“Everyday was bitter cold”

Here you can read my interview done with Infernäl Mäjesty vocalist Chris Bailey revealing background information for my first video album review, concentrating on the band’s first cult album ‘None Shall Defy’. In case you missed it, watch the album video review here!

Interview with vocalist Christopher Bailey from Infernäl Mäjesty

Interview for Darkness Unseen by Estelle on the 20th of July 2017

11200889_1417535335231992_3281858844037743033_nHi Chris, thanks a ton for doing the interview for Darkness Unseen! You were a confident standout band from the Canadian scene back then besides the big thrash(/speed) bands like Exciter, Razor, Anvil, Voivod or Sacrifice on account of your more brutal sound and salient engagement with satanic themes. Did you guys know any other band nearby with a similarly more violent approach as yours that you could even share ideas or jam together with?

Back then when we started writing the music for None Shall Defy we were really isolated. Our rehearsal space was out in the North West corner of the city and we met there regularly to rehearse and write music. Everyday was bitter cold. We had friends in other heavy bands but we never jammed together. Before I joined Infernal I used to go see all the bands you mentioned play live at clubs, they were a big influence on me. Steve and Kenny used to play in a band with (Sheep Dog) before he joined Razor but other than that we never really hung out with other bands in the area. The atmosphere back then in Toronto was competitive.

Even if it happened 30 years ago, can you recall any interesting, memorable or funny stories from the time of the recordings of None Shall Defy? Could you just describe the feeling that surrounded you every time you got together and the goal you had in front of your eyes with the music you were creating?

InfernalMajesty_liveOne of the most memorable experiences recording the album was walking through the front door into the lobby of Metal Works Recording Studio in Mississauga, Ontario owned by the great Canadian Heavy Metal band Triumph. It was a combination of elation and nervousness. I had never played in a band before Infernal and now we were in the studio with a lot of people expecting results. It seemed like one minute you’re answering an ad in the Toronto Star Classifieds, then the next minute you’re standing in a state of the art vocal booth. It was a world I had never seen before. My world until then was a smoke filled rehearsal space, the walls lined with egg cartons, recording on a 4 track portable studio while we jammed, which we did a lot. We also met regularly to discuss band business and shit. We all had the same common goal and worked well together. That’s why to this day its still a mystery as to why Psyco and Nemes just disappeared shortly after the release of the album. Before I finish writing the book [about the story of Infernäl Mäjesty] I’ve started I hope to have more insights into this.

Did you notice any band(s) that formed after your release ‘None Shall Defy’ that might have got either their music or their habits/practices influenced by you guys? For example I’m thinking of them also doing frequent readings of the Satanic Bible, taking over elements from your imagery, etc.

Over the years we have been humbled and grateful  to hear the great tributes from the album. We hope that the younger generations of metal maniacs discovering their call for the first time are influenced by our works and inspired to write music. Like those before us we are driven by the same instinctive passion and creative nature that leans to the dark side of life. To be inspired in each owns unique way from the gift of our forefathers. We are creatures of the world we live in and exposed to. I was 17 when I joined Infernal Majesty. I was influenced by many of the greats back then in their infancy. Slayer, Venom, Manowar, Exciter, Bathory, I can go on and on. This was already embedded in my brain when I added my contribution into the creation of None Shall Defy. Satan has always been a powerful subject that fascinates me today as much as back then. Now it’s a historical exploration that keeps me up reading at night.

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Christopher Bailey (Infernäl Mäjesty)


Your lyrical themes are based on satanic imagery, occultism and horror (films) and they all convey a strong message against the vision of God. You also stated in one of your earlier interviews for example, “
I believe that until all religion is abolished or reduced to small pockets of insignificance, there is no future for mankind”. How old were you when you first discovered you possess these views and what made you start thinking this way, if I may ask?

