NECROMANIAC is an old school metal band from London that honor the glorious past with their violent and dirty morbid metal. The band, under the wings of the mighty Iron Pegasus Records has just released their first EP, a good opportunity to hook up with Sadistik Fornicator (guitars) yo learn more about the Necromaniacs and their Subterranean Death Rising ...
Ave maniac! First of all thanks a lot for your interest in Necromaniac and for giving us a platform to promote our morbid coven in your blog. HAILS TO CULT TO OUR DARKEST PAST 'ZINE!!! Necromaniac was spawned at the beginning of the cold dark month of January MMXI in London, UK; and the main reasons for its creation were the inherent hunger to unleash the black fire burning inside of me and the growing need to let that fire manifest itself and explode into musical form. The band name was taken from the old Hellhammer/Celtic Frost fan club (Necromaniac Union), and also, from the Mortuary Drape song of the same name included on their 2nd album "Secret Sudaria". Thus, being conspicuously chosen not just due to its meaning fitting the band's music, lyrical concepts, and visual aesthetics; but also, to show our deepest veneration to the old masters. HAIL THE ANCIENT HORDES!!!
Personally, how did you get into Metal music? What were the first records you heard?
I had already heard a handful of Hard Rock & Heavy Metal songs on the radio and had seen a few music videos on TV during my early childhood, but the defining moment of my transition happened back in the summer of 1987 when I was just 10 years old. My older cousins gave me a dubbed cassette with Iron Maiden's "Powerslave" recorded on it; and I was instantly hooked to this new, loud and exciting sound that everyone else around us was mockingly referring to as nothing but mindless noise! Which, needless to say, made it even more appealing to us due to our rebellious nature. I could instantly relate to the youthful exuberance and transgressive attitude found on that music one hundred percent, and it honestly felt like I had finally found my calling after years of being completely lost. After that first unholy revelation, I religiously spent every single weekend coming back to visit those cousins armed with blank tapes and hungry to raid their killer cassette collection. I was given free rein to tape albums by bands such as Dio, Accept, AC/DC, Scorpions, Barón Rojo, Ángeles Del Infierno, Motörhead, Helloween, King Diamond, Warlock, Judas Priest, Santa, Ozzy Osbourne, Manowar, W.A.S.P. etc, etc. From there on, I searched for heavier bands and got introduced to a lot of the popular Thrash Metal acts of the time like Anthrax, Megadeth, Legion (Spain), Testament, Nuclear Assault, Sepultura, Tankard, Fuck Off, Metallica, S.O.D., Kreator, Exodus, Slayer, etc, etc. Prior to that, I remember also dubbing a few tapes lent by a couple of kids from my school including albums by Spanish Punk bands like R.I.P. and Eskorbuto. At the time, I found those Punk bands appealing mainly due to the outrage they caused to our teachers and parents via the vulgar and profane language included in their nihilistic lyrics. But soon enough I learned to appreciate the organic rawness and primal aggression of their music too. Being a bastard child growing up in a broken home on the verge of poverty I was considered an outcast. Therefore, this music was the perfect soundtrack to my life and it served as a vessel to finally channel all the vented anger and frustrations derived from my chaotic upbringing. Shortly after that, my quest for heaviness hit me right between the eyes when I stumbled upon a vinyl copy of Celtic Frost's "To Mega Therion" on a local 2nd hand record store. I still remember anxiously holding that jacket in my hands and being confronted with H.R. Giger's most heretical painting "Satan I" emblazoned on it. There it was, Satan menacingly staring back at me while holding a weak looking jesus christ modelled into a slingshot and aiming his sacrilegious weapon towards me. Talk about making a blasphemous statement! It remains, to this day, the most glorious piece of impious art I have ever laid eyes upon. There are simply no words strong enough to describe how I feel towards this masterpiece of an album. It is one of my all-time favourites, and I consider it to be not just my own personal introduction to both Death and Black Metal; but also one of the very best examples of those genres! Not long afterward, the big Death Metal and Grindcore explosion from the late 80s to early 90s started to rear its ugly head in Spain; and within the next couple of years I was introduced to bands like Autopsy, Repulsion, Immolation, Atrocity (USA), Necrophiliac (Spain), Death, Morbid Angel, Burial Ground (Spain), Dismember, Incubus (USA), Pungent Stench, Pestilence, Bolt Thrower, Entombed, Carcass, Napalm Death, Cannibal Corpse, Deicide, and Obituary among countless others. Around that same time, I also discovered the underground Hardcore/Punk scene via a couple of guys from a neighbouring town with whom I started trading tapes. Those guys also happened to print their own 'zine and later on promote underground Hardcore/Punk and Death/Grind gigs at a squat in their town. Whenever there was a gig happening at that filthy little squat I would jump on a train and travel without a fare to see the bands play. Those gigs were also my only chance to meet like-minded maniacs from different parts of the country with whom I would swap addresses and eventually also start to correspond and trade more tapes with. So that's pretty much how I first discovered Metal and eventually got involved in the underground scene all those years ago.
