Oldschool Metal Maniac - English Version

HECATOMB

 
 
Hearty and juicy, archaic thrash/death metal from Norway/Australia here. A total old-school worship, this band are and their short but well-done demo 2020 is something I do enjoy – this is an awesome piece of rabid metal to bang your fucking head to. All right, no worries, read what these champs have to say, get in touch with HECATOMB, and send`em your hard-earned cash right effin now. 
 
 
Hi, how’s it going….how’s this Black Death of the 21th century treating you?
 
Pretty good, a bit bored these days with Oslo shut down, but oh well. Been enjoying the new Nekromantheon album at least. 
 
Well, to be honest, I was expecting some “war/bestial metal” kind of stuff, judging by your location. Or perhaps raw black or pure death metal. What I get on this demo of yours is primordial, old school death/thrash in the vein of old ABOMINATION (USA) demos or old VADER (Pol). Like you know, Necrolust demo era and stuff. Tell me why you guys opted for this style. Are you familiar with any other old bands from Poland (THRASHER DEATH, SCARECROW and so on?) beside VADER?
 
We’re not too far away from that though hehe. I’m not really that into war metal, and never have been, but there’s a fine line between deaththrash and war metal, and I’m glad you can hear the difference. The style we play was 90% inspired by one album: INRI! I’ve always wanted to try to play the chaotic, yet “catchy” extreme metal of 1980’s South America. INRI is one of my all time favourite records, and I am yet to hear any bands capture the atmosphere of it. There sure are bands that play similarly, but it always ends up sounding either too thrash or too occult, and I can’t stand those candle and incense-bands. 
 
Your demo is quite short, I would say, just a little over 15 minutes. And this is what I do like about it – quality stuff, no fillers, no bullshit. Well, if you ask me, this kind of approach is the right one, since there`ve been plenty of bands who cannot help but release all they have under their belt; seems generous at first, but, in most cases, what we get is a “special” blend of good and crappy songs….what’s the point? Isn’t that better to rehearse, re-rehearse and record what is simply good, without feeding people with garbage? Isn’t this the primordial, old school approach many bands in the past had? Because, interestingly, when you read old interviews with such tycoons like VADER or BATHORY for instance, they kept saying that their labels kept asking them for more stuff despite the fact they didn’t have enough songs for their next releases.
 
 
I 100% agree with you. I’ve made the mistake of rushing releases, and as a result included songs that should have been scrapped in other bands. I’ve even released whole albums that should never have seen the day of light, which is a real shame. At the time it came down to the urge for having an actual full-length under my belt I think.
 
I guess it was for that reason we did not include the title track on the original demo. At the time, the vocals didn’t sound very good, and we didn’t have the time to re-record them until about a year later. I think a good rule is to only include riffs and parts that seem to actually add something to the music, and to never feel too tied to what the “fans” expect. You can only write so many good songs in a certain style, so changes will need to happen in order to write quality music. However, when I say “changes”, I obviously mean minor changes hehe. 
 
 
What other new and old bands of similar style/caliber can you think of, as far as HECATOMB’s music and you guys (musicians, fans) are concerned? Perhaps POSSESSED? What bands from this thrash/death genre are your favourite? I would say HYPNOSIA, MAZE OF TORMENT or NEKROMANTHEON are awesome too. 
 
I can’t really think of too many new bands with the same sound as us. I guess that might sound a bit cocky, but that is one of the main reasons we wanted to play this way in the first place. I wouldn’t say we are unique in any way, but to me this is a style that has been forgotten in recent years. There sure are a lot of war metal bands that also like chaotic blastbeats and so on, but we try to stay slightly more on the punky side of things. Simple, “catchy” riffs put on top of frantic over-the-top drumming. As I mentioned earlier, out biggest source of inspiration is without a doubt INRI and other south American bands such as Sexthrash, Sadism, Vulcano and so on. Other than that we have also gotten ideas from bands like Sadistic Intent, Vader, Possessed, Nifelheim +++. 
 
That being said there are loads of good new bands out there. The new Nekromantheon album KICKS ASS, and so did my favourite release of last year: Deathwards – Demo 2020. I recently got that Thulsa Doom EP from a few years back, which really kills. Then you obviously have bands like Deathhammer, Rust, Antichrist, Bastard Priest, Black Viper and so on, who are all really good. I also really liked the new single from American Impure. 
 
 
According to Metal Archives, you haven’t been involved in any other bands at all. How correct is this information? Any past/side bands or projects worth mentioning?
 
Not correct. Before moving to Australia I played in a few bands, and my main one back then was a thrash metal band named CONDOR. We actually recorded our last full-length, Unstoppable Power, just a week before I moved abroad. Other than that, I played drums in a sort of Hellhammer/Autopsy inspired band named Mion’s Hill, and live in a couple of other bands. Currently I’m playing guitars/vox in a new death metal band in Oslo, and a demo will be released in not too long. 
 
Rick has mainly played in punk bands earlier. He played in one in particular named Taipan for a while. 
 
Do you collect music, dub tapes, burn cdrs or look for obscure, hard-to-get stuff? Being from Australia, well, I suspect it must suck a bit when it comes to ordering stuff from overseas. I am based in Canada which sucks too. Getting stuff from either US or EU just kills me financially. Any good, domestic distros to solve this situation?
 
Yeah, of course. In Oslo it’s not that bad, the only problem here is that the govt has really cracked down on import taxes, making it necessary to get stuff sent as gifts, which unfortunately not all sellers are willing to do. Luckily though, we have some real good record shops and distros around, particularly the store KATAKOMBEN as well as distros like Duplicate Records and Unborn productions to name a few. 
 
