Death Metal is chiefly characterized by the monstrous and demonic vocals. Smug faggots call it “cookie monster” vocals, but usually such faggots would not be able to win a fight against cookie monster, let alone the average death metal vocalist. The music can be simplistic or intricate, in common time or with bizarre time signatures. Orchestral instruments, or even operatic vocals have been incorporated at times.
This is an older album, but I must review it because I have only discovered the album a few months ago, and if I was unaware of this excellence, there is a chance that you may also have somehow lived without this music. I am seeking out their other works, but this CD on Aesthetic Death is a must-have in any doom-lover’s collection.
I really need not tell you anything other than to just go buy it. The album has all that you would ever desire of a doom band with death metal vocals (as well as parts that have clean singing, which are quite fitting to those passages, like the words, “Beyond this world there is a hope the sun will burn a sign for you”).
Each flavor is measured and applied only in the amounts that are needed. The ear is constantly stimulated this way. Tempo changes not only snap the ear out of the abyss, the transformation is sometimes frightening, deepening the darkness. Indeed, this is even sung, “Nothing but the dark to live for.”
One of the songs has lyrics that are presumably in Danish (this is a band from Denmark).
I am still shocked that I had not been made aware of this album, or band, until now. This is why it is good to take chances on music. You need only yourself and a willingness to explore. I found this album by going on the Aesthetic Death web site (https://www.aestheticdeath.com) in search of any music by the band ESOTERIC that I may have not heard about, and yes, I found their demo double CD, but I kept snooping around and investigated their other releases. THE FORESTROAMER is one of the albums I decided to support, and I am incredibly happy that I did, even though it is the anthem of my sorrow for now.
This is a well-produced technical death metal album, and I enjoyed listening to it, but there are some things that are a tad gay. The vocals sometimes stray into the high-screeching zone, which is not very masculine. It’s what one would expect to hear from someone who was bitch-slapped. But this is not the only band that features this vocal approach. I don’t know where it started, but it must stop. If vocalists want to show range, then they should learn how to sing. Help end this womanly screeching.
My other gripe is the straying into adult contemporary music. The only reason why I like this is because I also enjoy novelty music, but it gets tiring when it is in almost every song. The bass seems to think it is smooth jazz at times. Again, it’s fun, but it takes me out of the heaviness.
Aside from the gayness, there is a lot to savor on headphones. It is almost dizzying at times for there is a lot going on. Some of the segments are quite rich. This is no simple record, even though there are some moments that have mercy on the ear that tries to follow what is going on. It’s a record that requires repeated listening. I haven’t invested the time for that magical moment of complete familiarity to occur, but I assure you that I will attain that level.
“Dead Horse” is the first track that you should hear because it shows the qualities of the vocals that make the albums must-have parts of any metal collection.
Surely the torture in the voice and the raw emotion will make a fan of you. Let that song ride. You will become transformed.
I first became addicted to the music when I heard the album “Baalam Wore Black” and have rejoiced in despair with every new album. I had feared the band’s death, but something this intense cannot be killed.
Deinonychus satisfies the argument of substance versus skill. What I mean is that there are doom-ish albums that flaunt musicianship, but a Deinonychus album is focused on emotion – raw and cruel.
Ride that anguished voice into the theatre of the mind. Cut your ears and submerge your hearing in blood. These are wounds, not songs. Learn what it is to bleed words.
This was my last interview with Phil Fasciana. It was printed in Issue #33.
Due to the present climate being massively gay and full of pussies, I need to explain some things about what you are about to read.
When I first interviewed Phil, his record label publicist told me that there was some backlash to one of the songs on the album having the word “nigger” in the lyrics.
The interview proved to be hilarious. Phil seemed like a cool person with a great sense of humor. But when I interviewed him the second time, he seemed almost shell-shocked by the very UN-metal attitude of some people who decided to be gay about the interview rather than having a laugh. Anger is a choice. Smart people don’t get offended.
Shortly after this interview was posted, the twat publicist at the record label called to demand that the interview be taken down. Then came a message on my answering machine from Phil that the record label was going to drop the band. I assured both that I had been using racial humor forever and that only screwballs or brainwashed people get bent out of shape about a joke, or about an unpopular opinion. Metal isn’t a culture that aims at impressing with fakery.
Skipping ahead years later, Malevolent Creation was set to go on an American tour. Some fake-metal website found one of the Grimoire interviews with Phil and completely took it out of context. It is unclear if that caused venues to cancel show dates, but the band did eventually cancel the entire tour. I would hate to think that this was due to some faggots on a non-metal website fear-mongering.
