Nuclearhammer strikes vigorously as the seething, chaotic embodiment of absolute adversarial Black Metal authenticity and nowhere is this more evident than on the Canadian cosmic voyagers’ most-recently-unleashed recorded output, ‘Xaos Tenawas – Demo MMXXIII’. The fervent initiator of this inexorable expression of dark art, Axaazaroth, gazes inwards, into the void, to contemplate traversing perpetually the path of obscurity; rejecting religious fanaticism and shaking off mental shackles; directing disgust at unhinged enslavers whose sole contribution to humanity is misery; and of course the forthcoming (final?) Nuclearhammer full-length detonation.

For every Nuclearhammer, Teitanblood, Clandestine Blaze or Revenge dealing in authentic darkness, there are thousands of soulless, clueless, so-called Black Metal bands delivering nothing but mind-numbing mundanity. With such insufferable banality all around you, are you ever tempted to give up altogether, or does Nuclearhammer operate in splendid isolation from the sea of safe, inoffensive mediocrity? Are you a law unto yourself?
“Both actually, I am very tempted to give up every day especially since I feel I’ve said all I wanted to say and gotten it out of my system, but I would like to finish what we started as far as this new album goes. It’s been in the works for many years now and needs to come out one way or another. As far as operating in isolation, that is also something that I’ve always done. It’s the best way to operate for us, away from the inferior sewage the scene has turned into.”

The founding trait of Black Metal in opposing conventions, societal norms, organised religion and mainstream culture seems to be largely dead. How non-negotiable is it that you consistently create and perform dark art that recognises, celebrates and furthers the original core ethos and ideologies of Black Metal? Is it a prerequisite that you must continue to exclusively represent and promote the adversarial spirit and intent that gave rise to BM in the first place?
“I will create and perform as much dark art as I can unleash from within but when I feel it’s time to move on to something new during or after Nuclearhammer, the adversarial spirit will always exist in anything I do; it’s just a part of me, I’m always seeking the path of obscurity.”

You are clearly extremely passionate about this unholy art form and spreading undiluted analogue darkness, destruction and death. Would you describe yourself as a Black Metal fan first and foremost? Do you still absorb as much Black Metal today as you did 20 years ago? Does your devotion to the dark arts extend beyond BM, perhaps beyond music itself? Creatively, what other obsessions influence and inspire you?
“Yes, a BM fan first and foremost. No, I definitely don’t absorb as much BM as I used to 20 years ago, mainly due to the fact that there’s far too many new bands to keep up with, no way you can hear it all, nor would I want to. I do however listen to my favorites often and always discover old gems from the past I’ve never heard before and went under my radar, which always leaves me saying ‘who the fuck needs all this new shit?!?!?!’ which is just a carbon copy of everything when I am still catching up on obscure or long forgotten gems from the ‘80s, ‘90s and early/mid 2000s as far as extreme metal goes. Black Metal is also not the only genre or type of music I listen to or have ever listened to exclusively in the past. As far as devotion to the dark arts, that all depends, that is more of a topic for Doomhammer as he is very devoted to such things. For me, it was a focal point to utilize lyrics and concepts for many years but these days a thing of the past as I personally feel there is too much corruption and falsehood involved as far as belonging to any movement or sect. I was never one for any kind of religious zealotry beyond exploring the forbidden, obscure and adversarial. Other obsessions which might lead to musical inspirations include deep research of the paranormal, criminology and studying cases of mass murderers, exploring fetishism, understanding government psychological operations and media manipulation, eradicating the enslaver.”A man should bow before nothing. Would you agree that too many people spend their lives on their knees? That herd-like subservience is one of the great afflictions degrading humanity? Is Satanism the ultimate expression of freedom / independence of a free will and open mind, of non-compliance with the dogmas that are destroying and dismantling the human spirit?
“Yes, I think most humans alive are living on their knees whether they realize it or not, unfortunately. We are all forced to partake in this unnatural sick society and fall into all the same traps of the matrix. Satanism is and always has been something that is very feared, hated and misunderstood by the general public, so for many, including myself, it has represented freedom and independence but it has also (especially in these times) been co-opted by some of the absolute WORST people in the world, so I don’t look at it as some kind of salvation in these times. The only authentic Satanism is the theistic kind where Magick comes into play, as far as I’m concerned. Anything else can be easily co-opted by degenerates. I’m still very spiritual but have no real ‘religious’ beliefs these days, to be perfectly honest. I pretty much reject and distance myself from zealotry, absolutism and religious fanaticism. Fuck it all. If I were to call myself anything these days, I would say I am an agnostic or ‘theistic agnostic’. Seems like the most realistic and logical path to take for me. However, these are just my personal thoughts and do not reflect the themes and concepts expressed in Nuclearhammer’s music since I am not the only one who writes lyrics and opinions/beliefs change as we get older.”

