METAL FROM NORWAY
Hello! We are the band known as Execration with an X (and two E's, one C, one R, one A, one T, one I, one O, and one N.) We used to play stupid, but now we play Death Metal. We are Cato on drums, Chris on guitar and vocal, Jørgen on guitar and vocal, and Jonas on bass. Some of you readers out there might have downloaded our music from an obscure server or the like, that is, the EP "Language of the Dead" (2007) and the album "Syndicate of Lethargy" (2008).
2. The title of the album, "Syndicate of lethargy", and the illustration depicting a skull-faced angel without hands could go together towards an idea of incapacity to act, a massive mental brainwash due to pre-natal hypnosis of the whole human genre... Do you share the same interpretation? Is this a main theme in the lyrics of EXECRATION (The "Disciples of suffering" or "submission to falsities" titles could follow the same paths) or am I misleaded by my own blindness and brainwashed-at-birth consciousness?
We probably all are, aren't we? I guess that interpretation isn't so far from our own. You are indeed right to assert that this is a main theme, not necessarily for all of Execration's music, but at least for "Syndicate of Lethargy".
3. This kind of topic wouldn't fit with so many kinds of music, only the most extreme or dark would go hand in hand with the spirit of an avulsed and betrayed molested corpse... Only extreme metal, some industrial, dark electronics, drone, noise and few others wouldn't water down the initial message... So what is the initial seed and motive of EXECRATION: First to spread a meaningful message with the right music that follows, or first to play the music you like and then to write lyrics in the right spirit? In shorter words: Is the initial goal to play music or to spread an unholy message?
For us it always starts with the music, and our goal is to make the best music we can. We see the lyrics more as a part of the musical expression than a tool for spreading a message. Sometimes the lyrics are written to go with a specific song, but more often than not lyrics are written separately and retrofitted to songs at a later stage. For "Syndicate of Lethargy", several vocal arrangements and even lyrics were completed while recording. This isn't because we don't care about the lyrics, but because the music is the most important part. Since both of us doing the vocals also play guitar, we tend to focus on playing while writing new material. Vocal parts and lyrics are usually worked out to recordings of the songs, be they demos or actual studio recordings.
4. Do you think EXECRATION could have an existence to be as meaningful under another kind of music? Could it work with old school industrial, darkened electronics, subterranean noises, or would some elements from the spectrum lack?
I think death metal is the right outlet for Execration. Sure, some aspects of Execration's music could work well as some kind of dark electronic/ambient thing (industrial, not so much). However, I think that the cross section of the music would be hard to piece together in its entirety in some other genre. Execration blends gloomy doom parts, raw percussive power and an energy which I have a hard time imagining working in for instance an electronic setting.
5. When it's up to playing and composing music, do you feel closer to the Incantation/ Immolation or Disgorge/ Suffocation duo? Do you think EXECRATION is rather old school, new school, or perhaps the catalyzer of all sufferance is located right in the middle of all this? Is there a main composer or is this a whole band effort?
I can see a
connection to all those bands, and we have certainly drawn inspiration
from a bunch of other bands too. What we're hoping to achieve though,
is shaping our own sound.
6. I can say your production is quite surprising, at least it's more "old school" than the style you play (Most of the influences could have been collected in 2000/2001), the album sounds very natural (Especially at the level of drums) and I guess few computer manipulations appeared. Why did you make this choice? Do you feel a cleaner production decreases the level of obscurity? You might think the listener should hear on a CD what EXECRATION is able to do during gigs, and shouldn't have a bad surprise once he visits your concert for a morbid headbanging session?
We hate over-produced
trigger-ridden "modern" death metal productions. We like
music that has some kind of dynamic headroom, where some parts are
more intense than others and where it sounds like humans are playing.
With the two releases we have so far we've tried to match that kind
of sound. With the new album we are trying even harder to match
the sound of Execration live. In fact, the album (as our latest
demo) will be recorded live to better match the sound we produce
when we're doing live shows.
7. How are the gigs of EXECRATION? What can we expect, and is there something a little different from the "regular" Death metal gig? (If there occurs to be regular Death metal gigs in Norway, the land of all black metal...)
centered around the music, nothing especially fancy. We have done
a few guest appearances which worked out well for us. All of the
guests on "Syndicate of Lethargy" has been on stage with
us, performing the parts they do on the album. We've even had Zweizz
do his necrotech live with us. Other than that we focus on delivering
well-performed bone-crushing death metal. Live shows in 2009 focused
heavily on Syndicate-songs. Next year, we'll probably be focusing
mostly on the new album, and probably bring along a few old ones.
I guess this is nothing really out of the ordinary.
8. The bass guitar sound on your album, it has something from early NAPALM DEATH ("Scum"), maybe with a little of old MORTICIAN... Is your bassist a grinder? Death metal bands usually don't overdrive the bass, but you did... Does it make the gigs more powerful? Don't you think such kind of vibrating bass guitar adds some noises of crepitating skulls and crispy bones? Or maybe it hides a little the playing mistakes? Ahah
Enter Jonas: The bass sound is much more inspired by Doom and Stoner-rock than by Grindcore, but with that said Napalm Death has great sounding bass on both their new and old records. I'm not really sure why I choose to use distortion on the bass, it just seems to sound better than with just a clean sound especially since I play with a pick. And nothing hides mistakes like a really distorted bass sound, haha.
9. There are not so many musical differences between your MCD and the album, one might rather notice a stronger MAYHEM influence (I think about the "Wolf's lair abyss" MCD) as well as more intense and complex compositions. Now a bit of time has gone since you wrote these musical contents, could the listener expect some changes for the next materialization of the execrating, or would you say you found the "right" formula? I guess you already started working on the next release, can you tell us more about it? What should one expect? How many songs are ready and when do you think it will be released?
