Satanic Warmaster are polarizing, even within the black-and-white world of black metal. On one hand, there is the music: cold, catchy, fiendishly-well-executed odes to Satan and darkness from the Finnish wilderness. On the other, there is the pervasive question about the project's rumored National Socialist political leanings. Are they or aren't they?

Noisecreep communicated with the Tyrant himself to get an answer, and was met with not only hostility, but ambiguity. Can the man who released a split with the notorious Aryan Blood and an album entitled 'Gas Chamber Kommando' -- who has also sampled Nazi rallies and written lyrics about the Third Reich -- be as innocent and apolitical as he claims?

Satanic Warmaster are regarded as a rather notorious National Socialist black metal band, and has released material with bands like Aryan Blood as well as totally non-political bands like Akitsa and Behexen. Where do you stand on that divide? Are Satanic Warmaster as you are today an NS band?

Every band with a serious agenda is political, no matter if their standpoint is racial, spiritual or whatever, or then on the other hand no band is political as you cannot label art that way. The 'NSBM' label has always come from the outside. I'd never call my music that.

Finally, a new full-length! What was the reason for the five-year gap between 'Nachzehrer' and your classic 'Carelian Satanist Madness'?

As with all my albums, I seek to rekindle the certain flame that makes the existence of Satanic Warmaster justified. It sought the perfect dismal atmosphere, the most cruel sound and all things surrounding them to be just the way I wanted them to be -- thus I took my time.

You've done a ton of splits, EPs, live releases, and compilations. Are you just constantly writing new material, or do you have a stockpile of songs written that you sift through to fit each new offer?

I don't think I've released that much, as most of the split releases are just a single song, etc. Creating my music has always been totally impulsive, and I constantly create new songs, of which most are always discarded. Naturally, from such an immense stream, a lot of is released as well. I doubt I'll do much split releases in the future, though. The whole point of split releases has gone through a total inflation in my eyes.

How do you split your time between Satanic Warmaster and your other project, Armour? Which one affords more of an emotional release for you? The catharsis of black metal, or the balls-out good time of heavy metal?

There's a time and a place for everything. Just like a man, I have different sides of me that certain aesthetics just aren't fit to reflect. Armour is a real band and Satanic Warmaster is just a musical project; there's a clear difference when you look at it.

What was the writing process like for 'Nachzehrer'? Did it come easily, or was it more of a difficult birth?

A lot of the material was started already before 'Carelian Satanist Madness,' but I re-wrote, re-recorded and perfected the album for a long time. There was no difficulty, only hard work to reach a result that would please me.

What other releases can we expect to see from Satanic Warmaster in the coming year?

There will be another rehearsal seven-inch later this year on Northern Heritage.