Dutch old school Death Metal masters PENTACLE not only returned with a fantastic brand new album entitled “Spectre Of The Eight Ropes” via Iron Pegasus at the end of last year, the album also ended up on #4 in our “Best Of 2019” readers poll. Reasons enough for a fresh interview with bassplayer / vocalist Wannes Gubbels…
Wannes, thanks a lot for accepting our interview request. Since 2002 you have a fixed / settled line-up, does it mean, there is a good chemistry within the band / among the band members? Are you on the same wavelength, both musically and personally?
“Musical wise, most time we are. With a band like PENTACLE, the concept of its music is obvious and leaves little room for discussion. The direction is set and we keep it that way. No need for any experimentation from our side, hehehe… Sure, when composing new material we discuss what beats fits the riff best or this arrangement fits the song better than the other one, but this is on a creative and constructive level. To make sure the song comes out best. There are no big struggles or ego clashes. On a personal level, outside band activities we very seldom meet. Everyone has his own life and there’s almost no contact. When the band doesn’t rehearse / record nor does gigs, we don’t see each other for months. This has been a bit different in the past, but when grower older, every member walks his own path in life.”
Guitarist Mike Verhoeven took a break from PENTACLE in 2005 due to an injury to his right arm. The band continued as a 3-piece and Mike started playing with the band again a few years later, what happened with him?
“Correct, Mike suffered from an injury in his right lower arm due to overstretched muscles attachment. In fact, it never healed a full 100%, so it has become chronic. During recording “Under The Black Cross” it became obvious Mike had troubles with laying down his guitar parts. First I thought maybe he was under rehearsed, but later it turned out he suffered from this injury. After the release of the album, Mike did three shows with us and then he told us, he wasn’t able to pull it through anymore, so we continued without him. After several years of absence, he gave it a try again. He picked up his guitar at home and started rehearsing again. We played several gigs where Mike joined us at the second part of the set and it worked out fine. The gig at Kill Town was the first one he performed a full set with us. To this day, he has to be careful not to overstretch, so gigs and rehearsing has to be dosed in the right amount. Unfortunate, he will never reach his former level of guitar performance again, which is really too bad, but we are very glad to have him around!”
I think so, you didn’t want to find any replacement instead of him, do you?
“Not entirely true. We tried out several guitarists, but none of them worked out, which was rather remarkable to me. I mean, our music isn’t very technical or complicated and these guitarists were accomplished, but they weren’t able to handle our songs. It seems we developed a certain style through the years which is rather unconventional, so in the end it didn’t work out with any of these guys. We carried on as a three piece which was a rather unsatisfactory solution as the record we released (“Under The Black Cross”) has guitars all over the place, but live we were limited to only one, so it didn’t make the same impact. It always felt as a big compromise and it didn’t feel comfortable to me, but there was no other solution at that time. I did think about cancelling all gigs or not to accept any new offers, but that was a shitty option too. And yes, it felt weird to perform live without Mike as we both started the band back in 1989 and lived through all the ups and downs together. It wasn’t the same without him around and I missed him on stage.”
Is Alex Verhoeven still involved in LUCIFERICON? Are all of you involved in other side projects / bands or are you concentrating 100% on PENTACLE?
“Yes, Alex is still doing LUCIFERICON, without a doubt. No, I have been asked for other bands / projects several times, but declined them all. I want to concentrate on PENTACLE only and nothing else. One can serve only one master and in my case, PENTACLE’s call it is. I don’t feel the urge to create other music with different band members. Time is short and even for PENTACLE there’s not enough valuable time left, so adding another project / band wouldn’t make any sense. Plus, I really tend to think more people should concentrate on one band. Everybody is complaining about the amount of bands / releases and the oversight has been lost years ago, but when you notice how many bands are sharing members… Those amounts are huge these days. I do understand the need to create different music or to enter another creative entity. I’ve done it myself as well with SOULBURN and ASPHYX, but it waters down the vision of the original band and less energy is been spent where it should have been directed to. Of course, this is my personal opinion. I know a lot of guys who are able to pull it through with different bands and are really successful with putting the right amount of energy in each project, so it’s a matter of time management, I guess. Or not to forget more skilled to make it happen, haha!”
