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Toen Necroblood bijna vijf maanden geleden hun eerste langspeler uitbrachten, was ik echt overdonderd door hun beestachtig old school death metal geluid en hun rechttoe rechtaan speelstijl. ‘Collapse Of The Human Race’ werd een van mijn meest gespeelde albums dit jaar en omdat ik zo goed als niets van deze intrigerende Franse band wist, hoopte ik om eens te kunnen praten met de mannen. Na enkele haperingen gedurende het interview proces, vonden TerrorReign, Necroblood’s frontman, en ik elkaar terug en zo konden we dit eindelijk laten doorgaan: hier is alles wat jullie en ik willen weten over Necroblood!

Door: Koen S. | Archiveer onder death metal / grindcore

First and foremost: congratulations on your album ‘Collapse Of The Human Race’. It has to be said that Necroblood’s debut has become a solid piece of black/death metal! And a compliment for the artwork: just great! Where you excited for the release of ‘Collapse Of The Human Race’ and can you tell us something about the ‘making of’?
First of all, thanks for the compliment! The release of this first album was an insanely long process but we are really proud of the final result. Every aspect of it met our expectations and all the people who worked on it sincerely did an amazing job. As you said the artwork and all the layout of the album is just great! It is the work of a Canadian artist working under the name of 'La Morte Lune'. This huge piece of art that used for the cover is just astonishing. She worked from simple sketches and ideas we sent her and was able to put on paper that majestic scenery. The work she did for the inside of the layout is also amazing. All the texts are hand written in an ancient style font to fit with the artwork. This was a lot of work but it adds something to the album! The band pictures were created by another artist who is close to the band. To me she also did an amazing job. She took portrait of the four of us printed them and degraded the shots with paints, fire and many other reagents. For the musical creation process and the recordings, we worked as we always did. The four of us are actively participating to the composition and the different structures were arranged in songs then recorded between the studio we are working in from the beginning of the band and our homes. I think we started the proper recording process during the summer 2013. Then, after having finished to record every single part of music, we gave every track to Julien GB. He is the sound engineer who already took care of the recording, mixing and mastering of our two first EP and the re-release of our demo tape on CD. And the least we can say is that the guy did an amazing job with the sound of the album. The production is brutal! We gave him some albums that influenced us to give him an idea of the sound we wanted and he took care of everything. So, as you can see people put a lot efforts in the release of this album and even if that was a long process the result sounds and looks pretty good in my opinion.

The only songs I heard of Necroblood before are the ones from the compilation ‘The Rite Of Evil’ from 2012 and they sounded already pretty awesome. On ‘Collapse Of The Human Race' the production is a little bit more polished, but the base has remained the same. Do you enjoy this style so much and I was also wondering: which bands have had an influence on your music?
I agree with you. This album has a better production and the music is a little more complex than 'The Rite of Evil' but the roots are the same. The four of us really dig the Black/Death underground scene and it is the major influence you can hear in our music. I guess we could mention Archgoat, Revenge, Beherit or Von as our strongest influences. You can clearly ear these influences on the demo. Since the first EP, and especially on the album, the music changed a little bit to include more traditional death metal influences. But the basics are still the same, a regressive black/death metal.

You were active from 2006 to 2010 as the black metal outfit Evynkar. During that time you released one demo called ’Blaspheme Your Cult’. Would you guys like to tell something about that period?
There is nothing fantastic to say about this period. It was the first band Exekvtion and I played together. It was a cool time and the demo we released was a good first recording experience. Sometime I listen to it again and I still like it. Obviously different from Necroblood though. Soon after this recording we started to make the music of what will become Necroblood’s demo tape. It was even originally scheduled to keep the name Evynkar to release these songs. But the drummer who played and sang with us at that time decided to leave the band after the recordings so we decided to take this occasion to have a fresh start. Moreover, the music recorded for the Necroblood demo tape was really different from what we did with Evynkar so we decided to create a new band. Soon after this decision Rimmon joined us, giving even more credit to the idea of the creation of a new band.

