If you feel OBSCURE DOMAIN Prods. label name is unknown to you, you should just read this interview, because the label releases interesting Death Metal titles that can hit you as a plague. This is a fairly small and unknown label, so certainly they deserve our support; in addition this is already our second interview with the label, after Lavadome Prods. We’ll see who will be the next. The questions were answered by Hacker and Sönke.
Greetings to Germany, first classic question, could you a little introduce yourself and your label?
Hacker: Hey, greetings from Germany to you and all the readers of NECROSPHERE zine. Thanks for your interest and the opportunity to introduce our label. OBSCURE DOMAIN Productions was founded by myself and my partner Sönke. Our aim was to support underground bands and to release stuff we would like to buy on CD for ourselves. I was running a Death Metal print zine called UNHOLY TERROR and organized some Death Metal shows back in the 90’s. Sönke also had an own print zine called ENDZEIT. So OBSCURE DOMAIN is not our first work in the underground.
How did you get to activities such as CDs releasing? Which title was your first one and what the feelings you have had after its release?
Hacker: After our zines were laid to rest some time ago we just talked about starting a label and then we started it. I guess we did not think a lot about it... First release was the debut album by FETOCIDE a dark technical DM band from Germany. To be honest I can't remember what I felt after that release. Man, I'm too old... hahahaha....
Sönke: Hacker has released a CD (CONVENT - The truth revealed/great DM from Poland) before and that was something I always wanted to do. I did a zine and also organized a concert, so that was the only thing missing...
Hacker: Hell yes… the CONVENT CD. I almost forgot this release. I did this under the banner of UNHOLY TERROR back in 2000. And back then it was really exciting waiting to get the CDs from the pressing plant.
Is it difficult to lead such label as OBSCURE DOMAIN? Does it take a lot of time?
Hacker: We don't let it be difficult... We don't see it as a business... It's a hobby, so we try to keep everything easy. Sure, sometimes it's a bit tricky to work with musicians which are too egocentric or didn't understand English good enough. But I won't complain so far mostly everything went smooth. Sometimes the lack of time is a problem, but hey we're an underground label so it's allowed to be slow sometimes, isn't it?
Sönke: And because we are very good and close friends with a similar taste when it comes to Metal, it makes it easy and simple. When we put a new release out then the label consumes some more of our time because of trades, promotion and stuff like that. But we don’t put out new releases every 2-3 month so it is not a big problem.
Could you introduce bands and titles that have already came under OBSCURE DOMAIN Prod.? Which title do you like most and why?
Hacker: We just released eight albums, and as you can see our catalogue number always indicates the year of the release:
OD-001-2006 FETOCIDE "Redefine"
OD-002-2006 VOMEPOTRO "Zombie Gore Vomit"
OD-003-2007 HEADHUNTER D.C. "God's Spreading Cancer..."
OD-004-2008 TRIMEGISTO "Subterranean Streams"
OD-005-2008 VOLTURYON "Blood Cure"
OD-006-2009 KREON "Impact Winter"
OD-007-2009 ETERNAL "The Berserks' Legions Defiance"
OD-008-2010 OBSCURE INFINITY "Dawn Of Winter"
If you listen to all our releases you'll see that they are rather different but all of them are non trendy Death Metal with an dark and obscure atmosphere.
Can't tell you which release I like most... I love them all, they are all our babies... hahaha. But If have to choose I would say that OBSCURE INFINITY, HEADHUNTER D.C. and TRIMEGISTO are really special releases for me.
Sönke: I would also say that every release is special to me and I love all of them. I would say that HEADHUNTER D.C. and ETERNAL are the releases that mean the most to me.
Are you going to release any other bands with your label? How do you get the bands? Do you contact them, or the bands contact you?
Hacker: Both ways, sometimes we find a great demo and get in touch with the band and sometimes the bands get in touch. Sure, after we have several releases out more and more bands get in touch with us... that's great; even if you don't work with them we mostly enjoy their music. Yeah, we will release more Death Metal in the future. We're already in touch with some great bands.
Are you releasing only bands you really like, or can you give chance also to the band you don't like so much, but you know fans could enjoy it?
Hacker: We will definitely release only bands we totally like!!! We will never release anything just because we think it would sell well... We don't run OBSCURE DOMAIN because we wanna earn money... in fact we use all the incoming money for the next release and usually that is not enough.
Sönke: OBSCURE DOMAIN is totally and only dedicated to non-trendy Underground Death-Metal! We are just two Metal-Maniacs putting out stuff that we like.
My favorite one from things you have released is clearly TRIMEGISTO from Chile, an incredible band with a debut that is simply killer. What do you think of this band? Have you heard their new "Awaken from Blood" album? It was released by their home Australis Records; it means that TRIMEGISTO are no longer under your label?
Hacker: Damn no.... I haven't listened to their new album yet. To be honest I was really surprised that they already have a second album out.
We had a one album deal with TRIMEGISTO and so they are of course free to release their new album wherever they want... Hell yes, I love this band and I'm totally proud that we released this brilliant piece of unholy Death Metal art under the moniker of OBSCURE DOMAIN. All Hails to TRIMEGISTO!!!!
