I’m just amazed by how you were all able to gel so seamlessly. Of course, everything went well with the recording process, as you said? No production challenges?

Yeah, of course, it was a bit stiff in the beginning. But once we started working, everything loosened up and, yeah, flowed naturally. We took each other’s ideas like: “Let’s try that. Let’s do that.” And then, we had LRH sitting in the background and being a bit strict: “No-no-no. That’s wrong. Try it again.” So, he was being the studio producer: “Let’s try that again.” We did that until he was satisfied because, in the end, it’s his project. If he’s not happy, nobody should be happy.

Henri Sorvali has, of course, been involved with a lot of great things. I really like Vargrav, for example, and he’s part of that band. He’s worked with Werwolf in other capacities as well. He’s also done some mixing and mastering for Sargeist. So, I guess he was a natural choice for mastering.

Actually, with the production, I have no idea. That’s all LRH. I stay away from that side.

I wasn’t aware until recently that Spellgoth is a graphic designer. He provided some additional art for Lunatic Choir. Is there anything that you would like to say about that?

Everyone worked together there also. The half moons with the cross, I drew that as an idea, and we ended up using that. And then, he worked with Mar.A, the girl that made the layout. That’s the trust we have in this circle of the people I know. If he does something, I know it’s gonna be good because we have the same understanding of stuff.

You made a music video for “The Queen of the Red Streams.” That was a surprising thing for a black metal band like Night Shall Drape Us to do. Is there anything that you would like to say about the process of making it?

Yeah, for me, it was the first time I did a professional video. We did one video with Beyond Man, but that was more like filming at the rehearsal place.

And Ritual Death, yeah?

Yeah, Ritual Death, but also that’s like live clips. This is a video where the director had an idea and had a vision. I didn’t know what I was stepping into, but it was a really nice experience. I didn’t know what to expect because there’s a lot of bad black metal videos. I was like: “I’m not standing in the camera, screaming, doing the horns, headbanging.” I was very satisfied with the guy that had the vision, Tommi Niukkanen. He was really easy to work with, and he was open to suggestions. And, yeah, overall, it was a very good experience. Also, I’m very surprised we were allowed into an abandoned hospital and to go into the morgue and do all that.

Yeah. It’s a really cool video. So, Vexd is your additional live member, and I assume that part of the reason you chose him is that LRH and Infection play live with his band Caestus. Is there anything that you would like to say about him?

Yeah, I didn’t meet him until last summer. LRH said he’s really good at guitar. So, yeah, he’s really good. We’re going to play live at some point. I think it will end up that I’m going to be the main vocalist live, and then the other guys back me up. So, we have to figure out how to do everything live too. But it’s going to be interesting live, I think. Vexd, yeah, he’s a really-really nice guy.

What would you like to do in terms of touring and other live gigs?

As I’m so busy, I just leave it up a bit to them. We’re not new in the scene, so we’re not going to start at the bottom and start with shitty gigs. We want to do good gigs, but first of all, get the album out. Get some rehearsals going, and see like see how everything goes, and then we will start taking offers. But we’re definitely going to play live because I want to experience this live.

Beyond the Gates and Steelfest!

Yeah, I would love to. The thing is that we just have to get ready, right?! But everyone is so busy. We just need to start rehearsing so everyone is secure like: “Okay, this is what we’re doing.” And then, we can put it out there that, yes, we are ready to hit the stage because why go onstage if you’re going to do shitty. Let’s do good.

It’s always good to double-book, like if Horna or Behexen are playing at a fest, book Night Shall Drape Us.

It’s always good for the festival, but it’s never good for the artist. I hate that.

Really? You do?

I want to do one gig and concentrate on that. I don’t want to save energy for the next day or anything. I don’t like it when festivals try to get a good deal because it’s not a good deal for me.

That makes sense. What are your other plans for the future with Night Shall Drape Us? Have you begun working on new material? I guess that would be LRH…

Yes, he’s already deep into the next album.

That’s awesome!

I get stressed though. He’s working constantly, and it’s in the same vein. It’s as good as the first one. I’m like: “What the fuck, man?! Come on, man. You’re ‘just’ a drummer. Stop hahaha.

Wow, that’s really exciting. I was really happy to see that you had signed with Season of Mist because, of course, they’re a major label, but, more importantly, they’re a major label that doesn’t compromise. They aren’t afraid to stand up for bands. They promote diversity and include groups that have been discriminated against. In other words, they’re very anti-cancel culture, which I appreciate. So, what has it been like to work with them?

Yeah, that’s the impression I have. I met Michael [Berberian] at Eindhoven Metal Meeting, an all-around nice guy. He’s not putting any restraints on us. This is the first time I’m working with a bigger label, so I’m interested to see how everything works out. But so far, I will say it’s been super smooth and super easy. It’s like: “You guys be you, and we got your back.” They stand behind us all the way, so I feel good about it. They’re not trying to make us fold, or make us do this or that, or say: “You have to be like that.” There is no bullshit.

