Posts Tagged ‘Beltane’

Abrasive Audio – An interview with Beltane


Greetings and welcome to another installment in the Interview series. In this installment I find myself chatting with an act from out of New Zealand. Recently I covered a Slayer tribute compilation, within it were a few tracks which really caught my attention and amidst those one which grabbed me with such force I had to put digit to keyboard in order to learn more about the band behind the recording.  May I present Beltane in their own words…

Where/when did the idea of forming a band come about, when did Beltane come into existence?


Arguably one of the most important BM albums of 1992

I was introduced to Black Metal in 1991, got really into it in 1992. I was already playing in quite a successful NZ Death Metal band at the time, but started writing my own Black Metal material at the beginning of 1993 and decided upon the project name of ‘Beltane’.

Not too much came of this until the 28th of October 1994 when I recorded the first Beltane track – “Into the Night” – as a solo effort on a flatmate’s (room-mate) Amstrad four track stereo system. I played all the instruments myself, including the drums. I certainly am not a drummer but for the track I played it was OK. I distributed this song around the local Nelsonian scene by dubbing it on the end of Burzum and other bands that I traded with people.

St Vincent Street Hoard

It happened here.

By the end of that year it had evolved into an actual three-piece band and it was this lineup that recorded the “Rehearsal April 1995” demo in the hallway of the St Vincent Street Horde direct to cassette. 

The lineup dissolved in 1996 and Beltane became a project again and as such it has had a number of evolutions over the years, but has never returned to being a purely solo project.

Any reason in particular for the Beltane moniker?

Totally. I was (and still am) very much into the occult and paganism. I had one of those Lewellyn Press “Witchcraft” books and learned about the Celtic Cross Quarter days, and that Beltane or Beltaine was considered to be on April 30th, which is my Anniversary of Born’d Day. It is also known as Walpurgisnacht, and the day Anton LaVey officially formed the Church of Satan in 1966.

Later on, I learned that these Cross Quarter Days do not directly apply to the Southern Hemisphere as they relate to the Seasons and have to be reversed down here. I also then further learnt that these days that many consider as fixed are not fixed at all. So that actually puts the Day of Beltaine around November 6th in the Southern Hemisphere.

However, the more I learned about this the more it became integral to the project, just as it became more integral to my lifestyle. Which leads on nicely to the next question.

Is there anything which makes Beltane stand apart from other bands in much the same genre?  

Nelson in New Zealand

Many things I believe.

Although, to begin with maybe the only real point of difference is that we were from Nelson, New Zealand. And the beginning of what was for a time the largest and most committed Black Metal scene in NZ. Other centres had great metal scenes but they tended to be either Death Metal or Grindcore during this period. The Nelsonian scene was unique in that it fully embraced Black Metal. It also had a good supply of LSD as the EDM Trance scene was big in this region at the same time. That helped.

Later on though, when things started to evolve I didn’t see any limits to the kind of sounds I might explore with the project, which is something that the original Norwegian bands did, but then that fell away and now it’s all cookie cutter “raw” Black Metal etc.

After Dyrkyn, our original drummer, departed we never really had a permanent drummer on board again. Which opened up massive possibilities to work with sampled drums, loops and drum machines. Then with the advent of the internet, different drummers and drum programmers all around the world. The nost notable of these would be The Ineffable Mark Dubanowski, who we started working with in 2009, and still he does stuff for us on occasion.


Also, location recording in forests, cemeteries etc became very important. At times becoming the main activity of the band rather than playing live and doing what “normal” bands do. By no means are we the only Black Metal project to have recorded in a forest etc. Yet, because of the frequent occasions that we indulge in this type of activity and the systematic way it is approached, I think sets it us apart in this regard.

In December 2004, on the Day of the Summer Solstice, Beltane began something we have done ever since. Recording on the Cardinal Seasonal & Cross Quarter Days. This is something that no other band or project in the world has achieved.

How would you describe your sound, are there any major influences you cite for your arrangements and/or style. Or themes which you feel are important within your work?

Mainly Black Metal, but with deviations into other styles and (mainly metal) genres, most notably Industrial. But always with a distinct Black Metal production style. The general idea here being to “capture a lo-fi sound in a hi-fi envelope” if you get what I am saying? So, production is a very deliberate part of the sound.

beltane in a slayer tribute comp

The track in question resides here.

