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Full Album Premiere: Animalize – ‘Meat We’re Made of’

Heavy metal isn’t a lost art in France with relative newcomers Animalize. Cut from the same denim and leather-esque doorway poster as Sortilège, Blaspheme, Warning, and their global compatriots in Annihilator, W.A.S.P., and Loudness, the Lyon-based quartet cycle through all the cliche of the early ’80s metal scene. Yet, where others fail at their nostalgic procession, Animalize have the right spirit and sound to make it to the top. It’s clear they have the chops, original worn-out LPs, and white boots/sneakers for the journey.

New album, Meat We’re Made Of, hearkens back to a time less public, where magazines profiles, smoke grenades, and burning guitars ruled the day. This is New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal (NWOTHM) bright and bold, even down to the KISS-inspired name. But Animalize aren’t myopic in their axe-n-slash methods. They employ synth-based tactics as well, atmospheric in feel yet deployed without stylistic disruption.

OK, so Paul Stanley-isms (“Fits Like a Glove,” anyone?) won’t be found here. That level of cheese has been left in the cellar to rot. Animalize come the ’80s movie poster era. The horror (and slight cheek) in Evil Dead and Pet Sematary blend seamlessly with the dystopia of Mad Max and the wild-chrome fantasies of Masters of the Universe. This is a full-on buffet of VHS tracking problems, with Accept and Fastway peeking through the speakers on either side.

Say Animalize from a mint-colored Lamborghini Jalpa: “Hello mankind, welcome to the future!…

The time has come for the stars to align
For you to witness the purge of your mind
None of us will ever get enough
To feed ourselves the MEAT WE’RE MADE OF

With explosions, barrel fires, and whips galore, Animalize bring slaughter to the party! Lock up your Betamax! They’ll steal it!

Animalize – Meat We’re Made Of by Dying Victims Productions

** Animalize’s new album Meat We’re Made Of is out June 30th on Dying Victims Productions. Pre-order LP and CD from Dying Victims’ Bandcamp (HERE). Lonely is the hunter, indeed!

The post Full Album Premiere: Animalize – ‘Meat We’re Made of’ appeared first on Decibel Magazine.

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Q&A: Temple of Void’s Alex Awn And Mike Erdody Paint The World Doom

Michigan death-doom luminaries Temple of Void rise from Warhammer 40K, grunge, and sick riff binges to release new album Summoning the Slayer, their first for Relapse Records. The denizens of Decibel have long appreciated the Detroit-based death-dealing downers, going all the way back to debut album Of Terror and the Supernatural, released the same year Ebola raged and other negative shit went down. Fast forward to 2020 though. The mighty Motor City mavens released their third long-player, The World That Was. So impressive and inline with our respective musical ennui that we awarded it #24 on our Top Albums of 2020. In Decibel #186, esteemed writer Justin Norton said thusly: “You can decide to play orthodox death metal by the book in the second decade of the 21st century, but you need to be great to pull it off. You can also upend the formula and go in different directions—you also have to be great to pull it off. Fortunately, Temple of Void are knocking at the door of death greatness, and this album is another example of the hidden treasure a few bands still find in an over 30-year-old genre.”

With Summoning the Slayer, Temple of Void outstretch their skeleton hand into slightly newer territory. No, they haven’t gone Dream Theater, but there are aspects of their sound that has (and is still) evolved. The death-doom herald is still front and center, as evidenced on “Deathtouch,” “A Sequence of Rot,” “Hex, Curse, & Conjuration,” and opener “Behind the Eye.” Here, the quintet shake the very foundations of our genre’s active graveyard. Temple of Void are never not crushingly heavy, furtively melancholic, and beastly in aesthetic. There are different things at play, though probably not overt in presentation. There’s a big grunge component to Summoning the Slayer. Not that you’d notice genuflection to Seattle’s best. The nod in the other direction (singer-songwriters) is, however. Closing track, “Dissolution,” is like a body being lowered into a burial vault. Somber, tempered yet intense, Temple of Void have found a way to embed their non-metal influences into their death-doom framework.

Pallbearers to death-doom’s funereal procession, guitarist Alex Awn and vocalist Mike Erdody continue to carry the heavy load.

OK, describe Temple of Void’s music. It’s burly yet melancholic. Like if Bolt Thrower, Demigod, and Paradise Lost (or Katatonia) had a lovechild and it grew up angry and a passionate gaming culture nerd. Tell me your side of it. I think you’ve called it “cosmic death-doom” before.
Alex Awn: That’s a pretty good summary. Those are all musical touch points for us. But I tend to think of it a little differently… We are be nature a proud “death doom band” and we fly that flag proudly. The whole band comes from a diverse set of backgrounds and Temple of Void’s (TOV) music is really defined by how we bring it all together in a unique manner. None of these “left of center” influences should be overt to the listener. Johnny Metalhead should just hear “a cool death doom band,” but if under the hood there’s all this influence coming from the likes of Alice in Chains, Smashing Pumpkins, Quicksand, and God knows what else.

Do you think there’s anything that’s particularly Michigan or Detroit that’s woven into Temple of Void’s aesthetic?
Alex Awn: Into our aesthetic? I don’t really think so. Maybe the fact that we just present ourselves as who we are. There’s no “mystique” about the band. We’re straight up. But that’s not necessarily just a Detroit thing by any stretch.

What have Temple of Void been up to since The World That Was?
Alex Awn: It came out in March of 2020, and we all know what happened then. That put the brakes on everything. So, we just decided to write a new album and make use of the downtime. So that’s what we did. And that’s why we’re talking to you today.

How would you compare The World That Was to Summoning the Slayer? I like how Temple of Void slowly has added cool dynamics to the music like on “Self-Schism” or “A Single Obolus.” Like “Deathtouch” and “The Transcending Horror” have that funeral doom edge that’s all-too absent in death metal. PS. I like the little Killing Joke bass vibe in “Deathtouch.”
Alex Awn: Killing Joke is Jason’s [Pearce; drums] favorite band. I fucking love ’em, too. Well, visually this album is a literal continuation of the last one. You see the boat with five dudes approaching the mouth of the cave on The World That Was, and then for the artwork in Summoning the Slayer you see those same dudes enter the cave. The “cave ambience” that connects each song is literally taking you on a tour of the inside of that mountain. The artwork, the cave ambience, it just all ties in together to create an even more seamless experience.

