Thursday, 28 January 2016


 Hi Rob, please tell the readers a little bit about how the band came about and how you initially went about re 

Amebix frontman and founder Rob Miller is back on the scene with a new band which also features none other than Voivod drummer Away and 2 veterans of the Minneapolis crust punk scene Andy Leffer Lefton from War//Plague and Jon Misery from Misery. I sent some questions to Rob about the bands debut album which has been creating a big buzz since it's release last summer and I also asked him some more personal questions about how he came to reside in The Isle Of Skye and how he ended up owning his own sword making forge. Here is what he had to say (This interview was originally published in edited form on the Terrorizer Magazine website last year without the additional questions).

Rob, please tell the readers a little bit about how the band came about and how you initially went about recruiting the other members? Please introduce the band..

After Amebix had released Sonic Mass it became apparent that we would not be Touring, which for me was a huge disappointment, I had also been writing new material with a view to another album to succeed S.M, this is where the material for Tau Cross came from.
 Initially I demo’d a few tracks with Roy in LA but he became increasingly busy over the next year or so, at which time I was also looking for guitarists to get involved with this music, with no success at all until I eventually opened up dialogue with Andy and Jon whom I knew from playing in Minneapolis as well as working together on other Amebix projects (Andy did the animation for “Knights of the Black Sun’)
 Away arrived on the scene at the same time, we had been batting e mail back and forwards for a few years as friends and he happened to pop his head up asking if i had anything i was working on right now,so things began to take off at that stage.


 Why did you settle upon these guys to work with, what qualities etc do you think they bring into the band both as people and musicians?

 Old school, no bullshit, experience, being cool people to work with, no fat fucking egos to  get in the way of my own ;)
 I wanted to see where this led, rather than make a self conscious type of record ,just to let people do what they do and see what we have, to let go of Control and treat it more as a work of Art that four people get to paint together, in fact just to trust in the process itself.,

 Your debut album was released as little while ago by Relapse Records, can you tell the readers a little bit about this album in your own words and what they can expect from it?
 How can they order it? What formats will it be available on?.

 We became aware once we had recorded the album that there are two clear sides, one that is very much within the feel and environment of the 16-17th century, whilst the other side is more contemporary in its issues and subject matter.
 from what I am getting back from people who have heard this they see it as a natural successor to Sonic Mass, thematically and musically,we have managed to use a lot of colour and texture here, to stay in the same mode as I have always done and just do what you feel like doing, it is a great work.
 It is on all formats, the first vinyl limited run sold out in 24 hours though, so tough tithes to those who couldn't get that one.

 How did you end up working with Relapse? Was it a case of they gave you the best offer? Did you have contact with any other labels?

 I did approach another couple of labels on the advice of various people but they were not interested once I shared the demo, not surprising really as it was terrible quality, but thankfully Brad Boatright at Audiosiege loved it and could hear the potential so gave Relapse the heads up on that.They have been very cool people to work with too.
 As far as offers go, I don't think labels do that kind of thing any more,i just came to them with the demo and then financed the rest of the recording myself, so they had the finished work, plus Orion Landau is their in house art guy and he was fantastic to work with.

The band members are spread out across the world, you reside in the UK and the others in Canada/USA so I am very curious to know how the album/material was written/ composed and ultimately refined was it a case of you writing material and sending it to the rest of the band? Did you rehearse much as a band unit before recording?

 I gave the guys the first demo stuff and suggested that we simply tear it down and make the demo again with all of us, so started by tracking the drums in Montreal and then uploading into dropbox so I could track bass here, back up for Guitars in Minneapolis and then back for vocals,not the most convenient way to do things but we did not have the money to get everyone in a studio this time around, so we would talk on Skype a lot and try and keep the dialogue open as if we were in the next room kind of thing.
 Along with Amebix I also lost all the money I had invested in that so there was not a lot left to do except get DIY on this.

 Are you satisfied with how this album/material turned out in a recording environment?

Well, as I say, it was recorded all over the place, and yes I am very pleased with what we managed to make of that, it is a bold endeavour i think and it paid off.

 Where was the album recorded at/mixed/mastered? Why did you choose those places and people to produce/mix the album?

Minneapolis guitars, Drums Montreal, Bass and Vox Isle of Skye, mixed at my mates place(The Smiddy) around the mountain here by James Adams.

 How soon after the split of Amebix did you start coming up with the music and concept of Tau Cross? Did it come about quite soon after or did you take a musical time out for a little while?

Tau Cross is essentially Amebix material with new musicians involved, the next stuff will be more communally written by the look of it, but still has that feel about it. this evolved during the long dissolution of Amebix, it is the distillation of that operation.

 What are the significant differences in your opinion between the music/lyrics of Amebix and Tau Cross, what seperates the two bands clearly? What sets them apart?

I think that I spent some time trying to see what it was that I brought to Amebix,that made it such a different band on many levels,and i found that this quality was still intact, I just needed to find a new way to express it, so it is very similar in lyrical and vocal approach but with a more complex and perhaps tuneful guitar sound.

 What kind of feeling do you want to conjure up and create with the music, asthetics and lyrics of Tau Cross? The album cover looks rather ominous/foreboding.

 The cover Art was done by Orion Landau,we chatted for some time about this after he had heard the rough demo ,I wanted to get that same unsettling and eerie feeling that you get from the first Sabbath cover, a sort of 70’s Hammer horror vibe, as some of the songs fit into that environment, there are stories to follow,as usual I am trying to create an internal environment for people to walk into within the songs themselves.
 the Logo is suggestive of primitive earth energies within the lunar sphere of the unconscious, these are the triggers for the music.

 Please tell us about the origin of the band name and the album cover, who designed it and the striking looking logo/symbol?

