STREAMING: Unreleased Killing Joke — “Timewave”

By: justin.m.norton Posted in: featured, listen, tours On: Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

KILLINGJOKE_110313_891_COLOUR

It’s going to be a busy spring for Killing Joke. They’ll be touring North America and elsewhere and releasing an omnibus of singles from their storied career, which includes a disc of rarities. Super deluxe packages are still available here and the three-disc set is available here.

Decibel scored an exclusive peek at “Timewave,” an unreleased demo from the Absolute Dissent sessions included on the rarities disc. Take a listen below:

The Singles Collection: 1979-2012 will be available digitally on April 30th; CDs go on sale May 14. Killing Joke will be coming to a town near you very soon. Go see them.

April:

Fri 19th US Irving Plaza, New York NY
Sat 20th US Paradise, Boston
Sun 21st US Union Transfer, Philadelphia
Tue 23rd Can Cafe Campus, Montreal PQ
Wed 24th Can Lee’s Palace, Toronto ONT
Fri 26th US Empty Bottle, Chicago IL
Sat 27th US Empty Bottle, Chicago IL
Tue 30th US Neumos, Seattle WA

May:

Wed 1st US Rickshaw Theatre, Vancouver, BC
Fri 3rd US Fillmore, San Francisco, CA
Sat 4th US Brick By Brick , San Diego, CA
Sun 5th US Henry Fonda Los Angeles CA

VIDEO PREMIERE: Negator Studio Report 2013

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, videos On: Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

negator_blackmetal_decibel_2013

The Negator monikor sounds like a Decepticon from Transformers, but musically the Hamburg-based black metal quintet are as vicious as they are obscure. Go on, tell us you’re a fan. Anyway, across three well-received traditional full-lengths, Negator has earned a small yet ardent following. Led by frontman Nachtgarm—who also served time in Dark Funeral following the departure of Emperor Magus Caligula in 2010—it looks like 2013 may be the year of German black metal. On a license from Viva Hate—the same label responsible for rad wooden box sets by Enslaved, Agalloch, Pelican, etc.—to U.S. based Prosthetic, Negator’s crossing the Atlantic in saturnine style, with the release of new album, Gates To The Pantheon coming this May.

To underscore Negator’s new album, we’ve obtained a sweet German-language studio report through ritualistic sacrifice to gods under the mantle. If you don’t understand the native tongue of Negator, well, just click the “CC” button on the Youtube player to enable English subtitles. What you’ll glean from reading the subtitles and hearing snippets of Gates To The Pantheon blast through your tiny laptop speakers is Negator’s imminent domination of extremely extreme things. That it was recorded and produced by Gamma Ray guru Eike Freese at Hammer Studios should be a sign Negator aren’t too concerned with “trooisms” and atavistic expectations.

negator_gatestothe_decibel_2013

** Negator’s new album, Gates To The Pantheon, is out May 15th on Prosthetic Records.

Dirk Verbeuren (Soilwork) interviewed

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, interviews On: Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

soilwork_deathmetal_decibel_2013

First of all, are you crazy? A double album in 2013?
Dirk Verbeuren: [Laughs] We kind of thought that at first, too. Speed [Strid] had come up with that idea. That’s something he had wanted to do. In his head he’s like, “I wanna do a double album.” When he first told us he wanted to do that during our summer festivals in 2011—David [Andersson] was already on board—we told him, “It’s never gonna work, man.” Eventually, we warmed up to the idea. The material just came together, so we thought, “Let’s do it.” It’ll be a statement. We were having a blast making the record. Everything went so smoothly.

So, the idea came before the music?
Dirk Verbeuren: Yeah, it wasn’t the case where we had a bunch of music. We had to come up with a bunch of interesting songs to where we could make it good. If that wasn’t the case, then we would’ve never done a double album.

There’s not really a dead song on the album. Pretty impressive.
Dirk Verbeuren: Hopefully not. [Laughs] Everyone will have an opinion about that, I guess. We tried to make it strong and interesting throughout. A rollercoaster kind of thing. I personally like albums where there’s surprises happening. Especially with a band like us it’s a strong point of ours. With a double album, there are songs on the album that might’ve not made the cut if we only had an option to do an album with 10 or 12 songs. Sven’s [Karlsson] songs, which are “Memories Confined” and “Owls Predict, Oracles Stand Guard,” are pretty different from what we usually do. Same thing with the instrumental.