I’ve always been a big fan of science and nature. It is just natural to me to ask why. At a young age I began to question the existence of a god. Through my late teens I was Agnostic which lasted until my late 20’s when I realized this is all cookoo bananas. I became a believer of nothing but the physics of the natural world. I don’t believe there is a god of the bible. It requires a complete separation from reality and common sense to believe in its words. Leviticus seems to have conveniently been ignored. It’s all illogical. There has not been any ocean’s parting lately or video of bushes spontaneously combusting. It seems in biblical times this was a normal thing, but now god decides to keep his great powers on the down low. Good grief. There has never been a time more important than now to focus on preventing people from dying.

How important is it for you that fans of your music identify themselves with the views Infernäl Mäjesty is spreading in their lyrics?

It’s a bonus if they can relate to our lyrics but it’s more important they just like the songs. We spend a lot of time and energy agonizing over lyrics so it would be cool if people like the message, but not mandatory. We are into getting out and having a good time, bottom line.

bandphoto2.jpgAs we can notice from your band photos from your early period and also on your tour in 1998; besides the spikes, chains and bullets you had such hairstyles that can remind us of glam, causing an interesting contrast between the music you played and the way you looked like. Do you think an explanation is necessary for the hairstyles or did you not purposely want to deliver us a message with your looks at all?

I think it’s a reflection of the era. We wanted to stand out and let our personalities shine. Kiss was the flame when it came to our appearance. When you 10 years old listening to the Love Gun album, staring at the cover for hours it has a lasting impression.  We came from different musical backgrounds but all under the Heavy Metal tent. We had a common goal at the time to write the heaviest, satanic thrash metal music known to humankind.

If anything, probably the only aspect that got a little critique about ‘None Shall Defy’ was the album cover and we can’t deny it surely catches one’s eye; in my personal opinion to the band’s advantage. What is your own opinion on it?

infmaj

None Shall Defy (1987)

You are exactly right, it catches the eye. This was the intention. We wanted it to stand out. When we commissioned the artwork we described to the artist, Fred Fivish, that we wanted an image of Satan tearing through the fabric of space revealing hells inferno on the other side. Everyone really liked it. Admittedly I was a little disappointed, but overtime I began to change my opinion. Looking back now I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

How satisfied are you with the reactions on your new album released this year, ‘No God’ so far?

We are thrilled with the reaction its receiving. The reviews have been excellent. Honestly we did not expect this strong of a reaction. We anticipated the worst and hoped for the best. It’s so difficult to know what will happen with reviews.  We didn’t try and break any new ground, we just wanted to bring back some of our roots into the music and focus on a dark heavy atmosphere and flow.  Its out now on High Roller Records. They are awesome to say the least. We new we were in good hands when they chose Good Friday to release the album worldwide.

If I know it correctly you had your last live concert in 2011 in Canada, performing ‘None Shall Defy’ in its entirety with Corpsegrider from Cannibal Corpse. Now that the new album is already out I’d like to ask, is there ANY chance of us being able to see you guys somewhere in the near future?

Its one of our highest priorities. We are working everyday trying to get things figured out, to bring our show on the road. I will have some major announcements soon. Everything we do is up on our Twitter feed, Facebook Page and Instagram or you can sign up to our newsletter for the latest info. Now you mentioned Cannibal Corpse, yes indeed the Corpsegrinder showing up to do a set with us was phenomenal. There is lots of video up on YouTube if anyone hasn’t seen it yet and the entire show will be up on our YouTube Channel soon.

Is there anything else you would like to tell me about?

Just to say thank you, I really enjoyed this and a shout out to Hungary. When we toured with Malevolent Creation and Vader in 97 we fell in love with you. We can’t wait to return.

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Introduction + Infernäl Mäjesty video album review

Dear people,

I finally have my first video out where you can get to know me [in case you didn’t] and what you can approximately expect from me to do – this time in the form of a review of Infernäl Mäjesty’s cult first album ‘None Shall Defy’.

My cutting skills still surely need some polishing but everything will hopefully just get better as I’m also getting new ideas every day. :) Please feel free to let me know what you find interesting to see and what could be changed on in your opinion; or if you have any subject in mind you’d like see a video of.

Contact me at: darknessunseenblog@gmail.com

Have the best Monday that’s possible to have!