Describe the songwriting sessions for Summoning the Slayer? Were there any new dynamics coming into the fold? Bands, Warhammer books, etc.?
Alex Awn: Definitely a lot of grunge talk going on. Heavy Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden rotation. We kept the same collaborators (Omar [Jon Ajluni; synth] and Meredith [Davidson; synth]) as the prior album. The only thing that changed was where we recorded and who with. But outside of that, the actual sessions were the same process as we’ve employed since 2013. The guitarists write separately and throw our riffs into a dropbox folder. Then the two of us get together and start connecting the dots. Once we have a few riffs strung together we’d bring it to practice and share it with the band. At the point the whole band starts working on the arrangement and we refine it and refine it until it’s good to go. TOV always starts with guitar riffs and TOV always collaborates on the arrangement. No one has ever brought a whole song to practice and said, “here’s a song, play it.” Everyone’s fingerprints are on everything we write.

There’s no instrumental on Summoning the Slayer. That’s sort of been a Temple of Void trait from the beginning, if I recall. Did the opportunity not arise (with Mike) or did you decide to take a different track?
Alex Awn: Mike gets one song per album to do whatever he wants with. A total Mike Erdody original. And on the new one he ended up singing over what would have been his instrumental. The last song [“Dissolution”] is 100% Mike.
Mike Erdody: Like Alex said, there’s a degree of the unknown happening with each album in addition to the spectrum of doom and death. I may not bring as much of the grunge element, but I tried to add some of my personal influences into the mix that I thought could be complimentary. I felt the song that I picked for the album could have worked as an instrumental, but the main riff seemed to call for some kind of vocals, and building the pattern around the descending bass notes came pretty naturally. It felt right to do, so I went with my instinct. I don’t look at it so much as a major departure or anything, but rather building and expanding on an element to our albums that has always been there.

Let’s talk “Dissolution.” I’m reminded of Cathedral’s cover of “Solitude.” There might be a little ‘90s-era Opeth in there, too. What was informing this song, and why did you decide to close the album with a “ballad?”
Alex Awn: This was Mike’s song. He wrote and recorded it all. It felt like a really nice denouement to the whole listening experience. It’s a thick record and this just sort of gives you time to unwind at the very end. It’s a satisfying ending to the album, in my opinion. I definitely hear Opeth in our writing from time to time, too. And there’s certainly a Nick Drake influence on “Dissolution.” It feels very ’70s singer-songwriter.
Mike Erdody: With the first album, the band suggested I contribute some kind of instrumental or acoustic element to add another layer to our sound and dynamics. As you noted, it’s kind of become a traditional element at this point, but we’ve always tried to change up the placement or approach with each album. Using it as an album closer was something we had yet to do, and I think it makes a statement ending the record in such a somber way. Opeth could definitely be cited as an influence, but there are a few different things going on. When piecing it all together, I wanted the song to aesthetically fall somewhere between “Planet Caravan” or a Budgie ballad and something from Days of Future Passed by the Moody Blues. Omar was really pivotal in capturing the latter part of that combination. There’s a lyrical nod to Nick Drake because I had been working in alternate tunings to get around a bit of writer’s block, and I ended up writing the song in Cadd4, which is the tuning he used for a good chunk of his Pink Moon album (which is also one of the most genuinely despondent records of all time).

Are there moments or full songs on Summoning the Slayer that make you say, “Fuck yeah!”?
Alex Awn: I absolutely love playing “Engulfed.” The second half just builds and builds and builds. It’s only three chords or something. But it’s so satisfying to play. It’s just very transcendent from a physical and musical perspective. I can’t wait to play it live.
Mike Erdody: I always get a huge sense of satisfaction holding a finished album in my hand and admiring it as a complete artform. Being able to see any creative idea to completion is something that always makes me smile. As a music fan, I love deep listening. I like losing myself in an album’s artwork, lyrics, production, and the overall feeling it evokes. We want the listener to be able to do the same with our album. I wouldn’t say it’s a particular song or part of the record, but rather being able to see how it all came together in the end.

Lyrically, tell me what’s happening. The song titles are great. I can only imagine the lyrics (I have just the stream). I get a very Lovecraft vibe, but that’s probably an obvious starting point.
Mike Erdody: Alex has always been into the idea of creating some kind of mythos with the band. Up until The World That Was, the albums were mainly inspired by horror, and the songs felt like an anthology of unrelated short stories. I think that’s mainly where the Lovecraft vibe comes from, but I’ve personally tried not to directly lift any Lovecraft themes simply because it’s pretty well-tread territory in metal. I think the last album offered a bit of a lyrical departure and opened some doors to different avenues for us. The cover art for The World That Was begs the question of what waits behind the entrance of the cave, and Summoning the Slayer was intended to serve as the answer. For some of us the most horrific thing we can face is ourselves, and that can be more frightening than any Lovecraftian horror story. The beast being conjured on the cover art definitely has a bit of a Lovecraft feel, but it mostly represents a manifestation of the worst parts of ourselves and our choices. When you stand on the outskirts of Hades and it’s time to face the slayer, you discover the slayer is ultimately yourself. Each song takes a look at a lot of aspects of the human condition and how those poor choices are often influenced by our own fragility, fear, and shame. It’s very much an ego-death metal album.

Are songs connected thematically?
Alex Awn: Mike will have to elaborate on this one.
Mike Erdody: There’s a lot of interesting parallels to this album. As I said before, The World That Was artwork shows Charon navigating the rivers and leading the boat to the void beyond the mouth of the cave. Taking some inspiration from Dante’s Inferno with the concept of multiple circles of hell, each of the seven songs represents a deeper level of descent into some of the behavior patterns and thinking that is often rooted in our own ego and shame. Not just the notion of seven deadly sins and vices, but also seven emotional stages of grief as suffering is not something that is unique to anyone and we often cope in immature ways. There is a definite thematic link between songs on the album. Behind the Eye begins the album focusing on how maladaptive thinking and behavior rooted in negative experiences breeds apathy and allows human beings to justify doing horrific things to each other in search of status, power, and wealth. From there the lyrics use multiple perspectives to address how humans go through great levels of cognitive dissonance to validate their idealizations, cope with loss, or shift blame from themselves. Others internalize that blame and shut down, pull inward, or find their escape in the bottom of a glass or the chase of a dragon. Some people succumb to their own pettiness and in their need for vindication only end up losing a huge part of themselves, just like those who perpetually allow themselves to be controlled by fear and consequence often lose themselves similarly.