Hopefully you, gentle reader, will read this interview in the right spirit and have a few hard laughs.
Your latest album, which is called “The Ten Commandments” is awesome.
The latest album is NOT called “The Ten Commandments.”
What’s it called?
It’s called “Doomstay X,” nigger.
Does it sound something like “The Ten Commandments?”
It kinda does. It’s got the same four guys that wrote the album, so there’s definitely a similarity to it, other than Dave on drums. There’s a little bit of a connection.
I’m kind of mad that you called me a nigger.
Well, you ARE a nigger.
I heard that you call white people niggers. I didn’t believe it until I experienced it.
I call everybody a nigger. The guys in the band don’t even call me Phil. They call me “nigger.” (laughs) Let’s just keep that to ourselves.
That word got you into trouble. Do you remember?
I know. I remember the magazine with the swastikas. (editor’s note – he referenced the first interview)
What did you think about that?
At first I thought it was funny, until I went on tour and people were trying to kill me. When beer bottles are whipping past my head and our bus tires are slashed, I’m like, “This is not cool.”
That’s nothing new. I’m talking about the other kind of trouble you got into.
Oh dude, the bottom line is that I agreed to do this interview. You know me, and I know you. You know I hate niggers. You know that’s the way the band is, But you know we got a lot of nigger fans. We can’t get away with being racists. You know what I mean? We’re just a death metal band. Even when we do make some racial slurs, we keep them pretty hidden. (laughs). But you know dude, I don’t want people thinking fucked up shit. Believe it or not, the people who give us shit about being racist are white! It’s embarrassing when black people come to our shows and say, “You guys are my favorite band, and I know that that’s bullshit (referring to the racist stamp by imbeciles). I don’t dislike black people. I’ve got a lot of black friends, but they’re not niggers. There’s niggers, and then there’s black people. You live, what, in New Jersey? You see the same thing. I’, sure you have friends that are black who are cool, and then there’s the part of town that’s all black that you would never tread.
Especially when saying “nigger.”
We stopped being stupid. We thought that we could get away with it for a little bit, but it didn’t work.
When people say that they are into Odinism, that’s really just a nice way to say “white power.” So I’m wondering which words in your lyrics actually mean “nigger” for those of us who want to be in the know.
Dude, we’re not from Scandinavia, so I don’t know.
How about Onanism?
If you listen to the lyrics of any of our last record, there’s really no racist slurs on any of them. We save that for Hateplow. We’re just trying to be a realistic death metal band. There’s a lot of things to sing about other than hating niggers.
Did you beat up Tiny Tim yet? The bass player?
I leave that to Jason. He likes to beat people up. While we were on the tour with Rotting Christ, he beat up their sound man. The guy was giving him shit about being American.
He called Jason an African American?
He said, “If you say one more thing about America, I am going to kill you.”
There is a vocalist in a death metal band. Well, I don’t consider it a death metal band, but you called the vocalist a nigger. Did you guys get into fight?
(laughs) Me and him have been friends since we were fourteen years old. he calls me a nigger. I call him a nigger. It’s just us being stupid. I don’t consider Chris a nigger.
What about his dreadlocks?
When he calls me up and I see that it’s him on the phone, I say, “What’s up, darkness.”
Does he sing, “Darkness, my old friend?”
(laughs) Chris is from Buffalo, so he thinks the same way we do. Like I said, I agreed to do this interview. I don’t want you to start no trouble with us. You wouldn’t believe the problems we’ve had over the years with this racism shit. We just want to avoid all that crap, dude.
Ok, let’s change the subject a little bit. How many niggers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
It would probably take a hundred of them to set up a ladder nd get up to a light bulb and screw it in. (pause) You’re trying to get me in trouble.
No. I’m trying to show that we can laugh.
Well listen, I know enough dumb white people. But let’s be real. I’m not a lover of black people. You know that. I know that. Many people know that, but we don’t need everybody in the world to know that.
Just to clarify, is there now, or has there ever been, a nigger in the band?
Never (laughs) There’s been many attempts. The drummer from Diabolic.
And he knows about your…
Of course. Every time he hears that there’s a drumming issue with our band, he’s like, “Dude man, I can’t believe you never called meI’m the man for the job.” In all reality, it wouldn’t matter if you’re the best drummer in the world. We’d never have a nigger in the band.
Did you use the N word?
Some people don’t think that you use that word in front of actual niggers.