The last five tracks on disc 2 are really strong. Was there a lot of time spent on sequencing?
Dirk Verbeuren: Absolutely! That was, in our mind, a really key thing to do. Speed made up a list. Then, I started working with it. That’s kind of what we settled on. I find, for myself, when you’re part of the recording or creating it’s hard to figure out what people are going to get into. “Parasite Blues,” a lot of people they like that song. It’s second to last on the album. Position 19. The most important thing [is] you can listen to it without falling asleep. Some people probably will. What are you going to do? [Laughs]

There really isn’t a lull. A rollercoaster, as you said.
Dirk Verbeuren: Well, we finished 25 tracks. One of the things we wanted to see when putting it together was atmosphere. That’s why some of the tracks are tucked aside for the time being. We just wanted a nice ride; things keep happening, things keep [being] interesting. When we wrote this album, we really had an open mind. That started on The Panic Broadcast. We were like, “Fuck it! We’re not going to have any limitations or pre-conceived notions of what is or isn’t Soilwork.” With this one, we took that to the next level. We included everybody’s stuff. We have Sven’s songs on there. Sylvain [Coudret] has a different writing style. Hopefully, it makes for a really good thing.

But it’s still completely Soilwork.
Dirk Verbeuren: It’s our ninth album. We have to be able to go to different places. But we do have a strong identity. As musicians, we have strong identities. But if you have a good song and Speed puts vocals on it, it’s going to sound like Soilwork. Like a song “Owls Predict…” pushes the boundaries of what Soilwork is. That’s really good.

Right. There are different things happening. Counter melodies, atonal sounds, different textures, stuff that’s pretty harsh for Soilwork. Is that Scarve coming into the songwriting picture?
Dirk Verbeuren: Yeah, well, with The Living Infinite I had the most creative freedom I’ve ever had. A lot of the Soilwork demos were very unfinished. David’s demos were very unfinished, mostly just guitars or programmed drum beats. He’s like, “He’s my stuff. Add what you want.” All [members of] the band were very open to me doing what I do best. It allowed me to go, “Ah, I’ll put this beat there. That beat here.” I had that in the past, but not to the same extent. Peter Wichers would write songs that were almost finished. He’s very good at programming drums. He has a clear vision of the songs, so you can’t really go in and change his vision too much. This time around, there was a lot of more input from myself, and a lot of the other band members, which is probably what you’re hearing.

The added features or input from other members are very subtle. They blend in. It adds a lot of depth to the sound.
Dirk Verbeuren: That’s definitely what we were going for. Having layers. If it didn’t have a purpose it wouldn’t be on the album. That’s how we felt. We had an open mind. There was a time, admittedly, when certain members of the band—who are no longer with us—pushed for a very radio friendly sound, “Let’s tone it down a bit. Let’s be more direct.” Shorter songs. I, for one, grew up with pop music, but my favorite band is Napalm Death, so that tells you something. For me, I never wanted the radio friendly thing to be omnipresent. I wanted things to be happening, crazy drums and all that. I’m a lot more comfortable with what started on The Panic Broadcast.

Is that something that will continue on follow-up albums?
Dirk Verbeuren: If I have a say, yeah! [Laughs] Even more! I’d like to push the boundaries. Some people have said The Living Infinite is encompasses everything we’ve done before and if that’s true—it’s hard for us to see that though—then we should now move ahead. That would be my logical thinking for the next one. We’re not going to alienate anybody. I’d like to explore more.

Most bands by their eighth or ninth album want to constrict. To play slower or more economically. The Living Infinite feels like the opposite of that. It’s consistent but not an easy listen.
Dirk Verbeuren: We’re regretting that now. We have to play that shit live. [Laughs] We’re not getting any younger. “Oh, great! Now I have to play these parts live. Awesome.” As far as drumming is concerned, I’m always wanting to play the craziest shit possible. When you’re writing or in the studio, you’re experimenting. Sometimes, it’s like, “Holy shit! How am I going to play that?!” But that’s how you get better. It’s a challenge.

Were there areas you didn’t want to go in?
Dirk Verbeuren: No, we really tried to finish up everything that came up.

