INCANTATION – Blasphemous Death Metal. It was already a long time ago since INCANTATION played live in Hellgium, but now they assaulted the stage of the mighty FRONTLINE, part II. The World Assault Tour 2002 is promoting the new album Blasphemy, which is another milestone in the history of Death Metal. Their original style – only INCANTATION sounds like INCANTATION – still consists of mega-heavy, slow Doom-riffs (which I would dare to compare to old MY DYING BRIDE in the time of As the Flower Whithers …) which meet fast/slow and technical , lethal, killer-riffs in the vein of US Death Metal heavy-weights MORBID ANGEL and IMMOLATION. Add the furious double-bass drums of veteran Kyle Severn and each Death Metal minded freak will get an orgiastic lust to the ears (earection!). Armed with pen and paper, the unworthy scum of THE THRONE OF ABSENCE (G) and DOODSESKADER (i.e. DEATH SQUADRON, D “Legatius” MP) subjected the US Death Metal Gods to a 1 hour cease fire of questions in the interrogation room of the FRONTLINE. The band just finished their autograph session after the set and answered the questions while packing their equipment and stuff as they needed to leave early for Switzerland. Behold the words of Blasphemy, mainly answered by drum-beast Kyle Severn…
G (THE THRONE OF ABSENCE): First question (looking at the tall and broad-shouldered vocalist of the gig)! Are you Vincent Crowley of ACHERON (pronounced ‘Asheron’ by Vincent Crowley – ed) / WOLFEN SOCIETY?
V (Vincent Crowley, ACHERON / WOLFEN SOCIETY): Yes, I am! So you know about WOLFEN SOCIETY, that is a good thing!
G: Did you already abuse the microphone for an INCANTATION gig?
V: Yes, I did, for the American tour, and I also will for the European tour.
G: So will you be the new, definitive vocalist of INCANTATION, or just another session vocalist?
V: Well, it is really OK to do the INCANTATION vocals. We are all good friends. We also play together in other bands. We will do tour by tour, as it goes. We will take it as it comes. We will see.
G: Why was Mike the session vocalist for the new album?
Kyle (INCANTATION): He already played the guitar during the European tour back in 1997, during Tribute to the Goat. He did it to help out INCANTATION. During The Infernal Storm – Blasphemy era, he faced some personal issues due to which he was not able to go on tour with us. We wish he stayed, but due to family problems he could not join us on tour. We think he did a great job on the record.
D (D “Legatius MP”, DOODSESKADER): Did you ever think “This is the end of INCANTATION?”
K: I wish it was! (laughing) No, seriously, there is no end of anything. We are old and crippled b@st@rds, but there is still a lot of Metal in us. There are always some problems, but when we are able to create music, we go on, this is what we do, you know.
G: Why the re-release of Mortal Throne of Nazarene as Upon the Throne of Apocalypse?
K: It was a money-making choice of RELAPSE. Upon the Throne of Apocalypse contains the unmixed version of Mortal Throne of Nazarene. It was a business scam. There was a different cover and the tracks were placed in a different order. It sucks! We are not happy with it. We toured with the record. The artwork was cool, but that is it. For collectors, it is OK, but otherwise it is a rip-off. We did not see any royalties for INCANTATION.
G: Was this the reason for the departure from RELAPSE?
K: We were just for too many years on RELAPSE and they no longer support blasphemous Death Metal. NECROPOLIS RECORDS bought us from RELAPSE and licensed CANDLELIGHT for the distribution without us having a clue!
G: Are you glas with CANDLELIGHT?
K: CANDLELIGHT s*cks! They don’t even call us!
G: Why did you use a new cover artist for Blasphemy?
K: We would have liked to use Kim’s (Miran -ed) artwork again, but she moved…
G: …so it is a she?
K: …yes, well, so she moved without leaving a contact address or anything, so we had to search for another artist. We had plenty of other choices, but they all sucked. Then Paul (Ledney -ed) contacted John (McEntee -ed) or NECROPOLIS. He is a sick, f*cking bastard, you know. We think he did a good job.
G: Isn’t it computer art?
K: Yes, it is, but don’t write that! (sorry, I could not resist the temptation -ed)
D: What is your reaction to “Money and INCANTATION“?
K: Money and INCANTATION don’t go together! We are the most none money-making band ever! We play unholy, blasphemous Black Metal, you know. We have not toured in 5 years. We came last year to earn a little bit of money. We want new kids, new Metal fans (not nu-metal fans, I hope, hehe -ed) to hear our music. If people don’t know about us, we don’t earn money. And the promotion by the new label is still a big question mark. Only few US Death Metal bands do make money: CANNIBAL CORPSE and MORBID ANGEL… OK, and SIX FEET UNDER, but they don’t play Death Metal, it is just ???