 I drew the symbol initially and Andy fleshed it out properly.The Tau has been a constant symbol throughout my adult life, I chose to represent that in the logo so that in a sense it would take the ownership of this ancient symbol out of the hands of the predominantly religious context that it is seen in, it is a Universal symbol that belongs to us all.

 Lyrically can you give us an insight into what subjects inspired you to put pen to paper for the songs on this album?

16th and 17th century occultism,Crowley/Dee and jack parsons.the stone breakers of Avebury,the practice of stealing the semen from hanged men for ritual use,Fairy mounds and abductions,the nature of Control, perrenial evil within people, the power of lies, observations of all sorts.

 Do you plan to take the band out on the road and tour/play live in support of the album? Any shows in the pipeline?.

 Yes, most definitely,this may take another ten Months to happen but that is my focus with this,it is not a ‘Project’ it is a band and will be the literal extension of Amebix for me personally, and I will bring everything I have into this to make it work as a live band too.

 I heard someone reference Killing Joke when hearing Tau Cross, a relevant comparison in your opinion? Where did you gain the musical influence from for this album's material?

 There has always been a KJ reference or Motorhead or whomever people can try and liken it to, but with this album it is going to be very difficult to pin a tail on it, there is a lot of different texture here. My own musical influences remain the same as they ever were, you can hear a nod here and there but like Amebix, this is about creating our own space and not being a follower of anyone else, Tau Cross will be our own sound and approach to music.

 How does it feel to be starting afresh with a new band after so many years? I guess it must be like having a blank canvas all over again like you did back in the late 70's/early 80's when first starting out with Amebix...I guess you must feel a certain sense of musical freedom with a brand new musical project with no previous discography/recorded legacy to live up to.

It was very hard to get this started, but when it did it was like being on the right path again,very refreshing and also challenging to shed the old skin and create another new one entirely, but in my life I have done that before and made something better each time.

When did you initially decide to make the move to the Isle of Skye? What attracted you there in the first place?.

I moved here in 1990, at the onset of the first Gulf War,I  was at the end of a long relationship and had ended up losing my house and child , living on floors  again. I had a Motorcycle accident which tipped the scales for me, my bike was trashed, I had no home and all I knew was my folks in Skye, so I went to visit and lick my wounds, and decided that this was time to change my life.

What is your favourite thing about living on Skye?. You have lived in cities (Bristol etc) do you think you could ever go back to inner city life or are you on Skye until the reaper calls on you?!

I grew up in the Country, Devon and Cornwall, I have always had a very strong relationship to the Earth and landscape, I spent quite a lot of time in nature as a kid growing up and I think that informed me a great deal. I do not have any love for City life, it is sterile and artificial,it keeps a distance between man and nature and encourages a false perception of the real World.

Do you ever get Amebix fans randomly turning up on Skye/at your forge?.

yes I  do, it can be unsettling, but usually anyone who makes it this far is an adventurer and deserves a little hospitality rather than Hostility.

You have had your own forge open for a while now, Castle Keep making swords etc... when did you decide to open that and get involved in that business?

I moved towards this shortly after i arrived here on Skye, I wanted to learn how to make a Sword in the Modern world, but this was before any Internet or even a Bridge, this was as far off the map as you could be, so I began by writing letters to Antiquarian bookshops around the UK, and gradually taught myself from what I  could find.

When did your interest in swords and sword making begin?.

My father is a Gunsmith,we grew up learning how to shoot and make primitive explosives rather than playing football. I found out later in life that there is a genetic predisposition in this family to get involved with either arms or manufacture, or mercenaries.

It must require a huge amount of patience, typically how long does the process take from the beginning to the end?
Where did you initially learn the craft of sword making? And how did you get so involved with it?

I taught myself entirely, along the way picking up leather work and jewellery skills, it has not been easy.I still earn very little but my level of work is recognised Worldwide. For a simple Sword it will take me around a week of work, although I usually start a dozen projects at one time and proceed through forging, grinding, tempering , hilt manufacture and scabbard work over the preceding weeks

Who have you made swords for so far, any famous clients you can reveal? What else do you make apart from swords?

I did make a knife for David Duchovny once,and have done a few film pieces.
What's the strangest request you have had from someone?!
I had a couple of gentlemen visit me who wanted a custom set of knives as they liked to 'cut one another' in a Magickal sense.

Thanks for answering this interview the last words are yours.

 Enjoy the album, this is a good beginning.

The band are due to embark upon their debut US tour soon taking in various East Coast dates aswell as a show in Montreal and they will also be appearing at this years edition of Roadburn Festival in Tilburg, The Netherlands.


Friday, 3 January 2014


It has been a while since I have updated my blog due to actual problems with uploading features onto the blog via the library computer that I currently rely on due to my home PC currently being offline, I am still experiencing problems so please bare with me as far as the layout etc is concerned whilst I work out what the actual fuck is wrong with this thing! Anyway earlier in 2013 I featured Texan Satanic Death Metallers Imprecation on my Terrorizer Magazine website blog below is the full interview I did, Kat/ WHO ARE THEY: IMPRECATION WHERE ARE THEY FROM: Texas, USA FOR FANS OF: Incantation, Immolation, Vital Remains, Blaspherian, early Morbid Angel, early Deicide LATEST RELEASE: Satanae Tenebris Infinita (Dark Descent, 2013 ) WEBSITE : facebook Cult Texan Satanic Death Metal horde Imprecation returned to the scene a few years ago to finish off some unfinished business which has finally resulted in the ravaging and snarling beast of a full length album due to be unleashed upon the metal masses in June titled "Satanae Tenebris Infinita" which is actually the bands debut full length album proper despite originally forming in the early 90's so I thought it was the perfect time to contact vocalist David Herrera to find out more. guys are finally back together and active in recent years...what made you decide to initially awaken this old school black/death metal beast from it's dormant slumber?!
David:  It just needed to be done.  There was a ton of unfinished business left in the band, and with me personally as well.  I left the band in 1993 to form Bahimiron (which didn't happen until 2002), and I feel that it was a bit premature.  There was still realms to explore, and gates to open so I returned to the fold when Ruben approached me about rejoining.  We also felt that Imprecation went astray from the Death Metal identity that we worked so hard on, mainly because when Mark Beecher took over on vocals when I left, he started to wearing facepaint and capes and stuff bringing a more theatrical element to the band.  Imprecation was never meant to be that, so it eventually drove itself to an end in the late 90s.  Another thing that was left on the table when the band had it's initial demise was the simple fact that there was never a proper full length recorded, and we felt that we owed it to ourselves as well as our supporters world wide to fulfill this goal.

