NECROWRETCH have just unleashed the third full-length album, and I dare to say that “Satanic Slavery” will be one of the finest death metal albums of the year. As blasphemous, twisted and intense as the album cover, the music hooked me up (or rather, enslaved me) immediately. Guitarist/vocalist and founding member Vlad answered the following questions…Now you are in hell…
Well you have a new album out so let´s start talking about the newborn creature, how happy are you with how “Satanic Slavery” has turned out, in terms of how it sounds but also in terms of how it looks and could you possibly share with us few details of the recording process, studio time etc.?
Vlad: Infernal hails! I can easily say that it’s our most diabolical release ever! We worked very hard to push the maximum energy from each musician in order to deliver the most blasphemous, furious, evil putrid death metal album.
I’ve worked around six months to write the album and after a few home demos we entered the studio and in a few days the album was complete. From the start I had a clear idea of how the result would sound but the mix and master turned out so great that the final listening was way above my expectations. Also, that was the first time we recorded live, and it clearly adds a great dynamic to the music.
How would you describe the style and sound of this new album compared to your previous stuff, the production sounds raw and old school without sounding “trendy” “or “Swedish styled” if you know what I mean, what did you want to achieve with the sound on the new album?
Vlad: We never wanted to sound like this band or another… We just want to deliver the maximum overkill of death metal. I like the Swedish sound of all the classic sunlight albums but I will never use this kind of sound for Necrowretch. We need something rawer, more satanic to express ourselves. For me a great extreme metal album is the kind of album where you get smashed from the very first notes, for example: Beneath the remains.
What inspired and what´s the concept behind the album title “Satanic Slavery”, Is there an overall theme to the songs on the album?
Vlad: Satanic Slavery talks about our twisted version of some of the so called holy texts. The lyrics contain many hidden items that only some zealots will be able to find. To get this quick, the album starts with a satanic disease spreading and turning mankind to servants of darkness. The album ends with our life doctrine: follow nothing but sin and lust. All in one, Satanic Slavery is a great title as it’s a perfect description of our conception of extreme metal in our lives.
In my opinion the vocals are one of the highlights on the album, I really dig this kind of sick twisted hellish type of vocals, are you inspired or influenced by any particular singer?
Vlad: I like extreme metal with extreme vocals, where you can hear that the singer pushes himself to the maximum… I was inspired this way by vocals from albums such as Sepultura – Morbid Visions, Merciless – The Awakening, Marduk – Heaven shall burn…
It´s difficult to choose just one song from the album, since the whole album is equal in quality and intensity, but I´d say that “Evil Names” is one of my faves, can you tell me more about the composition of this song and its lyrics?
Vlad: Evil Names is a song in which the lyrics take a very important place, because they are growing in the same way as the music. The more intense your punishment gets the more furious the music becomes. It was a very interesting challenge for me to write a song with this goal and we’ll definitely play this song live.
Please tell us about the cover art concept and the impressive design done by NekroniKon. How is it related to the music and how should one integrate the two.
Vlad: As the aim was to deliver the most satanic album so far, we contacted Nekronikon to submit the idea for him to draw the artwork. So we sent him the lyrics of the album and after a few sketches he came up with this almighty artwork, first in black and white (used in the LP version) then he added colors (for the cd version). Again if you look well at the artwork and the lyrics of the title song, you’ll clearly see some links between the art and the music.
Why did you decide to use a black and white version for the LP? (still looks killer btw!)
Vlad: As told before the artwork already looked great in black and white and we thought that it was a shame not to use this version.
Pls name some of your all time fave album covers.
Vlad: Almost all Iron Maiden… Also Autopsy - Severed Survival, Morbid Angel - Altars of Madness, Merciless - The Awakening…
Do you personally prefer vinyl before CDs? What are the LPs that you love most in your collection and which is that one that you still don´t have?
Vlad: LP are far way a better item imo, but I also like CD for example to listen while driving… I think my favorite LPs are the old ones signed by band members, it adds a lot of memories and feelings when you listen to them.
You are using a new logo this time, How come you decided to change your logo to a new one?
