DETERIOROT's second full length album "The Faithless" will finally be released in May 2010 via Spain's Xtreem Music... We already have a review and interview related to it somewhere else on this site, so why another feature you may ask? Well, the following conversation between Ulrich and Paul originally wasn't meant to be an interview... it was just a chat that both had based on two different advance mixes that we received of the band's new album... But as it contains lots of interesting additional information, we decided to publish it here as well... Thanks to Paul and Ulrich who both gave us the permission...
Greetings Paul, Ulrich here. I wrote the review on Voices From The Darkside... Frank gave me your email address so I could give you my opinion of the new mix... In short, I think that the guitars really profit the most as they sound notably thicker and even a bit more Swedish than on the initial mix. I guess the engineer tweaked around a bit on the compression among other things?
"The mixing engineer also worked heavily on the snare drum which sounds more powerful and really has a kick to it. Yes the guitars are more noticeable but that is thanks to the mastering engineer. The mixing engineer did work on the compressions and made the guitars and the bass more audible but the mastering engineer helped to thicken the sound of the guitars and dirty it up a bit to make it sound heavier."
Either way, the whole result is more massive and intense. First I was unsure whether any details would be drowned out but this is not the case...
"I'm really excited about the whole sound. Especially how the bass guitar stands out in certain parts. On the last album "In Ancient Beliefs", I would have lliked more bass guitar. So I made sure it stood out on this one."
I was wondering how the vocals sessions went?
"The vocal sessions actually came out better than I expected. I was nervous because I had not been singing for nearly 8 years. But the end result I was happy with. On the first mix. I listed to the last song 'Alone And Cold' and I notice a strain in my voice which I did not hear until I was home in North Carolina. The line is in the first tempo change. The line is "Frightened and Alone" the word "Alone" was a huge strain and voice crack. In the remix that entire vocal part was then re-recorded."
If I understood it right, you recorded those in that same dirty basement that reeked of piss and shit in a very short time?
"Yes, the entire album vocals were done in 2 days in horrible conditions."
That must have been very stressful and tense overall...
"It felt like a prison or a dungeon. I just wanted to be out of there."
The thing is that here and there your vocals sound a little bit strained which I think is owed to the stress and time contraints...
Recently I recorded vocals for the band I sing in and faced similar problems and it took quite some time for me to achieve the results I was aiming for...
"It's not as easy as some might think. There is an artform to Death Metal growls and most think it's easy with no talent required."
Now, I am definitely not writing this to piss you off or trying to come across as a know-it-all. My personal impression was just that the vocal lines are partly too dominant compared to the rest of the music, the "hover above" it, so to say, in a way that some of the calmer riffs are a bit hard to make out. Additionally, the "strained" bit which I tried to describe above is quite audible at times...
"I'm not too sure what parts are the strained ones you mean. But I do know there are a few vocal lines where I meant it to sound like a strain if that's what you mean. It was some ideas I had with my vocals. Something I have never done before. It was an influence of My Dying Bride's first EP and "As The Flower Withers". For instance, in the first song on my new album - the song is called 'The Phantoms Cry' (I am highlighting the word and words where I meant to emphasize a strain) there is a line that goes - "The fight within ourselves it seems to be the same, to doubt, we're forced to think the same for years." Also on the last song 'Alone And Cold' I do the same thing. I do it a few times, but here is an example. It's the very last line of the song - "Thank you for all the memories." There are a few others I can think of as well. 'Bataan Death March' - "If others say, our war is our shame, we're now the enemy, why are we here? If others say, this war helped save a nation that is now free, why keep us here?" I wanted it to have a raw sound and to be throaty. "In Ancient Beliefs" had a lot of vocal delays / echoe and had the 2 vocal tracks layered. It was common at that time. This new recording I did not want to do the 2 vocals and wanted to have more of a raw sound with minimum echo and just 3 songs I had the heavy dark reverb for atmosphere. I like that you are able to give me your opinion and I find it valuable. The dominant vocals were my vision for this entire album. A huge influence for me is the Paradise Lost 2nd album "Gothic". It seems that this album sounds like it was mixed in 2 different sessions. One session has the loud, upfront, dominant vocal track and the 2nd session it's drowned in reverb and quite distant. It's a style I really like for the vocals and was my vision for this album from the start. I really would not like the album without the loud vocals. Coming back to my amateurish experiences, my thought was that the overall impression / perception of the vocals might be better if they were turned a bit down in the mix, that they would come across stronger if there are floating with the stream of the music. I am a layman concerning accoustics at best, I think that the frequency of the vocals would "mingle" better with the rest if taken down a notch so that the "whole" is more massive and balanced and the frequencies would add to the few spots where the vocals were maybe not as powerful as they could have been were the recording circumstances better. Well, you know everyone has their preference or their vision for mixing. But, at least I had a few mixes to compare. The rough mix in 2002 had the vocals lower in the mix. I did think it sounded good, but for me it was not the vision in my head I wanted to put out for the album. It came out how I wanted finallly in the end and another $3000 more in the way I wanted it to sound."
I really hope my point comes across as (at least somewhat) honest criticism intended to be constructive and nothing else!
"Of course. I value it for sure!"
You read my review and I think it is clear that the upcoming album is a great slab of Death Metal how I love it.
"Your review really made me proud of it. I'm glad you are a person that understands true Death Metal. It seems there are alot of folks lately that write in zines that are unschooled on Death Metal and only know slam Death Metal."
I just felt I should give an honest opinion and mention the very few details which I think could be worked on to achive an even more crushing album.
"I really appreciate your opinion. I believe everything sounds to me the way I wanted it to sound. And it's the album I wanted to put out. I analyze my work so much and I go back to the studio so much that it ends up costing me so much money to rework, remix, remaster. But if I get my final result which is my vision, then it's worth it."
After all I am just a longtime fan who also dabbles in Death Metal to add insult to injury, hehehe. Again, I hope you take my opnion something constructive.
"Of course, thank you!"
Thanks again for completing the old songs, hope to see you on the stage soon in Europe!
"You are very welcome! I only did it for the fans. It cost me more time, money, and mental exhaustion than I get in return financially. I do hope to come to Europe and meet my long time Metal brothers. I hope to meet you someday."
Interview: Ulrich Kreienbrink
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