Violent Demise Web-zine is back after many years of inactivity. The web-zine covers Raw Black Metal, Old and New School Black Metal, Black/Death Metal, Blackened Thrash and some Pagan/Folk Black Metal. Besides bands, we will also try to interview some labels from time to time.
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1.Hails how are things going with you and the band this week?Please introduce yourself to the readerss? Sjukdom: Hails! I suppose proper introductions are in order. We are Sjukdom, a Black metal band from Northern Norway, way up in the Arctic region. We play a style of black metal that is rooted in the traditional Norwegian vein, but we're not afraid of doing things a little bit different from time to time so to speak.
2.When did you first discover black metal and who were the first bands you listened to?Who are some of your current favorite bands? Sjukdom: Depending on who you ask in the band, it would be either early or mid 2000. We started out with the classics of course and would eventually over the years explore more and more of the genre. There is really a lot of cool stuff happening in black metal these days, a lot of contemporary bands are really good. The current era of black metal is probably the most interesting one since perhaps the mid 90's.
3.When did you first meet the other members of the band and was it long before you all started Sjukdom? Does Sjukdom have a special meaning and how did you all choose Sjukdom as the name of the band? Sjukdom: Founding members Natt and Avsky first met at the end of July 2011 and I didn't take very long before we formed the idea of starting our own black metal band. A couple of months later we got in contact with Hul and our first rehearsals were had in September of that year. The name Sjukdom orriginated from one of those very early rehearsals. We were basically just brainstorming ideas, throwing names around until someone said "Sjukdom" and the name has stuck with us since. For those not aware, "Sjukdom" is a northern Norwegian spelling of the Norwegian word "Sykdom" (Disease/sickness).
4.What is the current line up of the band?And who do you feel is the bands biggest influences? Sjukdom: The band currently consists of 'Avsky' on vocals, 'Natt' on drums, 'Nekrosis' on guitar and bass and finally 'Aske' on guitar, contributing from Stockholm on a session basis. As for influence, we all contribute in our own ways.
5.Stridshymner Og Dodssalmer is the bands second full length release how long did it take the band to write the music for the new release? Does the whole band take part in the writing process or does one member write everything? Sjukdom: The writing of 'Stridshymner og Døssalmer' started immediately after our debut was released in late 2013. Back then guitarist 'Hul' did most of the work when it came to song writing, writing 5 out of the 7 tracks. The remaining two were done by 'Aske'. Of course, during the writing process everyone gets to have their say in things, everyone gets to input their opinion on how to best exploit their instruments.
6.Who usually handles writing the lyrics for the music and what are some subjects written about on the debut? Sjukdom: Lyrics are almost exclusively done by Avsky, with Natt having done the lyrics for two of the songs for the debut. The lyrical subjects on the first album were pretty diverse, covering a range of subjects from nuclear war to plagues and death, from anti-religious themes to themes about Norwegian nature and landscapes. With 'Stridshymner og Dødssalmer' the lyrics are mostly focused around the concepts of death and war, hence the name of the album which translates into "War hymns & Death psalms".
7.Besides the new release does the band have any copies of the debut still available for the readers to buy?Besides physical releases does the band have any other merchandise available if yes what is available and where can the readers buy it?
Sjukdom: We have a very small stockpile of our debut album left, possibly as little as 10 CD's left. Our inventory of merch is also pretty slim at the moment, but we're working on changing that very soon. Orders can be placed via email or via our facebook profile.
8.Does Sjukdom play live very often or do you prefer working in the studio? What have been some of the bands most memorable shows over the years? Sjukdom: We try playing live as often as possible, but we haven't appeared on stage now since 2017. We've had some vacant slots in our live line-up and that has prevented us from being as active on the stage as we would have preffered to be. There has been quite a few memorable shows over the years, but I think our last one back in March of
2017 was our best one. We had a 12 or 13 track set-list and played for almost an hour and twenty minutes.
9.Are their any tours or shows coming up in support of Stridshymner Og Dodssalmer if yes where will the band be playing and who are some bands you will be sharing the stage with? Sjukdom: Nothing is set in stone just yet, but we are working on doing something. It's too early to reveal any details though.