Your first release since your return was the "Sigil Of Lucifer" EP - Please tell us a little about this release

  The "Sigil of Lucifer" ep was a way to break the ice that had formed between the late '90s and the new incarnation of the band.  Tim Bartlett who heads NEGATIVITY RECORDS and owns Noisefarm studios in Paige, TX had contacted us about coming down and recording a couple of songs to kickstart things back into life and letting the underground know that we have crawled out from the tomb.  It was a great experience, though I'm not sure that the end result was what we were trying to achieve.  The songs were written in the right vein, and it was recorded right as well, but I think we might have rushed into the studio a little prematurely.  My Death vocals had been on hiatus for some time, having only been executed with Bahimiron on studio albums and the occasional rare live performance.  When we recorded the 7 inch I still had yet to break the seal properly.  And the guitars came out rather thin in my opinion, though I do not know why that happened as Phil and Jim had a crushing sound at the time.  All in all, chalk it up to a re-learning experience and move forward with the blasphemy!

After that you recorded a demo "Jehovah Denied" that was released in 2012 - what was the purpose of this demo? Did you sell many copies of it or was it more of a promo demo to try and secure a new record deal?

"Jehovah Denied" was a statement.  First off it had been 20 years since the release of our "Ceremony of the Nine Angles" demo so we started to plan to do a true underground styled demo to commemorate the release.  While Ruben and I were starting to plan this action Phil decided that he did not want to play in Imprecation anymore as he was wanting to fulfill his need to play Doom music.  I dunno what happened but Jim decided to leave as well, leaving us with no guitarists.  We were in shambles of sorts.  Milton Luna was our bass player at the time, so we were ok in that aspect, but we had to start an under-the-radar search for a guitarist.  In Imprecation we do not just plug in a guy with a guitar and push play, the person has to fit our ideology and sound, and to be an all out professional on his instrument.  Needless to say there were not many guitarists in our vicinity to choose from, most of the good to great guitarists were committed to their respective bands or simply did not have the time to join a band.  Luckily Danny Hiller, who had previously left Imprecation (on bass) because he had to get surgery on his wrist area that left him unable to play, was fully recovered and ready to rejoin.  But this time it was to be on his chosen instrument of a guitar.  The four of us trudged forward and crafted four songs, fleshed them out and beat them down.  The end result was "Jehovah Denied", and in my opinion it is one of the most honest and brutal releases we had done up to that point.  The demo was never really recorded to secure a record deal, that really was a secondary purpose to be quite frank.  It was more or less done with a new purpose to silence all of our doubters who felt that Ruben and myself could not carry on with Imprecation without Phil and Jim in it.  We did everything ourselves, from the recording to the layout.  We sold all of the 100 copies within the first week of release, and eventually this demo was released on cassette by UNHOLY DOMAIN records in Italy.  I did send one to Matt from DARK DESCENT RECORDS, as I felt that he was a label that cared about what he attached his name to, and hoped to peak his interest in working with us to release our first full length.  As I said, the demo had a secondary purpose of trying to find a good label.  Matt was fully interested, he agreed to sign us for the album and the rest is as you know it.

Your new full length album "Satanae Tenebris Infinita" is recorded and due to be unleashed soon by one of the best and most prolific American independant death/extreme metal labels Dark Descent Records did you hook up with them? Was it a result of the 2012 demo(n)?! Please tell the readers abit about this album in your own words and what they can expect from it?.

Matt had previously agreed to release a split 7 inch with our Death metal brothers in BLASPHERIAN (which is still going to happen), and I noticed that he was showing some interest on some various forums in regards to "Jehovah Denied" so I basically took a shot in asking him.  We've been around a while and have made some sort of mark in the underground through our earlier releases, so I figured that I did not need to "sell" Dark Descent a reason why he should take a chance on releasing our full length as our earlier work speaks for itself.  We chatted over the phone for about an hour as to what we were looking for from his end, he gave me a rough idea of what we would be looking at on the business end of the deal, everything sounded killer so we went forward with the contract.  "Satanae Tenebris Infinita" was originally entitled "Of The Black Earth" as that was a title that I have had in my pocket for the name of our first full length since 1992.  I even printed it on the first shirts that have the "Necronomicross" on the front that were done for the "Ceremony of the Nine Angles" demo.  Anyways, label mates MAVETH came out with their album on Dark Descent entitled "Coils of the Black Earth" at the end of 2012, and rather than compete with them on the title I just figured we should rename the album to something else.  Not to mention that we have a song on the album entitled "The Coils of Eden" haha, so the similarities in that aspect were too close.  "Satanae Tenebris Infinita" was the latin translation of "The Infinite Darkness of Satan", translated with a little guidance from Tim Bartlett and Jeff Tandy (both whose opinions I value and trust fully) and a professional latin translator confirmed that we were right in the translation.  I like the title so much more, it almost has a feel very similar to our initial compilation full length LP "Thuergia Goetia Summa".  You can expect everything that IMPRECATION is about on this album, with a dirty modern production that loses none of the vibe that we laid down in the years of 1992 and 1993. 

