Oldschool Metal Maniac - English Version


Nekromantheon is one of those young bands in which I see great potential. Their work, strongly inspired by the oldschool scene of the eighties, captivated me with its power of expression. Necromantheon carries the fire of old glory of the Metal gods with extraordinary fondness, passion and devotion. For this reason I decided to bring you this unique band from Norway. Ladies and gentlemen, before you NEKROMANTHEON.

1. Hello and how’re you. Well, NEKROMANTHEON formed 13 years ago. A long time ago, eh? How do you see all these years now? Are you happy with what you`ve achieved so far?

Hello! Things are good here, right now I’m on my way to Portugal and the SWR Barroselas Metal Fest. 13 years, huh? Time flies, it doesn't seem that long. I guess I'm pretty happy with what we've done so far, but the best is yet to come.

2. Rise, Vulcan, Spectre was out six years ago. It’s been a long time since then, don’t you agree? I am pretty sure you guys have been busy with OBLITERATION, is this a correct assumption? How easy/difficult is it to deal with both them bands? And those aren’t the only ones you are involved in, huh?

Yeah, there's a constant, yet subtle battle for priority between the bands, as the members can obviously fully focus on only one band at the time. But we do have a good understanding and agreement in regards to rehearsal time, material etc, and we're not in a hurry. After “Rise…”, OBLITERATION released their “Black Death Horizon” album, and have just finished recording yet another album. I've recorded a new album for FLIGHT, and perhaps one for AUDIOPAIN too, we’ll see. We've also been touring a bit, both with NEKROMANTHEON and OBLITERATION, and I've done a bunch of tours with DEATHHAMMER. At the most I played in four different bands, now it's down to one and a half/two. Between jobs, families and life in general, it's hard to find more time to play music, even though we’d like to.

3. I do hope your silence is the proverbial "calm before the storm" and you`ll attack with your new recording soon, eh? Are you actively working on any new stuff, hey? Your lyrics have always dealt with mythology, how about this time?

Have no fear! We have about six songs ready for the new album at the moment, so we only need a few more before we can start recording. The lyrics aren't all done, but so far they are primarily concerning the esoteric, the subconscious, religion and decay. I try to maintain the concept with Greek and Roman mythology where possible, but sometimes it's better to just write whatever comes to mind.

4. Has you band name got anything to do with the (ruins) of the city of Parga in Greece which (located by the Ionian Sea)? This was the place when one was able to call forth ghosts, really! Have you been there yourselves? How does it look like? How did you like it? What kind of experience was it?

Yes, we took our name from that temple. We even went on an excursion there in 2009, to gather inspiration and impressions. The band photo on our “Divinity of Death” album is taken in the main chamber of the temple, if you wanna see how it looks. It was a great experience to wander in the river Styx towards the temple of the dead, definitely something we’ll remember forever.

5. Do you believe in after-life? What happens to a human soul after a human body dies?

There's really no such thing as a soul, and the mere idea of an afterlife is absurd for me.

6. And why the Greek mythology not the Nordic one?

Well, first of all, the Norse mytholoy has been the primary concept for waaay too many bands already, especially folk/black metal bands. We didn't want to be just another band who sings about ragnarok, and I was very interested in Greek mythology early on. They myths are timeless, deep, and often contain a profound wisdom. I want to express my thoughts about current topics using the timeless language of mythology, and the Greek myths are perfect for that.

7. Metal and devil combined together seem like a perfect blend to me. And this blend always result in something (sonically) good, for sure! What do you think?

Hell yes. Rock and roll is the devil’s music, for sure. You can't make good christian metal. But that doesn't mean that all you have to do to make good music is to sing about Satan - the music needs to have the devil’s power in it.

8. Your both albums are out through High Roller. Is We`re Rotting ep 2007 going to be re-released in the vinyl format? I am pretty sure plenty of maniacs would love to have it on 12``ep in their collection…

Yeah, it's actually been released on vinyl a few years ago, but sold out pretty fast. Duplicate Records is re-releasing it very soon, though. With bonus tracks!

9. How do you like vinyl releases? Do you listen to music in the vinyl format? What is your view on this current craze, I mean, the fact people have "re-discovered" vinyl as medium?

We all prefer listening to vinyl, and always make our albums for the LP format, considering which songs goes on what side, etc. I like the fact that vinyl is coming back, because it forces the listener to pay more attention to the music, and listen to the whole album instead of just skipping songs with the remote.

10. So, between your debut album and Rise Vulcan there were some "non-standard" split releases out. Can you please tell us some more about those recordings?

We were contacted by Relapse Records for a 7” series they made called “Speed ‘n' Spikes”, so we recorded two short tracks which turned out to be some of our favourite live songs. After that, we did a split with fellow norwegian thrashers AUDIOPAIN (that was before I joined the band). Lastly, we did a song for what was supposed to be “the new überthrash", a double 7” split called “Nekrothrash”. All the split songs are being released as bonustracks on the aforementioned “We're Rotting" re-release.

11. Back then, you guys played live a lot (with AURA NOIR, MAYHEM and so on). Such a pity you didn’t make it to Poland! Well, tell me whether there weren’t anyone here in Poland to invite you to come over and play live? At least one single gig, for fuck`s sake? I am sure you are aware there are plenty of ardent, diehard head-bangers willing to see youse live here in Poland.

