– Hi, thanks for your time. What are you currently up to? How is everything doing right now with HORNED ALMIGHTY?
Hi, well things are pretty quiet in the Horned Almighty camp at the moment. Strolling down the left hand path as always haha! Booking a few shows and preparing the vinyl edition of the new album + enjoying the great reviews the new album is getting.
– First off, how did you come up with the band’s name and what meaning does it hold personally to you? I guess with a blasphemous connotation fits well your music and spirit.
The band name actually came from an old blackthrash project I was doing called Hellsermon back in 2000. We were about to record our 3rd demo and needed a title. S., from what was to become Horned Almighty, came up with the title «Coronation of the Horned Almighty» for that tape. It never got recorded and when we chose to start a new band we took it from there…
– You have just released your fifth album, «World of Tombs». So far the feedback has been fantastic but, what were your expectations on this release?
It’s been almost 4 years since we released Necro Spirituals so we actually had no idea what to expect. We knew we had some very strong material when we decided to start recording but if you’re not the flavor of the month or hyped in some sense it’s really hard to foresee how the response will be. But the reviews and feedback has been outstanding so far, so we are very pleased.
– The first thing I can say after giving the album some spins is that were are in front of one of the most aggressive, consistent and complete records released lately into the style. Do you consider this your climax thus far?
In our press material we write that it is our most important album so far and in many ways it is. The writing process for this one was very rough and we doubted if we had another album in us back in 2012. We went through several lineup changes between 2010 and 2014, but once I switched back to guitar(I played bass during during the Necro Spirituals era) in 2012 the songwriting took off and we wrote some of our strongest and darkest songs ever. If the new one will be considered our best … well I hope so, since I think it is, but the album is extremely important to us and that is the most important thing.
– Diversity I think is one of the elements that help making this album outstanding, mixing elements from Black Metal, Doom Metal passages and a lot of Punk nuances and even some Death Metal I believe. Is this diversity something you strive for or rather something that just comes out on a natural way?
Well, the new album is more diverse than any other album we have ever done. With our usual punkish black-death we mixed in more melodic parts, more sludge and as you say even a bit of doom. It came naturally this time around, moreso than it has in the past, and it makes for a more well-rounded experience if you will.
– This being said, how could you say have been some of the most important musical influences for HORNED ALMIGHTY?
The three core members that have been with the band since day one all come from an early nineties Death Metal background, and for me, who write 98% of the music and always have, that remains my main source of inspiration. Autopsy, early swedish Death Metal and of course other stuff like Celtic Frost, early Darkthrone and 80ies thrash. Some newer stuff I find inspiring would be a band like Craft from Sweden who I have a lot of respect for and I recently got into Bölzer as well.
– In order to capture this filthy, crunchy and heavy sound you’ve got a perfect dense and crushing sound. Due to this I would like you to comment a little bit how was the production process like and if you got the sound you think the album needed.
Hahaha! Everything on the album was recorded in leass than 20 hours. Drums 5 hours, all guitar in 4 hours, all bass in 3 hours and the vocals was laid down during two 3 hour sessions. Everything recorded in our rehearsal studio … Jacob Bredahl who did the mix helped set up the drum miking and he uses a lot of ambience mikes which adds a lot of «grime and mud» to the production values. Jacob also did the first mix in a very short period of time and nailed it pretty much in one go. I spent a day afterwards in the stuido with him finetuning everything before it was sent to mastering in the US, which was handled by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege Engineering. Brad has done mastering for a shitload of bands including Nails, Sunno))) and a lot of other bands on Southern Lord. What he did for Nails was especially crushing and I think we came out with a raw, crunchy as fuck production with some of the same traits, even though our musical style is very different.
– As I said earlier, the name of the band fits you well, and so do your lyrics. Would you mind to tell what do some of the songs in the album deal with?
On the earlier albums there often was a general theme going on through the lyrics. This time the songs are individual, with different approaches. The title song is a classic end of the world tune, praising an apocalyptic doom. Another song such as «In torture we trust pt. II» is inspired by old methods of torture and executions. The lyrics often reflects moods and various sources of contemporary inspirations. All the words and text are meant to paint a mental image of what the music represents. Often it is a play of words, which should give the listener opportunity to decide the outcome for themselves, instead of just pointing out the necessity of praising evil…
– And as most of them share certain topics; where do you draw inspiration from to write them?