10. Sjukdom comes out of the legendary Norweigan black metal scene what is your opinion of Norway's black metal scene over the decades? Sjukdom: The Norwegian Black metal scene has had it's ups and downs over the years. Of course it started out very strongly in the late 80's and early 90's. It kept a good momentum going into the early 2000's, but after that it kinda stagnated a little bit. Things have been looking up though, Black metal is very much alive in the current decade, both in Norway and internationally.
11.Who are your all-time favorite bands coming out of Norway's black metal scene?And are their any new bands you feel the readers should check out soon?
Sjukdom: The obvious answer would of course be Burzum. Or would it be Mayhem? Maybe Darkthrone...
12.Besides playing in Sjukdom do you or any of the members currently play in any other bands or solo projects? Sjukdom: Nekrosis has a solo poject that has yet to be named. Aske some projects of his own as well, one of which is called 'Voider', chaotic and dissonant black metal, something worth keeping an eye on in the future. Natt played drums for Northern Norwegian Blackthrash band 'Black Sputum' for around about three years. Avsky appears as guest vocalist on the album 'Vituperate' by 'Black Sputum'.
13.What does black metal mean to you?
Sjukdom: Music for those passionate about the dark and macabre. If you gaze long enough into the abyss, the abyss will gaze right back at you... And we have been gazing for a long time now indeed.
14.Thank you for taking the time to fill this interview out do you have any final comments for the readers? Sjukdom: Keep an eye on our facebook page for news regarding merch and future releases. Sjukdom doesn't end with 'Stridshymner og dødssalmer', there will be more to come!
I'm the vocalist/poet/partial composer. BRUTAL SALUTE.
2.When did you first start listening to metal music and who were some of the first bands you listened to?
My first experience with heavier music was when I was around 7-8 years old. The band I came across with was FAFF-BEY with their song ”Doesn't Feel Like Laughing”. I still remember feeling tangled and slightly frightened, since that was really something else. Wild and completely different from the music that I was listening at that time. It sounded ANGRY. Still does.
However, it wasn't until I was 12 years old when I actually got into metal once and for all. I had occasionaly listened some heavier stuff before that, but ever since I discovered Black Metal, it got me interested in metal music as a whole. It was a time of satanic hysteria in Finland, mostly due to certain crimes committed in Hyvinkää, '98. Basically a fucking witch-hunt, promoted by the Finnish mainstream media. So, initially I got to know this music style from the sensationalist news articles about DEVIL WORSHIP, before hearing a single note of the actual music.
Then, next year I finally got to hear the music... It was all dark, nasty, creepy and grotesque, but there was something that just made me wanna look, closer and closer... The classic car accident metaphor here.
Later on, it was all the same really; black, death, power, thrash, pagan, industrial, doom... it was all good, as long as there was distortion, maybe some double-bass drumming and strong vocals (dirty or clean). If I ever got any extra money, I would soon spend all of it to buy new records. The other thing that helped me to perceive metal music was this radio show called METALLILIITTO, which aired once in every week. Didn't have access to the internet back then, so it was very important and informational program. I still have tons of recorded Metalliliitto tapes from that era. Certain music magazines with their metal pages helped me a lot as well. All of a sudden I was hooked, and really enjoying it.
3.When did you first discover black metal and who were the first bands you listened to? Who are some of your current favorite bands?
My classmate introduced me with some black metal bands on the last night of our summer vacation before we would start the 6th grade... For him it was all just a short phase, but he managed to brainwash me with this new, dark and crazy musick while he was still at it. (Thanks man...) The bands he introduced me were quite basic, well-known ones like Dimmu Borgir, Emperor, Satyricon, Impaled Nazarene etc.
Later on I went further back in black metal history, and discovered the true pioneers like Bathory and Venom, as well as the early Norwegian bands Mayhem, Darkthrone, Burzum and Thorns. These are pretty much the ones that still keep me going when it comes to my songwriting, more or less.
Most of my black metal favourites are still pretty much the same bands as in ancient times. I really hope I'm not the only one feeling alienated by this modern, everyman's black metal culture. Too HQ for my taste. Way too accessible, theatrical and easy to handle. Where's the rawness? SICKENS ME.