I know there’s a lot of fig painting and roll-playing going on in Temple of Void. Does any of that tie back to your aesthetic, music or lyrics?
Alex Awn: Mike and I are both Warhammer nerds. And Eric (old guitarist for TOV) is one of my best friends and he’s super into Warhammer, too. He comes over every Saturday night and we listen to post punk and paint minis. Eric and I play DnD. Mike’s into Magic. Brent, Don, and Jason don’t really partake in wargaming / RPG’s. But Brent is super into fantasy literature. We’ve had a couple shirts with D20’s on them. And definitely had some shirts with Chaos Knights on them. There’s a Warhammer / Age of Sigmar influence aesthetically. And actually, “The-World-That-Was” is how Warhammer references “the old world” before the coming of the Age of Sigmar. And that was where I came up with the idea for “The World that Was.” Mike has some lyrics on The World that Was that deal with the ending of the Age of Chaos. We have some older songs that reference Lovecraft, too. I play “Call of Cthulhu,” which is a Lovecraftian RPG. Eric played with me actually. And I found the artist for Summoning the Slayer through RPGs. He actually created the covers for some Call of Cthulhu books. And I wanted to branch out from “metal artists” and find someone who was a bit more off the beaten path.
Mike Erdody: It will find its way into some of the aesthetics because a few of us are nerds and it’s hard not to wear your interests on your sleeve, but I wouldn’t say any of it is a major lyrical influence for me though we have touched on it previously. As Alex said, Warhammer was a huge influence on the previous album’s title and made for an interesting way to address Death as an equalizer on the final song, but I would say Summoning the Slayer overall is a bit more bleak and reflective than it is rooted in fantasy or horror.

I know Temple of Void is your art, but what do the members of the band do outside?
Alex Awn: Jobs? Mike teaches autistic kids at a high school. Brent is a fireman. Don is a chef and soundman. Jason is the Charge Nurse for a gastroenterology department. And I’m the Director of UX for Bosch, North America.
Mike Erdody: I teach at a center-based ASD program. I like to do art, be creative, and learn new skills. I collect a lot of things like books, records, and horror movies because I like always being surrounded by things that inspire me.

Relapse is a different label platform from Shadow Kingdom and others. What do you hope to achieve by “leveling up” with Relapse?
Alex Awn: We wanted to be a label that was into putting us out simply because they really liked our music. And Relapse fits that bill. They’re genuine fans and that goes a long way with us. We also wanted to have a team around us. There are lots of people at Relapse with specialties who are in our corner. So we have so much more support when it comes to the media and opportunities. We had offers from bigger labels, but Relapse just felt like the most down to earth. The easiest to work with. We feel comfortable here. The main thing I hope to get out of being on Relapse is simply more opportunities. That could be opportunities to play new countries, or to play on bigger stages, or to be heard by more people, or to have a proper music video budget, or whatever else. TOV is our passion. It’s not a full time gig. So whatever life experiences we can unlock by being on a bigger label, bring em on! We’d really like to be in a position where we’re playing a fest here, a fest there. Just popping out for weekends across the world or the continent. Go play Hellfest in France and come back. Go do a week of shows in the UK. Go play some fest on the west coast. That kinda stuff. Having some more exposure from Relapse should just put us on more people’s radars and put us in more demand. Have a better budget for recording was huge for us because it enabled us to record with a respected producer we love and to have fun for a week in a different city. That was killer.

And what do you want fans to know about Summoning the Slayer?
Alex Awn: I hope people pour over the artwork and listen to the album with headphones. I want them to really immerse themselves in the album however they can. Let it be a fantastical escape. TOV is probably more about atmosphere than anything else. It’s not a message. It’s a feeling. It’s hard to put into words. I hope TOV comes across like a musical version of Warhammer or DnD or your favorite fantasy novel. That’s the kind of experience we aim for and we continue to refine. At the end of the day I think we’re simply trying to communicate the feeling of impending death and existential doom. It’s fucking grim. But having said that, if you really pay attention there are moments of hope. There are moments of clarity. Those five dudes in the boat aren’t dead. They’ll live to fight another day. Maybe summon another demon. Slay it. Steal the gold. And then retire and spend their time reading books and painting minis.
Mike Erdody: I hope with Summoning the Slayer the listener finds an album they can keep coming back to. I want people to have a degree of surprise when they listen, but also still able find the same familiar things they’ve come to expect from us just put together in a unique way. I want the listener to find the record to be memorable, relatable, and immersive.

** Temple of Void’s new album, Summoning the Slayer is out now on Relapse Records. Order the Decibel edition on LP HERE. Or, get LPs, CDs, and t-shirts HERE from Relapse Records. “God was real, and he hated us.”

** Check out Temple of Void’s Decibel Flexi disc ripper “Ravenous Eyes in the Distance” (HERE)

The post Q&A: Temple of Void’s Alex Awn And Mike Erdody Paint The World Doom appeared first on Decibel Magazine.

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Full Album Premiere: Intoxicated ‘Watch You Burn’

Florida bruisers Intoxicated have returned with new album, Watch You Burn. Born in Altamonte Springs in 1992, the aggro-thrash combo–still manned by vocalist/guitarist Erik Payne–hit the ground running, owing comparisons to Revenant, Sadus, and Incubus. So good were Intoxicated in the early ’90s heyday that Death’s own Chuck Schuldiner took Intoxicated under his wing, producing, mentoring, guesting on, and prompting labels to look at the death-thrash savagery that were the Scars and Drain demos. The group eventually issued their debut, Metal Neck, in 1997 before Payne went on to back party-starter Andrew WK.

Now, Intoxicated are back. Actually, they never left, having issued the Walled EP in 2020 to headbanging plaudits. The two years between have been very productive for Payne, bassist/vocalist Gregg Roberts, guitarist John Sutton, and drummer Mike Radford. They’ve written, recorded, and are now set to release their second full-length Watch You Burn on Seeing Red Records. Produced, mixed, and mastered by Ryan Boesch (Foo Fighters, Andrew WK) at Candor Recording (formerly Morbid Angel’s HQ) in Tampa, Watch You Burn continues Intoxicated’s blistering aggression and disquieting dissonance. Indeed, listen to the title track, “Revelation Denied,” and tell us this doesn’t rule 2022 hard.

Says Intoxicated’s Erik Payne: “After the Walled EP we really never stopped writing. The flow was there and we went for it. I’m grateful to say organically the songs got heavier and more pissed. I had an opportunity to trade out labor to afford the recording of ‘Watch You Burn’ with long time friend/producer Ryan Boesch. He’d just rented out the old Morbid Angel studio, and just him and I together completely remodeled the place (now Candor Recording). Recording Walled by myself was a real challenge, so just concentrating on writing this time was a real relief. Sonically, Ryan knocked it out of the park, and we’re really proud of the outcome. With these new songs there’s no fluff–all meat no potatoes vibe. These tunes provide no room for air, we’re not fucking around, the band is well rehearsed and road ready.”