I do it. They say it in front of me. It’s not a bad word anymore. It’s not even black people that get offended. I’m Italian. When people crack Italian jokes, I don’t get offended. I fuckin’ laugh about it.
Are you sure you’re Italian? Or are you Jewish and just saying that you’re Italian?
My mother’s from Sicily, and my father’s from Florence, Italy. I’m 100% Italian.
You don’t look or act like a Guido.
People hear that my mother’s from Sicily and they say, “You know, you may have a little nigger in you.” I don’t think I have any nigger in me. I am pretty white.
What has life been like, after the change of not using the word nigger” anymore in your lyrics?
Nothing. The lyrics are still the fuckin’ same. They’re brutal. Off the record – you don’t need to print this – Hateplow was the band that was supposed to be like that. We wanted to be racist against everything. We wanted to be racist against ourselves and everybody else. But too many people knew who was in the band. Malevolent is a death metal band. Being racist does us no good. I just want to be musician. I’m not out there to be a dickhead.
Do you think that it would be better if you didn’t tour with black bands?
No, because I’ve toured with a lot of bands that have black people in them. I have no problem with that.
Well, maybe that’s why you get your tires slashed. You should play with bands like Screwdriver.
I never even heard of that band,
I heard that they’re pretty similar. I’m not saying that they rip you off. Anyway, what does the name “Corpsegrinder” mean to you?
He’s my buddy, man! I love the guy. I’ve known George since he was in Monstrosity. He’s one of the very few people I know who’s a real metal fan. He’s a real metalhead. He listens to metal 24/7. He’s more metalhead than I am. If it weren’t for him, Cannibal Corpse would be shit. He’s a good guy.
Did you ever call him any sort of racial slur? Did you ever call him nigger, or jew?
I’ve called George many names. (laughs).
You know that I play around with racial humor myself.
I do too, but I don’t like it printed in magazines. It gives people the wrong impression. Like, with a friend of mine – that’s funny. I can crack nigger jokes all day long. But if you’re in a band and say shit like that, it affects things.
But what I’m saying is that I go to horror conventions to sell my movies. I don’t hide. I’m out in public. Every once in a while, a black person will come up to me and ask me if I am Bill Zebub, and I sometimes wonder what will happen next, but it has always been a fan. Sometimes they joke and say, “Are you surprised?”
How o you think I feel? When I’m on stage and there’s a black guy in the front row, I don’t know if this guy is going to throw a knife at me or hop on stage and kill me. That’s why I agreed to do this interview with you – knowing that I wouldn’t be asked insane fuckin’ questions. (laughs) Dude, you’re just like me. I’m into the same humor. But the scary thing is that when you go on tour, you’re a target. I’ve had people threaten my life. All because of this racist shit. it’s really not worth it to me.
Do you belong to any racist organizations?
(laughs) No. I mean, dude, if you want to be realistic, considering that I’m ha;f Sicilian, I am not completely Caucasian. If they wanted to dig back to my roots, I don’t know what KKK people consider to be the right thing. Jason is 100% Polish. Brett is 100% German. John is Jewish. Dave is Scottish. I don’t know what that means to anybody.
It means that you’ve been infiltrated. (pause) Do you still play golf?
Well, I have lately, but I’ve been sucking so bad that I’ve been practicing guitar more than I’ve been golfing.
How do you feel about black people playing golf? Should they play with black golf balls?
(laughs) Here we go. Let’s put it this way, the best golfer in teh world is Tiger Woods. I don’t really see many black people golfing when I go golfing.
Would you see more if golf balls had value and hey could steal them?
Anybody can golf. Look at me. I’m covered in tattoos and I’ve got long hair, and I’m a good golfer. It shocks people because when they see a guy like me, they think I’m gonna destroy the golf course. I’ll play anybody who would want to challenge me for money.
Getting back to Tiger, don’t you think that a better nickname for him would be “Gorilla” or “Monkey?”
Or Jigaboo. But the bottom line is that the guy reigns.
Are there any rap songs on the new album?
You’re kidding me, right?
Just curious. People in their later albums sometimes do strange things.
We wouldn’t even know how to do something like that.
What about your dance re-mixes?