I keep finding new music at every turn, but as for black metal, I'm good with the classic era/style. Of course there are lots of great bands in the underground as well. The cult is still alive. I prefer fashion-free and timeless obscurity, and you can't find that from the ”overground” anymore. I know I can't. The great source of primitive power is what I'm looking for here.
4.When did you first meet the other members of the band?And was it long before you all started Rodent Epoch?How did you all choose Rodent Epoch as the name of the band does it have a special meaning?
I joined Rodent Epoch's pre-phase FROM THE NORTH in 2005. The original vocalist left the band, so I showed up in an ”audition”, meaning we played some Darkthrone and Mayhem covers and that was it, really. I was 18 and the other guys were 15-16, so they got a good friend in me, since I was able to buy them some alcohol and cigarettes. In return, I got to meet new, likeminded people. It all clicked quite easily. Simple times... Lots of drinking, young rebellious asshole behaviour and legendary moments. Quite immediately we started to make new songs and play some live gigs, one show per year, more or less.
In 2009 when we (FTN) had to do some major line-up changes, we decided we might as well change that silly name and start a new... epoch. Originally Rodent Epoch was a song title, but when we started talking about changing our name, it made a lot of sense to use Rodent Epoch as a new band moniker. (The song title was then changed to Era Of Rats, which is found in our EOR demo.)
The original idea behind the name was heavily inspired by the black plague in Europe and both NOSFERATU films, but this is not the whole of the truth. I mean, we still live in the age of rats, surrounded by modern vampires... Everything we have done is slowly transforming, and everything has always been open for any interpretations. What do You think this name means?
5.What is the current line-up of the band?And for the readers who have never heard Rodent Epoch music how would you best describe it?Who would you say are the bands biggest influences?
The current line-up is:
Caine Corax – vocals and lyrics
Warmonger – guitar
Wuopala Scumfuck – guitar
Raato Bastardo – bass
Rattus – drums
Our previous work, Hellbastard EP was recorded with only me, Rattus and Warmonger, so we now have two new members. We go way back with both of the ”new” guys, so it was easy to include them in the new incarnation of Rodent Epoch.
We have tons of influences, but nowadays our number one inspiration is simply RODENT EPOCH.
Personally I get some rodent-drive from bands like SLAYER, DARKTHRONE, MAYHEM, AUTOPSY, BLACK SABBATH, BATHORY, THORNS, IMPALED NAZARENE, BEHERIT, TORMENTOR, MORBID ANGEL, ARCHGOAT, ENSLAVED, TERVEET KÄDET, BARATHRUM, REVEREND BIZARRE etc.
6.Rodent Lord is the bands debut full length which is being released through Saturnal Rec in October.When did you and the band first come in contact in with this label?
Basically the biggest catalyst was our first official live gig in 7 years (Tampere, around 2017). Right people happened to be around to witness our new songs, so that's probably when the whole process slowly started. Later I contacted the label boss and quite rapidly we would start working on the release. It was meant to be.
7.Does the whole band take part in the writing process or does one member usually write everything?How long does it usually take the band to complete one song?
Mostly it's been me and Warmonger making our own songs/riffs, and later we would arrange all the pieces together as a band in our rehearsal dungeon. There are a couple of riffs made by Raato and Wuopala as well, but this album is still pretty much 50/50, with Warmonger's songs and mine. In the future, I can definitely see the ”new” guys having bigger roles when it comes to songwriting though. Rattus is in charge of our DRUM RIFFS and the EVIL GROOVE. Then in the end, our noise wizard Von Haustein would capture the songs and complete the Wall of Sound. We are a collective of fucked-up minds originating from various backgrounds.
Sometimes it might take years to complete a song and sometimes only one spliff and a brief moment with an electric guitar would do the tricks. We still have some ancient songs to complete, by the way.
8.Who usually handles writing the lyrics for the music and what are some subjects written about on the debut release?
I write all the lyrics, mostly about darkness in man, nature and cosmos, written in context of madness, horror, occult, psychedelia, war, metal, blood, fire and death... Shitloads of different-sized demons keep me busy.
