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The Spirit

Wat doe je als je iets niet weet? Juist: je zoekt het op. En wat doe je als je iets niet vindt? Juist: je zoekt harder. En wat doe je als je het dan nog niet vindt? Juist: je VRAAGT het. In dit geval wist ik dus niks over The Spirit, de Duitse blackened death metal band die met ‘Sounds From The Vortex’ net één van de beste debuutalbums van de voorbije jaren heeft uitgebracht. Ik vond dus ook niks en daarom vroeg ik het. Gitarist/vocalist MT nam de moeite om mijn vragen te beantwoorden en daaruit blijkt dat er geen informatie te vinden is over The Spirit, simpelweg omdat er geen informatie IS over The Spirit! Zo simpel kan het leven dus zijn. Maar vanaf nu weten wij op een simpele manier alles over MT en z’n kompanen wat we met onze simpele zielen kunnen vatten.

Door: Koen S. | Archiveer onder black metal

You guys seem to be real spirits, because when I reviewed your debut album ‘Sounds Of The Vortex’, and was blown away by the crushing sound of it by the way, I couldn’t find any information about you: could you introduce yourselves to the readers and more important, to me?
You couldn’t find any information because there is nothing. Founded in 2015 we put from the beginning all our efforts in the debut album. Except one show in 2016 we never played live, we didn´t release demos, no EP, no Split or whatever bands usually do. ‘Sounds from the Vortex’ is our first sign of life and we wanted, that this first sign would be an impressive one.

’Sounds Of The Vortex’ came out on 13th October through your own label Eternal Echoes: didn’t you find a proper label to release your album? Did you start the label especially for this release? What’s the story behind this?
That´s right, not a single label was interested to release it. And that was after the album was recorded. We didn´t sent them a demo or pre-production. It was the album as it is now. It was a bit frustrating but fuck it, that won´t stop us. So we decided to found Eternal Echoes and release it via our own label. At the end it was just another challenge to overcome.

The whole album sounds fantastic and the drums, bass, as well as the vocals, are executed very well but the first thing anyone will notice are the guitars! How many guitar players are there on this record and who the hell wrote this riff-fest?
Thank you. Except one lead in the first song I wrote all music for this album. I have very high expectations for guitar riffs. No fillers, just killers. When I write music I transform my feelings and emotions into sound. It´s not about to put a good riff on the next one, so that you have a song at the end. I burn a lots of riffs during the songwriting, I mean a shit lot of riffs. I don´t save them, even if they are pretty good ones. If I would work like that, I would probably use them for other songs and these songs would be just a compilation of riffs which actually don´t belong together. It would make things faster, just to use old riffs, because I spend quite a long time with songwriting. But the result would have not much soul.

Can you tell us something about the lyrical content and the themes you deal with on the album?
Some lyrics are quite personal, others have a quite obvious content. But I don´t want to explain them or get into detail. If someone wants to focus on the lyrics, explore them by your own.

The accompanying artwork is just stunning and very suitable: which artist did you work with to make this happen and how did you ended up with this particular artist?
The cover artwork, picture-frames and illustrations in the booklet are done by the German artist WÆIK. We are very happy with the result, also because we gave her a lot of freedom to put her own ideas in it. Furthermore, it was a pleasure and very easy to work with her.

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I think you guys are on par with Swedish acts as Naglfar, Necrophobic, The Moaning and Unanimated. Are these kind of bands big influences for you or are there other bands and styles out there that inspire you to write your music?
There are no bands that inspire me to write music. But for sure I´m influenced by other bands. Some Swedish bands released incredible good albums, especially in the 90’s, which had a big impact on me and probably everyone. That´s maybe the reason for the Swedish touch in our music.

Talking about other bands: can you suggest some other good underground bands in your region or your country in general? We check out a lot, but maybe you can surprise us.
Hmmm, tough question. Ten or fifteen years ago I could have probably name you many bands. But nowadays I´m not deep in the current metal scene anymore. Let´s see, Narvik is a German black metal band which deserve much more attention. And you should check out Chapel of Disease if you don’t know them yet. Very good death metal band from Germany.

You guys hail from Saarbrücken, Saarland in the West of Germany, near the French border: can you tell us something about the extreme metal scene in your region? Do you have good venues to see bands live, record stores, places to hang out?
We had a very big scene in Saarbrücken some years ago. I don´t know why but these times are over. Back then you had every week several concerts, small and even the big clubs had Metal Nights. Every weekend, something was going on. Nowadays there is not much left. We have one venue called “Garage” where occasionally metal bands stop by when they are on tour. Besides that just one or two small venues for local bands and events. Nothing special.

Do you have any plans to promote the album live? Are there concerts to be announced or tours to be mentioned? Do you have plans to come over to The Netherlands or Belgium? I’m sure a lot of people would love to see you play live.
The album just came out a couple of days ago, so right now there is just one show confirmed for 2018. The Unholy Metal Mayhem Festival in Oberhausen (Germany). But I guess there will be more shows follow. We are eager to perform live and when we get an offer we will come to the Benelux countries, for sure. We would love to.

Oh, and is there any chance ‘Sounds From The Vortex’ will see the light on vinyl? That would be great for a lot of vinyl collecting lunatics. What are your thoughts on the renewed vinyl hype?
I´m old school when it comes to buy music, so personally I don´t like to download music. CD or vinyl, I´m with both OK. The return of vinyl is a good thing but has some downsides too, but I don´t want to complain. In our case, there will be a vinyl edition of ‘Sounds from the Vortex’, but it´s a bit to early now to name a date. I hope first quarter of 2018.

Well, that’s about it, I guess. I hope we will see you in the near future hitting the European stages and festivals bringing your relentless metal to the crowds. Thanks for answering my questions, cheers and see you soon! If there is anything else you want to say to the metal community, shoot!
Thanks for this interview and the kind words in the review. Hope to see you soon when we hit the stages in the Netherlands. Beware, ‘Sounds from the Vortex’ is just the beginning.

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