Interview With Gorefest

Welcome to the first of (hopefully) many band spotlights here at Teeth of the Divine .com. Think of this as our version of VH1’s Behind the Music. The aim with these features is to take you a little deeper into some of the more influential, important and respected band in metal. Band’s that through their albums, shaped genres, defined sounds and for many, changed lives. Some bands are still charging on, continuing to adding to their legacy, while other have since call it quits, allowing their recordings to continue their impact and legacy…

by Erik T

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One such band is Gorefest. I chose to do a band spotlight on this Dutch death metal act because A) I’m the co editor of this site and B) In dealing personally with the band a few times over the years, I knew they would make for an interesting feature. Assisting me throughout this retrospective of the sadly inactive band is founding member and guitarist Frank Harthoorn who was gracious enough to give us a some in depth insight into a band that became a death metal powerhouse, a the flag bearer for Holland’s extreme metal scene and a band that went through numerous ups and down both in their personal and recoding career. “Basically, it was back in 1989, we started out as any other band”, states Frank. “I met Jan-Chris in a pub in my hometown. We started talking about our mutual obsession at that time, which was Death Metal. JC was in a hardcore band at the time called Sjolmord, but what he really wanted to play was Death Metal. He told me about this, and we decided to form a band, right then and there. I had just begun to pick up a guitar, and JC asked me if I could work out how to play Sodom’s “Obsessed By Cruelty”, which I did. I then taught him, and thus this became the first song we both could play. And so the legend started. However finding a fitting name for this new band proved to be more of a problem that actually writing and playing death metal as Frank details- “We had a couple of handles before that, from the generic (Abhorrence), to the highly original (Leprosy), to the downright weird (Condemned Heretics – we got rid of THAT one real quick..). I first thought of GoreZone – well I stole it from the horror magazine. But when reading the mag, I came across the word ‘Gorefest’, which we all liked much better. It is, of course a bit of a silly name, but it’s also quite catchy, slightly Germanic, and it made pretty clear we weren’t playing reggae. So then came two demos – 1989s Tangled in Gore and 1990s Horrors of Retarded Mind- both released smack bang in the middle of a European and American Death metal explosion that saw numerous bands tackle the appropriate themes of death, destruction, gore, carnage, zombies and such. However, when it came time for Gorefest to record their demo tracks for their 1991 debut, Mindloss, the band were already starting to delve into more personal and less clichéd pastures.

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  1. Commented by: Igor

    intresting article! thank you for reminding me of these guys: back in ’97 False and Soul Survivor were first death metal albums I heard, friend of mine gave me bootleg tape with False on the one side and SS on the other, I liked it so much – listened to it for days, untill tape in the cassette wore out) Don’t even know why I ignored both their come back albums, it’s time to give them a try)

  2. Commented by: Dr_Neo_Cortex

    I like this idea, i think its interesting to get some behind the scenes info and insights from bands. I’m not really a huge gorefest fan but this was well written and interesting nonetheless.

  3. Commented by: Evan H

    Nicely done!

    Gorefest were always one of my faves, with False being a call to arms for my much of the late 90s. As I’ve aged (finely haha) I’ve gained more of an appreciation for the Soul and Chapter, but I did agree with you at first in regard to C13. Hearing Frank’s perspective on it really help(ed/s), and overall it’s really cool that you put this together. Definitely a cult band that after their hiatus were uncommonly stronger than over.

    Cool to see, thanks for the hard work to get this up!

  4. Commented by: Red

    Great feature!!!! Can we get one on BELIEVER? That would be sssoooo cool!!!

  5. Commented by: Chris S.

    Really good article. I picked up the Fear EP in ’94 and never gave these guys a 2nd thought. When they came back with “La Muerte” in ’05 I was buying for the metal section at Tower records and a good thing as I was able to pick up Pt. 1 & 2 od the reissues NB put out. False, Mindloss and Erase are kickass death metal and should be owned by every fan of extreme music.

    Has anyone checked out the Asphyx reissues yet? “Embrace The Death” so good….

  6. Commented by: Cynicgods

    I’m the fifth person that liked Chapter 13. I understand what they were trying to do; culling from disparate influences to come up with an original sound. For all intents and purposes, an experiment that functioned within and far beyond the metal spectrum at the same time. Great record.

    Thing is, I love this band. They’ll never be a footnote to me. Frank, Boudewijn, Jan-Chris and Ed, you’ll always be death metal royalty to me. Gorefest will always have a special place in my record collection, in my mind and in my heart.

  7. Commented by: Cynicgods

    Oh and I forgot to thank Erik for this wonderful retrospective. Thank you, man. I enjoyed this immensely.

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