You’re from Paris (Île de France) With bands like Arkhon Infaustus, Temple Of Baal, Azziard and Vorkreist you have a solid black/death scene in your region and with bands like Svart Crown and Necrowretch in France there’s a small but high-quality black/death movement. Can you give us an insight in your local metal scene and the metal scene in France in general?
I think France is a pretty well established country in the underground extreme metal scene with legendary bands such as Massacra, Agressor or Antaeus. The list of bands that are worth listening to in France could be long. First of all, you are right saying that the Parisian Area is well furnished in excellent underground black/death bands. I think you gave two of the best examples with Temple of Baal and Arkhon Infaustus whose first EPs and albums are exceptional. You can add Hell Militia and Aosoth to that long list of really good Parisian bands. But the French extreme metal scene is clearly not restricted to the Parisian area. You already mentioned the excellent Svart Crown and Necrowretch who really exploded and play in the biggest festival are touring everywhere. But there is a lot of other extreme metal band such as Blacklodge, Venefixion or our friends of Ritualization who just released a monster of first album in conspiracy with Iron Bonehead. We are kind of lucky to have all these bands in France because the scene is still really active in terms of releases. It is just kind of sad that all the underground black/death festivals and most of the really interesting gigs are still in other European countries. But lately that aspect is changing too with the organization of festivals such as the Fall of Summer. Let’s hope it will go on in that direction.

What I noticed was that you still maintain one song from the early days of Necroblood on ‘Collapse Of The Human Race’ and that is ‘Operation Gommorah’, a badass song full of banging riffs! Why did you choose especially that song to put on the album?
That song was originally recorded with the guy who did the drum and part of the vocals for Evynkar. But as I told you he left the band. It was during the time we were swamped in the mix process of the demo. So, it was released something like a year and a half after he left. During that long period, Rimmon joined us and we decided to create Necroblood. So, when we started to play live under the name of Necroblood, Rimmon had already made changes to the way the drums was played on the demo. The vocals also changed from that time. All these changes added a lot more power and violence to the songs. This is particularly audible on 'Operation Gommorah' and honestly, I think the song is way better in its new version. That’s why we decided to re-record it, to have it on a physical support in its better form. And I can say that I am glad we did it because this version of Operation Gommorah is way closer to what we want to express in the song.

band image

The intro of ‘The Rite Of Evil’ and the one from ‘Collapse Of The Human Race’ sounds like it’s the same, but if you listen to them back to back you notice a small difference. It’s clearly the same Satanic mass but I’m curious: what piece of music or movie did you use?
You have good ears! This is exactly the same Black Mass used for the intro of 'Collapse' and the 'Rites of Evil'. This Mass recording is taken from the first Coven album 'Witchcraft Destroys Minds and Reaps Souls'. The music used for the introduction of 'Collapse' is a classic funeral march wrote by Henry Purcell of the funeral of Queen Mary II of England in 1695. The Opus is named 'Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary' and was popularized by Kubrick’s movie 'The Clockwork Orange'.

Are there any plans to tour in the near future? And if so, are there any plans to visit Belgium and the Netherlands? Are you looking forward to go on the road, living in a tourbus eating junkfood, drinking cheap beer and facing your bandmates every minute of the day?
Right now, there is neither tour or gigs in Belgium and Netherland scheduled. The band is geographically scattered for a while because I am living in the US. So, this is difficult to plan live shows. But be sure that we are studying every opportunity to play live. For instance, I was already in the US when we played live at the Hellfest in 2014 or at the last appearance we did in Paris last May. So, if it is doable to play elsewhere or to tour we will think about it. And to answer the second part of your question I never toured so I don’t really know what to expect. But I think that would be an interesting experience and I guess I would like to live it for sure. So if we have the opportunity to do an interesting tour soon we will take it.

