Tomas Skogsberg, the producer of most of the early nineties Swedish death metal classics from Entombed and Dismember at Sunlight Studio, was interviewed by the Swedish Communist Party’s Proletaren news site a couple of years ago. Skogsberg of course speaks about his collectivist ideals and why he eventually became a card-carrying Communist. He mentions that the Boss HM-2 pedal is only good for chainsaw guitar death metal and is otherwise bullshit. In addition he talks of his love of The Beatles and unpristine, properly dirty productions, and how Sunlight only bought digital audio workstation software in 1995 that he still uses. This could explain why various Swedish bands have noted over the years that Skogsberg let Sunlight Studio fall into disrepair in the mid 90s. Overall, Skogsberg says he is proud of the “rattly and raspy” records he engineered over the course of his career with his favorite production have been Entombed‘s Wolverine Blues, death ‘n’ roll sellout from 1993.
Former Morbid bassist Dr. Schitz was interviewed by metal webzine Bardo Methodology. Dr. Schitz, a working psychologist in Sweden, tells what drove his bandmate Dead from Mayhem, Dead’s Cotard’s Delusion, and why H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos along with the related Simon Necronomicon from the 1970s (used for lyrical inspiration by Morbid Angel) was so influential to non-English speaking metal lyrics and themes. Check it out.
Article by David Rosales.
I. Where is the music?
It is very rare to find a general fan of black metal today who has not at least heard of the name of Watain. The kind of fame it has attained, however, is the kind that is mostly based on peripheral affairs rather than the art which Watain is supposed to dedicate itself to. Watain is the kind of ‘entity’ (as most of these bands are now given to call themselves) that is surrounded by a nebulous aura which may at first, if one is inclined to be generous in providing the benefit of the doubt, seem like an hint of something truly profound going on. Now, whether that is the case in regards to the real, transcendent or philosophical knowledge or experience of the people behind Watain is not for the writer to say. On the other hand, the music itself does not seem to display any of the more-than-human qualities it should if one is to believe all the hype. In fact, it reveals itself as a very mundane affair when one is given to delve into a holistic examination of the music in itself, and even more so when seen in relation to the extra-musical portions of the ‘entity’.
Various members of the At the Gates have formed a side project known as The Lurking Fear. Former guitarist and primary songwriter of Gardens of Grief and The Red in the Sky is Ours Alf Svensson is disappointingly not among them. With At the Gates regressing to commercial speed metal after half of With Fear I Kiss the Burning Darkness, The Lurking Fear promise to play weird, evil, and twisted death metal again. We’ll see about that.
Tomas Nyqvist, the founder of legendary Swedish label No Fashion Records and the Putrefaction Magazine zine, was interviewed by Bardo Methodology. Tomas talks about his zine and label, the careers of Morbid, Mayhem, Merciless, Dissection, and Katatonia, and how the infamous Stockholm record store House of Kicks screwed them all over. A book compilation of Putrefaction Magazine is scheduled for 2017 too.
Swedish death/black metal band Sarcasm‘s first LP, Within the Sphere of Ethereal Minds, is coming out in March as announced on their Facebook page. The band’s Burial Dimensions demo compilation was extremely promising but featured too many in-congruent keyboard interludes and too much fat that needed trimming.
The leading representative of Swedish industry around the world, Ikea, sells furniture of styles from a dozen nations. It has a housewares section, a full-service cafeteria, a donut shop and a grocery store. You can pick up electric lights, tools, houseplants and home decor there.
But conspicuously absent are the most important items from Sweden in recent memory: Swedish death metal and black metal.
Article by Johan P.
This text is a continuation of the previously published article, The Difficulties of Folk Metal. As stated in Part I, the threefold aim of this multi-part article is, in rough terms, to: 1. Give a short introduction to the subject, 2. Point out some of the difficulties connected with integrating folk music into metal and finally, 3. Provide alternative methods of integration. Part II will be dedicated to the second part of this quest.
Naturally, there are limits regarding the scope of my endeavor – the most obvious demarcation being that the article primarily focuses on Swedish folk music. In my view, the critique of folk metal is an ongoing project, and this article should not be seen as an exhaustive treatment of the subject at hand.
So, if someone else out there finds the subject interesting, you are more than welcome to make contributions. It could be in the form of additional material (metal or folk related) and complementary ideas to enhance the project. For example, the depth and applicability of the arguments presented below would surely benefit if the scope could be expanded to include other forms of traditional music.
Dismember are currently in the process of reissuing their merchandise and back catalog to combat rampant poor-quality bootlegs. Brett Stevens reached out to the band for an email interview and drummer Fred Estby most graciously agreed to answer our staff’s questions: