It’s been almost two years since we last interviewed you. So let’s catch up a bit. Not too long after that particular interview you were confronted with the news that your then current album ‘Evangelivm Nekromantia’ was about to be banned in Germany. So what was the result of that anyway? I don’t think it actually got banned, but it might have gained you some extra attention?
My understanding was that the result was that you can only buy the album from eighteen years and older in Germany. The extra attention is only there for a short period of time so you don’t really gain something from that, maybe if it was like twenty years ago something like that could really do something for a band from a PR standpoint but nowadays it’s just one of those things.
You also added a second guitarist to the line-up. Can you tell a bit more about that decision and why you chose Jos?
We’ve known Jos from the local scene for quite some time, back to the early days of Acrostichon so we use to bump into each other from time to time. When we started looking for a guitar player we initially looked for someone to support us during shows. I mean the three of us have been a brotherhood for so long so it’s hard to find somebody who fits in; not just musically but also on a personal level. Several names were thrown in and Jos was one of them. When we sat down with Jos it became clear he was the perfect fit for us, there was a connection right from the start so we asked him if he wanted to join the band as a full band member.
You have now returned with a new album ‘Rites Ov Perversion’. Has the fact you now have two guitarists added anything to the way you approached this new album? For instance new possibilities with the song writing? Or perhaps Jos having any input on the new material?
Writing wise we approached this album the same as ‘Evangelivm...’. I write all the music, sometimes together with our drummer Marco who also is responsible for the arrangements. I always write parts based on two guitars, ‘Evangelism…’ was already filled with harmonies and two guitar attacks, so it didn’t really change anything.
Correct me if I’m wrong but I got the idea that you added some influences of current death metal bands like Necros Christos to your sound next to the influences that already could be found in your style such as Bolt Thrower? Can you tell some more about your inspiration for ‘Rites Ov Perversion’?
I have to correct you although I respect their work I would never use a band or their sound as an influence for writing music. The main influence, the musical spine on which we spawned ‘Rites Ov Perversion’ was our previous album ‘Evangelivm Nekromantia’ but I also looked at our musical origin and certain traditions within the Death and Black Metal tradition. ‘Evangelivm…’ was already more groove-based and atmospheric then our previous work, we were more than pleased how that album turned out but you want to progress, refine certain elements in your song writing but also expend the borders.
You decided to record the classic Death song ‘Open Casket’, which fits to your style perfectly I think. Can you tell a bit more why you recorded this track?
The whole ‘Leprosy’ album is filled with amazing death metal tracks but to each of us ‘Open Casket’ stands out. When we decided to open our Neurotic Deathfest show with a classic track that would fit the set we all came up with ‘Open Casket’. While playing the song it became part of us so we almost immediately decided we had to put it on the album. It felt natural, it’s like you said; it fits in perfectly.
When it comes to the recordings I think you didn’t change much, right? I mean you recorded at your drummer Marco’s Aftermath Studio and the album was mastered at Necromorbus Studio again. Is there still something interesting to tell about the recordings?
The saying ‘Why fix something that isn’t broken’ holds up in this case. We like to stick to our ways of doing things, surround by a small circle of people that understand us. The music breathes a certain amount of darkness while honouring the gruesome raw heaviness that lies within the traditions of Death Metal. Marco is the person who knows how to capture our sinister sonic assault and give the songs their rightful atmosphere and sound, Tore Stjerna from Necromorbus really compliments all these elements while mastering, it all gives it a more organic and fresh feel.
The artwork on the cover this time was done by an upcoming Dutch tattoo artist, Madeleine Hoogkamer. Can you tell a bit more how you got her to do the artwork and what the story behind this art is?
From the start I wanted something like the ‘Pleasure to Kill’ cover, the idea of a central figure were all energy flows too. The cover is based on the lyrics of ‘Tevfelskvnst’ where the main character controls the ‘spirits’ will for her own gratification. Normally I’m responsible for the bands artwork/visuals but this time I wanted a more traditional cover. So we’ve approached several artists, Madeleine being one of them. She was the one who nailed the concept with the first sketch so it was obvious to go with her.
You did two videos to coincide with ‘Evangelivm Nekromantia’, both done by Maurice Swinkels of Younique Film as well as Legion Of The Damned. Will there be another cooperation for a new video to promote ‘Rites Ov Perversion’?
At the moment we are working out the details for our upcoming video for ‘Nekrovaginal Secretions’ again with Maurice. Maurice is a very talented guy, he’s always coming up with great ideas and he understands what I want to see visualised.
You recently were supposed to perform at Stonehenge festival but had to pull out due to a broken wrist. I don’t see any shows lined-up for the future. No plans to do some gigs/tours in the near future?
We had an offer for a great tour but the timing of breaking a limb could not have been worse, there was not enough time to get a fill in player so we had to skip on that. We are working on new plans though so as soon as the opportunity presents itself we will get out there and cast our rites all over Europe!
Ok, that’s it from this side. Anything else you might want to add?
Thanks for the time and interview Pim! BEHOLD THE SWAY OV DEATH