Deformation of the Dark Matter
MORBUS CHRON is one of several bands that raised current Swedish Death Metal from time of 'Like an Ever Flowing Stream' or 'Left Hand Path'. Although the band does not play the typical buzzsaw Swedish Death Metal ala '90, the fact remains now there are popping up killer bands forming good portions of scary music. MORBUS CHRON were formed in 2007 and so far they have released only unique and interesting recordings, including his debut 'Sleepers In The Rift', but their last stuff is 'A Saunter through The Shroud' EP. This material has kicked me like fresh smell of dug grave, the atmosphere like from the old horror movies, crazy mixture of grotesque riffs, but what can I say, get it, or read an interview with vocalist Robert Andersson.
How are things going for MORBUS CHRON in this gloomy autumn? Does autumn mean something special to you? Nevertheless itís a time when nature is as if dying, we've had All Soulís Day, also an important day 31st November, holiday of the dark forces, witchcraft and magic. Does it have an impact on writing your new songs?
Hello! Things are as good as ever. Autumn is a beautiful time of the year and that in it's own way can be inspiring, sure. Concerning witchcraft and magic, those are things that aren't of my interest. In my honest opinion, reality is already filled with enough mystery as it is.
The first question was intentional, since your creation come to me rather obscure, dark, scary, shivers down my spin while listening to all the songs, especially your latest 'A Saunter through the Shroud' EP is scary more than anything I have heard in recent years, seems that atmosphere is very important to you...
Thank you! I guess it's just the way I want myself and others to write music. Whatever the genre is, unless you can't get an honest feeling across to the listener, you've failed. My most happy, sad and weird moments have all been under the influence of music. You mentioned magic, and for me music is probably what comes closest.
Maybe you will not believe me, but I like there are arising new bands in Sweden in recent years (of course I mean also MORBUS CHRON), which do not sound typically Swedish ala ENTOMBED, DISMEMBER, CARNAGE, or GRAVE. It is obvious this style gave Death Metal so much, but nonetheless there are too much bands based on the original Swedish Death Metal throughout the world. How do you perceive it?
Since the beginning we've been strongly influenced by Autopsy and Death, and I believe that's something we've had uncommon with many of the early Swedish bands. Of course the great bands from Sweden were major influences, but not in the same way as for example Autopsy. So I've never seen ourselves as a typical Swedish death metal-band. And especially not now considering how we sound today. Obviously I don't see anything wrong with bands that base their sound on the Swedish scene, we all base our music on something. It's a fantastic style of metal and it deserves all the attention it can get. But there will always be bands that do it successfully, and others that don't.
Personally, I can hear some influences of Swedish Death Metal also in your music, but rather from bands like UTUMNO, AFFLICTED, old TIAMAT, NECROPHOBIC, UNANIMATED etc. Do you like these old bands?
Utumno and Afflicted are both great. Unfortunately I discovered them way too late. They were overshadowed by the bigger bands, which is a shame. I heard Gorement around that time as well, which is another band that deserved more attention. I've barely heard the other three bands. I like Treblinka though.
I notice in your music that you do not care so much for the brutality and violence of music, although your music is somewhat brutal, often you are using mysterious, eerie, scary and creepy riffs. Actually, listening to your songs I find myself on old forgotten cemeteries, in sealed crypts centuries old and similar annoying places, I have similar feelings like reading H. P. Lovecraft for example...
Brutal Death Metal is nothing I enjoy. Sure, in some ways it can be entertaining, but on a more serious level it gives me absolutely nothing. There are other more effective ways to move people, and if our tunes as you say give you the sensation of reading a Lovecraft story, that's just proof of it. I appreciate that!
How much is music composition important to you? Are you trying to modify tracks intentionally, or it is your subconscious natural process? Many Death Metal bands write just the classic songs with open structures, sticking one riff to another to sit it rhythmically. But I feel something more than just associated riffs in your songs, they are downright scary 'stories' with eerie sense, but always I feel there the spirit, honest whole, strong sophistication and other world.
I'm constantly trying to improve the way I write and usually I end up sitting with songs way longer than needed. I'm rarely completely satisfied. I don't just stick whatever riff to another and call it quits, neither am I handed my music from a dark mysterious force. It's a long and hard struggle to translate yourself onto your instrument, but in the end the reward makes it all worth it. Good music should be able to paint a picture in your head, so again I appreciate you saying that.
Seems that you can be influenced even by American AUTOPSY band. What do you think of their last albums and EPs? But definitely I do not think you are a copy, although I have heard many such bands, rather I would say you are using similar feelings...
We're big Autopsy fans and the influence is all over our music. Mental Funeral is in my opinion the epitome of the genre. Considering the personal impact their two first albums had on myself and on this band, I can't really compare it to their new material. It wouldn't be a fair game.. But I thank them for getting back together so I could finally get the chance to see them live. It ranks as among the best live shows I've been to. I believe they're one of the few bands that still really get it right. From their new stuff, the Horrific Obsession-single stands out to me as the best.
Which your release are you most proud of at? Which songs do you consider as most successful?
I want to say our next album. But without cheating I'd say any of the songs from the "A Saunter through the Shroud"-EP.
I really like the vocals of Robert, I think if he would use classic deep and usual Death Metal growling, your music would sounded a little different, his special hysterical and mad speech makes your production even more morbid...do you agree?
Thank you! I agree with you. As with brutal death metal, deep death grunts can easily bore me. I've always preferred vocalists like early Chuck Schuldiner and early Chris Reifert. That's real screaming. It's the way to do it. It helps the music reach another level of despair.
What about the new material? Do you already know what kind of format will it be and how it will sound compared to your previous recordings?
The next album is in the mixing stage. It's becoming a great record and we're looking forward to sharing it with everyone. We should be able to announce everything soon. CD/Vinyl on Century Media Records.
What is your view on the Swedish scene of these days? Late 80s and early 90s was a Swedish Death Metal on the top together with Florida style. All the ears were listening to many of your bands. Do you think the situation is different today?
When we started out back in 07 it felt like there were bands popping up every day. I have loads of demos from this time. While not all of those bands gave it a 100%, a few did, and those are the bands that are still around today. There's no scene. There's just a bunch of bands that had a strong vision from the get-go.
Ok, that would be all from me, if I forgot something, you have the space to write something for your fans. Thank you for killing interview and wish MORBUS CHRON a lot of bleak and insane inspiration for other killer recordings!
Nothing to add. Thanks for the interview!
Robert 20.11.2013 Mortuary