Thrash ’til death in the front, middle, and back rows with Intoxicated’s Watch You Burn!

Watch You Burn by Intoxicated

** Intoxicated’s Watch You Burn is out June 24th on Seeing Red Records. Pre-orders for LP and CD are currently up at Intoxicated’s Bandcamp site (HERE).

The post Full Album Premiere: Intoxicated ‘Watch You Burn’ appeared first on Decibel Magazine.

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Q&A: JB Le Bail Scorches Earth With New Svart Crown EP, ‘Les Terres Brûlées’

The French black metal scene illuminates darker pathways, and Nice-based Svart Crown are on the bleeding edge of that movement. Over five full-lengths–the latest Wolves Among the Ashes (2020) crushed our hapless spirit–Svart Crown have innovated on yet maintained the fidelity of their aggro-dissonant sound. New EP, Les Terres Brûlées, is no different. Released on the band’s own label, Nova Lux Production, in conjunction with Les Acteurs de L’Ombre Productions (Pensées Nocturnes, Borgne), Les Terres Brûlées travels back into Svart Crown’s history for its vile inspiration, while also jettisoning convention by covering (and translating) Converge’s “Dark Horse” into a riotous piece of avant-violence in form of “Cavalier Noir.”

Decibel and frontman JB Le Bail (also of Igorrr fame) connected our respective dark souls to give Les Terres Brûlées the time it demands. While Svart Crown have peers–think Azarath, Belphegor, and Arkhon Infaustus–it’s clear with Les Terres Brûlées they’re on the verge of yet another breakthrough. Listen to “Les Terres Brûlées,” “Digitalis Purpurea,” or “Geoulah” to hear (and understand) the trio’s–comprised of Le Bail (vocals/guitar), Clément Flandrois (guitars/vocals), and Rémi Serafino (drums)–conjunction of Deathspell Omega and ISIS, but without sounding like either.

Read on as Le Bail takes us deep into the scorched earth of Les Terres Brûlées.

Wolves Among the Ashes was released two years ago. What have Svart Crown been up to since? Obviously, the pandemic put a damper on forward movement.
JB Le Bail: We released Wolves Among the Ashes a month before the pandemic started. We (at least) had the chance to do almost two weeks of our European tour with Gost, but we had to cancel the remaining shows when the pandemic started. Even if it was really frustrating, we had the chance to perform a bit, which was not the case to many bands. During the first lockdown, we mainly chilled out in the beginning, but after a few months, I started to think about the future and wrote [down] some ideas. We also did a big live session for the European Metal Alliance–a live session project created by all the biggest European festivals. It was a really exciting thing to do. We set up a show in an old French amphitheater next to my birthplace called Ramatuelle in France. We also had few lineup changes, but we tried to keep [moving] forward.

Tell me about the latest EP, Les Terres Brûlées
JB Le Bail: It’s basically our sixth release. It was recorded last year in studios in the south of France and our own place. The mix and master was done–as usual–by Francis Caste at the Studio Sainte Marthe (Arkhon Infaustus, Hangman’s Chair, Regarde Les Hommes Tomber). The artwork has been created by Dehn Sora (Amenra, Deathspell Omega, Wovenhand). It’s a five-track EP with four original songs and a Converge cover of “Dark Horse.” We had a few guests like Kyle [Rasmussen] from Vitriol and Stéphane Azam from Crown join us.

I see you went back to basics Les Terres Brûlées. Musically, what were some of the motivators for that atavistic if I may say, shift?
JB Le Bail: Well, it was absolutely not the plan. The only thing I had in mind was that I really wanted a different approach in terms of the general vibe and the recording approach. I wanted to reach an opposite vision than Wolves Among the Ashes–raw, live, and almost minimalist. We had the chance to rehearse for a week in an amazing place. It was only the four of us with our sound guys in a farm with a big room near the mountains. We pre-produced all the songs there, in a live way. During that time, I felt that the direction would be way more extreme and darker than I had in mind. I do feel that this material could have been done between our album Profane and Abreaction.

Les Terres Brûlées roughly translates to The Scorched Lands. Conceptually, what are Svart Crown discussing here?
JB Le Bail: Les Terres Brûlées means a lot of things. First, it’s all about the vision and the dream I had two years ago about some desolate land. I think all are connected about all the forest fires that happened during the Summer 2020 and 2021. And the landscapes and the smell after those fires. I also visited some volcanoes in the French Island called La Réunion, such as Le Piton de la Fournaise, which had a major impact on my vision and inspiration. To finish, Les Terres Brûlées originated especially from this expression: “the politics of scorched land,” which was a Russian technique which consisted of the destruction of their own land, strategic locations, or goods before enemies could take it. This auto-destruction strategy led me to think that every human is capable of the worst for their own “interest.” Exploring the darkest face of the human race has always been our main topic in every Svart Crown release.

I see Les Terres Brûlées is coming out via Svart Crown’s label Nova Lux Production with cooperation from Les Acteurs de L’Ombre Productions. Tell me how this all came together.
JB Le Bail: Century Media didn’t wanted to follow us on our new project, and for a few years now, I already had in mind to build up our own label. I personally didn’t have the proper time and logistics to work alone on Les Terres Brûlées. After we received the final master, Gérald from Les Acteurs de L’Ombre (aka Ladlo) told me that he really liked the release, so I asked him for some help to co-release the EP.

What is next for you and the members of Svart Crown?
JB Le Bail: We have the Hellfest coming up at the end of the month, and then I really don’t know. Everyone is busy with their own projects. Clément [Flandrois] and Rémi [Serafino] with Hyrgal (black metal) and myself with Igorrr and Dirty Black Summer (blackened post-grunge).

** Svart Crown’s new EP Les Terres Brûlées is out now on Nova Lux Production (CD — HERE) and Les Acteurs de L’Ombre (LP — HERE). Or, hit up Svart Crown on Bandcamp (HERE).

The post Q&A: JB Le Bail Scorches Earth With New Svart Crown EP, ‘Les Terres Brûlées’ appeared first on Decibel Magazine.

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Full Album Premiere: Atramentum ‘Through Fire, Everything is Renewed’

Pan-international black metal duo Atramentum are rising from the depths yet again. The British/Egyptian combo — then only multi-instrumentalist Frater XI — found underground rabidity on their independently-released debut, Aischrolatry. Venomous, complex black metal swirled with occult and nefarious intent then, and this continues unabated on new album, Through Fire, Everything is Renewed (Invictus Productions). With new collaborator Jehannum (Pensées Nocturnes, Imha Tarikhat), Atramentum sounds even more twisted and arcane. Tracks like “I,” “II,” and “IV” pour forth upper-lower stratagems of hate and loathing.

