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Critical Solution

Het Noorse Critical Solution heeft met hun nieuwste schijf
’Barbara The Witch’ een hele leuke horror metalplaat gemaakt. Ze zijn er in geslaagd een boeiende combinatie van thrash metal te brengen met heel wat invloeden uit prog en andere gecompliceerde componenten. Doe er nog eens een goed verhaal bij dat gebaseerd werd op ware gebeurtenissen en er is voer genoeg voor een goed interview. Zanger/gitarist Christer Slettebø nam hiervoor ruimschoots de tijd.

Door: Koen W. | Archiveer onder speed / thrash metal

For Lords Of Metal, this is the first interview with Critical Solution. In our country you are not so well know. So can you tell us briefly something about the band and what is stands for?
We play Horror Thrash with elements from many Rock/Metal styles but the mainly root is thrash. We do concept albums only and we like to don’t stay in the same style all the time, so variation is important to us.

Critical Solution was formed in 2005. 'Barbara The Witch' is your third album and it is a real pleasure listening to it. Is this the Magnum Opus where you were always looking for all that time?
Thank you! Every album feels like the Magnum Opus, but personally I have never been more satisfied, but at the same time as we are working on our next album, I think and hope it will be even better.

Your new record is released through Norwegian Crime Records. Your 2015 release 'Sleepwalker' however was put out through the Italian Punishment 18 Records label. Why did you switch labels, and what is the difference between the two?
The reason for that is simply we want to go forward instead of backwards. The amazing people at Crime Records are fantastic, and we really connected instantly, which is very important. P18 are also good, but the Crime deal was. Great offer and like I said, it’s important for us to move forward.

Your new album 'Barbara The Witch' is a concept album about what went down in your hometown more than 400 years ago. For all our readers who are interested in some horror stories or folklore: can you tell us what happened in your hometown Helleland around the year 1600?
We have our own twists of course, but I think it’s up to the listener to find out by listening. Most of the story we tell is based on true events which shows how many twisted minds who lived way back then. Now its only four of us left!

What was the reason to use this topic for a concept album? Are you so interested in local history?
Since we do concept stories, and we got into this event it only felt natural to do it, and it fits so perfectly with us. The brother's grandfather used to scare them when they were kids with the story so I guess that’s why it came up in the first place.

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Was it difficult to write an album like 'Barbara The Witch'?
The music which I wrote, no, Egil is the main lyric writer and to him it also comes natural, it’s in his blood. I make songs all the time, but the intro's and many other parts are made to fit the story and vice versa. Then you have moments where it just fits without being planned. Especially with Arthur Brown, and the connection we have to his debut album. It was like magic.

You got some help from Arthur Brown, famous for his '68 hit 'Fire, who is a real legend. I even didn't known that he was still alive. So how did you contacted him and got him to appear on the album?
Me and Egil where attending his concert in Norway back in 2015, we met him after the show and it was a chemistry right away. We told him about the story and he was interested, so we flew him out to Sweden and it became one of the best weekends in my life. Watching one of my all-time favorite artist talking and singing on our songs was surreal. He is also one of the nicest persons I have ever met. The final word have not been said!

What bands would you indicate as the main influences of Critical Solution, and especially when it comes down to the art of making concept albums?
It comes from all over the place, Egil as I said writes the lyrics, so to him it’s all natural. We all have some of the same inspirations but we also have many different ones, which also is very important. As for the musical part, it can come from a sound or an experience and then take off from there.

Mario Lopez has made a fantastic piece of art with the album cover. How happy are you with his artwork?
Mario Lopez is the absolute best there has ever been and will ever be. He made this based on a very badly explained request and he also got the intro song. I have no clue how he does it.

The band also recorded six bonus tracks, covers from King Diamond, Motörhead, Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep and Deep Purple. The obvious question of course is why you choose to record these tunes?
Well, it’s not a King Diamond song, it’s a Black Rose song which was one of King's first bands. This songs we chose simply because it’s an amazing song and we wanted to do our own version. The same goes for the rest, its amazing tunes from bands who inspires us so it’s nice to try to give back.

Will these songs be available on all the albums or are they just for sale on a limited edition?
The bonus disc ‘Covers from Hell’ is included on this first pressing for now and not available on internet at this time.

So what could we expect in the future with Critical Solution? More albums? The start of a tour? The possibility to perform in the rest of Europe?
More albums of course. We are about 70% done with writing the next one and it will be killer! We toured Europe once and will of course do it again. I can’t say when but I can promise you will see us hopefully soon. As of now, the only confirmed upcoming gig is Hammerstad 10 in Wales next year with Sepultura and Hellyeah among others so that will be a blast.

So to end this interview. Is there anything you want to add or tell to our readers? Please be my guest.
Thanks for the support to those who did and those who will. We hope to see you on the road!

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