– Hi, thanks for your time. What are you currently up to? How is everything doing right now with BELPHEGOR?
Everything is just great. In one week CONJURING THE DEAD will see the light of day. It’s one of our strongest releases. We’ve performed a few festivals and open airs where we live premiered GASMASK TERROR and the title tack. The reception was fantastic!
– You have just released your newest album, entitled «Conjuring the Dedad». What are your expectations on it? And how has its feedback been so far?
I try not to create expectations. Time will tell… The feedback has been very positive so I hope people will storm the shops and order the new offering.
– You are a band with a really strong trademark sound, but on this new opus we can notice different elements that help getting a more diverse final output. Would you agree on this?
Yes. We always try to push boundaries further with each release. There is no other band around, that comes close to the BELPHEGOR sound. Our supporters deserve the best and on this release, they get what they deserve. More shredding, more brutality…just more of everything. Magick!! For me, the new slasher is a very special one in our discography. I guess people that want hear aggressive Musick will dig it and understand the Death Metal approach. I don’t want too much repetition in the sound. It was about time to return to our roots and concentrate on just brutal musick.
– There is also some diversity in vocal terms. Was this more varied final outcome something you were aiming for?
Yes, that was the plan. I wanted this album to be more intense. In my opinion, that called for more death-growl style vocals, which has surprised some of our audience. There are plenty of my classic grunts, screams, and familiar BELPHEGOR trademarks throughout the album, though. On CONJURING THE DEAD we celebrate, rather glorify, diabolical Death Metal.
– I could also say «Conjuring the Dead» has more feeling that some of your previous releases, being acoustic interludes and ambient parts more prominent or just starting to flow better. Have you focused a little bit more on feeling or is it just a natural evolution?
Both. Natural evolution, we cared a lot about the atmosphere, that people get some breath between the brutality. Each album we give our best, people who support us deserve that.
– The great sound also helps enhacing all this. You recorded it with the veteran Erik Rutan. How was the whole process like? Are you happy with the result obtained?
As I started creating the new sound collages I had a goal. A brutal, extreme Death Metal album with the typical BELPHEGOR elements. I wanted to put some of the more epic elements aside and concentrate on dynamics and intensity, more to the point- direct and aggressive. That’s why we decided for Erik Rutan as producer and recorded in Florida. I always wanted to have that US brutal sound for a BELPHEGOR Lp, but I never thought it would happen. We did it. The collaboration was just awesome, way better than I ever expected. He brought some ideas here and there, and motivated us to track ultra tight performances. My guitars never sounded that precise on a BELPHEGOR album. If you turn the volume all the way up, it’s as if the band is in the same room with you and blasting the shit outta hell.
– On the other hand, the cover artwork was crafted by Seth Siro Anton, whom I think has a really recognizable style. You had already worked with him in the past so, why did you decide to use him again? How did you work on the cover and what did you want to depict on it?
I was very pleased to work with Seth again. Always great teamwork with him. This is a conceptual depiction of the world of terror we actually do live in. It’s about how I see the human race nowadays, how we destroy life/nature, poison ourselves in a variety of ways for many reasons. We work hard to fukk up everything and dig our own graves and destroy the earth in the name of greed and might. People that support BELPHEGOR find the lyric sheets in the booklet of the physical Cd. I encourage them to form their own interpretations, too.
– All this about «Conjuring the Dead» being said; how could you describe iot in just 3 words?
BRUTAL – MAGICK – ART!
– You’ve been around for over two decades now and have built a really solid name into the Metal scene so, what do you recall as the best and worst moments for/with the band so far?
Traveled world few times, played many incredible shows, amazing sightseeing, met a lot of interesting people, there are loads of unforgettable moments. I’m thankful for it. Of course there are plenty of bad ones, too..but the good stuff remains what’s important.
– Finally, what are your near-future plans?
Live promotion worldwide. I hope to return to Spain with CONJURING THE DEAD and play songs with the uttermost precision and brutality for audience. We have always enjoyed shredding in Spain. In Europe we concentrate on festivals for 2014-2015. We are doing approximately 20 open airs indoor festivals this year. Norway, Sweden, Jakarta, France, Germania are already successfully conquered. There is a lot coming on the map like Japan, China, South Africa. Always great to march into new territories, big challenges. Mid-September through mid-October we’re doing our 9th North American tour. First time that we headline a full tour in the US, direct support is from our Greek Metal brothers in ROTTING CHRIST. BEHEADED from Malta and SVART CROWN from France are also a part of the bill. At the end of the year, a festival tour through South America. Each BELPHEGOR concert is a surprise man, we are known for brutal stage rituals, and still celebrate Diabolical Death Metal. Many great places offer outstanding crowds, especially those who do not often have brutal bands arriving on their fronts. Join the BELPHEGOR pit and go to hell with us..
– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.
Thanks for the space, Sergio. I want to let everyone know the limited digipak edition contains a bonus Dvd, with a running time over 70 minutes, a present for the die-hard BELPHEGOR soldiers. It’s sort of a 20 year anniversary Dvd. You get to see studio recording, rehearsal, making of’s, Metal traveling, were we show you the impressive bonechurch in CZech/ Cutna Hora, Czech. and Castle Aggstein in Niederösterreich an der Donau, Austria. Ruins over 900 years old. A guided tour through our rehearsal cave bunker, to get an insight were we forge our Death-steel. We rehearse in this room since about 1997, we collect things from all over the world, all the staff what we bring back from touring is in this room. A very special place to me, hundreds of bones/ skulls,..very magickal to create musick there. Also introduce our companion animal, Mr. Swinefever who watches the cave-bunker. Six live tracks from several shows, but hell no, there aren’t the best ones, some with good sound-quality, some with an terrible sound. Of course you also get to see the brand-new video clip for the title track and making of. Makani Terror a known fetish/tattoo model took over the role of the possessed Sukkubus. I also want to say thank you to the people who listen to our records, buy merch at the shows, and all who attend BELPHEGOR live rituals. Invade your local record stores and pick up CONJURING THE DEAD on August 8th! Hell awaits..