Interview: Obliteration

Plucks and bowels debouched through the resonators. Some revolt at the sight of the bloodshed. There are some other, though, who smile so cynically. This conversation is also thrown in Obliteration’s cauldron of utter disgust. Sindre Solem (vocals, guitar) speaks in well-intentioned mood about sick cooks his company prepares and other stuff, too. All hail the new terrorists of death metal!

How exactly did the old school death metal virus infected Obliteration’s blood? Taking cognizance of your young age and the rest of the modern acts, that’s simply unorthodox.

Hehe I really don’t know. We started out listening to punk and some hard rock/metal stuff and it just kinda grew on us. We developed a taste of organic, pure and true sound and productions in the music we liked, so it came naturally I guess. We were sick of the way bands in the early 2000’s sounded, everything had to be modern and professional to the teeth, with triggers, plug ins , pro tools and all that shit, so the way we started playing music and recorded our material was some sort of a reaction against the modern way of “metal” I guess. Or at least subconsciously, but we knew that we wanted to rock hard.

Carrying the load of such a great record as “Nekropsalms” is, what are your future plans that could make any new effort stink even more than its frowst?

Thank you very much, we’re very pleased with that album. Hehe I’m not sure, we just continue to make our mark on music with trying to go further with our style of death metal. I have a hunch that the next album will be a bit darker and more atmospheric yet more punk influenced. And we’re gonna do some changes and use some different equipment when we record it, to get a deeper sound to it, of some sorts. But you can still hear that it’s OBLITERATION. We cannot overanalyze it, that would take the edge right out of it. So we’ll just go with the flow and try to make another cool record.

Autopsy sweet Autopsy, huh? I was very happy to find out a band which would be that influenced from these US death metal pioneers but not a rip-off copy. Your thoughts on this?

Hehe thanks. Autopsy is by far the sweetest band out there, hehe… Autopsy is the definitive masters of twisted horrific extreme metal and has been one of my (and the rest of the gang’s) favorite band bands for a long time. But we think it’s important to try and make something on our own, not just rip-off and borrow killer riffs… I really like loads of the “Autopsy copy” bands though, like Lobotomized, Bonesaw and so forth. And there’s NOTHING WRONG IN BORROWING riffs, as long it’s done with good intentions, but that’s not the way we work in OBLITERATION. We just want to make killer metal, and put our personal mark on it.

What is the record’s feedback to date? I believe it’s kind of impressing and welcome by most of the fans.

The feedback on NEKROPSALMS has been beyond excellent, both from press, fans and other bands/music personalities. We even won an award here in Norway for it, “Best album from Oslo 2009”. That was pretty insane. All over the feedback has been great, from the most diehard death metal fans, to obscure black metal dudes, to metalpunxs, to hipsters, hehe. You always get someone that doesn’t like it, but so much cool things has happened because of this release, so we don’t care much about the critics. Most of the criticism has been towards the cover art though, hehe.

You’ve toured with a bunch of creepy bands like Deathhammer, the mighty Ramesses and Unearthly Trance. What was it like sharing the stage with these artists? Does one profit another musically?

We’ve only toured with Ramesses, twice, but we’ve played several shows with those bands, and many other great acts. It’s fantastic to share stage with someone that shares the same views on music as us. And by having more killer bands on you create more than a concert, it turns more into an event/show/experience/ritual whatever. So it’s exhilarating for us as a band to play with bands we love, it’s pushes us to do better gigs, and yeah, we can learn a lot from each other while sharing stage, and off course get inspired. Adam from Ramesses have inspired me many times to be a better front man/singer, and I can say the same about Sonic Ritual and Autopsy for example.. Fuck, we’ve played with so many cool bands…

You’ve received compliments from Darkthrone’s Fenriz when he proposed you in his “band of the week” blog posts. Is that stressing you at all?

No, not really, but we really value his support. He’s been a supporter of the band a long time, and his compliments/tips/critic is always appreciated here in the Obli camp. The first times he supported us with complements and so forth I was freaked out, that was pretty stressful. But now it’s all cool, hehe. Met him last night, amazing dude.

The black metal transition in “The Worm That Gnaws In The Night” is simply fantastic. Can we expect such experiments in any of your new compositions?