I think that our cover of Angel of Death showcases that. I mean, we didn’t do anything massively different with how we played the song, pretty much kept close to Slayer. How it was produced gave it the “Beltane Sound”.

As for themes, the main thing is atmosphere, with a lot of pagan references. Not so much to particular belief systems, but to the overall essence of it all. And always in a search to find the magick-in-the-real. A secondary theme that has become more common over the past decade would be anti-globalist messages, which is something we feel strongly about. We made an entire album based on this called ‘Democide’, which essentially means death by government.

Do you currently have any favorite artists/albums you might wish to share?

Impaled Nazarene

The Nihil LP

Of all time, my favourite artists are Morbid Angel and Celtic Frost, and definitely much of the early Norwegian and Finnish Black Metal, such as Mayhem, Burzum from that side and Beherit and Impaled Nazarene from the other. And I must point out that I like all the experimental releases from Beherit and Morbid Angel too, including the much hated “I” album. Plus, I dig “Cold Lake” from ‘Frost, which Tom G Warrior would probably be upset about. Lol.

Naturally, I also like a lot of Thrash Metal, and certainly Traditional Heavy Metal & Hard Rock. Not so keen on Nu-Metal though, and (modern) Power Metal only in very small doses!

However, I enjoy many different genres of music including EDM, selected fem-pop, classical, selected rock’n’roll etc. And lately have even been tuning into the occasional country LPFM station when out and about! Some of this open-mindedness has come about more in recent times due to being the manager and main DJ of a community radio station. But I can tell you, metal is very well represented on there!

Maelific by Design “Definitive Indication of Supremacy”

In case you were curious, I know I am

As for a recommendation of something current. I rather enjoy the album from Finnish band Maelific by Design “Definitive Indication of Supremacy”. One of the guys from it, Ville the guitarist sent, me a CD copy of it. Which of course captured my attention much more, than it might have otherwise.

The thing is, with the way things are today with the internet so much awesome stuff comes down the pike it becomes a bit of a blur. I probably have dozens if not scores of great albums sitting around as ZIP files that I have been sent.  In the old days, obtaining new content was such a slow process you had the time to enjoy and really get to know what you obtained before something new came along.

I know some people try to do that now by taking a stance something like: “I only listen to pressed CDs or cassettes, vinyl etc”. However, I reckon that is not really an organic attitude in this day and age – it’s somewhat forced and maybe just a little poseury.

Nevertheless, I still feel there is something special about listening to music from analogue sources such as vinyl or cassette or even uncompressed 16bit 44.1 KHz digital audio that is converted by the electronics in a CD player, rather than an Mp3 that is decoded by a computer or smartphone.

How did your contribution to the Antichrist/Grand Sounds Slayer Tribute come about (did you get to choose the track)? I’ve heard rumor you had a ‘little help’ in the vocal department. Can you tell us a little more?

Well, I had been in contract with Olecks for some time and Beltane had actually taken part on two consecutive earlier tribute compilations (Death & W.A.S.P.) and weren’t sure if we should put our hand up for the next one…maybe it was feeling a little “piggy”? Lol But when he announced it was Slayer, we couldn’t really turn that down!

slayer angel of death single art

With the tracks on these compilations, it’s first come first served and we were in fairly promptly, but a lot of bands had already chosen. However, Angel of Death is the song we wanted to do and no one else had dared touch it. I think I know why, because it’s a cunt of a song! To explain: It’s rather fast so a little tricky to learn, and it IS one of those Slayer tracks that you had better get right or else! So in many ways it was a risk to choose it.

My 12-year-old son – Vikaroth (or Vikey) – did the vocals on the track. All of them. It’s not his debut on doing vocals with Beltane. He recorded a version of Countess Bathory a year or two ago amoungst other things. And has clearly shown he has talent at the vocals. I think he did a killer job and his part is a major contributor to the impact of our version I believe. It could well be that Beltane is turning into a Black Metal version of the Partridge Family. haha

Where else might inquiring minds be able to sample your work?

The largest body of work available for legit free download is on our Reverbnation Page Hey, we got a decent URL for that one! In early! It’s still the place where I will first post new “net drop” single releases. But as far as supporting us and purchasing compleat albums etc, that would be from the label I run – – or directly from Beltane’s old-school Angelfire site

(not such a convenient URL!) if you can dodge the barrage of pop-up advertisements that now exist there.

