SUBLIRITUM (Eng.)

– Hello and thanks for your time. What’s SUBLIRITUM currently up to?
Greetings Tania
At the moment we are working on a pre-production for our next album. We have written all the new material, and we will record the album during this summer. The plan is to release the new album early next year.

– For all those who are not familiarized with the band, could you please make a little history about it?
Me and my brother Jonas founded this band in 1998, and we were the only members in the beginning. Early on we recorded a demo called ”Chemical Bastard”. Right after recording this first demo, a friend of ours, who runs the label Aftermath and a record store here in Trondheim, told us that he knew about a Brazilian label “Evil Horde Records” that was searching for new bands. He offered to contact them and sent the demo. They immediately wanted to release a whole album with the band, and shortly after we signed a record deal with them. We recruited some new members because we wanted to be able to do live shows as well. Sverre Berntsen joined on guitar, Torbjørn “Thebon” Schei on vocals and Mikael Duna on drums. We also got a violinist Tora Næss, but she was never really a part of the band besides the few vocal lines she did on our debut album. “Dark Prophecies” was recorded in 2001, but wasn’t released before 2003 due to Evil Horde Records busy schedule. The album was very successful in terms of us being a young unknown band and this being a debut album. We got good reviews and did lots of interviews. In 2002 Vegar “Vyl” Larsen joined us as the new drummer and the following two years we wrote lots of music and played quite a bit of live shows in Norway. We actually wrote a whole album, but only recorded an EP called “Dark Side of You”. The music in this period wasn’t really black metal, but more progressive metal with lots of different groove parts, odd time signatures and breaks. The songs focused more on rhythm and groove and contained few really fast parts with blast beats. However, things started to get a little hectic for us in the beginning of 2005. Vyl rejoined Keep of Kalessin and they were planning tours and recording their new album “Armada”, and Thebon joined them as well. Sverre, our guitarist, was asked to join Bloodthorn and I was in the final stage in my master’s degree education. I also had a side project back then that suddenly took more of my time when we started recording an album and touring in countries like Norway, Sweden, England, Finland and Germany. So we decided to take a break. The band was never dissolved, but it took 3-4 years before we got back together in 2008. This time with a new guitarist named Dag Müller, while Jonas decided to focus purely on the vocals instead of the guitar.

– And what does SUBLIRITUM mean?
Back in 1998 we wanted to have an original band name, and it was also important that no other bands had taken the name before us. Early on we decided to invent our own word, a word that doesn`t mean anything in any language. This way the word would only refer to this band, and nothing else. If you search for SUBLIRITUM on Google or any other search engine on the Internet today, you can be sure that all the results will be about us. I think we probably were playing around with the words “sub” and “delirium” before we ended up with Subliritum, but It hasn`t got any deeper meaning than that.

– Your new «A Touch of Death» came out some weeks ago; how has been its feedback so far? And are you satisfied with the final result?
We are very satisfied with the final result. Most of the feedback has been great. We have got some great reviews and it is well received by the press and the metal community. Of course there are some that don’t like it – it is only natural since the music is very progressive and includes elements beyond the traditional black metal expression. This is the kind of music you have to listen to several times to “understand”. It is complex music with a lot happening all the time, but when you start to know the songs and the song structures, it becomes better and better each time you listen to it.

– Your first and previous «Dark Prophecies» was released back in 2002. Why did it take you so long to release a new album?
The reason is mainly because we took this 4 year break after releasing the EP “Dark Side of You”. As I mentioned before, we wrote a whole album back in 2004, but we agreed that we wanted to write new material instead of using the old tunes when we came back together again in 2008. “A Touch of Death” was actually finished in the spring of 2010, but we used some time to find the right label to release it. We didn`t want to rush anything and it was important that we were 100 % satisfied with the conditions in the record deal. We got some offers from several labels, but ended up with Battlegod Productions. It is a great label and the manager Baltak is a great guy with lots of knowledge and passion for what he does. He also has a big network of contacts all over the world, so I don`t think we could have found a better label to release the album

– If I’m not wrong, «Dark Prophecies» was recorded in a short period of time but, how has been this process this time?
Dark Prophecies was recorded in just 10 days. We were satisfied with the result, but would have liked to use more time in the recording studio. As we financed the whole recording ourselves we couldn’t afford more than 10 days back then because studio recording is very expensive here in Norway. This time we have used more time to write, to arrange and to record the album. We did a pre-production before entering the recording studio to make sure everything went as
smoothly as possible. Now it is also possible to do more of the recording process ourselves compared to ten years ago. It is not necessary to do everything in a professional recording studio. Some of the guitars and the vocals were recorded with our own equipment while the rest was done in Skansen Lydstudio here in Trondheim.

– And what could you say you have guys improved since then?
I consider the new material much better and of higher quality. The debut album was recorded ten years ago when we were very young. Over the years we have become better musicians with better technical skills, and also the song writing has improved a lot. The production is way better as well. We always try to get better, to make better music and to develop our music in new directions. This means the music is getting more and more progressive and technical. It is always good to seek new challenges. I see no point in doing the same thing over and over. The new material is very professional and technical and we now have the skills to play very fast compared to the tempo we did ten years ago. We are in short a better and more interesting band. On our next album, the one we are now doing the pre-production of right now, you will definitely be able to hear that we have taken the music to the next level concerning the elements mention above. It can be described as a mix between Black metal, tech-death and the progressive structures of Emperor.