9.Besides the upcoming debut release does the band have any other merchandise available for the readers to purchase?If yes what is available and where can the readers buy it?
No merchandise yet. Later, or D.I.Y.
10.Does Rodent Epoch play live very often or do you prefer working in the studio?What have been some of the bands most memorable shows over the years?
We tend not to play live too often. Personally I'm not too enthusiastic about gigs and social gatherings, but I have some good memories from all of our shows, since they're always very special occasions on a personal level. I don't remember too much about the actual gigs, 'cause usually I'm in some sort of a blurry twilight zone when it all happens, but I do remember people's reactions quite well. Lots of deers in the headlights and people going absolutely apeshit.
If I have to pick one special show to cherish, that would be our first live gig as RODENT EPOCH. It was in our hometown Oulu in 2010 (NUCLEAR NIGHTCLUB) when we got to play with the legendary ARCHGOAT and BLACK CRUCIFIXION. That was pretty fucking crazy.
Studio working is something different though. It's fascinating to witness how the monster is slowly taking shape. That's when you really have to DO things and conquer yourself. Making RODENTLORD especially was a strange experience. Supernatural even...
11.Are their any upcoming shows or tours planned in support of Rodent Lord if yes where will the band be playing? And who are some bands you will be sharing the stage with?
There's nothing planned yet. I did try to arrange a show in Tampere for the night of the album release, but it didn't work out for many reasons, so I just gave up on it. You should never force these kind of things. Everything does happen exactly the right way and at the right time, you know. Don't wanna be messing with these cosmic laws anymore. Things will happen. Stay tuned, we're trying to do the same.
12.What does black metal mean to you all?
Aural equivalent to Satan himself. A shadow of humanity and nature as performed in the heavy metal context. A black sheep in the metal family tree... It would be easier to state what black metal is NOT about.
”My” black metal is obscure, raw, noisy, infamous, distant, cold and grim art with bizarre, otherwordly and fucking eerie atmospheres.
13.Rodent Epoch comes out of the legendary Finnish black metal scene what are your thought of Finland's black metal scene over the years?
I don't think there is a particular scene, but there is a solid style for sure. It's marginal music in a small country, so a lot of people happen to know each other. Despite all the abysmal crap overflowing everywhere, there are tons of great bands and albums in the Finnish Black Metal legacy, and I feel priviledged just to be born here. It's a weird fucking country in general.
14.Who are your all-time favorite bands coming out of Finland? And are their any new bands you feel the readers should check out soon?
Some of my faves (excluding all the legends I have mentioned earlier):
RADIOPUHELIMET (funky noise rock), KTMK (weird hardcore, pre-Radiopuhelimet), CIRCLE (hypno-kraut-whatnot), KAUKO RÖYHKÄ (groovy), TUOMARI NURMIO (roots), HEBOSAGIL (new wave of Finnish rock), HALO MANASH (ritual ambient), KUSIPÄÄ (real hardcore punk, fuck off), RINNERADIO (jazzy electro), CMX (hardcore/art rock/prog), LÄJÄ ÄIJÄLÄ (legend), S.A. HYNNINEN (dunkelheit), KEUHKOT (noisy and experimental), MANA MANA (heavier than life), PSYCHOPLASMA (manic geetar-rock), PIIRPAUKE (ethno-prog), KUOLEMA (mental hardcore grinding), MUSTA PARAATI (post-punk legends), CAN CAN HEADS (go figure), E.B.P.S.A.T.R.F.M. (Oulu noise rock) etc.
Check them out, if you dare... All worth it.
15.Besides working in Rodent Epoch do you or any of the members currently work with any other bands or solo projects?
Yes we do.
16.Thank you for taking the time to fill this interview out do you have any final comments for the readers?
Thomas: I am Thomas, the vocalist of Blood of Serpents.
Fredrik: And i am Fredrik, Guitarist of the same band.
2.When did you first start listening metal music and was it long before you discovered black metal?
Thomas: I've been a metal fan for 25+ years, starting with Iron Maiden and such. I discovered black metal in the mid 90's through bands like Dissection and Naglfar.
