Hey guys, it's been a while since we interviewed you. So, it's time to catch up a bit, now that your new album 'Impetus Of Death' has been released. First of all, you took your time to write and record this new album. 'Abysmal Thresholds' came out in 2014, so can you tell us when you actually started working on this new one?
It took almost a year after ‘Abysmal Thresholds’ (recorded in 2013, and released in February 2014) to start working on the first new song. That album took a lot out of us, so we needed some time to process ideas again and to get into the flow of composing stuff. Work, studies and issues within the band held us back a bit as well.
We've never been that fast composers either... Building up new ideas requires a certain unhurried time and space, which is also something you can't really achieve when rehearsing a live set and preparing for gigs, and we are a band who also enjoy playing live quite often. There was a point when we had to start consciously saying no to gig offers as we needed to prioritize and work on the new songs. The stuff on the new album is composed between 2014 and 2017, and recorded during the winter of 2017-2018.
So you could say we were certainly not just resting on our laurels during these years. But what was more important, was the quality of the material. We wanted to raise the bar on every aspect from production to the compositions and arrangements. As always (and likely with almost every band), you want your new stuff to be your absolute best and out-do the past album. With this album, I feel that we actually achieved this! So in summary; as long as the new material is great, it takes as long as it takes. Don't force it!
Did the fact you are also active with other bands such as Tyranny, Profetus and Lie In Ruins have any impact on the time you can devote to Corpsessed?
Not really. I can't say this would be the reason why it took us four years to get this new album done. Each band has their own ways of working and involving also different people who contribute to the composing of material. If you ask me, it's most likely the other way around - Corpsessed might be the one that takes away time and involvement from other bands, as at least for me it is currently the most important one and top priority. We all of course still find time and make schedules for other bands as well. All of the bands have their place and importance, and are different conduits for channelling different moods and ideas, and melting pots of different individual’s creativity, which make up the whole of that given band and its sound.
In 2016 you got Tuomas Kulmala as your new bass-player. Can you tell a bit more about this line-up change?
In 2015 we parted our ways with our previous bass player, and found ourselves in a bit of a tough spot. We were about to embark on a 10 day European tour with Cruciamentum in just a few months and needed someone to fill in, and we needed him quick! The guy would have to be someone we could rely on, had the playing skills and knew the music, but also would have to be a great fit on a personal level. This is why we never held any auditions, but instead turned to our friends in the band Lie In Ruins. They were pretty much the first band in the Finnish death metal underground that had supported us from the start, and had become close friends with during the years.
Tuomas (guitars in Lie In Ruins) took on the challenge of learning our songs on bass guitar in a very short span of time, and handled the tour like a pro! We also found him to be a great fit to the group so we asked him in the beginning of 2016 if he would be willing to join the band full time, and to our delight he accepted. We are really happy about this, and we feel the band is nowadays stronger and more united than ever.
According to the press-sheet you did 3 demo sessions to write the album. I assume you already had solid ideas for the material you probably worked out as a band during those sessions? Can you give some insight in how the compositions came together and did you record those sessions? If so, will you make these recordings available in the future?
Demoing the new material was a vital part of the arrangements of the songs. We made the first demo already in 2014 with just one new song, the second demo session was in 2015 with four songs, and the third in 2016 with two more songs. With demos (or pre-production) versions of the songs, you instantly recognize what works and which parts still need more work, and most importantly it helps when figuring out the vocal rhythms and patterns, drum arrangements and fills and guitar leads and solos - and give them more thought out details! You also get to hear the song as a whole from a different perspective. It's a load of work, but at least in this case - it was well worth it.
Most notable change from the demo versions to the final album versions, is that the demos are actually played a lot faster! We wanted the riffs to breathe more and sound heavier so the tempo naturally went down somewhat. But then again the arrangements became tighter. Not sure if we will ever release these demos to public, or if they will just remain private to the band. Could be some interesting bonus tracks at some point - so who knows! Remains to be seen....
Do you have a solid idea what the material should be like before you start composing? Perhaps you already know it has to be in line with your previous album but just better. Or you might keep an open mind and simply see where it all ends. How does that work for you as a band?
