Interview with ‘Kjetil [Martyr] Molnes’


The birth of northern Europe’s Christian extreme metal scene can be attributed to one main act, Antestor. Appropriately meaning “witness” in Latin, the band began its crusade using this name back in 1992. However, then they had already released a demo, using the moniker Crush Evil. Crush Evil started out in 1990. Producing their groundbreaking brand of black sorrow metal, they led the hordes of light to penetrate the darkness and hatred of the then prevalent Norwegian black metalinner circle. The intrusion was not taken kindly, standing up for their faith in Life and Hope.

Their first official album was put out on Cacophonous Records, famed for spawning such names as Cradle Of Filth and Dimmu Borgir to the masses. But when the owners of this label figured out what Antestor sing about, and what they stand for, the band got fired, later ending up on the Swedish label Endtime Production. Below an interview with original vocalist Kjetil [Martyr] Molnes.

Greetings Kjetil.Well, what you been up to lately

Sorry to that I’ve been singing. I’m currently working at Staples

Going back a little in time, the beginning of Antestor?  Do you have memories of recording of the demo tapes?

Not many but some. We were in i little studio North of Oslo. Used a friend called Bjørn Leren (Look on youtube “Bjorn Leren”:)) as solo gitarist on the Norwegian psalm.

We heard news what happened in those early years, threats to the lives of band members. It was something real?

We got a letter in 1992, proclaiming that only crazy people that use knifes on themselves on stage can play this kind of music. Stating Hail Satan and such. But there were no real death threats. One time someone said that there were some finish band that used our demo cover up side down. But we did not see it.

How did the members of the church thought about Antestor? Did they understood the evangelistic proposal of the band? What church do you attend and what you are currently attending? 

Well our local church supported us. Didn’t like the music but they understood. Later we attended Vineyard. …..There were some ladies in a prayer group 2 floors above from where we were practising, that suddenly came down started crying and said “I don’t understand, what is this. This is terrible” …something like that……  Another time we played in a “Norwegian music challenge” there were someone from another church there who became angry or something (probably because they thought the same as the one who sent us that letter). ….

BUT in the middle of all this there was a man that also went to Vineyard that felt The Holy Spirit while we were playing.
First he saw us backstage and thought we were some regular black metal band, but when we started playing he felt the presence of The Holy Spirit and he said it was strange to first see us and then feel what he did…
After that he fully understood that God could use us as well…
Currently I’m attending Storsalen in Oslo…

…. at the challenge we played “Sovereign Fortress”..

“Martyrium” is an album beloved by many fans, especially for the vocal performance. As the band got to this stage sound, and what happened after that the next release was more focused on black metal?

Martyrium was inspired by death doom metal. Too often vocals have the same sound on all songs.

We/I liked different sounds that should mirror the feel in every lyric. Hence the little changes in sound on each track.
The changes to black was because black metal became more popular. We wanted to follow the “trend”.

And because of that my vocals changed from that deep grunch vocal.

Return of the black death “is surrounded by numerous legends, mysteries.etc… The label really hurt you? Why does the album not have a good sound quality? Even the demo’s have more quality. Do you remember the number of copies sold?

Well …we used a bad studio. Sorry, we really didn’t get any good sound… (sovereign fortress was the closest to what we wanted I suppose.) the label hurt us and just had to sign us… He could not stop listening too it he said…. I’m not sure how many copies we sold, but we did not hear anything more from them. I suppose they got threats because he signed a Christian band on a so called “black metal label”. BUT we do not know.

Your favorite songs from Antestor, what are they?

Human, Spiritual Disease, Depressed, Mercy Lord, A Sovereign Fortress, Sorg

What led you to separate the group?

Woman trouble I’m sorry to say. It should not happen, but when you dealing with a crazy person and feelings and such, there’s nothing you can do.

What is your opinion about “The Forsaken”? It is a great album, but for me it would be even better if you sing.


Lost the Antestor feel. But that might be me and what I feel, because I’m not in the vocal

After Antestor, do you had some involvement in/with music?


I have not been involved in any kind of music after Antestor. But who knows the future ?

Thank you for the opportunity to interview him.Leave a message for our readers.Peace!
When trouble comes your way, do not forget that The Lord will help you the way he chooses. It might not be the way you want to, but as usual he knows best. Just DO NOT turn your back on him.. Thanks for reading my words… God Bless you all 🙂

Martyr vocals Antestor  (1991-2000)
1991 The Defeat of Satan (Demo)
1993 Despair (Demo)
1994 Martyrium
1994 Antestor (Demo)
1996  Northern Lights (Split)
1998 The Return of the Black Death
1998 Kongsblod (Demo)

“Interview originaly published in Extreme Brutal Death #21

Translated by Marllon Matos

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