Nocturnal Arsonists

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Emblazoned, burst onto the scene in 1999 and put out a demo in 2001 called Nocturnal Arsonist and then an ep in 2005 A Ceremony of Hellfire. This past year they unleashed a brand new incredible ep The Living Magisterium. The band incorporates killer blackened death metal with elements of thrash and some doom/death metal. I gave this ep high marks a while ago and think it’s fantastic. It’s really powerful and everything from the singing to amazing guitar riffs will stay embedded in your head for days on end. They hail from the midwest in the U.S. and anyone that knows anything about American death metal knows that some of the sickest and most depraved bands, as well as serial killers, come from this area. Kevin Forsythe is the guitarist for the band and I’ll forgive him for calling the Cowboys, the Cowgirls, since he’s a cool dude and sent this interview back to me quicker than Aaron Rodgers can say “My collarbone hurts”. My interview with him is below and be sure to pick up The Living Magisterium right after you read this.

With whom are we speaking with today and please share with us what you do in the band and how long have you been doing this for?

My name is Kevin Forsythe and I’m the guitar player in the band.  I started this as a one man band with a drum machine in 1999 so being doing this since then!

You guys have been around since 1999, so why has their never been a full length album and why did you opt to make The Living Magisterium, yet another ep and not a full length?  What has been going on in the band ranks?

Real reason is the time to put into the recording process.  Up until about a year ago this project was never intended on being a full band.  I was playing in other death metal and hardcore bands and when had time away from that would write for this because it was a lot different.  The current EP’s purpose was to kind of introduce this as a real band and see if anyone would be interested in what we were doing.

Are you a stable force now and are there plans to put out your first full length on Deepsend Records, possibly in 2014?

Yes we are currently recording a full length album at the time of this interview to follow up the EP.  We just finished all the drum tracking last night and its coming together well.  Would like to get the album out in early 2014 but see what happens for release date. Right now our focus is on making the album.

How does the newer material sound, as compared to your recent ep?

The new material is a lot more intense a little more of a challenge to play.  We have been listening to a lot of different styles of metal music and getting inspiration from that.  We kind of stepped up our personal expectations of the album to make this more fulfilling as a writer.  We didn’t want to do the exact same thing as the EP but we didn’t want to change our sound too much either.  I have not recorded my parts yet but if they come across the way I’m expecting them to this would be the most challenging material the band has produces thus far in the sense of song and chord structures.  Not trying to be a tech or prog band just trying to push our personal boundaries so we continue to grow as a band.

I mentioned in my review that there are early black metal influences to your sound, yet you also combine some doom/death elements, ala Asphyx, are you guys expanding on this type of sound?  I think it suits you guys; killer.

Yes we are expanding into other forms of metal and hoping to pull some of that into the mix.  I listen to a lot of old school stuff from my hey day so that will always make its way into the sound of the band.  Production wise the one thing that I try to strive for is to make it sound like people played on the album not machines.  Mainly because the other releases were obviously done with a drum machine and I want the band to contrast to that era.  Plus new death metal these days sounds fake – its brutal as hell but you know damn well the band didn’t pull it off to that level of tightness and if they did they hit like the drums / strings are made of glass.  I like to hear a band miss a mark or recover on a riff here and there.  To me that helps separate bands at the top of their game from the rest of the heap.  When you can recover flawlessly and not let a bump in the road shit the bed you are playing at a high level.

How is the ep being received right now?  How are the newer songs going over live?

Right now its going very well I did not expect to get very many reviews back on the EP.  Most people could care less about an EP and to get that many reviews and the majority of them very positive was surprising to me.  The whole point of the EP was to basically say hey this is a band now and here is what we are going to do.  If you are into it cool if not that’s cool too but this is what we plan on doing.

Explain to us how the scene has changed since 1999 and how the mid west scene differs from other death metal scenes in the U.S.?

Well times change and people change nothing you can do about that.  On one hand I’m very happy to have been apart of a scene that was proud that we were pushing boundaries and helping a new style get its foot hold (yeah I’m old!).  On the other at times I have a hard time relating to some of the new bands / new comers to the metal underground because their reasons / goals are not the same as mine were back when I was that age or now.  Right or wrong that’s going to happen as time goes on all you can do it roll with it and not let it get you down.  The mid west US has its die hard fans that truly live for the music with some douche bags mixed up in it as well – but that’s every scene in every town on the planet.  I consider us to be lucky and its a luxury to have a scene to play to.  The size of it to me is irrelevant the fact it exists and we are lucky enough to be apart of it in one way or another is the most important thing.