Like the acoustic intros and stuff like that?
Dirk Verbeuren: Some of that stuff came in later during writing process. Those intros I discovered after I got the final mix. I had a bunch of shit going on, so I wasn’t in the studio with the rest of the guys after I did my drums. As far as the music or songs go, we had 27. We cut one at one of the last rehearsals, just before I started recording. It was kind of lackluster. Another, I recorded the drums for it, but we didn’t end up finishing it. Some people weren’t feeling it as a Soilwork song. We recorded 25 songs.

So, 25 songs. That’s three albums! Does The Living Infinite count as more than one album on your contract?
Dirk Verbeuren: It’s one album, you know. They [Nuclear Blast] were really stoked about that idea when it came up, which we didn’t how they’d feel about it. They instantly felt it was a spotlight on the band. They really trusted us. Peter wasn’t in the band anymore. He was the main songwriter. But they trusted us. As far as the format is concerned, it’s something that sets us apart, which can’t be a bad thing in this day and age. Anything to set us apart. And it wasn’t a forced thing either. The recording session wasn’t difficult. It was intense. But we were having fun the whole time.

Any covers?
Dirk Verbeuren: Ah, no. Even though I’ve done covers in the past, I don’t think Soilwork should be doing covers. Personally. We shouldn’t be doing that now. A lot of metal covers are cheesy. Sure, some people in the band would be pushing for something different, but not sure it’ll work in Soilwork. I mean, one of the first albums I ever bought was Prince’s Purple Rain. I was probably 9 years old, at the time. I’m a huge Prince fan. I went to see him live a few years ago for the first time. So, I can see the idea of covering a song, but we have our own thing going on.

So, 25 songs. No covers. No filler. Pretty incredible.
Dirk Verbeuren: I’ll be honest I had my doubts when it first came up. I didn’t think we could write that much good music for a double album. It’s not easy. David was really prolific. Speed worked his ass off on writing. Sylvain and Sven brought some songs in. I wrote a song, which is one of the bonus tracks. That’s the first time I had written a Soilwork track A-to-Z. We all just started working. David is amazing. He’s an amazing guitarist. He has a lot of experience writing music and lyrics for different genres in Sweden.

You kind of reined in the Helloween factor, if you know what I mean.
Dirk Verbeuren: I agree. The vibe from the earlier records is back. There’s melancholic guitar work. Speed and David have that vibe. That kind of got lost along the way.

More Americanisms were being put into the music.
Dirk Verbeuren: Yeah, that’s where we were at. You know how it is in bands. There’s always different opinions. But it was time to refocus. I’ve always been one for—look at Scarve!—busy guitars and crazy drum breaks and what not. It’s the album I’m most happy with. Even though I do like Stabbing the Drama for what it is. We have absolute anthems on that record. If we don’t play the title track live people would kill us. At the same time, it’s good to be back.

Given double the work, do you have double the expectations?
Dirk Verbeuren: [Laughs] I’m realistic. It’s a tough industry right now. We’ll see what happens. The fact that I can go on the road and play anywhere is a big reward for me. We had heard that were #60 on Billboard [Top 200], which is amazing. That’s the highest Soilwork has ever been. That’s great! It’d be nicer to be bigger. At the same time, I’m not dissatisfied with where we’re at.

** Soilwork’s new album, The Living Infinite, is out now on Nuclear Blast Records. Order it HERE or I’ll come to your house and play “Gangnam Style” on repeat. Clockwork Orange style.

** Visit and LIKE Soilwork on Facebook. They post awesome stuff about Soilwork. And Dirk’s beard.

Happy Passover! Here’s Some Free Crap

By: Jeff Treppel Posted in: featured, free, listen On: Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Creeping Death

Fountains of blood, hordes of locusts, the Angel of Death cutting a swath through the male population: Passover is definitely the most metal of the Jewish holidays. In celebration of the religious observance that inspired “Creeping Death,” I’m pleased to offer some pretty rad Bandcamp downloads that are either completely free or “name your price” (in which case, toss them some shekels). Leavened bread may be forbidden, but headbanging isn’t!