Indeed, fans of Ondskapt, Ascension (Germany), and Mgła will find inky solace in what Frater XI and Jehannum have brewed on Through Fire, Everything is Renewed. Broken out in eight rituals — via Roman numerals –, the fanged and labyrinthine affair is designated as the first “true” Atramentum expression. As for what that means, it’s likely that whatever transpired on Aischrolatry has been transcended by new Atramentum constructs. This sentiment is confirmed by Frater IX, of course.

Says Atramentum’s Frater XI: “Through Fire, Everything is Renewed is the first fully substantiated vision of the band. Eight songs of black/death mayhem spawned of gnosis divined via invocations of the Great Red Dragon and the cohorts of entities encountered through Da’ath; each song a ritual ode to gods of the nightside and scribed with the goal of evoking the eternal black flame in the hearts of those that carry the torch within or in need of a spark to ignite their inner divine flame.

“Of Through Fire, Everything is Renewed marks the abasement of the Nazarene and all that the demiurge represents, the gnosis grasped by man many years ago – I.N.R.I’s true revelation – ignis natura renovatur integra; Through fire, everything is renewed. Hark the dragon’s call…”

Strike while the iron is hot with Atramentum’s Through Fire, Everything is Renewed!

Through Fire, Everything Is Renewed by Invictus Productions

** Atramentum’s new album Through Fire, Everything is Renewed is out June 17th on Invictus Productions. Ho Drakon Ho Megas!

The post Full Album Premiere: Atramentum ‘Through Fire, Everything is Renewed’ appeared first on Decibel Magazine.

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Track Premiere: Am Himmel – “The Patience And Silence of a Saint’s Death”

The progenitor of Dutch funeral black metal Am Himmel is none other than JMKP himself. Who is JMKP, you ask? Well, better let mysteries be mysteries in the Information Age. What we do know is that JMKP has cultivated a sound in black metal that’s somehow at the crossroads of funeral doom, shoegaze, and cosmic architecture. Am Himmel’s debut album, As Eternal As The Starless Kingdom Of Sorrow, hints at cathedrals of sound, upward-facing night-gaze pictures, and light-less descends into the other. Previously released track, “The Fumes of Thy Preposterous Torment,” pulsed the body electric with gritty, if slow-motion grace.

Decibel and Dutch-based Burning World Records (Celestial Season, Seirom) have teamed up between realities to proffer Am Himmel’s latest track off As Eternal As The Starless Kingdom Of Sorrow. Unlike “The Fumes of Thy Preposterous Torment,” the next soul-bender “The Patience and Silence of a Saint’s Death” is a softer caress, the kind that’s like descending into a burial vault while the world melts away for eternity. Here, Am Himmel shimmers, soars, and comforts, while JMKP issues shrieking sacerdotal proclamations of the life (as cosmic dust) after. Am Himmel aren’t an easy listen. Nor is JMKP belting the grinder on purpose. As Eternal As The Starless Kingdom Of Sorrow is somewhere between, its anti-lilt the motivator as well as the sonic wall the driver.

Says JMKP: “The freedom of the depths intoxicated me; the odours of the wild beasts and the fumes made me drunk with joy. But the women now bring dead children into the world. The moon trembles with the incantations of witches. Desires of violence, of immensity, seize me. I wish to drink poisons to lose myself in the feverish dream of a martyr’s death. The absolute immersion into the wallowing darkness. An infinite state of bliss.”

Drown in the stained-glass, unearthly couloir of Am Himmel’s “The Patience and Silence of a Saint’s Death.”

As Eternal As The Starless Kingdom Of Sorrow by Am Himmel

** Am Himmel’s new album, As Eternal As The Starless Kingdom Of Sorrow, is out June 30th on Netherlands-based Burning World Records. Order the LP HERE. Fans of Urfaust, Lurker of Chalice, and Xasthur take note!

The post Track Premiere: Am Himmel – “The Patience And Silence of a Saint’s Death” appeared first on Decibel Magazine.

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Track Premiere: In Nothingness – “A Nameless Grave”

Tokyo, Japan’s In Nothingness aren’t shy about their affection for mid-’90s melodic Swedish death metal. We’re talking Eucharist, Sacrilege (SWE), Ablaze My Sorrow, Gates of Ishtar, The Moaning, and Fatal Embrace. Of course, the usual suspects–In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, and At the Gates–are part of that homage, but Lord Nothingness (aka Kenta Inoue) has really honed his sonics around the more underground acts that occupied the peripheries on labels like Wrong Again, Invasion, No Fashion, and Black Sun. New album, Black Sun Funeral, is the follow-on from 2017’s Swedophile Into the Nothingness​.​.​., and musically, it’s the antidote to the lifeless death metal currently making the rounds as de facto cool.

“A Nameless Grave” feels right at home with previously-released track “The Garden of Pain,” where folky acoustic guitars segue into blazing (gold, natch), aggro riff, drums, and vocal combos that crash, soar, and sear. In Nothingness’s brand of melodic death metal is cavalier and impassioned, so expect not a lot of polish just a lot of heart, grit, and good old-fashioned NWOSDM madness.

Says Lord Nothingness: “This is pure old-school death metal! This album contains my passion for heavy metal and respect for the Swedish death metal bands of the ’90s. You will be fascinated by this brutality and sadness. The world goes back to the ’90s…”

If emotions still burn in the fifth season, then In Nothingness is right up our prospective alleys. See you at the dawn of flames!

Black Sun Funeral by IN NOTHINGNESS

** In Nothingness’s new album, Black Sun Funeral, is out July 1st, 2022 on Mexico-based Personal Records. Pre-orders for CDs are available HERE. Step back in flames…

The post Track Premiere: In Nothingness – “A Nameless Grave” appeared first on Decibel Magazine.

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Opeth, Darkthrone, Paradise Lost Members Reflect on CANDLEMASS’s ‘Epicus Doomicus Metallicus’

In honor of doom metal legends’ Candlemass’s full-album performance of their landmark Epicus Doomicus Metallicus LP at Decibel Magazine Metal & Beer Fest: Philly on June 10 (get tickets here!), we gathered underground metal royalty from Opeth, Darkthrone, Paradise Lost and more to share their thoughts on the one of the most enduring recordings in heavy metal history:

Mikael Åkerfeldt (Opeth)
“That album remains one of the great treasures of the scene. And they know it. They could tour that album alone for years and years, and people would still come to hear them play those songs. They are timeless, really. Looking at the track list now sends shivers down my spine. Classic after classic.”

