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Severe Torture

Interview with Severe Torture from Severe Torture
by Yiannis Dafopoulos at 05 November 2007, 4:19 PM

Sworn Vengeance was an album that kicked my sorry ass with its incredible Death Metal tunes and I would definitely not miss the chance to review the band. I really wanted to have one of the band's members answer my questions and I can say that I learned various stuff about the band's new album, Hammerheart Records and many more…

Hello guys! First of all congratulations on your new album! You are - and have always been - a band that is based on pure brutality as many bands in Holland (THANATOS, SINISTER etc). What’s up with you Dutch people? Is something wrong with the water you are drinking up there?

Haha, I don’t know what’s up with that. One thing I do know is that the Dutch LOVE brutal Death Metal. The Death Metal scene always has been very strong over here. We love brutal Death Metal so for it was obvious what kind of music we wanted to play. So I guess it could be the drinking water, haha I can’t come up with another reason.

This is your second album through Earache Records. How has your collaboration with your label been up to now? Are you 100% satisfied with the work they have put on you?

I could give an politically correct answer but I will try not to. Let’s put it this way, labels are evil. So far Earache hasn’t lived up to expectations. Actually we at one point we were totally pissed off at them. But lately things have been getting better and it seems that for this record they are actually gonna do something. The ball is in their court, it’s time to show what they are worth. But like I said things are looking good now.

Really, how did you manage to sign with them and why did you decide to leave Hammerheart/Karmageddon? Were you not satisfied with them?

I have been in contact with Dan Tobin (label manager) for a couple of years, just talking about Death Metal and stuff. We never had plans to sign with them we were totally happy with HH. HH put us on the Death Metal map, released our first 2 CD’s and got us on great tours! But then things changed, they had some problems and couldn’t help us anymore. So we wanted to leave and after the usual bullshit they let us go. So one of the labels we contacted was Earache and after some negotiating we signed a deal with them.

If I am not mistaken, you have slightly reduced the Grind parts you used in the past and you have now turned into a more Death Metal orientation. Why did you decide to do that?

We did not really decide to do it, it’s was just the natural growth. When we started writing Fall Of The Despised (2005) we started noticing we were writing differently than we did before. Also Marvin’s influence was immense on the sound of SEVERE TORTURE. What we did talk about is that we wanted to write more song orientated like the old school bands did in the past. Especially live the newer songs sound better, you know when you play very fast it’s really hard to keep the sound clear for the audience.

Sworn Vengeance features two guest appearances by MISERY INDEX’s vocalist Jason Netherton and BORN FROM PAIN’s ex singer Che Snelping. Was that something that you were offered to do or are these guys (or bands) good friends of yours and it was just a good time between friends?

We wanted to have some guests on the record that actually put an extra touch to the record. We love the vocals form both Jason and Che and we have been friends with them for a long time, so we asked them. They both liked the idea and recorded some awesome parts!

I have heard many people saying that this is your best album until now and stuff like that. Do you agree with that?

I really hope that people think that this our best record yet. We all think that this is our best record so far. But I know that it’s hard to say if other people think that way, everybody has some sort of feeling with an certain record. So there will be a lot of people that like the older records better. But what is certain is that this our best sounding and tightest record to date!

If you could go back to the studio and change something in Sworn Vengeance, what would you change?

As a musician you always want the best, so after you record a record you always hear parts that you want to change. However for this record there are less parts that we want to change than we wanted in the past!

Your new album features the most minimalistic cover you have ever used. Why did you choose to use a softer cover artwork than the ones you used in the past?

That also had to do with growth. We did have a brutal cover for Fall Of The Despised, but after some doubts we decided to go with another cover. We just wanted some cover artwork that fitted the music better. The cover artwork for the first 2 records was perfect for those, but we felt that we needed a change in artwork.

Metal Temple recently interviewed your label mates EVILE. Have you had the chance to meet these guys? Even though the UK has been infected with the shitty US Metalcore stuff, they managed to release a kick-ass Thrash Metal album and show that there is still some life left there. Have you met any other bands from your label?

We did a UK tour with them in March this year. They are a great band and great guys to hang out with. Other bands we know or hung out with are BLOOD RED THRONE and MUNICIPAL WASTE. With BRT we did some shows when we both were on HH records and with MW we drank some beers when we both played on the Maryland Death Fest in 2006.

You never compromised and you were always on the extreme side of Metal delivering some sick and twisted tunes that could make anyone’s ears bleed. Is there a chance we may see SEVERE TORTURE using some more modern elements in their music or will you be 100% Death Metal until the end of your career?

We will always be a Death Metal band, that’s just the music we want to play and that’s where we are good at. If some off us want to do something different, they will have to do that with other projects. However, we do have some modern parts in our music but we play it so brutal that many people won’t even notice. I am not gonna tell which parts, haha

Your songs feature a great level of technique, something that is more than obvious. Have you studied music or is this a result of personal struggle and hard work? Do you believe that studying music is an essential part of today’s Metal scene?

Our technique is a result of years playing fast music, none of us ever studied music. Of course you pick up and learn some things by watching other people play and listening to other bands. I know a lot of bands nowadays are freaks on their instruments and I think that’s awesome. However, that is not my cup of tea, except for NECROPHAGIST. But I prefer the more song orientated bands than the total technical bands.

What are your plans for now? Are you going to schedule any tours or you will just relax and compose some stuff for your next Death Metal assault?

We have a European tour coming up in February 2008 with our good friends in DEW-SCENTED. That is going to be a family affair! We are working on some dates in Australia and New Zealand. We will just see what’s coming our way, so I can’t tell you more right now.

What is your opinion on the current state of the Death Metal scene? Some say that there are no good bands nowadays, while others believe that we witness a renaissance of extreme music.

The scene is very strong at this moment; the younger people seem to love the extreme bands that are coming up now. The older people seem to prefer the older bands. So I can understand what you are saying. I grew up with the older bands so it’s hard to say which I prefer more.

How has the press (and the fans) reacted to your new album? Is the feedback you have received good (or even better than what you expected)?

So far, we haven’t had a lot of feedback from the press, but what we have got is very promising. These are always scary times, we know we have recorded a great record, our best so far, but you have to wait and see what the press and the fans think of it!

Have any new Death Metal releases attracted your attention? I recently reviewed INSISION’s new album and I can say that it was much better than I expected it to be!

To be honest we have been so busy with the record, playing shows, our jobs, I haven’t been paying a lot of attention to the new records that came out. I know it’s lame but when you are so busy with your own band and social live it just happens, haha

Thank you for your time and keep it as brutal as it gets. Would you like to add something?

Thanx for the support! To all readers thanx for taking your time! Now go and buy our new record, you will love it! Hopefully we will see all of you in the future at one of our shows!

Cheers  Pat


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