During the last months and years, a lot of new bands came along who are dedicated to the sound of the old Death Metal heroes from Sweden. Most of them are from actually from there, but Germany seems to be another stronghold for the NWOSDM. Just think of CARNAL GHOUL and ERODED… But if there is one band that heads to be a genre leader: REVEL IN FLESH. So I think it’s time to get a little more in depth with the band, who released two brilliant albums, "Deathevokation" and "Manifested Darkness", within just one year. The growling machine Haubersson was so kind to answer my questions in a quite different interview, that we did through the chat on facebook.
Haubersson, are you ready?
"Hey Thomas and Voices readership! I’m ready!"
Since some people still don’t know, just introduce the band to our readers. And in what bands have you played before you started REVEL IN FLESH in 2011?
"Well, the idea for REVEL IN FLESH basically started in autumn 2011, when it was obvious that my old band IMMORTAL RITES was more or less falling apart. I met Maggesson and we started with the first basic recordings of what later became the "Deathevokation" debut album. Maggesson is more or less the creative brain of the German DAWN OF DREAMS and he has been part of the founding line-up of German APOPHIS, who did several releases back then. The REVEL IN FLESH debut album "Deathevokation" hit the lights in early 2012 via F.D.A. Records. Shortly after the release we’ve talked about bringing the madness live on stage, so the other three REVEL heads came to the picture. Vøgtsson from CHAOSREIGN, GRAVEN etc. joined us on drums and Herrmannsgard & Gøtzborg followed the trail on guitars and bass. We all have a common interest in classical, to the bone Death Metal and of course "beer drinking" madness. So I guess we’re a well and complete "REVEL chaos squad" nowadays, Ha! Ha! We’ve played our very first show with PAGANIZER & GOREGAST in May 2012 and two gigs later we’ve entered the stage at Party San Open Air. 2012 has been really busy for us and most of all we’ve finished working on our 2nd album "Manifested Darkness", which hit the road in April 2013. So now we’re dead hot and ready for more."
When you got together, was it already your intention to start a band deeply rooted in the old Swedish Death Metal style or did it develop in a natural way?
"Hm, it was intentionally that I wanted to give the classical HM2 Heavy Metal pedal from Boss a try out on the guitar sound. I’ve bought that one ca. 2007 on an ebay auction, so it was more or less the idea to simply give the sound and the production a touch of the classical Sunlight / Unisound days. If you use that sort of distortion pedal, you are simply on the train of the Swedish way of Death Metal. Of course we’re also by heart true fans of the early 90s way of Swedish Death Metal, there’s no doubt. REVEL IN FLESH is a band that sticks to the roots, we are FANS, in a to the bone way. BUT (!!!) I think we’re on the way to have more and more sort of an own charm than the typical DISMEMBER / ENTOMBED clone. Just give our new album "Manifested Darkness" some in depth rounds and you’ll recognize that there’s far more hidden in the sound cocktail."
I never doubted that you are not only on the way to find your own style, but already found it… What and when was your first contact with Death Metal in common and the old Swedish heroes in particular?
"Well, two of the REVEL line-up are already in their mid thirties, so we grew up with the 90s stuff. Some of us have already been there when everything started with the Death Metal explosion in the 90s. Personally one of my first Death Metal gigs was GOREFEST in 1994. Well, let me say I discovered Death Metal for myself ca. 1992/93 – it took some time to get possessed by it, but as you know I became a die hard addicted. Regarding the Swedish stuff I remember hearing ENTOMBED for the first time on the Rock Hard "Gods Of Grind" compilation CD. Later on I’ve bought DISMEMBER’s debut album and it impressed me on the full range. Back then it was a totally interesting time, discovering news bands, a new scene… It was more hard to get, there was no internet and it was more difficult to get the new stuff with a small pocket money in the teen days. Well, in REVEL IN FLESH we have also two youngsters in the band; but it’s damn cool to see them also freaking out on stuff like early MALEVOLENT CREATION, AUTOPSY and ASPHYX. By the way: both, guitarist and bassplayer, also have an own band called DEATHVASTATION. They have done a promising demo CD, keep an eye on if you like real Death Metal."
In your opinion: what is so special about the old school of Swedish Death? Especially in comparison to the American way of Death back then?
"It’s more RAW, more about INTENSITY and more about FEELING, shortly said RIF- REVEL IN FLESH, Ha! Ha! Shortly said, I don’t like technical stuff that much."
