Here is the new interview after a long time. Following Norwegian Death Metal atrocities DISKOR and EXECRATION, this time we approached old school shredders OBLITERATION. The band comes from Kolbotn, hence the same the city as cult Darkthrone. The band experimented with Punk, as well as double bass guitar and finally it turned into Death Metal madness in the way of Autopsy. OBLITERATION recently presented their third 'Black Death Horizon' album and the 'Goat Skull Crown' EP, so the band is in full power. My questions were answered by Sindre (vox, guit).
Hell-o, your new 'Black Death Horizon' album is out a few months, it probably also managed to habituate in stores counters and I think there is sure a sufficient number of reviews on some balancing, so how are you satisfied with this stuff after the 4 months? Do you listen to this album or not?
- Hello! We are very satisfied with the album, the production and the atmosphere, and the songs stand on their own also. I don't listen to it that much, because it's too easy to get sick of it. There are also quite a few things that I'm not satisfied with, stuff that should be improved for the next album. Never be happy, satisfied and content.
Do you think the 'Black Death Horizon' album is the best thing OBLITERATION has ever recorded? Can you see some gradual evolution in your creation?
-Well, I think highly of Nekropsalms also, but they are very different in their expression and atmosphere. We have absolutely evolved into something darker and fiercer with Black Death Horizon. There is off course some gradual evolution, and I think we find ourselves more and more the further we venture, but some appreciate the adolescent enthusiasm and courage Nekropsalms consisted of. But there is a gigantic leap forward (or backwards, depends on how you look at it), that is evolution I guess, and we feel very different as a band now, than what we did during the Nekropsalms era.
I think you're quite unique band on the Norwegian scene although there you have other great bands like CADAVER, EXECRATION, OBSCURE BURIAL or DISKORD, each of them has its own special style of Death Metal ... As regards Norway and Metal, most people there appears to play rather Black Metal. Do you think sometimes there will be a lot of Death Metal bands in your country?
-I do not think there are a lot of black metal bands from Norway either, only in comparison to population. I do not think Norway will spawn many more death metal bands, but I don't know. I only want a few great bands in each metal-genre that does their stuff excellent and unique, like Diskord and Black Magic. Quality over quantity, but to quote Dick Manitoba, sometimes quantity is quality! HAHA.
Your music is on the one hand rhythmic enough, often even Punk, and on the other hand your slower moments induce thick dark atmosphere, but what is important, both of these positions are strong and together they create a very killer songs. Personally, I think if your music had ever appeared in early 90's, your albums would be today worship cult. What do you think?
- I can't think like that, but I think variation is key in making your music interesting. Everything is important, but good riffs often stand above all. It takes brilliance to incorporate doom, thrash, black, punk, psych into death metal, and still sound minimalistic and coherent. Hopefully we'll get there some day.
What is your fan base in Norway? Are you getting any responses from the domestic fans, or you think you are better known in other parts of the world? Is success your goal or you just make music and do not care how many people are listening to it?
- It's good but small I guess. In Norway now, a lot of different people are into music, so it's easier to get out in more mainstream media and play festivals and shows that are not necessarily metal. I think perhaps most people know of us in Norway, but we have "fans" all over the globe, and people show up everywhere in the world were we play, with knowledge of our music, so I guess we have some fans in the metal scene world wide. Success is NOT our goal, we wanna make great art, but we also love to play live, so we want to play weird places, new places, but most of all write great music.
Every your album has been released under a different label, whether Tyrant Syndicate or Fysisk Format. For the first time the new one came under the well-known wings of Indie Records, although they have released also your previous 'Goat Skull Crown' EP. Why do you change the labels so often? Do you think Indie is your best label so far?
- Hehe, it's been a coincidence each time. First time, Tyrant Syndicate was shut down, so we had to find something new. Fysisk Format was good, but they are really no metal label, so when we got the offer to change to Indie, it seemed like a smart move. Indie are a good label, they work hard on their releases. So we will most likely stay there for now. But all labels have been good to us.
Personally, I find your music is getting still darker. Do you also adjust the lyrical content to this? Who is responsible for your lyrics and where you draw the inspiration? What does the title of your new 'Black Death Horizon' album express?
- The lyrics just go were our inspiration takes us, I think maybe the music have gotten darker because of the lyrical content. It's me and the drummer R.K who does all the lyrics, pretty much 50-50. But Sepulchral Rites was written by Dirge Rep from Orcustus. Black Death Horizon is the writing on the wall, the dawn of mankind, the end of days and rise of the Morningstar. The impending doom. Most of the lyrics have that aspect in them some way, drenched in esoteric literature, Lovecraftian poetry and just grim cold darkness.
What is your look at today’s Death Metal scene in general? The best and most successful season for this style of music was probably late 80s and early 90s. Do you think Death Metal has now a different feeling, or those legendary old albums were simply verified by the time and today's recordings will be once a cult as well?
-I think the general metal scene now is great, the quality of the releases of bands like Swallowed, Execration, Grave Miasma, Degial, Invidious, Morbus Chron, Zom, Tribulation, Drowned, Venenum etc are just as good as the classics, and no one sound the same, which is important for me. Metal today, and the last couple of years have been top notch. I mainly buy new releases now, because there is so much great stuff going on now, in metal and hard rock.
It’s now maybe too early to ask for a new material, but do you have some vision how will be your music look like on the next recording? Do you think you will still sound like a typical OBLITERATION? Is it possible your way of Death Metal will transform in some other way?
-No idea and it will not sound like typical Obliteration. All our releases sound very different in my opinion, so there is no typical Obliteration. It will most likely sound dark and horrible. We have not started writing new stuff, as of now Arild and I will focus on writing the next Nekromantheon album, and Obliteration will take a small break.
What is your view on albums like 'The Chills' by HORRENDOUS, 'Beyond the Flesh' from SKELETAL REMAINS, 'The Sea Grave' by GRAVEYARD or 'The Obscurity Within ...' by ENTRAPMENT? How do you like 'Epitome of Darkness' debut by REPUGNANT? And yet I would be interested in your opinion on the recent work 'The Headless Ritual' by AUTOPSY…
-Can't say I have heard all, but I love Entrapment, and the Repugnant album is one of the best death metal releases EVER. I think all the new Autopsy releases are good, but I wish the sound was a bit rougher.
What about OBLITERATION’s live activities? Will you support new CD also by some European or world tour? Do you think you could also come somewhere in our neighborhood, for example into Prague or Bratislava?
-We did a full European tour in November 2013 with Degial, also playing Prague, to promote the album. After the release we have been in India, full USA tour including a show on South by Southwest festival, full European tour, played Roadburn, Inferno festival, Karmoygeddon festival, Tons of Rock festival, Hellfest in France, and a bunch of other stuff. Furthermore we will do Geggan in Sweden, Metal Méan in Belgium, Oya festival in Norway, Killtown death fest in Copenhagen, before we will go back underground and focus on new material. We will play shows if good opportunities rise, but we will not book another tour before our next album is finished.
Ok, that would be all on my part, if I forgot something, you can write what you want, thank You for answering my questions and wish OBLITERATION a lot of dark inspiration for the future, thanks again!
Sindre 16. 7. 2014 Mortuary