Lord Ahriman (Dark Funeral)
“I lived in northern Sweden, in a small town called Luleå. At that time, I didn’t know many who listened to the same music as me, but luckily, I had a friend who worked at the local record store. And as soon as a metal record came in, he thought I should listen to, he called me. And this album was one of many such phone calls. Epicus Doomicus Metallicus—the ultimate doom record and a timeless classic—is still, to this day, on heavy rotation.”

Fenriz (Darkthrone)
“From Kolbotn I’d take the bus or train to Oslo to the record stores. I was often looking for longer songs on albums as I liked songs with tempo shifts, slow long parts, Epicness, like the “Pilgrim” song I liked so much by Uriah Heep from their Sweet Freedom album that I got from uncle Stein in late 1974. And in late summer 1986 Candlemass popped up among the vinyl at Rebel Records (Øvre or Nedre Slottsgate, it was not the Rebel Records that became Elm Street Rock Cafe), with its six songs of considerable length it drew me in instantly and pre-listening to it in the store for mere seconds I knew I had found something extraordinary. Brought it back to Kolbotn with me and what unfolded was beyond my wildest heavy metal dreams, like a mix of the slowest best parts of the Uriah Heep that I knew, Black Sabbath, slow Metallica and a touch of “Beyond the Black” by Metal Church. And it was so… complete, this world of wonder. And it was Swedish. I’ve had a romantic view of Sweden since the early ’80s, just crossing the border 1.5 hours south of Kolbotn and see the traffic sign being yellow instead of white is still a big thing for me. I was awestruck, the whole instrumentation, the incredible suiting vocals, all the reverbs and echoes, the tiny toms on the drum set, the few synth arrangements. And at this point I didn’t yet know about Trouble.

Epicus Doomicus Metallicus immediately entered the top 10 metal albums that I had, and it never ever left that list. I believe it is the same for Ted [Nocturno Culto].”

Dobber Beverly (Oceans of Slumber)
“I wanted to bridge a gap between old and new. Wasn’t going to alter the arrangement much but putting a vocalist the caliber of Cammie [Gilbert] on an already soulful doom song seemed like the right thing to do.”

Brooks Wilson (Crypt Sermon)
“Epicus Doomicus Metallicus boldly stands out amongst the albums of its era. The contemporaneous bands were accelerating their tempos, pushing their vocals higher, and generally seeking to advance music to keep up with the pace of a ready-made, hastening culture. In the face of this, Candlemass dug into the past—the primordial essence of heavy metal—and created something new from something almost primeval. Still, their debut is progressive in its own way, and it favors dense neoclassical melodies over speedy riffs. Some of these elements were present with other ’80s bands: Witchfinder General, Trouble and Cirith Ungol. These bands still echoed the contemporaries but were an obvious influence. Candlemass, however, dusted off the boots and put on the robes.”

Anders Engberg (Sorcerer)
“When I joined Sorcerer in ’89, the music for the Anno 1503 demo was already written. I was approached by Johnny Hagel to do vocals and lyrics for it. At that point, my awareness of Candlemass was very modest. I was a huge Black Sabbath fan—Tony Martin and Dio eras—and I was in a more melodic outfit. I played with Johan Längquist’s kid brother, so I was aware of Johan and knew him. However, when approached by Johnny, I was introduced to Candlemass. When Nightfall came out, I was already a total fan. Candlemass were and still are a huge contributor to Sorcerer.”

Ika Johannesson (Blood, Fire, Death: The Swedish Metal Story, author)
“Very often trailblazing records are misunderstood when they are released. 1986 was the year of The Final Countdown and let me tell you, Sweden was all about Europe and Bon Jovi, pure hair metal bonanza all around, and suddenly this album of something entirely else drops. Epicus was not melodic, it was not about having a good time; it was heavy, ominous and unpolished. Of course, it wasn’t received well. In the extreme metal world, the focus was on thrash. But the people that needed to get it, did.

It was of course super influential on the burgeoning death metal scene, both its heaviness, but also by the pure fact that it was released in Sweden. Just knowing that Candlemass and Bathory existed in our small country was inspiring to a lot of extreme metal fans. Of course, kids were excited. There were so few bands around at the time.”

Greg Mackintosh (Paradise Lost)
“It came out at a time when metal was headed in a different direction. This happens sometimes. It’s a shame but if an album’s material is strong enough then it can endure like this album did. This record directly influenced me as a guitarist and a songwriter. The solo on “Crystal Ball” has always been my favorite guitar solo. The tone and the emotion in it far surpasses any kind of technical playing. I have been chasing the weeping guitar style ever since. The songs helped me understand the importance of a good hook regardless of how heavy the music is.

Fredrik Åkesson (Opeth)
“When Epicus came out it was something never heard of before and definitely a new level of doom. Inspired by Black Sabbath, Trouble, Saint Vitus, Leif Edling managed to write something even heavier and doomier than ever.

I grew up in the same suburb where Candelmass was based, and it was inspiring to hear this band heavier than everyone else. I remember me and some buddies use to sneak around their rehearsal house. Little did I know later on I got to play the guitar with Leif in Krux. EDM is a timeless masterpiece and a must-have!”

John Perez (ex-Solitude Aeturnus)
There is a timeless production quality to this album. It’s both raw and polished at the same time. The drums sound enormous. In fact, a little fun observation; I was working at our local metal record store here in Arlington [Teaxs] when the album was released. Somehow, we were able to get a few copies for sale (difficult to acquire import at that time) and Vinnie Paul from Pantera was in the shop. He would always ask me about new stuff and nice little chats here and there, so this time I played him Epicus and he was very impressed and in fact said that the drums and drum sound was awesome on this record. Epic doom was not really the style the Pantera guys were into, but even Vinnie Paul had to admit that this was a killer!”

Tickets for Decibel Magazine Metal & Beer Fest, featuring Candlemass, Cannibal Corpse and special full-album performances from Nuclear Assault, Wolves in the the Throne Room and The Red Chord and tons more are going fast (under 50 “Metal & Beer” tickets remain). Full band and brewery lineups — and links to all remaining ticket options — are below:

Purchase Decibel Magazine Metal & Beer Fest: Philly Two-Day tickets
Purchase Decibel Magazine Metal & Beer Fest: Philly June 10 tickets
Purchase Decibel Magazine Metal & Beer Fest: Philly June 11 tickets

FRIDAY, JUNE 10
Candlemass (performing Epicus Doomicus Metallicus in its entirety)
Wolves in the Throne Room (performing Two Hunters in its entirety)
Voivod
Soul Glo
Derkéta
Craven Idol
The Silver

SATURDAY, JUNE 11
Cannibal Corpse
Nuclear Assault (performing Game Over in its entirety)
The Red Chord (performing Clients in its entirety)
Full of Hell
All Else Failed
Sanguisugabogg
Deathevokation

“Just Metal” Ticket (21+)

Admittance to the day’s event, but as the name suggests, you just get to see the show—no beer samples (You can still buy select beers a la carte if you’re 21+).