I feel I just ask, as I write for a gaming zine (of sorts), do you have any history of enjoying Tabletop RPGs (Dungeons and Dragons, Warhammer, Etc)?

christians warn DnD

Guess they have a problem with anything that’s “fun”

When I was young, I was very much into Dungeons & Dragons, mainly the basic game. I got into it again in my twenties with a group who mainly played Rune Quest. And would probably do it again if a group started around here. My friend Owen was considering starting a group a couple of years ago, but nothing became of it. I would like to investigate Varg Vikernes’ game at some stage.

The Christians always used to say that D&D leads people into the occult. Well, in my case it certainly did. Lol.

What might the members of Beltane be doing when they aren’t creating, composing or playing? 

Since the core lineup of the project currently consists of me and my partner Baphgirl, a lot of time is taken up with domestic stuff. And we live an off-grid lifestyle so there are chores to be done! But my main “gig” currently is running Radio Foxton, and DJ work on there and some live stuff. And of course, the label, but that’s really a little underground affair. Although it did keep me from answering this interview sooner as it does a small but fairly steady stream of business.

Are reading books or watching movies a part of the bands extra-curricular activities?

Baphy reads lots of books. Both physical ones and e-books on her tablet. I find I just haven’t had the time to really get into a decent book for quite a while. So, I read magazines, mainly vintage ones on electronics, which is another one of my interests. We don’t have network television at home, nor any sort of internet version of it such as Netflix. However, we do settle down of an evening to “watch the telly”. Often stuff from BitChute etc.

V gif

Poor lil fuzzy bugga

Lately we have been watching the 1980’s Sci-fi series “V”. It has some strange resonances to what is going on in the world right now, while still being a useful distraction from it.

What does the horizon hold for the band, are there any plans for future releases?

Well, after we started doing our Seasonal Recordings on the Summer Solstice of 2004 we also started a Seasonal Release Program. This was quite ambitious, releasing an EP every Season, so four per year. This later evolved into an EP per Season or a full-length album every two Seasons.

Eventually, this became grueling but it did push us to get a lot of material out there. We finished a decade of doing this with a “Best Ov”, which featured some new versions of older songs, which was recorded in the Spring of 2014, on the Vernal Equinox and the Day of Beltaine. It was then time to take a break from this. Ten years of a constant release schedule was a good enough achievement I reckon.

beltane pic

Beltane basking in the Sun

Since then, we haven’t released an album or EP, although the recording on the Seasonal Days continues as I mentioned earlier. So, an album is definitely due, but no really solid plans as to when this might be. However, there are a couple of tracks that are nearly finished that we really want to release on the internets soon, so look out for those.

(The Beltane discography)

That’s about it. Huge thanks again for allowing me to send over a few (ha) Q’s your way. Is there anything you want to say in closing or anything you wish to promote?

Really, in regards to Beltane that main thing is check our Reverbnation Page out over the next couple of months, for those new tracks I was speaking about. And do consider supporting our work by purchasing a physical release. We don’t have Patreon nor sell “digital” material online – all that stuff is free.

satanica org

We are always looking for new deep-underground bands to release on and we have a very unique and rather decent deal there for any projects that wish to get involved. It’s not a label for those who think they are rockstars! Rather, it’s a way for small projects to have an outlet, that is more than merely posting a track to Mixcloud or something.

And of course, there is the radio thing too. I do live metal shows every fortnight on Radio Foxton 105.4FM on Friday Nights (20.00h NZ time), and replays of these can be heard every week night at 22.00h (NZ time).  The stream address is:

Bands are welcome to send tracks to be included in the show. Everything that is sent will get played. Mp3 submissions are fine, but it is an advantage to send me something physical such as any CD format or cassette etc, as this tends to result in ongoing coverage of a band. That’s mainly due to the way I select material for a show – it is more intuitive to rummage through a stack of physical releases than to hunt through files on a computer!

Cheers for the interview, and glad you enjoyed our Slayer cover!

Have a good one! Hailz, Xan.



