By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Occult to the core.
Doom metal act Briton Rites aspire to create a Hammer Films-like atmosphere with their sound and do just that, as evidenced by their latest album release, ‘Occulte Fantastique.’
Briton Rites are guitarist/founder/lyricist Howie Bentley, vocalist Phil Swanson, drummer Corbin King and bassist John Leeson.
The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with Bentley about what they’ve been up to lately and more.
Music Bugle – How would you describe your newest music?
Howie Bentley – ‘Occulte Fantastique’ is a demonic homage to Black Sabbath and Witchfinder General.
Music Bugle – Which of your songs were the hardest to write?
Howie Bentley – None of them were hard to write. Music flows from me like a fountain.
Music Bugle – What has been your biggest challenge lately?
Howie Bentley – Having enough time to do everything I want to do. Musical ideas come to me constantly. I have two bands – Briton Rites and Cauldron Born, plus I write fiction. I’ve had to put my current novel on a backburner to work on a new Cauldron Born album.
Music Bugle – Does social media help or hurt musicians?
Howie Bentley – Social media, like anything else, is a double-edged sword. It is great for building and maintaining a fanbase, but it can also be very time-consuming.
Music Bugle – What do you hope for from the rest of 2021?
Howie Bentley – I hope to get two Cauldron Born recordings released and finish my Argantyr novel.
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need an escape?
Howie Bentley – I go riding with Argantyr Fenris. He is a barbarian swordsman I spin yarns about. Argantyr has an ensorcelled mantle that enables him to transform into a werewolf.
Music Bugle – What do you wish today’s music industry had more of?
Howie Bentley – Money.
Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?
Howie Bentley – When you find the Silver Key to the magick, you can’t stop. Here is the quote: “At night, when the objective world has slunk back into its cavern and left dreamers to their own, there come inspirations and capabilities impossible at any less magical and quiet hour. No one knows whether or not he is a writer unless he has tried writing at night,” by H.P. Lovecraft.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Howie Bentley – Mostly some prog/Zeuhl bands, like Shub-Niggurath, Archaia and Magma. I have Wagner-Overtures and Preludes – conducted by Sir Adrian Boult – in my car CD player right now. As far as metal, I find myself listening to more extreme metal, like Sathanas and Usurper. I have also been revisiting the first five Slayer albums lately while pounding down beers.
Music Bugle – What was the moment you knew you wanted to be a musician?
Howie Bentley – When I heard Randy Rhoads wailing on the first two Ozzy albums in the Autumn of 1981.