In the Name of the Flesh

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2012 marked the debut album from Germany’s Revel in Flesh.  Deathevokation sported an album cover that was an homage to Dismember’s Like an Ever Flowing Stream.  The album is punishing from beginning to end with that classic brutal Swedish sound, which is something Revel in Flesh …hmm. revel’s in. 2013 saw the release of Manifested Darkness, an even darker and more brutal album than its predecessor.  The end of 2014 Revel in Flesh punished worldwide audiences with their greatest album thus far-Death Kult Legions.  Showing more maturity, atmosphere, melody, darkness as well as retaining their brutal edge, Revel in Flesh are on fire.  Death Kult Legions was one of the best albums of 2014 and truly one of the best produced.  If you enjoy all the classic death metal albums from 1988-1993, then there is no doubt Revel in Flesh needs to be in your collection. 

I have been in contact with vocalist, Ralf Hauber, since right before the second album was released. He is a true supporter of the death metal movement and helping to push his band as much as he can.  A true down to earth and awesome individual with an absolute killer set of vocal pipes.  When you pick up any of the Revel in Flesh albums the one thing that comes to mind is quality. First and most importantly the music sounds awesome with well crafted and memorable death metal songs.  Then you hear the production and it’s punishingly heavy and well done with everything sounding powerful.  Lastly the booklet and layout is professional, multi paneled and shows the band cares about presentation of its product.  I love this in bands.  So now you must go out and buy all their releases, like their FB page and buy their merchandise at once.  Revel in Flesh is one of the best death metal bands out there, folks!! 

So Ralf , get the fans up to speed about your new album, Death Kult Legions, as well as the record label switch from FDA Rekotz to Cyclone Empire?

Hey Frank, nice to be back here with REVEL IN FLESH your webtomb! Old School Death Metal sickos beware, the 3rd REVEL IN FLESH album entitled Death Kult Legions it out on CYCLONE EMPIRE since December 2014! It is our most mature work thus far; darker more atmospheric, but still merciless and to the bone in the classical European style Death Metal way!

Yes, the deal with FDA REKOTZ was fulfilled after the Manifested Darkness album and it was time for us to find a more professional and transparent to us working business partner! CYCLONE EMPIRE is a label situated more or less in our own local area. We already worked together on common split 7”EP and merchandise projects! They have a long – time business experience and did a bloody well – job on pushing Death Kult Legions in the relevant media here in the German market, something that didn’t happen with our previous album releases. CYCLONE EMPIRE is the label home of acts like PAGANIZER, FACEBREAKER, FUNEBRARUM, ISOLE, BODYFARM etc. – we fit there like a fist in the face, so good to be in :-)

How do you think the new album compares to your previous two albums and what are the main changes with the new album?

Well, actually it’s a natural development after Manifested Darkness, which already showed certain elements that were more developed in – depth on Death Kult Legions. The new album was written and recorded in a period of  2 years; it’s more and more a product of a completely involved band! You hear as well a growing experience in terms of writing and the recording experience. As I said the general vibe of the album is darker, sometimes more melodic but on the other hand you also find brutal rippers like “In the name of the flesh”! It’s the most mature combination of the REVEL IN FLESH style thus far!

Your sound does have that distinct Swedish death metal buzzsaw guitar sound, however I mentioned in my review, I thought the War Master album from Bolt Thrower was another influence on the new record. Care to comment on my observations?

 Of course we still use the BOSS HM2 distortion pedal, which is the weapon for Swedish styled chainsaw guitar sound mass destruction. When you use that sound you can’t deny your favour for Swedish bands; but speaking honestly I don’t care that much about the comparisons anymore. The press somehow needs it for their reviews; which is ok! To us the only matter is to write good tracks, that deliver in some way “our” vision of how classic Death Metal could sound nowadays. If the maniacs like it – fine! If not we will do it anyway because in first line we do this band for passion and in that way we enjoy what we do!

Talk about the song “Cryptcrawler”. I mention it as one of my personal favorites from you guys. What went into crafting this unique song and how is it going over in the live setting?

