Revel In Flesh are no strangers to Ave Noctum and most recently they have been a part of three split 7 inch records issued earlier this year. When it comes to punishing old school death metal, then Germany’s Revel In Flesh are very much in tune with the scene leaders. Their last release ‘Manifested Darkness’ showed a great deal of progression, rather than becoming a carbon copy of the likes of Dismember and other massive influential bands, they had a few more ideas. Most of these tracks come from that releases recording sessions. Rather than just simply reviewing these releases, I thought it best to combine with an interview; hence, I took the opportunity to speak to vocalist Haubersson about these three releases.
First off is ‘Corpus Vermis’, which is a split with American band Gravewax, this powers ahead in the style that fans of Revel In Flesh will know and love. There is a juggernaut of activity, a massive boost in sound in terms of drums and bass, such as we have come to expect and the artwork is also something special too. As this is a transatlantic split, I was keen to know the background behind this collaboration.
AN: How did you get involved with the Gravewax split ‘Corpus Obscuria’?
Haubersson: Well, GRAVE WAX is one many band projects of Mark Riddick, who is more known for his illustration works with RIDDICK ARTS (SUFFOCATION, HYPOCRISY etc.) within the scene. I’m in contact with Mark already for years. He once did a cover for my fanzine MYSTICAL MUSIC. When the REVEL IN FLESH story started to become more serious Mark was one of the first persons that got some MP3s of our material and the result was that he designed the REVEL IN FLESH band logo. Actually after the “Deathevokation” album we’ve talked seriously about doing a sort of split 7”EP together. This was somehow in late 2012. It took a while to get everything together. GRAVE WAX is a project feat. Kam Lee (Ex – MASSACRE) on vocals and they did a completely new tune for this EP along with a cover from IMPETIGO. The whole cover/layout for the EP was done by RIDDICK ARTS and after losing some time with label negotiations, DOOMENTIA Records from Czech Republic finally released this one in February 2014. The EP is limited to 500 copies and has been printed in bronze, clear and black vinyl. According to my current info from DOOMENTIA the bronze one is already sold out and the clear one is also getting close to zero in stock soon.
AN: Is it true ‘Corpus Vermis’ was recorded during the last album recording sessions (along with the other two split release tracks)?
Haubersson: Yes, “Corpus vermis” and “A chant of misery” have been recorded during the “Manifested darkness” sessions in 2012. We’ve over stretched the playing time for the vinyl version of the album a little bit; so we’ve decided to keep those two tracks in the back hand for some later releases on split 7”EPs. Looking back this was a truly good decision since the release of those split Eps really helped us to keep the bomb rolling, because the actual promotional campaign for the “Manifested darkness” album was more or less a joke.
AN: Did you use a different studio? The drums sound a touch different on the Gravewax split?
Haubersson: No, “Corpus vermis” and “A chant of misery” have been recorded with the same settings at VAULT M. studios. Our guitarist Maggesson is the sort of “technical – freak” within our band; so we always try to do the basic recordings etc. on our own. It’s the DIY way of working!
AN: Were RIF and Gravewax ever in contact? I mean you have two people massively associated with death metal in that band, that being Mark Riddick and Kam Lee (Mark Riddick – famous for artwork and more recently his own musical projects Like Fetid Zombie etc), Kam Lee doesn’t really need an introduction from any self-respecting death metal fan now does he!
Haubersson: As I’ve told you already, I’ve been a long – time contact with Mark Riddick. We’ve worked together on projects for my fanzine and traded stuff even a long – time before REVEL IN FLESH. Doing a sort of “musical project” together was the sort of next goal to go for and I’m truly happy that it worked out this way. I’ve never talked with Kam Lee regarding the GRAVE WAX project; but of course I’m absolutely familiar with his contributions to the scene; especially the classic MASSACRE stuff. I also like THE GROTEQUERY releases; this guy absolutely belongs to the very first generation of Death Metal.
AN: I assume Mark did the great artwork for the spilt release?
Haubersson: Yes, Mark is a genius and has a very significant style of morbid drawings. We’ve just released the “Corpus Vermis” design as a T-Shirt. Some time back Mark already did the “Wings of death” shirt design for us. The great thing about Mark is that he always remained a fan of the music and the scene itself; he’s truly dedicated about what he does.
The second of these split releases is with Puteraeon, a band I have followed from the early demos and released as part of the ‘Imperial Anthems’ series release on Cyclone Empire. The track on offer here from RIF is ‘A Chant of Misery’. Out of the three releases, this is my favorite. This is not so much up tempo in your face, there are time and tempo changes, there is power and there is certainly a great sinister feeling with this track. Expect a full onslaught of pure death metal.
AN: ‘A Chant of Misery’ is another track from the ‘Manifested Darkness’ sessions. Why were these tracks missed from the album ‘Manifested Darkness’? Was it simply a time/space issue. What was the decision process in choosing the album tracks? I see ‘Deathkult’, featured later on, was missed due to running time limitations.
