The New Zealand black/death metal group Hiersiarch are in the spotlight for this week’s Meet The Band. After two EPs over the past few years, they have just released their first full-length album, Death Ordinance. Vocalist N.H., guitarist C.S. and drummer N.O. introduce us to their band.
Chad Bowar: Give us a brief history of Heresiarch.
Heresiarch was originally formed in 2008 as a two piece. In 2011 a full line-up was established with a demo and EP released that year. These were followed by a 7” in 2014 before becoming dormant in 2015. In 2016 a new manifestation of Heresiarch became active. Much of that year was spent writing Death Ordinance which was recorded in February/March 2017 and released July 7th, 2017 by Dark Descent Records. We’ve just returned from touring the West Coast of the United States, which ended with an appearance at Covenant Festival in Vancouver, Canada.
Describe the songwriting process for Death Ordinance.
Before writing commenced, the albums narrative and purpose had been outlined. From these foundations, each element was forged to reflect the attributed vision, atmosphere and scenario specific to the song, movement and album. We continuously worked on writing and structuring this material, refining each track to meet an objective to creating a complete album whilst maintaining identity and purpose for each song.
How has your sound evolved from your EPs?
Death Ordinance is the expansion of the previous EPs, musically and thematically. There are elements and references to these releases, each element has been refined and amplified into the most focused and forceful Heresiarch release to date. The narrative, vision and objectives combined with an evolved understanding of composition, structure as well as the recording process contributed to achieving this sound.
What’s the lyrical concept?
The lyrical concept is based around an atavistic figurehead and heretical martial cult bringing forth humanity’s extinction. The album documents societal and technological collapse following Nuclear EMPs, the frenzied battle that follows, cruel overcoming of those who resist, followed by mass slaughter and death harvest to fuel the war machine forward. The remnants of humanity regress into anarchic tribal groups fighting for resources among the ruins, malformed and impotent. Morality and societal hierarchy are replaced by the harsh will to survive with no hope of humanities redemption or continuance. The album begins and concludes in cleansing fire…
What are your goals/expectations for the album?
Our goal was to achieve an album which accurately reflected the vision for Heresiarch. This has been accomplished.
What were some of the highlights for you of your recent North American tour?
Touring with Ritual Necromancy, who put on a menacing, destructive performance each night. They were the ideal band to accompany us. The support acts for each show were of a great standard. Negative Vortex joined us for two of our shows on the West Coast and are a band to look out for. For specific events, Covenant Festival in Canada was the best lineup we played and was extremely well organized. The dedication from those who traveled long distances to witness us is admirable and valued.
What are your upcoming tour plans?
Currently we have no extensive touring plans confirmed. We will be back in the USA next year for an exclusive appearance at Invoking Black Death Fest II.
Does being based in New Zealand make it more challenging to “break through”?
Our physical location is limiting in terms of travel and touring prospects, but it’s been negligible in terms of releases. Isolation contributes to the quality of black and death metal that New Zealand continues to produce.
What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
Currently these 3 albums are on heavy rotation: Adversarial – Death, Endless Nothing and the Black Knife of Nihilism, Impetuous Ritual – Blight Upon Martyred Sentience and Ascended Dead – Abhorrent Manifestation.
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
Next up is a four way split with Genocide Shrines, Trepanation and Serpent’s Athirst as well as another split yet to be announced. We are further developing what will follow those releases. Prepare for more from Heresiarch and our New Zealand compatriots….
(interview published July 8, 2017)