“Metal & Beer” Ticket (21+)

Admittance to the day’s event plus unlimited* sampling from our diverse lineup of national breweries presented by Broken Goblet Brewing. Decibel Magazine Metal & Beer Fest: Philly 2022 sampling cups provided. Limited to 650 tickets per day*Please note: In extremely extreme cases, certain high-ABV pours will be ticketed, with attendees receiving a limited number of tickets available to redeem for each offering.

We’ve also got your heavy metal pre-game covered with the official Decibel Magazine Metal and Beer PRE-FEST! On Thursday, June 9 at the Foundry (located directly upstairs at the Fillmore), doom sludge titans Primitive Man headline a special evening with support from progressive death metal heroes Horrendous, death/doom demolitionists Mortiferum, grindcrushers Jarhead Fertilizer and black/death blasphemers Berator!

Pre-fest tickets are just $20 in advance and are on sale now!

NOTE: Pre-Fest tickets are NOT included with the purchase of Decibel Magazine Metal & Beer Fest: Philly tickets.

Hails and ales to our partners!
Metal Blade Records
Broken Goblet Brewing
MNRK Heavy
Relapse Records
Nefarious Industries
Napalm Records
Brimming Horn Meadery
Pull the Plug Patches
Wake Brewing
Translation Loss Records
Indiemerchstore
Gimme Metal
Widowmaker Brewing
Bone Up Brewing
Sabbath Brewing
Dark Descent Records
Victory Brewing Company

The post Opeth, Darkthrone, Paradise Lost Members Reflect on CANDLEMASS’s ‘Epicus Doomicus Metallicus’ appeared first on Decibel Magazine.

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Track Premiere: Nubivagant – ‘Into Eternal Night’

Italy’s Nubivagant aren’t a black metal norm. Cut from the same ceremonial robes as Primordial, Ereb Altor, and Darkest Era, the single-manned outfit–helmed by Omega of Chaos Invocation, Darvaza and Fides Inversa fame–parlays a black metal backdrop against powerfully-clean (not power metal) vocals. Nubivagant got their start with the Roaring Eye (2020) full-length (streaming HERE), and have since rolled into infamy with their potent, shadowy blend. Now, Omega has returned, this time with a level-up on new full-length The Wheel and the Universe, again coming out via Germany’s Amor Fati.

The first track off The Wheel and the Universe is called “Into Eternal Night,” and it’s a rolling, hypnotic, solemn thrust. Omega handles all instruments, including the vocals, which have a spiritual cousin in A.A. Nemtheanga (Primordial), where impassioned yet resolute vociferations are prime. Musically, Nubivagant keep the tempi high-forward. This gives “Into Eternal Night” lift, as if it’s floating above the cemetery, angry, despondent yet willing to haunt for eternity.

Says Omega: “Subconscious is scary sometimes; it gives birth to dark dreams and visions. I was dreaming about the night sky, black holes and the time-consuming darkness. The black void, where The Wheel And The Universe took its form and shape. This new album is surely slower, less aggressive and more atmospheric than Roaring Eye, but it comes from the same struggle: watching within ourselves towards the unknown.”

Delve deep into Nubivagant’s inward haunt on “Into Eternal Night.”

** Nubivagant’s new album, The Wheel and the Universe, is out June 21st on Germany-based indie Amor Fati. Pre-orders for LP and CD are not yet live but keep watching this link (HERE) for updates.

The post Track Premiere: Nubivagant – ‘Into Eternal Night’ appeared first on Decibel Magazine.

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Q&A: Peter Tägtgren Has A New Conspiracy

Sweden’s Hypocrisy have a long, winding road behind them. Thirty-one years. Fourteen full-length records. A legacy that won’t quit. Stands to reason then that after nine years–previous album End of Disclosure (2013) was the product of a different era–mastermind Peter Tägtgren, long-standing bassist Mikael Hedlund, and now-departed drummer Reidar Horghagen would bring their death metal endeavor to a new boil. That’s exactly what happened before the pandemic gripped the world in its highly-contagious, deathly grip. Worship isn’t the product of the wider worries caused by COVID-19, for it was written completely (well, almost) between 2018 and 2019. Musically, it’s Hypocrisy, back from the dead though more between Abducted (1996) and End of Disclosure than Pleasure of Molestation (1993) and Inferior Devoties (1994). That is to say, Worship is tried and true Tägtgren, melodic, aggressive, and almost instantly memorable.

Lyrically, Worship has its skeptics. Songs like “Chemical Whore,” “Dead World,” and the title track have coincidental crossroads with the calamities and horrors of the day. He’ll go into it below, but let’s just say, Tägtgren’s got question marks, and he’s diving off the deep end to get answers. Or, as he puts it, “his spin,” which is, after all, more about poking the bear than it is academic criticism. Of course, we’ve–those paying attention at least–have seen this coming (or it had already arrived) back in 1994, when Hypocrisy unfurled The Fourth Dimension to a pre-Internet era.

Read on as Tägtgren goes deep, deep undercover, exploring the what-ifs around inner-world inhabitants (Hollow Earth theory), furtively-forced chemical dependency (not COVID-19), and other highlights promulgated by the likes of Giorgio Tsoukalos and similar ilk. Hypocrisy’s ride is open. Worship is the vehicle.

Tell me how Worship got started. End of Disclosure was 2013. I realize you’re busy with Pain, and prior to that had commitments to the Lindemann project.
Peter Tägtgren: My mind always starts spinning. From that, ideas come out as stories, with my spin—fact or fiction—on it. Hypocrisy lyrics are how I see things. I had a solo project with my son Sebastian [Tägtgren], and for reasons I can’t remember—we were busy or he was lazy [Laughs]—it never really amounted to anything. Actually, that’s not true. The song “Dead World” that we wrote together is what kicked off Worship. After working with Pain and Lindemann, for whom I also wrote, I wanted to get back to writing brutal shit. So, Worship is getting Hypocrisy back to where I think it should’ve been after End of Disclosure. It just took me some time to figure it all out.