That was done behind our backs. The guy who actually mixed the album was recording a lot of rap. That’s how the whole thing started. The studio was in the middle of niggertown. When we were recording the album “Eternal” we would look out the window and there were niggers sitting out there making drug deals. We couldn’t even go outside to have a cigarette without worrying about getting mugged. That whole thing took on an entirely new dimension because of where we recorded that album. But, he’s a producer that was not just doing only metal bands but rap bands and shit. One day, in his spare time, he just dissected some of our songs and turned them into some gay shit. And being as gay as they were, our record label Pavement, and Mark that owes us a million dollars that we’re gonna murder, and you can print that, he thought that this kind of shit would help him sell records. Without our consent he did this. Unfortunately, when you’re singned to a record label, you’re kind of fucked. Malevelont’s not even done a video.
Interview with Kelly Mclauchlin conducted by Bill Zebub for issue #31 of The Grimoire of Exalted Deeds Magazine
Let’s begin with the name of the band. I heard the original name was “Piss Mist” and the band from Ireland contacted you and said cease and desist, we have the name. Is that true?
See, that’s a rumor that actually got started in one of the pubs in Ireland during the European tour. There was a band there that was called “Piss & Mist” and they thought the name was just too similar, so we had to change it.
Who thought up the name “Pessimist”?
Were you reading the dictionary for words that sounded cool?
No. I asked somebody what is the meaning of somebody who is
obsessed by darkness, always sees the dark side of things… because that was kind of what I was into at the time.
Then you saw the word “Don Decker” and it was already taken.
No, Decker’s cool man.
Why? Are you afraid of him?
No. We get along fine.
Did you ever speak the word “pessimist” aloud and thought to yourself, “Wow, this word begins with the letter p?” Those kinds of words don’t really strike fear audibly. It’s not like “cocky”. That feels pretty brutal to say. But “pessimist” is kind of like a soft word.
Man, that’s harsh.
The band was not your first time being in the spotlight, correct? Didn’t you win the Kentucky Howard Stern look-alike contest?
T hat wasn’t in Kentucky. That was in Delaware.
Have you ever seen the movie “Heavy Metal Parking Lot”?
Just as a brief description for people who haven’t seen it, it’s not really a movie. It’s more like ten minutes of going to the parking lot of a Judas Priest concert in Baltimore. I never expected to see people who looked so inbred. Their eyes were either too close or too far. The ears are another horror story altogether. But you are from that area.
Uh, no. I live here now, but I’m not from here.
So what’s going on? That’s just really harsh on the eyes.
The people who aren’t ugly enough to live in New Jersey… they send them to Maryland.
I heard that you are the originator of the band and that you kicked everyone out.
Is that because of your pessimistic attitude? Tell me something juicy. Don’t tell me it was a mutual agreement and that you’re all friends.
Of course it was different for each member because no two assholes are the same. For some, let’s just say I was tired of them wanting to live the rock star lifestyle and having the perks of playing with a band without doing any of the legwork. I was tired of them riding on my coat tails. You’ve heard the term “musical differences.” Some people were into playing more sissy music.
So nobody tried to steal your girlfriend or anything like that?
Absolutely not. If they did, I don’t think they’d be around.
Did anybody come out of the closet? Is that it? Because you are a handsome fellow.
Oh well thank you. Wait a second. Are YOU coming out of the closet?
No. I’ve never even been in a closet. Have you discovered your girlfriend’s G spot?
Oh yeah… years ago. we’re married now, actually. She’s my wife.
So you’re one of the people who can claim that the G spot is not a myth.
No, it’s not a myth.
What led to the discovery. Did she know about it beforehand, or are you the one who paved the way?
I read about it in Playboy magazine.
What helped? Were you very communicative?
It’s kind of private.
Well you know, because you’re a role model I thought that your bravery in breaking through that macho exterior… being tender with your partner… I thought that if you could influence people that way, you should forsake privacy for the enhanced orgasms of the women out there.
Let’s not forget that I have a mean nasty reputation to uphold.
Yeah, but the Grimoire is about breaking through the exterior. Tell us how you broke through the frigidity of your mate.
My wife’s not frigid. Let’s just say she talked me through it.
Was she on her stomach?
Were you on your stomach?
Were you on her stomach?
Speaking of dick, on the first album, there were choking-on-a-dick vocals. I’m kind of sad about that because the music isn’t black metal, but it seems that the black metal vocal approach was favored and the death metal approach was discarded.
No. I would hardly use the word “discarded”. The higher screechy vocals were really more of a grind core approach. If it came across as black metallish…
Are you trying to say that they were more like the high end of the Carcass style?
Yeah, that’s what they were intended to be. A lot of critics and fans alike have labeled us as black/death, and sometimes for convenience we use that tag. My roots come from Possessed and Destruction.