Attack of the Compilation – Fckn’ Slayer!

a tribute to Slayer Antichrist mag
Antichrist Magazine and Ground Sounds Promotion presents A Tribute to Slayer

Well, Well. Cult has apparently left his laptop open again. But this time rather than setting eyes upon all manner of naked flesh writhing in ecstasy the main screen displays a Bandcamp address with the words “Slayer” front and center. Suffice to say I can’t ignore such a sight. Apparently, he’s been struggling getting this off the ground. Family, work and assorted other things are warranting his attention at present. In actuality he struggles with a bunch of things. But that’s another story. And my penchant for chasing four-legged delicacies will have to wait. So, what is it exactly that we have here? In short; Twenty -six bands from around the world giving their audio tribute to tracks which have undoubtably formed the extreme world of audio as we know it today. Fair enough. I’m curious. What say we dive in?


Expect to see this word more than a few times in the near future

What grabs the attention first is the fact that there are twenty-six acts (and tracks) on offer here. That’s huge and so is this. This runs close to a whopping two hours in length. If it weren’t for the fact that Slayer is what’s on offer here, and there’s somewhat of a supposed Pandeamonic (yea, I know I spelt it wrong but it sounds infinitely better this way) spreading across the globe I‘d say sod this and go back to the mischievous activities I so love to take part in. But fck it, I’m curious and always up for a bit of Slayer. Perusing the track listing (which again “is huge”. Imagine a nubile youth saying that on her knees. Sorry, I got distracted) it appears that the material on offer is somewhat in chronological order, that is to say in the same order as the originals were released (I could be mistaken so don’t quote me). But enough of such details I’m imagining you’re as curious as I to get this thing started. However, Before I impart my thoughts, I’d like to drop the track listing along with the countries each act is from (this is truly a global affair much like the current Black Plague sweeping its way past Kanye West in Google searches. Notice how the majority of the acts are relatively unknown (is this just me? Do I have to swat up on my knowledge of the scene some before I continue?) With this in mind I’m considering this an ‘underground compilation’ a fact which only makes me more curious still.

tankist logo

1 – Tankist (Estonia) Evil Has no Boundaries

2 – Aeons Abyss (Australia) Die by the Sword

3 – Hateful Agony (Germany) Black Magic

4 – Serpents Kiss (United Kingdom) Tormentor

5 – Lone Hunter (Brazil) Crionics

Intrepid logo

6 – Intrepid (Estonia) Chemical Warfare

7 – Myrholt – (Norway) Kill Again

8 – Hamvak (Germany) At Dawn They Sleep

9 – Beltane (New Zealand) Angel of Death

10 – EigenstateZero (Sweden) Piece by Piece

11 – Grand Demise of Civilization (USA) Raining Blood

12 – Mindwars (International) Criminally Insane


13 – Frijgard (Switzerland) South of Heaven

14 – Unto the Wolves (USA) Silent Scream

15 – Hellming (Brazil) Mandatory Suicide

16 – Day 40 (United Kingdom) Ghosts of War

17 – Zvijer (Bosnia and Herzegovina) Cleanse the Soul

18 – SavageZ (Brazil) War Ensemble

19 – Macabre Decay (Sweden) Expendable Youth

20 – Hicsos (Brazil) Dead Skin Mask

Imminent Reaper

21 – Imminent Reaper (Mexico) Skeletons of Society

22 – Killrape (Brazil) Born of Fire

23 – Injector (Spain) Dittohead

24 – Domination Inc. (Greece) Disciple

25 – Jumpscare (Italy) Bloodline

26 – Outis (Ireland) Jihad

(Damn, it’s a long list, my digits are tired!)

Hitting play, it’s easy to decipher that each act has their own spin on the track they’ve chosen to ‘tackle’, some more so and often times even a little experimental in tone than others. Styles are diverse and range across the metal spectrum obviously Black, Death and Thrash take the lead (is this even a race?) whilst Power, Epic, Symphonic, Atmospheric and Speed are tossed in to show the transition in another genre (sometimes using a few in one track) can actually be pulled off to good effect. And boy can it, in some instances I’m literally bouncing off the walls with excitement. As is customary in times like these I have a ratings system designed for such this purpose (note that it’s a tad spicier than Cult’s attempt at the same);

confued Orc


Not in the good way. Toss this in the ocean and punch the nearest passerby to let out the frustration of spending money on schiite such as this. Jesus might like this. But I still believe it has the potential to do naught but line the birds cage. Jesus loves everything, which in my opinion is rather silly. Jesus you’re a prat!