Before the release of your brand-new record this year, you released two split EPs (one with SADISTIC INTENT in 2016 and one with SABBAT in 2018), can you tell us more about those materials?
“The split 12” with SADISTIC INTENT (“Invocation Of The Death Ridden”) was a very old idea from around 2001 or something like that. Both bands had the idea to create a split release, but it never happened until the actual 12″ came into being. It took a lot of effort to make this piece of vinyl to be released as SADISTIC INTENT suffered from many delays through all kind of setbacks, but they made it happen! They too recorded two new songs and they shred! The two PENTACLE songs featured were the last remaining songs to be released on vinyl. We recorded them together with three other songs (featured on the splits with ETERNAL SOLSTICE and MORTEM). The full session was released as the “Five Candles Burning Red” MCD through Iron Pegasus Records. Originally, this MCD was meant to be released after the three vinyl releases, but as we needed a release to promote the US tour, plus added the delay from SADISTIC INTENT it was decided to change the schedule and to release the MCD before the split 12″. I wasn’t too happy about it, as it meant both songs weren’t exclusive anymore (one could already check them out on the MCD), but as there are lots of people who buy vinyl exclusive only, the damage was limited. Lyrical wise, it meant closure of the concept for “Under The Black Cross”. Originally, the artwork for the SADISTIC side was meant to be the cover for both bands, but I felt it didn’t fit our concept, so I went for a different direction. The magnificent cover by Manuel Tinnemans was the end result and that says enough! That’s a personal fave of mine as its expression is marvellous. I am very glad with the outcome of this release and it closes a long personal quest to release an item with our long time allies SADISTIC INTENT. The split EP with SABBAT features a live recording from both bands. Our release was the last one of the trilogy of SABBAT releasing split live EPs with a Dutch band (the others are COUNTESS and HERETIC). We had a cool recording from an old song of ours lying around (‘Deepness Of The Depths’), which felt appropriate for such a release as I didn’t want to use a more recent song. Sabbat is about tradition, so I wanted to include a classic PENTACLE song and lucky this recording was very suitable for this release. Our live releases are pretty rare (except for this split we did release a professional live tape on After Life Productions a couple of years ago), so it wasn’t an overkill of live stuff floating around which made the idea pretty cool for us. Although the other items all feature the same artwork, I didn’t feel this would suit us, so I asked Manuel to come up with a fitting drawing again. We did some brainstorming and in the end, Manuel came up with this drawing which fits the lyrical content of the song very well. Additionally, the layout was created in line with the other two releases, so there’s a strong unity to be seen. Overall, the release came out really nice and classy. It’s no substantial PENTACLE release, more like a goodie for those who enjoy our output. And not to forget, it was a format we haven’t used before, so in order to fulfil this quest as well, it was a cool idea to release the split. Ah, and SABBAT is an awesome band and it was an honour to share a vinyl with these Japanese maniacs!”
You have / had released several splits and you were also featured on several compilations. Were those tracks recorded exclusively for those releases? I mean, they never made it on any PENTACLE albums…
“Indeed, these songs were initially meant for this purpose. We were asked to record exclusive songs for compilation albums (like the DSFA compilation CD part 6 or the “Tribute To POSSESSED” although originally this was meant to be another POSSESSED tribute) or to add a couple of tracks to a split release. I always enjoyed these ideas very much as it is really a part of the “underground infrastructure”. I understand the impact of such releases is less than a full length album or even a MLP, but they definite have their charm. Especially when one is able to share the vinyl with kindred spirits and looking at the ones we did, we definite managed to gather the right bands around us.”
You never thought about to gather those tracks and to release them on a full length?