I don’t know him personally, but Michael has backbone, which is a really good thing.

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, you can see it in his eyes when you meet him: Take no shit, and give no shit.

Season of Mist has a terrific PR team, which is a great thing as long as a label isn’t making you sell out, which, again, they aren’t and you would never do. If something is true art and truly excellent, which Lunatic Choir is, then it deserves to be heard and should be spread like the plague. More people should be listening to your music instead of all the commercial trash and fake black metal. I, for example, spent a decade listening to only one black metal band because I was immediately confronted by all of the clowns. So, I thought: “Why dig deeper into the genre?” And then, of course, I found Celestial Bloodshed, Mare, and your other groups. Hopefully, a big label will show a broader range of people and journalists what exists and encourage them to check out more of your work. So that readers don’t misunderstand me, I’ll say that you’re obviously legendary, and black metal enthusiasts already know the full importance of each of Night Shall Drape Us’ members. Anyway, on a very different note, I guess you spend a lot of time in Finland because of Behexen and whatnot, even though you live in Norway and Sweden?

Yeah, yeah, I try, when I have time and money, to go over there. As I said, I’ve been so busy this year. So, I’ve been there less, but now, in the coming time, I need to go over more because of Night Shall Drape Us and Behexen.

Of course, I think the Finnish scene is really great because there’s a lot of bravery in it with bands like Horna, Behexen, Satanic Warmaster, Cold Prophet, Clandestine Blaze, etc. Is there anything that you would like to say about the Finnish scene?

The thing is that Finland is still a rock and roll / metal country. They still have rock-and-roll channels. They have still a metal channel. There’s still even a lot of basic metal, and I guess that’s good for the music scene. People want to play music, and metal comes on the charts even, and that creates something different in a way. It just changes the mind. There are more metal people there, and that creates a vibe and everything. There are a lot of shitty bands, but also the few practicing Satanists and serious people I know are from Finland, and that’s what I respect a lot. That’s why I’m in Behexen. I respect the spiritual world of the vocalist because I know that this is real, and I will always put my energy into something that is real. Finland has a different mindset musically and generally, I think. It’s a rock and roll country, and that helps because everything comes from rock, right?! And that’s why, in Finland, new bands are always popping up. I think that there is so much going on that’s inspiring people. There’s always something bubbling there. And they don’t give a fuck either. “Okay, we’re cancelled?! Oh, fuck them! We’ll just keep playing for ourselves.” And they just keep on playing.

Yeah, that’s really true. I like how a lot of Finnish bands don’t give a fuck.

Yeah, and also, they have all these festivals going on all the time, and they just keep on doing them because they have people who want to organize — not only people that think it would be nice to organize something, but they have the will to organize. You need people that want to organize, and you need people that want to play. And you can’t have people that just want to organize just to earn a buck. But they want to organize because they want something to happen, and they make things happen. The people organizing are dedicated to organizing the same as bands are dedicated to playing. That’s what you need to make stuff happen, and that should be respected.

Is there anything that you would like people to know about either the DCD Store or Blood Religion?

Obviously, you do beautiful leatherwork, so how did you learn those skills?

Thank you. That was Sharon from Toxic Vision that got me into it. So, I just started trying it out. And then, I really liked it. It’s really nice to work with. So, I just worked out my skills by myself little by little. I wish I had more time to do it.

Hell’s Heroes in Texas is coming right up. You’ll be performing there with Darvaza, so you’ll give a fantastic performance there for sure.

I’m interested to see how things go. I don’t know what to expect from America and Darvaza, especially not Texas. But I will offend them enough to make them go wild.

I’m glad to hear that! I know that Christopher will snap some amazing photos of you. He always manages. Is there anything you would like to say about your collaboration with Christopher, or NecrosHorns? Of course, “The Omen…” shoot has become quite famous.

Everything in my life just happens naturally. When I went to Israel, I said to myself: “You can’t go there and not do it. You can’t go there and not do that because you’re in the middle of enemy land.” Three religions that can’t agree on anything EXCEPT: They hate people like me. So, I had this idea right away: “If we’re going to Jerusalem, I want to do a picture!” And it just happened. I didn’t know that Christopher was going there. I didn’t know until a few days before leaving, I think? I talked to my friend there that helped the organizer and said: “We’re going to Jerusalem. I need to take a picture there.” And he was like: “Oh, yeah, it could be risky… Maybe there and there.” And then, Christopher comes out: “We could do it there (Via Dolorosa).” “Yeah, fuck! Let’s do it!” And he was like: “Ooh. That could be okay. We could try to do it that and that way.” I said: “Okay, let’s fucking do it!” I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t do it. And then, everyone that’s complaining about whatever, I don’t know… That was the most stressful thirty seconds in my life. Yeah, it was pretty intense. Criticize it. You can do that. I just ask you to go and do the same. Just try it if you want to. Try it. And also, anyone that tries to put a political agenda or those kinds of thoughts in it, just fuck off. We’re black metal standing in the street where the cross got dragged. That’s what it is. Anyone that has a problem with it can come to me, and I will talk to them. But I did it mostly for myself.