Crumbling Ghost – Crumbling Ghost

I’m pretty sure crumbling isn’t a thing that ghosts do. Haunting, sure. Trying to avenge their untimely deaths, of course. Watching you in the shower? Well, I guess it depends on the ghost. Still, crumbling seems low on the list of activities that an incorporeal being would participate in. Ghosts also don’t normally rock out killer psychedelic doom, but this one does. I suppose that anything’s fair game at that point. Nuggets of post-rock, prairie psych, and old-school doom mix into this ectoplasm soup, and while that sounds disgusting, it works out pretty well.

http://witheredhandrecords.bandcamp.com/album/crumbling-ghost

anonymous4132 – 薔薇乙女 Rozen Maiden guitar covers

Because what’s more metal than guitar shred covers of songs from an anime series about adorable living dolls? Our anonymous benefactor does a pretty good job of translating orchestral pieces into compositions for nerd with guitar. Next step would probably be to put that talent towards original tunes, but hey, there’s a whole industry in Japan for this stuff. In the meantime, I couldn’t find any other things like this available on Bandcamp, so dude has that market to himself.

http://anonymous4132.bandcamp.com/

Arsenal of Empties – Arsenal of Empties

Crust punk from Canada! And here I thought that was a clean country. No, apparently they also have filthies stinking up their equivalent of VFW halls. Arsenal of Empties does nothing new, but they do it well. 11 songs in only slightly more minutes, this will pretty effectively scratch any itch you might have to listen to this stuff, and maybe even dampen the urge to grow dreadlocks and sew an Amebix patch to the back of your suit jacket.

http://moshpittragedy.bandcamp.com/album/arsenal-of-empties

BONUS TRACK:

Floor – Floor

Before there was Torche, there was Floor. A much more sludgy proposition, you can still see the ace songwriting skill and melodic sensibility they would bring to their more successful successor. There’s an eight CD box set with everything they ever recorded, but if you just want to hear their sole full-length album, here you go. Totally free!

http://undercityrecords.com/album/s-t-2

Exclusive Stream: Oniricous

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: featured, listen On: Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

death

Razorback Records is calling the upcoming Oniricous album Ritos Diabolicos a “masterpiece of total HORROR FUCKING DEATH!” and in order to back that claim up the label has graciously sent along the track “Astrofobos” for this exclusive Decibel stream. It’s pretty goddamned convincing testimony!

Below is a bit more info from the Razorback press materials. Check out another track after the jump.

These Spanish demons play some of the absolute finest European Death Metal we have heard, conjuring up riff after riff of pure heaviness, speed, and horrific evil! Inspired by a love for pure horror themes, Lovecraft, and performed by real old-school maniacs from the actual old days!The album was recorded and mixed at Moontower Studios in Spain, and features amazing cover artwork from a true MASTER of horror, the one and only Esteban Maroto from the classic 70′s CREEPY and VAMPIRELLA horror magazines!

VIDEO PREMIERE: THE MOTH GATHERER “A Falling Deity”

By: jonathan.horsley Posted in: featured, videos On: Monday, March 25th, 2013

PROMO THG

Courtesy of the good people of Agonia Records, welcome to what is definitely the closest the Deciblog gets to a red carpet event: The Internet premiere of Swedish experimental post-metallers The Moth Gatherer’s video for “Falling Deity”.

The track is culled from their forthcoming debut LP, Bright Celestial Light, a dynamic and genre-unspecific album that calls to mind Cult of Luna, Neurosis and Isis at their more reflective, and suchlike. And while it sure feels like a cop-out to label The Moth Gatherer experimental, they themselves admit that the band/project is an experiment, having formed in 2008 just to see what’d happen before getting serious a couple of years later.

Certainly, riffs are rationed in favor of somnambulant atmospheres and frigid melancholy. Co-founder Alex Stjernfeldt says: “We just want our music to be an emotional explosion. A lot of the songs are about death, missing people you loved who have passed away and losing hope in mankind. We want the music to make you feel like you can move mountains with it. I wish that when people hear our music, they start to dream away.”

In the case of “Falling Deity”, the clock ticking in the background is surely a nod to Pink Floyd. But the video’s treatment is harder to call. It kind of makes us think of Lars von Trier cutting a really weird Sparks video — Stjernfeldt and Victor Wegeborn in shirt and ties, a murder/suicide bathroom scene, a moustache . . . But then, it’s been a long day already.

Anyway, popcorn, Kool-Aid at the ready, no cigarette burns in the red shag pile please. Here is The Moth Gatherer “A Falling Deity” in HD/1080p. Directed and produced by Tommy Pederson.

**The Moth Gatherer Bright Celestial Light is out April 16th . There will be a vinyl edition with alternative artwork, limited to 300 hand-numbered copies. and you can order it from Agonia here.
**The Moth Gatherer on Facebook.