G: What did you just say?
K: Euhm, nothing! (D told me afterwards he heard it was ‘crap’ – ed)
G: So only these bands make money, but isn’t INCANTATION like a big band?
K: Maybe we are right below those bands, but we don’t make any money.
G: And what about IMMOLATION?
K: IMMOLATION does not make any money either!
J (Joe Lombard, INCANTATION, who is very silent, but who seems to be following the conversation closely): MONSTROSITY is awesome!
J: They don’t make no money either.
D: Does a label push a band into a certain direction?
D: Like e.g. CANNIBAL CORPSE?
K: Well, the new CANNIBAL CORPSE is good, but different.
G: What did you think about the FRONTLINE?
K: Well, I think the show was pretty good. It is a small club, but it was packed (you should have seen it with PYAEMIA / DISGORGE / DEEDS OF FLESH! – ed). That is Europe and Metal! The gig really knocked us out tonight. It is our first show and we are barely warmed up. The public was just sick and just asked for more and more and more! And we did not have much more songs we practised with Vincent.
G: Do you know all the lyrics, Vincent?
V: I know the lyrics of 18 songs.
D: Why didn’t you play any covers?
K: We are the worst band to play covers!
G: What about Scream Bloody Gore (which appeared on The Foresaken Mourning of Angelic Anguish -ed) then?!
K: We think playing covers live s*cks. You’d better see the original band instead.
G: What did you think of PANDEMIA?
G: PANDEMIA! The Czech band that played just before INCANTATION!
K: Oh them! You pronounce it differently, well, they are really aggressive and good. They are cool. Glad they played with us. I am OK with their music.
D: Where does the tour head to?
K: Well, it is just a small tour, not really a tour. We are playing Switzerland tommorrow, then we visit the Czech Republic, then France for 2 or 3 days, next is Holland. Austria and Poland are cancelled.
D: What is the difference between the European and American public?
K: Well, the European public is brutal, more underground. There is more headbanging. They appreciate the style much more. The reason? I don’t know, maybe because they drink more beer?! In America, there are also a lot of fans, Metallers, but the public is not as intense.
D: What would you say if someone said “I k!lled in the name of INCANTATION“?
K: “Hope you don’t get caught!”. I don’t care!
V: It is a personal choice
K: Yes. In the name of INCANTATION? We don’t say “Go and kill someone”?! We wouldn’t give a sh!t, if someone would do so, we are a “Death” Metal band, you know.
G: What about the reversed track you used as the outro of Blasphemy and the intro of the show?
K: It is not really a reversed track, just some keyboards, which were John’s idea. Actually, we reversed the words of a priest. Why? We were thinking why not record a Satanic backwards message for Blasphemy. It just sounds scary, it is just blasphemous, unholy.
G: What does the priest say (I should record it on my PC and play it backwards -ed)? Does Vincent have anything to do with it?
K: He does not say anything particular. It is not Vicent’s idea/work.
D: What about beer?
K: I am the only one in the band who really drinks, to deal with the @ssholes of society.
D: Belgian beer?
K: I love it.
D: What do you think about the MILWAUKEE FEST and the OHIO DEATH FEST?
K: We hate the MILWAUKEE FEST, we love the OHIO DEATH FEST. The MILWAUKEE FEST rips off fans. They ask a lot of money, whereas you only pay one third of the price somewhere else. It doesn’t mean something like it used to. The MILWAUKEE FEST has not got sh!t as headliners. This year’s headliner is NILE. Who the f*ck can’t see NILE?! Previously, it was DESTRUCTION and VENOM!
D: Which places do you like to play in?
K: INCANTATION likes to play all places. Once in a more underground club like here. There is nothing better than playing with a good sound. We also like to play bigger shows e.g. with CANNIBAL CORPSE.
G: What do you think of Belgium aka Hellgium?
K: Beer kicks @ss! Belgian bands? Not really…
K: What did you say, ABORTED?!
K: That slightly rings a bell alright… what label are they on?
G: LISTENABLE RECORDS. They toured the US! What about ENTHRONED?!
(INCANTATION all look dazed and don’t seem to know whom I am talking about)
G: Well, I saw you talking to them tonight! I don’t remember who, but one of you! I think it was John who was talking to them (Sabathan and Norganest came to watch the show -ed). Hey, John, you are wearing an ENTHRONED shirt!