DEATH TO ALL, GORGUTS. Lack of Comprehension – or rather the song itself

Concert review: Death To All / Gorguts – 25th of June 2014, Budapest

Review by Estelle on the 29th of June 2014

On the 25th of June 2014, hundreds of Hungarians’ dream finally came true: the late Chuck Schuldiner’s Death came and played on the stage of Hungary for the very first time; not to mention the majestic technical death metal band Gorguts whose job couldn’t have been easy performing prior to the members of the legendary Human and Individual Thought Patterns lineup, completed with vocalist Max Phelps from Cynic.

gorg1The show started quite punctually at quarter past 7; Luc Lemay’s, Colin Marston’s and Kevin Hufnagel’s Gorguts hit the stage, along with drummer Patrice Hamelin. The first half of their setlist was basically the first four songs of their newest record from 2013, Colored Sands, played without any break. Even though I like the album and admire the members’ skills and technicality, I think this unstoppable varied, abstract and technical riff-flow through the four 6-7 minutes long track was too much for a death metal gig. As a result, the crowd wasn’t really moving to the songs – as I could notice the plenty of shifts and turns within such a small amount of time in a song were just too much for people who came to see and jam to the old bands, including me.
Luckily the second half – besides the sounding – definitely got better by going a little back in time and playing a few pieces off the classics The Erosion of Sanity, Obscura and From Wisdom to Hate – although they completely left Considered Dead out, much to my disappointment.
In effect Gorguts still did its job well, they were fitting for the fans of complex death metal music, Luc was smiling and giving kisses to the fans during the show, and despite the difficult beginning I think by the end there wasn’t anyone who wouldn’t have enjoyed their skillful playing of brutal music.

death2Death hit the stage with the opening of Human, ‘Flattening of Emotions’, followed by two classics from Leprosy, the title track and ‘Left to Die’. They continued with one of the heights of the show, ‘Suicide Machine’. Even though the song (alongside almost all the others) was a little slower compared to the album version (well, they aren’t in their twenties anymore), everything was in its place and it was close to an ecstatic state hearing the legendary song in live.

Phelps was kind of in the background for the whole time, he played his not-so-pleasing role that he took on and sang the songs properly, but the frontman was actually the legend DiGiorgo: he was keen, he attracted attention and he inspired the crowd for the whole time.

The musicians continued with two well-performed tracks off their amazing third album – ‘Spiritual Healing’ and ‘Within the Mind’ –, and then the magical ‘Cosmic Sea’ where DiGiorgio was simply shining and doing his thing like he was 30. After Cosmic Sea, they played an about 5 minutes long movie about Chuck with pictures, videos and some interview-details that DiGiorgio had told me about in his interview before.
death3After the little break, the members came back powerfully with the devastating ‘Crystal Mountain’ and with an unforgettable atmosphere. Then Paul and Sean went off the stage, and for the upcoming two tracks, the famous beast ‘Spirit Crusher’ and the title track of Symbolic, Obscura’s vocalist/guitarist Steffen Kummerer and drummer Hannes Grossmann took their place. The songs were probably played even better than the ones with the previous lineup: Kummerer was much more powerful and enthusiastic, his voice fit the songs better than Max’s, and Grossmann was also fast and precise.
Then the guys came back and ‘Zombie Ritual’ started intensely, this Spirit-Symbolic-Zombie trio was probably the climax of the gig in the sense of the feeling and atmosphere that the music created. They also gave us ‘Baptized in Blood’ off the first record, and then… 10 PM, lights off, over. OVER. According to the previous setlists, they would have also played the mandatory ‘Lack of Comprehension’ and ‘Pull the Plug’, DiGiorgio was even teasing the crowd for a while, but because of the stupid law about not allowing to have any bands playing at open-air gigs after 10 PM in Hungary, they couldn’t come back and finish the show. We all felt such an emptiness.

death1The good things were that the members favoured almost every album by playing one or usually two songs from them at a high level, also the sounding was outstandingly good compared to other open-air shows I’ve been to. And the bads were that 1. they left out the album Individual, which I actually didn’t understand at all, since this lineup worked on that record as well; 2. they had to cut those two (or more, who knows) classics off the end.

