Norwegian thrashers Nekromantheon have just released their second album, Rise, Vulcan Spectre—an album about "offering virgin's blood to the beasts, defeating your enemies with might and learning the wisdom of the dead". So it's a ritual, of sorts. Since I last spoke to them, the trio have inherited a live guitarist, enfeebled London two Octobers running, and made a name for themselves by lacerating live audiences all over Europe and America. The ancient metal-hailing Sindre (bassist and sometime vocalist) and Kick (drummer and studio wizard) chatted to me about their new album and drinking the blood of murder victims.
AFITFOG: So tell me, what have you guys been doing since the release of your debut record?
Nekromantheon: After the release of Divinity Of Death, we were keen to write new stuff as soon as possible. We'd been playing live as Obliteration quite a lot at the time, so it was more fun for us to write new stuff with Nekromantheon. I guess you could say we learned from our first album and instantly wanted to make something faster, dirtier and even more evil.
So how does this differ from the first record? Did you change any of your ideals and were you at all fazed by it coming out on the prestigious Indie Recordings?
I guess you could say we gave every aspect of the music more attention. The arrangements are more thought-through, and we were really picky about what parts we decided to use. Our ideals didn't change, they just got even darker and more screwed up, now that we've grown up, haha. When we made the songs and recorded the album we didn't have a record contract at all, so no, we weren't fazed by anyone but ourselves. We would never let a record label affect our music anyway, how should anyone else know better than us what kind of music we want to make?
Well put. So tell us about this tour you have coming up with Aura Noir and, also, I just saw you're playing Death Doomed The Age festival with Death Strike in September.
Yeah, that tour is gonna be awesome. It's a part of a concept organised by Metal Hammer Norway and Amber Booking called "Fire Walk With Me", kind of an equivalent to the Jägermeister tours you might have seen in Germany. Touring with Aura Noir is gonna be the fun part and on two of the gigs we're even joined by fellow Kolbotn thrashers Condor and our buddies One Tail, One Head. Death Doomed The Age in Germany is probably gonna kick ass as well. I mean, fuckin' Death Strike! Don't know how they're gonna perform live in 2012, but they've been a huge inspiration for us, and you probably remember us covering "Pay to Die" in London both times we've played in your neighbourhood. The lineup at DDTA seems really cool, lots of great underground bands – it'll be a treat for sure!
Definitely. How is it playing with bands you grew up listening to? Are you over it by now, or is it still exciting?
It's still strange, mind-blowing and freaky. Fortunately, the scene is still made up of down-to-earth people and most of the people we've hailed since we were kids are really cool guys with no rockstar attitude at all. And it's really cool to see when our old heroes continue to support the underground, that's something we really appreciate.
Yeah, the support is there in the underground, which is nice.
Absolutely. But the most important thing is to support real, honest, quality music, no matter if it's a demo band from Bosnia or a major act from the US.
Indeed. So who is blowing your mind, at the moment?
Almost the entire Swedish scene, haha! Antichrist, Maim, Morbus Chron, Invidious, No Future, In Solitude, Bastard Priest... It's all fantastic stuff! But we do have some superb shit going on in Norway as well, like Condor, One Tail, One Head, Black Magic, Mare, Dødsengel, Deathhammer... The list is endless, really. Funereal Presence is awesome, check them out. Occultation as well. Plus, we keep supporting the bigger acts that still do things the right way – Autopsy, Aura Noir and Darkthrone. Eternal hails!
Can you explain what the 'Kolbotn Thrashers Union' is to people who are yet to encounter the concept, please?
It's an unholy coven of bestial thrashers from Kolbotn, Norway, basically. The concept was formed before our time by Fenriz or Einar 'Necrodevil' Sjusjø, but it was nothing 'official' before we manipulated the logo of the Kolbotn sports team and put it on our records. For some reason, every musician we know from the area is extremely talented and has an amazing understanding on how to write good music. Don't really know why, but we suspect it's because of all the corpses that have been dumped in our drinking water over the years.
So that is actually true, huh?
Hell yes. Our drinking water is probably the first place the cops would search for a corpse – people have been dumping all kinds of murder victims there for years.
Ugh! So, what else you have got planned for 2012?
No more releases are planned. I mean, we will write new tracks, etc, and the Nekröthrash 7" split with Deathhammer, Black Magic, and Carniwhöre on Duplicate Records is still on, but as for releases there is nothing else planned. We will write stuff for our third album and we'll be playing a lot live. We're gonna play Inferno festival in Switzerland, and in Norway, and hopefully a lot of other shows throughout Europe and the Earth, in general...
Do you think there are perhaps more bands nowadays reverting to the old, more traditional recording methods laid down by the 80s metal gods than there was say, five or ten years ago?
Definitely. It might be a counter reaction to the madness that was going on in the late 90s/ early 00s. People have started to realise what music is about and it sure as hell is NOT about who had the most audible kick drums or how many douchebags you can get to sit on the floor and jump up and down simultaneously. Right now, people in the underground are really into music with a lot of soul and feeling, and hopefully it will last for a while. That's basically the concept of our new album—we want the spirit of the ancient metal gods to come back to life.