Vlad: The old logo was much too shitty to create proper shirts or posters designs… Also it was very small and we were always put apart in festivals flyers… So we redrawn the entire logo and came up with this new one, but I prefer to talk about an upgraded logo, because apart of the symmetry there’s not much changes…
What´s the significance of the name Necrowretch, and why did you choose it as the band name?
Vlad: The Necrowretch is an ugly priest possessed by hell, leading an inquisition upon the living… That’s a creature I created in my mind many years before playing music. Also I like Necro- in a band name, it naturally sounds killer.
You left Century Media to sign with Season of Mist, how did the deal with SOM initially come about?
Vlad: We felt that our collaboration with Century Media wasn’t pushing the band enough… We simply had different views regarding the future of the band… With this new unholy alliance with Season of Mist the band is back into French hands in order to soil more ground!
The band has had several line-up changes, now you have Malik replacing Amphycion on bass and Kev Desecrator, who played drums with the band previously, now in guitars, do you see this line-up stable in long-term?
Vlad: I’m very upset of all these line-up changes… But at a certain point you feel that you’ve taken the maximum of people and if you want to push the band further you need to start working with more dedicated musicians.... In Necrowretch, the band is the priority number one, and there is no space for anything else.
You´ve recorded cover tunes of bands such as Death, Merciless, Nihilist, Slayer…what other bands do you like to play covers for future releases?
Vlad: I would really like to play cover of the great Mortem! But also crazier things such as Judas Priest in a pure death metal version.
The French scene unleashed great releases lately, Cadaveric Fumes, Necroblood, Venefixion…Skelethal are about to release a promising debut album, do you listen to any of this bands? In your opinion what bands do we have to take a look at?
Vlad: Of course they are great bands and we shared stage with them many times. You can also check out Hexecutor, which slays in live!
And what about the legacy of old school bands such as Aggressor, Massacra, Loudblast, Mercyless…how important is the early stuff of this bands to you?
Vlad: You know at each interview/review there is always a comparison to Massacra, Aggressor, etc… . Of course I really like their music but I don’t feel grateful to them at any point, we’re simply another generation of maniacs inspired by the same music (Slayer, Death, Morbid Angel…).
How important is for the band to play live and how do you feel onstage? What kind of reaction from the crowd do you expect when the first song is unleashed?
Vlad: The live performance is the part I prefer the most, alongside with the tours… You know it will be a great show when the crowd screams “hail satan” between each song !
You played a gig with a drum machine once, how was the experience like? Which show was the most memorable to you so far?
Vlad: Aaaaah damn, it was so horrible, I don’t want to remember this show… Our first drummer screwed us one week before the show and we simply didn’t want to fuck the organizer of the gig, so we went with the drum machine, but believe me, this won’t happen again!
I have a lot of great memories from shows in Istanbul, Malaysia and also France, Germany… Many festivals, but the best is yet to come I think.
Who has been the best band you ever seen live?
Vlad: Judas Priest & Iron Maiden! And also I keep a great memory from the Morbid Angel show in 2006 with a great line up.
A cool compilation titled Bestial Rites with your demos and early EPs was released some years ago, what are your thoughts about the whole package and how do you look back at your early material nowadays?
Vlad: I wanted to have all the demos and ep in one disc, because many people discovered us after the first album and at this time all the previous stuff was sold out… It’s a great compilation, the sound has been remastered, but I don’t really listen to these songs today…
What´s your fave Necrowretch track? Please explain why.
Vlad: Today I’m very focused on the future of Necrowretch, so I will tell you that all the new songs of Satanic Slavery kick ass! Regarding the old material, the song I prefer to play live is “Putrid death sorcery”, for me this song is perfect, nothing more, nothing less than pure death metal overdose.
Are you going to support "Satanic Slavery" with an extensive tour?
Vlad: Of course! All the details will be unleashed soon!
What´s the strangest place and the most shocking place you have been?
Vlad: Well Istanbul can be the both at same time!
What are the band´s future plans?
Vlad: To soil every ground where our music can reach maniacs!!
Thank you for the dedicated time! Last words are yours...
Vlad: Thanks a lot for the support! See you in hell!!!!