STREAMING: Soen “Savia”

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listen On: Monday, March 25th, 2013

soen_progressiverock_decibel_2013

When drummer Martin Lopez bowed out of Opeth at the group’s high water mark, people thought he was nuts. Turns out he just wanted to find himself, and aiding him on that journey is new (well, not so new if you’re European) “heavy” progressive act, Soen. Formed by Lopez and guitarist Kim Platbarzdis about six years ago, the duo brought on vocalist Joel Ekelöf and superstar bassist Steve DiGiorgio to fill out the lineup. No where near Opeth—probably good for Lopez’s “move on” philosophy—Soen, which means “nothing” according to the skinsman, is closer to A Perfect Circle and Tool; the music a stutter-step, quick-shutter type of “heavy” with radio rock sensibilities. To be fair, it was mixed by Tool sound guru David Bottrill, so the similarities aren’t unfounded, but it’s highly doubtful Soen will saddle next to Tool or A Perfect Circle staples on the radio station you never listen to, except to hear Howard Stern-esque exploits of porn stars and gone-wrong strippers.

As for Cognitive, we’d be remiss in mentioning it actually hit shelves (and Youtube) last year. Things being as they are in labeldom—most notably at Spinefarm’s ivory tower superiors Universal—Cognitive is just now seeing light of day in North America, with a domestic price tag to match. To make hay over a band like Soen is something we do best, so we’re premiering (loosest sense, really) the album capper, “Savia.” Go ahead. Take the Soen journey.

Oh, and if you think you’ll never see Soen in the flesh, well, the group are keen to hit U.S. cities at some point: “I have very positive memories from the crowds over there and would really like to tour in the U.S. with Soen; that is one of our priorities and I hope the opportunity comes sooner than later,” says Lopez to the Deciblog.

** Soen’s new album, Cognitive, is out this summer on Spinefarm Records. We recommend picking it up to hear Lopez’s sassy beats and DiGiorgio’s silky lines. Unless you’d rather pick up that lackluster Ashes Divide record from a few years back. The single’s OK, but the rest? Pretty boring. So, there you go, Soen or boredom.

For Those About to Squawk: Waldo’s Pecks of the Week

By: andrew Posted in: a fucking parrot previewing new releases, featured On: Friday, March 22nd, 2013

image

What’s up? Getting spring fever? I know I am. Your boy Waldo here pecking out all the new metal releases, so let’s fly right into it, shall we?

WARBEAST‘s Destroy: wow, this thing is old-school brutal thrash. I mean, that’s all I can say about it. Featuring Bruce Corbitt from Rigor Mortis, one can easily draw parallels to RM, but the fact remains this thing is good. This is no trend-jumping, retro party, thrash revival thing; just tough-ass old-school thrash. Produced and released by Phil Anselmo on Housecore Records, my one complaint would be that the drums sound a little too processed, but everything else has life and rips. Do yourself a favor and go beaking get this. This does indeed destroy. 8 Fucking Pecks.

SUICIDAL TENDENCIES. This is called 13 and is a horrible piece of crap. I mean, really, who needs another ST record? And another crappy one at that? I mean the “single” from this is called “Cyco Style,” and you can imagine the poetry of the lyrics that Muir can conjure up on that track. Fuck this. 1 Fucking Peck.

Hippo

Slightly better than the previous record I reviewed, Second Coming by STRYPER (the hottest chicks in metal) is coming out. Ah, who am I kidding? This is watered-down hard rock at best. It just sucks; hopefully Jesus WILL come back and tell these pansies to cut it the peck out. Keep praying, guys–maybe god will answer your prayers and you may actually release a good record, but I doubt it. 1 Fucking Peck.

Spanish deathsters WORMED (What does that mean anyway? Are they taking worms out of you? Are they putting worms in you? I’m so confused…) are releasing Exodromos on Willowtip, and it’s tech, it’s brootal, there are lyrical themes about space and psychosis and science. This is Wormed, no doubt: heavy as hell, and so technical at times that one needs a road map to really get what’s going on. That’s where Wormed excel, though; the technicality is seamless, actually, and the production here gives this thing a little bite. The drums sound a bit like a drum machine, but if you can get over that, you’ll dig this. Wormed have a unique sound and aren’t for everybody, but it’s heavy, it’s mean, it’s death metal and, if you like that, you’ll love this. 6 Fucking Pecks.

