WHORE OF BETHLEHEM is one of those bands that I discovered recently, and I wanted to suggest it to all the Death/Black metal maniacs out there. “Upon Judas Throne” was the blasphemous debut back in 2014 and it’s a must to understand what this metallic heresy is about. Comatose Music is about to release its third album entitled “Ritual of Homicide” next month, so be attentive to this imminent delivery. They will share the stage with Greek masters ROTTING CHRIST and we were thrilled to get the band's views on the next recording and upcoming show. Enjoy it, as this is one of the best interviews, I have had the pleasure of reading lately. Sam Axelrad, drums, and WHORE OF BETHLEHEM for you guys.
How do WHORE OF BETHLEHEM and metal in general fit in Austin, the self-proclaimed live music capital of the world? “… There's a great mix of metal in the scene ranging all over subgenres. WHORE OF BETHLEHEM brings elements of brutal death metal and black metal to the table which gives us that Blackened Brutal Death sounds if you want to classify the subgenre. Fans of DARK FUNERAL, BELPHEGOR, SUFFOCATION, and MORBID ANGEL, would definitely find our music to their liking…”
What are the statements or main views behind the band’s moniker? Who is the Whore of Bethlehem: Mary, Joseph, Jesus, or Magdalena? “…The band's moniker is derived from the album “Whore of Bethlehem” from the band ARCHGOAT, ironically though, we sound nothing like them. There are no main views or statements other than the image of Mary being tainted based on the band name. Most of the statements or views would fall under our lyrical content which consists of anti-Christian blasphemy fueled with homicidal tendencies. Mary, Joseph, Jesus, or Magdalena? All four can be depicted as the Whore of Bethlehem, but for this particular question, the title would have to go to Mary. I mean, our first release “Upon Judas Throne” literally has her bound in ropes on a Judas cradle…”
Comatose Music will be releasing the band’s third album next March. If you were to review “Ritual of Homicide” what would you write about it? “…As the third album release, I feel the band as a whole set a new bar of brutality within our sound. There was quite a bit of time and sanity sacrificed when writing this album. Each member delivered an amazing performance, and it shows in each song from the razor-sharp venomous guitar riffs to the gut-wrenching soul-destroying vocals, earthshattering bass lines/solos, and relentless barrage of blasts on the album. “Ritual of Homicide” is a brilliant brutal masterpiece comprised of pure hate-filled blasphemous adrenaline that takes its listeners on a journey into the void where black metal and brutal death metal collide in a blood-drenched battering ram to the listeners' soul.
I have read the band’s name misspelled on some sites and without letters sometimes, and I can only think of censorship. How do you guys face your censors? “… In our earlier Facebook days when everything was getting out of control with offensive word usage (not to say that it’s gotten any better) but we couldn’t reach shit with our band name, hence the usage of WOB on some posts. It’s still a difficult thing even now, but we have noticed some better traction as of late when using our full band name. Our name, at times, gets purposely misspelled as a workaround on social media to appease the algorithm gods. It’s a shitty game we all have to play being in an extreme metal band with an offensive name, but that’s how it goes when you have a band name like ours…”
What’s the band up to these days besides getting ready to open for the ROTTING CHRIST tour? “… There are a few high-priority items the band is working on with the Comatose Music. We all have full-time jobs/families so around this time is when we plan the year out in terms of shows, possible tours, etc., and square away time that works for everyone…”
Are you guys atheists or do you practice any religion? Why are there so many houses of God and just a few Lucifer or Devil’s ones? Will be Satan allowed not to pay taxes someday? “… To my knowledge, religion isn’t a topic of discussion in the band other than the lyrical content. So, I’m going to say that no one in the band practices anything or believes in anything for that matter haha. The House of God/Lucifer question can probably be summed up to a one-worded response: “Taboo”, maybe? There are more people that worship God, I’m assuming, that believe in erecting this giant (or small) eyesores around the globe to find some sense of solace or hope when they enter the doors. It’s also more acceptable in society today to have a church off main streets or near neighborhoods than have a temple dedicated to Satan with a giant statue of Baphomet. Satan Temples and worshipping Satan is still pretty taboo if you think about it, so it still has a way to catch up to these churches, even though people have practiced for decades. And Satan will probably be taxed out the ass for the foreseeable future, hopefully, he’s not using Turbo Tax while he’s filing…”
I have never had a clear picture of an atheist patriot when it comes to expressions like God Bless America. How do you react to this? “… It sounds hypocritical hearing an atheist patriot saying God bless America so I guess my reaction might have me raise an eyebrow, but I probably wouldn’t be bothered by it to be honest. Maybe just laugh every time they have to say “under god” when they pledge allegiance…”
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How hard or easy is it to compose music with a unique sound or with your own voice in metal nowadays? “… It’s hard nowadays to have a unique sound. Most unique-sounding bands don’t even see the credit they well deserve sadly, but that’s why you keep doing what you feel is right for yourself. It’ll eventually click and something amazing will come about. Subgenres of elements you never thought would work coming together and blowing people's minds, It’s a beautiful thing! Thankfully we’ve stood the test of time and continue to do so with our own unique sound of brutal death metal with a blackened undertone. On composing music, it comes in waves for us, meaning there are some days when writing in the jam space can evolve to a song almost being completely written and other days when a song could take three months to write. We always strive to have a creative approach from each angle and each member while still honing the essence of the WOB sound, so we let the magic happen and try our best to not rush the process…”
You guys will be opening for ROTTING CHRIST at the show in the Come and Take it in February. How were you added to the roster? What can the fans expect from you guys at that show? “… It usually involves getting bands that work best with the touring bill that is coming through and thankfully we have a great long-standing relationship with Come and Take It, so it seemed like the right fit for us since we have that “blackened” aspect in our band. What should the fans expect? Expect nothing less than a great time and an amazing show with some sick fucking bands! When we hit the stage we always have one thing in mind and that’s to level the venue with sheer sonic brutality, so expect that…”
Can you share some highlights and recording details of the upcoming album “Ritual of Homicide”? What was the biggest challenge for this recording? “… We went with a different approach and studio for this recording than our last two albums. It was an experience, definitely a learning experience seeing we all have busier lives than usual nowadays however the finished product came out amazing. The biggest challenge probably was just coordinating everyone’s schedules and knocking out the parts on your given day. The pressure is on when you see that red-light blinking and the count-in starts, but that’s something we are familiar with and use to by now, so it wasn’t too bad…”
The two singles "Pseudochrist" and "Vermin" are killer, and I can tell that the new album will be highly acclaimed as well. What are your expectations with “Ritual of Homicide”? Any other plans that you have for 2023? “… We wanted to write an album that pushed our boundaries and opened new avenues of blackened brutal Death metal to the listeners. It was physically and mentally demanding, but well worth it so I feel the fans will love it from beginning to end. We will continue to drive the full force of Whore of Bethlehem into 2023 with our new album “Ritual of Homicide” with plans of pursuing fests and tour opportunities that present themselves…”
Thanks for your time. This is the space where you address your followers and our readers. “… Thank you for the interview questions! And thank you to the followers, readers, fans and Comatose Music that have supported the band throughout these years. It starts and ends with y’all so thank you again!
It’s been a long enough wait for our 3rd album, so we are proud that “Ritual of Homicide” will be released for purchase on March 24th, 2023, through Comatose. Let us know where you would like to see Whore of Bethlehem perform and we will do our best to make that happen! Thanks!