Interview with Altara Blakthorne of Blackened Horde Zine
From what I gather Blackened Horde Zine was on hiatus but you recently restarted it with several new interviews.
Blackened Horde Zine first started as a print zine under another name, then it was changed to a website. I am still re-vamping the zine in trying to find reviewers who are willing to donate their time and opinions in doing some reviews.
What is the purpose of Blackened Horde Zine and what genres does it cover? How widespread is your readership?
The purpose of Blackened Horde is to help promote local and underground bands. They work hard and all deserve to be recognized for their talent. We cover all genres in the Extreme Metal era. Anything from Black Metal to Thrash Metal. I do have another zine that handles all other genres. We are world-widespread, so all countries and then some.
For what reasons did you decide to exclusively cover extreme metal in the zine? How many subgenres has it supported altogether?
Living in Florida which was labeled as “the death metal capital of the world” is why I decided to do Extreme Metal genres. I couldn't even guess an exact number of subgenres; probably around twenty or so.
Did you start the zine independently or with staff members helping you out?
I started it all myself, however, I have always had people doing the album reviews. The main reason for this is conflict. If I didn't like a band but they were friends I didn't want there to be tension in the friendship.
What was your zine first named, and how many issues were printed and released? How long was it on hold and what made you decide to bring it back online?
The printed zine had the embarrassing name of “The Vampiress Chronicles”. There were probably about ten to fifteen issues. I'm not sure exactly how long it was on hold but it was many, many years.
How many copies did you press of each issue of the zine when it was The Vampiress Chronicles? Are any older issues still available?
Not too many actually. It was basically printed on an order basis. And I do believe I may have some of those interviews on my website under “Ancient Interviews”. There are no printed copies except mine that I will always keep. I am thinking about taking it apart to laminate the pages so they don't get ruined.
How many staff writers/contributors worked on The Vampiress Chronicles with you? Did any of them express interest in resuming for Blackened Horde or did you restart from scratch?
I had probably three reviewers for TVC and I was the only interviewer. However, an ex-boyfriend did one interview because he was living with this other band and he thought it would be fun. One of the reviewers did come over to BHZ until he didn't have the time.
We know about Cannibal Corpse and Deicide, but did Blackened Horde cover local Florida bands who weren’t noticed as much by major independent labels?
We have covered Florida bands. Some are bands people know and some are bands people don't.
What lesser-known Florida bands have been featured in reviews and interviews? Is the death metal scene there as active as it was when it started?
Some of the Florida bands were: Impurity, Burning Fair Verona, Armageddon III, Faethom, Markradonn, and many more. The Death Metal scene is definitely still active however with the Covid situation a lot of bands are kinda on hold or not playing live as much.
Going by all the subgenres you listen to, are there still bands expanding the range of extreme metal as a whole, or do most of the bands you’ve heard sound like bands from the 1990s?
I think some of the bands from the 90's were better than and some of the bands now are better. It all depends on the bands. Nowadays they are exploring more options and adding different things into the mix.
Do you also cover black metal and other subgenres of metal in your zine?
Black metal is my favorite in the extreme metal genre. I even did an interview with Boddel from Gorgoroth before his passing. Which I will always keep in the current interview section. You can listen to it here: http://blackenedhorde.com/gorgoroth. If a band is extreme metal they will be added to BHZ, if they are not they will go in my other zine Crimson Moon. That way no one gets turned down.
How much has Blackened Horde’s readership increased since it became an online zine? How long did it take to build the website and is it on your own internet host?
Well, it has definitely gotten a lot more attention. I get emails all the time from bands and labels. My ex did the original setup (coding) for the website. But the input in it was all done by me which took a very long time. Months even. I wanted it to be very well implemented so it was easy for readers to navigate.
Who are some of the bands featured in the Ancient Interviews section? And the bands you have interviewed more recently?
The bands there are Angelkill, Corpsevomit, Fleshgrind, Num Skull, and others. The most recent are Adragard, Messora, Brzask and Goddess.
Do you prefer doing interviews where a band gives brief, to the point answers or interviews where a band gives longer, more detailed answers?
When a band gives short answers to every single question it makes the readers feel like they are rushing through it so they don't want to bother. With that being said some answers will be short.
I saw you post videos on the site as well as reviews, band bios, and interviews. Does this help increase the traffic?
The videos and bios, I am not sure if they increase traffic but I figured it is a good way for people to know a little more about the band and even hear them.
