ACT OF GODS are a new band, but they aren't composed of new comers in the extreme Death metal style since some of their members where a part of the great and cult French Death metal bands MUTILATED and ABYSSALS! I was very enthusiastic when I heard news from them and I was impatient to hear their new stuffs! I had the opportunity to listen to this new demo and it includes some good gut tripping riffs!! In the old school Death metal style ŕ la POSSESSED/ old MORBID ANGEL with Brutal death touches! So here's an interview with Phil (guitar) and Ventylator (vocals) for you to discover another good french band! But also to visit again a frenetic Death metal period!
1. Do an introduction to ACT OF GODS, actual line up, when the band was formed, etc…
Phil: Here we go, Act of Gods was formed in September 2001, with Guillaume behind the drumkit, Ventylator as a vocalist and myself on the guitar. (Guillaume and I both played in Mutilated). We have written a few tracks, we entered the studio (the LB Lab) in march 2002, and we released our first demo “Dies irae” in October 2002.This demo will be used only for the labels, magazines, fanzines, webzines, etc… the official version will see the light during spring 2003. Just before the release of the demo, Thomas joined us in September 2002 as a guitarist.
2. With titles like "Act of the insane", "Perverted cross" or "Soaked in pus" one can immediately see what we have got here is typically Death metal lyrics. Tell us more about the subjects your texts deal with, what it means for you
Ventylator: About the lyrics, the texts are short fantastic novels, a bit in the vein of « The tales from the crypt ». Excepted “Perverted cross” that is a bit different as it deals with the inquisition. We are all atheists, so there’s no Satanism that will take place in the lyrics that must be taken as self-derision!!! We also can't bear with these sick guys who use metal to spread their fascist ideas!!!
3. One of your members was bassist/ vocalist in MUTILATED, and two others was a part of HIDDEN SIDE but also MUTILATED for one of them. I think I understood ACT OF GODS also included some members of ABYSSALS (a French Death metal band that released a very good demo in 94) but I’ve compared the names of the musicians on the releases and none is in the actual line up. Clear my mind on this point !
Phil: It’s very simple, I joined Abyssal after the recording of the demo, because some gigs was organised and we were able to tour
4. I didn’t hear about HIDDEN SIDE . Did they release a demo ?
Ventylator: Hidden Side was formed by Guillaume (ex-Mutilated) in 1994. A demo was recorded live during a rehearsal. But the band split up 2 weeks before entering the studio !!!! Rock'n'roll….
5. What are in your opinion the main differences between MUTILATED and ACT OF GODS ? Do you see ACT OF GOD as a continuation of MUTILATED or do you see it as a radically new band ?
Phil: The main difference is the guy who was writing almost all the music in Mutilated isn’t a part of Act of gods. So all the compositions are new. There are no similitude between these two bands, except the fact we still play a rather « old school » Death metal. The tracks are powerful and it owns a « soul ».
6. How would you qualify the musical style of the band ? Old school Death metal with a Brutal death touch? At the level of the influences, which bands would you quote ?
Phil: I think you summed up well the situation. Speaking for myself, I’m still into the « old » bands such as Morbid Angel, Incubus, Pentagram, Nocturnus, terrorizer, Repulsion and also the old Slayer releases. I also like Cannibal Corpse (bloodthirst) as well as Death.
7. Some of your riffs remind me a bit of VADER. I don’t know if you we attentive to the career of the band, but don’t you think their style and their productions sounds a bit warmed up nowadays? I think their « peak » was at the time of their second album, and then followed some albums that weren’t essential (several live CDs, somekind of best of with bonus tracks…)
Ventylator: We are flattered to be compared to such a band, even if we doesn’t quote them as a main influence. Vader is a band we appreciate for its persistence and for what it has brought to Death Metal. Their live performances are devastating ! Speaking for myself, my influences are rather Myrkskog, Deranged, Origin and Nile … only slow ones !!!
8. You were
present in the extreme metal scene around a bit more than ten years.
Did you follow what happened in the very deep underground ? Were
there some very underground bands that branded your brain?
Phil: I haven’t got the feeling there was a « french extreme scene » in 1988 at the time of our first Mutilated Demo "Psychodeath lunatics". I would also said it was almost inexistant. There was naturally a few bands such Loudblast, Agressor, and all the scene from Marseille. No band really attracted my attention in the underground scene of this time, and the same goes for the underground bands of the following years.
9. As a lot of French bands you have recorded your tracks with Stéphane Buriez. Is he a long time friend ? Are you satisfied with the result ? I think the production of this 4 tracks demo could be situated somewhere between the official live CD of MORBID ANGEL and « Blessed are the sick » for example…
Phil: We know
each others since a long time. We have been into this studio because
all the bands that did their thing with them all have got a really
exceptional sound, I mean power and precision. They have got a lot
of professionalism and know-how.