“Well, all five songs of above mentioned splits with ETERNAL SOLSTICE, MORTEM and SADISTIC INTENT are released on one MCD. The POSSESSED cover which was featured on the split with REPUGNANT can be found on “Seven Gates Of Horror” tribute to POSSESSED compilation CD. The NECROVORE song featured on the “Vestibule Of Hell” compilation LP is also to be found on the US edition of “Under The Black Cross”. ‘Soul’s Blood’ (originally to be found on the split 10″ with DESASTER) was used as a bonus track for the Dark Realm / Vic Records edition of “Ancient Death”. The exclusive DSFA track ‘A Dance Beyond’ was re-released on “The Fifth Moon…Beyond And Back” DCD. When my memory serves me right, that leaves only the DESASTER cover. Better to keep that one for the 10″ as it was meant to be. I see no purpose in compiling these tracks together. I know it’s more practical to press these tracks together on one LP, but it messes up the concept of the original releases and I like to keep it (somehow) as exclusive as possible. Furthermore, I always feel somehow cheated when certain bands pile their exclusive tracks together on one release. Sure, not everyone was probably able to get hold of the original items, but that’s the sport of it, hehehe…”
When did you start working on the new album? How did the songwriting process go? Is there a main songwriter or do you work as a team?
“The first material was written a couple of years ago, mainly composing riffs and compiling them. ‘Bound By Death’s Ropes’ is the oldest song on the album, though it received an update when we started getting into the album mode. Originally, it was composed by Alex and me, just on guitar and it stayed a long while in this embryonic state. The same for ‘I Christen Thee Doom’ and ‘Now Spit Forth Death’. Only when I booked the studio, we got into the album modus. Three mentioned songs were written and we needed additional five ones by the end of the year. Such a time schedule for PENTACLE is very heavy as we need our time to create new songs, but I took the challenge on a personal level and laid down a strict working schedule. Every month I wanted to create a new track: two weeks to come up with the riffs and to arrange them and two weeks to rehearse them with the band. Then the same schedule over and over again until we had eight new songs composed and rehearsed. I wrote the last five songs single handed without any input from the rest. ‘Behold… Denial, Despair And Cruelty’ even features a riff from 1994 I always kept in mind for a special occasion and it came out great. We worked on the fine tuning of the arrangements as a band. After finishing the songs, I had two months to come up with a decent lyrical concept and to write the actual lyrics, not to forget to rehearse them, which was an improvement towards the previous session as I sang all songs in the studio for the very first time. I managed to finish everything on time and I was very proud of this personal achievement.”
This time you worked at the Toneshed Studios, what about the recording sessions? Were you prepared to record the material?
“Yes, we were prepared, but in hind sight, a couple of months extra rehearsal time would have been beneficial for the tightness of the material as we barely made it in time. I feel it was close and felt we weren’t fully rehearsed as we should have been. But then, we never really are, to be honest. On the other hand one can say it adds an additional vibe to the album. The material isn’t rehearsed to death and sounds fresh which is definite a very big plus in my ears. We needed the studio time hard as not everything went as planned as the songs are demanding for musicians like us and this took its time. As a result, I had to record the vocals for seven songs in one day, while the remaining ones were recorded the next day. I had in mind to spread them more during the recording days, but that didn’t work out. So, it was hard work, but then again, it never has been any different. We book the studio with little extra time, so we need to keep it going, which is cool as well because you stay in this particular recording mode. Just pushing the boundaries, you know. In for the kill. But yes, it is revealing too. One thinks everything sounds cool in the rehearsal room, but a studio suffers no fools, leaves no room for mistakes or performances of less quality. It’s all under a microscope… It was our first time recording at Toneshed Recordings. I decided to use this studio because I was really into the production values of both last DEAD HEAD and INQUISITOR albums, plus I know the owner / engineer Erwin a long time as he was the guitarist of MANGLED. A band we often shared stages with back in our demo days, so we knew what to expect. To a certain degree of course, because we never worked together this way. We first visited Erwin at his studio to have a talk about what we had in mind. To play him records we enjoy, showing him some of the songs we had written etc. He visited us during a rehearsal and he received all the songs before we entered the studio, so he would know what to expect. Working with Erwin was very intense (in a positive way). He knows his stuff thoroughly and he really helped us wherever he could. As always, it was hard work, but the co-operation with Erwin was very positive and I am really satisfied with the outcome of this studio session. The album offers a great sound and it suits our material very well. A big improvement from the “Five Candles…” session too which lacked punch in my ears.”