Better, this shows potential. Much like, I’d imagine, your mother on a first date. But it still leaves me wanting. And she needs more training; those French fries weren’t free dammit!

The Goblin are going crazy!

Admittedly the annoying green bastid’ like most things and get excited at the drop of a turd but occasionally they have a suggestion which turns heads. And if the whole collective, much like an obnoxious stench-ridden green tide, agrees there must be something worth giving, at least, a cursory glance towards.

Time for a Crimson Splattered Moshpit!

Now this is worth sharing, break out the goblets, the fiery liquid, the unwilling, let’s break some limbs and party till the Dark Lord yells at us to get back to work!

All Mine!

I’m a selfish bastid’. And this is too fkn’ good to share. It’s all mine. Just try to take it!!

Slayer - Show No Mercy

Where it all began

To sate the curious types, those who have zero patience, I’d give this a “Time for a Crimson Splattered Moshpit“ rating. This collection shines with blistering pace, boils over with talent and offers a myriad of alternate visions of tracks which should already be ingrained upon the senses for those willing to open the mind. But for those who have yet to set ears upon the almighty Slayer (I can’t for the life of me wonder why this is the case) I seriously have no words. Before you continue please set your ears upon the classics, then if you wish to return please do so in order to discover a slew of acts with a great deal of passion on offer. Within such a compilation such as this they are naturally a number of tracks and acts (and styles) which garnered my attention to a dangerous degree, there are some which I could do without (but taking into account differing tastes… Nope not doing it! I’m not pandering to the easily offended, fuck this. This is my article and I won’t apologize for my preferences) and others which had such an effect on me that makes me wish I could bottle their very essence. Without further preamble and in order of appearance (as sometimes I’m OCD like that!)…

here are a few which especially perked my interests
Tankist – Evil Has no Boundaries

A fantastic start. Raw, blunt and thrashy. Slayer I believe would approve! This is Just what one needs to get into the mood. Surprisingly good production aids this in spiking the adrenaline levels.

Aeons Abyss – Die by the Sword

This track lends an early brutal edge to this compilation. Although the sound is a tad off (turn this track up for full effect) this still manages to deliver. Rasping vocals accompany a sludgy blackened feel bursting with subterranean groove elements. Heavy drums accentuate the allure of this one although it might take a few listens to fully appreciate.


EigenstateZero – Piece by Piece

This is one of those experimental tracks of which I was talking. A tad industrial, a little progressive and a whole lot different but it all somehow comes together and works. There’s enough atmosphere in here to make a fanatic of the fantasy realm sit up and take note. Buried in the mix it takes a little while to decipher but it there’s and adds another layer to a track which is beyond intriguing. Did I mention this was silly fast? Nope. Well it is. An odd track for sure with its fair fare of unique brutal but it grows on you like the most lovable of enigmatic fungi.

Grand Demise of Civilization- Raining Blood

A fantastic twist on a true classic. Adding significant Gothic elements, pitch darkness and varied tempo transformations works wonders. There’s just enough uniqueness here for it to become memorable though not an abundance as to make the track far from instantly recognizable as homage. The maniacal elements are top notch as well the atmospheric into and outro.


Mindwars – Criminally Insane

It’s hard to ignore this track. It isn’t far off the tone and feel of the original but with the added emphasis on the drums and a tad more oomph in the percussion its infectious to dangerous levels. I’m keeping an eye out for these guys in the future.

Day 40 – Ghosts of War

This is an excellent rendition of admittedly one of my fave Slayer tracks. An intriguing introduction, very Thrash metal circa late 80’s, leads into heavily accented vocals, head nodding Thrash with hints of Hardcore. Nuff said but simply put this is a banger!


Zvijer – Cleanse the Soul

Blistering, precise and often raw with a gravelly vocal approach which fits perfectly. This track seethes with a remarkable quality and gets to the point quick.

Savagez – War Ensemble

I’m a sucker for feral female vox (it appears Cult is too, which explains his recent obsession with Asarhaddon). Although this track takes liberties with the original’s arrangement, and wavers from brutal Thrash to more a more relaxed tone, it still manages to hit the spot. Admittedly not on its first try but it gets closer each time it’s played.

