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Nefarious Sanctuary
OBSCYRIA is newer Swedish band formed in 2010, with members coming from two places, Upplands Všsby and Stockholm. First they have released "Armaggedon's Reign" demo in 2013 and then another "Phantom Slaughter" in 2014. Specific Phantom Slaughter song was the first disclosure from "Nefarious Sanctuary" debut in the same year and it was sufficient reason to contact their Go Fuck Yourself Productions for sending promo stuff. Phnatom Slaughter track has incredible power and intensity, and the whole album interested me as well, which resulted in write a review nad subsequently contact the band for an interview. The band plays rough and dark Death / Thrash where you can hear the influence by old Slayer, or Protector. Rhythmically striking songs are built on the basis of controlled brutality and they don't missing even old classic feeling or omnipresent atmosphere. Sweden once again proves there are growing interesting and talented bands, just look at the line-up and notice that members do not come from any well-known bands. Questions were answered by Shayan, Viktor & Martin.

Greetings to Obscyria camp in Sweden! You are a relatively new band and finally you have released "Nefarious Sanctuary" debut under the Go Fuck Yourself Records. How the work on the album went? I find this stuff quality enough that it's very good for debut. What bands did you play before Obscyria in?
Greetings, Mortuary! The recording went quick and well, and we are really pleased with the end result. This was our first time in a real studio, and it felt really good, and we are looking forward to record again. And this is the first band for all of us.

Although I have not heard your first two demos called "Armageddon's Reign" 2013 and "Phantom Slaughter" 2014, but according to Metal Archives you have started earlier with Thrash Metal style. Suppose that mainly first demo was in this way, but the debut contains also your old tracks sounding as Thrash, but Death Metal as well. When did the style change come?
It was never our intention to play that kind of music, it just gradually evolved towards that sound over the time, as our musical abilities evolved.

Seems you're fans of mainly old Thrash Metal. What fascinates you most on this music? Which bands are the most important ones to you and which albums would you simply highlight as the best of Thrash? Have you grown up mainly on a Thrash Metal?
We like the speed, aggressiveness and the raw energy. The most important bands to us are Metallica, Sodom, Slayer and Kreator. Some of the most important records, according to us are And Justice For All, Show No Mercy, In the Sign of Evil, Obsessed by Cruelty, Pleasure to Kill, Darkness Descends, Kill 'em All and Reign in Blood. Thrash Metal has been an important part of our upbringing, but we have always been listening to other genres as well.

As I said, your debut includes also the old stuff and you've added a few new songs. Did you find these old songs so good you want them to be on the debut, or you simply did not have enough material for a debut so you solved it this way?
The plan was to have all the songs from the first demo on the album, but since we had an abundance of material, we only took the songs we deemed worthy.

I have to admire your new "Nefarious Sanctuary" recording, just listening to it and I'm going to review it. It's a great dose of old Thrash Metal, considerably violent and gently influenced by Death Metal, sometimes it comes to me like an old Protector. How did it feel when the album finally came out?
It was an awesome feeling. Getting to hold a physical copy of your own work was truly amazing. And the fact that people appreciate it is just truly awesome.

The classic question, "Nefarious Sanctuary" was released under Go Fuck Yourself Records. Why just for them and how you got to them? In the 90s there were probably less labels releasing an extreme Metal and also there were less bands but somehow the better bands has gotten to the biggest labels and smaller bands to the smaller ones. Today there is again a lot of labels and more bands, not everyone manages to release an album under some label. Are you satisfied with GFYR? Do you think you can release an album for example under Dark Descent or Invictus in the future? Do you have a favorite label which would Obscyria feel good with?
We were searching for labels to work with, and the drummer of a band called Graveyard After Graveyard tipped Shayan about GFYP, so he got in touch with Pascal, the owner. Even though he wasnít planning to release anything new that year (except for what was in preparation), he just couldnít say no to our stuff.
We are extremely satisfied with the treatment we got from GFYP. We might release something new on another label in the future, but as of now, we are very pleased working with Pascal.
Right now we donít have any specific favorite label, just whoever is willing to release our shit.

Who is the main composer in your band? Some moments on the album are really unforgettable and many melodic lines sound specially and powerfully, in my view you have a good talent for composing and writing good songs what is the most important thing for any band obviously. Would you prove to see your music impartially and evaluate e.g. which riffs you managed best, or which songs are the most powerful? My favorite is definitely Phantom Slaughter, but I can find great moments in every song!
Viktor is the main composer in the band. He writes all the blueprints for the songs, and then we all put the pieces together down in the rehearsal room, also known as The Bunker. We donít really have an answer for which songs/riffs we managed the best.

A little hypothetical question, but if you imagine you are already older and your band was formed by let's say late 80's or early 90's and "Nefarious Sanctuary" would be released let's say in 1990, do you think you would be cult band today? Do you think your album would sound fresher at that time than today?
We donít know if the album would have received a cult status, it has the sound of that era, but a lot of bands were playing similar music at the time. It probably sounds fresher today, than it would have done back then.

What responses have you got to your debut? Could you mention some most wonderful reaction, or the worst one and possibly some strange one you did not understand? Are you wondering about what people think of your music?

We have mainly received positive reactions. One of the best was from a review in the Swedish Close-Up Magazine, were the reviewer appreciated the fact that we play fast and aggressive, rather than tight and controlled. One of the strangest reactions was from a live show-review, were the reviewer thought we sounded like a Bay Area-Thrash bandÖ

My fave track features Martin Missy on vocals. How did you meet him? Have you been also to some beers after recording? What is your view at latest Protector album and which their recording is best for you?

Martin Missy is actually a good friend of ours, and Shayan was given the opportunity to do some backing vocals for the new Protector album. So we felt it would be the right thing to let him do some vocals for us as well. Yea, we have had a few beers afterwards. We think itís really good, but would say that Golem is their best record. 

You come from Sweden, a country almost promised to Metal, at least we perceive it that way from the outside. Seems like you have very much bands and fans in comparison to area of you country and the bands are still increasing. How do you explain this situation? Do you perceive it likewise? Which bands would you recommend me, something special what interested you?
We have a strong scene and good support from the municipalities, which allows young bands to get started easily.
You should check out bands like Tribulation, Smothered, Hypnosia, Phidion and Rifle.

Somewhere on the net I saw a gradual process of your cover art, there are an awful lots of details, and sure Niklas had to deal with it properly. Have you ordered this theme? Have you given him free rein to let him draw some sepulchral theme?
Viktor came up with the idea for the cover, then we talked it over, and decided it was the right way to go. So we came up with more ideas together on how to complete the cover, gave the idea to Niklas and gave him free hands to come up with more ideas himself. We kept in touch during the whole process to spawn even more ideas together.

The album has been released even late last year, so it is therefore still quite fresh. Are you doing something new already? Do you have written some riffs for your next material? Do you know if it will be full-length or some shorter stuff? Do you think your creation will move elsewhere, or you will remain true to the old Thrash Metal?
We are going to release a split, hopefully very soon on GFYP. We are currently working on material for our next album. It will not sound like Nefarious Sanctuary, as we have evolved past the sound of that album. Expect the new album to be darker and rawer. Be forewarned!

Ok, that would be all from me, If I have forgotten something essential, you have the space. Thank you for the interview and wish the band a lot of dark inspiration there in Sweden, Horns Up!
Thank you for having this interview with us, much appreciated. Cheers!
//Shayan, Viktor & Martin


Shayan, Viktor & Martin                           24. 5. 2015 Mortuary