The idea of what we want Corpsessed to sound like has always been very clear. Especially with this album, the conceptual idea and structure the album needs to follow came to us very early on. Some experimentation was done with the last track ‘Starless Event Horizon’. Though we are bound to a certain stylistic choice and preference, it doesn't rule out experimentation but the main thing is and always will be the riffs, the almost horror movie-esque atmosphere, and a crushing doom-laden sound of brutal death metal that defines the band to us. The influences have been pretty much the same (being early 90s Finnish and American death metal, doom metal and horror movie soundtracks, with a hint of black metal as well) from the very beginning. What perhaps makes this album different to the first full length though, is the more coherent song writing and production, which harks perhaps back more to our first EP.
You once again recorded the album in your rehearsal room and you got some help by the guys from Lie In Ruins and Desolate Shrine. Can you tell us more about that? Who did what for instance and who actually mixed the album? The master was done by Dan Lowndes, right?
The demo sessions were also a great exercise in recording, through which we learned lots and lots of new things. Mainly on how to record/produce the sound better! The idea has always been to sound on record as we sound live, and try our best to capture that feeling and essence. So with the demos, we found the confidence that we could actually do the songs justice by recording them ourselves. We've grown our recording arsenal and gear during the years - but had to rely on outside help a bit again, as we borrowed some high-end drum and vocal microphones, DI-boxes and interfaces from the Lie In Ruins and Desolate Shrine guys. Thank you again, friends! Your help was invaluable! Otherwise all the recordings and mixing were done by the band with mainly me, Matti, doing the engineering and mixing with Tuomas helping me out with the mic placements etc.
When doing the mixing, I worked quite closely with Dan Lowndes, sending him back and forth new versions of the mix and getting feedback from him on what to still work on, elements that needed more balance, some great tips on EQ-ing certain frequencies and so forth. So when he received the final mix stems from me, the mastering process was rather easy as we had already worked on the project together for three months or so. The material was not new to him, and we both knew what the end result should sound like.
Have you ever thought about recording the album in a different setting, like going to a "proper" studio working with a producer? Or are you just comfortable the way you have done it up till now?
Hah, yes! Every time... The workload with each album has been huge on me and it always takes its toll, so each time before starting to record an album we think should we actually have someone else do this for us, but still end up with me doing the work. I guess it is just too hard to let go! Recording and working music is also one of the aspects that I enjoy the most about being in a band. It's very important for me to get to express this side and it gives me so much. It's also great to see your personal progress in this and finding yourself being able to produce more quality work. Doing the stuff yourself also gives you a more restriction-free environment, with nobody breathing down on your neck with deadlines... of course this can also work against you, but usually I feel you should never rush anything. I wouldn't totally write off the idea of using an outside producer or going into a more proper studio, but each recording is case-by-case and dependent on if we feel we can pull it off with pleasing results. The main thing, I guess, is that we have a very strong vision on what things should sound like, so finding an outsider who shares this vision might be challenging.
The new album is once again released by Dark Descent Records. Will they also release a vinyl edition and will this be a cooperation with Me Saco Un Ojo once again?
Yes, all the familiar accomplices are again involved with this release and the pact formed in the past is still holding. Dark Descent releases the CD on 23rd of November, and the vinyl release will follow in just a week or two after that, co-released by Dark Descent and Me Saco Un Ojo.
You have done your fair share of touring over the years. Is that an important part of being in a band for you guys? Any highlights you recall from past shows and have you already got plans to hit the road again promoting 'Impetus Of Death'?
We see Corpsessed first and foremost as a live band, and playing gigs has always been important to us! Some highlights would definitely be playing the mainstage at Netherlands Deathfest - even though we would have been perhaps more suited for a smaller intimate club stage, it was awesome to see the big hall filling up with people! Other highlights would be the tours with Cruciamentum, Undergang and Solothus in Finland and across Europe as a whole, so many good memories from being on the road with the guys and laughing and suffering together!
Currently our calendar for 2019 is still empty, but plans are slowly starting to form and we will give more info out as it is confirmed. Yes - we have started talks about tour(s) but these take some time to work out. Also... I think we might have sadly missed the 2019 summer festivals a bit with the release being this late to the year, as bookings for those usually happen already in the fall. So let's see - when we know something, we will let people know! Also a hint to all festival organizers - get in touch!
That's it from my side. Anything else you might want to add?
That's it. Check out the new album! Cheers!