I've never even been to Poland, and would very much like to come. I hear the headbangers over there are some die hard sons of Satan, but noone ever asked us to come. Please tell your promoter to contact us, so we can make it happen!

12. Your music is, in a word, a homage paid to old school thrash/death metal; fast and expressive music in the old-school vein. Damn, it is effin awesome, your stuff, so people oughtn’t to be surprised to hear strong POSSESSED, DARK ANGEL, SLAYER or KREATOR influences in it. How did it all go off? How did you get to start playing this kind of music, hey? And why and how did you go beyond just being a mere listener, I mean you started to create this kind of stuff? Please tell us some more, thanks.

Thanks for dropping those names, that's exactly the bands we want you to think about when you hear NEKROMANTHEON. We actually started playing black metal influnced by DARKTHONE, but as we started to discover more and more of the classic thrash albums we kinda shifted direction because we were inspired by the aggression in their music. At the same time, we wanted to keep the grim and evil feeling from the black metal sound. We just started jamming, and here we are now.

13. Please list the five most important albums that have shaped your music taste?

Ugh, difficult question. There are so many important candidates, but if I had a gun to my head, I would probably have to say:

SLAYER - Hell Awaits

DARKTHRONE - A Blaze in the Northern Sky

AUTOPSY - Mental Funeral

AURA NOIR - The Merciless (maybe not their best album, but very important for me)

KREATOR - Pleasure to Kill

14. Well, yeah. Norway stands for black metal, no doubt, but for some other genres too. In a word, a plethora of interesting crews who seem to be thriving in a broad spectrum of different music styles. You know, like your own projects, as well as GOUGE, DEATHHAMMER, CONDOR; and AURA NOIR of course, who’ve been active for the last 30 years. Why is it so? Why have there always been so many good bands in Norway? Seems like every second guy over there is involved in a band of some kind.

I wish I knew the answer to that question, but I'm afraid I have no idea. It might be that the music scene is so small, so that everybody who's involved will get influenced by everyone else, and likeminded people have no difficulty finding each other. Growing up so close to inspirational figures such as Fenriz and Apollyon was very motivating for us, as we could see that even a normal guy from the small town of Kolbotn could make this wild music.

15. When listening to your music, it stuns me how energetic your stuff is. Damn it, I am sure when played live your music blows fans` heads off. It`s pure head banging, this music of yours. I am sure you play music but also like to go and see bands play live too? Any good concerts you been to lately?

There's a new black metal band from Oslo called NACHASH, who did a really great show together with HENRIK PALM from Sweden. Check them both out if you have the chance! Also, NATUR from New York and ANTICHRIST from Sweden always deliver the goods.

16. I am pretty sure you guys "waste" a lot of time listening to metal music in a really maniacal way. What do you prefer? New underground bands which are aplenty or some sort of metal excavations, I mean digging in the past and discovering old, forgotten bands which, pretty often, recorded just one or two materials and disappeared? Anything you`re obsessed with these days? An album or a band….

I like both equally, but after digging for many years, I feel the most precious gems have already been found. How often do you stuble across bands like PARABELLUM, POISON or NECROVORE, you know? Nowadays I have a major kick on newer bands like MALOKARPATAN and VORUM.

17. Do you know of any other bands from Poland beside VADER and BEHEMOTH?

TURBO is great! And isn't KAT from Poland? What other bands do you recommend for us?

The VADER demos are insane, by the way. They still blow my mind every time I hear them.

18. Have you listened to JUDAS PRIEST`s new album – Firepower? If so, how do you like it?

I listened to a few songs, but I have trouble finding it interesting. They don't sound very inspired anymore, I’m sad to say. The feeling from the old albums (I prefer 70’s PRIEST) are gone.

19. As for JUDAS PRIEST; IRON MAIDEN, ACCEPT or SAXON aren’t these the very few old crews who are still fighting? Well, alas, these days, many "metal tycoons" have slowly been leaving us. The first lineup of MOTORHEAD (with Lemmy of course) is all gone, Ronnie James Dio is gone too. ACDC`s lineup is crumbling down as well. Time is merciless, isn’t it? Still, their music heritage is undeniable. These metal gods are immortal. But is the music created (by young bands) these days going to be immortal too? What do you think?

You're right, these guys will be eternal gods of metal, regardless of what they are doing now. I find it hard to believe that the bands of today will make as much impact, because we're all inspired by MAIDEN and MOTORHEAD in some way, and they have already made such a huge mark on the way we listen to and think about music. Maybe some bands will stand the test of time, but it's hard to tell which.

20. Well, we`re living in quite disturbing times, don’t you agree. The Islamic expansion is getting more and more palpable, in Scandinavia too, I presume. Is it a serious problem over there, huh? I would say what is going on in Norway now is similar to the Christianisation of Norway in the ninth century. Is it dangerous? How does it look like? How do you deal with this issue?

Despite recent immigration from muslim countries, atheism is on the rise in Norway, and for the first time the non-religious outnumber the religious people. I don't fear muslims any more than I do christians, but of course all organized religion is a serious threat to a functioning society. The best way to deal with it seems to be to encourage critical thinking and secularism.

21. Ok, that’s it, I think. All the best and thanks a lot for your amazing answers. Hails to the NEKROMANTHEON horde. Anything to add for our readers? Feel free to add anything you feel like, the floor is all yours.

Follow the white rabbit.