Your last act was the debut of German OBSCURE INFINITY. How did you find this band? Do you like their debut album?
Hacker: Some time ago I ordered the demo from the band and I really liked what I heard... so did Sönke and then we decided that OBSCURE INFINITY has to release its debut album via OBSCURE DOMAIN.
It is evident you are directed solely on the Death Metal bands. Will you do so in the future as well? Is Death Metal your favorite metal genre?
Hacker: Sure!!! If you will buy any future OBSCURE DOMAIN releases you can be sure it will definitely be nothing but Death Metal!!! Yeah I would say that Death Metal is my favorite metal genre but I'm a metal head and I love other sub genres as well. For example I'm a NWOBHM addict... bands such as TYGERS OF PAN TANG, FIST, SHIVA, QUARTZ, ANGELWITCH are so fucking awesome. I also like Doom, Thrash, Hard Rock and some Classic Rock stuff and of course MERCYFUL FATE and KING DIAMOND.
Sönke: That’s why all our releases have „Death Metal Domination“ on the site. OBSCURE DOMAIN is dedicated to the Metal of Death.....now and forever!!!
Which Death Metal bands and albums are your favorites? When have you got to the hard music first? Which Death Metal style is best for you? Can you listen also to trendy Death Core bullshits?
Hacker: I prefer Death Metal with dark, obscure and blasphemous atmosphere. Bands such as Sadistic Intent, Immolation, Incantation, Possessed, Kaamos, Necros Christos, Grave Miasma…. No, I can't listen to any "core" stuff or any kind of new metal crap!!! I started listening to metal/hard rock in the early 80's with bands such as Scorpions, Accept, Iron Maiden and my first hard music contact was VENOM. Man, that changed everything... then I discovered Slayer, Sodom, Destruction, Kreator and Possessed... In my humble opinion "Seven Churches" is the very first Death Metal album and still one of the best. Later bands such as Morbid Angel and Death took everything to the next step.
Sönke: I started listening to Metal at the Age of 13. I started with Alice Cooper and Iron Maiden back then. Then I discovered Slayer or Kreator and someday Obituary and Morbid Angel. It took some time to get used to the speed and the aggression but once you’re hooked you can’t get enough. I also prefer the dark Death-Metal stuff but I listen to mostly everything that is Death-Metal. Sometimes I also like to listen to Job for a cowboy and stuff like this. It all depends on the mood I’m in...
To lead such an underground label is probably also expensive. What all can you offer to the bands at CD release? It's always individual or not?
Hacker: Sure, running an underground label is expensive. We try to cover the costs by trading and selling enough CDs but that doesn't work that well... hahaha. Sure it's always individual so I can't tell much about details. We can't offer very much to the bands, we are not able to pay for the recording studio or stuff like that. So our bands did the recordings on their own and we pay for the pressing of the CDs, the promotion, and stuff like that.
How can you see today's underground scene in general? Do you think in the beginning of 90´s was the situation better?
Hacker: From my personal memories I can tell you that the early 90's and the late 80's were more exciting than today. Everything was new, for example when Obituary, Entombed or Morbid Angel released their debut albums you have never heard anything like this before. The contemporary scene is great, too but different. There are so many great bands and so many great albums or demos but when listening to new albums today I don't have that exciting feeling that I had back then. Also the internet changed a lot... today it's so easy to find and check out new bands. That's not a bad thing it's just different compared to the old days. I'm glad to be old enough so I saw the old days and I am still there to see what's going on today.
What about German Underground scene? I have found some extra good bands like NECROS CHRISTOS, DROWNING, HATESPAWN, or PHILOSOPHER, which might have to take action already: D
Hacker: Yeah, the mentioned bands are killer and I think the German underground scene has some really fine Death Metal bands to offer. Especially NECROS CHRISTOS is so fucking brilliant. Can't wait to listen to their upcoming second album, which should be out in March. Other recommendable bands from Germany are: DIABOLICAL IMPERIUM, LIFELESS, MANDATORY, EXCORIATE, PAVOR...
Sönke: I would add DEVASTATOR, DEUS INVERSUS, GRIND INC, PHOBIATIC, SUFFOCATE BASTARD....
What are your next plans for OBSCURE DOMAIN Prod.?
Hacker: Can't tell you yet... we have several bands in mind which we would like to release but nothing is fixed yet. But be sure whatever will be out next on OBSCURE DOMAIN is 150% obscure, sinister and trend free Death Metal the way it was meant to be....
Ok, that would be all from me, if I forgot something important, feel free to write, thank you for the interview and wish you lots of excellent titles and especially let people buy them.
Hacker: Thanks for the interview and the interesting questions. It was a pleasure to answer it. I would like to thank Thomas from NECROMANIAC and Karim from LAERMBELÄSTIGUNG for their help and support. And hails to all the bands we've worked with!!!
DEATH METAL DOMINATION!!!
Sönke: Thanks a lot for the interview and your support! It is really appreciated.
Sorry that it took me so long to answer the questions. Hacker was so much faster then Me. Stay heavy.
Hacker, Sönke 12. 4. 2011 Mortuary