It is often said, the older you get, the faster time seems to pass. But the fact that it took me no less than six years to finally realize a long-planned interview with German Death / Grinders TERRORAZOR is far more than just lame… Well, maybe the fact that I just knew their debut full length “Abysmal Hymns Of Disgust” (which even ended up in my 2016 “Best Releases Of The Year” list) could work as a good excuse here. The band’s discography has listed ten demos and nine split releases before that already, so I just wasn’t sure if I could really do them justice, without knowing all of that stuff. But this year I finally managed to check out most of it, only to realize that I hadn’t missed much. TERRORAZOR was originally just a one-man project, with a shitload of run-off-the-mill releases, until Skullsplitter (drums) and Cryptkeeper (vocals) joined main man Avenger for the split cassette with German SCALARE in 2014. That was the turning point, the music started to become a lot more serious, and the fact that the three songs from that split are the only TERRORAZOR songs that re-appeared on “Abysmal Hymns Of Disgust” should easily speak for itself. So, to cut the crap, here it finally is, the long overdue interview with Daniel aka “Avenger” (bass / guitars) about the history of TERRORAZOR…

Greetings and welcome to Voices From The Darkside, Daniel… or do you prefer to be called Avenger for this interview? No matter what, I hope you’re doing well and you are in a good mood to answer some questions about TERRORAZOR?
“I’m good with Daniel Avenger… like Tom Angelripper, Chris Witchhunter… I think this combines both of the worlds and has a good ring to it. I’m mostly stealing my employers time with answering this interview by the side during work. Since this interview got stretched over the period of 2 or 3 weeks my mood is varying I would say, nevertheless I am happy to be able to answer an interview for TERRORAZOR which is very rare…”

What has the band been up to since the release of your debut full length “Abysmal Hymns Of Disgust” in 2016?
“To be honest, next to nothing happened. To call TERRORAZOR a real band is probably not the right thing to do, but calling it a “project” doesn’t do it justice either. It’s one of my creative outlets where I express myself with, so I have a deep emotional connection with it. But a real band for me is an entity of people with regular rehearsals, live shows and so on… TERRORAZOR is clearly not that.”

How was the response on the album in the underground and major media? Did you get a lot of reviews and interview requests on it?
“The response has been great as far as reviews go, interview wise it could have been better. I don’t really remember a number, but it was definitely not more than a handful. I think the kind of people the album was made for really seem to love it, which is really cool.”

What made you go for the name TERRORAZOR? Of course it immediately reminds of TERRORIZER, but is there more to it maybe, or was that the main reason because you are musically very much along the same lines?
“The TERRORIZER reference is more than obvious, ha ha… but I’m also a big RAZOR fan, so… I knew I won’t win an originality prize with that, but I think people know what they probably get when they read the name. There is really not much more behind than that. There where times over the years where I thought if I maybe should change the name, but in the end there’s also nothing suitable available which I would say is a significant better name.”

Which bands had the biggest influence on you, when you decided to start TERRORAZOR and have those influences changed over the years?
“On the older stuff AGATHOCLES, UNHOLY GRAVE, ANAL CUNT, EXTREME NOISE TERROR – “Holocaust In Your Head” LP, first two NAPALM DEATH and in general the more noisy, unorganized and chaotic stuff was a big influence. Later on the focus on how I want TERRORAZOR to sound changed drastically I would say… “World Downfall” is probably the best Grindcore / Death Metal album ever made. The riffs are catchy, the production heavy as fuck and still alive and breathing and the songwriting is phenomenal. And fuckin’ Pete Sandoval… So, to create an album which has all those elements was my ultimate goal at one point… As for other influences there are also the first CARCASS, DEAD INFECTION – “Surgical Disembowelment”, ARCHGOAT – “Angelcunt” MLP, MASTER, BLOOD of course, NAPALM DEATH – “Harmony Corruption” and “Utopia Banished”, EXTREME NOISE TERROR – “Retribution”, SLAUGHTER – “Strappado”, well… the old school stuff! Also “newer” bands like HAEMORRHAGE, WORMROT, MACHETAZO (R.I.P.) I would say…”

The cover artwork from Matt “Putrid” Carr looks like a drawn version of covers from early NAPALM DEATH, NAUSEA, TERRORIZER and bands like that… Why did you decide on a drawing instead of real photos and does the artwork reflect the lyrics of the songs in any way?
“We gave Matt the lyrics for the songs and said he should do a collage kind of thing which in style resembles “World Downfall” and NAPALM DEATH’s “Obliteration…” artworks. So, he came up with all those little details which he picked out of the lyrics and only a whopping 1 ½ years later it was finished, ha ha! It was well worth the wait… I’m still very happy with the cover artwork. The only thing I regret is that we had the idea to honor the sadly deceased Jim Sadist (NUNSLAUGHTER) with a gravestone engraved with his name on the cover as well… but somehow it slipped through the process and in the end we forgot it. But I always remember that fact when I see the cover art. R.I.P. Jim!”

