Interview | FOG (蚩尤), INFERNAL REQUIEM (Taiwanese Black Metal)

Inferno Requiem is known as the only true raw and depressive black metal band in Taiwan. Formed in 1999 by sole member Fog, debut album "Gloomy Night Stories" in 2007 set a milestone for the Asian black metal scene. Combined of early Northern style & current depressive elements, added to Ancient Chinese mythology theme; Inferno Requiem becomes an unique icon among black metal bands worldwide.


Hi Fog, you're the principal actor and compositor behind Inferno Requiem. Could you present us your project ?

Inferno Requiem was established in 1999, was former called Soulgrinder, BlackMessiah when it was still a 5-6 persons band. Gradually IR became a 1-man project and was determined to primarily making raw/depressive black metal music then, and the principle would continue as it goes. Musically IR was under main influences but not limited to 2nd wave Norwegian black metal combined with the prime of USBM, while lyrically rooted in Eastern Mythology, conspiracy, and personal spiritual experiences.

During it's career, Inferno Requiem disappeared for nearly 10 years. Could you tell us why and what did you do during those years ?

In fact, not that long, though not making any official releases, occasionally I still had stage performance after releasing Gloomy Night Stories. IR officially took a rest from 2011 to 2015 due to personal reasons, as well as the disappointment I had with the whole scene at that time. During those ample time, I was doing like every salaryman doing, just serve, serve, and serve.

With your return in 2015, you brought many modifications in Inferno Requiem. You now play live with a brand new line up. What does it change for you ?

It never changes, I’m just gonna keep doing what I’ve done in the past. Though in every release I would like to try something new, but those are mostly minor adjustment. My mindset is always the same.

In 2016 you released a new EP and a reissue of your first and only album. There have been a lot of aesthetic changes, the Chinese elements are more discreet. Is this a new conceptual shift ?

Yeah it’s more about the concept leaning to Eastern mythologies. Musically I was sort of trying to add a little atmospheric stuff by putting new elements into this Moon Ep, but the core is still raw black metal for sure.

« Moon », your new EP, is a tribute to the Scandinavian Raw Black Metal scene. What are the bands that influenced you the most ?

In fact, Gloomy Night Stories is more close to so called Scandinavian Raw Black Metal; Moon, by my perspective, instead is more of DSBM influenced album. Maybe this theory is not precise enough, Moon is an oriental DSBM built on the root of raw black metal, which I’ve been doing so long. There are tons of bands that influence me, and black metal bands are not the only ones. If you are talking about black metal only, my all-time favorites are: Immortal, Judas Iscariot, Leviathan, Sargeist, and Krohm.

I had the opportunity to interview some Chinese bands (including Tengger Cavalry & CharmCharmChu) that told me playing metal in their country was not that easy. How's metal doing in Taïwan, and more specifically Black Metal ?

I’m not sure about what aspect they referred to, but it indeed is not easy. Many ask me about the black metal scene in Taiwan, and my response is that there is never a “scene” we can really address here. People tend to think a band is black metal if the vocal is roaring, you may find this funny but it’s really like that. Most people even cannot clarify the differences of black metal and death metal, and most so-called black metal bands come not even close to black metal, fake poser bands at best. The reason is very simple, 99% people don’t listen to black metal. Black metal CDs are not totally sellable here, unless you are talking about huge names like Emperor, Behemoth, and Dimmu Borgir… So there’s never a scene ever really ‘exist’ and I don’t think it will ever have one in the future, either.

What do you think about the political engagement of Freddy, ChthoniC's leader ?

I do not answer this question.

Even if your aesthetic starts to use less elements of the chinese/taiwanese culture, your lyrics still dig it. Could you tell us the importance of these culture for you ?

In Taiwan, everything has to be related to the politics. I don’t know why but it’s true and this truth sucks. Thanks to the daily huge amount of brainwashed information given by the political groups and media, as well as the conflicts between Taiwan and China, has effects everything happens in this fucking stupid island. I try my best to ignore all of these stuff and concentrate on the aesthetic/art part of the culture/history. I am a guy who really into conspiracy and ancient myth, trying to find connections between different cultures. I would write my lyrics and present in that way. It is important to tell people we are living in a world built on full of lies, but the problem is rare would ever listen here.

"幽冥夜怪話" (Gloomy Night Stories) - 2007

Your texte are in english, why ? Do you think you could use chinese for a next production ?

I actually used some Chinese featuring in interior designs, they are written in ancient hieroglyphic writing so not easy to clarify. I think language is a medium used for other people to understand you. For most people, English is probably the most appropriate medium right now, like it or not. The reason for that is not English is superior compared to any languages, the fact is that most people can at least speak/understand some compared to other languages. I have a Chinese website and a discussion group on Facebook, in Chinese. So Chinese speaking people can communicate there.

For you, what is the difference between Taiwan's metal scene and Chinese's one ?

Unlike western bands, which I’ve been listen to over 17 years; I’m just getting to know the Chinese metal scene these couple years, so still figuring out I guess. Looks like they have more extreme metal bands than us, though so far I have not found a raw black metal band yet.

Could you make our readers discover the Taiwanese scene ? What are your favorite Taiwanese bands ?

I would love to, really, but like I mentioned in previous answers, very few I would like to refer especially in black metal. To be honest, I have probably the same knowledge as you about other genre of bands in Taiwan, so I would be the wrong person to ask. Inferno Requiem has been the only true black metal band ever occur in Taiwan for many years. However, recently I found this band called Armed Judas is intriguing. Probably they are the only band playing black metal other than Inferno Requiem

What are your personal projects & with Inferno Requiem ?

Inferno Requiem aside, there was a side project I had long time ago, called EON. There were the other one I had called Ancient Mastermind. However, these two projects did not come up with any real-time recordings. I would like to start an Industrial metal project, but it would probably even harder to do that compare to a black metal project here.

A last word for your first french interview ?

Glad to be here, I would like to thank the help from Morgan and Thomas, appreciate that. I hope this interview could ignite some interests to Inferno Requiem from French community, right on!


Interview : Morgan