"I think the Scandinavian or let me say European style has more a sort of headbanging feeling in it, while the US way is more about musicianship. Of course we love the classical Florida releases, but if you would ask me to decide, I would rather bang my head to "The Rack" from ASPHYX or "Into The Grave" or something else from that era."
By the way… were you aware that there was a Death / Thrash Metal band also called REVEL IN FLESH from Finland (active from 2003 to 2007) when you chose the band name?
"Yes, I’ve discovered the Finnish band on Metal Archives when we’ve chosen the name REVEL IN FLESH, but I’ve seen that they already split-up, so it was a free way for us to take that moniker. Unfortunately a lot of press people mixed us up with the band from Suomi when "Deathevokation" was released, simply because there have been some info mistakes at the Metal Archives site."
That sucks, but those misunderstandings seem to be out of the way now… It just took you one year to create, record and release your debut album "Deathevocation". That’s pretty quick. Did you collect any ideas in your former bands that just needed to be formed? Or are you "creative machines"?
"Let me say it like this: "Deathevokation" was more or less packed with ideas written or "grown" during my period in IMMORTAL RITES. A lot of stuff was re-arranged and re-written during that recording session in autumn 2011. With "Manifested Darkness" we’ve started right away in January 2012, it was more or less like a real flow. We tend to write and record directly at Vault M. Studios, so we’re not the typically rehearsal room writing band, at least so far. To us, this is a more productive way to go. We meet on weekly occasions simply to give new ideas a try out etc., of course the positive feedback on "Deathevokation" was also a true boost for our motivation level."
You have been a duo in the beginning, with "hired guns" for the live situation. Are Vøgtsson, Herrmannsgard and Gøtzborg full time members now? Will they contribute to new songs?
"All three are part of the REVEL family nowadays, the band is growing with all its activities. We will see how their impact on further releases will grow, the gates to madness are open. We live on long distance, regarding rehearsals etc., so being part of this band needs really time and dedication. You simply have to love this kind of style, it’s about passion!!!"
Rico and F.D.A. Records are in charge of your releases. Did you send him a demo or did you apply for a deal through the label site?
"Well, I’ve been in contact with Rico from F.D.A. since the release of the first ENTRAILS album, mostly because of my fanzine "Mystical Music" (www.mystical-music.de). I’ve showed him some pre-production mp3 versions of "Deathevokation" and he offered us a deal right away. There was not much discussion, it was like a "now or never" situation to us."
Talking about the internet here, do you think the www makes things easier for new bands? Or established bands as well?
"Of course – you can reach a lot more people with a few mouse clicks then ever before, but the other way around, the internet causes a huge overkill of everything. If you have a particular style growing then you have out of a sudden like 10.000 bands worldwide performing and worshiping a similar way. There’s often a quantity over quality situation."
My words… especially as far as the problem of "quantity" is concerned… How did you get Dan Swanö to master your debut and even mix the following recordings? Was it also a consequence of the contacts you made up with your fanzine?
"Well, I’ve got in contact with Dan Swanö via Rogga from PAGANIZER back in 2005 or 2006. Dan did the mastering for the last release of IMMORTAL RITES back in 2006, so the contact was already there, but it has grown a lot with REVEL IN FLESH. We’ve had much more discussions with Dan Swanö about the production, with clear advices what we can do to make it better. It’s a really healthy co-operation and you simply hear the growing level if you compare "Deathevokation" and "Manifested Darkness"."
Asides from that… what do you think is the main difference between your albums?
""Manifested Darkness" has more feeling!!! The melodies are more filled with a kind of gloomy aura and sound more "pissed off". The songwriting itself has grown a lot with the help of Maggesson, especially if you take a listen to tracks like ‘Rotting In The Void’. The vocal recordings were more intense, I’ve growled a lot deeper on the new album compared to the debut. I even think that my vocals are not typically in comparison to other current hot topic Swedish bands like TORMENTED, BOMBS OF HADES etc. I think we manage to give REVEL step by step a more own kind of sound picture."
Agreed… Was Dan Swanö also the reason that you did vocals on one song of the JUST BEFORE DAWN album?
"No, the reason was our song ‘Iron Coffin’ – Anders from BLOOD MORTIZED totally liked it, we’ve talked on facebook and he invited me to join JUST BEFORE DAWN, which is more or less his baby. Currently he’s already working on the second JUST BEFORE DAWN album. I’ll help him with another contribution. Stay tuned for news!!!"