10. I was in contact with one of ABYSSALS’ members in 1996, he told me at the time HEAD NOT FOUND were interested in releasing the demo as a MCD, what has happened ?
Phil: I can’t tell you more since I didn’t take care of the mail.
11. I heard a member of ABYSSALS played for some time in AGGRESSOR. Is it true ? What do you think about AGGRESSOR ?
Phil: I didn’t
know, you should tell me who it was to get more infos…
12. I own a bootleg live tape of MUTILATED. Your gigs seemed to be quite intense and you seemed to have a good following. Haven’t you had the possibility to release an album ? A cool amount of French bands released some albums at this time, and they weren’t all better than MUTILATED, far from this !
Phil: We wanted the best of the best, we had several offers, but we hoped to get the « big deal ». And I can say it, it has made our existences way more rotten ! !
13. I’ve had the opportunity to read an interview and some reviews of MUTILATED in fanzines of this time. You seemed to be a bit somekind of precursory in France with some 100% Death metal influences ŕ la POSSESSED while the French scene was more into a Thrash metal ŕ la KREATOR. What pushed you to be more extreme at this time?
Phil: It was like this, we were naturally attracted by what we had discovered (before a good amount of peoples ! !), the tape-trading thing was very rich, it was the beginning of the Death metal wave, and we’ve surfed on it. There was a ton of bands who had only released some demos. This way, we knew all the bands that were going to become big. That’s why we left Thrash and speed metal. But this said, one couldn’t compare the first Possessed album and the other band.
14. Do you think it’s still possible to take the lead over in the extreme metal style keeping in mind all the music that have been done in the style ?
Ventylator: Hard, hard !! I think the style have reached some peaks with bands like Myrkskog or Hate Eternal!!!! There’ll always be more and more extreme bands, but the original aspect of the thing seems like it will be very limited. But anyway this isn’t what we expect from an extreme band.
15. How old are you now ? Do you think you’ll still play extreme metal for a long time ? Don’t you think as you’ll grow older you’ll naturally start some more « calm » extreme metal activities that ask a certain knowledge of the scene such as doing a label ?
Taking in consideration my ache, I don’t feel anymore like the young
« male » of my youth. But as you insist, I can give
you the age of my brothers in arm, so Phil is 54 years old, Guillaume
is 45, and Thomas has reached the 70 years old!
16. Have you got some parallel project (musical and non musical) ?
Phil & Ventylator: Unfortunately, our days are too short.
17. What are you doing in the professional life?
Ventylator: I brush the beards of the guys in « ZZ top », trust me there’s some work!!!! I’m a student, I’m finishing my exams.
18. What’s your opinion about nowadays’ french extreme metal scene ? In my opinion it’s better than never (at least since I’m a lot into it with my fanzine) with bands like BYATIS, KABBAL, GERBE OF LIFE, DISGUST, ANANDA and I forget a lot of some ! ! ( the fingers of my two wouldn’t be enough to count the french bands I think are at least cool, while some years ago one single finger cut in ten parts would have been largely enough, ah ah !) All the more the bands are more pro, expressive, organised… In your opinion where does this evolution of our scene can come from ?
Ventylator: It’s maybe because of the fact we are all fed up to be 100 kilometres behind the other countries in musical terms and because the guys invest themselves more personally and humanly.
Phil: Certainly because the scene didn’t exist, or it was struggling along; It only needs to explode, and from what you tell me their is the potential in this fucking country. Hope it won’t be useless. But the elder generations have anyway left a patrimony (even if it’s small ! !). Because our past scene is really poor compared to our neighbours’ countries. I can’t wait for the moment when there’ll be a true French metal scene. When will there be an extreme metal festival in France ?
19. What’s your opinion about the come back of David Vincent in MORBID ANGEL?
Phil: Without David Vincent, it’s not Morbid Angel.
20. I know a lot of log time Brutal death fans (and fans of metal in general) are resistant to the Nu metal style. What’s your opinion about it ?
Ventylator: It’s true !!! except for Phil.
Phil: I don’t reject the whole thing. But I listen to it only a bit!!
21. You’re at the very beginning of the promotion, and it can seem to early to ask this, but did some labels show some interest in ACT OF GODS?
Phil: Yes, we had several offers. I’ll be able to tell you more when we’ll have signed the deal. But an album will be released in December 2003.
22. These last words are yours. Tell us more about your future projects for ACT OF GODS, and add what you want to !
Ventylator: Thanks for the interview, and see you soon for the album’s release!!!!
Phil: Thanks Gab for the interest you show in Act of Gods, and for the contribution you bring to the extreme metal scene since all these years.