STREAMING: Svart Crown “In Utero: A Place of Hatred and Threat”

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listen On: Friday, March 22nd, 2013

svartcrown1_blackmetal_decibel_2013

Whoever came up with the name “Freedom Fries,” or “Bars with Stars,” or “American Love Sticks” should be marched over to France and hanged off one of those fancy Rococo buildings they like to put on postcards. French fries aren’t even French. They’re Belgian. That’s how the origin story goes, but history has a way of proving itself wrong. What does fried julienned starch bombs have to do with Nice-based black/death metallers Svart Crown? Nothing. But you learned something right? And the context was somewhat correct, too.

If you’re new to Svart Crown, well, join the club. The four-piece only cracked off in 2004 and since then have produced three full-lengths, all of which aren’t exactly easy to find. OK, scratch that. French label, Listenable, is doing its darnedest to make new Svart Crown platter, Profane, widely available to those who appreciate a little genre humping with their extreme. Fans of Behemoth, Averse Sefira, early Morbid Angel are in for a Luciferian treat, actually. Profane, see, might just be the deadliest piece of music to come out of France since Deathspell Omega’s Drought EP. Sure, there are tons of bands making nasty bales of evil hay for the world to consume at microeconomic levels, but few of them match ferocity of Svart Crown, which is Swedish-English for “black crown.” Hey, that’s better than Black Krona.

Enjoy Svart Crown’s evil business while you prepare for another life-affirming weekend of laundry, sofa olympics, and those mandatory trips to Carl’s Jr.

** Svart Crown’s new album, Profane, is available for pre-order HERE. If the cover art of a pregnant demon-woman isn’t enough to entice you then perhaps the full-throttled black-death attack is. We all need a little hate in our lives, right?

Vampire Talk to Decibel About Selling Out

By: Dan Lake Posted in: featured, interviews, listen On: Friday, March 22nd, 2013

Vampire logo

Selling out… of all their cassettes, that is.  Crazy, right?  I mean, when you make 100 white cassettes and 100 red cassettes, there’s no way you expect to sell all (er… drop the zero, carry the…) two hundred of them!  So Vampire wised up and ordered 100 more black cassettes of their demented lo-fi thrash death, and you’ll never guess what happened next.  (Shut up, I said you wouldn’t guess it.)  They sold out!

So why are we hyping a band whose physical product you can’t possibly put your paws on?  Because:

  1. They rule so fucking hard, that’s why.
  2. Albert told me to, and I do everything Albert says that doesn’t involve turning something in on time.
  3. You can still hear/buy their shit at their Bandcamp site.

 

Go on.  In all, it’s less than ten minutes of hair-flailing ear pain.  If you missed the link above, I said you can visit their site here.  Or, if you’re too lazy to follow either of those links, click here.  Ha!  Gotcha!  See what I did there?

And you can read up about the band in the interview right here on the Deciblog!  ‘Cause Albert told you to!

How long have Vampire members been playing music together?

Me and Black String got together and started making music without a clear idea of what we wanted to achieve around 2009. We spent a year or two downing beers and switching instruments before Command came along. I can actually give the exact date when we realized our aim with VAMPIRE. It was the 3rd of July 2011. We pre-loaded for the Slayer/Metallica gig at my place and listened to the Necrophagia song “Young Burial” off the New Renaissance sampler “Thrash Metal Attack”. We looked at each other and said “This is it” (“Young Burial” is an impossibly ugly song). Then we quite instantly found our sound and started writing the songs that are on the demo/7”.

 What are some albums that got you excited to play this style of music?

 I would say the definitive dark death metal album that got me seriously hooked on this was Necrophagia “Holocausto de la morte” (1997). So incredibly out of its time, yet superior in both song writing and production compared to ALL death metal released during the second half of the 90’s. The sound creeps all over you like a swarm of vermin and the riffing communicates a level of sickness too often non-existent in death metal post-“Wolverine blues”. As everyone should know, Phil Anselmo of Pantera wrote most of the album and plays all guitars (credited as Anton Crowley). Amazing work.

Honorable mentions: first two Autopsy [records], everything by Possessed, first two Sarcófago, last Repugnant demo, first Entombed… You could probably hear it all in there somewhere.