Thanks dude! It’s one of my favorite parts on the album. Yes, I think you can expect more of that style in our upcoming work. The stuff we’re working on now has a darker edge to it, so it’s pretty safe to say that our 3album will have parts/riffs/tracks that share that same evil feeling as the end of the worm that gnaws in the night. But we just let it flow, so it’s very difficult to tell how the next album will sound, as we’re not finished writing it yet. But it will be killer I’m sure.

How exactly were you able to achieve this warm, organic sound?

You use warm, organic equipment, hehe. We record everything ourselves and analogue (except everything is being saved on a hard disc recorder, not tape L ) and we use our ears when we set the sound on the amps and drums and so forth. We record everything very basic and fast DIY style, without any fancy plug-ins, triggers, pro tools or stuff like that. And we use gear that sound good and warm, like an Orange amp from 1973, and good soulful high gain amps. The important thing is to use our ears and search for the sound we want and the sound that best fit the songs.. Arild, the guitarist and producer of the album had this to say: “We just used our ears and tried to focus on getting the real acoustic sound of the drumkit when we did the mixing, and tried to make everything else fit afterwards…”

I strongly believe that true death metal is somehow in love with doom metal also. I mean, listen to old Morbid Angel, Sadistic Intent etc. What is your relationship with most of the Sabbath-like stuff and how do you perceive this in death metal generally?

Indeed, Doom is a VERY important genre for extreme metal if you ask me. And it provides a whole new dimension and depth to the music. My relationship with Sabbath like stuff is great, I love all that shit. Black Sabbath are GODS to us, but bands like Pentagram, Sleep, Electric Wizard, Coven, Witchcraft, Witch, Cathedral, OM, St. Vitus and so on are also a huge inspiration to us. Black Sabbath inspired stuff is always the music with most soul. I think the doom like parts in extreme metal gives the bands a dynamic and diversity that separates the good from the great, the men from the boys etc. I think that doomy parts give more substance in all the chaos, and are necessary for us in Obliteration to keep it interesting and to spread the horror in the right way.

Punk also seems to have a huge impact on your musical direction. What are the punk bands you’re associated with? I guess, mostly the 80′s ones…

Fuck yeah. The punk attitude is so powerful and very important for good metal. I love loads of old punk like; Testors, Discharge, Sacriledge(demos), Misfits, Bad Brains, Cro Mags, Black Flag, Samhain, Negative Approach, Void, Anti Sect, Dead Boys, Adrenalin OD, Doom and even Bad Religion pluss so much more. But there are loads of cool new crust punk bands out there like Summon the Crows, Dishonarable Discharge, Dishammer, World Burns to Death, Tragedy, Severed head of State, Detestation, Murderess, Speedergarben, Skitsystem, Imperial Leather and so, so much more. Punk is not dead!

When shall we expect the next album? Are new songs in progress or what?

O though one.. We hope we can release it late 2011, but we don’t know yet. We just signed with Indie recordings, so I know that everything around the album will be extremely good. We are working hard on the new album now, but we’re not that far in the progress yet. We have a couple of songs ready, plus loads of parts/riffs. Hopefully it will be done during the summer some time, so we can record it then. I can promise a horrific album, so fans of Nekropsalms will not be disappointed.

End of martyr. Can you name me the five records that got the strongest impact on you personally? Moreover, we’d be glad to hear any new musical suggestions from you.

Shit, there is so many! The first ones are pretty obvious but I’ll try to include some obscure ones. No particular order:

1. Autopsy – Mental Funeral
2. Darkthrone – Goatloard
3. Repulsion – Horrified
4. Aura Noir – The Merciless
5. Black Sabbath – Master of reality

Hehe, not so obscure stuff though, but these albums have all had a huge impact on me. Some other musical tips, new and old: Natur (NYC), In Solitude, Sonic Ritual, Bastard Priest, Morbus Chron, Okkultokrati, Black Magic, Negative Plane, Nekromantheon, Deathroner, Curved Air, Naam, Sarcofagus, Altaar, Execration, Diskord, Summon the Crows, Beastmilk, Hexvessel, Swallowed, Salute, Maim, Mismal, Corrupt(rip), Antichrist, Parabellum, Haust, Utarm, Dream Death, Captain Beyond, Saturnlia Temple, Mare, One Tail One Head and so forth. There is LOADS of great music out there.

Come play in Greece sometime. The last words are yours.

Thanks for this great interview. We would love to play in Greece, please book us! Continue to support the non-conformist underground, be a music freak, have fun and hail Satan.

Interview by Miltos XIC

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