I can’t say it more often… Old school thrash metal is gainig popularity again. Nocturnal from Germany is probably the best available evidence for this backward progress (underlining the word progress). They have been spawning the underground with many demo’s, 7″es, splits and whatever came on their paths, this way they’ve forced their way in. This eventually led to the release of their first full-length through From Beyond Productions. About this, the overall scene, the upcoming Deathstrike releases (Evil Avenger’s own label) I had a quick chat. Evil Avenger turned out to be a very generous chat-partner, as usual, so there is lots or you to enjoy…
Hey Evil Avenger, everything ok there? First of all congratulation with your debut album. What do you think is the best aspect of the album?
Hey Felix, yes I’m fine! Can’t complain at the moment, beside that I’m currently at work and I hate this job. The best aspect of the album? Hmm, don’t really know. Maybe that it’s the first release from NOCTURNAL which got presented to a wider audience?
Personally I don’t hear many differences between the releases except for the progression in the production. What is in your opinion the most remarkable difference between the debut album and the previously released stuff?
I think the only major difference is that we tried some new stuff like “Burn This Town” which was clearly influenced by Motörhead. Or we have “Awakening The Curse Of Souls” with this long instrumental introduction, I think this is quite unusual for a thrash song. Beside this I don’t think we did anything different than before on purpose?
Then something that got me wondering, why did you choose to release the CD through From Beyond Productions and not doing it through your own Deathstrike Records?
I indeed had plans to release this album on my own label first. But I realized that I would never have the cash to pay the studio and the production costs. On the other side I wanted this album to be promoted and I don’t have the time, patience and money to send promos around. So I asked some labels if they are interested in the album and FROM BEYOND were interested very much, I sent Roman some demo tracks from the album and we quickly worked out a deal. I think it’s way better this way, the album now reaches corners where I would never had a chance to sell my releases and I can sit here and concentrate more on what is important for the band. On the other hand I released the vinyl version of the album myself. I wanted to make sure we get the best quality possible and we wanted to realize our ideas, so I took this over myself.
Nocturnal is one of the leading forces when it comes to the nowadays old school thrash metal scene. It seems that this kind of metal is gaining popularity again, you must see this as a great thing, right?
It’s really good to see that there are more maniacs paying more attention to thrash metal again! I mean, there were times were people connected bands like MACHINE HEAD, PANTERA and crap like this with Thrash metal. Bands like SEPULTURA and SLAYER who were indeed thrash bands before, released albums in that crap hardcore style. In those times I had BESTIAL DESECRATION running and even when we played more or less the same stuff like I still do today we preferred to label ourselves Speed Metal that no one can confuse us with this garbage. Especially in south America many young guys are totally into old school thrash nowadays?
Vexed guitarist Jex has been a part of the band for some time, he was also featured on the live-tape (“The Burning of Ranstadt”), where did he go?
First, he is a she! (whoops, thats quite a painful mistake, haha – FS) And she played on “The Burning Of Ranstadt” , the “Fire Of Revenge” 7″EP and the “Outbreak Of Evil” Split 7″EP. We decided that it is better to go on without her. You must know that she lived 300km away from us, and apart from several personal problems and many problems with the communication we almost had no rehearsals with all members. You must know that she is from Italy and hardly speaks and understands German, her English is not very good too. So we always had problems and misunderstandings because of this. She is a very good musician, but takes the whole thing a lot more serious than we do. Anyway, after we decided to go on without her we were very motivated again and we completed all songs for “Arrival Of The Carnivore” in more or less half a year. Last thing I heard is that Jex is back in Italy again.
The cover was drawn by one of the greatest artworkers and artists of all time, the legendary Kris Verwimp. What made you choose for him to complete your debut album? And what is your favourite work?
Well, since I know his work since years and I wanted something of our own done a professional way for this album, he was my first choice. Luckily he is very great to deal with and it was an easy communication with him. He made some sketches after I gave him some ideas. We liked them very much and basically we just let him go on. The result is really what I’ve imagined for the LP. Some of the artworks I liked most were the ANCIENT RITES “Diabolical Serenades” LP cover and the MOONBLOOD cover for their split LP with DEATHSPELL OMEGA.