That’s one of the many things I respect about you and that makes your art truly great, you create for yourself. And, yes, in my immodest opinion, anyone who has a problem with “The Omen…” is an imbecile without any critical thinking skills. It’s an extraordinary series of photos that will prove historic. So, you had a fun time with Christopher in Spain, yeah? I know that you had a fortress photo shoot.

Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely.

Any plans with Darvaza at the moment?

Yeah, the new album is not ready, but Omega has all the songs kind of ready. So, we’ll probably record it this year. The music is demoed, so we just need to go through everything and do the lyrics. And, yeah, the new album is in the works.

Do you ever discuss the lyrics together?

In the beginning, he made the music and the lyrics, and I changed the lyrics where I needed. For the last album, I was like: “That song is my song. I need to write lyrics.” Then he let me do that. On the new album, I think I’m going to write more lyrics. But the thing with Darvaza is he sends me demos with vocals usually.

With his own?

Yeah. He records it how he sees it. And my approach every time he sends me a demo with vocals is: “How can I fuck up his vision?!” That’s how it works. And we work together after that.

Do you sometimes change things just to go against his vision?

No, if he has made the right choice, in my opinion, I will not fuck it up just to fuck it up. But I will do everything to surprise him and fuck with his mind because I think in a different way. I always love to record something and send it to him. Two days go by, and he’s going to be like: “What? Why? Why? What? What?” But then, he starts thinking: “Oh, okay.” That’s like “The Silver Chalice,” the song with clean vocals. When he sent me that demo, there were no clean vocals at all, and I didn’t like the songs at all. I was sitting in the studio like: “No, no, no, no, no. Hey, I’m going to try to do clean vocals.” So, I did all these clean vocals. And I sent it to him, and he didn’t answer me for three days because he was like: “What the fuck?!” But after three days, he was like: “This is fucking awesome!” Yeah, there’s going to be a new album, so there’s a lot of albums these years.

Yeah, I’m also really looking forward to the new Behexen album.

Yeah, we’re working on that too. And new Fides Inversa and new Ritual Death.

That’s going to be amazing!

I hope so. Don’t say it until we record it. It’s not going to be amazing until it’s done. Nosophoros is here. Ask him something.

Wow, it’s an honor to meet you, Nosophoros. What is the greatest thing about working with Wraath?

He smokes a pipe.

Wraath is one of the very best black metal vocalists. Could you please comment on that fact for me?

I work with him in Mare, which is kind of a different type of black metal than what he usually performs when on vocals. Mare is more ritualistic ambient. He has shown great devotion exploring different paths of black metal that are maybe not on his home field, and he still does it with great magnificence and glory.

For those who don’t know, I’ll just say that Wraath plays bass in Mare, and you play guitar. So, you’re also one of the best black metal performers. Could you tell me anything about what Mare is working on now?

We are finishing a last concert for this round, and then we go back to the crypt to see what we can find.

And how’s everything going with Ritual Death?

That’s going very fine.

Is there anything you would like to say to the readers at Metal Insider?


Thank you, Nosophoros! Wraath, is there anything else that you would like to discuss that we didn’t cover?

The thing I wanted to get out there with this is that Night Shall Drape Us is not MY new project. I’m just involved. I’m just part of that big thing that LRH created, and I’m very-very proud of that album and also to hear my brothers Spellgoth and Infection on vocals. How they delivered those vocals blew me away in the studio and inspired me. And, yeah, all my respect to Spellgoth and Infection but definitely to LRH because of the songs he’s made. He sent me over those eight songs like: “Hey, check this out. We should do a project.” I get sent a lot of songs. His were flawless. The guitar playing he does is amazing. All my respect to those guys.

Please send them and the rest of the Horna guys my respect and total support as well.

So, you got fired by MetalSucks?

And Injection. But I was technically never an employee, even though I had my own “official” column.

So, I guess MetalSucks still suck.


Pre-order Lunatic Choir from Season of Mist HERE.

Visit Nidrosian Devotee for merch from Wraath’s other bands.

Check out Blood Religion and the DCD Store for clothing, jewelry, custom leatherwork, and other accessories.


Featured Image Photo Credit: Nikky Holmes and Void Revelations.