“Execration” INTERVIEW by Shibalika Tamuli
Can you tell our readers what bands or music have influenced your unique sound and style? Did you have a set sound in mind or was it a natural evolution of combined sounds to create your own?
Our sound at this point is a concoction of a whole mess of things, so yes, definitely an evolution over time. When we first started out, there was very little death metal around in Norway, and we had a very specific goal to sound “as death metal as possible”. Around this time, Suffocation and Autopsy were both huge influences, as was Gorguts, Nile, Morbid Angel etc. Over time we developed a taste for more doomy and obscure stuff, and were quite inspired by bands like High on Fire, Teitanblood, and even Sunn-O. In addition to this, we’ve always been huge fans of bands with unique and interesting harmonics – such as Ved Buens Ende, Voivod, Virus, and even Deathspell Omega, and these have influenced our sound a lot as well. For the past couple of albums, we’ve been actively avoiding too much focus on genres, and have allowed in more varied influences. This is how some of the classics, like Rush, Iron Maiden, and Genesis have put their mark on our music. Around the time we wrote Odes of the Occult was when we started being more conscious and serious about crafting our own unique sound, and from here we’ve become increasingly liberal in the kinds of influences we’ve allowed to enter into our music.
Norway is quite probably the most popular metal scene due to its black metal history – tell us about the Norwegian death metal scene. Can you suggest us some bands you’d like for us to listen to?
I’m not sure I’m the best ambassador for “the Norwegian death metal scene”, as I don’t get around to gigs etc as much as I used to. But I’ll still give you a few recommendations. Diskord and Obliteration are the obvious choices, but I guess most people have heard of them by now. Among the newer bands, I really like Reptillian, so go check them out.
Did the black metal scene ever influence you?
For sure. There’s a lot of black metal influences in our music, even if it doesn’t always come out as “pure black metal”. I listen to a lot of black metal, and Deathspell Omega and Leviathan are two personal favorites. I’m not sure all aspects of the black metal “scene” is as much an inspiration for me, but the music truly is a big part of Execration. If you listen closely to a track like “Unicursal Horrorscope” this will be evident – approached a little differently in terms of vocals and production, it’s not far off from being a black metal track.
You’ve been around for almost a decade – how did your musical style/views change over the time? How have you evolved?
Yes, a lot. Execration anno 2017 is a very different band from Execration anno 2007. As I touched on in the first question, we’ve changed a lot simply through what kind of influences we’ve been open to including in our music. Ever since the beginning we’ve been on a journey to keep our music varied and interesting. If you compare our four albums you will find four quite different albums. For our next one, we will figure out some new direction to rear our heads. This is the thrill for us, and hopefully also our fans – you never know where we’ll go next.
Death metal in Norway has gained something of a name of its own, but I find it hard to describe as a unit. I guess Obliteration, Diskord, and us are some of the more known names among the newer generation of bands, and we don’t sound a lot alike – it’s more of a shared philosophy I guess. Obliteration nails the retro early nineties thrashy death metal vibe, Diskord is the unrivaled proggy riff-machine, and Execration brings black, doom and thrash to death metal together and runs it in the blender. I guess Autopsy is one of our shared influences, but as you can hear, it’s being interpreted in three quite different ways. I wouldn’t say I am an expert on the current state of death metal, but if you compare the recent Norwegian bands to the conventional, classic death metal bands, I guess there is more of a will to experiment and cross genres these days.
Why did you name the band Execration? I’m sure you answered a million times but I enjoy the story that usually comes with the naming of a band and the reasons behind it.
I’m afraid the name doesn’t have a super exciting story behind it. When we initially started playing together, we were playing black metal under the name “Berserkr” (which we later learned was already in us by someone else). As we shifted our focus to thrash (before shifting again to black metal), we decided to find a new name. I came across the word “Execration” somehow, and liked how it sounded. Looking up its definition I found “hate coupled with disgust” which to me was just the perfect name for a metal band. It’s like the definition of much vocalized metal “UH!”
Tell us about “Return to the Void”. What’s your theme regarding the album? What can fans expect from this album?
For people who know our earlier stuff, the album will be fully recognizable as an Execration album, but with a new twist. It is definitely our most intense and fast-paced album to date. There is not as much doom this time around, and the focus is more on shorter and more concise songs. The album has more thrash and heavy metal influences than any of our previous material, and possibly also more black metal in it. The album isn’t a full-blown concept album, but it is as close to one as we’ve ever been. The cover, the music, and the lyrics all try to convey the imagery of the vast empty space that surrounds us, and muses a little on our place in the universe. It sprinkles in some comments on our society’s use of technology, not always for the right things, and some thought experiments on travel through space and time. If you spin the album while taking in the cover and lyrics, and then feel like you’ve been on a journey through outer space, I call mission accomplished.
Tell us about your upcoming plans for the second half of 2017 heading towards 2018?
This fall we’ll be playing over most of Norway, some festivals, and some standalone gigs. We’re going to Romania for a festival, and we’re working on a European tour this winter. In 2018 we hope to set our feet on American soil and do our first ever US shows.
In closing thanks a lot for talking to us and answering our questions! Do you have a message or words of advice for your fans around the world? Good luck in all your future endeavors.
Thanks a lot for the interest! I can only urge people to pick up the new album, and to show up to our gigs. I promise it’ll be lots of fun!
Shibalika Tamuli/MHF Magazine