For the people who are not aware of the Hellbangers Moshfranken, what is this for kind of an organisation?
Nothing really special, just a bunch of metalheads from the same area which do partys together on weekends. Once a year they organize the Hellbangers Fest which is always a good visited event by people from whole Germany. I’m not a member, but the other three NOCTURNAL guys are?. If I remember well it was once founded by Costa/IRON PEGASUS and Wolle of DESECRATION OF VIRGIN zine.
Are we able to see Nocturnal on some European stages now too?
Maybe?. At the moment it is very silent gig-wise since I just became a father. Our next gig will be on the DESASTER release party for their new album in august. And since Mayhem just joined WITCHBURNER as replacement for Patrick he has already some dates on the end of the year to play with them.
I saw only one new release schedules, something on Bestial Onslaught again. What’s that and what else can we expect to surface these upcoming months?
The one on BESTIAL ONSLAUGHT is the NOCTURNAL/GORGON (JAP) split 7″EP. We will record our side of this split EP hopefully soon. GORGON will record their track in the next time as well.
Besides this one the planned releases are?.
– Raging Rehearsal 7″EP on FINAL PUNISHMENT REC´s (NL)
– Temples of Sin 7″EP label TBA
– Split 7″ with WITCHBURNER by a new label from Hungary
– Havoc Tales – EP and Demo, Collection MC by IRONFIST KOMMANDO PROD. (Chile)
– Split 7″ with DEVIL LEE ROT still looking for a label
– Tribute to Destruction Split 7″ with THRONEUM on DEATHSTRIKE REC´s
So, I think that’s all for now.
How are things going with your other project called Front Beast?
Things are going well, I will enter the studio soon to record 2 tracks for a new 7″EP. Some older EP´s will be finally released after many fuck ups with the labels. I decided to release them myself finally.
And what about your label, Deathstrike Records, any good new stuff coming up?
I have some new releases in the works, the BESTIAL MOCKERY / UNHOLY MASSACRE Split LP will be out in the next days. After this I will release the WOLVES s/t 7″EP and the first volume of the THRASH METAL BLITZKRIEG 7″EP series. After those are done I will release some FRONT BEAST and NOCTURNAL EP´s which remained unreleased until now because of label problems, but not under the DEATHSTRIKE REC´s banner. I will start to release a “Tribute to DESTRUCTION” split 7″EP series as well, as the plan of a full DESTRUCTION tribute album fell through because of the lack of interest from the bands side.
Some time I read something about a classic thrash metal series on 7″ EPs, what’s going on with that idea?
The THRASH METAL BLITZKRIEG 7″ series will unite thrash bands from all over the world. Every volume has four bands playing old school thrash. The first volume will be out soon with HANGÖVER (Pol), PAGANFIRE (Malaysia), PYÖVELI (Fin) and SKULL (Col). Upcoming volumes will follow? Most bands are quite unknown and have released only demos so far, but more well known bands are welcome to contribute a track as well. This is a tribute to the current thrash metal scene. FARSCAPE, VIOLENT ATTACK, DEATH THRASHER´s KUOPIO, MILITANT, NOCTURNAL, BLOODTHIRST, CRUCIFIER (Gre) and many many others will contribute tracks for upcoming volumes.
Can you recommend us a few more old school sounding thrash metal bands? What have you been listening yourself lately?
Check out the TMB 7″ series or read the answer to the last question. Beside those I would add TOXIC HOLOCAUST, CUT THROAT, HELLISH CROSSFIRE and WITCHBURNER. Lately I’m listening a lot to GRAND BELIAL´s KEY, GORGON, BURZUM, PAGAN ALTAR, IRON ANGEL and NUNSLAUGHTER.
Ok man, that was it, thanks for your time. The last words are yours! Cheers?
Thank you Felix for the interview. It’s always a pleasure to work with you!
NOCTURNAL, PO BOX 1137, 55235 Flonheim/Germany http://www.unholythrashmetal.de.vu/