You recorded the album completely on your own at Somewhere In Nowhere studio… is that your own studio? Have you recorded all your demos and EPs there as well? Why did you go with Joel Grind for the mix and mastering?
“The Somewhere In Nowhere Studio is basically my laptop and an 8 track recording device. We recorded the drums in our rehearsal room and the rest in my living room and basement. The older stuff has been recorded with different set ups in varying locations, but always by myself. But this is the first TERRORAZOR recording which got mixed and mastered by someone who knows what he is doing. We went for Joel, because I have worked with him on other stuff in the past and it always turned out the way intended. He has an ear to in which direction the sound should go depending on the material and from there it was just a few changes until we were satisfied.”

When and how did you get the deal with Selfmadegod Records? TERRORAZOR already turned into a full band in 2014 for the split with SCALARE, so was the deal responsible for that in any way?
“If I remember correctly I sent Karol of Selfmadegod the already finished recordings of the album to see if he is interested to release it. The SCALARE split tape includes 3 songs from the album in a rough mix version. That tape was very limited and was mostly spread around friends and people at some festival I brought copies to. I’m not sure if Karol ever heard that one… The how and when I can’t recall anymore to be honest, but I was always somewhat in contact with Karol through trading since many years… I think that Selfmadegod Records was more or less the only label I sent the album to, and luckily he was interested in releasing it.”

You started TERRORAZOR in 2006 as a side / solo project and released more than 100 songs before your debut album, which were all spread as demos and split releases. You wrote the music, the lyrics and recorded all instruments yourself, which is quite impressive, considering how quick a release was followed by the next one already… When did you find the time to do all that, considering that you are also very active in several bands?
“Well… I would say the years 2007 – 2010 where the most active ones, where I recorded a new demo every 1-2 months or so… but to put things in perspective I think terms like “writing”, “songs” and “lyrics” are a bit too big, keeping in mind how those demos came to life back then, ha ha. Every session was very spontaneous and often improvised. I went into the ring with a few rough ideas and just let things flow… I think the SEXWITHSATAN split 7″ and the “Abysmal…” album are the only releases which really have lyrics and songs written in the usual sense and are not just growls and shrieks with a title on the cover… Compared to my other projects I had TERRORAZOR to just burst out noise without thinking too much and without too much planning. A kind of relief when other stuff was way too serious sometimes.”

How many copies did you release in general of each demo and split?
“The demos most of the time where unlimited, I still have a box with shitloads of covers in my basement. I did spread them by trading with other bands and labels thoughout the whole world, usually as a master CD-R and a bunch of covers so they could dub copies on tape themselves, I usually did the same with their demos. So it’s hard to say how much copies are really out there… could be dozens to hundreds… I think covers I printed 1000 each since it did not make much difference in price printing 500 or 1000 for example. I used one of those online printing companies to officially print flyers and cut them myself later on demand so they fit into a tape case. The split 7″ where pressed in 300 to 500 copies…”

I went through almost all of your pre-album recordings prior to this interview and must confess I wouldn’t be doing this now without the release of “Abysmal Hymns Of Disgust”… How did you manage to make such a big musical step forward? Did Cryptkeeper and Skullsplitter have so much input on the new material or would you also have made the same development if TERRORAZOR would have stayed a solo project?
“I’m not surprised to hear that…. You may have noticed that between 2010 and 2014 was a gap with basically no new releases coming out… that was because I had the feeling I have done everything I could do with TERRORAZOR and had no desire to just keep on doing the same noise again and again… Also my own abilities playing the drums are limited and I felt I can’t bring it to the level needed to bring the music a step forward as well… so basically in my mind TERRORAZOR ended there… BUT, in 2012 my main band NOCTURNAL got a new drummer in Skullsplitter and we released our third album with him. So, it was while working with him on this new NOCTURNAL album I realized that he is exactly the kind of drummer I need to get TERRORAZOR on the level I want. Not just a bunch of sloppy noise but some real punching old school Grind. So, I asked him if he wants to record this album with me… I would say guitars is my business so I knew I am safe in this department, so I thought what is missing now is a fitting vocalist to make this thing as round as possible. I asked a longtime friend who later named himself Cryptkeeper for TERRORAZOR, and he was all into the idea being an old school Death / Grind maniac himself. Nowadays he is also the singer for NOCTURNAL as Invoker by the way…”