PH: Emily Power
Why is it important for Necromaniac to have that old-school touch, musically and aesthetically? Tell me about your influences and how important they are to the band.
We're not a bunch of youngsters trying to recreate a period of time that happened before they were even born. We've been involved in the underground Metal scene in one way or another since the early 90s. Therefore, that old-school touch comes naturally for us, since our formative years happened at the height of those ancient traditions. Regarding influences, some of the more inspirational works that were pivotal in shaping our morbid sound include the most obscure releases of bands such as Bathory, Hellhammer, Absu, Samael, Slaughter, Holy Death, Celtic Frost, Venom, Nifelheim, Sarcófago, Sadistic Intent, Tormentor, Vulcano, Mortuary Drape, Necrophiliac, Possessed, Mystifier, Slayer, Massacra, Pentagram (Chile), Mortem (Peru), Vomitor, Imperator, Poison (Germany), Morbid Angel, Repulsion, Sodom, Varathron, Mayhem, Sepultura, Master’s Hammer, Pentacle, Morbid, Sadistik Exekution, Merciless, etc, etc. Anybody with a trained ear will be able to spot those influences, and needless to say, without all of these band's output and legacy, Necromaniac's outlook on music in general just would not be the same. Also, some of our strongest influences come from different sources outside of the music realm. Thus, we take inspiration from all that is born of iniquity and exudes the sulphurous stench of death and darkness; be it either drawn from personal experiences, ancient manuscripts, visual art or literary form. We are fascinated by the inherent mysticism emanating from arcane practices of sorcery and divination of the dead which are used as gateways to enter otherworldly spiritual planes outside of the physical realm. That which dwells in those planes can only be contacted or experienced by the living through trance-like altered states of consciousness or with the aid of strong hallucinogenic drugs. Our lyrics deal mainly with necromantical themes portraying the most sinister aspects of death and the mysteries which can be found in all the folktales, myths, occult sciences, ceremonies and rituals from different cultures all over the world that have been surrounding it throughout the centuries. These practices have been around since the very first civilizations arose at the dawn of ancient times; and our ultimate aim is to perpetuate all these obscure beliefs and traditions through our music, lyrical concepts, and visual aesthetics. Needless to say, such themes are likely to be found too upsetting for the average person with a monotheistic religious background; and should, therefore, be considered to be of an overall dark, macabre, blasphemous, and lugubrious nature.
Was it easy to develop the style of the band?
This music is in my blood and this type of riffs just come out naturally whenever I'm playing guitar. Having said that, you'd get the impression that developing our style was a fairly easy task. However, a big obstacle to keep in mind is the fact that before assuming this role I had no previous experience whatsoever of being the main music writer in a band, so I had to work very hard in order to develop my songwriting skills for them to be at the level that we've managed to achieve thus far. The way I see it, I'm still constantly learning and trying my hardest to develop and follow my own path while proudly wearing my influences up my sleeve.
In 2015 you recorded the debut demo Morbid Metal, are you satisfied with the sound and the whole result?
We are indeed very satisfied with it. We firmly believe we worked to the absolute best of our capabilities and did the best that we could with the limited resources that we had. The demo received a very good response from all the Morbid Metal disciples that heard it, so we're confident we have crafted material that's strong enough to withstand the test of time. There's a couple of minor details that I would have done differently today, but it is pointless to dwell on things like that. You have to let it go, learn from the experience and move on to the next target.
Would you like to see it released on vinyl at some point not too far away? Is there a possibility, or at the moment you haven't thought about it?