Have many reviews surfaced yet? If so how have they been?

  Yes, there have been some reviews trickling in, and they for the most part have been very good and killer.  Some have even gone as far as to deem it as an album that belongs with past legendary Death metal releases with ease.  This is very appreciated, though we do not take those reviews to heart.  We will always strive to release the best material that we can, we set a new bar for ourselves with "Satanae" and we are not going to release anything in the future unless it matches or passes this work.

Lyrically what can we expect on this album...where did you draw the inspiration from to put pen to paper to write lyrics for this album? Please tell us about some of the lyrical concepts behind the songtitles.

  The morbid glory of Satanas and all of the infernal treasure within.  He is the air that I breathe and the blood in my veins.  I will never stray from the lyrical path that I first started on in the late '80s with my band CHRIST DISMEMBERED.  There are some songs on the album that have different themes than worship, but they fall into a category of Christ hate.  Our song "Hosanna Ex Inferis" is about the putrid Catholic scum who rape tender souls in the name of their Serpent Jesus.  "This is the flesh of my body, the flesh of a new and everlasting covenant."  Blasphemy for desire.  Another song on the album is the opener "Blood Dominion" which is a throw the Christians into the pit with the lions and beasts type thing: "Whips of the crucifiers, strike across the flesh/Devil's snare restrains/Blood flows to the earth/Hear the leather crack/Thunder strikes again/casting the Christians into the pit/Hear the lions roar thirsting for their blood/Goathorned Emperor standing proud/Hear the roar from the crowd hungry for their Death/Devil's frenzy/Bloodlust all around....."
It's not Shakespeare, but that's the kind of shit I get off to!   Also a song on the album called "From Beyond the Fiery Temples" that is inspired by Lovecraftian beasts and Necronomicon Ancient Ones.

Please tell us about the new album title and the meaning and inspiration behind it.

  Hating Christ and his sheep.

How was the writing process for the album? Typically how does a song come together from birth to completion?

David:  I
don't put pen to paper until I get the song arranged to my satisfaction, and I get an idea where leads should go.  As far as the music writing, the guys would be best to answer that since I don't touch any instruments in creating our hymns.  All I assist with is editing the song arrangements to flow with the ideas I have going.

Where was the new album recorded? Are you satisifed overall with how it has turned out?! How would you compare the Imprecation of 2013 to that of the early 90's incarnation? Is there any notable differences in your opinion?

  It was recorded at Big Door Studios is Webster, TX.  I have recorded here for years with Bahimiron, and I am a good friend with the owner and engineer Mike BBQ.  The man understands abrasive heaviness, and he knows how to bring out what we seek everytime we enter his studio.  I would say it's a menacing beast in sound, not too polished and has a great crushing low end on the bass.  Everything is where it needs to be.  The mastering is excellent as well, done by Dan from CRUCIAMENTUM.

Imprecation has always been an openly and blatant satanic death metal band - what does satanism mean and represent to you as indivduals and as a band? It is obviously a VERY important aspect to the band.

  Like I said, it is the very fuel that burns our souls.  Imprecation has been and always will be a Satanic Death metal band.

If you compare the current death/black metal scene to that of the early 90s heyday what differences do you see for better or for worse? What is your opinion on the current scene and why do you think old school style death metal is enjoying a renewed interest?! Are there any newer bands that you feel an "affinity" with?! Or that have caught your attention.

  Well, the overpopulus of crappy underground metal is a cancer in the scene.  We are all very well aware of the trendies, crusties and hipsters that have infiltrated it, and the best way to combat this plague is to release true Death and Black metal oblivious to their ways.  Eventually they will grow tired of the sound, and will move on to be locusts on some other underground music and lifestyle.  The early 90s were are magickal time, but even then there were posuers stinking things up.  One of the big reasons why I left Imprecation is that I got tired of the mindless Cannibal Corpse and Suffocation comparisons that we got, it's like these fuckers did not even LISTEN to what we were doing.  We are so far from that type of drivel that it baffles me to the core that we would get lumped in with such crap.  Of course that was my big mistake, I was young and actually listened to these brainless comparisons time and time again, and let it influence my decision to leave the band.  That will never happen again, I assure you.  When I finally have had my fill of this band, I will leave on my own accord and not based on false comparisons or other distractions.  Currently there are a crop of bands that are worthy of a true metalhead's collection, bands like TEITANBLOOD, DIOCLETIAN, HELLVETRON, MORBOSIDAD, BLASPHERIAN, HOD, DESOLATE SHRINE, TEMPLE NIGHTSIDE, CEMETERY URN, VORUM, TERATISM, FAMINE, CELESTIAL BLOODSHED, WRATHPRAYER, PSEUDOGOD, CULTES DES GHOULES, FATHER BEFOULED, LANTERN, ANHEDONIST, KRYPTS, SICKRITES, OBESEINCE, as well as the ever reliable classics still in existence such as CRUCIFIER, ARCHGOAT, INCANTATION, DIVINE EVE, IMMOLATION.....

For those who do not know what is an "imprecation" - please give the readers an insight into why you chose this particular band name.

  It is defined as a wicked curse.  I think it is obvious as to why we chose this name!  (a big FUCK OFF to the bedroom black metal shit baby from Turkey who thought it was a good idea to lift our name in the year of 2012.  As he found out our supporters are very passionate!)

What has the response been like overall to your return to the scene, do you find that there is alot of younger people getting into Imprecation aswell as the die hard old guard/old schoolers who remember the band from when you were active the first time around?!

