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Severe Torture – “The whole atmosphere is more dark and threatening and maybe we changed a little bit from a Cannibal Corpse-style to a more Immolation and Morbid Angel sort of style”

severe torture – “the whole atmosphere is more dark and threatening and maybe we changed a little bit from a cannibal corpse-style to a more immolation and morbid angel sort of style”


The beginning of the 21st century was the time of Dutch Death Metal band Severe Torture. With the release of two very brutal and well received albums and intensive touring in both Europe and US these guys got a lot of positive feedback and gained international hails. More than a year ago it got rather quiet around this band, with tours being cancelled, no new recordings and just a slight amount of shows. This didn’t meant the end of the band, and in fact they were very active. Thijs tells us what Severe Torture has been up to and what the future will bring us and them…

Hi Thijs. It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Severe Torture. Your last releases”Misanthropic Carnage” and  “Butchery Of The Soul” dating from more than two years back and since the beginning of 2003 you only did ten gigs so far.  I’m sure there still was plenty going on in several areas, right?
Hey Danny, what’s up? Sorry to correct you but our latest release was “Misanthropic Carnage” from October 2002. “Butchery” was released early 2002 (my bad; DB). But anyway, it has been a while since we released something. After the European tour with Cannibal Corpse in 2002 we started to write new songs and we were still thinking about adding a second guitar player. We also had something going in the USA for a tour there but suddenly Hhr (Hammerheart records; DB) stopped with the USA department. Our album didn’t get a proper release and promotion overthere so that tour never happened. But we kept on going and tried out Marvin as second guitar player. It really turned out good, both musically and personally so we decided to give it a go. It took us some months to work him in and we did some shows which were great.

I’ll now immediately kick in with the ‘breaking news’: you recently have parted with your former record label Karmageddon Media, formerly known as Hammerheart Records. What kind of deal did you have with Hammerheart and can you tell us the main reason why this separation took place?
In total we were signed by Hammerheart Records for four years and they released 2 full-lengths, 1 mini-album and some vinyl stuff. During those four years we were treated very well, we got tour support and we were one of the few bands that actually got royalties. But we felt we wanted something different and therefore we opened up the contract and worked it out with them.

Karmageddon will release another album of you, namely a live album with some extras. Can you tell us some more about this upcoming release?
To properly finish the contract we agreed to release a live-cd with a cover song and with our demo “Baptized…” dating from 1998. The live songs were recorded in Aarhus, Denmark by Tue Madsen (Exmortem, The Haunted, Born from Pain and many more) and we mixed them at the Excess Studios in Rotterdam. The sound is amazing and you can hear everything very clear, even some minor fuck-ups!! The cover song is “Lost Souls” from Pestilence. We like Pestilence a lot and we didn’t want do to the obvious thing and record a US-death metal song. The demo is the same as the original version, we only re-mastered it a bit. All in all it will be a cool release with cool artwork done by Sven from Dirge Design/Aborted/Leng’Tche.

As said before it’s been rather silent around Severe Torture with all these happenings surrounding the band, but you didn’t sit still, right? Can you tell us what you all’ve been doing this time?
Well, We took some time to get used to play as a 5-piece again and when it felt right we started writing new material. We did some shows, worked things out with Hammerheart Records and were confronted with some tour cancellations. We took some time to record, mix and master the live album and time flies when you are having fun, right?

Right indeed! So you say you have recorded new material which you are finishing up now for an upcoming album. Has another label already shown interest in signing Severe Torture? Rumours have been going around, you know…
Of course there are some interested parties. Some even showed interest before we decided to leave Hammerheart Records. I cannot reveal any names but I think we will make a good step forwards. And yes, we recorded some new songs during rehearsals but they will mainly be used by ourselves to help the song writing lyrical-wise.

And can you tell us some more about the new material? Is it going to be a continuation of the Severe Torture style as it is or will there be musical changes/broadening? I heard that more blunt and threatening dragging parts would possibly be included as well as solo’s. What can you say about this?
Well, when we started writing we decided to let it just come as it comes. With Marvin in the band we have a great riff-master and song writer. So that will definitely change our sound. We also noticed that we wrote more slow and mid tempo parts instead of blasting insanity all the time. It sounds great and it’s great to play. The 8 songs that we have so far are more balanced and groovy than what we wrote before. And yes, there will be some solo’s in it. The whole atmosphere is more dark and threatening and maybe we changed a little bit from a Cannibal Corpse-style to a more Immolation and Morbid Angel sort of style. We also found out that Dennis can do way more different grunts than the ones he used on the previous albums so that will also be more interesting on the next album.