You played at Hellfest in 2014. Was that a great experience and what are your thoughts about those big fests like Wacken Open Air or Hellfest with 7 stages, 120 bands and (understatement) a lot of people?
Yes, we had the surprise to be contacted to open the Hellfest in 2014. Necroblood is a small band from the French underground and at that time we didn’t have any full length out. Consequently, that opportunity that Garmanbozia Inc, the guys who are organizing most of the big extreme metal shows in Paris and that is working with the Hellfest, was unexpected. To tell the truth we never had the ambition or even the idea to play in such a huge festival. We are a better fit for festivals such as Deathkult open air where we played in 2013. I am personally not a huge fan of that kind of huge festival with tens of thousands of peoples and I would have not attend the 2014 Hellfest editions if we didn’t play there. At Hellfest the bills are often a good mix between legendary and good extreme metal bands like Sodom or Destroyer 666. They are also inviting really good underground bands such as Necros Christos. So, this is a good opportunity to see a ton of bands live. But the public… I mean seeing Destroyer 666, Watain or Carcass surrounded by stupid assholes dressed as dicks, dinosaurs, whatever fucking animals or TV bullshit heroes it is clearly not my vision attending a metal show. But in the other hand we had that opportunity to have our names on the same bill than legends such as Black Sabbath, Slayer or my favorite band ever, Iron Maiden. So, we didn’t think about all the public issues and we said yes pretty fast. And there are no regrets because that was an interesting experience. Clearly not our best show but it was nice to live the life of a big band once in our life.

Necroblood plays black/death metal, an extreme kind of metal: always furious and crushing. What do you think of other metal genres? What music do you listen to yourself? What are your favourite bands/artists and albums?
As I told you we are huge listener of Black/Death bands. My favorites bands of this genre are clearly Archgoat and Sadisitk Exekution. You can feel in albums such as 'K.A.O.S' or 'Whore of Bethlehem' a bestiality that I don’t personally find in other genres. But none of us are restricting their listening to Black/Death. My own personal tastes are kind of larges. I am a huge fan of heavy and doom metal for instance. As I told earlier my favorite band ever is Iron Maiden. That would be difficult to give you a favorite Iron Maiden album because I think I like all of them. I may have a really small preference for 'The Number Of The Beast' because this is the first Iron Maiden album I ever listened. But this is a pure nostalgic choice! I really like all the NWOBHM genre. In France too we had, and still have, really good heavy metal bands. Sortilège, Blaspheme or ADX are heavy metal legends. We also have less known but amazing heavy metal band such as Malediction whose first album is a gem or the newcomers Tentation who did a really solid first EP. Outside of metal I really dig prog rock. That music genre is so rich and interesting. Listening to Van der Graaf Generator, Amon Düül, Goblin or Ange are really different experiences. That’s what I like with prog, every album I ever listened brought me something new. By the way I think the addition of prog element to metal is the only evolution of the genre I agree with. Two of my favourite bands, Zemial and Agatus, created two great albums 'Nikta' and 'The Eternalist', which is the best album of 2017 to me so far, by adding strong prog influences to their music.

You have been around with the same line up since 2010 and if we stretch it, even since 2006. Is that stability important for the band? Are you childhood friends or do you know each other by accident because of your musical taste?
A little bit of both actually. The two guitarists Exekvtion and Bastial Desekrator are brothers. I met them because Exekvtion was the friend of a childhood friend more than ten years ago now. That is around that time that we started to play together in the band Evynkar. A few years later we met Rimmon in the bar we used to go in Versailles near Paris to get drunk. A liter of beer was 5 Euros during happy hours in this bar that was pretty neat so we had interesting evenings there hehe. Then when our former drummer quit the band, we already knew each other pretty well so Rimmon started to play with the three of us and Necroblood was born. Since that time, it never changed and I am glad it didn’t.

‘Whether these men will ever transcend the underground is doubtful, but going by what they are letting us hear on this monstrous album, that’s not the intention either.’ What do you think about that statement?
That’s a fair statement. We have no intention to create something new and bring a revolution to the black/death underground scene. Necroblood is influenced by old-school metal and our only ambition is to play old-school metal.

I hope we will see you anytime soon on stage somewhere and meanwhile we can enjoy ‘Collapse Of The Human Race’ on CD (Amor Fati) or vinyl (Iron Bonehead). So this is my last question: have you got something to say about something we didn’t mention or did mention before to the ever growing and loyal underground fan base all over the world?
Thanks for your questions and to Patrick and Marius for the release of the album. And yes, I would like to add something: A huge fuck to all the hipster post black metal bullshit that pollute nowadays underground scene.

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