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Interviews
Spearhead Interview; When the Pillars Fall
Friday, August 15 2008 @ 01:00 AM PDT
Contributed by: ChAwech

Spearhead Interview

Heathen Harvest:  Hello Spearhead. Could you tell our audience how and why Spearhead was formed? What were the events and musical activities that eventually led up to Spearhead?

Barghest: 
I founded Spearhead in late 2003. After some initial line-up changes the first full-length “Deathless Steel Command” was recorded in mid 2005 (released in Sep 2006 on Invictus Productions). Following this a promo CD “When the Pillars Fall” (Oct 2006) was put out; to be followed by the second full-length “Decrowning the Irenarch” (released Dec 2007, Invictus Productions). It was initially formed as a black metal project purely because I liked black metal. There were no serious musical activities for me before forming Spearhead. Vortigern (drums) and Nephilim (guitars), who enlisted late 2004 played in a band called Archaicus prior to Spearhead.


HH:  Your second album, Decrowning The Irenarch, came two years after Deathless Steel Command. How do these two albums compare in terms of music, but also lyrically and aesthetically?


BA:  Musically they’re quite different. The first album was a straight black/death release. “Decrowning the Irenarch” has very little black metal influence, and is far more reminiscent of the earlier death metal pioneers. Ideologically “Decrowning…” is far more developed than “Deathless…” as well.  “Deathless” was a general attack against pacifism and mediocrity; quite aggressive and lyrically undirected. “Decrowning” is much more holistic. It is concerned with the fundamental truths found in past traditions, and the absolute necessity of war.


HH:  The album is not only metal; the first, last and one track somewhere in between are rather different. Why did you choose for this?


BA:  We had an intro and an outro on “Deathless…” so it made sense to continue this format, although this time we decided to have a sort of martial industrial interlude as well. 


HH:  I found the coverart exceptionally pleasing; there is a lot of iconography and symbolism, such as the fasces, the alpha and omega, the crosses, the runes, the warriors and the horses. Did you have any saying in the details of this artwork, or did Manuel Tinnemans come up with something you liked a lot? Can you tell us some more about the meaning of this artwork?

BA:  The focal design was based on a Napoleonic medal of the Rhine Confederation. We sent him design ideas as well as the medal design. Any further ideas and the final composition were entirely the work of Manuel. The focal motifs of the warriors, horses and the priest/godhead are symbolic of the Eurasian societal tripartition I mention in the foreword of the album. The fasces of course represent the notion of empire discussed in the album too. There is far too much symbolism to explain here, so it’s better to decipher the cover yourself.


HH: 
Decrowning The Irenarch is an album with different stories and influences, but it always circles around the concept of war. Are all these wars, Roman times, Napoleon times and second world war comparable with one another? How are they alike, and how do they differ from one another?


BA:  It is not so much the wars that are similar but the effect war has or had on those eras, i.e. societal concrescence and unification through external conflict.


HH:  What is war good for? Is it not better to have peace and battle other, more important aspects of life? Is peace actually possible?


BA:  War is good for the unification and health of any civilisation. As I explain in the foreword to the album all past ancient civilisations in Eurasia were, at some point, ordered into a tripartite system, with the warrior class lying central to the priestly class (above) and the cultivator/artisan class (below). As paradoxical as it may sound, not only was war a way of attaining pure mental and transhuman serenity, it was also a way of maintaining a healthy and ordered civilisation. This form of order lasted, albeit in an artificial formation, through to the feudal middle ages, only occasionally appearing in residual ‘pockets’ thereafter. The foci behind “Decrowning” is that Traditional hierarchization, with the warrior element lying at the centre is the only way to maintain a healthy civilisation; and that perhaps more importantly at least the individual can be made physically and intellectually healthy through the purest and noblest form of action that is war, so long as they fight with the Traditional model as their foundation.

Peace is not only impossible, so long as somewhere in the world men still value the importance of action, but also dangerous, acting as it does as an entropic catalyst for societal decadence and indolence.


HH:  You speak about the divinity and beauty of war, but have you ever fought a war yourself to experience such divinity, or to even be sure there exists such a thing? Is this idea purely theoretical, does it come from experience or is it merely aesthetically?