But, in spite of all this, since the price of the ticket (about 5,5 €) was surprisingly only a fraction of the price last year in Wien (it was actually ridiculous compared to what I would have expected it to be), it was worth and it would worth a hundred times to go and see these two death metal lords – what they played, they played it well, and I hope I can still hear ‘Pull the Plug’, ‘Lack of Comprehension’ and some songs off Individual Thought Patterns in live some day.

I used the photos of Köhler Ági.

Interview with Eric Forrest (E-Force, ex-Voivod)

Interview by Bence and Estelle on the 11th of May 2014

Estelle: When was the first time you discovered you like metal music, and what was the first ultimate favorite band of yours?

I think it was probably Kiss or AC/DC, back in when I was 10 years old or whatever, I saw the Screaming for Vengeance tour of Judas Priest when I was like 13 years old, and I was shocked, I thought ‘Wow, okay, this is what I wanna do’. After watching a lot of festival videos and videos of the early 80s, that was my thought in life – I just wanted to play the rock ‘n’ roll.
Favorite bands from back then? I’m a big AC/DC fan, Deep Purple, Iron Maiden. The classic ones.

Bence: When did you hook on thrash?

I think it happened the same way as with a lot of people, I heard Kill ‘Em All, the Metallica record, and then the whole thing with Exodus, Slayer, Mercyful Fate and all that stuff. When I started playing the bass, I never heard of Iron Maiden, I never heard of Metallica, but my taste in music slowly got heavier and heavier. Nowadays, I still prefer the old thrash-heavy thing. There’s a lot of new metal today, so many styles, it’s hard to keep up and so much bands sound the same and everything. But yeah, I think it was around ’84 or ’83.

Estelle: What time did you discover you like singing and you could be great as a singer?

Well, I was originally a bass player first, so I could imitate Rob Halford a little bit, and Scorpions and a few things. I actually wasn’t good at all, I was fucking horrible. I played in many cover bands and some original stuff, I was just playing the bass and then I tried to learn how to sing, I was the frontman of our band called Thunder Circus in ’91-’92. My singing was more like a Bruce Dickinson, Judas Priest kind of vibe, but the band kicked me out because I couldn’t sing heavy enough. It’s a funny story. Well I showed them, didn’t I?! (laughs)
I think in my early twenties I started getting better, I started singing more thrash and heavy, and then maybe six months later I got a chance to join Voivod, so the timing was pretty good for me.

Bence: Originally you are from Canada, but you live in France now. Can you say a few words about how that happened?

eric6Yeah, I live in France for 10 years, and I have a staying card for another two years. I met this French girl in Montreal, and then she said she wanted to go back in France, we wanted to get married, I was like ‘Good idea, yeah!’, but we got divorced about 5 years ago. Well, it’s life.
I have some thinking to do in the next few years, about what is going to happen. If by chance I have to go back to Canada, we can still organize stuff, so we can still tour and everything.
I really enjoy France: the culture, the people, the food, the wine, everything’s a little slower. As they say: tranquille. Okay Paris is a fucking crazy city, but Toulouse – I live in Toulouse, it’s in the south-west –, about a million people, it’s really great, I’m having a good time.

Bence: You have many dates of your tour in Hungary – you actually play in 4 different places here. Which was the first show organized in the country?

Budapest, 3 days ago. We did 3 shows in France a couple of weeks ago, just kind of warm up and stuff. We played in Milan first and then we had a drive all the way to Budapest. Budapest the other day was the first. And then we played yesterday in Szombathely, and next week it will be Szeged. And then Romania and Poland, and Czech Republic.

Estelle: How is it possible that you play in so many places here in Hungary? I mean, usually big bands don’t play even in Budapest, and you can see E-Force at 4 venues here in Hungary. It’s just so surprising for me, bands like you come here like one time – or not even one time.

