Danish black metallers Exekrator isn't exactly a newcomer to the scene however it wasn't until recently I heard of this band. After having heard their to some extend unique blend of heavy metal and old school black metal I thought it was appropriate to find out a little more about this band. I managed to get vocalist Tue Brisson and guitarist Henrik Engkjær to answer a couple of questions.
How are things going at the moment?
Tue: Ok, I guess. There's a lot of stuff going on due to Superstitionis Maleficiae, but the line-up problem is fucking me up!
Please start out by telling a brief version of the band history!
Tue: Born in 1993, first demo in 1997, first 7" in 2000, latest release in 2004! Brief enough??
You've been around for quite a few years but you've seemed to have kept a pretty low profile in the underground!
Tue: Perhaps. Well, that all seems to have changed now! But yes, there was a time I absolutely did not care for the "scene" and its sorry state. Nowadays, well let's just say I'm not loosing any sleep over it.
You're newest 7' Superstitionis Maleficiae was actually recorded back in September 2002. How come it took so long to get it released?
Tue: Well, we did not have any sort of deal to begin with. We sent out promo copies to various labels and View Beyond was interested in putting it to vinyl... From then on, however, there were several delays due to things beyond our control, but I guess that's often the case...
Could you tell a little about View Beyond Records? I haven't heard of that label before!!
Tue: Well, shame on you! It's a relatively small Czech UG label, releasing mostly 7" vinyls. Gorgon, Aeturnus, Sabbat, Denial of God etc. has all released something on View Beyond.
I assume that the material on Superstitionis Maleficiae was not entirely new when it was recorded. When was it written?
Tue: The oldest song (Yggs Høge) is from around the end of 1999, the latest (I Was the Demon) is from 2002 (I think?).
Could you provide some details around the recording of Superstitionis Maleficiae?
Tue: We basically recorded it ourselves at this music conservatory very near our rehearsal place. We had a chance to use one of their studios for free, and so we took it. But it was done in a VERY short amount of time! So really time accounts for the "not so great" production, rather than our ineptitude at recording, ha-ha. Next time it should sound a lot better, even if we do it ourselves.
Henrik: This is certainly the truth. Two days for recording four songs is not the best odds! But we got through it and the sound is much better than much other underground stuff and it has a lot of Power!
I'm having a hard time figuring out what's on the cover. What is it?
Tue: It's the Medusa. It's a picture we took in a Danish museum. It sort of ties in with the title Superstitionis Maleficiae (read the quote on the back) and "Acheron's Call".
Henrik: Yes, it ties well with the title and the lyrics. Back in days of reign of paganism in the Roman Empire, Christianity was called harmful superstition ("Superstitionis Maleficiae"). But today the Christians would use that same title about pagan and satanic images like the Medusa, and probably also about our lyrics!
You've chosen to sing both in Danish and English. Will you continue to write songs both languages?
Tue: I would like to, but I have no 'quota' to fill, I take it song by song. It is more or less coincidence that pretty much half of the lyrics so far has been Danish/English.
Have you any new material ready?
Tue: We are writing lots of stuff at the moment, but it's not completely finished yet.
Henrik: Yes, we have new songs as well as unreleased old stuff. And if we got a drummer, we would be ready to record a full length album, and even more…
Is it in the same style as the material found on to Superstitionis Maleficiae?
Tue: And what style is that, hehe? Hmm, maybe not quite, but it's a bit hard to say, as we're still writing and changing it.
Henrik: No matter what, you'll always be able to hear that it's Exekrator. You just can't mistake that! However the new stuff sounds very varied. From catchy heavy metal to extremely dark and fast black metal.
How has the response been to Superstitionis Maleficiae so far?
Tue: Pretty good! We distributed quite a few of the 7" ourselves, and it has gone pretty quick! We have gotten some very positive reviews, and we've been talking to several labels - nothing concrete at the moment though.
Henrik: Yeah our part of the EP's was basically sold out in a few weeks, and there still seems to be demand. Also like Tue said there has been more label interest and there are plans of printing a CD split, tapes, t-shirts etc. Stay updated on the homepage. There will be re-releases of earlier recordings as well as some stuff we have not releases upon the masses yet.
How did you get the idea of combining black metal with heavy metal?
Tue: We didn't, hehe, it more or less just happened. Also, to me Mercyful Fate is black metal, so it's not odd for me... It's just that no (or very few) "90's BM" bands have looked to the heavy metal roots of black metal for some reason.
Henrik: Yes, every black metal band should not sound the same. Black metal today seems to be only one thing while in the begging I would say that there is a lot of difference between Venom, Mercyful Fate, Death SS and Bathory. People just seem to have lost grasp of what black metal really is.
What bands are you inspired by?
Tue: I'm not really 'inspired' by music in the normal sense of the word... But some of the songs that are forever etched in mind were done by Danzig, Mercyful Fate and Darkthrone to name a few.
Which bands got you into metal in the first place?
Tue: Well, to be honest I have to say Guns N' Roses! After that, Metallica, Mercyful Fate, Morbid Angel, Darkthrone, in pretty much that order. Oh and I almost forgot Accept!
How is the current drummer situation? Do you have a drummer or are you still looking?
Tue: No drummer yet... I'm beginning to think there ARE no drummers around here...
Henrik: Any serious drummer should get in contact right away. We would like a steady drummer to rehearse and play live with. Right a drummer that could record some new material with us, would be great too.
Any chance of catching you playing live in the nearest future?
Tue: Unfortunately that's unlikely, due to the line-up situation. We WILL play live at some point though.
Any final comments?
Tue: Fuck the elite!
Henrik: Thanks for the interview and support. All drummers most contact us! All others may check out the homepage for news, info, mp3s etc. Hail metal! Hail the underground! www.exekrator.com firstname.lastname@example.org Henrik: 40 31 83 41