  Yeah, it's been killer!  We still have a lot of support from the old guard, but have gained a ton of younger people who understand what true underground Death Metal is all about!  Everywhere we play there is always someone from back in the day who never got a chance to see us, and we make sure that we give them 110% onstage especially for the support they have shown for such a long time!  We get lots of emails from demons the world over with their Imprecation collection on display and anticipating the new album.

How active is the current incarnation of Imprecation? Do you play live much locally or out of state? Are there any or many plans to play and maybes even tour in support of the new album after it's release? What can people expect from an Imprecation live show?!

  We take things in stride, we are all older, mind you, and have adult responsibilities that we cannot simply ignore by jumping in a van and hitting the road for weeks on end.  With that being said, we have been active as of recent, with shows in Mexico, New York, Maryland in addition to our shows throughout the state of Texas!  We are supposed to return up north in October of this year, and we look forward to it tremendously as the crowds up there for our sets have been INSANE.  Later this month we will be supporting the mighty BOLT THROWER at the Chaos in Tejas fest in Austin, TX, looking forward to that as well!  Expect true underground Satanic Death Metal played with true passion and hate.

Any plans to hit Europe?

  Would love to, though no serious offers have come through as of yet!

Describe Imprecation IN 5 WORDS ONLY!

  Satanic Texas Death Metal Coven

Introduce the current members of the band - There is yourself and Ruben from the early/old days and 3 newer members, how did you get to know these guys and ultimately decide to have them as part of the band? What qualities do you think the newer members have brought to the table?

  We have Danny Hilller on lead guitars, Milton Luna on rhythm guitars and our new recruit David Ramirez on bass guitar.  We have plans to have Jeff Tandy from BIRTH A.D./AVERSE SEFIRA on joining us onstage in New York this fall as David has duties with the military that make him unable to commit to going out of town with the band for the rest of this year.  That will be killer, as Jeff is a good friend and long time supporter of the band.

I have always loved the artwork of IMPRECATION - the new art looks absolutley AMAZING - If I am not wrong it is a Chris Moyen creation. Why did you decide to use this artist? Please tell us about this art...did you give Chris the basic idea for it in words or ???

  Yes it does!  The cover is indeed crafted by none other than the master Chris Moyen.  He asked me what I wanted for the cover and then translated it with great talent.  Also featured within the album is another master of dark arts Mark Riddick with a creation of sex and blasphemy that he translated with great vision and talent as well!

What is your local scene like? many decent clubs/places to play or bands you can recommend? Are the members of Imprecation active in any/many other bands? If so please tell us about them.

  Texas has some great up and coming talent with bands such as PLUTONIAN SHORE, MORGENGRAU, FUNERAL SHROUD, SPECTRAL MANIFEST, HEL-RAZOR, CHURCH OV MELKARTH, OATH OF CRUELTY and the classical stylings of GOATCRAFT!

What is your opinion on the USA death metal scene thesedays? What bands nationally do you feel a bond/affinity with?

I think it is strong, you just have to know where to seek the strong cults.  Some bands we feel affinity with are:  TERATISM, THORNSPAWN, OAKMOON, HOD, BIRTH A.D., CRUCIFIER, BLASPHERIAN, FUNERAL SHROUD, MORGENGRAU, PLUTONIAN SHORE and a few others who escape me at the moment.

What are your plans for the rest of the year and into the beyond...?

  Time to get to work on this 7 inch split with BLASPHERIAN.  The cover art is amazing, done with great talent from DANIEL "SAWBLADE" SHAW.

Thanks for answering this interview..the last words are yours!

  Thank you Kat for the great interview and interest in our band.  HORNS!!!!

Tuesday, 30 July 2013


I got a message in my inbox on Facebook recently and I thought I recognised the sender Erik’s surname, the drummer in Swedish/Iceland based raw old school death metallers Under The Church, when I first glanced at who it had been mailed from. Soon enough I realised it was Erik Qvick the ex-drummer in legendary Swedish death metal pioneers Nirvana 2002 getting in touch with a link to music by his new band, which he’s formed together with ex-Nirvana 2002 bandmate Lars Henriksson. Musically and aesthetically the band are staying true to their old school death metal roots and they have recorded a few very fierce sounding songs, which should appeal to anyone who likes their death metal raw and stripped down to the bone and sounds like it could have been recorded in 1989/1990. They have a great mix of tempos from crawling doomed Autopsy sounding passages to all out ripping death. The band are generating quite a b
it of a buzz already it seems, not surprising given the members previous involvement in such a legendary band, so I thought it was the perfect time to grab ahold of Erik and ask him about his new project . This interview originally appeared on the Terrorizer magazine website in an edited form back in May and since that feature went online good old Fenriz made them a "band of the week" ( I had a feeling that might happen once he had heard their raw death metal onslaught!).

Hi Erik! When did the idea of forming a new band happen?

-Hi Kat, thank you for doing this interview! Well, the idea came after the final Nirvana2002 gigs in 2012,me and Lars started talking about playing together again, it was such a good vibe after playing together as Nirvana2002 that we wanted to do some more playing but as a new band and starting completely from scratch.

Did you have a clear idea of what style you wanted the new band to be in...what was the inspiration to form Under The Church with your old Nirvana 2002 band mate Lars?

- Not really, we didn´t have a set idea when we started but it didn´t take long until it sounded like Death Metal since it´s pretty much the only music that I can write, haha! We did however not want it to sound like Nirvana2002, that was maybe the only rule or limit that we decided on, we didn´t wanna do a "part 2 of Nirvana2002",  As far as inspiration it only took a case of beer and us playing some riffs back and forth to get the ball rolling. We just wanted to play raw Death Metal.

You recently recorded and uploaded a Demo which is available via bandcamp, how and where was this demo recorded since you moved to Iceland a little while ago, I guess that makes it kinda difficult for you and Lars to get together personally to rehearse and work on songs but in this modern internet age it is very easy to send music files etc back and forth across the world in a matter of seconds..Typically how is a UTC song born and then created?

- I just started coming up with alot of riffs on guitar and writing stuff in August last year, somehow it just clicked and soon I had pretty much written 10-12 complete tunes and then me and Lars started sending ideas between Iceland and Sweden. It didn´t take long to work out how we wanted the tunes to sound,thanks to the internet it´s not a problem working that way and by october we had 7 tracks that we felt were good enough to record. For the recording I was extremely picky about getting the right sound, I ended up tracking the drums at a studio here in Reykjavik that only records Dub and Reggae, which was perfect because the engineer had absolutely no clue about recording drums for metal, haha! The last thing I wanted was the superclean and protools gridded sound because that´s not the way I sound when I play, we then recorded guitars and bass in Sweden around christmas. We added vocals in april this year and then we made a little bandcamp page to send around.

Please tell the readers what to expect from this demo and the music in your own words

- It´s Death Metal, no more or less ,it´s as simple as that

What is your intention with this demo, any plans to have it released in a physical you hope it will lead to an album deal of somekind? The response I have seen from people online so far seems to be VERY positive and welcoming!

-Yeah, the response so far has been very first I just put up the bandcamp page to have something to send to friends, but that backfired when so many of them started sending the links to people and friends of friends ,so after a while we had make it a "official" page. We will probably have some tapes for sale late may, we´re getting patches and tshirts made as well because we want people to look good for summer y´know? My guess is that by autumn we should be able release some more music,don´t know yet if it´ll be vinyl or what not.

Do you have much new material in the pipeline? Any plans to do any new recordings in the not too distant future?

- Yeah, we have 7 tracks already recorded and we working on finishing another 4-5 tracks, maybe we´ll be able to record them sometime this summer.

Why the band name Under The Church?

Actually the name comes from Jörgen "Sigge" Sigfridsson, I nicked it from him in 1988! . Jörgen was to say the least a very influential character in the early swedish thrashscene, he had a zine in the late 80´s and also later the label that released the Nirvana2002 7" split...he was the main reason why I started my own fanzine Hang´em high, I figured "...if he can do it,how hard can it be?" hehe! I remember one time talking to him on the phone discussing bandnames and he said "Under The Church, that´s a cool name for a band!", the name stuck with me through the years and it´s a little tip of the hat from me to him....he really opened up the whole scene with tapetrading,fanzines and demos for me by sending alot of stuff for me check out. 

Your music sounds classically old school, what bands shape and influence the sound of UTC? I love the mix of tempos too from slow crawling Autopsy style doomed passages to uptempo ripping Swedeath parts.

- The inspiration is the usual suspects: Venom,Motörhead,Bathory,early Slayer,early Death,Autopsy,Sadus,Repulsion,Master..that kind of stuff...last summer I also had a huge Accept period listening to all the records up to Russian Roulette, that had a impact on my guitar playing as well, not writing wise per se but just by playing Wolf Hoffmann riffs I discovered alot about the guitar.

The artwork for your demo looks typically old school and quite rough it very important to you to have that old school vibe asthetically aswell as musically?

- I don´t wanna call it old school since I don´t want it to come across like just a like a retro thing but you´re spot on that the aesthetics of old Death Metal is something that´s close to my heart, haha! I specifically wanted that ugly,nasty look and Fannar who did the artwork did a perfect job. I did the logo and yes, it´s your typical Nihilist style logo but it works.  

What do you think of the resurgence and renewed interest in old school style death metal again in recent years? Any newer old school style bands that have caught your attention? Why do you think this style of music has become so popular again when old school style death metal bands couldn't get arrested back in the late 90s/turn of the 2000's!!!?!

-Hard to say really. I can only speculate, it could be that since every genre forms it´s essence in the beginning so to speak, maybe people got tired of bands taking the music too far away from what the original idea was all about? Of course styles evolve and progress but there´s also the possibility of the music then getting watered out. The main thing I noticed personally is that many are getting tired of the superclean and overpolished sound of contemporary metal, it´s strange because all those great tools that should help musicians and enhance modern recordings actually weakens the overall sound and becomes a crutch for bands and musicians. Triggering,Amp modeling,Autotune,Beatdetective, all those tools that should make a recording sound really tight and crushing far too often works in the opposite way. Voivods "War and Pain" has still today one of the heaviest drumsounds i've heard! I´ve been out of the loop as far as keeping up with new bands for a long time, but "current" bands that I dig are Tormented,Bombs Of Hades,Bastard Priest and Bölzer. I also really liked the Death Breath records, Nicke is a musical genius.

Lyrically where do you draw the inspiration from for the lyrics?

Horrormovies,HP Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe....again, the usual stuff.

Describe the band in 5 words only!

Death from Under The Church!

Is there any bands to play live at some point with this band or will it remain a studio/recording orientated band? I think this stuff would be killer in a live environment!

- We´re definitely gonna play live, that´s actually the main reason why we started the band...we don´t have a fully fledged lineup yet though, so far it´s just me and Lars but our friend Mik Annetts have been kind enough to help us out with vocals on the first demo we did, Mik is from Australia and was a part of the early Aussie deathmetal scene, he´s a great guy and he understand this style as well so it´s a match made in hell! As for now we´re just concentrating on finishing the recorded material but hopefully we´ll be ready to do some gigs later this year with a full lineup of the band.

If you compare the death metal scene now to that of late 80s/early 90s what are the fundemental differences that you notice? Anything you prefer and really miss about the old days?