To what does the title of the album refer?
“The title refers to the eight (original) songs featured on the album. While all songs feature a different chapter of the Siege of Malta, they are all linked through one theme: death.
The artwork reflects this subject as well. On the cover there are eight ropes to be seen, each linked to a person with a different back ground: Commonwealth, German, Italian and Maltese. They all have to suffer and pay the ultimate price to the god of war. The spectre itself is Death.”
Where do you find the differences and the similarities between the new record and “Under The Black Cross”?
“Pfff, that’s a good question, though hard to answer as I am not really objective. I haven’t analysed these two records or compared them back to back at all. I don’t find that really interesting to do, as analyzing music has a big tendency to kill its spontaneous character. To me, music is about a gut feeling. It creates a certain mood / atmosphere / vibe and I am not really into dissecting it. Let’s see… The most obvious one would be the use of more slow songs / parts this time, although I intended to use the same elements for our previous record, but I didn’t have any inspiration to come up with that kind of material. Only the slow part of ‘A Devil’s Shooting Gallery’ made it to the record, but that was about it. I intended to include two slow songs, but it never happened to a lack of inspiration. With ‘Blessed By Fire’ and ‘Mesmerizing Depths Of The Abyss’ I created two songs which are more heavy than fast and add a good amount of diversity to the new album, which is necessary for the overall vibe of the album. With these two songs the album offers a very natural flow in my ears. For the rest… I have little clue. Some people tend to think the album points more into the direction of “…Rides The Moonstorm”, but I don’t feel the same. For me, the material is a very natural development from the “Five Candles…” session. Except for the two songs I mentioned before for which I had a specific direction in mind, all songs written are composed rather spontaneous with no particular big scheme. So, a return to our first album was not intended at all, I can tell you that. Maybe the new album is more diverse? I don’t know. “Under The Black Cross” offered a lot of moods as well, but retrospective maybe this wasn’t as evident as it shows on “Spectre…”. Both albums (well, some versions) do feature a cover track of an US cult Death Metal band being very influential for PENTACLE: NECROVORE and NECROPHAGIA. Military combat history of WW2 was the lyrical concept to be found on each record. Manuel Tinnemans did craft the artwork again. I do feel the new album sounds production wise more organic than “Under The Black Cross”, though that one has guitars all over the place. As a bass player, I think “Spectre…” is by far a superior release as it shows way more low frequencies. From what I remember, recording “Under…” as a band went more smoother than the new one. Recording the songs was easier or we achieved better results through the first initial sessions. It was a bit more difficult this time. It’s an age thing, I guess, haha!”
Your drummer Robert Smissaert wrote me: “We (the band) feel the last release is a kind of a crown to our work over the past years.” How do / would you explain this?
“You should ask him, not me, haha! It’s Robert’s last album as he will quit the band in 2020. As age increases, it has become more and more physical demanding for Robert to perform our music, leading to a point it becomes frustrating not being fully able to perform on a level as intended by himself anymore, which is never the intention of being a part of a band in the end, of course. It should be rewarding and not turn into a battle (negative meant) with your own body. After the recordings of “Spectre…” he decided to close the chapter and to lay down his sticks for the band in the near future. So, with this in mind, Robert’s statement is rather obvious. “Spectre…” is an honourable moment to depart and walk his own path again.”
Is the NECROPHAGIA cover ‘Forbidden Pleasure’ a bonus track? I think, it was dedicated to the memory of Killjoy… Are all of you satisfied with end result by the way?