OK, so Worship started out of “Dead World.” Sebastian also helped write “Soldier of Fortune” on End of Disclosure, too. So, working with him wasn’t that out of the ordinary. Of course, he played drums in Pain. Curious, what was your goal for Worship once you had “Dead World” in the can? The album’s quite varied.
Peter Tägtgren: My goal with this album was simple. I wanted to write better songs. I wanted it to have a better production than what we’ve had before. In the beginning, we started off inspired solely by death metal. The first Deicide, Morbid Angel, Entombed, and things like that. The first two albums are definitely reflective of those influences. I think it’s normal for bands to start growing on their own. First, it’s healthy to be inspired by others. This is something you can hear in others, including Hypocrisy. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. But over time you fiddle around with ideas, which is how bands like Hypocrisy start to develop their own style. The personal touch gets added. The Fourth Dimension was our first step into that. It was after that when we really developed our style, with the twin harmonies, slow melodies, and shit like that.

Don’t forget catchy, Peter. You’ve had catchy songs before like “Impotent God,” “Jesus Fall,” and “Osculum Obscenum,” but “Roswell 47” was your defining moment back in the day.
Peter Tägtgren: You’re probably right—though I really like The Fourth Dimension since I look at as a turning point for Hypocrisy. Over the years, I started to really like punchy choruses. Something for people to remember. I’m not interested in writing a bunch of words, where it’s not clear what the chorus or the pre-chorus is. I really want to be clear on that. That comes mostly from Pain. It’s how I write music or how I’ve developed my writing style. I don’t expect everyone to like it. I write to fulfill my own needs and to satisfy the thoughts in my head. I usually write in my head first, and it’s only after that when I bring the writing to life on guitar or keyboard or whatever. My songs develop from then on.

Yet, you had Catch 22, which was your furthest Hypocrisy-sounding record to date. I know we talked back then, but what are your thoughts looking back on that record now?
Peter Tägtgren: I freaked out at the world with Catch 22. I was pissed at the world. Pissed at everybody. All these bands that have been around for 20, 30, 40 years have albums that stick out. Look at Metallica. Load and Reload. They definitely stick out. Slayer did something similar, in my opinion, with Diabolus in Musica. They had to vent, to try something new. That’s when they started to tune low. I mean, I liked all that, but my point is that Hypocrisy is back on track. We’re writing in the style that is us.

Let’s get into Worship. “Chemical Whore” has earned a lot of attention. A lot of assumptions that it was a COVID-19 anti-vaccination song.
Peter Tägtgren: I’ve read—or rather heard—the comments by morons who’ve asked, “Is this an anti-vax song?” It’s funny ’cause people have no idea when I wrote this. It would be different if I wrote it during the pandemic, but since we finished the album well before the pandemic, it really has no connection to it. The only song I wrote during the pandemic was [Pain’s] “Party in My Head.” We were jonesing to go out and party with our friends. That was what we wanted to do, but couldn’t. That song was meant for the pandemic. It was written to put a smile on peoples’ faces. Back to conspiracies, if you listen to the song “Greedy Bastards” off the new album, it was written well before the whole Pandora Papers scandal. Now, Pandora Papers are out, and I’m like, “Gotcha!” Before that, the song “The Eye” talks about depopulating the Earth. Then, Bill Gates comes out a year ago talking about this shit. I think that’s why people weren’t–or still aren’t–excited about taking vaccine. They think he’s got his thumb in there somewhere. I can understand their paranoia. It’s a strange world we live in. I write about things that interest me. I do a lot of research, both on the left and the right. I collect information all the time. Then, my mind starts spinning. From that, ideas come out as stories, with my spin—fact or fiction—on it. Hypocrisy lyrics are how I see things.

Conspiracies then are re-purposed into next-level fiction, or…
Peter Tägtgren: …I question things. There’s a lot of conspiracy theories that are moronic. I have the time though. I can dig into things. Most of the time, it doesn’t take too long to see how stupid most conspiracy theories are. Like the Flat Earth Theory. If you watch them talk, they’ll say things like, “We have 200K members around the world.” Well, wait a minute. [Laughs] If the Earth is flat, then I need proof. What’s under us? Satan? [Laughs] Some other things make me question, so I dig more and I question more. I always leave the door open for new information. Always keep your mind open, and don’t believe everything you read. Otherwise, you’ll go bananas.

That’s true. It’s hard to parse fact from fiction as the digital age matures. Deep fakes, social engineering using targeted demographics, machine-generated content, social media… it’s all a bit muddied, and it’s going to get worse.
Peter Tägtgren: Right. But it’s been bad for a long time, I think. Maybe social media has made things hard to follow, but where there’s bullshit it’s pretty easy to smell it. I will say that my lyrics are very simple. They’re in your face. I don’t try to hide what I’m trying to say. Why beat around the bush? This album was written between 2018 and 2019 between projects like Lindemann. At the end of 2019, we were done with it. We mixed it in 2020. When the COVID stuff started happening after the Lindemann tour, I immediately thought to myself, “I’m in no rush to finish this [Hypocrisy].” I took a half-year break.

Let’s get into the alien theme that’s been around in some shape or form since Abducted. “Gods of the Underground” needs to be mentioned, if I want to target a specific song.
Peter Tägtgren: “Gods of the Underground” is a story about a civilization that lives inside the Earth. The Earth is like a honeycomb. In my story, an apocalyptic event has happened on the Earth’s surface. The surface has been wiped out. The people living inside the Earth own the Earth, from the beginning of time. We’re recent seeds. When we see spaceships and shit like that, they don’t have to come from outer space, they can come from inner space. As part of the same story, I’m also questioning the fact that someone or something must’ve done something with our DNA. We’ve made a lot of progress over the last 200 years. More than any time in history. We got smarter so much faster. So, maybe someone tampered with our DNA, and now we’re so smart we’re really stupid. We can’t begin to understand our purpose now. So, the cover art shows whomever seeded has come back to collect us and kick the fuck out of us because we’ve become idiots. The ancient gods are back and they’re not happy.

Yeah, the cover art’s really quite cool. Love the use of Aztec temples with the Hypocrisy sigil (as ships).
Peter Tägtgren: The cover art came to me while I was in a hotel in Los Angeles. I was thinking of the Boston covers. That’s what I wanted, and Blake Armstrong did the rest.

** Hypocrisy’s new album, Worship, is out now on Nuclear Blast. Order CD and cassette (purple shell) HERE.

The post Q&A: Peter Tägtgren Has A New Conspiracy appeared first on Decibel Magazine.