Is your worldview that of a nihilist – that ultimately life has no meaning? Is the hatred, disgust and misanthropy expressed in your music directed at all people, or more towards the suffocating constructs of society? Are we a failed species waiting in vain for a saviour that will never arrive, beyond saving and without any redeeming features?
“I’m definitely not a nihilist, never have been. To me, it’s a bullshit defeatist mindset and attitude to have. Life has all kinds of meaning if you are on the right current. The disgust in our music is mainly if not entirely directed at those who wield all the power in this ‘reality’ and make life miserable for the rest of us. Yeah I do believe we are a failed species always looking for a ‘saviour’ that will never come. It’s always been this way. The issue is who is in power and who controls the narrative influencing people’s minds and general opinions to such a degree it becomes a psychological operation. Modern society is completely corrupt, demoralized (speaking in non-religious terms) and indoctrinated into lies and bullshit by the ‘powers that be’. We all know who they are. That has always been the issue and reason for such a rapid decline. The mental chains must be broken first in order for us to be free. Know thine enemy!!!”

There are references to the might and potential destructiveness of the cosmos in some of Nuclearhammer’s creations. While it’s almost impossible to grasp how infinitesimally tiny the earth is within the vast infinity of time and space, does this put into context how irrelevant we are? For all our posturing and existential musings, will the cosmos that created us also inevitably devour us?
“Irrelevant in the grand scheme of things perhaps but our egos are too massive to comprehend any of that for the most part. As far as devouring us, only time will tell.”As we get older, we are exposed to more and more death as one by one our friends, family and peers depart this mortal coil. Do you find this depressing in any way, or is it a welcome part of a natural cycle? Surely the death of a great man or woman is never a good thing?
“It is extremely depressing and emotionally taxing when it is someone very close or just someone highly regarded. It’s a natural cycle we all have to go through, unfortunately. Another brick life throws at you. I’ve experienced enough death, depression and continuous hardship to last me a lifetime. Far more than some of these black metal tough guys who always ‘hail death’ but never actually seen or felt any real parts of it before on the same level as I personally have in my 41 years.”

Presenting two substantial fresh annihilating curses and unleashed upon the cowering masses on the final day of 2023, ‘Xaos Tenawas – Demo MMXXIII’ is the first new Nuclearhammer recording in almost a decade. What does Xaos Tenawas refer to and is there an overriding theme or concept that binds ‘Majesty of Pestilential Imperium’ and ‘Avatar Personification of the Earthly Spirit in Metaphysical Form’ together?
“The title translates to Chaos Prelude. The word Xaos means Chaos in Greek (or Χάος). Tenawas is taken from Norse mythology and means prelude but also describes an ancient demon, so I felt these words and the title itself was perfect for what I was trying to convey since the full-length album will be called ‘Xaos Void’ (or χάος κενό), so this demo is a prelude to the Void. No, nothing binds the two tracks, they are separate entities on this recording but will be bound on the album once they are re-recorded and presented in their full glory.”