That’s good news for sure… How did you get Juanjo Castellano to do all the fantastic artworks for your records from the very beginning?
"Well, I was totally obsessed by the works he did for BLASPHERIAN and SATHANAS, so I wrote Juanjo right away. The communication has grown quickly. We’ve did a good negotiation on the cover for the first album and the process started. The important thing to us is that we like to form a strong union between music, lyrics, sound and artworks. It shall reek of Death Metal dedication and I think Juanjo really has the clue how to give REVEL’s music a kind of art-like face. He has done most of our shirt designs as well, it’s nearly a sort of trademark for us. Check his new works for AVULSED or PAGANIZER – Juanjo, you rule!!!"
Whose idea was it to record a split 7" with REVOLTING? Did Rico come along with that thought?
"Hm, that’s a long story, but to keep it short our friends from Cyclone Empire did a stand in finally realizing this split EP, which was already written, recorded, layouted and 99,99% finished in July 2012. The idea for REVOLTING came from Rico. We are really on a good term with Rogga Johansson, especially after meeting and drinking a few beers at our first show with PAGANIZER back then. Maggesson even did a live recording of that mentioned PAGANIZER show. Maybe, maybe, maybe it will hit the lights and ears sooner or later."
Those into CDs are still not able to get your brilliant ‘Bonecrusher’ from this EP. Are there any plans to release it on CD as well?
"Not yet, we rather concentrate on doing new stuff then bringing old stuff to the surface again. But I know that a lot of freaks like the ‘Bonecrusher’ – we even play it live when enough time is left. So time shall tell if we do a bonus with that one sooner or later."
I hope you’ll play it in Emden, too… Talking about Emden… You are going to start your first tour next week, a weekend mini-tour with PUTERAEON. Are there any chances for a "big" tour?
"This mini-tour is a sort of first try-out. It’s done on a "D.I.Y." level. We don’t get any tour support for a bigger tour, so arranging stuff and booking on our own is the only way to go. We’re an underground band and that’s the way to deal in the underground. Next to that you have to see the fact that all of us have jobs, difficult schedules etc. – we try the best to keep REVEL in the running, but you know also passion knows its limits when your bound to a real life situation."
So it’s time to keep waiting and hoping, especially for the REVEL fans more far away… To all those who haven’t seen you on stage yet, what have they missed?
"A really dedicated show with five freaks headbanging and enjoying what they do!!! HAIL THE DEATHCULT!!! It’s important to us to transfer energy and most of all you’ll recognize that we are fans of the music and fans of what we do. Check our upcoming dates at our facebook and homepage, come to the shows, drink beer and let’s raise hell together!!!"
The obvious (nearly) final question: what will the future bring for REVEL IN FLESH?
"Cyclone Empire will do another split-EP with us and our comrades in PUTERAEON. It will be a part of their "Imperial Anthems" series. Furthermore we work on a common release with a band from our buddy Mark Riddick (wellknown cover artist and musician in FETID ZOMBIE and others – Thomas). More news will follow as soon as possible. Besides that, there are already some new songs breeding and crawling inside the REVEL death machine. The madness will never stop. We have some more shows coming in the next months like Summer Breeze, Death Doomed The Age, NRW Deathfest, Piece Of Loin. Maybe we will also play the first abroad REVEL show this year. It’s a lot of work currently, but we enjoy it!!!"
Finally, name your all time fave album… Except for your own of course… ; -)
"Just one single album?"
Yes… I know it’s hard… ; -)
"Within the Death Metal genre, it’s DISMEMBERs "Like An Everflowing Stream" – it’s timeless, it’s brutal and it still kicks my ass in every minute of its running time."
So, thanks for your time and dedication to answer my questions. I hope you got along with this quite unusual way of doing an interview…
"Cool as hell…Glad to see REVEL IN FLESH as a content part of "Voices From The Darkside". I remember buying their first print issues back then from Leif of DEW-SCENTED. Thanx to you Thomas for your dedication to REVEL IN FLESH. Hope to see you in Emden, even if you don’t drink beer, Ha! Ha! We will invite you for a coffee, an ‘Iron Coffee… ähm… Coffin’ 😀 Cheerz!!!"
Live pics: www.mdd-pictures.de
Interview: Thomas Meyer