By: Mike Abominator
Necrovation have been a band that have interested me for a few years now. They came out with a full on early Morbid Angel sound that was also reminiscent of Necrovore and Incubus(Florida). Coming from Sweden, one would expect more Sunlight Studio/Boss H2 distortion pedal using death fiends. Maybe their debut demo “Ovations to Putrefaction” had some elements of that sound. But these evil fucks forged their own path. They did have more in common with Swedish bands like Grotesque, Morbid and Obscurity, Mefisto and maybe the current death hymns of Repugnant and Tribulation. But they took parts of those bands and made their own dark sound. From then on, unleashing their 2 now classic EPs, their great split with Corrupt, to their killer debut album “Breed Deadness Blood”, they slayed forth the demos of total death metal hell. Now with their 2nd album out, simply titled “Necrovation”, I thought it was time to get a talk in with the band. I was able to track down guitarist/vocalist Seb and get some words down about how he feels about the new album and all other things Necrovation.
Hails! Necrovation came early in this “modern” wave of death metal back in the early 2000s. How was it that you maniacs got together to form this deadly band?
SEB: We simply got together to play the music we loved and lived for, at first it was solely for our own pleasure.
The latest self titled album seems a bit different than the previous, straight forward and raw attack. Did you guys get bored with the old style?
SEB: Just letting thought and creation go its own way, -as we found suiting, was the way, so boring is absolutely the wrong word, but let’s say we wanted to go forward, in every aspect of being a band there is, with the means we had, and our new album is the result.
What were some of the influences on this album that inspired Necrovation to take the direction further into other areas than just the same old death metal?
SEB: I don’t know really, I just wrote the songs. I wrote all songs at home, and that allowed me to try things we would perhaps have ruled out of we had written the album together in the rehearsal. I have influences, but I can’t really say that other musical artists can be credited for the sound our new album, the sound is the result of hard work and rather looking away from influences, which in itself is a totally natural thing to do if you have creativity flowing.
For me, the album does not give me an immediate response. It takes a bit for it to sink in. Songs like “Commander of Remains” are more my style, with an attack that comes fast and simple right away. Did the more intricate stuff with many time changes and build ups come easy for the band? Tell me a bit about the writing process with this album.
SEB: I think we have always put a very high value on details in our songwriting, all intricate/progressive elements simply came out of playing idea’s over a long time, leaving things ‘open’ for weeks or months, or even years. It was the easiest part of creating this album, we didn’t want to run too far away from the cause though. I’m satisfied with the album being somewhat hard to take in. I think it would be a shame if you could get in to it right away, then it would have been a too easy to digest experience, and the content would probably have to be more trivial, I think albums should offer a depth, that takes a while to sink in, and when eventually does, you will hear the songs in a whole different way, and remember them for more than a short period of time.
I even think the pure savage, straight to the point stuff is still there, like with the song “New Depths.” Were these riffs/ideas hold overs from the past, or did they also come in this new writing process?
SEB: New Depths is one of the very last songs to be finished for the album. The beautiful main melodic solo passage is Fredrick’s work, created on spot in the studio, as the solo he had prepared was just not right for the song. New depth’s is in a way truly a bastard song, but it’s not old meeting new, it’s all new.
Sweden was the capital of crushing death back in the “HEY DAY” of death metal back in the late 80s and early 90s. There also seems to be quite an explosion that happened in the mid 2000s until now. Does Necrovation feel a part of this wave? Or is the band more isolated, than to be part of a “scene”?
SEB: I know that we have played a role in the scene, I can’t say to what degree, but we have been active for some 8-9 years or so, I think that the ones truly interested in this underground culture knows about Necrovation. We have friends in some different bands in the current “scene”, but I feel that those people are my friends more than my colleagues or partners in crime in this “scene”. We stand alone musically, in a way isolated, yes.
Obviously I would like to know the bands main musical influences. But there are also many other things in life that influence a band, in it’s ideals, outlook, approach, attack, etc…… What are also some other things that influence Necrovation? Like books? Movies? Events? People?
SEB: Our influences are rooted in many different things, to name them, would spoil all the fun. Let’s just say that we have always been searching for inspiration in fields that tend to demand your full attention and utter most presence, with that said it’s perhaps obvious that I/we don’t like art that doesn’t have the potential to steal your attention totally.. which rules out so much and leaves yet so many good things. I can get off by just picking up a guitar trying to make it sound as something I just experienced or read, I’m a romantic and fanatic in many ways, I don’t need much to create.
With this latest album, as it is a bit more “progressive” than the prior Necrovation works that I have enjoyed, the band also has seemed to go with a more raw, maybe even a “live” production. I can hear feedback and string slides and other noises that come out in the recording. This IS NOT a bad thing actually. I think it adds to the dark environment that the album gives the listener. Was this something that the band wanted to achieve?
