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They come from France and are carriers of death, today with us the Affliction Gate.
Welcome to Aristocrazia Webzine. Guys, how are you? If I'm not mistaken your logo was created by the singer of Morbid Upheaval, as you come in contact with N.S.?
I was already familiar with Nicola’s activities in the UG scene thanks to his zine and label called both Hellflame ten years ago or so. I digged his band Goatfire and then, Morbid Upheaval, of course. I also found out his drawing skills and style so, I thought he could be the right man for our logo and illustrations of our releases. I like the old school feel of his works for us as it suits perfectly AG concept. Since the release of "Aeon Of Nox", I didn’t hear that much from him so I hope all is fine from his side and that we could collaborate on the upcoming MCD again.
Last year is released your debut "Aeon Of Nox (From Darkness Comes Liberation)", which is also linked to the recent past because within it there are four tracks re-recorded from the ep "Severance (Dead To This World)". Are you completely satisfied with what you have accomplished?
We simply tried to do an honourable and decent tribute to our influences. "Aeon Of Nox…" is an album made by old school Death Metal fans for underground maniacs. Nothing more, nothing less. Of course, now, one year after its release, I think some parts or riffs could have been differently composed or arranged and drums sound could have been a bit better. I guess I can’t really be so objective with it since we spent so much time and energy working on it but, all in all, it’s a satisfying debut for sure.
Listening to the album is like going back almost twenty years, Asphyx, Benediction, Bolt Thrower and especially Acheron, your influences are quite evident. The most important are the emotions that a disk is able to convey and honestly admit that I imagined me at the age of adolescence where that sound was (and still is) a must. How does it feel to live in a certain sense like nostalgic but with the awareness of being alive and strongly rooted in this time?
Glad to read you felt that way listening to our stuff. This is exactly the kind of mood and spirit that we want to capture, obviously. I can’t deny there is a strong part of nostalgia involved in our approach. Late 80’s and early 90’s Death Metal had such an impressive effect on us as teenagers when we discovered it back in 1991. This period is the very essence of Death Metal and all the classics of the genre have been recorded and released during this golden era so no wonder it was such an exciting and unique time to experience for me. I can hardly say the same for today's Death Metal scene. Of course, thanks to bands like Hail Of Bullets, Death Breath, Lie In Ruins, Claws, Graveyard, Bone Gnawer, etc.; the traditional sound of Death Metal is still proudly represented even if the scene of the 2000’s is mainly a matter of blasting techincal shits and deathcore garbage ! So no wonder we feel even more nostalgic in this circumstance!
I can only tell you that he wanted Vincent Crowley as a guest on "After The Red Moon" is an added value. How is born the collaboration?
Actually, I was already yet briefly in touch with Vincent back in the early 2000’s. Then, when the EP was out I got in touch with him again through Myspace and we traded some stuffs. When working on the intro of this song in rehearsal, we thought about adding a guest for the narration part. So, the name of Vincent came to our minds as we knew his voice could fit fucking well ! I wrote him to propose this idea and he answered that he was ok to do it. Some weeks later we received the Wave files through Internet. Then, we thought it would be great if he could do more vocals and backing vocals on some parts of the song which he agreed again. It was very easy and great to deal with him and we are extremely honoured to have his voice on the album.
One of the qualities that I have immediatly loved of "Aeon Nox" is that it stench of death early nineties, from first to last note and especially playing "old" with a not modern production. The composing process of songs how many have you committed and as has been done? Do you have specific roles in this regard?
Actually, the songs for the album were all composed back in late 2006 (except for "The Worst Is Yet To Come" that was done in early 2009). We had lots of delays to face and personal priorities to deal with first in the past and still now again that slowed down the band’s life, unfortunately. These complications are a pain in the ass but still found the solutions to go onward even if sometimes some situations have been really frustrating or totally "un-motivating", to say the least. When we compose, each of us take part to the process, of course. I bring the riffs, Herostratos writes all lyrics and JP helps for structures and arrangements. It’s important for each memeber to get involved in this process. There is no leader but rather a collective creative core and we take decisions together.
The lyrics are quite dark in tone, we talk increasingly of apocalypse and the end of the world, what is the infamous "The Worst Is Yet To Come" which man has to wait?
Herostratos could have probably developped further on this issue than me but I can tell you that the lyrics of "The Worst…" are dealing with topics such as the inexorable decrepitude, the burden of human condition, the meeting with death….