Haubersson: Yes, you hit it – It was a playing – time/ space issue; because of the vinyl version. A normal vinyl is supposed to carry 45 minutes of music without losing quality; so we cut down the playing time to the maximal limit. Of course it was a hard decision to go for; in the end it has not been a question about the quality of the leftover tracks. “Deathkult” which was featured on the split EP with FERAL (released on JOE BLACK Records from Germany) was another issue. We’ve recorded that one in its basics already in late 2012, but finally finished it later on. We’re really proud on the “Deathkult” EP, which features an amazing black/white drawing of Juanjo Castellano. The layout of the EP was done by the guitarist of German FRAGEMENTS OF UNBECOMING. It has been released as splatter, golden and black vinyl and according to the label currently only 100 copies are left at their stock.
AN: What is the inspiration lyrically to ‘A Chant of Misery’?
Haubersson: REVEL IN FLESH deal with Death Metal and our concept is based on Death Metal issues; I don’t feel a need of preaching social bullshit with lyrics or acting like a philosophy nerd. It’s about a morbid fascination for the darkside of the living horror. “A chant of misery” basically deals about someone being buried alive in a dungeon scenery. It’s about expressing that feeling of being damned and trapped within your own grave.
AN: How did you get involved with the ‘Imperial Anthems 13’ release? Did it help with your inclusion in the same label being part of a split with Rogga Johansson’s Revolting band? Or was it more so that you have toured with Puteraeon?
Haubersson: It’s a bit of everything; but you also have to know that CYCLONE EMPIRE are located just like 20 minutes by car from the place I live; so we used to know each other already before the start of REVEL IN FLESH. The “Within the morbid ossuaries” split EP with REVOLTING sold really well at their stock; so it was definitely a motivation to give us another chance to join the madness for a vinyl release. The “Imperial anthems” is a sort of collector series. It’s also limited to 500 copies and it’s pressed on golden vinyl.
The final of these split releases comes with Feral, who on their own are an amazing young band. For this, there is a new track from RIF, ‘DeathKult’, is a tribute the death metal genre, with lyrics and album titles forming the main basis for the track. Go forth and seek out the titles. The track itself is bruising, a tirade of energy, a monster of what death metal should be about. Bare bones aggression, no fretboard big balls blitzkrieg, but down to earth perilous mite.
So as RIF now have a full line up, I was interested to see of the recording process had changed since we last spoke off their debut release.
AN: A lot of your material has been mixed by Dan Swanö. Do you simply present your material do him and he works his magic, or is there more of a “process”, more lines of communication etc? We previously spoke and Dan took more of an advisory role, certainly with the debut ‘Death Evokation’, is this still the case?
Haubersson: It’s a learning curve by doing (AN: on the job training if you will!) We’ve worked with Dan Swanö on all our released material so far. We try to do as much as we can on our own and finally give the rest to him. He has an immense “know how” when it comes to mix and master duties; most of all he has the much better equipment too. “Manifested darkness” was after the split EP with REVOLTING the first time we’ve had Swanö on the mixing duties, too. He really had a huge boost on the sound; it’s more dynamical and brutal than “Deathevokation”. At the current state of writing we’re focused on the finishing process of our 3rd – yet still untitled – album. The goal to us is to have Swanö on board again, so stay tuned…expect 10 new RIF tunes being ready for slaughter soon…
AN: In general, is there a “song writing” team within RIF? By this I mean are there members that only write the material, or do you all contribute? I ask as you now have a full band, just wondering if the other musicians have further input to the RIF arsenal?
Haubersson: The team is growing, but the process needs time. The upcoming material will feature a more wide spread involvement of all members, while Maggesson remains one of the main characters in songwriting within the RIF camp. The lyrical concept and the vocal lines are totally contributed by myself; but in the end what matters is simply to have a good album that speaks a clear language in all its aspects. In the end it’s gonna be the complete band that transfers the stuff in the live situation, so each member is a tool to keep the machinery going brutal.
AN: With the summer festival season already started, are there any plans to play some of them that you can announce?
Haubersson: Our main focus is currently finishing the 3rd album. 2014 also had private issues to deal with, so that we couldn’t play too much so far. In couple of days we will have a local support show for KATAKLYSM and then we will play German IN FLAMMEN Festival (feat. PENTAGRAM, HAIL OF BULLETS etc.) and in September we will play STORMCRUSHER Fest (Feat. ENFORCER, our friends from PURGATORY etc.). There will be more indoor shows coming up in autumn/winter time, so far mostly focused on German soil. It would be great for us to invade the UK, for some festivals or a sort of minitour. If somebody has a nice suggestion for bookings feel free to get in touch!
AN: What would you say to our readers in regards Revel In Flesh and your music? A quick summary if you will…what people can expect
Haubersson: Well, in first line I think that the music should do the talking. If you prefer your Death Metal with a sort of 90ies spirit then you should definitely check out our released material so far. I think REVEL IN FLESH developed much more of an own charm to our music and this upcoming 3rd album will underline that fact. We’re Death Metal fans and you’ll hear that in every minute, but I think that nowadays you have so many clone bands out there that it’s important to get an own identity sooner or later. We work with the classical Swedish guitar boost, but I think our music grown deeper and darker already on “Manifested darkness”. It’s certainly NOT about reinventing the wheel; it’s about delivering real and authentic Death Metal that in first line matches our personal vision. Feel free to find out more about REVEL IN FLESH by checking our Facebook tomb at:
Thanks so much for your time Haubersson, I look forward to more material, for the moment though, I am enjoying thrashing the crap out of my speakers with these three split releases.
Haubersson: Thanx Paul & Ave Noctum readership for support…DEATH by METAL
Interviewed by Paul Maddison