God Dethroned are back with a monstrous beast of an album, and an album worthy of a these Dutch masters fighting for a slice of the death metal world, and the right to call themselves kings of the genre. The band are currently hard at work, laying waste to cities across Europe, on a tour with fellow death metal titans Obscura, so I am hugely grateful for the time that vocalist, guitarist and founding member, Henri Sattler, has taken out of his busy schedule to give my questions the once over.

AN: 2017, and ‘The World Ablaze’, saw a welcome return for God Dethroned but what triggered the comeback for you guys?

Henri: The death of a friend who signed us to Metal Blade. On the day of his funeral I met all my buddies from bands and people from the music industry. I noticed how much I missed them. That’s when I knew I would continue GD.

AN: ‘Illuminati’ is an absolute behemoth of an album, and we see a return to the lyrical content being targeted towards your anti-Christian roots, a move away from the war theme seen on previous albums, but how much influence did the fans have on this switch in direction?

Henri: They didn’t. They were asking for it for a while, but it was still my own decision to go back to religious and occult themes. We added freemasonry to the lyrical content, something we hadn’t done before.

AN: ‘Illuminati’ sees a heavy keyboard input, which I think, adds an extra element of beauty to the tracks. How do you think the use of keys will be received by the fans, especially as ‘The World Ablaze’ didn’t have any?

Henri : They love it, as do we. The keys lift up the atmosphere in the songs and add many layers in the music. It was a good decision to do so.

AN: A delicate ‘Dominus Muscarum’ dissects the brutality of the rest of the album, but who’s idea was it to inject a fragile and intricate interlude into the package?

Henri: It was my idea. The interlude is actually a theme from the song Blood Moon Eclipse and that’s why it fits so well as an intro for that song.

AN: With ‘Illuminati’ about to be unleashed onto the world, have you got any plans to invade and demolish the British shores anytime soon, either on your own tour, or with any festival aspirations?

Henri: Yes we will come back to the UK as part of a European tour this year. We don’t know about festivals yet.

AN: Any idea why the UK has been omitted from your current tour with Obscura, Thulcandra and Fractal Universe? Those pits are going to be colossal and I think that the UK would genuinely have welcomed you with open arms.

Henri : No I don’t. Possibly because Obscura already played there not so long ago? I would have loved to play there, but it wasn’t my decision to make.

AN: It’s good to see Dave Meester introduced into the God Dethroned family on ‘Illuminati’, how much did this add to the dynamics during the writing process of the album?

Henri: He joined the band after the recordings, but did his guitar solos. They are awesome and the crowd totally loves it when he plays them live.

AN: You guys have been really busy recently, especially with the release of the ‘Bloody Blasphemy 20th Anniversary Show’ DVD. How did you decide on the venue and show to be chosen as the location for the shoot of the DVD?

Henri: The venue is one of our favorite locations in the Netherlands, so it was a no brainer to have it done there.

AN: If you had to pick what would be your favourite song on ‘Illuminati’ and favourite song to play live?

Henri: I love all songs so I don’t know. Live I really love to play Book of Lies because of the atmosphere, but of course I love to play all the other ones too.

AN: Biggest influence for God Dethroned and biggest personal influence?

Henri: Satan

(Interview Phil Pountney)