I don’t really know why, these days it’s pretty competitive just to get gigs, some would pay to cover the gas and everything. The drummer was searching for dates, we also had another contact who works abroad – he asked ‘Would you do 4-5 shows in Hungary?’, and we were like ‘Yeah, okay!’. It wasn’t really planned but it turned out that way. But it’s great to be here, really, I’m having a good time.
The other night in Budapest it was like a hundred people, last night it was around a hundred people too, the responses are also really overwhelming.

thecurseEstelle: Maybe there won’t be so many people here since it’s Sunday night, Debrecen isn’t like the capital and nor is Hungary the most popular country around here, but we will do our best!
I’m going to ask a bit about your latest album, The Curse… – I know that the original title of the album would have been The Curse of the Cunt and I know that the cover had to stick to the idea, but still, is the cover like this because you guys wanted to catch people’s attention?

Yeah, it’s about provocation and the other songs are very related in terms of the temptation, obsession of beautiful girls, everybody – or most guys, some girls –, what they have to go through in life. (For example the song ‘Perverse Media’ is about the Strauss-Kahn incident.)

Bence: I want to be honest with you – I don’t really like the artwork, but the music is awesome.

Estelle: It’s just that thrash maybe isn’t the first word that comes to one’s mind when they look at the album cover. Are you aware of this fact, I mean that people can feel like this and that this isn’t the most thrashy cover that you could ever do?

We had another red cover but then our label said we can not release the album with that one and we should do another, so we made this because we wanted to have something sexy, something ‘Oh yeah, okay!’. But there are so many bands, so many different covers, I don’t think there are any rules that you have to follow. We kind of wanted to do something that’s a bit shocking. But you know it’s not the first, Jimmy Hendrix etc., many bands have had that.

Estelle: You told a little about the power of the women in connection with your album The Curse of the Cunt, and as you said you still went to France because of a girl actually – can we say that you are some kind of a conservative type then? Can we say you don’t like this free spirit thing?

Ah, no. I’m talking about the power of women but I’m not speaking negative about it.
First of all, the word ‘cunt’: people say it all the time in England. ‘Cunt’ for England is like ‘fucking asshole’ for America. The phrase is a bit of a parody type, it’s not to be taken too seriosuly. It’s actually a bit of a joke. When I started the idea, it was after being divorced and looking for a new girlfriend. So it’s not really a curse, it’s more like a joke. It’s just about the power of pussy, and what some people do to find their love or romance or whatever.

ericBence: Going back to the cover, I was surprised when I looked on the back because of Glen Drover – I’m a huge Megadeth fan. Was it your idea to invite him?

Oh, yes. Glen is a friend of mine, not close or not best friends but we know each other. I met him first time when we played with King Diamond in Montreal, King introduced us to each other so I spoke with him after. Then he got the job in Megadeth, and once he put me on the guest list in Spain, but I couldn’t make it.

The Modified Poison album had a few guests too. Also, I don’t know if you’re aware of the Project: Failing Flesh that I do, it’s a project that I do in America, we’ve done 3 albums – honestly, have a listen, you’ll be really impressed. It’s not thrashy, it’s more like a bit of everything.
Anyway, I took an unreleased Voivod song and I did a little tribute to Piggy: 10 unreleased songs that nobody has ever heard.
In 3 songs I thought it would be cool to have 3 guests to shred. And that’s what it is, I’m really happy that it turned out that way.

Bence: It’s a great thing that you had an opportunity to play with Piggy. I’m so sorry for him, he was great.

Honour privilege, really. Great guy too. It’s really sad he had to leave.

Bence
: Would you mind if we asked you about your departure from Voivod? We don’t really know anything about how that happened. 

Sure. Don’t believe everything you hear, let’s put it this way. They tell people that back in the day I quit the band, but I actually never did. We had a meeting one day, March 2001, and the guys told me that they wanted to stop Voivod, period. For everybody. I didn’t believe it for a minute. I thought ‘Okay, Snake is coming back’. We had a meeting at Piggy’s place and I walked with Michel who lived nearby and I told him that ‘Why don’t we call Jason Newsted, dude? Do something, I can’t believe they’re gonna stop!’.
So anyway, they kind of kicked me out in a nice way I guess, but there’s no hard feelings, I mean it was their band, that’s what they wanted to do, we had some financial problems… it was their decision. We gave Piggy a few more victory laps before his departure, which was good.
So, we’re still friends, everything’s fine, I joined them at Hellfest 2009 and sang a song – Tribal Convictions – with them on stage. It’s all good. When the day comes I’m gonna call them: “Hey, when is the Voivod-Newsted-E-Force tour dude?’ (laughs)