“Yes, it is. Originally it wasn’t planned to record this track at all. We had a different one in mind, but had to let it go as we had to concentrate on our own material first. We needed time to get the original material tight, so I skipped the idea of a cover track. When we had our first meeting with Erwin, he tried to talk us into recording a cover track. He had done the same with INQUISITOR (they recorded DARK ANGEL’s ‘Perish In Flames’ and released it on their EP). I told him to come up with a suitable track and let us know in time, so we could rehearse it beforehand. When time was ready to enter the studio to record the album, I told him he forgot something to let me know. “What?” he asked me. “The cover track” I told him. He had forgotten all about it, but the idea kept spinning in his head, so when he brought it up again, we start thinking what song to do. Erwin still kept his dubbed tapes with the albums he recorded when he was younger in his studio and he started mentioning the content of the tapes. One taped featured NECROPHAGIA’s “Season Of The Dead” and this clicked with me instantly as this album is one of my faves since it was released back in 1987. ‘Forbidden Pleasure’ came straight up in my mind. He told us we could record the song for free. We decided to accept the challenge and started with the help of my mobile phone (I carry loads of classic Metal albums with me around, including “Season…”, obviously) to learn the riffs straight at the spot. Bit by bit we worked on the song and recorded it. I was a bit anxious about recording the vocals as Killjoy’s vocal patterns are rather unconventional, to say the least. I adjusted my style a bit towards Killjoy to keep the original vibe somehow intact and gave it a try. Erwin performed the solo which sounds uncanny like the original. I think it came out really cool and the song added an extra dimension to the album. It fits our tradition of recording covers very well and I am proud of our version. Old NECROPHAGIA was essential for the old underground scene and I am very glad we paid a suitable tribute to this amazing act. For the LP it wasn’t possible to add the song to the rest of the tracks as the playing time for side B would become too long, so we kept up the tradition of a bonus song on the CD like the end of the 80s (Earache, Peaceville, Nuclear Blast etc). A nice counterweight compared to all these “vinyl only bonus tracks”, hehehe…”
PENTACLE is often cited as Ancient Death Metal, what does it mean for you? What does Ancient Death Metal mean in your “dictionary”?
“It conjures the spectres of the first wave of extreme Metal bands: HELLHAMMER / CELTIC FROST, POSSESSED, MANTAS / DEATH, MESSIAH, SLAUGHTER, NECROPHAGIA (OH), DEATHSTRIKE / MASTER, GENOCIDE / REPULSION, PENTAGRAM (CH), INSANITY, DEVASTATION (IL), NECROVORE, INCUBUS (FL), OBSCURITY, MASSACRE, SLAUGHTER LORD, SEPULTURA and the likes. Personally and musically, I feel far more connected to above mentioned acts. Old school Death Metal to me refers to the second wave. You know them all: ENTOMBED, OBITUARY, CARCASS, MORBID ANGEL (a border case though as they recorded the amazing “Abominations Of Desolation” in 1986, but their fame came through “Altars Of Madness” and had a huge influence on the scene after that), PESTILENCE, BOLT THROWER, ASPHYX, AUTOPSY, DISMEMBER, IMMOLATION etc. All great bands with crushing albums, classics for sure, but for PENTACLE, our roots are the first wave and the end 80s demo era. That’s the reason why I refer to Ancient Death Metal, a band being inspired by originators of our beloved scene.”
As the die hard (Ancient Death) Metal fan you are, how did you find POSSESSED’s comeback release “Revelation Of Oblivion”? Is it on the same level with their cult, classic ’80s materials?
“No, I don’t think so. It’s not easy to compare this record with the old ones as we are talking about different bands / times here. The original band will always remain the best as they were a ground breaking act which inspired and influenced hundreds of acts around. The new POSSESSED is a professional offering with many great riffs, but it doesn’t feel like the “real” POSSESSED to me. It’s hard to explain. Many riffs are different from the classic POSSESSED sound which is understandable with an almost complete different band around. Sure, Jeff’s vocals are very recognizable and one should have lots of respect for the man for pulling it through. He could have felt sorry about this physical condition and faint away in obscurity, but Jeff showed a strong mind set (don’t forget SADISTIC INTENT helped him a lot to get back in business again) and made this album happen. Lots of respect for that! Not everyone would be able to pull this through. In any case, live they are a force, but somehow it feels as a cover band to me. Personally, I would qualify the new album as a quality record for sure. Emotionally, I handle them as two different entities. I would have preferred if they would call themselves different, you know. Something like RE-POSSESSED, hahaha! Same thing with VENOM these days. It’s Cronos and two other guys. In this case, it’s Jeff and the guys. There’s little common ground with the original line-up left anymore. Same could be said about Mike Torrao’s version of POSSESSED, true. I don’t like it when certain key members are not part of the band anymore. It doesn’t feel the same for me anymore. My two cents. And I still do think Mike should be part of the new incarnation, as he wrote (almost) all the classic material, but from what I have heard, it’s not possible.”