Imminent Reaper – Skeletons of Society

Another heavily accented Thrash attack. Not sure what it is about accents, they often add another level of viciousness to the accompanied percussion, in this case that’s the case (did I say “case” enough here?) There’s a little more passion here than in the original but it works. Another great addition to a collection which is fast becoming damn impressive!

Domination Inc.

Domination Inc. – Disciple

I’m not sure what it is about this track. At first it didn’t do a damn thing for me. Somehow that changed. This isn’t traditional Thrash, this isn’t traditional Hardcore, it isn’t truly Crossover but a mix of all three topped off with East Coast angst (which is strange as this isn’t from New York, rather Greece better known for its Black and Thrash).

And the following are those which had me twitching spastically, like one possessed.
Intrepid – Chemical Warfare

Old school groove, old school brutality, growls of the variety to entice a smirk to alight across the chops and a production tone to match. Clear the floor, if this doesn’t make you want to bounce from one wall to the next there’s something certainly amiss. I could play this all day and not get bored of it, reminds me of the good ole days I used to attend concerts in dank cavernous dive bars.


Myrholt – Kill Again

Vocals with venomous spite, an archaic rawness, but also effective atmosphere tossed in to mess with how one might assume this will play out. The aura fits, what more can I say this has me nodding my head and thinking of all manner of glorious diabolical acts.

Hamvak – At Dawn They Sleep

This has a Speckmann/Master vibe thing going for it. A primitive nature combined with a thick dirge quality which is highly effective. Huge bass adds a tribal feel of sorts and it works!


Beltane – Angel of Death

What can I say about this track? It’s another example of if it wasn’t executed to a certain degree, I would have tossed this whole comp no matter the remainder of the quality on offer admittedly. Seriously, Slayer’s most infamous track. It has to be treated with respect and given justice. In this case. Fuck! Be prepared. The percussion is tight, on point. The tracks maniacal nature is added to with a wicked somewhat psychedelic twist. But it’s the vocals which tear the flesh from the bone. Feral female vox are my weakness (I’ve said that before) but this is ridiculous! It’s as if the owner of the throat in this instance is possessed. Like openly urinating whilst explaining the virtues of good parenting at church type behavior. I’m adding seeing a rendition of this in a live setting to my bucket list. Who am I kidding, making it to the land of Peter Jackson (New Zealand) is high up there too. One day, one day. I only wonder if they’d mind if I took along a four-legged friend as a travelling companion?  I hate peanuts and pretzels only make me wish I had mustard.

Frijgard – South of Heaven

There’s a strangeness to this track. Much like the original it has an undeniable sinister tone, though in this case the percussion has an added eeriness and the vocals an edge as if a Viking is in cahoots with a band tinkering with Post properties. This is a little different and I’m of the belief this is a controversial take but I’m loving the shit outta it. It could well perhaps be my choice for the ‘pallet cleanser’ of this collection.


Unto the Wolves – Silent Scream

Define industrial vibes on display here. Machine gun riffs coupled with inhumanely tight drums. But it has a wickedness which is hard to pinpoint and I’m liking the chaos which abruptly breaks the precise nature. Turn this up and introduce the neighbors to the pleasures of Slayer!

Killrape – Born of Fire

Raw and blistering. This is straight for the jugular, no nonsense, Thrash with production values which add to its malicious intent. Need I say more? Nope, this is a winner, crank it!


Injector – Dittohead

I’m incredibly thankful that someone did this track justice. Admittedly, it’s a riot starter and I would’ve left pissed if it was included and not up to standards. Thankfully it is and it appears I have to complain elsewhere. Kudos Injector for pulling this off!

And this is cut and pasted from the article which accompanies the audio on YouTube, it seems appropriate.

Prepared and released by Antichrist magazine.

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Antichrist mag tribute to Slayer

And that’s it. This is a fantastic slab of worship which demands ears upon it (though I can’t say I’m not disappointed that “Necrophiliac” wasn’t covered). Perhaps one day this collection will appear on Bandcamp? Until then flood the YouTube channel in which it appears and be sure to thank the minds and talent behind it.

Support the artists, support the genre and hell, why not support me? I’m always up for spending money on crap.

Your loyal misshapen acolyte of most things extreme,