IN AETERNUM is a very fine and in my opinion underrated band from Sweden, who deliver their version of diabolic Swedish Death / Black Metal for more than two decades now. Time for us to hook up with founding member David "Impious" Larsson, to bring some light into their dark and checkered history and dig in the last 25 years of band history.
Hi David, hope you are doing well and welcome to VFTD. Hope you are ok to dig a bit in the past as we try to get some detailed information about the history of IN AETERNUM. So let us go back to 1992 where you and Demogorgon came together and formed BEHEMOTH (SWE). Tell us a bit, how you came together and what do you remember about the two released demos. Where they recorded in proper studios or at home and did you play any shows with other bands? The approach was a bit more rough I guess…
"Well we more or less bumped into each other through mutual friends at a party and kind of hit it off straight away with each other. Demogorgon was an intense person with lots of ideas, some realistic and some not. During the summer of 1992 we started rehearsing with two other guys on drums and guitar and recorded a rehearsal demo with that line-up, only one track, ‘To Enter The Gates’, was the track. After a short time we kicked the others out since they didn’t want to do the whole concept of Black Metal. We continued on as a two piece and got help from some old friends of mine to play the drums for the two rehearsal demos that we did. We also were supposed to tour with MORTUARY DRAPE in Italy back then, but things fell apart for reasons out of our control. After that we booked a local gig and only a few days before it was supposed to go off our drummer quit. We ended up doing all the songs without drums and it was really fucking weird the whole thing. Got a few live photos from that "gig"."
Sounds crazy but those were the days. What happened then? When did you stop working with Demogorgon and how did this lead to IN AETERNUM and where did you find Magnus and Paul as new band members?
"We kind of drifted apart, he was battling some psychological issues in his life and ended up leaving the Metal scene for quite a few years. This must have been in 1994 some time, can’t remember exactly. Both Magnus and Paul I knew from SORCERY, Magnus was kicked out of that band and wanted to join me in IN AETERNUM. As it happened nothing much was going on with SORCERY so when I asked Paul and played some music for him he thought it was good stuff and agreed on joining us on drums. We did have another drummer before Paul but he was more or less used just to get things going properly with new songs. He played with us for about 6 months I believe and then we let him go and got Paul instead."
"And Darkness Came" was the first material I got to listen to back then from you guys and I liked it a lot as I was heavily into the 90s Death / Black stuff back then and I still am. You recorded this as a two-piece with Paul and had 2 guests in person of Vargher and Matte Ehlin. Tell us a bit about the recordings back then and how you ended up releasing the EP on your own.
"Shortly before the recording it was obvious that Magnus lacked the musical skills and personal skills to stay in the band. He was more or less a bad drunk who couldn’t play properly. So we decided to carry on on our own with the recording of the first MCD. The two guests we had on it were old friends of mine who contributed, Vargher from BEWITCHED did our intro and Ehlin did some backing vocals. Just a cool thing to do back in the days, having good friends be a part of our music. As far as I can remember the recording went really smooth with nothing special happening. It’s 20 years ago and I have a hard time recalling any stories around it actually. This MCD was released with the help of Metal Supremacy Records from Germany, they later released our 7" "Demon Possession". It’s thanks to those guys / women and Hellion Records from Itzehoe that we got to play the Wacken Festival in 1999. We owe them big time for that. And what a great record store that is, if it still exists. Bought heaps of records from that place back in the 90s, first time I went there me and some friends from SACRAMENTUM travelled there by boat and train just to buy records and shirts. Those were the days of old school fucking Metal."
Yeah, definitely, Hellion in Itzehoe was one of the coolest stores around back in the days. What happened after the release of "And Darkness Came"? Did you play many shows back then? In 1999 you released "Forever Blasphemy", a hellish album which currently spins in my car, while working out these questions. How did you get in touch with Necropolis Records, a really fine label back then and have you been satisfied with their work and the recordings?
"After we got the MCD out we sent it over to Necropolis to try and get a deal going, back then they were the label to be on. They did like what they heard but still wanted to hear some new stuff to really know if we were on the right track. So what we did was to go straight into the studio and record one new track for them, ‘The Pale Black Death’ was the track chosen for it. After that we signed our contract and ended up on Necropolis. They have got a lot of shit from several bands, we got nothing bad to say about them. They released our albums payed for the studio costs and let us use Necrolord for the album artwork on two of our albums, who are we to complain. Also they sent us out on tours and took us to the States for a few shows. We went on tour with IMMORTAL right after the album was released in 1999, RITUAL CARNAGE and GOD DETHRONED was on it too as well as BENEDICTION, fuck that was fun. So we managed to quite a bit of playing live, the guys at Hellion Records even made sure to have us play the Wacken Festival, what a great thing to do for us."
As far as I know, "Demon Possession" was released afterwards again by Metal Supremacy. Was it just because of your friendship, to release this special gem via them and not via Necropolis?
"That was a thank you to them and Hellion Records for helping us out, that’s the reason we covered the old W.A.S.P. classic on that one. A pure tribute to dedicated people supporting us and the scene in general. We never even thought of doing that one through Necropolis Records."
One year later, you released "The Pestilent Plague" again via Necropolis but as a three-piece again. What happened after "Forever Blasphemy" that Mats left the band? Did you do any touring for "Pestilent Plague" back then? As far as I know, there was the "Plague Across Europe" tour back in 2001.
