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Carl Birath (Insision)

Interview with Carl Birath from Insision
by Yiannis Dafopoulos at 23 October 2007, 3:05 PM

I remember my first amazement when I listened to INSISION's Beneath The Folds Of Flesh (2002) album. Their brutality and their achievement to have their own unique sound in a time when many Death Metal bands sound common and release boring and uninspired albums is really incredible. When I reviewed the band's latest album (Ikon) I had the chance to interview the band's frontman Carl Birath (vocals), one of the best Death Metal singers out there in my humble opinion. Read what he had to answer to my questions below…

Hello guys and thank you for taking the time for this interview! First of all, a typical question. Can you give us a short bio of INSISION?

Aight! INSISION started back in ? as a classic underground band made up by a couple of dedicated youngsters from different band-constellations. The goal was to create and play Death Metal in absurdum. A few demos, 4 years and some lineup changes later we hooked up w/ legendary Death/Grind label Earache Records in late 2001. Did two albums on that label (Beneath The Folds Of Flesh ? and Revealed And Worshipped ?) and tours with bands such as , SUFFOCATION, THE HAUNTED, VITAL REMAINS, DECAPITATED, THE BERZERKER etc running parallel with these releases we stabbed our knifes into the overall scene and here we are.

To twist it even further we now just released our third and best record so far… It’s actually released today as we speak!


Ikon is an album full of killer leads, insane drumming, great bass lines and twisted vocals. Where do you get your inspiration from and create such sick music?

Except from just breathing and living the scene and the music? Well, Everything around gives inspiration and different angels of musical approach. The fact that we do not only listen to pure Death Metal 24 h a day might give a clue. As separate individuals we listens to a lot of stuff, except Death Metal, ranging from Jazz, Thrash, and old classic Heavy Metal to whatever makes the hart beat 2 times harder. But most of the inspiration I think comes from the fact that we play this for ourselves and our own pleasure, not really to satisfy anyone else but in the end it comes out that way. We all have different hobbies beside that…

Sweden is mostly known for its melodic side of Death Metal, even though more brutal bands like DISMEMBER and ENTOMBED where the ones that showed the way. How do you manage to sound so brutal when you live in the country of melodic Metal?

Brutality in music is not a question of nationality is it? I know you have to treat the matter from several points of view but to keep it simple…

… from start we were a bit more open minded or more affected by other things and then others, searched other parts of the world for our ’metal kicks’, got inspiration from other acts and just went along with it but kept our own sound…

Keeping it is not hard. It’s using it the best possible way that is the challenge!

Why did you decide to leave Wicked World/Earache and signed with Dental Records?

The decision to leave Earache was mutual… We needed to get a fresh start somewhere else where we where not in the TOP of the food-chain rather then the bottom.

Earache had to shop-down on artists in their roster to sort out their yielding economy which suited us perfect though it came a bit abrupt and with us just about to enter the studio…  Time was a bit short and Dental Records was there in the right time at the right place. We had to have a financier for the album which was practically already recorded at the time. In the same time we wanted a smaller label so we could use the actual full capacity of the label and all its potential without needing to plough through 20 other bands.

I was astonished by the incredible cover you chose for Ikon. Was it a PC thing or a painting? Who made it and what do you want to show with this cover?

Mick Usher (http://mickusher.com/ ) Please check him out!

The whole idea of the cover is from the Russian icons and I wanted it to be a reversed Icon. The picture, which is an illustration made by Mick with his different tools on the Mac-computer, is full of different hints and symbolism. The best part is that it’s really all in the eye of the beholder.

Me and Mick worked on this cover for 6 bloody months. He did the illustration and I co-worked parallel with sketches and trying to explain the ideas behind the cover and the over all feeling. He is one of the best we ever worked with. There are over 10 different symbolic features in this cover. From things like that the halo represents the light and the open mind of Lucifer down to where his body is filled with scars and blisters representing and reflecting the main three monoteist religions hate and constant blame upon Satan. You can read more interpretations from Mick’s point of view at his page but I like to give you the experience to interpret it yourself.

Which bands influenced you music?

Sorry this is such a relative question… but I guess; MORBID ANGEL, CC, DEICIDE, SUFFOCATION, IMMOLATION, NILE, MALEVOLENT CREATION among tons of others. It all comes down to who in the band you’re talking to really…

Next question…


As I said in my review, you always managed to have your personal style and unique sound. Do you think it is hard to create a unique sound nowadays in the Metal scene?

Maybe people search too hard to create that personal sound instead of just play Death Metal! Or it might be the other way around now when I come to think about it.

It’s a question of what is Death metal. I mean, it doesn’t have to be totally original to kick your ass over and over again. Play for your own ears and sake and try not to sound like others but just consume whatever influences you have and use it…

It’s when ppl are looking for new and unique sounds that we get crossovers like Death Metal rapping and SOUNDGARDEN meets CC?? Damn dude that’s… horror… horror in my ears… hahaha

What do your lyrics have to do with and who writes them?

I try to make it personal but still Death Metal. Most of them are feelings/dreams and world interpretations mixed up with my personal belief in lord Satan and the opposition of today’s religious stupidity.

I would like to mention some Swedish bands and I would like you to comment them in a few words. Here we go…

ENTOMBED:

Good old classic… The latest album was a great step in the right direction… But I have to admit I very, very seldom listen to them

DISMEMBER:

Same goes here I guess, still I like these much better then The Chief Rebel Angels above. Here are the more raw nerve of Death Metal… Got themselves a new drummer, Thomas Daun our old one.. Hope it works for them. BTW how many original members are left of this platoon nowadays?

DARK TRANQUILITY:

I can understand what the fuzz is about and also get a jaw-drop for the good musicianship… but in the end? naa… Not my cup really.

IN FLAMES:

Come on, be serious now…  Next question…

AT THE GATES:

Classic as well… Listened to Slaughter Of The Soul the other day.

SOILWORK:

No…

Which of 2006’s Death Metal releases attracted you the most?

Damn I hate this kinds of Q’s… I’ll say Demigod with BEHEMOTH and I ignore the fact it came out in ?…

Are you planning any tours right now? Are there any Greek dates included?

We are at the starting point for tour planning at this stage and have no tours planned… But if there are any serious Greek promoters we are interested… Absolutely!

I suppose you don’t live by playing music. Do you have your daily jobs? How do you make a living and how do you manage to keep the balance between your jobs and the band?

To be a bore, I’m a very keen on self-integrity. Let’s discuss music not life beside the band, who cares from where you buy your milk really.

We do this for hart and soul but appreciate personal life as well. It works fine.. the balance that is..

Thank you for your time and keep on spreading the brutality! A last message to your fans…

Great interview my friend… Jamas all you Death Metal mongers in Hellas!!

Wave the death metal flag proud and strong!

HAIL SATAN!

Carl Birath

/ INSISION

Web: www.insision.com

Mp3’s: www.myspace.com/insision

Videos: www.youtube.com/Insision666



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