Estelle: Would you work with Voivod ever again?eric2

Well, it’s funny because on one of the records – Infini – I was asked to play on the album with Blacky and Jason, Piggy’s last recordings. I had all the songs before they were released, but one day Away mailed me saying ‘Well, Jason is really attached to the songs so he wants to play all the songs’. It’s like ‘Okay, I understand’, ’cause he helped them out a lot, he financed their thing, they could stay at his place, record the record… so, there’s no hard feelings, I mean I had to start over from nothing but you know, it’s all pros and cons. So here we are, actually I could still play the music that I have created. And I still play Voivod songs, still, to this day!

Estelle
: For the end: Can you imagine E-Force in let’s say 5 years? Will you still exist?

I think so, yes. One way or another. Our last record was released six years ago, between label changes, member changes, and money, finance… so it took a long time, but our label actually wants a new record next year, so things are going to roll faster. Hope to keep rockin’!

Okay, so thank you very much again for talking to us, Eric, looking forward to the show tonight!

Okay, thank you, looking forward to see you guys there!

The darkest day of horror the world has ever known

At some gig here in Hungary a random guy came to me and told me he bumped into me somewhere and saw that I was looking for Infernäl Mäjesty’s None Shall Defy for a long time and he owns it. We met one day and I got this wonderful and rare little piece of music for cheaper than a lot of other ones I could get easily:) So thank you, random guy!

Infernäl Mäjesty – None Shall Defy original LP, 1987 Roadrunner Records

Interview with Cara McCutchen from Mortillery

Interview by Estelle on the 2th of April 2014

The Canadian new school thrash metal band Mortillery released two albums since it was founded in 2008 – the fast and furious ‘Murder Death Kill’ in 2011 and the also thrashy and strong ‘Origin of Extinction’ in 2013. I had the opportunity to ask some things from Mortillery’s vocalist, the beautiful Cara McCutchen.

Hello Cara, thank you for saving a little time of yours for this interview! First of all I would like to ask, how do most of the guys in the metal scene see what you are doing? Does everyone accept that women can sing in bands that play brutal and heavy genres such as thrash metal? 

Thank you for this opportunity! I think that we are entering an age where it is becoming quite common to see metal chicks armed with microphones. I have always felt accepted by this type of music and my fellow metal mates. However, there are and always will be haters out there and there is nothing wrong with that really. I mean some people just don’t like female vocals and I am not in any way offended by this or feel like I’m being discriminated.

cara1Did this you being a musician thing start as a hobby or did you know you want to have a career?

This is and has always been a hobby for me. It’s just a hobby that I’m starting to have to take more seriously now. I honestly never thought that it would actually go anywhere. Who knew? Maybe I should consider this to be a career but I fear that if I did that it would be less fun.

If you could choose any vocalist that you respect or admire the most for some reason, who would it be and why?

My favorite vocalist is Sebastian Bach because of his range and style and the perfect addition of rasp in his voice. Like no other.

Which metal band would it be the most interesting for you to hang out with?

Judas Priest. I would love to hear their stories.

What do you think, how do the big old bands see this whole ‘new school (thrash) metal’ movement which is/was going on nowadays? How do you see it?

I like to play thrash because it’s fast, fun and full of energy. You can incorporate other genres into it safely without ruining anything which keeps me entertained. I have the utmost respect for the original thrash bands and I hope that they support us new bands keeping thrash alive today as it is a genre that I hope never dies.

You recently finished an European tour with Sepultura, Legion of the Damned and Flotsam & Jetsam. What was the best moment of the tour for you?

Well actually there are 2 in particular.