– You recently signed with Battlegod Producions. What prompted that move from Evil Horde? And are you happy with this change?
We are very happy with this change indeed. Evil Horde records did a good job concerning promotion etc. but Battlegod Producti
on has better distribution and a bigger network than Evil Horde. Besides, it seems like Evil Horde Records stopped releasing albums a while ago. I don’t know what happened to the label and why they are not very active anymore. The last time I spoke with them they had no intentions to quit. Maybe they are focusing more on the licensing deals in South America.

– This is, as well, your first full-length album since you re-formed your line-up, so seeing the result achieved with this brand new record I guess this line-up is working out really good.
The only new member is Dag Muller, who is a great musician by the way. All the other guys who contribute on the album have earlier been a part of the band. Right now we don’t play much live because we are dependent on a very good drummer who can handle the tempo and has the necessary technical skills that are required to play in Subliritum. Our old drummer Vegar is obviously too busy to handle touring with more bands, so he is a studio session member to consider. But I`m sure we`ll find a live drummer soon enough.

– As far as I know «Dark Prophecies» was a concept album, but what about the lyrics behind «A Touch of Death»?
The music on the first album is very influenced by movie scores, very orchestral, melodic and symphonic. The concept on “Dark Prophecies” is based on elements from Norse mythology, especially the saga about Ragnarök (the last great battle and the end of gods and men). It is symphonic black metal with Norse topics where the music works as the soundtrack to the story told in the lyrics.
“A Touch of Death” is not a concept album, but the lyrics reflect thematically upon the wickedness of the human psyche. They examine in different ways what happens on a mental level when “evil” becomes visible on the outside in terms of violence, murder, mass murder, genocide, and pure insanity. It can seem like this search for death and destruction is something inherent the human nature, but obviously other factors must be taken into account as well. There is no doubt that the mechanics in the human brain can fail and lead to mental disorders such as psychosis, schizophrenia, “inner demons” or delusions of grandeur. This may result in actions considered “evil” by society. This is the main topic in songs like “I Am the Beast”, “Berserk” and “Back to Zero”. However, throughout history we have seen “evil” actions done by apparently “healthy” men. Not a single society is without this touch of death and destruction. Why is that? Biology and Darwinism indicates that we have an instinctive desire to claim a higher position in the social hierarchy – after all, we are just animals. The methods to reach this goal are usually cruel, such as manipulation, violence, and even genocide. But we also have this so-called “normal” and socially acceptable behaviour that is not compatible with those instinctive desires. As a result, certain society structures and religions have been used throughout history, and are still being used, to justify violence, genocide and other actions that are meant to gain power for the church (or certain governments as we see today). This is why we chose to use the cover motif of this bishop carrying the cut-off heads, and the title “A Touch of Death” for the album. It symbolizes all the madness that has been justified by religion, when it is basically just an expression for the chaos that surrounds us as a consequence of humanity’s inherent search for power

– What can you tell us about the cover artwork? As its quite different from the cover of your previous CD.
Evil Horde Records were responsible for the cover artwork and the design on our debut album “Dark Prophecies” and it is linked to the Viking/Norse concept of the album. This time we chose to make the cover artwork ourselves. I think it is interesting and fun to work with design and design software, so this was something I wanted to do. The cover motif is based on a statue of the Norwegian arch bishop Eystein from the 1100 century. We decided to change the logo long ago simply because there are no Norse topics on the new stuff. The new logo is much better and doesn’t have any connotations to anything specific.

– In the album we can find the ex band member Thebon as guest vocalist. What could you say has he provided with his cooperation?
Thebon is a great guy, and I think he is one of the best vocalists in the entire extreme metal scene. He really contributes to some variation on the album.

– Though I could say this album is more brutal than the previous one, we can still find influences from different styles, even non-Metal genres so, what are your main musical influences?
I think we find inspiration from the music we like to listen to ourselves. Obviously our roots are in Norwegian black metal, but we also include elements from death metal, technical death metal, thrash etc. It is not necessary just metal that gives us inspiration, but also genres like folk music and progressive rock from the ‘70s.

– And finally, what can we expect from SUBLIRITUM in a near future? Any live plans?
As I mentioned earlier we are now are working on the pre-production for our next album. The plan is to release it early next year. Then we can use the whole summer and autumn to promote the album on festivals and play live shows in between. This is a new start for us, and I think it is important that we use some time to build a brand. Unfortunately we don’t have the opportunity to do lots of touring the whole year since we all have well-established jobs and can’t just take weeks off. But using the summer playing festivals and touring will not be a problem as long as we plan it well in advance.

– That has been all from my side, thanks once more for your time. Now feel free to add any last words.
Thanks to you Tania and the rest of the guys of Queens of Steel. Subliritum sends greetings from the north to all the Spanish metalheads who read this great fanzine. Cheers!

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