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Severe Torture – “First everyone called us Cannibal Corpse clones, now that that’s not a real issue anymore, people start complaining about us not being fast and brutal enough”

severe torture – “first everyone called us cannibal corpse clones, now that that’s not a real issue anymore, people start complaining about us not being fast and brutal enough”


For the 5th time (including the interview in our paper fanzine issue # 2) Severe Torture is present with an interview on Vampire Magazine. Not strange of course, as the band is delivering good death metal albums for 10 years now. Personally I think the band released their best album with “Sworn Vengeance”, but not everyone is sharing my vision…

At first, congrats with a great new album. To me…yearlist top 5 material! Now, after a period of recording, releasing the album and played some of the tracks live. How do you look back on the period of time between “Fall of the Despised” and “Sworn Vengeance”? Talking about “Sworn Vengeance”, tell us more about it…
Hello Vampire Magazine readers! Thanx for your compliments Ricardo! After releasing ‘Fall of the Despised’ we played some single shows and looked around for the right tour to support the album. A couple of options got canceled but finally we got the chance to join the Blitzkrieg tour with Vader & God Dethroned. We toured for 6 weeks and started writing for the next album. Early 2007 we did a UK headling tour and shortly after that we entered the Excess Studio in Rotterdam to record drums, bass and guitars. Dennis recorded his vocals in The Pit Studio in Weert and after finishing that the recordings were sent to Poland to get it mixed in the Hertz Studios. The biggest change for us was that we made pre-recordings in our rehearsel room and we programmed a click track. Seth used that click track in the studio and that’s why it’s tight as hell. We are really satisfied with everything. The songs are more mature, the artwork is also and sound is crushing!

When I have to summary the career of Severe Toture I would say: First 2 albums a definite Cannibal Corpse / Suffocation link, “Fall of Despised” has some Immolation / Incantation ideas (switch between fast and midtempo parts) and with “Sworn Vengeance” a kind of Monstrosity twist. This is without saying that you sound exactly like them of course. Getting close? How would you like to describe the history of Severe Torture musicwise?
I can agree with most of it. Of course we hear our music different cause we created it ourselves but mostly you are right I think. Only the Monstrosity link is a little bit strange to me but maybe that’s because I stopped listening to them after their first album, hehe. For me ‘Sworn Vengeance’ has a kind of a Pestilence twist.

While I’m excited about the new album, I also read quite some critical reviews. People saying they are missing the brutal edge, missing the urge to go completely nuts on this album because of the variety of the album. To me tracks like “Countless Villains” and “Redefined Identity” are top-notch because of the variety. I bet you have a different vision as you have said in an update: “The sheer aggression and power of this album exceeds anything we have done by far”.
For us this album is really aggressive and powerfull and the fact that it has so much variety it only kicks in even more but I can understand what some of those people mean. When we recorded the first 2 albums we tried to play as fast as possible and sometimes it was so fast that we couldn’t even play it correctly anymore. It resulted in really chaotic and aggressive albums which sounded really enthousiastic. The last 2 albums are much more balanced and sometimes slower than you would expect and for some people that sounds un-aggressive. For us it’s the opposite and we are glad that this time everthing we played is right and tight.

In our previous interview with you, you ended “Well, we don’t think that we changed that much”. Getting tired of defending yourself yet because you’re not full speed ahead anymore like the old days?
Not tired cause a lot of people like our newer sound more than the old style but sometimes it’s like everyone wants to wine about someting all the time. First everyone called us Cannibal Corpse clones, now that that’s not a real issue anymore people start complaining about us not being fast and brutal enough. Next thing will probably be that Dennis and I don’t have long hair anymore and that we’re not all wearing death metal shirts on photos………..

I’ve read you have used a more old school death metal approach towards this album, which bands or albums in particular?
We listen a lot to Death and Pestilence and although we don’t actually sound like them we learned a lot form their song writing. 

The digipack contains 2 covers, one of Entombed (“Eyemaster”) and one of the hardcore legends Cro-Mags (“It’s the Limit”). Why have you chosen these tracks and were there other tracks that you guys thought “We wanna do them the Severe Torture way”? I’ve heard something of the almighty Autopsy….
Yeah, we also recorded ‘Disembowel’ but that one is only available through iTunes. It will probably end up a re-release in the future. The limited edition (no digipack, sorry…) contains a Cro-Mags & Entombed cover. The idea for the Cro-mags cover came from Marvin. Him and Dennis are big Cro-Mags fans and thought it would be refreshing and suprising to cover one of their songs. The song came out really brutal with a Celtic Frost/Obituary twist if you ask me. All of us are big Entombed fans so we picked a song that is somewhere in the middle of their styles, a little combination of their Death Metal and their Death ‘n Roll period. 

The closing instrumental track,“Submerged in Grief” has a great atmosphere. With a “The Abyss” production it could be easily a Hypocrisy track if you ask me. If someone would hear “Baptized by Virginal Liquid” and “Submerged in Grief” he or she wouldn’t believe it’s the same band…When you guys first heard it from Marvin, did you all thought “Hell yeah, a great outro!”?
When we heard it we knew we had to do something with it. Maybe a intro or maybe a outro but we had to use it somehow. Seth did a real basic drumthing under it and it came out to long for a intro so it automatically became a outro. But we did use a small part without drums for the intro, haha.

In the beginning you guys were talkin’ about brutal death metal all the time. It was the only style you all were listening to when you listen to metal. Now, years later, I know you’re a big fan of Primordial. When was the moment you began to appreciate other styles within metal? Are there other bands you really like nowadays? And..have you heard the new Primordial? Stunning album!
During the first 2 albums we were totally into the brutal death metal thing but after some years we all got a little tired of it and there are only a few bands from that period that we still listen to. Nowadays to be honest I hardly listen to death metal. There are some bands that I still really like (Immolation for instance) but most of the death metal bands nowadays sound the same for me. Patrick and me are big Primordial fans like you mentioned and I have some favorites in every metal style. Beside that I listen to a lot of stoner and normal rock bands. But I also enjoy Nick Cave, 16 Horsepower, Nine Inch Nails and Johny Cash to name a few…..

Like Vampire Magazine Severe Torture exists for 10 years now. Any special plans? What was THE highlight for Severe Torture in all those years? Were there also major setbacks? What are your expectations for Severe Torture in the future?
Congratulations! We don’t have special plans for it. To be honest, we didn’t thought about it until reviewers started to mention it in reviews and interviews, haha! Our biggest highlight…wow, that’s a tough one! It think it’s the fact that we get the chance to play in a lot of countries were we wouldn’t be able to go to without the band. At this moment Mexico probably was our biggest adventure. I cannot recall any major setbacks but we have had our share of negativity I guess. Between 2003 and 2006 almost every tour we arranged got canceled. And we got a lot of shit with labels of course. For the future I hope we can play shows in cool countries were we haven’t been yet like Australia or Japan.

Once again thanks for answering my questions. And ofcourse good luck with promoting “Sworn Vengeance” during the tour with Dew-Scented! If I’ve forgotten anything to mention…
Thanx for the interview Ricardo! We sure will have a good time during that tour with our long time friends in Dew-Scented! See you on the road and buy our new album!