Fredrik: been listening to metal for 30+ years, it started with the classics as for many of my generation, probably got in to Black metal through band´s like Mayhem,marduk and satyricon.
3.Who are some of your all-time favorite bands and are their any new bands you could recomend the readers?
Thomas: Iron Maiden is still the best bands on the planet. As for newer bands I'm not really updated on it all since I tend to revisit the old stuff more than seeking out new things. But recent discoveries (like in the past 2 years or so) for me include bands like Witchtower, Funeral Mist, Visigoth, Uada and a bunch more.
Fredrik: Black Sabbath,Rush,Metallica is always on my list for the classics.it feels like it´s been a long time since i discovered a new band that is in high rotation in my home.
4. Blood Of Serpents was started in 2012 what gave you the idea to start this band?
Fredrik: The idea started with me wanting to play extreme metal music without any specific plan on what the outcome would be, just play the kind of music i want to play.
5.How do you feel the bands music has changed over the years? And who would you say are Blood Of The Serpents's biggest influences?
Fredrik:it changed alot over the 6+ years the band has existed, our 2 first EP´s had more of death/thrash metal feeland for our first full-lenght we stearded more into black/death,and for `´Sulphur Sovereign´´ it´s Black Metal, i the goal for me was always to end up where we are now, with Black metal as the driving force.
6.Sulpher Sovereign is the bands second full length release how long did it take you to write the music for the new release?And does the whole band work on the music or does one member write everything?
Fredrik: The song´s for ``Sulphur Sovereign´´probably took about a year to write on different occasions. me and the other guitarist has written all music for both our albums.
7.Who usually handles writing the lyrics for the musc and what are some subjects written about on the new release?
Thomas: On Sulphur Sovereign I handled the lyric writing. I wanted to channel those things that got me interested in the Swedish Black Metal scene back in the 90's. Anti-theistic and pitch black lyrics that match the intensity of the music.
8.Besides the upcoming Sulpher Sovereign release are their any copies of the debut still available for the readers to purchase?Besides physical releases does the band have any other merchandise available if yes what is available and where can the readers buy it?
Fredrik:Yes, go to: bloodofserpentsofficialstore.bigcartel.com to find our first album,T-shirts and more. there is also bandcamp if that is your prefered choice getting our music or any other streaming service.
9.Does Blood Of Serpents play live very often or do you prefer to work in the studio?What have been some of the bands most memorable shows over the years?
Fredrik: We play live when we get an offer for a show that feels right to do, so we don´t say yes to everything ``just´´ to play. As for studio, it´s fun when your done recording, and are pleased with the result, during recording process it´s full focus on getting it done so not much time to stop and think about the `´fun´´ on recording an album.
10.Are their any shows or tours planned in support of Sulpher Sovereign if yes where will the band be playing?And who are some bands you will be sharing the stage with?
Fredrik: We will kick of the ``Sulphur Sovereign´´ era with a show at the Festival:Mörkaste Småland:Slaktmånad on october 6th. as for a tour it would probably happen during 2019.
11.What does black metal mean to you?
Fredrik: that is a question we could go way deep and use hours to answer, so we leave it at: It´s the music we want to play and explore in Blood of Serpents.
12.Blood Of Serpents comes out of Sweden's legendary black metal scene.What is your opinion of Sweden's black metal scene over the decades?
Thomas: Personally I think it's a great scene and has been strong from the start. Today it is rife with both old and new bands pushing the boundaries of black metal as well as staying true to the roots.
13.Who are your all-time favorite bands coming out of Sweden and are their any new bands you could recommend to the readers?
Thomas: Some great Swedish bands include Edge of Sanity, Dismember, Dissection, Naglfar, Marduk... As for the new bands I already answered that question earlier.
14.Besides working in Blood Of Serpents do you or any of the members currently work in any other bands or solo projects?
Thomas: I am also handling vocal duties in Throne of Heresy (blackened death metal) and Abscession (old school death metal).
Fredrik: Blood of Serpents is my main and only band and will be till the day i stop playing music.
15.Thank you for taking the time to fill this interview out do you have any final comments for the readers?
Fredrik: Thank you, make sure to pick up a copy or two of ``Sulphur Sovereign´´ on September 25TH!