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Harakiri For The Sky: The story behind Mære

Harakiri For The Sky press portrait
(Image credit: Anne C. Swallow)

In an exclusive interview for Louder, we catch up with Matthias and JJ from Austrian post-black metal band Harakiri For The Sky about their sixth and latest album, Mære.

Since their formation in 2011, the duo have continually pushed the sound of gothic melancholic soundscapes into a black metal framework, becoming one of the most respected bands in the metal underground in the process. Mære continues this trend over ten sprawling, anthemic tracks. 

In this interview we talk to the pair about the inspiration for their sound – from the classic heavy metal of Slayer, Black Sabbath and Metallica, to the brooding, atmospheric influence of post-punk and shoegaze. With Mære having a runtime that clocks in at close to the 90-minute mark, they also explain why they refuse to compromise their art by shortening it, and why a producing a lengthy and involving album is a fundamental element of Harakiri For The Sky’s artistic vision. We also talk about the effect of the Covid-19 global pandemic on the band, and how they have coped and operated during the last year whilst unable to perform in the usual way.

It’s rare for a band to get a decade into their career and still just be reaching their creative peak, but with Mære, Harakiri For The Sky have hit new heights within their discography. This is an album destined to be their magnum opus. 

Stephen Hill

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.