Two weeks ago an absolute triumph of a medieval black metal demo appeared out of nowhere in the lesser-known recesses of Bandcamp. The band responsible for this four-song-long black miracle is a sole Argentinian and their two friends. They call themselves Ages of Blood. Wielding a raw and romantic but no-less-mighty kind of black metal, Ages of Blood are reminiscent of bands like Drowning The Light, Festung, even Emperor, but they are only reminiscent of such bands. With Pagan Medieval Aristocracy Ages of Blood demonstrate a novel and totally captivating sound.
“First [o] all,” writes Beulenpest, whose pseudonym translates from the German to mean ‘bubonic plague,’ “I want to thank you for your interest and support, it is an honor for me to be here answering your questions.” They go on to explain that although they are the main songwriters, they were helped in the creation of this demo. “Yes, two friends helped me out with the roles of bass and keyboards. I didn’t make them by myself because by that moment I didn’t have those instruments, so I asked them for help. They are wonderful musicians. I knew that they would make an outstanding job bringing their own tones to my compositions. Even when I am the main songwriter and leader of this project if I include a session member I like to give them creative freedom because I know that other perspectives can enrich and improve the music.”
Beulenpest writes that the demo title and all of Ages of Blood’s medieval themes come from their passion for history. “I am a ‘hardcore’ history fan, it is one of my passions besides music and the medieval period has been always fascinanting me. Famines, plagues, merciless wars… all those aspects made the medieval ages very difficult and harsh to survive (without mentioning the religious aspect: Christianity I am looking at you). Ages of Blood is focused on the myths and popular beliefs from the medieval peasants, their struggles and immeasurable fears (vampires, werewolfs, witches) with a bit of fantasy, too. And fantasy is what Pagan Medieval Aristocracy make reference to… I idealised the situation of a pagan coalition of monarchs against Christianity in the middle of the Dark Ages which seems like a good concept to explore and imagine. It might seems odd to see a medieval black metal project from Argentina but human history is always interconnected (and sometimes we can forget that fact) so it is not so crazy to think that I have great-great-great-great-grandparents which actually lived that period in Spain where my family originally came from to South America.”
Beulenpest, the main musician behind Ages of Blood, goes on to explain how they went about creating and eventually recording their Pagan Medieval Aristocracy demo. “This demo was originally conceived as a full-length album but I wasn’t totally convinced about the material so I just let it on-hold until I could think what to do. I have to credit a good friend from U.S who advised me to split the material in two: one part as a demo and the other one for a split album with another band that could appear in the future and taking into account the current situation with the pandemic I found it suitable to release the demo now.
“The creative process behind this demo was really quick,” Beulenpest continues, “I wrote all the tracks in two weeks then recorded the guitars and vocals at my home studio and sent the material
to my friends to finally ensembled all the parts for the final production steps. The whole process took a month or so. You have to consider that it was a full album and a total of 8 tracks were recorded, it was made in record time,” they laugh. “In terms of production the sound is not polished but that is what I was looking for, that is what it gives this demo a real essence.” Yes, that plus the enthralling and romantic-style riffings not to mention those magical keyboards.
The standout track for us here at D:L HQ is “Feeble Whispers From An Old Witch,” which seems to gleam with a slightly Hellenic majesty.
“It is interesting that it gave you that perception because I was inspired from a way far north scene: the Norwegian one but that is what makes music an unique experience for all of us, an individual journey that changes from person to person. “Feeble Whispers from an Old Witch” is a song that has a lot of musical elements in it and you can notice it in the lead guitar parts, melodies that come and go, rhythmic changes, different riffs and interludes. As I already said to you, the songs were born by themselves, I can’t say too much about the writing process behind this demo because it was so fast that I just remember playing these riffs and writing them to record them later but what I can tell you is that this song is about wisdom. The wisdom acquired by the ancients and how this sacred knowledge has to be transmitted from generation to generation.”
As for the demo’s incredible dark ambient tracks, Beulenpest says: “The main idea was to setup the general feeling of a cold and obscure atmosphere which could prepare the field for the plague to come and the wind which carries the scent of death away, leaving you hungry for more. They were performanced by the skillful J.M who is a good friend who put his passion and essence to the project.”
Beulenpest says they absolutely intend to release more Ages of Blood material, including the other half of the material they already recorded. “The demo has been really well received, that fact blew my mind away,” they say. “I didn’t expect such a response from the public. I already have new material in process so you can definitely expect more from Ages of Blood in further months.”
In the meantime there are no solid plans in motion for the physical release of this incredible demo. It’s only a matter of time, we figure. Just remember, you heard Ages of Blood here first.