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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A little longer resulted in the bands first swan song, 1998s Chapter 13. An album I personally loathe, no matter how many times I revisit it to try and see if it clicks. Released on Steamhammer Records, the album virtually forgot Gorefest’s Death metal roots in favor of a groove laden hard rock records. Even Jan C’s distinct growl was reduced to an almost commercial bark and attempted singing. Tracks like “Chapter 13”, “The Idiot”, “Burnout” and to me cringe inducing “F.S 2000” just never sounded like Gorefest to me. What is surprising though is Frank’s dissection of an album that seemed to sink Gorefest forever: “Chapter 13 is probably my personal favorite of our 90’s albums. Having cleared a lot of bad air between us, we wrote this one much in the same spirit as we wrote False, just trying out lots of things. Thus, to me, it’s kind of a brother to False, as strange as that may sound to fans of that album. I really dig the sound on this, and I love all the little nods to all of the bands we were listening to at the time. The whole album’s filled to the brim with those. I can imagine though, if you really don’t know what we’re trying to do, or why we’re doing stuff the way we’re doing it on Chapter 13, you will not get into it. That’s fine though, we wrote all of our music for our own enjoyment. If people enjoyed some of our stuff, that was always an added bonus, as it gave us the chance to keep touring and recording. We got to tour with Judas Priest with this one, which for all of us was an interesting look into the world of a major league player. It was quite an experience, even though it was slightly sobering to see Priest fuck up as much as we did. With this one, we went overboard in pleasuring ourselves, which is probably why it’s the one shared favorite between the four of us. In fact, I think we’re about the only people in the world that like it.” I can’t argue with that last statement, and while the album maybe the band’s favorite album, it was seemingly the last album the band would record as in 1998, Gorefest called it quits: “We broke up a few months after the Priest tour. We’d just gotten tired of each other I guess. There was no point in being in a band together anymore, so we just went our separate ways”. For six years the band members did their own thing with Jan C trying pop/electronia music and Frank admittedly “drinking a lot”, but in 2004 rumbles started of a reunion and those rumbles resulted in a full fledged come back album with 2005s La Muerte: complete with artist from False artist Mid Dolob, La Muerte a successful return from a formerly broken up band if ever there was one. From the classic, “we’re back” opening throes of “For the Masses”, through blistering duo of “Malicious Hate”, “Man to Fall” and 10 minute instrumental closer, “La Muerte” reeks of a death metal band reenergized, refocused and piecing together all their best elements from the past into one album. Frank agrees about the bands glorious return. “La Muerte was written with all of the experiences we had as a band in the 90’s, all the different kinds of Metal we had written in the back of our heads. As a result it might sound a bit all over the place, which is exactly what it is, and why I like it so much. We just threw everything we had at it, and this is what came out. Fairly heavy shit, with lots of stuff to discover, if you’re interested. I can still listen to La Muerte in one sitting, just really enjoying all the little things we came up with. it’s all pretty basic stuff, as we’ve always tried to keep things simple and heavy, but you’d be surprised what one can do with just a few chords and the proper beat. Favorites on La Muerte are many: “For the Masses”, which I think is one of the best songs we ever wrote, ditto for “You Could Make Me Kill”, and “Till Fingers Bleed” with it’s Led Zep break in the middle. I Love the title track (obvious nods to Enslaved in there), that’s one of my all time favorite songs by ANY band. I have very good feelings about this one. The middle part of New Gods, the Carcass-steal in “Man To Fall”, the dual lead in “The Call”, all great stuff. Response to this one was interesting. People seemed to like the fact we’d found our Metal-mojo again, which is fair enough I suppose. Ed started writing songs on La Muerte, and went on to write a large part of Rise To Ruin.

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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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