Do you think they were able to find the G spot in their girlfriends?
I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. I don’t think it’s that hard to do.
Did the main vocalist get thrown out, return for the second album, and get thrown out again?
Life with you is a game of hopscotch.
When some people are not dedicated enough to pull their weight, what else could you say about that? You give somebody a second chance, and when they bite you on the ass a second time, they’re gone.
You’ll agree that the vocalist is sometimes the signature for the band. Do you think that he was a little cocky because he was the trademark?
Falsely so. In his own mind, yes.
Let’s get into the personality of Kell. Can I call you Kell?
Yeah, that’s ok.
Is your last name “Ogg”?
Are you a racist?
So you’re not the person in the band who, when interviewed, wished there were a cereal called “Special KKK.”
By Kell Ogg.
No. That’s a good one.
What do you know about a soldier’s training? Does it fascinate you in any way?
If I had an opinion on it, I’d say that it’s obviously disciplinary and it’s
designed to create a stronger, more focused individual.
Part of a soldier’s training is survival.
Where is this going?
When they’re caught t behind enemy lines, they have to know what to do.
They have to find out which bugs are edible. They eat bugs for protein. Would you be able to do something like that?
I think anyone would be able to do that if you really need nutrition.
Yeah, if you’re talking about survival.
I’m glad you said that because when I see these commercials for feeding children and they point to African villages, the commercial tries to get your money to feed allegedly starving children, but I noticed that the children have these massive flies landing on their faces. They don’t even swat them. So the bugs are not on guard, really. So if they just reached up and grabbed a bug, they would have an hors d’oeuvre. So I think that instead of sending money, we should send them fly paper.
Yeah, that’s a great idea.
They can’t really get my sympathy because they can help themselves. They’re lazy niggers. If they just lifted a hand and took at least one of the three dozen bugs that are constantly buzzing around them I think that would be great. Some people might object to the idea of human-vermin eating vermin, but Africa is already known for cannibalism. So I’m glad we cleared that up.
I agree fully, man.
You are definitely a man who is aware of hunger problem across the world. I’m glad about that. Is Lost Disciple Records a gay label?
Did you get signed to the label because you taught Rich how to find his girlfriend’s G spot?
Oh man! See, that’s messed up because I know I know Rich’s girlfriend and I can’t…
Does she look at you thankfully?
I think she wanted Rich to sign us, is what it is.
I know! See? You think I don’t know anything about metal.
It’s because she like our physiques.
Is it true that you were offered a contract from Necropolis Records, but Paul was very offended when you refused to add sitar parts. Paul is a very devout Hindu, and you offended his sensibilities.
I didn’t know that about Paul, but if it meant a deal with Necropolis
Records, I would most certainly add sitar parts to all the songs.
You are also loyal to England, and he is mad about that because England held Tyranny over India for so many years. But I can see that this is putting you in a bad position, so if you ask me as a friend to stop this line of questioning, I’ll move on.
Yeah, please Bill, because I can’t answer any more on this subject.
You avoided this question before, but I’m going to ask you this again… I heard that you were going to be signed to Red Stream after the Necropolis deal broke because Red Stream and Necropolis are cultural enemies. They are violently aspected toward each other.
Didn’t one of them burn the other’s house down?
I can’t discuss that because the issue is still pending in a court trial. Some people say that I did it and I left a Red Stream t-shirt behind. The world knows by now about Pat’s home situation.
It’s really sad.
Yeah, he doesn’t have to pay rent to live with his mommy and daddy, but he does have to care for the family donkey, named “Pierre”.
And when you came over to the barn and went over all the plans, you were chewing gum and it ran out of flavor. You discarded the gum and it landed on the fur of Pierre, and Pat went banana’s because it’s a lot of work to care for a donkey and you know how hard it is to get gum out of hair. Not even a whole jar of peanut butter can help.
That’s definitely a French donkey.
But you were mad at the same time because you were chewing Trident bubble-gum-flavored gum, but it’s only bubble gum flavored… it doesn’t have the characteristics of actual bubble gum. You can’t blow bubbles with it. It’s chewing gum, that tastes like bubble gum, and you didn’t didn’t realize this and were completely hoodwinked because it was recommended to you by Pat to chew that gum because he believed the dentist hype. So the two of you started fighting. Do you want to talk about that, or is it going to be decided in court?
It’s supposed to settle out of court. Our attorneys have told us that it’s ok to comment on the situation. It was tragic, really.
Were you disappointed that Pat was pulling your hair like a girl?