Have you ever had the chance to meet Jeff Becerra in person?
“Yes, we hung out a rather long weekend together when he came over with my friends from SADISTIC INTENT to play the Wacken Festival as POSSESSED. We had a gig scheduled in Hamburg with the SADISTIC guys a few days later, so Jeff hang around as well. We had some cool chats about the good old days. A nice guy. I gave him an original set of photos from the gig in Tilburg when they toured with DEATHROW and VOÏVOD in 1986. The one I missed, because I had no transportation, but the poster is still on the wall in our rehearsal place, hahaha! You should have seen his eyes when he opened the envelop. Totally excited. I remember only too well we were doing the sound check in Hamburg and Jeff started thrashing around in his wheelchair. That was rather surreal to me, seeing an old hero of mine going wild to our music. Fond memories indeed.”
And what do you think about the new ST. VITUS record?
“I haven’t heard it. I am familiar with the old ones, but didn’t manage to pick up the last record. Too many releases around and with a limited budget / oversight I have to be picky. Many releases haven’t reached my ears yet and I doubt if they ever will do.”
How do you view the social medias, such as Facebook, Instagram etc.? How often do you use them? Do they play an important role these days?
“I don’t own any accounts in this direction, so I am not fully informed about the pros and cons. From what I have seen, I do tend to think it’s far more easy (maybe faster is more fitting) to communicate this way. To promote, speak out, show etc. To be able to reach out all over the globe to reach one’s public for whatever cause. It’s great to be able to communicate with people all around the world about subjects one likes to share. It brings kindred souls with a common interest together and makes it much easier to share knowledge or an opinion. On a band level, the communication with everyone interested improved noticeably, though it’s always important to keep in mind not everyone uses social media (like me), so there’s a need for other means of communication as well. What I don’t like, is this exhibitionistic behaviour and the need to share everything with the world around. I feel there’s a lot of showing off involved. The “look at me” attitude. The need to be recognized and liked by others. Screaming for attention. Plus the harshness of communication, the “internet / keyboard warriors”… Because the way of communication has changed a lot with the internet / social platforms, so many people seem to have an urgent need to voice their opinion on everything, for whatever reason. Itself, there’s nothing wrong with that, but the tone of voice is often over the top. There’s nothing wrong with a good discussion as it can lead to improved insight, but this yelling and cursing.. Like there’s little respect for another view of point. From their safe havens it’s easy to criticize everyone and the whole world around them. One thing for sure, there’s a lot of frustration going around, rightful and / or wrong.”
In the last two years a lot of influential musicians passed away, such as Killjoy (NECROPHAGIA), Morten Stützer (ARTILLERY), Richard Brunelle (MORBID ANGEL), Bruce Corbitt (RIGOR MORTIS), Carsten Otterbach (MORGOTH) etc., what are you feelings about it?
“Don’t forget about Martin Ain! Well, as we all should know by now, none of us has the gift of eternal life, so the end is bound to happen one way or the other, but it saddens me when people pass away so young through an accident or a disease. As our Metal tradition is still rather young, the passing away of musicians is still a “new” phenomenon. We aren’t used to it. For many, Metal is larger than life and it doesn’t “fit the scheme” when an important musician dies. We all have our personal classic albums and when one of the originators passes away, there’s a personal void. At least, that’s what I felt when people like Chuck Schuldiner, Quorthon, Jeff Hanneman, Piggy, Theo Loomans, Richard Brunelle, Martin Ain, Timmy Grabber or Killjoy faded away. All these guys have performed on many amazing records which mean the world to me, so yes, I do feel sad about this. Granted, I don’t feel the same with every musician passing away. It differs from the personal connection with the music I have. The death of Quorthon hit me hard. That was rough and emotional. Same with Martin Ain, but understandable as the records by BATHORY and HELLHAMMER / CELTIC FROST mean so much to me. After so many years, they have become part of one’s identity, you know. That’s the beauty of music, but it can hit you on a personal level when some part of this precious legacy is disrupted this way. This is part of your life too. Family, friends, beloved ones etc. do pass away at a certain moment in live and it’s the same with members of the bands one enjoys / loves.”