The first is at our last show in Eindhoven, where myself, Kevin our drummer, Kent our lead shredder, Kelly and A.K. from Flotsam and Erik from Legion got to go on stage with Sepultura and play drums with them to the song Kaiowas. Before I was a singer, I played drums. I wasn’t all that good or anything but at that moment I realized why so many years ago (about 17 years actually) I owned a drum kit. IT WAS SO I COULD PLAY DRUMS ON STAGE WITH SEPULTURA!!!!!! You couldn’t beat the smile off my face.

The second moment happened at about 3:30 in the morning in the middle of nowhere, Spain. We were partying on the bus and the driver stopped at some random gas station. This happened a lot but I think this was the only time I actually got off the bus. I went into the gas station and some random woman approached me and said “excuse me, excuse me! I have a gift for you” She opened her hand and there was a Mortillery Murder Death Kill button and a Mortillery key chain (both of which we have never made). She told me that she had made them herself. It was so random that all I could mutter at the time was “thank you very much” and as fast as she appeared she was gone. That morning I awoke thinking that it was just a drunken dream but I looked on my vest and there they were! So… if you are out there Random Spain Gas Station Lady, Thank you for supporting Mortillery and for spreading the word about us! It was so good to meet you!

cara2Haha, great stories!
Which country or city was it the most enjoyable to play in?

Katowice, Poland was the best crowd for sure. People were absolutely freaking out! Thanks guys! Actually we always had good crowds. Way more people than I expected as the shows started very early. Another highlight show was the Thrash Fest we played on our second day in Munchen, Germany with Suicidal Angels, Fueled By Fire and Lost Society. Great people! Great lineup! Great Party!! As far as countries go, I really enjoyed the absolute beauty of Austria. I will be making a personal trip there in the future.

Do you get along well with the members of the other bands?

To be honest I was very worried about being on a bus and around so many people every day. I am not the most social person and really enjoy my space but absolutely every person in all 3 other bands and all of the crew were just amazing! This was Mortillery’s first tour ever and everyone was very supportive, understanding and willing to show us the ropes. In fact our Merch Girl Robin Mazen taught me so much about the touring life too as she has a lot of experience. I got sick right in the middle of the tour for about a week and a half, and A.K. was kind enough to share some of his knowledge (and vitamins) with me about what to do when you get sick on tour. That really helped. Many of us would stay up into the wee hours in the morning on the bus hanging out, partying and listening to tunes. It was such an all around positive experience for us and we just feel so honored to have been a part of that tour.

How did the fans welcome Mortillery’s second album ‘Origin of Extinction’ in your opinion?

Very well! We have had great reviews and people seem to really like the new material at the live shows.

What are the things that you do not like to do when it comes to making a new album?

Recording!!!! I really dislike recording! I like figuring out the melody and arrangement of songs but I don’t really enjoy writing lyrics nor am I that great at it.

Do you have a personal favorite song by the band that you mostly like to play on the shows?

My favorite song is Without Weapons because it’s personal. Actually I think it’s the only song that I have written that is personal. I also really like to play No Way Out and Despised By Blood live.

mortillery1What was the funniest or craziest thing in general that you ever did with Mortillery? What was the moment or period when you mostly felt that this whole being-in-a-band thing was worth it?

Definitely our tour with Sepultura made me feel that way.

Do you have any plans about a next album so far?

We sure do! We already have over half a new album written and now that the tour is over, writing and recording the rest of it is our priority. We aim to hit the studio in the fall. I’m very excited for the new material. Kent has been such a great addition to Mortillery and I have to say that these new songs just slay! I’m am so excited to unleash them upon the masses!

Thank you very much for talking to us Cara, all the best to you and to Mortillery!

Thank you very much for your interest and support! Hope to see you in the pit one day! Cheers!

