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ACT OF GODS is a new band, but they aren't composed of newcomers in the extreme Death Metal style since some of their members where part of the great and cult French Death Metal bands MUTILATED and ABYSSALS! I was very enthusiastic when I heard news from them and I was impatient to hear their new stuff! I had the opportunity to listen to this new demo and it includes some good gut tripping riffs in the oldschool Death Metal style à la POSSESSED / old MORBID ANGEL with brutal death touches! So here's an interview with Phil (guitar) and Ventylator (vocals) for you to discover another good French band, but also to visit a frenetic Death Metal period again...

Do an introduction to ACT OF GODS, actual line up, when the band was formed etc
Phil: "Here we go, ACT OF GODS was formed in September 2001, with Guillaume behind the drumkit, Ventylator as a vocalist and myself on the guitar (Guillaume and I both played in MUTILATED). We have written a few tracks, entered the studio (the LB Lab) in March 2002 and released our first demo “Dies Irae” in October 2002. This demo will only be used for labels, magazines, fanzines, webzines, etc. The official version will see the light during spring 2003. Just before the release of the demo, Thomas joined us in September 2002 as a guitarist."

With titles like 'Act Of The Insane', 'Perverted Cross' or 'Soaked In Pus' one can immediately see that what we have got here is typically Death Metal lyrics. Tell us more about the subjects that your texts deal with and what they mean to you.
Ventylator: "About the lyrics, the texts are short fantastic novels, a bit in the vein of "The Tales From The Crypt". Excepted 'Perverted Cross' that is a bit different as it deals with the inquisition. We are all atheists, so there’s no Satanism that will take place in the lyrics that must be taken as self-derision!!! We also bear with these sick guys who use Metal to spread their fascist ideas!!!"

One of your members was the bassist / vocalist in MUTILATED, and two others were part of HIDDEN SIDE but also MUTILATED for one of them... I think I understood ACT OF GODS also included some members of ABYSSALS (a French Death Metal band that released a very good demo in '94) but I’ve compared the names of the musicians on the releases and none is in the actual line up. Clear my mind on this point!
Phil: "It’s very simple, I joined ABYSSALS after the recording of the demo, because some gigs were organized and we were able to tour."

I didn’t hear about HIDDEN SIDE. Did they release a demo?
Ventylator: "HIDDEN SIDE was formed by Guillaume (ex-MUTILATED) in 1994. A demo was recorded live during a rehearsal. But the band split up 2 weeks before entering the studio. Rock'n'Roll…"

What are in your opinion the main differences between MUTILATED and ACT OF GODS? Do you see ACT OF GOD as a continuation of MUTILATED or do you see it as a radically new band?
Phil: "The main difference is the guy who was writing almost all the music in MUTILATED isn’t part of ACT OF GODS. So all the compositions are new. There are no similitude between these two bands, except for the fact that we still play a rather "oldschool" Death Metal. The tracks are powerful and own a "soul"."

How would you qualify the musical style of the band? Old school Death Metal with a brutal Death touch? At the level of the influences, which bands would you quote?
Phil: "I think you summed the situation up well. Speaking for myself, I’m still into the "old" bands such as Morbid Angel, Incubus, Pentagram, Nocturnus, terrorizer, Repulsion and also the old Slayer releases. I also like Cannibal Corpse ("Bloodthirst") as well as DEATH."

Some of your riffs remind me a bit of VADER. I don’t know if you're attentive with the career of the band, but don’t you think their style and their productions sounds a bit warmed up nowadays? I think their "peak" was at the time of their second album, and then followed by some albums that weren’t essential (several live CDs, somekind of best of with bonus tracks…)
Ventylator: "We are flattered to be compared to such a band, even if we don’t quote them as a main influence. VADER is a band we appreciate for their persistence and for what they have brought to Death Metal. Their live performances are devastating! Speaking for myself, my influences are rather Myrkskog, Deranged, Origin and Nile… only slow ones!!!"

You were present in the extreme Metal scene around a bit more than ten years. Did you follow what happened in the very deep underground? Were there some very underground bands that branded your brain? What’s your opinion about the bands that were playing music at the same time as yourself at the time of MUTILATED?
Phil: "I haven’t got the feeling there was a "French extreme scene" in 1988 at the time of our first MUTILATED demo "Psychodeath Lunatics". I would also say it was almost inexistent. There was naturally a few bands such Loudblast, Agressor and all the scene from Marseille. No band really attracted my attention in the underground scene of this time, and the same goes for the underground bands of the following years."

As a lot of French bands you have recorded your tracks with Stéphane Buriez. Is he a long time friend? Are you satisfied with the result? I think the production of this 4 track demo could be situated somewhere between the official live CD of MORBID ANGEL and "Blessed Are The Sick" for example
Phil: "We know each others for a long time. We have been in this studio because all the bands that did their thing with them have got a really exceptional sound, I mean power and precision. They have got a lot of professionalism and know-how. We are really satisfied with the result, only the guitar sound could have been better. But we can’t have everything. It was an enriching experience. Sorry, but it’s hard for me to compare the prod of our demo to Morbid Angel’s production."

I was in contact with one of ABYSSALS’ members in 1996, he told me at the time Head Not Found were interested in releasing the demo as a MCD, what has happened ?
Phil: "I can’t tell you more since I didn’t take care of the mail."