SEB: The slightly more organic approach was very intentional, we experimented with room microphones and really had the amps on 10 while doing the guitar work, we used a lot of ambiance from the recording in the background, perhaps not in your face, but it provides that feeling that raises questions.
Now with a song like “The Resurrectionist” that are all over the place riff wise, and the tempo is a bit slower, I’m almost reminded of the “later” early/middle era of Morbid Angel, maybe “Blessed are the Sick.” Even the next instrumental track “The Transition” with it’s dark acoustic guitars has this same feel. Was Morbid Angel, or IS Morbid Angel the main influence on Necrovation?
SEB: I love Morbid Angel, to me “Resurrectionist” and “The Transition” has absolutely nothing to do with Morbid Angel though, but if you think so, I take it as a compliment. Perhaps the rock vibe in Resurrectionist can get you thinking of Morbid Angel. We are of course influenced by Morbid Angel, they are probably the best Death metal band ever, but it’s not a main influence for our band.
Going back to the early days of the band, I want to get your favorites and the first bands and albums that you ever heard and bought. What were the first records, tapes, CDs that you heard? What bands were your early favorites? And what albums totally changed your lives?
SEB: Well I don’t remember exactly what records I was given by my parents, as they bought several when I was very young. I remember being quite shocked after hearing Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” in middle school, you know when you just listened to hideous crap, and then I heard these intense and heavy guitar songs… I was hooked! So Master of puppets was absolutely a turning point for me, still one of my absolute favorites.
The early death metal bands, especially the Swedish ones changed my life, and through them I discovered the early American, some Suisse.. some South American.. you know, nothing strange or un-ordinary to say here really.
As far as bands that you have witnessed live, what are some of the best live shows that you have ever seen? Tell me about some of your all time favorite concerts.
SEB: The best concert ever, all categories for me was when I saw Celtic Frost live 2006 at Sweden Rock festival. That was a life changing moment for sure. I have never bothered to search youtube for some clip, I fear that it just wouldn’t do the concert justice and spoil my memory of the darkest, mentally lowering concert ever brought forth by humans. That’s how black it felt, truly grande on site, mark my words. I also remember The Devil’s Blood performing at Hells Pleasure 2009 around midnight in pouring rain, truly a special moment as well.
I want to thank you for your time and for this interview. Any last words? How can the maniacs out there get in contact for merch and albums?
SEB: Thanks, interested in merch immediately, go to Agonia’s web shop, there’s T shirts, CD’s and LP’s. In a while, we will start manufacturing our own t shirt designs, at our release fest September 8:th at Püssy a Go Go in Stockholm, several designs should be available for purchase.
NECROVATION “NECROVATION” REVIEW. 2012 AGONIA RECORDS.
Straight off the bat, I didn’t like this album as much as the other Necrovation stuff. It wasn’t an immediate listen. This band has never been the “catchiest” or straight forward type. BUT I think this album is fucking RAD at this point and it has grown on me. I guess this is why it has take me so long to get this feature done(sorry Nathan Birk!) There are so many time changes and the music is a total roller coaster to hell. It jerks around from pace to pace. KIND OF proggy at times, but NOT TOO MUCH that it gets stupid or boring. As I mentioned in the interview, the band can fucking all out rage with ripping intensity like on “New Depths”. I would say fans of early Morbid Angel would dig this. It also mixes middle era Morbid Angel, just a bit more dark and evil. The song even has some total traditional heavy metal moments thrown in when the guitar solos blaze during the middle part of the song. I think there is a dynamic sound overall on this slab that stands out from their past work. Maybe it is touches of black metal,mainly on the fast parts, that has me thinking of Absu? Hmmm. I think the songs tend to take a bit to build up at some points, but when they do, WATCH OUT!!!!!! The band again are all over the place on a song like “Sepulchreal”, but the strength remains when the song builds up and the ripping speeds come to shred your face off. The album opener “Necrovorious Insurrection” is also like this. Some of the stuff being played on here is head scratching. Like the instrumental ” The Transition”. Just weird and doesn’t really fit in my opinion. They often slow it down a bit on here, but they really shine with the slow/mid death on the last song “III Mouth Madness(The Many). It crushes along until some speed kicks in. At times the intensity isn’t as much as it has been on their past work. But I have to hand it to these guys for having the balls to branch out and do something different. It has flashes of brilliance. And the more and more that I listen to it, the more I enjoy it. I saw a review somewhere that said this album sounds like a “more death metal version of Deathspell Omega”. I think that’s somewhat accurate. Just not as proggy. This is not for everyone. But give it a chance and it will fester and rot inside of you. I fucking dig it!