Is there any current music that you feel Vampire is reacting against with its sound?

Anything auto-tuned and click-tracked with thick guitars, regardless of genre. Most metal that sounds modern sounds like shit. It’s not that we really are paying attention to it and want to address a heartfelt problem, but we play the sort of music we would like to check out ourselves down at the club.

Why did you choose to release these 3 relatively short songs on cassette?

First and foremost because we couldn’t imagine releasing a cd. Then again, releasing a 7” out of the blue didn’t feel very accurate either. Releasing a cassette demo is a good and honorable way of saying “hello, we exist”, without making too much of a fuzz about it. This idea was of course ruined rather soon, as the demo immediately sold hundreds of copies and got hyped beyond all possible reason.

How much has Vampire played live?  What types of venues, and with what other bands have you played?

We have played live two times, both of those with the thrash metal band Antichrist (Swe). First gig was at some weird Danish crust lair in the outskirts of Copenhagen, and second gig was a your typical “seedy pizza shop turned into metal club every first Saturday night of the month” hellhole in Linköping, Sweden. We have more of those coming up. Playing live is fun and gets your blood running a bit faster than in the rehearsal room.

You sound like you’re having a great time playing this music.  Can you talk about how playing Vampire music affects you?

I think you’re right, yes. Whenever we strike the right tone there is this weird element of humor in our music, at least between the three of us. I don’t know about other bands and I’m not sure people know what we are getting at here. Hard to explain. Look, if you listen to the second Possessed album, in the first song the drumming is absolutely OUTRAGEOUS. It’s not that you look down upon it when listening to it, it’s not silly, you enjoy it, but there is this rather primitive humor in the experience. Same thing with much old metal music, even though you get very much of it in Possessed in particular.

Whenever we are happy with a song, it’s not the feeling of “Wooow… this is sophisticated art”, but rather “Ha! That sounds fucking weird in a good way”. I HOPE other death metal musicians understand what I am talking about now. If not, we are a dying breed. Death metal should be composed with good spirits. (This is something I can find loads of in a very “true” band, like Face of Evil, as well.)

Is Vampire’s musical/lyrical direction have non-musical influences as well?

Sure. As the main lyricist of the band I draw much inspiration from horror fiction. That is not to say that everyone in the band is a horror maniac. But for myself, I would argue my love of horror movies is older than my love of death metal. To make matters more complex, good horror film is all about the music, which is something I recognized relatively late in life. You cannot underestimate the impact of gruesome images combined with sweet tunes. Thus, from the top of my head – five horror movies with great music in them:

Let’s Scare Jessica to Death: Amazing low budget flick with slightly confusing story line. Seriously haunting soundtrack and hot actresses. Makes you want to go sightseeing on the American countryside.

Ju-On (first 3 Japanese films and 1st American one): Sliced up chronology, comfortingly low pace and seriously eerie atmosphere. The remake is not bad at all (which goes for Ringu as well btw). People who don’t think so are purist idiots with bad taste.

The Beyond: The death metal cliché of all death metal clichés, but you can’t beat the sheer sentimental impact of the storyline, soundtrack and ending. Some people dislike the fragmented line of events and illogical development, but that’s all about how you chose to experience it, I guess. Apparently the whole zombie thing was just something they threw in at the very last minute due to a rising zombie trend in Germany while making the film. It makes this one a kind of “best of” Italian horror cinema.

Jenifer: Rather a TV series episode than a movie, as part of the less than thrilling Masters of Horror (except for the brilliant Imprint of course). Sexually disturbing and with a splendid circle composition in the good old comic book tradition, which makes sense when you consider the fact that it is based on an old comic strip. Good stuff.

A Tale of Two Sisters: Fucks you up big time first time you see it. Grows on you and appears to be the most well-crafted horror film of the decade at second and third run. Look out for raving ’00 aesthetics in the intro, with the creepy crawling wall-paper with flowers and stuff. Probably the best Asian horror film ever.

You’ve clearly sold out of the cassettes quickly.  Did you expect that kind of response to the music?

No. Who would? Hopefully people listen to it, and don’t just put it in a shelf somewhere.

What are your hopes/goals for the band for the near future?

Find a record label that understands what we are doing and that are interested in helping us out. We are no strangers to making money for other people, as long as they leave what little we treasure in this business the fuck alone.