With the Skull Fist guys

skullf

Me with Jonny and Jackie from Skull Fist after their show here in February, + Barry from Vanderbuyst in the grandma-sweater. I tried to do an interview with them but since 1. they’re just completely crazy 2. we were all quite drunk, it turned out to be a total chaos :D There wasn’t one single useful sentence during the interview, I also asked total stupid things at the end so it was funny, seeing this interview I wasn’t really expecting anything else though: the funniest interview of 2013

EXCITER. Rawness, aggression and passion

Exciter

EXCITER – Heavy Metal Maniac (1983)

Review by Estelle in December 2013

TRACKLIST

  1. The Holocaust
  2. Stand Up and Fight
  3. Heavy Metal Maniac
  4. Iron Dogs
  5. Mistress of Evil
  6. Under Attack
  7. Rising of the Dead
  8. Black Witch
  9. Cry of the Banshee

RELEASE DETAILS
Genre: Speed Metal
Label: Shrapnel Records
Country: Canada
Date: January 11, 1983

LINEUP
Dan Beehler – Vocals, Drums
John Ricci – Guitars
Alan Johnson – Bass


After one demo, the brilliant Canadian speed metal band Exciter released their first full-length album in 1983 – the year of changes. From that time there were new bands forming every week, from that time bands started to play more aggressive music, from that time brutality, speed and rivalism was in the center of metal music. Thrash metal was born, and was on its way to the top.

However, Exciter didn’t consider themselves a band that plays thrash metal, moreover they also said that they aren’t particularly fans of that kind of music. Dan Beehler mentioned in some of his early interviews that Exciter considers their music more like power metal (don’t forget that the expression power metal had a different meaning back then than it does now in our days). The vocals aren’t as aggressive, the songs (after their debut, Heavy Metal Maniac) aren’t as fast, and the sound itself isn’t as raw as a thrash metal band’s.

Exciter-Heavy_Metal_Maniac

After the short but sinister intro the album actually starts with the fast and violent ‘Stand Up and Fight’, its main riff alongside the title track is full of energy, these two songs here at the beginning are so intense that I would be satisfied even if these were the only good songs on the album. After the powerful beginning we got the bit longer and slower ‘Iron Dogs’ which is still an impressive song with probably the best solo from Ricci. Then here comes ‘Mistress of Evil’ with an alive and memorable riff, and the heavy and fast ‘Under Attack’. The album doesn’t leave us any time to breathe, it rolls onwards like a massive yet alive stone: the next track is the probably most ‘classic-like’ ‘Rising of the Dead’, the riffs, the cuts and the whole song are amazing and easily memorable. After the shiny daytime of the album here comes the night, or at least the evening part: the beginning of the song ‘Black Witch’ seems to be a bit out of control, with a less well-worked-out ballad composition, but then fortunately the rhythm turns into an absolutely thrashy excellent instrumental performance. The last song of the album is the also intense ‘Cry of the Banshee’ which is filled with good riffs and spiritful vocals, especially at the middle part of the song.

We can clearly see the main features and intentions of Heavy Metal Maniac: putting as much violence and speed into the music as possible, completed with solid but fairly worked-out guitar lines. The listener can also easily notice Exciter’s attitude and passion towards the music they are playing; and even though they are not exactly professionals of their instruments, it isn’t only the passion that takes forward the hands of the musicians throughout the songs: the members also managed to stay precise and strict, each beat, each part of each song is strong musically (except for maybe the first part of the song ‘Black Witch’).

The riffs are quite simple but perfectly enough to have and keep our attention, and we also have some sweet solos here, just like in ‘Iron Dogs’, in ‘Rising of the Dead’ or in the title track.

The production of the album is weak unfortunately, although maybe this is what gives the listener an even more ‘metal-feeling’ when he or she is listening to it, along with the pureness and dirtiness of the music itself. The album is so smooth and ‘whole’ that it always continues like the blood is flowing in our veins – fluently and lively.

Dan’s vocals totally match the music and the production, they are raw, although sometimes, at the right places we can also hear some melody in them. We shouldn’t expect much from the lyrics of metal music that was made in the early ’80s in my opinion, the album mostly consists of songs that only sputter us some evil words and suggests us an ominous, frightening feeling. But considering how good is the album as a whole and how good are the songs in themselves as well, maybe this one thing is forgivable.

What is for sure is that Exciter’s Heavy Metal Maniac certainly is an essential and epoch-making debut of ’80s speed and thrash metal music, and additionally, it’s just as enjoyable to listen to nowadays as it was in 1983.

Outstanding tracks: Stand Up and Fight, Heavy Metal Maniac, Rising of the Dead

10/9.5