The Beginning of Neroth? Is it taken from your homeland?
Ihmset (Guitars) ‘’No, the name actually is not taking from our homeland. Our band started in September 2020 just after we came back from summer break. All members were
studying at the same music education at the time which is where we met and started
this band. We started working on the concept of combining black metal and female
clean and classical vocals right away since the idea had been in my mind for some
months already. We decided to call our band Neroth because during the summer of
the same year Floor and I were on vacation in Germany and saw this name on the
map. It’s a small town in the Eifel region and reading that name we had a laugh
about how it would be the perfect black metal band name. So, starting the band we
decided to use that name for fun at first and the name stuck with us ever since.
Your Debut EP Nocturnal woods?
''The inspiration came from a few different directions. One was the concept itself,
exploring unusual grounds within the black metal genre was inspiring for the artistic
side. To find a way to build atmospheres and make it as huge as possible while also
sticking to the original plan. We also got inspired by listening to the bands we like
ourselves and by trying to channel our feelings into our music. Also, themes like
nature, darkness, and death inspired us, and you can hear them all over the EP.
the inspiration to use classical merged with black metal. Was it a natural one?
''Actually, the idea existed before the band did, I recall walking in the woods during the
winter of 2020, I think it must have been February or something and I remember I
was thinking about music and what things I wanted to do with my career as a
musician. I am a huge black metal fan so naturally I’m drawn to that side of the
spectrum but I did not want to make another typical black metal band. Sure, I will
create and play the “usual” black metal too, but I wanted to do something different
and explore what else the genre had to offer. So, thinking about the genre I realized
that one of the most important elements of black metal is creating an atmosphere. I
wanted to stretch upon that, but not in the known way that bands like Alcest do. I
started thinking about ways how this could be done. I became inspired by the
musicians around me and by the first metal band I ever listened to as a kid,
Nightwish. The realization came that it would be cool to try combining female clean
vocals with classic black metal. Fast forward a few months to September 2020 and
we all came back from summer break at music college and there was the opportunity
to work on this idea. I walked up to some people from my year, I told them about the
concept I had been walking around with for months already and we made three
agreements: we don’t use and keys, strings or synthesizers, we don’t make use of
harsh vocals and instrumentally it must be black metal. Besides that, there were no
rules really and we started working on the music. Slowly we got onto something and
started to develop a certain sound in our songs that is part of our identity. Everyone
contributed to the sound the band has today and it is amazing to see what has
become from this idea to an actual band so far.
It is also very atmospheric. Does it get hard to keep all the elements under
‘’It isn’t always easy to combine this style of vocals with this extreme style of music.
There are some parts where you’d usually hear your typical extreme vocals that are
quite a challenge to write clean vocal lines for. In the end we manage to find ways to
combine the two styles, but we try to keep our roots in black metal. It is just another
take on the essence of what black metal is. Compare an album from Mgła and
Darkthrone for example, they both make use of atmosphere in their own way and so
do we. Our band and music is based on just doing it and seeing what will come out.
‘’Floor is not classically trained, but she has had vocal coaching in different forms.
She keeps amazing us with her voice too, sometimes we have parts of songs that
we already like instrumentally, but when she starts singing over them, they really get
lifted to a whole other level. Of course, it gives us some stretch beyond the typical
black metal boundaries, since it is a whole different style of singing.
Does having such clear vocals not normally associated with black metal
something that is important for your message?
‘’I would say that it is a core element of our band. The band is based on the artistic
statement of discovering new territory within the black metal genre, we like exploring
new atmospheres and directions this genre have to offer. As for lyrical messages it
might make it easier to understand the lyrics for some people.
The lyrics are also very much attuned to nature?
‘’I like to see nature inspired themes we chose for this record as a metaphor. I
would like to leave it open to interpretation from the listener to give their own
meaning to the music, but during the writing process we channelled our own feeling
into the lyrics. Feelings that have to do with melancholy, misanthropy, life, death and
darkness for which the current themes were a metaphor.
The Creative direction?
From a lot of different directions actually, I can get extremely inspired by listening to
other musicians, I can also get inspired by life and the struggles that come with it.
Sometimes just picking up my guitar and playing around with the sound I can get out
of the instrument also inspires me. There are a lot of different elements that can
inspire me to write riffs or lyrics.
There is also a sense of inevitability?
‘’I think it is inevitable to make music and channel feelings into music for me
personally at least, but I think the other band members will relate.
What is the abyss we are falling into?
‘’I suppose you are referring to our song called Onwards Into The Abyss. There are
multiple ways to interpret the meaning of this song. We wrote about the feeling you
get when entering a dense forest at night, the eerie, oppressed feeling that makes
you feel small and insignificant. You can see it as a metaphor again about life, you
can also take the words for what they are. Or form your own meaning.
Being labelled Black Metal?
‘’Yes, we are proud to be known as a black metal band and we stand for it. In our view
we are playing black metal and discovering the options and possibilities the genre
has to offer. As for the chaos, life is chaotic and we ourselves can be quite chaotic at
times too. I think it is natural you hear some chaos in the music.
‘’To me extreme music gives me a way to disappear into unlimited atmospheres,
thoughts, feelings, fantasies and gives direction to my feelings. I have been a huge
fan of black metal since I was early in my teens, and it stayed with me ever since. It
has this enchanting, unfiltered and raw energy that is unmatched by anything to me.
I think extreme music is the best place for individualistic statements and reflections
of feelings. I don’t think that there need to be borders and limits, but I do stand for
individual responsibility both from artist and listeners. This means that if you can’t
handle something, don’t listen to the music, but also that you need to be aware of the
consequences of your own actions. I think as far as the music goes there are tons of
unexplored directions extreme music could still discover and that it provides an
exciting playground for creative people willing to look beyond the boundaries we
The biggest misconception about extreme music?
‘’I think one of them would be that it is just a bunch of uneducated and pointless noise
without any meaning. In daily life I often get the question if I can understand anything
from the music and my answer is always that I can. I understand the lyrics, but more
importantly it triggers certain feelings. Extreme music of course requires skill to play,
but also, an artistic feel, an artistic urgency to create something heavy or dark. I think
in extend to that one big misunderstanding is that some people think they have to
understand it or that it should be music for everyone. Extreme music is not for
everyone, you either get it or you don’t. You might grow into it, or even back out of it,
but the content the music holds is not for everyone.
Plans for the future?
We are currently already writing on the next record for which a few songs are already
finished. On this record we want to further explore the entity that Neroth is and our
possibilities with it. We want to further develop our sound both musically and lyrically.
Also, we have some exciting shows planned one of which is Baroeg Open Air in
Rotterdam later this year. So, the plan mainly is to keep on going, to stick around and
to keep on developing.
Top 6 albums of all time?
Oof that’s a hard one! Let me try to make a list:
1. Mgła – Exercises in Futility
2. Mgła – With Hearts Towards None
3. Emperor – Anthems to the Welkin At Dusk
4. Dissection – Storm of the Light’s Bane
5. Wiegedood – De Doden Hebben Het Goed I
6. Trelldom – Till Minne…