For about roughly 16 months you are a five piece outfit again with the spawning of a second guitar player in the form of Marvin, known for his work in Blo.Torch. Why did you make the decision to become a five piece band again and how did you team up with Marvin? Were there other people interested or qualified?
Since our first album we were thinking of adding a 2nd guitar but we never found the right person. We know that 2 guitars sound better than 1 guitar live and especially when you double some parts and give the breaks some extra power. During the Cannibal Corpse tour we noticed that Marvin, who was playing session guitar in Dew-Scented, was a cool guy and we got along really well.

After the tour we met eachother a few times at shows and during one show a friend advised us to check out Marvin for 2nd guitar. We actually never thought about it but after some talking we gave it a chance. There were some other guitarists we discussed but we realized that we needed someone who would add something extra. We discovered that Marvin is the perfect guy so we couldn’t be happier with this choice!

He played six shows with you so far. How is this co-operation going so far and how did it improve the live situation/rehearsing/song writing for the band?
Like I said it works out perfectly! Marvin learnt our set list in a month or so and live he played the songs very well. The few shows we did went great and I can’t wait to do a tour with this line-up!

Do you still rehearse a lot nowadays? Now with five members and new labels to look forward to and all? How was this situation let’s say… eight months back?
We rehearse twice a week and we are almost finished with the writing of the new songs! I also think we will be more prepared when we enter the studio because we play all the new songs every rehearsal now and that will only improve the quality we will lay down in the studio! And we are really looking forward to sign with a new label of course. We have the feeling that this 3rd album is going to be very important for us so we will do everything in our power to deliver a super album!

You seemed to have had misfortune the last 18 months, with the cancelling of a European tour with Hate Eternal, Dying Fetus and Deeds Of Flesh and the cancelling of several Swedish shows with Dying Fetus. What was/were the reason(s) for this?
– Yeah, those things really suck! We got the offer to go on a 6 week tour with Hate Eternal, Dying Fetus and Deeds of Flesh in Europe starting September 2003. We would do this tour with the four of us (our old line-up without Marvin) because we got this offer before he joined us and he was ok with that. Then a month and a half before the tour would start it was cancelled because Hate Eternal got the opportunity to tour with Hatebreed in the USA. I cannot blame them for making that decision and they postponed the tour to January 2004. We got the same offer but this time Marvin was in the band for 7 or 8 months and it didn’t feel right to go without him. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough space in the bus for 5 people, so we decided to not join the tour. After that we worked on some other European tours which all let to nothing. We got the offer to do 6 dates with Dying Fetus in Sweden and Finland but that also was cancelled 5 days before the first show. That sucked ass!

Several years back Seth and Patrick were part of Centurian. They quit and they could fully concentrate on Severe Torture. Now, the former guitar player of Centurian formed a new band NOX and again Patrick and Seth are part of the line-up. But this time, your new guitar player Marvin is also still playing in his other band Blo.Torch. Don’t you think this will create some problems when playing live with Severe torture when the taste for the road will hit again? Do you have solid agreements on this or something?
I don’t think all 3 bands will tour that intensively, so that won’t be a problem. When 2 tours will come at the same time we would probably look which band needs that tour the most.

Something funny I saw on your site is about your merchandise section, where Georgina Verbaan (a known Dutch soap’star’) is posing in two of your new girlies. How did this happen and how willing was she to show off your merchandise?
Well, Seth’s neighbour is a photographer and she worked on a movie with Georgina in it. Somehow she brought a girlie to the set and Georgina liked it and wanted to pose in it. After that she asked for more and we gave her another one. But actually we really needed someone to pose in those girlies so this was a good moment.

And did sales improve or basically just stopped right there? I hear a lot of diverse comments; though I think it’s a cool stunt…
Of course we got negative comments and a lot of people actually thought that we did it with Photoshop (like we would pick Georgina if we could use anyone we wanted…) but all in all it gave us some publicity and we sold some extra girlies.

Are there any new plans you can reveal already to the fans concerning Severe that haven’t been told yet?
We will probably enter the studio in January 2005 for a spring release. We will be touring after that and hopefully we finally can do some good summer festivals! The live album called “Bloodletting” will be released around March 2005 through Karmageddon Media, watch out for that.

Ok, we’ll leave it at this. Thanks for the interview, good luck and feel free to voice your disgust or anything…
Thanx for the interview, hope to see you people at the few shows we will play until the new record comes out. Cheers!!