As I already
mentioned, we've been working hard on the new album for a while,
and it will take a bit of a different direction than the two previous
releases. I guess "Language of the Dead" and "Syndicate
of Lethargy" could possibly be viewed as part I and II of the
same musical period for us. We even recorded two of the tracks from
"Language..." while recording Syndicate as well, but they
never made it to the album.
you happy with the work of your current label VENDLUS Records? What
would characterize them compared to other labels?
As we're from Norway, the small country in the north, it's probably been good for us to be on an American label, because then everyone thinks we're hot and all that. Vendlus is a small label, but it seems to have a good reputation and to be a respected name in the business. So we were quite happy to be in their roster for the release of our first album. We don't have any experience with other labels yet, so we can't tell how they are different other than that.
11. Norwegian Death metal, does it mean something in 2009? I could quote something like 3 active bands, but is there more happening?
I guess you can say that the norwegian death metal scene is not a huge thing, but most of the bands that exist are all top quality. The good thing is that you don't have 2000 bands that sound completly the same, as most of the norwegian death metal underground bands strive to do their own thing.
12. Being located in Scandinavia, do you feel a part or concerned with the old school Death metal "come back" that occurs in Sweden, and on minor degree in Finland? Do you feel interested in what these new bands have to offer, or maybe it's too much of some "morbid thrash" to satisfy your morbid and heavy needs for the crushing? (Sometimes it's so strongly old school and retro, that I know some peoples into the heavier and "macho" Death metal would find a part of it to be a little too light...). Can you quote some new interesting bands from these lands, or you might prefer Swedish and Finnish Death from the past?
We don't feel that we're consciously part of a Scandinavian scene, but there's definitely many good bands from this area pursuing what you would call an "old school" sound. For us it doesn't matter what you call it, but we're not fans of the triggered techno type of Death Metal, so yeah, we'd rather be part of an old school revival. We were all stunned by the heavy and crushing sound of Hooded Menace from Finland. Archgoat is also good shit. Also there are swedish bands like Necrovation and Bastard Priest who bring elements of thrash and punk to their death metal. Another great band is Coffins from Japan (That's in Scandinavia, isn't it?). Other recent faves from the top of our heads: Necros Christos, Dead Congregation, Teitanblood, Funebrarum, Antediluvian and of course Obliterations new album.
13. Finland is known for having very long nights a part of the year... But what would characterize Norway on a weather/ environment point of view? What makes a difference between your country and the close Swedish or Finland?
Right now it's 2 PM and it's getting dark already. I think Norway is pretty much like in Finland or Sweden in that respect. It depends how far north you go in the country. In the very north of Norway the sun doesn't even get up for a couple of months during winter time. We're not experts on nature and enviroment, but I think Norway is the only country with real fjords. And that's todays geography lesson for you all!
14. If I reverse the letters of your band name, it gives "Noitarcexe", which sounds like a strange Maya invocation to the god of green drugs, or some computer virus name... If I translate the title of your album in Norwegian, then turn the letters inside out it gives "itapa va takidnys" which sounds like an obscure bastard language between Finnish and Greek... So, if I insert these unholy words in special "The twilight zone" search engines, will I find some obscure ambient subprojects you run under any of these evil monikers? Is there anything to dig under special angles under or around the EXECRATION world? Well, all this untargeted wordplay to ask you if you currently have subprojects that might be metal (Grind? Thrash?) or not (Noisy rock? Progressive rock? Ambient?)
Currently, and as has been the case since we started, we are focusing all our musical energy on Execration. Some of us have stuck our noses into other projects for a brief guest appearance, but none of us keep any steady bands other than Execration.
15. The Internet gives no information about your musical past, but your music shows you didn't learn to play guitar 2 years ago... So did you play in other metal bands before and was something released? Perhaps you preferred to keep it private since the content wasn't that good...
We've all been playing since we were kids, in all kinds of small local acts. However, none of those bands ever made a big difference, and we don't feel there's a point in namedropping dead projects at this point. One possibly interesting note is that Cato, our drummer, used to be a guitar player while growing up. He's been on and off the drums for years, but switched to being a full-time drummer when we started Execration. As a reminder of his past he has contributed a few guitar licks on the album, and even did the bass for a whole track on our first demo (back when we were a two-piece).
16. Are some of the band musicians involved in other metal activities such as writing reviews in webzines/ fanzines, organizing gigs, running a distro, taking care of a radioshow... Or are you satisfied enough with EXECRATION and already busy with your daily lives and families? Apart from the band, is there a metal activity you’d like to achieve in the future?
We're more or less tied up with the band, work, families and church activities already. So I'm afraid we don't contribute much to the metal scene other than making music, recording music, playing gigs, and of course going to gigs. Apart from that we're thinking about buying a metal detector, but they are so expensive.
17. This is the final interrogation, so feel free to tell us more about all the rotting and running sickness each morbid undergrounder should know to sleep morbidly well in his putrid bed tonight! Last minute news, next projects, merchandising, sexual inquiries… Death metal eternal!
If everything goes well and the world doesn't go under, we'll record the new album in a few months in our own studio. We just had our good friends in Diskord here to put down a couple of tracks, and that went relatively smooth (after the inevitable tech problems in the beginning), so we're really starting to get the hang of the recording process. In preparation for the album, we just did a new track, entitled "Entheogen", that will be out on a split double seven-inch in April. We share this release with Diskord, Obliteration and Lobotomized, and there will be a gig with all four bands on April 24th, in Oslo. We're very happy with the new track - it's very different from the "Syndicate ..." album and represents what to expect from the new album nicely. Keep your ears sharp for more Execration death metal in 2010!