Interview: Chris Long from Beleth, Australia (Death / Groove Metal)

Aussie 2-piece band Beleth released their debut album Silent Genesis on the 25th of June 2021. Chris Long, who handles the music, took some time to chat with Steve O’Brien from Aeons Abyss – here is the interview.

Introduce yourself, who is in your band, and when did you first start?

At the moment we’re a two-piece recording collab, with myself doing the instruments & mixing, and Seb (band Metallum link) doing the lyrics & vocals. We started out at the beginning of the whole Covid debacle in early 2020. I’d had a few songs written and recorded for years, but could never find someone who was able to record vocals, or committed enough, and then also a vocal style that suited! Seb sent through a demo and I thought it sounded awesome. So from then he recorded vocals for the few old songs I had written, and after those we dove straight into writing the album. At the moment we’ve got some other guys who are learning the songs to get a full line-up together, so hopefully we’ll be able to play some shows toward the end of the year as well.

Beleth” sounds nice and evil.  How did you come up with the name and can you tell us what it means?

It’s probably cheesey as fuck but I don’t care, I love the weird shit. ​In demonology Beleth is the 13th Spirit Of Solomon, a king of Hell who has 85 legions of demons under his command. He supposedly rides a pale horse and music is heard before him. I found the name just searching through demon and spirit names looking for something that suited the dark kinda songs we were doing, and something that sounded cool for a band name. Beleth was one of them, so we decided on that. The idea for the intro track ‘Thirteenth Spirit‘ and the outro ‘Denouement‘ was how I imagined the music would sound that came before Beleth on his horse. I’ve always loved creepy, haunting, morbid, demon shit type shit, ever since I was a kid. 

Your debut album “Silent Genesis” released on June 25th, 2021.  What are 3 things we need to know about this release, and tell us about the name of the album?

Well it’ll be released this June 25th as both CD and digital download through Wormholedeath Records. It’ll be distributed throughout Australia, USA, Europe and Japan via their affiliation with Aural Music Group (AMG) and Orchard Music Inc. (Sony Music). There’ll also be a limited run of CD’s printed by partner label’s Narcoleptica Productions and Scorched Earth Records. We’ll be running some discounted pre-order’s via Bandcamp between now and then too!
As for the album name, that’s Seb’s domain. In his words it’s sort of a duality. The beginning of us as a band and coming together and making our first album, hence ‘genesis’. The fictional story behind it is the birth of evil and how generally an evil force or entity comes into existence slowly and builds its power undetected. It happens with everything and anyone in life. The same as cancer sometimes spreads quietly and undetected, does its damage, but then it’s too late.

What is your favourite track and why? 

My favourite one to play would have to be Black Speech I think. The slower headbanging type start that goes intro that mid-tempo change for the outro and solo.

Who did your album artwork and what is the story behind the image? 

That cover artwork image was by Rotted Artist. The rest of the booklet art and layout was done through the label. There’s no meaning or story behind it. We just thought it looked cool and suited the music.

You recorded and mixed your own album.  How was this process?

Painful, haha. Nah, I enjoyed it, most of the time. For me I basically build a song around a single guitar riff. Whether it becomes the main verse riff, chorus riff, interlude riff, whatever. Then I’ll build each section around that. Once I have the idea of how the entire song will go, I record a rough guitar scratch track to a metronome. Then I’ll use that to lay down the drums, then bass guitar, then all the final guitar tracks recorded afterwards. Once they’re all recorded and I’ve done a rough mix, I’ll flick it off to Seb so he can start writing his lyrics and vocals. Once he’s done that, he’ll record each vocal track, send them to me, and I’ll do the editing on them, and then add them in to do the final mixing. And then it’s me sitting up all night drinking beer and listening to the mix maybe 8000 times in a row to tweak and change and EQ everything until we’re happy with it.

How did you settle on a Mastering Engineer, and what did they bring to the end product of your music?

I just did a Google search for metal mastering studios and Colin Davis from Imperial Mastering popped up. I’d seen his name previously on other albums. He’s also the guitarist in the band Vile. He was really good to work with. He replied to emails quickly, his samples he initially done of one of our songs sounded good, so we decided to go with him. I’d recommend him to anyone.

What other bands would potential listeners of your album enjoy?

This is a tough one. But I think people may enjoy our songs if they’re into Carcass, Kataklysm, Lamb Of God, Devildriver. I like to write songs that can be a bit catchy and have a bit of a groove, so people who like that in their death metal could be interested in our songs.

Tell us an unusual fact, or one funny story about your band

In some of Seb’s vocal tracks I would sometimes have to edit out sounds that his baby would make in the background. At the end of the song “First Born” I edited one in there, just for shits and giggles.

What have you got coming up in the next 6 -12 months?

We’re planning on re-recording some of our original demos later in the year. Then we’ll start working on a new album. But during that hopefully we’ll play a few shows towards the end of the year as well. See what happens.

What is it like being a Metal Musician in Australia?

I suppose metal has a wider following in some other countries, and metal shows are probably more regular and accessible. But I guess getting songs out there now as a band is easier with the streaming services and digital downloads and whatnot, regardless of where you’re from. But as for metal gigs, where I’m from in regional QLD anyway, they’re about as rare a rocking-horse shit. Sydney though, where Seb is from, is probably a different story. I don’t know exactly. They’d definitely be more regular than where I’m from anyway…

About Steven - Aeons Abyss 42 Articles
I do the music for the band Aeons Abyss, and also co-host The Metal Podcast on Spotify. I have been into Metal since the mid-80s, growing up in country Victoria, Australia. Some of my favourite bands from back in the day include Morbid Angel, Slayer, Obituary, Bolt Thrower, King Diamond, Megadeth, Sabbat and Iron Maiden. I am a massive fan of Aussie Metal, and underground metal in general, and for me, nowadays the scene is very much akin to the tape trading days when metal first started; but instead of tapes we have Bandcamp, websites like Noob Heavy, and Social Media platforms. These are the tools to network with other underground metal bands and metal fans from all over the world. A little about my band: Aeons Abyss formed in 2017 and we play our own brand of Death Thrash Metal. Our music is on all streaming platforms and Bandcamp, where we also sell our merch directly to fans. Also, our lyrics are a very important component of our music, so much so that our vocalist is known as "Death Metal Poet".

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