Now a year has passed from the release in cd of "Aeon Of Nox" and in september has been printed in limited release to 250 copies only, also in Lp. To sum up, as was the overall response from critics and fans?
It has been positive and even fucking great especially for the debut album of an unknown band like us coming from France which is not really the most receptive country when it comes to old school Death Metal. So, it really blew away all our expectations and it was cool to see that many long time die hard Death Metal fans got into it on a national and worldwide basis.
How is the french scene in old school field or revival of it? It seems there are many important currents in France but not a so firmly rooted on this type of sound or am I wrong? (I only refer to death metal)
There are few bands around but it’s obvious old school stuffs are not popular here. I suggest to check out killer hordes as Necrowretch, Bloody Sign, Coffin Terror, Herpes, Remnant Sprawl, etc… Brutal technical stuff is the major Death Metal current here, unfortunately. The revival is therefore a minority and even if we witness a worldwide come back of ancient sounding bands, the situation is not the same and as great as it used to be 20 years ago.
What do you think of the today's metal scene? Flaws, merits, there is something that really bothers you and if you had the chance to remove from the music scene we would not think twice?
Being a Metal fan (Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Thrash, Death and Black Metal) since I’m a kid back in the late 80’s, I enjoy the most traditional form of the various genres therefore and I stick to the old stuffs or the more recent bands but that still know what true Metal is all about and how to play in the old way ! This is the only Metal I want and need, the one of the origins for each style and the fucking real one deal for me. So as you can imagine, I don’t really feel closed with nowadays Metal.
How hard is now playing "death metal" Nineties not only shows the good performers but living it with a healthy attitude? This revival is basically a trend? There is a base, the underground, who splits his ass for years but in the end the usual "whore" label saturate the market of plastic with the "mark" old, is not perhaps so that the term is often quoted to have become inflated?
At the moment, OSDM is what you can call maybe an "UG trend" but honestly, I don’t see many bands being successfull in a mainstream way maybe except for few hordes as Hail Of Bullets or Asphyx and they truly deserve it. Commercial labels don’t seem to be so much attracted by this revival for now. Anyway, we play Death Metal by passion: no matter if there is a trend or not. We don’t aim to a so called "stardom". By the way, I think it’s was just a matter of time that a style which defined a whole genre and thus so influential finally and naturally "resurrected".
Reading your blogs on myspace is expected to register a Mcd which will see prominent presence within, you can get some advice on the output? Honestly just the sight of those names, I have made a jerk and a "I'm fucking" for admiration is a must.
We are very proud to have Death Metal legends as Rick Rozz or Eric Daniels as guests. Those musicians are long time influences and "heroes" to us. We worship classics like "Leprosy", "From Beyond" and "Last One On "arth" so, it’s just unbelievable to collaborate with them on our next release ! Some people already said to me it could be a "breakthrough" in the scene for us or it will give us more "exposure" because of the names involved in this release but that’s not what we are longing for. I don’t think a MCD limited to 500 or 1000 copies will make us more famous and rich! [laughs] Also, if people consider that our music is crap even the participations of respected guests can’t save us! [laughs] Honestly, we think it will be rather a great and fucking cool experience for the Death Metal fans that we are. Definitely not a "marketing strategy" at all.
Live situations? Do you have play? You are still around to spread the death metal word in this period?
yes, sure, we play live and we did few gigs between February 2009 and June 2010 (France, Germany and Spain) so far. At the moment, the band’s situation is a bit complicated once again as some of us are busy with jobs or family life so we can’t rehearse anymore and therefore we can’t play live neither. We hope that everything will get back to normal on Summer 2011 and we hope/plan to start to record the MCD on August.
On stage memories? Strange situations or amusing anecdotes that have occurred to you?
Nothing particular, as far as I remember but I can say that our gig with your countrymates of Imago Mortis (best regards to Mirko!) in France in 2009 and the Festung Open Air in Germany this year were the best gigs we played so far.
There has been an experience in the field of live not that you'd absolutely do it again (collaboration, jam session in rehearsal…) ?
Problems we got when playing live are sometimes average conditions (especially the sound or venue) or one bad experience with a French promoter.
When a date in Italy?
As soon as everything will be back into normal in the band and when we receive an offer to play in your country, of course. To share a bill with killer Italian Death Metal bands as Profanal, Eroded, Uncreation or Voids Of Vomit would be perfect!
Thanks guys for your disposability, we are at the terminus then we should send a final message or a simple greeting at our readers, it's your to close the games.
Thanks a lot for this cool interview, Gabriele. Cheers!