Band Interview: Cult of Lilith

Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life had the opportunity to chat with Daniel Thor Hannesson of Icelandic progressive/melodic death metal band, Cult of Lilith. What follows is a transcript of some of the major talking points from the interview. You can listen to the full thing on Soundcloud, Spotify, Apple Podcasts and watch on YouTube below.

You’ve been working hard to prepare for the release of your debut album, Mara. Out on September 4th via Metal Blade. Are you kind of chomping at the bit to get this out?

Oh, yeah, definitely. We’ve been sitting on this material for a while now. It all just took a while looking for labels and negotiating and all that. So when the album comes out in September, it will actually have been years since it was completed.

Oh my! Are you at the stage where you’re kind of sick to death of it or do you still have that excitement?

It’s kind of revitalised now when everything’s coming out and you’re seeing reactions and stuff. It goes up and down but it’s still so much fun to see people’s reactions and finally being able to reveal the hard work we put into it.

Are you surprised by the phenomenal reaction so far?

I guess I’m surprised at how many people it’s reaching right away. Being a part of Metal Blade is such a huge thing. So, I didn’t doubt that we would, you know, get some audience through them. But, man, yeah, it’s definitely exceeded our expectations. How many people are checking it out and just the overwhelming positive reactions to it!

You know, we were maybe expecting it to be a little more polarising but it has been very highly positive so far. So we’re thankful for that.

The origins of a Cult of Lilith dates back to 2015 with you as the sole member. Was the plan back the always to turn it into a full-fledged band?

Yeah, it was. It was always the plan. I, I wanted to from the beginning, I been searching for members for a long time, and it’s hard anywhere to find members that are willing to put so much ambition and time into a project like this, let alone here in Iceland. A very isolated, small country, you know.

So I decided to release the original EP pretty much by myself. I had the help of a vocalist here in our studio, a drummer from Italy, and I decided to release it just to make a showcase of what I kind of wanted to do and to get other musicians interested here in Iceland. I wanted them to take part and dedicate their time to the project. I wanted to show you know, I’m serious about this. I wanted to take it as far as I possibly can and try to find members that are on the same page.

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Other than a different vocalist, which is a significant change. What are the major differences do you see between the EP and the upcoming album?

A big difference is just having a full line-up of band members that are all completely dedicated to this project and they’re all extremely talented. So I’m very thankful for that.

Also that EP, the recording of the EP, the process of it was such a huge learning curve for me. I learnt from a lot of mistakes that I made during the recording and also just refined my skills at writing songs. So yeah, it just a huge, huge leap forward.

So the title of the album, Mara, that’s related to folklore. A malicious entity, like a demon that sits on the chest while you sleep bringing nightmares. Is that something you have actually experienced or is it just something that fascinates you?

It fascinates me for sure and I have experienced sleep paralysis. Where my mind is awake, but my body is asleep. And it was extremely uncomfortable. I didn’t sense an entity like some people tend to do during sleep paralysis, but it just felt like I was paralysed, you know, and locked inside my body and it was it was very uncomfortable.

I’m also just fascinated with folklore and mythology. Especially dark things like malicious entities and stuff.

Is it right to say that Cult of Lilith as an entity is predominantly rooted in dark mythology?

For sure. Absolutely. You know, I’ve always been fascinated by, like the occult and macabre things and horror movies and stuff like that from a very young age. I always had the idea like I want to do a band that’s called Cult of something. And it’s many, many years ago that I, I wanted to do that, probably like when I was 15 or something. So that’s like 18 years ago or something. You know, I always want to name it cult of something and ended up stumbling upon Lilith. I just started reading about her and she was just such a perfect candidate to have this cult of worshippers around her, you know.


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  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!