"He was a lousy bass player, simple as that. We tried to teach him some techniques so he would be able to develop as a musician, he took it the wrong way. So when we started doing pre-production for this record we realized that he couldn’t play as good as we needed him to do, so we fired him. Fact is most of the bass on the first album is done by me and Paul. Yeah, we did a killer tour with MALEVOLENT CREATION and ROTTEN SOUND for that record, great guys to be out on the road with. The only obstacle was our soundman who was a stoner to the extent of making our lives miserable. So we had a talk with Julian (KULT OF AZAZEL) who was doing the sound for MALEVOLENT CREATION and he was up for doing our sound as well. That sealed the deal and we kicked out our soundman straight away, he was pissed about that and we were happy about it. A fucking looser junkie not doing what he was told. To this day we are friends with Julian and the MALEVOLENT CREATION guys, cheers for the old memories brothers. Also for this album we managed to get to the States and play two shows, one in San Francisco and one in Los Angeles at "November To Dismember" Fest. Both gigs were awesome with lots of support, we got to hang out at the record store run by SADISTIC INTENT partied with them, DREAMS OF DAMNATION, ENSLAVED, WITCHERY, pornstars and friends all week long. We even got to stay with Jim Durkin from DARK ANGEL / DREAMS OF DAMNATION at his house and look through his old scrapbook. DREAMS OF DAMNATION at that time were signed to Necropolis as well. Thanks to all that made that stay a brilliant one. Just imagine seeing one of the Necropolis staff come to the motel in the morning arm in arm with two pornstars he had fucked during the night, the laughter and cheering hardly stopped."
In 2003 you returned with "Nuclear Armageddon", the first ever release on Agonia Records. I think it must be the time, when Necropolis started to struggle. How did you get in touch with Agonia and have you been satisfied with their work?
"From the beginning it was supposed to be out on Hellspawn Records, David Parland’s (GBNF) old label. He paid for the recordings and when he heard it he didn’t like the sound on it and wanted us to record it again. We told him no and we had some arguments over it which ended in him giving us the recording to do whatever we liked with it. That’s when we got in touch with Selbstmord Records through Tore who was then our drummer. This never got anywhere and Nicklas from Selbstmord told us Agonia was interested in releasing it. So in the end we ended up working with Filip and Agonia for this record, we simply gave him the recording and artwork so we could have it out quick. The pressing of the album came with errors on the disc where the music skips forward in two of the songs, very annoying and damaging. Not too delay things Agonia released it anyway to our dismay. They tried blaming it on the master CD sent to them, but there was nothing wrong with that one so the pressing plant must have screwed up. Apart from that we got along well at the time."
In 2004 you released the "No Salvation" EP via Agonia. As far as I know, there have been some issues with the cover artwork. Can you tell us a bit, what really happened back then?
"The cover artwork is taken from the movie "Passion Of The Christ", that didn’t sit too well with a certain gentleman. So what happened was that Mel Gibson’s attorneys sent our label a letter stating that they would sue the company if they continued to sell and market the record. Not sure if they withdrew any adverts for it, good promotion for us though. That picture on the cover is fucking awesome."
In 2005, "Dawn Of A New Aeon" was released. This was another really fine album with really good songs on it but again you had some line-up changes. Can you tell us a bit more about that time?
"The only difference was that we got rid of our bassplayer and recorded the album as a three piece. Shortly after we finished the album Clabbe joined us on bass and has been with us ever since. He’s the one who toured for the album and it worked out great with the four of us. We did a whole bunch of live shows during that time. In the end we more or less got burned out and we also wanted to go in different directions. Our guitar player at the time wanted to go more technical and the rest wanted to keep it the way it was. After all, the playing on this album was over the top and we struggled to play certain songs. So in the end Daniel chose to leave the band."
In 2007 you released the "Curse Of Devastation" EP via Pulverized Records with tree new songs and a re-recorded version of ‘Reaper In Black’. The line-up again was different, even though the material and its chemistry was really good. But anyway you took a long break after this. What happened after the release and caused the long break?
"We lost Daniel and got Eki on lead guitar, very good guitar player and we did some great songs together. Personality wise we didn’t match at all which was evident after we did a short tour through Finland with ROOT. These three shows in Finland ended up being the last shows for 7 years. I was totally fed up with the whole music industry and wanted nothing more to do with it. I stopped playing guitar, I stopped going to gigs and just rode my bike and raised hell on my own."
In 2016, Pulverized Records announced your return and the new tracks sound very promising and also the reviews of it were very positive. When have you started to resurrect the band and are you happy with the current line-up and the chemistry in the band? What are your plans for the future, can we expect another full-length as I insinuate, you all have normal jobs as well.
"In 2014 we finally resurrected the band and played a few shows, yet again with a new guitar player named Joel since Daniel didn’t respond to our phone calls or emails. We have a good chemistry in the band with this line-up and we play for the fun of it nowadays. We did a short mini tour in February this year with LUCIFERICON and VENEFIXION through Belgium, Holland and Germany. That was a great trip and all bands got along well and had fun and raised hell. The MCD has received great reviews all over and that is very appealing to us. Shows that we do a good thing by playing again. The idea is to make another album, we had hopes to do it this year but most likely that won’t happen due to too little time. So hopefully by the beginning of next year. We do work full time jobs except Perra, who is a full time musician. So time is not something we have a lot of. It’s not like when you were a kid and could play 7 days a week."
Thank you very much, for answering my very detailed and bothering questions and your patience. Any last words, you want to address to our readers?
"Damn good questions, I hope I matched them with my answers. I would like to say thank you to the people who have supported us throughout the 25 years of existence. Support the underground and stay loyal to the Metal of Death."