Except for the three songs from the split with SCALARE, none of those songs made it on the album. Is it because you want them to remain exclusive on the original releases or aren’t you satisfied with the old material anymore these days?
“Well… I don’t think anything which was done on the demos was really worthwhile to re-record for the album. I wanted to make a fresh start with all new material. One could say this album is a whole new entity than what it was before. It was clear that the album will be a whole different thing songwriting wise, so I did not even look into if there is anything on the demos worth re-recording for the album.”

ZARACH ‘BAAL’ THARAGH, KALLIKANTZARI, SCALARE, SEXWITHSATAN, SLAPENDEHONDEN, DISSECTED, CARNIVORE MIND, NOURITTURE, BONG EJACULATION, ANALPHABETE, ANAL IMPALEMENT, SAGG, H418ov21.C… I gotta confess that I have never ever heard of any of those bands that you shared all the split releases with, so how did you find out about them or did they always contact you for those releases? Are they all rooted in the Grindcore scene?
“I would say it’s a mix of everything. Some I did contact, some contacted me and four on this list are other bands / projects of mine anyway… Not all of them are Grind bands, ZBT is more rooted in Black Metal for example, SLAPENDEHONDEN is old school Hardcore and so on… but what all bands have in common is the low fi sound and underground attitude.”

If I’m not mistaken, H418ov21.C is also a project of yours, isn’t it? What can you tell us about that and the rather strange project name?
“I took it from the BEHERIT album with the same name. It means House 418 of the 21st Century… There’s a book called House 418… so my rough guess is Gamma Holocausto imagined this album the 21st century version of it… maybe lyrical? No idea to be honest… It’s a very experimental electronic album, so I think the name fitted well with the concept of that project. The first recordings where done when I was hospitalized, I recorded stuff like knives on glass or beating pillows with the internal microphone of my laptop, sampled it and started creating music out of those samples. There where years I was hospitalized a lot, so that’s when I recorded new stuff. Later on I started to do other things with that project outside of a hospital. Like experimenting with effect pedals and an old BOSS drumcomputer… Anyway, my desire to do more with that project died off already a while ago, but never say never again… maybe next time I get hospitalized…”

The choice of TERRORAZOR’s cover songs is partly pretty unusual, I mean BLOOD and BLASPHEMY is something I would have expected, but what made you cover ‘Stemmen Fra Taarnet’ by BURZUM and ‘Dig Up Her Bones’ by MISFITS?
“I like unusual cover songs, I mean especially when it’s from a slightly different genre… The MISFITS cover was a rather spontaneous thing, which also features a friend of mine on vocals. It turned out OK, not really great but OK, ha ha.”

Your songs on the split EP with SEXWITHSATAN musically differs a lot from all the other TERRORAZOR releases, so how did you end up playing good old Punk at that point of time?
“That was especially done for that split 7″ just because I thought it’s a great opportunity to do play some Punk. Nowadays I have a whole other project going just playing German Punk, this was an early try on this. Also this was the first time I really wrote lyrics for TERRORAZOR.”

Is there a lyrical connection between ‘Blade Of The Ripper’ from the “Haunted Places” demo and ‘Fucking Whore, Ending In Gore’ on the album?
“No connection except maybe the same subject it’s about. ‘Blade Of The Ripper’ does not have lyrics and ‘Fucking Whore…’ was written by Cryptkeeper for the “Abysmal…” album. I think in this kind of music it’s bound to happen that there are similarities in lyrical themes and titles, ha ha.”

By the way, what made you go for a guitar solo and gang shouts in that song? That’s pretty unusual for that type of music…
“It was just to spice up things a bit, I wanted this to be the MOTÖRHEAD, sing a long song for the album. It also has a punky edge in my opinion.”