As said before, inspirations are drawn from various sources. Most often it is books, and when lacking proper material, there is always the ultimate compendium of foulness to turn to. There are plenty of good writing material to be drawn from the good ol’ bible still!
– And what did you want to express with the cover artwork?
For the first time we used someone else to do the cover artwork. He was given the title and the lyrics and from there, he could do whatever he wanted. He gave us updates along he way and we are very satisfied with the result. It perfectly displays the apocalyptic vision we wished to display, in a rotten ugly manner. The blind redeemer, lost for words and prayers. Feeble people praying to deaf ears for salvation, slowly dying and rotting, while the sun turns black… just basically what any cover should express really…
– You have included in «World of Tombs» a cover for AUTOPSY’s «Twisted Mass of a Burnt Decay». How did you come up with the idea? And what other 3 songs would you like to cover if you ever had the chance?
It’s a favourite song of mine so I came up with that idea. We actually recorded a second cover song for the album that we will perhaps put online for streaming at some point. Other cover songs??? Well, none spring to mind at the moment
– The most significative change in the history of the band has always been in the bass player spot. Now you’ve got Haxen. Why did you choose him and what has he brought to HORNED ALMIGHTY?
Haxen is by far the most technically proficient bassplayer we ever had. We didn’t have to correct a single thing when he auditioned for the band last year…
he got it all right the first time, and that was a relief. We had other members earlier on where I simply stopped correcting them because they simply didn’t get it. That’s very frustrating if people consistently play the riffs incorrectly even though you’ve corrected them a 1000 times. That is not the case with Haxen. Also, he is quite a lot younger than the rest of us old farts, so he brings a youthful hunger to the band that is inspiring when you have played this kind of music for 20+ years and are maybe a bit set in your ways.
– Now, like in your early days, you have just one guitar. After Aries left the band, haven’t you thought about bringing to your lineup a second guitar player?
No, that means having to teach someone everything from scratch one more time and I simply don’t have the energy or patience for that anymore. Also, both Necro Spirituals and the new album have been written for one guitar and a bass. That makes the bass play a bigger role in the soundpicture and forces you to think a bit outside the box if you are working with harmonies.
– Another change has been your record label, in fact you have already worked with several wellknown ones such as Candlelight. You have now moved to a slightly smaller one, Scarlet Records. Why this move? Is it better to be cooperating with a smaller label, as they can give you more attention and you can be a priority for them, or rather the opposite, as big companies can provide you a bigger exposure?
Candlelight was a horrible experience, simple as that. We got a lot of exposure when on Candlelight, but aside from that it was horrible. Candlelight is not about the music anymore, but 100% business and the co-operation with them was awful. The only positive thing about the experience is that I got to know Lee Barrett the founder of the label and current A&R, and he is really cool guy! After we recorded the album, Scarlet came with the best deal. I consulted a few fellow musicians who had experience dealing with Scarlet and they all had nothing but positive things to say, and so far the co-operation has been great. I hope it continues that way!!!
– All this about «World of Tombs» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?
Ugly, Violent & Catchy!!!
– You are hailing from Denmark, which has always been a really prolific country when it comes to traditional Heavy Metal (MERCYFUL FATE/KING DIAMOND, PRETTY MAIDS, etc., as main representations so to speak) but, what other Danish bands could you suggest? How’s the extreme Metal scene like over there?
There is a lot of hype currently about some one-woman black metal band …I forget the name and I haven’t heard it, but apparently she signed to Relapse based on practically nothing. Good for her!!! Back on topic: Crocell is a band I’d strongly recommend. Death metal with a touch of black metal, Undergang if you like it deep and dirrrrty. There seems to quite a lot of newer black metal bands hailing from Denmark, but I haven’t heard any of them so can’t help you there. Otherwise check out old shit like Artillery, old Invocator, Maceration and Sacrificial.
– And finally, what are your nearfuture plans?
As I began this interview with, we are booking a few shows at the moment for the late fall and winter. Also, we are finalizing the artwork for the vinyl edition of World of Tombs which should be out in November on Heartburn Music. So we are keeping busy … more or less haha!
– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free
Thanks for the interview and support. Check out World of Tombs online(it’s on iTunes and Spotify) and if you like it, pick up the digipack from Scarlet Records or vinyl when it is released in November.