Yeah, it really hurt my feelings.
I’m glad that the two of you have no problem defending what you believe in. He believes in the care of his donkey and you believe that if it tastes like bubble gum, it better damn well give an hour’s worth of bubble popping pleasure.
Especially when the bubble gum is offered to you by a label who’s propositioning you. The whole trust factor went right out the window, man. Of course, once Pat saw what happened to the donkey he just went ballistic. He started cursing in Arab.
Oh that’s right! He’s Pakistani, and they’re enemies with India.
That explains Necropolis and Red Stream.
So at which point after this did you discover Rich’s girlfriend’s G spot?
Rich and I had met in an AOL chat room and we had both claimed to be 16-year-old lesbian girls and we arranged a meeting… and once Rich’s girlfriend saw what I looked like, she convinced him to sign us to the label.
Was it a verbal contract, and were the verbs “Oh Kell, Oh God, Uh Uh Kell, get it Kell”?
How did you find the strength to stay away from the gay piano that Virginian pseudo-European bands love so much?
Aren’t you from Virginia?
Actually not. There’s a bit of hostility for several years now between the Virginia and Maryland scene being as we’re both kinda on the outskirts of D.C. It’s deep-seated in the community for years and years. It’s kind of a jealousy thing. They seem to think that we’re rednecks and uncouth. Just look around. But then they have the reputation of being spoiled rich sissies. I don’t follow any of that. We are friends with lots of bands in lots of different states.
Does King Fowley personally support you?
Does he athletically support you?
Yes, King Fowley is a great athletic supporter. Don’t fuckin’ print that, Dude! I’ll get so much shit for that. I’d rather not ….
Should I put it as a pull-quote at the top of the page in the biggest lettering I can?
You can do that as an editorial comment, but not something that I said.
Ok. I promise not to print it.
King Fowley’s done a lot to support this scene over the years. Sure, he has a reputation for talking a lot of shit. I believe we’re friends, and in fact, we appeared on one of his compilations back in the day when we were first getting our start. That did a lot towards getting our name out there.
Did you ever show him how to find the G spot?
No. But then again, there’s never enough chicks at one of their shows to worry about that.
Is it mandatory for a man to have long hair in your band?
So why don’t you ask one of the guys from Deceased?
Actually, our new bassist is kind of a skinhead guy with long hair just in the front.
Does he wear mascara?
No, just spandex. He draws the line with the make-up.
So at your shows… is there a sign that says “NO QUEERBASHERS ALLOWED”?
If there was a sign at one of our shows, it would say, “Queerbashing
Ok, maybe we should close this interview with some more straightforward musical questions. Will you still be wearing a bullet belt on the next album?
It’s a studded belt.
Do you tuck your shirt into your pants?
No, but former members of the band used to do that and it looked gay.
Yeah, you have to talk to these people about what they project. You know, like an earring in the right ear is just like asking for gay sex.
You can’t go on stage looking like you just rolled out of the fag underground. It’s not about that. Our new drummer is the fastest that we’ve ever had, so that’s going to change us a few notches. Vocal-wise, myself and the second guitarist are going to be splitting vocal duties… both highs and lows. You can expect some less of the highs.
Any butt bongo?
Yeah, that’s a great idea. It’s going to be even more technical. One of
the things that happened…
Do you think that one of the reasons why King Fowley punched Jeremy (from Broken Hope) was because while King was talking to you, Jeremy was trying to find his G spot?
I don’t know. We were on stage when that happened.
When Jeremy found King’s G spot?
When he punched Jeremy.
Interview with Johan Hegg conducted by Bill Zebub for Issue 28 of The Grimoire of Exalted Deeds Magazine
It seems that extra special care was given to the recording of the drums on the new album. They are louder in the mix than what I had heard on previous albums. Am I talking out of my ass?
We put extra effort into the whole production, but I know that Fredrik and Berno worked very hard to get the drum-sound we were looking for. As you say, the whole album has a “thicker” sound, and I
think one of the reasons for that is how we went about tweaking the sound for the recordings. You know, a lot of bands bring CD’s to the studio and say: “We want to sound like this or that“. We’ve never done that. Berno didn’t even want to hear our old stuff. He wanted to create our sound from scratch, without any pre-determined ideas on how it should sound. I personally think that’s the way to go, and I feel that the extra effort that we put into the whole thing paid off in the end. Now that The Lord of the Rings has been made into movies, does the metal world now understand what Amon Amarth is, or do people still think it is a Swedish term?