What is the album art concept?  I mentioned, in the review, the pope dude on the front resembled former U.S. President George W. Bush-take a look at it again-am I off base here?

You are the first one to say the cover guy looks like G.W. there was no plan to make that happen!  The title and cover was meant to be a tongue in cheek crack at established religion.  Its also kind of interesting that no one yet has kind of got the joke (not sure if that is a good thing or bad thing but what are you going to do I guess).  We call the guy on the cover “the Pope” for lack of better vocabulary and we wanted him to come across differently based on the interpretation one can make based off own thoughts / values.  When some people look at it they think he is releasing the demons to the world yet others can look at it and can say he is warding off the evil from the world.  That was the goal its up to you to decide.  My stance is to always feel free to ask the question I don’t really claim to have the answer but the questions has to be asked first.

What do you do in your spare time and do you go to shows still and support the scene?

I try to get out to as many shows as I can but I work a lot of hours a week and I miss more shows than I care to.  I try to support as much as I can especially the people that support the music that I also like.  I don’t expect everyone I know to show up to every show I play / put on so I understand its hard to get to them all but that in a way still makes it fun.  I never know who and how many people will show up to a show and that still makes it interesting.

When in a band, what is important to remember, when playing live, sharing equipment, writing songs etc…?

For playing a show don’t be a dick head and respect the other bands that are playing.  If you are going to loan someone equipment expect them to change your set up to match their sound / style don’t be a cock and freak out because your stuff got changed.  If you are a pro you should know how to put it back the way you like it in a manner of seconds.  On the flip side if the band that owns the gear is nice enough to loan it to you don’t be a wank and break it or do anything to possibly damage it.  When your set is over get your ass and your stuff off the stage as fast as possible (same goes for set up too).  To me this should be universal and kind of revolves around common sense but its crazy how many people don’t have it especially if there is a self conceived rock start in the ranks.

Any shows planned or maybe a mini-tour?

Yes we are working on booking some shows for 2014 and hope to be able to support the full length album as much as possible next year.

What and who are some of your influences and how do you feel you have developed as a musician over time?

My biggest influence comes from bands that have been doing this since 1990 and still have the drive to continue.  This is not easy and if it was everyone would do it.  You really have to love the music to keep pushing forward for years at a time.  Anyone can write and album get it out and do a tour but to do this consistently for years and years that’s what separates the truly dedicated people from those that are treating it like a band camp vacation.  My writing style has changed over the years and I hope it will continue to change because to me its important to continue to develop over time.  Some people who know me will laugh at that because I have a tendency to never change gear.  That’s not what I’m talking about once you get equipment that works don’t fool with it I’m talking about listening to other ideas when it comes to writing music you have to keep an open mind to the writing process.

Are you upset that Aaron Rodgers fractured his collarbone recently and how do you think my Dallas Cowboys will fare against the Packers on Dec. 15?  Were you a huge Brett Favre fan and how does he compare to Rodgers?

Well I love to talk about football and I can do this for hours at a time.  I’m not happy that Rogers is hurt but we should not suck as bad as we do with out him.  Rogers doesn’t play defense, is not a running back or a lineman.  All those guys should be just fine and we should be able to put any one in as the QB and still get positive production but that’s just me I guess.  I’m not a Cowgirls fan by any means but I will cheer for big D when they play our divisional rivals…..that’s about it!  I was a Favre fan but he shit on his legacy so bad I don’t think he will ever recover from it.  Compare him to Rogers to me that’s hard to do.  Rogers is a great QB plays very smart but Favre was all about guts and playing on feel those are opposite styles and hard to compare who was right or better.

 Any final thoughts/comments for our readers?

Thank you for the interview and for continuing to support underground metal.  If anyone would like to get more info on the band please go to our links.  Thank you for taking the time to read this if you would like to contact the band directly send us a msg via and please also continue to support underground metal!


  1. Commented by: E. Thomas

    really enjoyed Enfold Darkness’s stuff. Ill have to check these guys out

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