ACHERON is an American Death Metal/Black Metal band from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that was formed by Vincent Crowley in 1988. The band is named after the mythological river Acheron located in the underground kingdom of Hades in ancient Greek mythology. Acheron was founded in 1988 by vocalist/bassist/songwriter Vincent Crowley (formerly of Nocturnus, and leader of the satanic youth group “Order of the Evil Eye”), Acheron’s musical output is almost exclusively Satanic and anti-Christian in content. Early albums featured interludes by Peter H. Gilmore. Crowley was appointed a priest in the Church of Satan by its founder, Anton Szandor LaVey, and began spending a lot of his time debating local televangelists, limiting Acheron’s output for a time. He later disassociated himself from the church to act independently.
Grim Magazine: Longtime guitarist Michael Estes recently left the band and has been replaced by Life is Lost guitarist Stacey Connolly. How’s the transition and sharing Connolly with Life is Lost?
Vincent: It is actually going very well. We have worked out the live setlist with him and have even shown him many of the new songs we have been working on. Stacey has been doing a great job and has shown us tremendous dedication. He still works with Life is Lost, but he has made Acheron his first priority.
Grim Magazine: It seems that Vincent Crowley has been extremely busy with numerous projects in the 5 years between ‘Those Who Have Risen’ and ‘Rebirth: Metamorphosing into Godhood.’ Did the break really rejuvenate the band?
Vincent: Yes. It showed me how important Acheron really was to me. The response from the fans when we were broken-up was incredible. We have some true die-hard fans. Acheron is more driven than it has been in years. It is a great feeling.
Grim Magazine: Florida used to be the breed grounds for stellar American death metal in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Did the move from Florida to Ohio help Acheron? What’s happening down there these days? Does Ohio have a good extreme metal scene?
Vincent: No, I moved out of Florida because I needed a change. I moved up to Columbus, Ohio to live with a girl I was dating. The relationship didn’t work out, but I decided to stay anyways. The Columbus scene isn’t that good, but the one in Cleveland and Cincinnati is. Tampa has always had a large number of talented Metal musicians. And I’m sure it still does. But it is too fucking hot there! (laughs)
Grim Magazine: “Decade Infernus 1988-1998” will be out soon with 32 tracks from Acheron’s past. Will this give old fans what they want and hopefully will the band new fans?
Vincent: It is a way to give the fans over 2 hours of Acheron music from 1988-1998. No intros or anything else. Just Acheron music! All the songs have been re-mastered and put into a double-CD release that will be out on Black Lotus Records in June 2004. A must for fans old and new.
Grim Magazine: Cannibal Corpse’s “The Wretched Spawn” and your album, “Rebirth: Metamorphosing into Godhood,” have quite similar artwork. How did this happen? Do you think Acheron will be accused of copying Cannibal Corpse?
Vincent: I have no idea? That was a very weird coincidence. But Cannibal Corpse is in Florida and we are in Ohio. We haven’t seen each other for several years. As for us being accused of “copying” them, no I don’t think that will be a factor. Our album came out 2 or 3 months before theirs. And ours was delayed for several months. We had no idea about their artwork and I’m sure they had no idea about ours. It is just a strange coincidence.
Grim Magazine: An anti-organized religion band has a member leave an organized religion… this is a pretty hefty statement made by a band in a genre that embraces Satanic imagery. Do you think that Vincent Crowley’s split from the Church of Satan has brought the band attention?
Vincent: When I was a member of the Church of Satan, it was more of a Satanic Think-tank, than a “church”. But things were starting to change after Anton LaVey’s death; many of the newer members were making the COS feel like an organized church. So I decided to part ways. I feel no need for any groups or organizations. I still support Satanism but have no need to embrace any groups. Has it brought us some attention? Perhaps some, but not the kind that would make that big of a difference. I’m still basically the same individual, but I feel I have become a little more open-minded to other dark paths. “Do What Thou Wilt!”