Yes, a vinyl and CD reissue is planned on Iron Pegasus Records. However, we don't think this is a priority for the time being, as right now focusing on our debut full-length album is way more important than reissuing a demo that was released just three years ago. Let's face it, there really isn't that much demand for it at this point so we just don't see much point in doing it. In the last few years, we've seen a growing trend of underground bands releasing their demos on tape to only a few months later "reissuing" them on both vinyl and CD formats. We strongly believe this quick opportunistic record label cashing-ins oversaturate the market, which in turn creates long waiting lists on pressing plants and also confuses the public, as sometimes demos end up being viewed as EPs. Another issue is that this oversaturation of the market (along with the easy access to music files online) makes it also very difficult for new bands to stand out and get noticed, since there are so many releases available out there that the public has developed a fast food mentality when it comes to their music listening habits. Unfortunately, most people don't delve deep into music anymore like we used to do back in the old days due to only having access to a limited number of releases per month. Our old label wanted to do a vinyl pressing of "Morbid Metal" as soon as the first tape pressing was sold out, but due to all of the above reasons we politely declined the offer and decided to focus on writing and recording new material instead. No army has ever conquered anything by moving backwards or running around in circles, only by marching onward and forward into battle you stand a chance to savour victory!
Now, it’s time to talk about the new release, the “Subterranean Death Rising” EP. It continues with the aggression and darkness shown on the demo, what can you tell us about the recording session? Did you use the same equipment, did you try different things in the studio?
No, we used whatever was available in the studios that we used for each recording session, which was totally different gear apart from exactly the same guitars and pedals. Recording-wise the main difference is the fact that the demo tape was recorded in two home studios, whereas for the EP we recorded all the drums, guitars and bass tracks in a professional studio. That gave us access to a wider variety of professional equipment, and it shows. Decomposition-wise I think the songwriting on the EP is a lot more mature and dynamic than that of the songs we included on the demo tape. Production-wise both recordings are very organic sounding and have a raw and nasty vibe reminiscent of ancient times, which is something that a lot of Metal lacks in this day and age. Overall, when comparing both releases the EP songs come across as way more sinister, aggressive, and fully-developed. Which isn't just our own personal opinion, as those exact same sentiments have also been expressed by quite a few acolytes outside of the morbid coven.
Please tell us about each song particularly, about music and lyrics.
The organ intro on the EP was conceived and recorded on tape by Guido Saint Roch from Ysengrin, and the censer you hear on it was later added by The One. All music for both the demo and the EP was decomposed by me (Sadistik Fornicator) and disarranged with The One and V. Pestilencia. All lyrics on both releases were blood-scribbled by Thanatophilia R.G and disarranged with me.
Who did the EP cover, and by the way, is there any album cover that has impressed you lately or maybe there's some classic cover that is always haunting your mind?
The artwork was done by a German artist named Karmazid and I'm proud to say our EP cover is my absolute favourite work of his thus far. I personally find his versatile ability to master different styles to be the forte of his art, as opposed to a lot of other artists out there who paint album covers for different bands which, in my opinion, end up looking way too similar to each other due to the one-dimensional stylistic limitations of its creators. Regarding newer album covers that have caught my attention, the first ones that come to mind are Qrixkuor's "Three Devils Dance" by Daniel Corcuera, Vomitor's back cover for "The Escalation" by Death Dealer, the drawing included inside the gatefold jacket of Inconcessus Lux Lucis' "The Crowning Quietus" by Bethany White, and the cover art for LVME's forthcoming debut album "The Blazing Iniquity" by Heresie Graphics. As for classic album covers that are always haunting my mind some of my all-time favourites include Slayer's "Reign In Blood" by Larry W. Carrol, Celtic Frost's "To Mega Therion" by H.R. Giger, all Iron Maiden art drawn by Derek Riggs, and Black Sabbath's 1st album among countless others.
You have the luck to be part of the Iron Pegasus roster, and I say that you are lucky because for me it is a label that has good taste when it comes to choosing bands and great taste for the final result of their releases. How did the signing to Iron Pegasus come about?