The song ‘Orgy Of Luxuria’ starts with “Make way for the Terrorazor!”, which is an obvious tribute to “Make way for the Incinerator!” from Canadian SLAUGHTER… would you say that SLAUGHTER had any influence on the music that we hear on the TERRORAZOR album in any way?
“It’s definitely an influence, but not sure how much of it you can really hear on the album. The small tribute you got absolutely right… We are a lot about paying tribute, ha ha. We not so long ago recorded a cover of ‘Nocturnal Hell’ with NOCTURNAL, which was released on a split 7″ with SABBAT (JPN) early this year by the way…”

The “Chaos Inversion” demo from 2008 only features one song, which is almost 30 minutes long and which you titled “Noise remix”… Tell us a bit more about this unusual release and if there’s also a regular version of that song.
“That one was a bit inspired by the “5643 Song EP” from ANAL CUNT… I simply took all songs from the first four demos and overlayed it on several tracks. I tried to somehow create a “vibe” with it, but I was very well aware that it’s basically unlistenable noise… I did not really expect anyone to really listen to that so I just made a tape limited to 100 copies. I remember my ex wife asked me if I am not afraid that someone will sue me over “fraud” and she was totally serious, ha ha. It’s a fun release nevertheless…”

On the “Ask The Dead” demo from 2008 almost all of the song titles include the word “dead”, so was there maybe a concept connected to that release or something?
“I would not go as far to say it was a concept which went over the fact that every song title has the word “dead” in it, and there’s a corpse on the cover… Only death is real.”

What can you tell us about ‘Sign Of Othala’ (from the “Stairway To Heaven” demo 2007) and ‘Zhuluu’ (from the 2010 split with KALLIKANTZARI)? The titles sound different to all the other stuff that you released, so what inspired them?
“There are no lyrics to those songs… I think the latter does not even have vocals …. I wish I could tell you what I had in mind when I did choose the titles for those songs back then, I am just as curious as you are, ha ha.”

The “Dead World” demo from 2009 features 23 songs, but only ‘Prophecies Of A Dying World’ has a title. Were you just sick and tired of coming up with titles all the time or why did you just title them with numbers?
“Must have been something like this… but the first 22 songs are titled 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and so on… and the last song’s name is ‘… Prophecies Of A Dying World’. So it’s connected to the numbers before and means that every song is a prophecy of its own. One could say I was too lazy to come up with 23 song titles, but that would be absolutely not the case because I had this fantastic concept.”

When you write lyrics for TERRORAZOR, do you limit yourself when it comes to the topics or would you say that everything is possible as long as it’s worth writing about?
“The lyrics written for the “Abysmal Hymns Of Disgust” album where entirely written by Cryptkeeper and they are lyrics full of horror and gore. Usually there’s no limits in topics, through the demo years I had all kind of topics the song titles where about. I would say with the “Abysmal…” album we focused more on the horror / violence side of things.”

Your part of the split 7″ EP with SLAPENDEHONDEN features a wellknown photo from the old Nosferatu movie with Max Schreck. Are you fans of that movie or why was it used for the split?
“There is also a very famous scene from “Shining” printed on the TERRORAZOR label side. I’m into horror movies, but I am no expert I would say. I like the aesthetics of the NOSFERATU movie and I thought this scene looks cool as a cover so I used it.”

Have you ever played any live shows since TERRORAZOR has turned into a real band? Would you add an additional member then who plays bass or guitar since you handle both on the album?
“The only TERRORAZOR live show ever happened in 2012 when I organized a show for ATOMIC ROAR, WHIPSTRIKER and IRON FIST in Worms / Germany. TERRORAZOR opened the night with a 15 or something minute set. It was just me playing guitars doing vocals and a friend (the guy who did the vocals on the MISFITS cover) played drums. We had one rehearsal beforehand and most of the songs where improvised… The show is even on YouTube somewhere… we had four paying visitors, the rest of the audience was just the other bands. With the “Abysmal…” line-up no show happened so far… We always wanted to do it, but in the end everyone was always too busy with their other bands to rehearse a full set with songs we never really played together as a band. Never say never, maybe after a new album will be done…”

During the demo days you constantly wrote and released new music, but now it’s already six years since the album came out, so have you already written any new TERRORAZOR material ever since?
“Yeah, time flies… well, all I can tell you is that a new album is on my to do list… After “Abysmal…” was finished I felt that’s the ultimate I can do in this style… and this feeling stayed like this for years, but since a year or two I feel the urge to maybe perfect it a little bit more with new ideas… nothing is really written yet, but I have a rough concept of how I want the songs to sound. I’m currently deep into writing a new ANGEL OF DAMNATION album, and after that probably a new TERRORAZOR album.”

Ok Daniel, that’s about it. Thanks for taking the time. If we should have missed out any important topics, you’re welcome to mention that now. The closing words are yours!
“Thanks for the interest in TERRORAZOR. It’s definitely the most extensive one I ever did. I think you covered it all, even more than I can think it.”,

Frank Stöver

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