An exceptional blast of chaotic blackened black-hole barbarity, it’s an immense abyssal emission, suitably raw and putrid, and certainly not in any way demo-sounding to my ears. In fact, I can’t imagine how the two offerings could be improved upon. Why is this release classified as a demo and is it a precursor to the new full-length? If so, can you disclose any information on the forthcoming new record?
“Yes, it’s a precursor to the full-length. It’s a demo because we recorded both songs ‘off the floor’ as a rehearsal, added vocals and intro tracks I made after, sat around and did the mix the best way we could, sent it off for mastering later, but to me the drums are not loud or clear enough, guitars a bit too fuzzy, a lot of stuff is buried in the mix, the entire ending of the first song ‘Majesty…’ was omitted due to errors that couldn’t be fixed after the initial recording, so we ended it a bit early, the album will have the full version. It was a very DIY effort; the production we are aiming for on the album will be like nothing we’ve ever had before.”After having been fairly prolific in the first nine years or so of Nuclearhammer’s existence, what was the reason for the comparative silence between second full-length ‘Serpentine Hermetic Lucifer’ and ‘‘Xaos Tenawas’? Were you at all disillusioned or uninspired during this time or just too busy with other projects and activities?
“Not disillusioned or uninspired as much as now, haha, quite the opposite before. We would have had several splits out with other bands that would have filled the gap but they all fell through or are STILL ‘in the works’ for the other bands, so eventually we will either release the material we’ve been sitting on for seven years on its own or the split will actually happen but I am not holding my breath for anyone else any longer; it will be released within 2024 one way or another. But yeah, life gets in the way and also very busy with other projects and activities but at the same time always working on the new material we have coming up. The new stuff has been years in the making!”

You compose and perform all the noise parts that are incorporated into the Nuclearhammer hellscape. Brief though they may be, these are a critical component of each finished piece – how much emphasis do you place on these passages and how much thought goes into getting them just right? Are you the sole composer of the material in its totality or does Doomhammer also contribute to the writing process?
“Emphasis and a lot of thought goes into them usually but sometimes I’ll just come up with something accidently that ends up fitting perfectly into the already existing hellscape. Yes, I am the sole composer of the intros/interludes/outros on all our recordings minus a few Doomhammer made on ‘Obliteration Ritual’ and ‘Frozen Misery’. I am heavily into the Power Electronics/Harsh Noise/Death Industrial/Dark Ambient genres as well as the art of sampling, making loops, sound collages and DJing in my spare time outside of drumming. I’ve done several projects of my own over the years as well as contributing to other projects when asked. I also recently made two intros for the new Adversarial album which I was credited on.”

Last November, in your home city, you performed the first live Nuclearhammer ceremony in almost six years. Having resumed live hostilities, does the appetite or will exist to desecrate more stages going forward? As the world descends further into insanity with each passing day, what other predictions can you make for the future of Nuclearhammer, Black Metal and mankind?
“The appetite does get ferocious every now and then to destroy the live arena, but for me personally I feel it’s not something that everyone should be doing as often as they are, it cheapens the experience like going to see some gay ass cover band at a rundown local bar every single weekend. That’s really not what the underground should be. All these bands doing tours nonstop with almost no one from the original line-up present and all these promoters putting on countless festivals every single year is in my eyes just exploiting and cashing in on the art. This music was not meant for these massive social settings on such a consistent basis. Shows and festivals used to be special and something to really look forward to and plan for years ago, now they’re happening every week in every city across the globe and people spend millions to attend every single one as if they’re obligated; it’s really an industry and business just like anything else. The prices have gotten more and more outrageous as the years go on and it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I will only play and attend shows or fests I feel are actually special and have a greater meaning to them, especially if it involves some type of clandestine gathering in an unorthodox setting or are just very rare occurrences to witness live, not run-of-the-mill concerts where people just get drunk and high out of their minds and socialize like some lame high school reunion. As far as future predictions, mankind is heading down an extremely bleak, dismal and irreversible path if it doesn’t wake the fuck up, break the goddamn mental shackles cast upon us by the enslaver and save itself because no one is coming to save you!!! Just remember, revolution is evolution!!!”