It was in part thanks to the legendary Wannes Gubbels from the mighty Pentacle. We have been in contact since we released the demo tape and we got talking last time Pentacle played in London. He asked me what we were up to and I told him we were gonna start looking for a label to release our forthcoming 7" EP so he suggested Iron Pegasus Records. We liked the idea as we were obviously aware of the label and the bands that Costa had released throughout the years. So he got us in touch with him and after a lot of emails exchanged we reached an agreement and signed a contract with the label. However, I would not consider our signing to be a product of luck. If Costa didn't think our music was good he wouldn't have signed us regardless of any recommendations, so I'd like to think we deserve to be part of the label's roster. This year has marked the 20th anniversary of Iron Pegasus Records, so every single self-respected underground Metal maniac should be aware of this cult label by now! Costa is an absolute gentleman and has been totally dedicated to the underground Metal scene since way back in the early 90s when he started publishing his now long deceased Tales Of The Macabre 'zine. We're very happy to be working closely with him as he's not only given us complete artistic freedom but thus far, he has also met almost every single one of our demands and suggestions. He really believes in the bands that he signs as first and foremost he is a fan of the music. He is definitely not some business guy who's here just for the money, and that's proven by the fact that he's vehemently stuck to his guns and never followed any trends since day one! He releases quality over quantity and he's still extremely passionate about new bands that carry forth the old Metal traditions even after all the decades of being actively involved in the underground scene. To top things up it is also an absolute honour to be signed to a label that has absolutely fucking killer bands on its current roster such as Pentacle, Sadistic Intent, Eurynomos, Mortem, Force Of Darkness or Sabbat (Japan). And that has also released records in the past by total cult acts like Zemial, Agatus, Messiah, Deströyer 666, Pentagram (USA), Hadez, Mortuary Drape, Desaster, Beherit, Massacre or Poison (Germany), to name but a few examples. We truly feel at home here... HAIL THE TRUE OLD UNDERGROUND SPIRIT!!!
If you had a time machine, would you like to be in a band at some specific time and place? E.g. Germany in the late 80's? Sweden in the early 90s?
Not really, I already lived those years so it would be extremely weird to relive them again. People seem to romanticize too much and forget there was a lot of awful bands during that era too (some of them even came from those countries that you mention). The past is gone and the future might not come, as you never know when Death's scythe will strike you! So I'd much rather focus all my energy in the here and now.
What can one expect from a Necromaniac show? How many times did you play live so far?
So far we have only desecrated the stage once opening for Archgoat in London back in April MMXVI (Qrixkuor, Valkyrja, and Scythian were also on the same bill). The show went well and we received a good response from all the Morbid Metal disciples who attended this unholy event. Our old vocalist moved back to Spain not long after completing the demo recordings so we had to decline quite a few gig offers. We were also booked to support Revenge in London back in April MMXVII but due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control, the promoter cancelled the event, so we couldn't play this show. Now we've got a new vocalist who's also based in London, so hopefully, we'll have the chance to desecrate a few more stages to promote the morbid coven in the near future. However, we don't intend to play lots of gigs or do many tours since we all have full-time jobs which take up most of our time and we want to keep such events special and memorable. Our stage performance includes the use of dark lights, smoke, bones, bullets, spikes, leather, and chains paired with our very own brand of Morbid Metal played in its loudest and crudest form!
What´s the strangest place and the most shocking place you have been?
Probably an old abandoned haunted house in my town that I and some Punk friends used to frequent when we were teenagers. I don't wanna go into any details but something very strange happened during one of our visits, which prompted us to never return there again after that incident. The house was demolished a few years later, but there was definitely something present there, as you could feel a very cold presence lurking in the blackest of shadows.
What will be the next steps for the band? Upcoming shows? Do you have new songs ready for the upcoming album? Any scheduled date?
We're still working on new decompositions and the plan is to start recording the album towards the end of next year and release it sometime in MMXX, but then again nothing ever goes according to plan in this band and we never rush things or release anything until we feel 100% confident with the end results. so we shall see. Regarding upcoming shows, we're booked to desecrate London in January MMXIX with Possession from Belgium, Ultra Silvam from Sweden and Deitus from the UK. At the moment there are no other live profanations booked, but promoters are always encouraged to get in touch if they've got any serious offers playing with bands that we can relate to and feel an affinity with.
Thank you for your time, the last words are yours...
Hails again for the support and keep up the good work with your 'zine. May the arcane mysticism contained within the very essence of our dark art mark your damned soul with the unmistakable stench of death and darkness until the very end of times! To all the Morbid Metal disciples who wish to stay up to date regarding all band-related news, live desecrations and forthcoming releases you can follow us on Facebook and Bandcamp. You can also subscribe to the Iron Pegasus Records newsletter or follow their Instagram and Facebook pages. Alternatively, you can contact me directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sadistik Fornicator on behalf of Necromaniac.
MORBID METAL TO THE DEATH!!!