In addition to promotional videos, have you considered posting bands’ Youtube, Bandcamp, and Spotify links?
As for the links, I do add links at the end of the interviews to places people can find out about the bands if they are provided or can be found.
Have you met any writers or prospective writers interested in reviewing for the zine?
I do have some people who are interested in writing reviews. And I am always happy to have more so if anyone out there is interested please email me at email@example.com. Of course, I will always miss my greatest reviewer of all, Pagan.
Who was Pagan and how actively was she involved with Blackened Horde Zine?
Pagan was a girl I knew from the U.K. and she was an awesome reviewer. She would even send over stuff I didn't send her to add into BHZ. Unfortunately, she passed away from cancer a few years ago. I miss her a lot.
Are you still involved with the radio program you’re doing for Blackened Horde? How long has that show been online to date? Has the staff at the zine also been involved in it?
Unfortunately, the radio station is not live due to circumstances. One is the company that broadcasted the stream no longer exists. And my ex put that up and I'm not sure who else to go with anymore. However, I do keep the website up in case I ever can get it up and running again.
No one from the zine got involved in the radio station since they were not local and I wasn't gonna leave the computer vulnerable to hackers. But I did have a local friend who used to come over and do a radio show sometimes. Great night of metal and Jack Daniels for us both.
What company broadcasted the stream, and how visible was the link or website for listeners to tune into? Was it live at that time or prerecorded?
It’s been so long that I can't remember the name of the company that supported the live stream. It was live and ran 24/7 unless the power or internet was out. The stream was right on the main page so people can get to it when they open the webpage. There were some pre-recorded shows uploaded.
Who was the friend you worked on the show with, and how would a typical session go? Did you ever consider hosting it solo or would you have to work with a second DJ?
My friend that did some show with me was a guy named David. He used that DJ name of Bonechild. We would just play random shit, whatever he wanted to play. However, I did have many shows I hosted. The certain show had a certain type of genre to follow.
What genre or genres were normally spotlighted on Blackened Horde Radio? Who were some of the bands Bonechild would play on the show?
Blackened Horde Radio featured many genres from Extreme Metal, Classic Rock, Hair Metal, Rock, Metal, Punk, Alternative, Grunge, Industrial, Unsigned, and Local bands and anything in between those lines. Bonechild would play a lot of the Florida extreme Metal bands and the popular ones like Cannibal Corpse and Deicide.
How many underground/unsigned bands were aired on the show, bands you couldn’t hear on other programs?
It really depended on the show for how many underground bands were played. I had a show just for underground bands. So however long the show was for it would play that many. I miss doing the shows.
Were any live performances aired on the show, or would you consider airing live shows if you were to start it up again?
Live shows wouldn't really be possible unless I got a bigger studio with more room. However, I have done a live interview with a band in the studio before.
Who was the band you interviewed live and when was the interview conducted? Would you do more live interviews today if you had the opportunity?
The band was called Vital Pain, which no longer exists. I have done others via Skype. I don't do them like that anymore either due to my schedule and the bands' schedule. But if I could I would.
How long have you worked for Crimson Moon Zine and how much does its format differ from Blackened Horde? Was anyone publishing it before you joined or is it yours?
Crimson Moon Zine only started maybe ten years ago. It's always been online, never a printed zine. No one published before me I started it. The format is any genre in the Rock/Metal categories, but no extreme Metal.
When was the latest issue of Crimson Moon released online, and what bands were interviewed?
There aren't any issues per se of Crimson Moon Zine. It's all under the same format as BHZ where it has “Current Interviews” and “Older Interviews” tabs. However, I recently did two interviews with bands Fore and Ted Axe. But as for older interviews for CMZ I have done Dream Aria, Killerfix, Lestat, Savage, Thirty Silver, Widows, and many more.
Does Crimson Moon have a staff of any kind or are you seeking writers to contribute as well as to Blackened Horde?
Well right now I have two writers interested in doing reviews however I have to go through files to see which is Crimson Moon material and which is Blackened Horde material.
Are you getting offers to write reviews or interviews for other webzines in recent months? Or are Blackened Horde and Crimson Moon your sole publications at present?
I always get emails from bands and labels for interviews and reviews. It's a never-ending process. And then sometimes I will contact a band.
What genres have you not covered in your zines, that you would consider expanding to in the future?
I think we covered every that I would cover between both zines. Its all in the Rock and Metal eras. We will never cover rap or pop types of genres because the readers wouldn't care.