In Australia it was a bit trickier for obvious reasons, but there were some good shops there as well, which would get records from labels like Hells Headbangers and so on. 
 
 
In an interview for Sans Solei Zine – Vol II, you mentioned that your stuff will be re-released on vinyl. Therefore, what is your opinion on different forms of media and the media for metal music, in particular? Myself, well, I do prefer tapes….never been too much into vinyl, but have amassed plenty of cds as well. What’s the best approach when it comes to metal music, recording it, collecting it and trading it?
 
I prefer vinyl, but I also like tapes. Unfortunately my current tape deck really sucks, so I’m in need of a new one. It was my friend Jonas who initially got me into buying tapes. I liked how cheap they were back then, and it made it an easy purchase for just checking out a new band you’ve seen live. When we made demos for our then band, Mion’s Hill, I think we paid about 12 NOK (approx.1,4 euro) per pro-printed tape, which meant that we could sell them with a profit for 30,- (about 4 Euro).
 
 
Unfortunately, that’s not really possible any more. We sold all the Horrid Invocations at beak even, and at a loss if you include the money we spent recording. But who the hell would buy a demo tape for 10 EUR? Not me, that’s for sure. 
 
I think metal music should be enjoyed in physical format when available, but I obviously also use iTunes when out and about. Never really got onto Spotify, cause I already have everything I like on my computer and I don’t want to rely on the internet to listen to music.
 
When it comes to recording, I’d prefer to do it as analogue as possible, while at the same time taking advantage of the technology we have available. It is easy to record now, and there no point in making it more difficult than necessary. We have always recorded digitally, but obviously without triggers and that sort of stuff. Its best to get a good sound going in, so that you don’t need to do too much to it afterwards. Probably a bit of an obvious answer, but other than that I don’t know that much about recording hehe. 
 
How has the underground reacted to this demo, if you don’t mind me asking? The demo is self-released, so please tell me how many copies have you guys sent out to maniacs? I am not sure about Australia Post shipping rates, but here in Canada these are just prohibitive when shipping both domestically or internationally. What countries have you gotten most mail from? 
 
The feedback has been good, though limited. I don’t think Hecatomb is for everyone, but I’m glad enough people liked it for us to sell out our tapes. We made 100 copies, and sold them out within about a month, I think. Quite a few also went to friends. I’d say that I sold the most to people in Norway actually. Other than that, there were a few in Aus, and then just scattered here and there around the world. 
 
According to Metal Archives, your demo`ll be rereleased through Invictus Productions from Ireland. How did you guys get in touch with each other and what are your expectations as for this Irish label? Is there any chance they can get you over to Europe for live shows? 
 
Yeah, it was actually released on the 7th of May, but due to some difficulties with the pressing plant, we haven’t received our copies yet. When we got the finished mix for the demo we sent out emails to a few labels we were interested in, and luckily Invictus, which was at the top of that list, responded. All our expectations have been met, and they were even willing to make shirts, which was good. I don’t think you’ll ever see Hecatomb on a stage, but who knows. 
 
 
 How do you filter out bands, zines and so on these days??? When you take a look at how many new bands demos and albums are added to various You Tube channels you might start to think it is vitally impossible to find good bands. What’s the most important factor then? Their names, logos? First seconds of a particular recording?
 
It’s hard for sure. It’s a combination of all the things you mentioned. I might check out a new band based on name and cover art, and obviously if I’ve heard good things, but after than I decide within a minute or so if it is worth giving further attention or not. I’m unfortunately not as active as I used to, so I haven’t found too many new bands I’ve liked in the last few years. It now mostly come down to recommendations from friends. 
 
And further, what is your view on digital releases, if I may ask? The way I see it is that it is both beneficial and harmful to a particular band. Undeniably, free access to music is what many bands crave for, and in result, don’t have to be bothered with high shipping fees, printing promotional stuff and so on. On the flip side, this idea has become so popular with thousands (if not millions) of bands that attracting fans` attention becomes quite hard, even for good, interesting crews - bearing in mind how many new releases pop up on You Tube every day (or hour), for instance. Is there any middle point, something which can balance or counterbalance the pros and cons of this form of promotion? Which one is ideal in your view?
 
I think it’s important to release music digitally, but it also needs to have a physical version. In my mind it’s not an “album” if it doesn’t exist physically. I do however prefer not releasing anything online, other than maybe a promo song, before everyone who pre-ordered a release has it in their hands. I like the idea of the people who actually bothered ordering the album gets to hear it first. We did that to some extent with our demo, and did not release all the songs online until all pre-orders were sent. That is also the reason we haven’t made the bonus track for the vinyl available through our bandcamp page. I do not really like the current tendency for bands to release too many promo songs before the album is released, it kinda sucks when you finally get the record but have already heard half of the songs. 
 
If you could travel in time and be at some particular point in the past, which scene/time period would you choose to be part of? I myself would love to be in Finland in the early 90s, go and see some bands rehearse and play live in their obscure basements and community centres in Rovaniemi or Pori for instance….get wasted with local vodka, and see fucking DEMIGOD or MYTHOS live!!!! 
 
Maybe Germany in the mid 80s. Imagine seeing Destruction play their first gig along with Sodom at the Black Metal night! (Fuck Tankard)
 
 
Ok, man, anything to add? Please shed some light on your future plans and stay evil. Thanks a lot for your answers. 
 
No current plans. Hopefully we’ll be able to meet up again next year and record some evil shit, but until then we’ll just listen to Sadistic Intent’s Resurrection on repeat I guess. 
 
Paweł Wojtowicz
 

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