NORWEGIAN BAND OBLITERATION CREATED A MONUMENTAL ALBUM LAST YEAR. "BLACK DEATH HORIZON" RELEASED THROUGH INDIE RECORDINGS/AND RELAPSE RECORDS (U.S.) WAS IN MY OPINION AMONG THE TOP TEN OF ALL METAL RELEASES. THESE YOUNG AND TALENTED MUSICIANS ARE OLD SCHOOL BUT AT HE SAME TIME THEIR MUSIC IS A (BLACK) BREATH OF FRESH AIR. READ WHAT SINDRE SOLEM (VOCALS/GUITAR) HAS TO TELL ABOUT OBLITERATION.
How do you feel after the release of Black Death Horizon, would you say it is your best album so far concerning song structures and production?
We feel very good, but sound wise it did not turn out the way I thought it was going to be. But it's good that accidental stuff happen in the process. As for the songwriting and the material in general, especially the lyrics, I think it's the best we have done, next to the tracks : A spawn of a dying kind and the worm that gnaws in the night. We put more thought and I think more of our selves, our soul and blood into the songs this time around. It's more genuine feelings and atmospheres, not so much "influenced by" etc.
The reactions so far have been more than positive, and you have been nominated for Norwegian Grammy , how important is for a band like Obliteration to be nominated?
Haha, it's not important to us at all. But it is important for the metal scene in Norway that a band like us, that sound raw and hateful with a "non-professional" production, no business bullshit get's nominated and get press. It shows the kids that there are other, more honest forms of metal than Dimmu Borgir and all the junk. We were nominated and WON a Grammy for best metal album last year with my other band NEKROMANTHEON. It was sweet. The award show was yesterday btw [Jan 18th -ed], and Kvelertak won.
You have been on your first European tour, the SEPULCHRAL RITES tour with Degial and Deathronation, how was the experience? Any show that you remember specially?
It was great! it was a lot of hard work, but it was a lot of fun. We got pretty close with the Degial guys, great band and supreme people. It was a stone cold death metal tour. The best shows were Ljubiana/Slovenia, Krakow/Poland, Berlin/Germany and Gothenburg/Sweden.
Do you have any funny or crazy moments of the tour that you´d like to share?
When this dude at a bar in Krakow tried to convince us that he was an american tourist, but he was just a polish pimp, and his "girlfriend" and other female friend were hitting on the Degial guys. H.Death from Degial exposed him though "SHOW ME YOUR PASSPORT"!! It was extremely funny. Meeting the DROWNED guys at our Berlin show was also very cool.
Ok, how would you define your style? do you agree to be labelled as old school death metal?
Well, better to be called old school death metal than most other things, but I would not agree that we are 100 per cent old school death metal. We worship the old ways of recording and dealing with sound, no fancy plug ins, pedals or triggers, and we crave an organic and analog product that sounds raw, dirty and alive. But we try to make music that in one way or another are our own. We want to grow and move forward, not just playing homage to the old goods. We want to become GODS of our own. To accomplish this, one have to look further into the abyss and further into your mind. We are also into so many different styles of music that it has to make its mark on what we do somehow also. We are not strict death metal at all, but we are strictly evil.
Would you say that after 3 full lengths and 2 EPs you are a mature band or still you have to improve in certain things, if so, on which ones?
We always have to move forward, progress or regress and improve. We can never be satisfied or comfortable, then we would lose the edge that makes us interesting. And I don't feel mature or experienced, I'm just angry. Our sound and way of writing songs will evolve and "improve" til the day we die.
Personally I find the cover artwork of the album distinctive and weird, same as the artwork of your predecessor album Nekropsalms, unusual and intelligent use of art, far from the “standard death metal art”, so how do you choose the artwork?
t was our drummer, RKV who did the artwork, and it's just his perception of how the album should look. I feel that the artwork has to reflect the music, and it has to be inspired by the music, or the other way around in order to fit. I'm a fan of untraditional art and weird shirt that challenges your mind.
Can you give us some words about the lyrics in BDH? What themes do you find lyrically inspiring?
The end of the world, Satan, Esoteric doctrine, black magic, coldness, the art of death and hate.
What bands Influenced you and inspired you to play this style of music?
As stated earlier, we tried not to directly inspired by bands this time around, more focus on atmospheres, attitude and feeling. Trying to make sounds to the lyrics etc. But we listen to a vast selection of bands, as long as they are raw, soulful and has a edge, something unique, then everything from Leonard Cohen to Burzum can be inspiring. But, roughly said, Autopsy, Darkthrone, Mayhem, Magma, Black Sabbath, VON, Repulsion, Necrovore, Possessed and mutilator plus sooo much more psych, black death, doom, thrash, Kraut and hard rock and punk inspires us.
How often do you rehearse? And how much time do you spend listening to music? Ipod,vinyl or CD?
Like once a week. Sometimes less, sometimes more. It depends if we have a tour or shows coming up, or if we are busy with other things. I listen to music everyday, on my ipod, through spotify on my pc, but mostly vinyl. I only buy vinyl. (yesss! the way it should be hehe!- ed)
Do you think in the past it was difficult for death metal bands in Norway receiving attention due to the massive interest in the Norwegian black metal scene? Would you say that things have changed and that today is the same for a death or black metal band?
Njaaa, maybe. But the good death metal bands were in the same scene as the black metal bands anyway. But people outside of Norway only expect black metal or avant garde stuff, so I guess it is a bit harder to make it.. But I think people recognise that quality music can come from anywhere.
Besides Obliteration, you and Arild play in Nekromantheon. Can you give us a brief description about the situation and the future of Nekromantheon?
We are writing our next album as we speak. We are playing some selected shows, but we try to focus to finish our third album as soon as possible.
What is the strangest place and the most shocking place where you have been?
Hehe, I guess when we played in Dubai with NEKROMANTHEON, and Baltimore with both bands. It was pretty strange and shocking in it's own way.
The next steps for Obliteration will be…
We are playing in Finland and India in February (12th, 15th and 16th), and we are going on a USA tour in March from 12th of march, to the 22nd. We are playing some festivals this summer, and we'll see, maybe another european tour after the summer. Then we need to start to write again. But we might take a small break and focus on NEKROMANTHEON for a bit around the release of the next nekro album.
Thanks very much for your time, end this interview the way you want.
Thanks for the interview, listen to Black magic, Swallowed and Mare, and keep supporting the underground movement of obscure and mid blowing arts.