BA:  How do you know that the earth is round and revolves around the sun? Not by your own calculations I’m assuming, but based as it is on the all conclusive findings of centuries of astronomical study. Likewise I don’t base my knowledge through empirical observation but on the millennia of world mythologies and philosophies that teach that war can bestow the gift of rapture, akin to what you might term “paradise“. What mythologies teach this? Indian, Classical, Germanic, Celtic, as well as countless other non-European mythologies. What is the importance or relevance of mythology you may ask? The mythos is the fundament for any traditional society or civilisation, that tells us more of the super-temporal truths of man and the universe than any post-Christian mythologies do, be they either of a religious or profane 21st century nature. Let me end this question with a quote from the Bhagavad Gita, a treatise on the Vedic attitude to war in Hindu tradition: “There is a war that opens the gates of heaven, Arjuna! Happy the warriors whose fate is to fight such war”. This is in reference to the idea of the greater holy war being fought inside the human soul whilst he is fighting a ‘lesser’ war outside, in the physical world; a theme found in all Eurasian traditions, where the sources exist, as well as a number of other unexplored traditions.
 

HH:  You also say in the foreword that war enables man to "cast off his earthly emotions and morals". How is this a good thing? When I see the side effects of a war, it's warriors and soldiers gone astray; killing children, raping women, uncontrolled hate. How can this loss of morals be divine?


BA:  You’ve missed the fundamental point here. It is not specifically the scenario of war itself, but the scenario of ‘battle’ which enables man to cast off earthly morals and desires in order to fight at a level of purity, beyond hate and lust, and any other destructive desires. These ‘side effects’, killing and raping women etc, have nothing to do with the actual battle scenario, and are more in common with modern age conflicts anyway, for instance the brutality inflicted on German women by Russian soldiers at the end of the Second World War. In battle traditional man was truly able to transcend concomitantly both morals and desires, making such side ‘effects’ far less common. This ‘frenzied’ state is only found among the cowards who achieved nothing whilst in battle, for one has to go into battle with the right mindset.


HH:  Do you think we're heading towards a third world war? Are there events that prelude this?

BA:  I’ve no idea. Perhaps. I think it’s far more likely we will be destroyed from the inside, a catastrophic societal implosion. But then again this is nothing to fear or rue - it’s the perfectly natural conclusion to any organic or artificial body, whether it started healthy or not.


HH:  In other interviews you speak about the absence of politic honour in recent wars. What was, according to you, the last war in which there was political honour and why?

BA:  Well, true defensive wars are naturally politically honourable, so it entirely depends on your point of view.


HH:  What do you think has been lost in recent times that you'd like to bring back, and why?

BA:  I think it is clear that a great many salutary things have been lost; the principle of nobility, the notion of civilisation as an organic entity made up of different parts, the notion of fidelity, etc. This list could continue forever. But the main point here is that, as much as one may rue the loss of these values and wish for them back, this is mere fantasy, for every civilisation and age of man continues in a cycloid course, not a linear one. To go ‘back’ as it were to lost values, humanity just was to wait for the cycle to end its course before beginning anew. One should still look back though, simply to ascertain where they are now and where they are headed. Because most men don’t care to look at their own history; they have no real concept of their futurity. 


HH:  Where do you think the world is heading? Does the future look bright or bleak?

BA:  The world is heading where it has always been heading, as documented in the various mythologies of Europe, the East, and even South America. It may not happen in our lifetime. I would be pleasantly surprised in fact if it did occur while I was still alive, but I’m not hopeful. To answer your last question, the end of our present modern civilisation and the fertilisation of a new Golden Age, is a future very bright indeed.  


HH:  Where will Spearhead be heading in the coming months/years? I read you are working on some new tracks. Will it be the same lyrical and ideological themes? How do you envision the next album to be in comparison to the current two?

BA:  In September we have a one month tour with Impiety around Europe. We also have a couple of tracks in the pipeline for the third album. It’s hard to say what the lyrical and ideological themes will be, as this is an ideology that cannot, in my view be altered, changed or disposed of. So any further album is bound to have this traditional ideology at its core. I only touched the surface of many of the points I raised in  “Decrowning…” so I expect the third album could be read as another chapter in conjunction with the second. It may be more philosophical, it may be more historical. It is too early to say just yet.


HH: 
Thank you for this interview.


BA:  Thanks for your questions. Sic Semper Tyrannis!

     


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