I heard a member of ABYSSALS played for some time in AGGRESSOR. Is it true? What do you think about AGGRESSOR?
Phil: "I didn’t know, you should tell me who it was to get more infos… About Aggressor, I loved their first demo. It was fucking killer at this time."

I own a bootleg live tape of MUTILATED. Your gigs seemed to be quite intense and you seemed to have a good following. Haven’t you had the possibility to release an album? A cool amount of French bands released some albums at this time and they weren’t all better than MUTILATED, far from this!
Phil: "We wanted the best of the best, we had several offers, but we hoped to get the "big deal". And I can say it, it has made our existences way more rotten!"

I’ve had the opportunity to read an interview and some reviews of MUTILATED in fanzines of this time. You seemed to be a bit somekind of precursory in France with some 100% Death Metal influences à la POSSESSED while the French scene was more into a Thrash Metal à la KREATOR. What pushed you to be more extreme at this time?
Phil: "It was like this, we were naturally attracted by what we had discovered (before a good amount of people!), the tape-trading thing was very rich, it was the beginning of the Death Metal wave, and we’ve surfed on it. There was a ton of bands who had only released some demos. This way, we knew all the bands that were going to become big. That’s why we left Thrash and Speed Metal. But this said, one couldn’t compare the first Possessed album and the other bands."

Do you think it’s still possible to take over a leading position in extreme Metal, keeping in mind that all the music had already been done in this style?
Ventylator: "Hard, hard! I think the style has reached some peaks with bands like Myrkskog or Hate Eternal! There’ll always be more and more extreme bands, but the original aspect of it will be very limited. But anyway this isn’t what we expect from an extreme band."

How old are you now? Do you think you’ll still play extreme Metal for a long time? Don’t you think as you’ll grow older you’ll naturally start some more "calm" activities that ask a certain knowledge of the scene, such as doing a label?
Ventylator: "Taking in consideration my age, I don’t feel like the young male of my youth anymore. But as you insist, I can give you the age of my brothers in arms, so Phil is 54 years old, Guillaume is 45 and Thomas has reached the 70 years old! In my opinion, your age isn’t important when you play with your guts. When you don’t want to do it anymore, or family life makes you unable to do so, you must stop!"

Have you got some side projects (musical and non musical)?
Phil & Ventylator: "Unfortunately our days are too short..."

What are you doing in your ordinary life?
Ventylator: "I brush the beards of the guys in ZZ TOP, trust me there’s some work!!!! I’m a student, I’m finishing my exams."

What’s your opinion about nowadays’ French extreme Metal scene? In my opinion it’s better than ever (at least since I’m a lot into it with my fanzine) with bands like BYATIS, KABBAL, GERBE OF LIFE, DISGUST, ANANDA and so on. The bands are more professional, expressive, better organized… In your opinion, where does this evolution of our scene come from?
Ventylator: "It’s maybe because of the fact that we are all fed up to be 100 kilometres behind the other countries in musical terms and because the guys are more into it than ever before."

Phil: "Certainly because the scene didn’t exist, or it was struggling along; It only needs to explode, and from what you tell me there is potential in this fucking country. Hope it won’t be useless. But the elder generations have left a patrimony anyway (even if it’s small). Because our past scene is really poor compared to our neighbour countries. I can’t wait for the moment when there’ll be a true French Metal scene. When will there be an extreme Metal festival in France?"

What’s your opinion about nowadays’ French extreme Metal scene? In my opinion it’s better than ever (at least since I’m a lot into it with my fanzine) with bands like BYATIS, KABBAL, GERBE OF LIFE, DISGUST, ANANDA and so on. The bands are more professional, expressive, better organized… In your opinion, where does this evolution of our scene come from?
Ventylator: "It’s maybe because of the fact that we are all fed up to be 100 kilometres behind the other countries in musical terms and because the guys are more into it than ever before."

Phil: "Certainly because the scene didn’t exist, or it was struggling along; It only needs to explode, and from what you tell me there is potential in this fucking country. Hope it won’t be useless. But the elder generations have left a patrimony anyway (even if it’s small). Because our past scene is really poor compared to our neighbour countries. I can’t wait for the moment when there’ll be a true French Metal scene. When will there be an extreme Metal festival in France?"

What’s your opinion about a return of David Vincent in MORBID ANGEL?
Phil: "Without David Vincent, it’s not Morbid Angel."

I know a lot of long time brutal Death fans (and fans of Metal in general) are resistant to the Nu Metal style. What’s your opinion about it?
Ventylator: "It’s true, except for Phil."

Phil: "I don’t reject the whole thing. But I listen to it only a bit!!"

I know a lot of long time brutal Death fans (and fans of Metal in general) are resistant to the Nu Metal style. What’s your opinion about it?
Ventylator: "It’s true, except for Phil."

Phil: "I don’t reject the whole thing. But I listen to it only a bit!!"

You’re at the very beginning of the promotion and it seems to be too early to ask this, but did some label already show some interest in ACT OF GODS?
Phil: "Yes, we had several offers. I’ll be able to tell you more when we’ll have signed the deal. But an album will be released in December 2003."

These last words are yours. Tell us more about the future projects for ACT OF GODS and add whatever you want!
Ventylator: "Thanks for the interview and see you soon for the album’s release!!!!"

Phil: "Thanks Gab for the interest you show in Act of Gods and for your contribution to the extreme Metal scene all these years."

Contact: vortexal@hotmail.com

Interview: Gabriel S.
(originally published by NIHILISTIC HOLOCAUST)

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