I think a lot of people already knew what it means literately, since it’s been the most common question we get when we do interviews. Now they have a movie that actually describes “Amon Amarth”, which maybe actually can give them an Idea of what we were thinking of when we chose the name. It’s true that a lot of
people have believed that it’s Swedish, and many still do, but I don’t really care too much about it.
I really enjoyed the sorrowful songs in “Once Sent From The Golden Halls”, especially the guitar work. Of course I am referring to songs like “Amon Amarth”. On the new album there are instances of the same kind of guitar work that really catches my ear. If I won the lottery, how much money would I have to pay you to make a totally sorrowful album?
Well, we don’t work that way. I don’t think we could write anything on demand. For us, emotions are very important when writing music,
and they have to come spontaneously. Otherwise it doesn’t feel right somehow. When we write music for a new album, we usually start out with a few ideas for one or two songs, and then everything
seems to grow out of that. This takes time, but we feel it’s the ultimate way for us to write music. Still, if you’re insisting, let say… US $ 500.000 should do it… You are a bit tall. Is that a common Swedish trait, other than blonde hair?
Actually I think it’s fairly common in all of Scandinavia. Even the Vikings were taller than most people in the rest of the world were, I
have my own theory about that. It’s so that noses will be above the snow wintertime, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to see or breathe. Have you actually traced your bloodline to a ring-thane?
No. My grandma is into all that stuff, but I’m too lazy, even though it is sort of interesting. Through her I learned that I’m related to Ingmar Bergman in some odd way, but that’s not really thing to brag about, even though I just did. I noticed that, unlike the trendfags who are your brethren, you favor the deep guttural vocals instead of the shrill and unmanly black metal squeaking. Your voice has a good range, both in pitch and in character, and you never go int o the wimpy spectrum of black metal. Have you been pressured by the band to black-metalize the vocals, or do they agree that it would appear silly for someone with your stature to screech like a fat woman who is upset about the rising prices of donuts?
It probably would sound pretty damn stupid if I were to sing in a more Black-Metalish way. The guys in Black Metal bands sound like constipated frogs when they sing names, but that really sounds like shit. The guys in the band usually let me use the vocals I feel are right for that particular part of the music,
Did you get the idea for your beard from the former vocalist of Deranged?
I started growing this beard back in ’92, before I was in the band. I’m not sure if Deranged was around back then, but if they were I had not heard of them. It’s more like ZZ Top influence but don’t tell anybody.
Am I wrong to think that you were perhaps in a death metal band before you joined Amon Amarth?
Amon Amarth is the only band I’ve been in. I’ve never really wanted to sing in any other band after we started Amon Amarth, and I never really had the opportunity to sing in any band before that either. Were you asked to act in the film “The 13th Warrior”?
Yeah, but you know, I refuse to take part in such crap! When you toured America, did you notice how idiotically trendy people are over here?
Not really, the fans over in the US are so different from the metal-heads here in Europe. It depends on where you go. On the other hand the only truly un-trendy metal-fans are Germans. They haven’t
changed their style for twenty or thirty years and they will look the same in a thousand years. They’re almost like cockroaches. Nothing can kill them off completely, not even a nuclear war. After I had gone bananas over “Once Sent From The Golden Halls” I was told about an album that you did for a label in Singapore, and after a bit of searching I was able to get “Sorrow Through The Nine Worlds.” Is there any chance that the album will be bought by a stronger label and remastered? That album should not have to die.
Actually, ” S o r r o w throughout the Nine Worlds” is on the bonus version of the new album. The s o – c a l l e d “V i k i n g Edition.” We
put a lot of rare stuff on there. Apart from the MCD we put the demo “The Arrival of the Fimbul Winter” and the previously unreleased demo “Thor Arise” on there. It’s sort of
our ten-year anniversary gift from us to the fans, as it’s ten years since we started out.
What are some misconceptions about the Vikings?
There are quite a few. Most Vikings were merchants. They traded with people from all over the world basically. Most battles that Vikings fought were actually with other Vikings, and plundering
was not as common as historians will make us believe. Vikings have often been portrayed as barbarians, but as a matter of fact they had a functioning justice system long before any other European country did, and Vikings dictated the first laws ever written down. The Vikings were the first to discover North America, and there are even indications that they traveled as far as Mexico. The Vikings were however fierce in battle, which may have given them the reputation as barbaric wildmen. The reason for this is that the Vikings were fatalists. They believed that there was no way of avoiding fate, so you might as well rush into it because you will live as long as fate has decided for you to live. In Sweden, do cows say “moo”? They like to say that a lot in America.