J: Hey, I am! (laughs -ed)
(Then Vincent awakes from his coma: he is almost falling asleep on his chair – ed)
V: ANCIENT RITES!
G: OK, but then the old stuff!
K: OK, the old stuff, but why do bands change?!
G: Good question… To make money? In order not to get bored? Why does INCANTATION not change?
K: We still like what we did in the beginning. We like what we do. There is no reason to change. INCANTATION is into the music. If we would change, we would no longer continue as INCANTATION.
D: Do you like Black Metal?
K: VENOM is awesome. There is a lot of diversity in the label “Black Metal” though. I would not consider CRADLE OF FILTH and DIMMU BORGIR as being Black Metal bands. I like DARK FUNERAL (pointing at my sweater – ed), because they are aggressive and that is the essence of Black Metal: it is supposed to be dark. I don’t like ‘happy’ Black Metal, it is not my style.
D: Hey, G, what did you write here, COS?
G: Oh, Church of …! Well, Vincent, COS, does that ring a bell?!
(Vincent laughs and shakes his head – ed)
G: So, I guess I can write “No comment?”
(Vincent nods – ed)
(Read STRATANAEL Mag to get more comment on C.O.S. – ed)
G: Immortal Cessation was the first INCANTATION track I heard, because it appeared on the NUCLEAR BLAST sampler Death is Just the Beginning II. Did the feedback from Europe start with this? (They all don’t really know immediately what sampler I was referring to. Explained it may have been a European release)
We already got feedback from other stuff, e.g. The Savanage. Immortal Cessation was more an introduction to the main stream Death Metal. NUCLEAR BLAST was asked by RELAPSE to put it on the compilation. NUCLEAR BLAST did not push us, they were not interested in us, they did it because they had to.
D: Don’t you think NUCLEAR BLAST regrets now they did not sign you?
K: No, they are not interested in INCANTATION. INCANTATION does not want a record company who does not like us.
Immortal Cessation was not the European beginning for INCANTATION. We already received good buzz from the 7 inch and demos in Europe.
D: How many copies do you sell?
K: I don’t know, 1000, 20000?
G: Come on, you will sell at least 20000, no?!
K: Well, maybe 15000-20000, why not, but we did not receive any royalties.
G: Why not release your albums independently?
K: Yes, good question, because it is a lot of work, but maybe it would be worth it.
G: I noticed some of you wear wedding rings…
K: Yes, Vince is the only one who is not married here.
G: So didn’t your wives come along on tour?
Everyone: No!!! They stayed overseas!!! I hope they don’t read this! (laughing – ed)
G: So what is up next, as I see you are busy packing intensively?
K: Well, we have still 2,5 hours to shower and to get some sleep, but then we need to get on the tourbus because we are playing in Switzerland tommorrow.
G: You are leaving in 2,5 hours?! Isn’t that tiring?! We ought to leave you then, we have enough for an interview…
K: Well, we can sleep on the bus, but our chauffeur did not sleep for 2 days already.
(Then Vincent is handed over € 50 – ed)
V: What is this?
D: The same as 50 bucks.
V: Oh, OK then.
G: That is what you get for playing here?
K: Yes… We all got jobs and need them to ends meet, you see. I am working as a construction worker.
D: What would you think of touring with IMMOLATION?
K: A tour with IMMOLATION would be great. We already did a Mexico tour with them and tried a US tour. IMMOLATION, INCANTATION and ACHERON would be a blasphemous Death Metal package for a tour, but I would not be able to play 2 sets a night as I hit the drums with ACHERON as well. What did you think about the show, by the way?
D & G: Good, but the sound was not really 100 % OK.
K: Yes, I thought so myself.
G: It is typical for the FRONTLINE, once it is perfect, then it is average and sometimes it even s*cks.
K: So what was wrong with it, in your view? (interested in feedback – ed)
D: The voice faded away etc.
K: I see.
G: Actually, the sound check maybe sounded better than the show itself…
K: Oh, really? Sh!t, we must have s*cked!
G: No, not at all! The music was good!
D: Yes, we could recognize the songs.
K: Yes! Really important! Nothing s*cks more than visiting a gig where you cannot recognize the songs!
INCANTATION really had to go now, so we did not bother them again with a new series of questions, as we could go on and on. We went home satisfied.
G & D: THANKS INCANTATION (& Vincent Crowley too, of course)!
August 22nd 2002