You probably don’t know much about Nekromantheon yet. And if you pretend you like Thrash Metal than you need to be ashamed of yourself about that. Nekromantheon is a power-trio that has landed straight from hell (they might tell you they’re from Norway, but that’s just for the cover) a few years ago. Their first record came out in 2010 and remained confidential (High Roller Records released the 12” and Duplicate Records released the CD version). But things are about to change my friends, as “Rise, Vulcan Spectre”, their second LP is coming out next January; via the highly recommended Indie Recordings. Therefore the timing was perfect for a little interview with Christian “Kick” Holm, drummer of the band. It’s time to catch up dudes, Nekromantheon are one of the best Scandinavian Thrash Metal bands around.
My first question is pretty simple: what does your name Nekromantheon mean?
Nekromantheon was a temple in ancient Greece where you could communicate with the spirits of your dead ancestors. Roughly translated it simply means "Temple of the Dead". Pretty cool stuff, we actually visited the ruins of the temple a couple of years ago, and the air was filled with unholy chants from beyond the grave.
How does it feel to be releasing your second record?
Great! We're really happy with the way the album turned out, and feel we've expressed the feeling we wanted with the new material. Sounds more evil than before, too, which is always good.
That's probably their buddy Vulcan, chargin' through hell with his machete
You’re releasing it on Indie Recordings, which is a well recognized record label, seems like an important step forward…
Forward into Battle? Forward to Termination? We got a good record offer from some guys who seem to handle things seriously and accepted it. We wanted the label to take care of business, so we could take care of the music. Indie seems to do that, which is cool.
Does it add any extra pressure? Knowing that you’ll be much more viewed and listened to?
No. We don't make music so that other people can have something to listen to, we make music for ourselves. If other people like it, good for them. If they don't, so what?
The album name is also enigmatic, what does “Rise, Vulcan Spectre” stand for?
Vulcan was the Roman equivalent to the Greek god Hephaestus, lord of blacksmiths, craftsmen, metals, artisans and volcanoes. For us he represents the art of making something with your bare hands, and symbolizes the spirit of 80's metal in a very appropriate way. "Rise, Vulcan Spectre" is simply a command to bring back the spirit of old school metal, instead of the plastic trend that's been going on for too long.
Nekromantheon is comprised of Sindre (Bass Vocals), Christian (drums) and Arild (guitars, vocals)
How does it compare to the previous LP?
Faster, dirtier and more evil! Definitely better. Plus, Arse does all the vocals this time, and we feel it helps keep a wholesomeness to it all.
The songs are a little big longer this time around; there are more variations within them…
Yeah, this time we worked more on each track instead of making lots of short tracks. Think that was a good idea, cause it lets us play around more, and leaves room for some killer solos, haha!
Was it something you guys planned from the beginning?
The album also seems more homogeneous. When were the songs composed?
We stared writing new material early 2010, but things were kinda spread over about a year I guess. In my opinion, the songs are more varied this time, but the overall feeling of evil and darkness is present all the way.
The songs also sound VERY spontaneous, how were they composed and recorded? Jamming and live recording?
Arse makes the riffs, and then we jam on them until we get the arrangements into place. We record one instrument at the time, but we don't use click tracks, sound replacements or that kind of stuff. Maybe that's why it has a spontaneous feel to it?
The sound is something I love about Nekromantheon. How do you make it sound so filthy, yet so powerful? Any special recording gear?
No special gear, just basic stuff and our own ears. It's a big deal for us to make it sound right, so we just do our best while mixing, that's all.
You guys play 100% Thrash Metal, what are your precise influences?
We listen to all kinds of stuff, but the most influential albums for Nekromantheon would probably be Slayer - Hell Awaits, Dark Angel - Darkness Descends and Sepultura - Schizophrenia. It shouldn't be a problem for a proper metalhead to figure out our other influences, the lyrics are packed with hails and homages.
Would you agree if I say that you specifically play Scandinavian Thrash? People call it black/Thrash. I personally hate that name, to me its just THRASH METAL! What’s so special with Scandinavian thrash?
We would simply say thrash metal, yeah. But our new LP is way too evil to be put in the same category as party-thrash bands, so we would feel more comfortable sharing sub-sub-genre with Aura Noir, Nifelheim or Sabbat (Japan). The Scandinavian thrash bands do seem to be on some kind of path, though. The new Antichrist album is amazing, by the way.
There is sort of a “revival” for thrash these days. You feel you belong to this scene?
Yeah, why not? We're just glad to hear more people are making the kind of music we wanna hear.
Nekromantheon's first album Divinity Of Death came out last year and it's just as sick as the new one
I haven’t heard of you guys touring? Did you play any shows after the release of Divinity Of Death?
We toured in the US and Canada around May/June 2010, and did some festivals here and there. Touring is fun, but we kinda prefer doing single gigs. Less hassle.
How would you describe Nekromantheon on stage? In 3 words?
Fast. Dirty. Evil.
And have you planned any tours?
We're doing a short tour around Norway in February, together with Aura Noir. Some festivals are planned for 2012, but no bigger tours yet.
Wanna experience them live? That's a overview of what carnage these guys are capable of...
What are the songs about? Blood and street fights? Are your lyrics serious, or just fun?
The new LP is all about defeating a greater enemy, reviving ancient gods and learning true wisdom. You decide what you wanna put into it, but if you read the lyrics and bear the meaning of the album title in mind, hopefully our point will get through some way or another.
Kick, you also play with the very cool band Audiopain; are we going to get a new record from that band soon?
Depends on how you define "soon". We've made a couple of great new tracks, but it's gonna take a while before you'll hear them. Things are moving slowly in the camp.
What would you guys like to add; maybe to convince our readers that Rise, Vulcan Spectre is the ideal Xmas gift??
Rise, Vulcan Spectre would be a TERRIBLE x-mas gift, as it's released on January 13th - way too late! If you're in need of a gift for a fellow thrasher, get the Condor - Speedwagon EP!
Thanks To Eileen From Indie Recordings for making that interview possible!