Grim Magazine: It seems like keyboards and metal are becoming synonymous with the style of bands like Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth becoming quite popular. Now that Acheron is without keyboards, how will this affect the band?
Vincent: I think it fits the direction of the band. We have returned to our roots and want the stuff to sound more guitar-driven and heavy. You could say we are just following out blackened hearts. And we enjoy what we are creating. If people like our stuff, great, if not, Fuck off! (laughs) I do this band for myself and our fans. Fuck the media and the money-hungry corporate magazines.
Grim Magazine: What do you think about Christian extreme metal bands? It seems like Christian Metal would be an oxymoron.
Vincent: True. It does nothing for me, but they should have the right to express their views, just like us. I am against censorship or anything. I am totally against the Christian bullshit, but if someone really believes that stuff, let them do it. But you won’t have me buying their CD’s. (laughs) And I don’t think they will be buying mine. (laughs) I like listening to hatred and aggression, not love and peace.
Grim Magazine: Current and popular bands like Slipknot and H.I.M. are using and spouting “666” in their songs and on shirts. Do you think this cheapens the true meaning and impact of “666.” What about the number ‘9’?
Vincent: Not at all. I think getting symbols like that out to the public is great. I’d rather see a kid with a Slipknot “666” shirt, than them wearing some Limp Bizcut shit. The number “666” is the Christian’s symbol for the outcasts of the Beast. I wear my tattoo of it with pride. And you can rest assure Acheron merchandise will have “666” on it. And it is not meant to cheapen it, but to embrace it. As for the number “9”, that is indeed the most Satanic number. It always goes back to itself. Those who have read “The Satanic Rituals” by Anton LaVey know what I’m talking about. But let anyone spread the propaganda. Hail 666!
Grim Magazine: Do you ever think Acheron will get above a cult status in the states? Richard Christy used to be a member and now he has become well known for his work with Death and Iced Earth. Do you think fans will back-track his career and the members of Burning Inside and find Acheron and enjoy it?
Vincent: I’m not sure. I’m quite happy being a cult-status band. But sure, it would be great to have more people check out our music and perhaps get into it. But we are doing this band to create underground music, not become Rock Stars. The cool thing about Richard Christy is that he is a great drummer and has done some incredible things since Acheron, but he is still the same Richard we are all friends with. He deserves his success.
Grim Magazine: Okay, last question. How is the work on the next album, “Sanctum Regnum: The Predator Manifesto” coming along? What can we expect?
Vincent: Actually, it is coming along great. We have most of the foundation of all the songs done. Now we will start working on layering the music. We are sticking to the known Acheron format, yet journeying into some new elements. Our fans won’t be disappointed. The new album will be more based on the Satanic philosophy of a predatory life, than the demonic world. Very militant and apocalyptic. Acheron will be back, so beware! “Ad Maiorem Satanae Gloriam!”
Grim Magazine: Well, thanks a bunch for taking the time to talk to us.
Vincent: Thank you, man!
(1989) Acheron – Messe Noir
(1991) Acheron – Rites of the Black Mass
(1992) Acheron – Alla Xul (demo)
(1993) Acheron – Hail Victory
(1994) Acheron – Satanic Victory
(1994) Acheron – Lex Talionis
(1996) Acheron – Anti-God, Anti-Christ
(1998) Acheron – Those Who Have Risen
(2001) Acheron – Compendium Diablerie: The Demo Days
(2002) Acheron – Xomaly
(2003) Acheron – Rebirth: Metamorphosing Into Godhood
(2003) Acheron – Tribute to the Devil’s Music
(2009) Acheron – The Final Conflict: Last Days of God
(2014) Acheron – Kult Des Hasses
With: Vincent Crowley
Interview Date: May 12th, 2004
Years Active: 1989-2010, 2010-2016, 2017-present
Genre: Death Metal, Black Metal
Website: Band Website
Label: Listenable Records
Origin: United States
Reviewed by: Grim Magazine
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