- The main difference is that today there´s like 10 million bands! There´s just a insane amount of bands now and the mainstream Metalscene is huge. The paradox with all that is that I don´t hear enough diversity,but that however goes for all styles and genres of music today. Now I might sound like a grumpy old guy but that´s the cold hard truth. In the 90s the scene was small and one might think that made it very polarized but listening to that stuff today it comes across as very vital and diverse.

I think that people who are now discovering the old scene might be baffled at´s almost like ...Ok, lets say that you're really into Blues...but image if you have only listened to John Mayer trio and then one day you discover Hound Dog Taylor and the Houserockers, you would probably at first go "wtf is this!?, sloppy playing,strange solos?" but then you would start to hear the energy and the genuine vibe from Hounddog and be knocked out by it because up until then you've never heard anything like it! You can transfer that kind of analogy into todays metal and use, say...Nile as John Mayer trio and Repulsion as The houserockers and get a similar result.

I´m definitely not saying that it was all better back then and all new bands like Nile are crap, there's a risk with the whole nostalgia thing of getting too romantic about how things really were in the early deathmetal scene. Gustav Mahler said "Don't pray to the ashes,pass on the fire" and to me that's the essence if anything about the old scene, I´m not stuck in the year 1991 y´know but there was a passion and fire then that we want to tap into as a band.

What are your thoughts on the ability to seemingly promote bands much easier via the modern internet/social networking ways?

- Good question,its great to easy be able to get in contact with people, I however don´t participate in any forums or that kind of thing,I just don´t have the time.

Inevitable question here...Is Nirvana 2002 now officially dead and buried and will never be resurrected or....? What are your thoughts on the response to the Relapse compilation/remaster CD of the old demos etc...also how was it to play MDF in USA? The reunion activity didn't seem to last so long..was that the intention anyway?

- We´ve nailed that coffin shut and it looks like it´s for good. But it was great to be able to do those reunion gigs since we never played live when the band was active back in the days, the Relapse compilation went really well, I think it actually sould out. Maryland Deathfest was fun but very chaotic but that´s usually the deal playing festivals, short set,lots of technical problems but we pushed through and I think it went ok,I still haven´t seen the movie though, MDF Part 2? I got to finally meet Chris Reifert though so I´m happy.

What were you doing mostly in the days after the band split up? And how does it feel to be creating new music again all these years later? Do you feel a renewed sense of energry and inspiration to create some new old school vibes again?!!

- Well, when Nirvana2002 called it quits in 1991 I went to music conservatory for an awful long time studying drums and percussion and then I just started playing in a shitload of different projects and bands around Scandinavia and Europe.Those years at musicschool are in hindsight very weird and I got confused musically for many years. My main problem is that I like to play so many styles and genres of music, it can be quite schizophrenic sometimes but the past 20 something years i´ve been a "professional musician" making my living playing and touring all kinds of music,the time at Conservatory wasn´t all bad though, I learned alot and had a great time. Funny enough, Vvornth from Bathory was also studying at the same school for the four years I was there! It was mindblowing hearing him tell stories about Bathory and Quorthon.It´s good to be in a band again, I don´t think we are doing anything "new" in that sense with Under The Church, it´s just Death Metal.

 Thanks for answering this small interview Erik, please feel free to add anything/post links to where people can listen to your music etc...

Thanks alot for the interest, feel free to check out some tunes over at or

Thursday, 11 July 2013


FOR FANS OF: Bathory, 13, Amebix, Axegrinder, Gallhammer
LATEST RELEASE: Demo 2012 (self released)
I first heard all female band SaturninE late last year after a friend got hold of their demo for me. It blew me away and never left my stereo for quite a few weeks, these ladies play very heavy blackened crusty sludge doom and have been creating a bit of a buzz on the scene in recent months, which attracted the interest of long running American label Razorback Records who signed the band to their roster for the release of their debut album. I sent some questions to the band and bassist Jex kindly answered them

Hails! Please give me a quick band history and also tell me who
currently does what in the band?

Jex, Laura and Angelica were friends and decided to start a band. They were seeking for 2 guitarist, and finally Silvia and Giulia joined the band. SaturninE started to reharse at the end of 2010. At the end of 2011 a self-titled demo has been released. During november 2012, Silvia left the band and has been replaced by Elvira. The collaboration with Elvira didn't last long: Samantha joined the band in march 2013. So the current line up is:
Jex: bass; Laura: vocals; Giulia and Samantha: guitars; Angelica: drums.

I recently got hold of a copy of your Demo 2012 which really impressed me, the songs are very well structured and I just love your style of crusty blackened doom/sludge - please tell the readers abit about this demo in your own words and how they can get ahold of it.

The recording sessions of the demo started in late 2011, and the whole work has been concluded in february 2012. Everything has been recorded and mixed by our friend Adam, who did a great work: he knew how we wanted to sound and the result he achieved has fully satisfied us. 
It's a 7 tracks demo which includes also a Bathory cover. It's possible to listen  the demo in streaming from Bandcamp                                                                        ( ). It has been released as CD and Tape, you can order a copy by writing to .

What has the overall response been like to the demo so far? Have you had much feedback from zines/mags or websites as far as reviews go? Are you satisfied overall with how the recording turned out? The production is great...where did you record it at?

The overall feedback was very good. As we previously said, all the credits for the production should be given to Adam. He mixed the demo at his own studio ( SFR ) and the result was a blast to us: we love it!
The band logo and artwork are also quite striking - who designed those?
Angelica has been inspired by the movie ''Haxan'' and told the band about it. Then we all agreed to use that picture for the demo. The logo has been created by Angelica and Jex.

Did you form an all female band on purpose or did it just turn out
that way, you know a bunch of girlfriends into the same kind of music wanting to play and jam music together? Did you all know each other before the band was formed?