No, cows say “muuu”. Pigs say “noeff” and not “oink”, like they do in America. Hey, Olli and Hansson played the guitars on “Sorrow”. Is Olli the same as Olavi? I suppose, if that is the case, that he is the originator of the style that makes your albums so rich, or are those cool techniques very common over there?
Yeah, Olli is short for Olavi, almost like you guys over there call guys called William for Bill. Olli is one of the founding members of Amon Amarth, and it’s actually his previous band, “Scum” which he started in 1988, that later on became Amon Amarth. I think Olli has his own unique way of playing the guitar. Don’t ask me about techniques though. I haven’t heard anybody here in Sweden, or anywhere else for that matter, that plays the same way he does. Are you hateful toward a particular band?
I wouldn’t say hateful, but there is a “Power-Metal” band from Sweden that in our ion rips off “Helloween”, and we like to make fun out of of them, and crack jokes on their behalf. The name has a bit to do with a certain tool, and a do with tripping. If you can figure out which it is, you’ve just won a box of water-colors. My experience with dogs has taught me not to bother them when they are eating. Do you also growl if anyone comes near to your beer?
That’s the first reaction. If they don’t realize the seriousness of the growl and try getting close to my beer again, I usually rip their heads off piss down their throats. There are parts of America in which a band can never hope to make any money through the merchandise table at shows. In such places, would it be acceptable to barter for your Tshirts with a suitable offering of beer?
Beer is always welcome. Maybe that is easier to sell in those places, but knowing the raging alcoholics I play with, that beer would be gone in four seconds. Did you know that Middle Earth is hobbit-forming?
Had no idea. What is your favorite race in Tolkein’s world?
Dwarves! Cool beards, cool weapons, and who wouldn’t want to carve the mountains for riches? In America there is a wigger phenomenon, and it affects the weakminded Caucasians who are also ignorant enough to believe the pious myth of the Christians. Such afflicted victims suddenly abandon English grammar and instantly shed 85% of their vocabulary. They also misperceive the manner of speech characteristic of an illiterate 75-IQ thug as an accent. I wonder if this is also happening in your homeland. Is the glory of your people fading?
Those Neanderthals are unfortunately existing in Sweden as well. I don’t care too much for politics and shit like that. Do you prefer the sword or the battle-axe?
Tough one! The sword is the most elegant weapon, slender and gentle yet lethal. The axe on the other hand is more brutal, but can also be elegant. I think I go with the sword, though. Is it true that you wear clothes on stage against your will? I heard that your entire band pays homage to the berserkers who ran naked into battle, but modern laws forbid the swinging pee pee of the Vikings. Is this true?
No, it’s not true. The real reason we are half-naked on stage is that
we sweat a lot. But it would be cool if it was true though. Who knows? Someday maybe we’ll be playing in our underwear.
This may seem like a strange way to introduce an album, but I found myself enjoying the bass. you will have to hear for yourself how great this is in the mix and the way that it was marinated n the juiciest sounds.
The album is solid. providing plenty of chugging for the times when you need such, but there are other things going on. The vocals tend to hit the higher sort of screeching, but stop short of being gay. There are enough of the more masculine approaches to death metal vocals to keep you from wearing pink when you listen to this album.
You need to be clear about this being a good album. The jokes may throw you off if you are faggy, so just think of a happy place when you read. Speaking of which, this album will make you happy because it is tasteful and heavy. It was built to last.
You can enjoy a sample video by clicking HERE, but bear in mind that their songs are varied.
The crystal clear production brings out some of the best elements, like the guttural vocals and what might seem like a touch of math-metal (guitars masturbating scales instead of expressing feeling, and there is some flare that might be a turn-off). Some of the guitar is a bit too close to wiggercore, best suited to the short-haired bands, with stop-and-go or muted phrasing, but these tidbits can be overlooked due to some of the other elements.
Enjoy a song on youtube by clicking HERE and hear for yourself.
It’s hard to categorize this album because it has familiar elements yet it does not belong to any group in particular. The vocals can be death metal, the lower register of black metal, clean, and also may fit pagan metal, if you pardon that term. The foreign tongue adds to the feeling of the music.
Throughout the album there is a sense of something being not quite right. This uneasy feeling is further coaxed by odd instrumentation and atmospherics. The tempo is mostly mid-paced, so expect neither brutality nor doom, but be thankful that the black metal cliches are absent.