Since, you have been involved in ASPHYX, BUNKUR and SOULBURN, are you still friends or in touch with Eric Daniels and Bob Bagchus? Do you follow, what they are doing these days?
“I never ever did anything for BUNKUR and it’s remarkable this keeps returning to me. No recording, rehearsal, live or whatsoever… Yes, I am still in regular contact with Bob, so I am up to date what’s going on from his side. Well, mostly, hahaha! I recorded some guest vocals for INFIDEL REICH’s full length record and that was fun to do. Bob asked me to join HELLEHOND, but I wanted to concentrate on PENTACLE only, so that didn’t work out. I have heard the upcoming BEAST OF REVELATION album and it’s a heavy one! You should check it out when you’re into the slow side of Death Metal like BEYOND BELIEF and the likes. Great vocals by John (INCANTATION) too! At certain gigs, I bump into Eric and we have a chat, but it’s not the same as with Bob as we always stayed in contact from 1989 on.”
Are there any shows or tours in mind to support the new PENTACLE record?
“As we aren’t really a touring band, nothing has been set up. We wanted to arrange a tour with our friends of SADISTIC INTENT for next summer, but due to unforeseen circumstances it hasn’t worked out, so we will concentrate on the usual weekend gigs. The normal routine.”
Are you satisfied with the promotional work of your label? Do they stay 100% behind the band?
“I love to work with Costa and Iron Pegasus Records. Sure, it has its limitations to work with an underground label run by one person as you don’t have the same coverage like other (bigger) labels, but Costa’s label and personal philosophy appeal very much to me. He is a very, very honest guy and fully dedicated to the cause of Metal and very strict about his personal ethics. Costa releases only items he truly enjoys himself, without any thoughts of commercial success or failure. Iron Pegasus has released many quality albums / EPs from bands all around the globe: SABBAT, IMPIETY, ZEMIAL, MASSACRE, TYRUS, POISON, AGATUS, DESASTER, METALUCIFER, MORTEM, SADISTIC INTENT, ANGEL WITCH, MESSIAH, DESTRÖYER 666, NECROMANIAC, AFTER DEATH, EURYNOMOUS, PENTAGRAM (US), MAYHEMIC TRUTH, MORTUARY DRAPE, BEHERIT, SLAUGHTER, DOLMEN, SATHANAS and many, many more. Just look at these names… All released with an honest and professional attitude towards bands and fans… Not to forget, back in the days Costa released his underground zine Tales Of The Macabre. This was a great one too. He gives us 100 % artistic freedom and supports us where ever he can. So, everything combined, it’s great to work with someone like Costa.”
Wannes, thanks a lot for your answers, what are your closing words for our readers?
“First, let me thank you very much for the opportunity to speak out to you. The coverage is much appreciated! Keep up the good work and thanks for the support! As this is the final interview of 2019 for me and with all these lists around, I would like to share my current playlist with the readers of this interview:
- CIANIDE – Unhumanized (MLP)
- CAPILLA ARDIENTE – The Siege
- OATH OF CRUELTY – Summary Execution At Dawn
- CANDLEMASS – Dynamo Open Air 1988 + Live 1990 (live albums)
- NIFELHEIM – Nifelheim + The Burning Warpath To Hell (7″ EP)
- BORN FOR BURNING – The Ritual
- DEGIAL – Predator Reign
- SPECTRAL VOICE – Eroded Corridors Of Unbeing
- SIJJIN – Angel Of The Eastern Gate (Demo)
- HOLY TERROR – El Revengo (double album)
DON’T FORGET THE ANCIENT FEELING…IT STILL RULES!!!”
Interview: László Dávid
Pics: Paul Verhagen