3 of us (Jex, Laura and Angelica) were friends before starting the band. The other girls were initially acquaintances, met during gigs and generally in the diy scene, and of course now we are all friends. We didn't want men in our witch sabbath... ahahahah! 

Please tell us about the band name and it's meaning?

 “ Saturnine “ comes from a song of the album ‘’ Witchcult Today’’ by Electric Wizard - but it also recalls the darkest aspect connected to Saturn planet…the dark side of everything around us which has a certain affinity with our sound, gloomy and melancholic

I read that the demo attracted some interest from respected American label Razorback Records, how did they get to hear the band music and become interested in signing you?

They heard one of our tracks from the  compilation “ The women of Doom “, which also contains a track from Wooden Stake, the band of Vanessa and Billy Nocera. A couple of weeks after the release of the demo, they offered us the possibility to produce our upcoming full length. 

When can we expect the debut album from SaturninE? Do you have much new material written for it?

The plan was to release the album before the summer, but this hasn't been possible due to the problems we had with the previous guitarists (Silvia and Elvira). We have a new guitarist, Samantha, since march 2013 and we are completing the  tracks for the full length and playing some shows in the meanwhile. If things will continue to go this good, by the end of the summer the album will be ready. 

What is the songwriting process like for you girls? Is there always a
certain way a song is born and is a certain member always the one who first brings a song into life and then you all work on it collectively?!

Every song is the result of a different songwriting process. There is no a standard way that we follow. Usually one of us comes up with an idea and we all together participate in developing it. The important thing is that we all should agree in the final version of the song, so we must find a balance between our tastes – which is not always so easy, because each of us comes from a different musical background. But in the end we always find the balance and when this happen, a song can be considered “done”.

How active is SaturninE as a live band? Do you play locally and around your home country a lot? Have you done much touring or playing outside of Italy yet? I know you recently did a short mini tour of England - how was that experience for you? Please tell us your thoughts about those 3 shows here. What can people expect from a SaturninE live show?

We play in gigs since summer 2011 and we often play in north and center of Italy. For what concerns playing abroad we did a mini tour in England with three gigs (London, in Bradford and Bristol). It was an amazing experience ‘cause people were really into our music and they showed a lot of support to us. Last week we also did a mini tour: Udine (Italy), Vienna (Austria) and Treviso (Italy). It was our first mini tour with the new line up and we had a lot of fun together. We never played in those places before and it was amazing, especially in Vienna: playing abroad is always so exciting... different from playing in your own country. We love both, though.
What can people expect from Saturnine? Come to a gig and you’ll see! 

Lyrically what are your influences? What makes you want to put pen to paper?

Laura has many influences, for instance the horrors of war and the mental disease that it provoke or the illusion of religion and its stupid moral. But you can read also about nightmares or feelings of oppression.
Musically what shapes and fuels the sound of SaturninE?

As I said previously, all of us have a different musical background: each of us listen to different genres. Would be impossible to make a complete list of all the bands we love, but for sure we can name some: Amebix, Axegrinder, Saint Vitus, Electric Wizard, Celtic frost, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Death, Slayer, Black Sabbath.

You did a GREAT Bathory cover on the demo why did you choose this song and have you done or will you do anymore covers? What does Bathory's music mean to you -why is it so special?

Bathory is one of the few bands which all the 5 of us love, so that's the reason why we choose it. In the upcoming album there will be also a new cover, not from Bathory though.

Describe SaturninE in 5 words only!

Jex – Julia – Laura – Angelica – Samantha. Ahahahah :)

What is your local scene like both venuewise and bandwise? Any cool
local bands you care to mention?

The area of Bologna is full of amazing bands and with some of those we are also friends, for example Horror Vacui, Kontatto, Cancer Spreading, Black Temple Below, Bland Vargar, Undead Creep, Children of Technology – but the problem of the local scene is the lack of places to play in... 

There seems to be quite a few female fronted bands/all female fronted bands in the extreme music scene now which can only be a good thing - are there any other bands with female members that you feel an affinity or bond with both musically and attitude wise?

In Italy the issue about female musicians is kind of controversial: from one hand, there are people who complain about the fact that often girls don't know how to play an instrument; but on the other hand when people see girls playing, they complain because they say you are having “ success “ just because you are a girl. Luckily not all the people think this way, but unfortunately we often met this kind of stupid and contradictory people. 
We know a couple of bands with female musicians that share the same attitude of us: Agatha and Horrow Vacui for example. We are friends and attend the same kind of events in here.

What is your opinion on

A/ the current doom/sludge scene
B/ the current crust punk scene
C/ the current Italian extreme music scene

A) The doom/sludge scene is growing, there are a lot of listeners, but still it's a niche scene because is not that “easy” to listen. Even if it's small, the level of italian doom/sludge scene is very high: we can mention amazing bands like Black Oath, Doomraiser, Grime , Tons, Funeral Marmoori, Gum, Black Temple Below, Naga, Fangtooth..
B) The crust punk scene is not in a good moment unfortunately... but we can't complain too much because at least here in Bologna gigs are organized often, but the main problem is the lack of places to play in... there are few squat and a lot of clubs and pubs, but this situation is all over Italy, not only in Bologna.... and another problem is that many people attend only the big venues instead of supporting local bands.
C) We are in love with extreme music, is part of our life and we can't live without. We are playing our own interpretation of the extreme.

Thanks for answering this short interview! Please tell us about
websites, merch etc..the last words are yours!

So, if you want to be updated about SaturninE you have just to like our facebook page: you can even order our merch from there.
Thank you so much for this interview: questions are very interesting and it was nice for us to answer. We made you wait a lot for this interview... sorry for that, we really want to apologize. We've been DOOM even in answering... ahahaha!
Thanks again!