Serpents of the Midnight Sun: An interview with Nightbringer’s Naas Alcament

Posted June 7, 2010 in

On Tuesday June 8th the demonic occult forces that are Green Mountain Falls, Colorado’s Nightbringer will unleash their darkened black metal distortions upon Salt Lake City. It isn’t too often that Salt Lake gets visitations from these underground darkness seekers. Making this show a rare treat for black metal fans. Nightbringer focuses on atmospheres as much as they do direct, fast and dirge ridden guitar passages. The music is full on light devouring doomed black metal blasting that only the skills of pronounced mad tremolo picking provides. I got the chance to ask Nightbringer’s frontman Naas Alcament a few questions via e-mail to explore the depths of the music that prior to the interview I only knew as bleak and downright scary distortions coming from my stereo. Enjoy.

SLUG: Nightbringer has played in Salt Lake City before, and from my own personal experience underground black metal isn’t received the best as far as audience attendance, in our little town however the few that do turn out are always extremely into what’s going on. How does your performing experience here in Salt Lake City compare to other places you play?
Naas: We have several brothers out in that area who support us, so even though the turn outs prove smaller it still has proven worth our effort. The last place we played was a completely shit venue with no stage or real PA. Hopefully this other venue is more suited to live performances. 

SLUG: A good chunk of the readers of this interview may not have heard Nightbringer before. How would you describe what Nightbringer offers to the world of black metal?
Naas: What it has to offer is subjective and purely based upon the listener’s leanings, and sensitivities. For those with the “eyes to see” we offer a glimpse of something truly dark in the profoundest sense.

SLUG: You’ve just released a new album, Apocalypse Sun and I’m left with my own assumptions as far as lyrical interpretations of the album and themes portrayed. For me even though a vast majority of the music being played is very fast and intense, it very much feels like there is a doomed and darkened message being given on the record. Can you tell me a bit about the lyrical direction in conjunction with the musical direction of the new album?
Naas: The quintessence of the work is synonymous with death from the duel aspect of both the microcosmic and macrocosmic point of view. Complete and utter destruction of all forms of limitation in a moment that would be true apocalypse. This concept reverberates within both the prose and the music itself creating an atmosphere that is igneous, fulgurous and tumultuous.

SLUG: Nightbringer has a massively layered and textured sound, especially within the guitars. How does the band punctuate that layered effect in the live setting?
Naas: We have come up with a way, outside of standard bass, to aid in filling out the live sound with an appropriate level of low end to complement the high ended guitar work, bringing us closer to the “wall of sound” effect that is present on the album. I will forgo the details.

SLUG: Nightbringer’s use of extremely fast tremolo picking makes the band stand out, especially in the US scene. Where and how did the inspiration to utilize the tremolo picking in your music become what it is?
Naas: It is just a stylistic preference that we decided to hone at an early stage. As far as how… practice, practice, practice.

SLUG: Nightbringer's music also feels very connected to what I would imagine your hometown––dense and vast forests, cold climates, long winters etc. Do your natural surroundings affect the music of Nightbringer?
Naas: Colorado certainly has an atmosphere that is conducive to our work. The woods, mountains and winters have all played a part in inspiring us as both individuals and musicians.

SLUG: Atmosphere feels like an essential part of what Nightbringer has to offer. The music initially can feel overwhelming and especially the new album has the wall of sound effect. However, amongst the chaos of the music there is some highly inspired guitar playing, drumming and vocal actions. What is the writing process like for Nightbringer?
Naas: We are inspired by compositions that are more akin to classical music, thus our albums, especially in regards to Apocalypse Sun, require a certain amount of attentiveness which typically calls for repeated listens before all elements are revealed. The writing process is fairly long and meticulous with much attention to details and nuance. We are very conscientious to how each instrument will interact with the others and we tab and or notate everything as we compose. 

SLUG: Continuing the songwriting subject, it feels like there is an immense amount of ideas that come into play within your songs where do the inspirations and ideas come from?
Naas: Musically we are inspired by a variety of different genres including classical and ambient as well as metal.

SLUG: What if anything would you like to see Nightbringer be known for as well as have fans and listeners take away from hearing your music or seeing you perform live?
Naas: If we leave a mark upon a listener, something adverse yet provoking, then our music has served its purpose. If the listener takes nothing away from what we have created, it is of no consequence to us. This is first for us and second for our kin.

Xotol, Gravecode Nebula, Nightbringer and Nazxul will be playing Bar Deluxe, 666 South State St. on Tuesday June 8th at 9 p.m. $5 at the door.