Well, it’s a special and really creepy song! It’s the first sort of co – operation between Maggesson and Herrmannsgard in songwriting! I totally like the doom and gloomy aspect of this track. Lyrically it’s heavily inspired by the very early vampire movies, like Nosferatu and the Christopher Lee stuff. The “Cryptcrawler” is a sort of revenant on the hunt for blood! Classical horror lyric style!

So far we just played this track like 3 times live; I totally love it! This track gives you the feeling like being a ghoul on the hunt for flesh & blood! The audience seem to like it!

Here’s a live video, feel free to check it out:

“Frozen Majesty” has an epic feel to the tune. I notice this musical aspect on several of the new songs. Was there a conscious effort to blend some more atmospheric components to your album? Is this something you plan to continue on future releases?

Personally I always prefer the more mid tempo, epic and heavy tunes, just like “Iron Coffin”, “Bonecrusher” or a few tracks from the new album! I like the dark and more atmospheric way, but still mixed with headbanging and aggressive parts, too. Actually we don’t have a real master plan! We simply do it! In some way we never really stopped with the songwriting since the very first album. It’s important to keep a sort of spontaneous thing to keep this music alive and filthy!

Describe your vocal delivery on the new album. I feel this is your best to date and your lows are fantastic, as well as still understandable-is this something you strive for? Your higher register vocal style is also unique, how difficult is this to pull off live-meaning the transitioning vocal styles?

Thanx for those kind words! Well, during the vocal recording sessions Maggesson usually kicks my ass in order to get the best result I can! I still have to work on some kind of breathing technics, but all in all I think that my vocals found a sort of own style from Deathevokation up to now! And YES, we try to keep the “pronunciation” on an understandable level. Personally I also prefer more vocalists like old GOREFEST, BOLT THROWER, LG from ENTOMBED, GOD MACABRE etc. who have deep but still understandable growling style. I don’t like this guttural brutal stuff! Regarding the high pitched screams I think it’s good to have some sort of variation to keep it interesting. It works live, but the major problem is that we don’t have an own sound guy, who could add some extreme reverb like this on the right parts! I think live and studio is in some way still a big difference, but it’s a live and learn and you grow with each experience!

Explain to us the album title and what is the meaning that surrounds it, as well as the outstanding album artwork?

To me the Death Kult Legions are all those fanatics that support the real “Die Hard” Death Metal underground. The lyrics deal more or less about an unstoppable force, that is bound to darkness and bound to death! Nobody can stop them on their graveless revenge ride!

Regarding the coverartwork: Like all our pervious full length album artworks it’s done again by our Spanish illustrator Juanjo Castellano. It’s an artwork with a sort of “handmade” touch, hold in the classical 90’s sense. Castellano became a sort of trademark to REVEL IN FLESH and if you compare all our album covers together they have some sort of “red line” in concept and atmosphere! Castellano is our sort of Dan Seagrave. Support this guy! His recent works for AVULSED, PAGANIZER, WINTER OF SIN, SATHANAS etc. have been fantastic. He truly belongs to those artists that know how to give music a sort of visual face-transferring the music on a sort of picture! The artwork was a process of close to two months of hard work; but it was worth every single minute of work!!! Check it out!!!

So they say third times a charm, you went with legendary producer Dan Swanö for the mix and mastering. Were you present for all of this and how is Unisound recordings, since I have never been their. Does Dan push you guys in helping with the sound and song structures?

No we have not been in person at UNISOUND Studios, which is by the way located in Germany nowadays. All our basic recordings we done at VAULT M. studios, which is Maggesson’s own studio! We work a lot on a DIY home recording base. Maggesson is our man in terms of technical matters/stuff! He’s a freak about that, Ha!  Swanö did again the mix/mastering job! No, he just cared about the sound and he didn’t interact in the songwriting, but we invited him for a guest solo on “Graveyard Procession”, which turned out bloody well done! Totally classical BLOODBATH style!

Will you continue with him for future releases?

Of course! We meet Swanö in person in Essen a few weeks ago…a totally nice and down to earth person! Cheerz dude!!!

What bands are in your IPOD now and what are some of the new bands out there that you really enjoy?

While answering this interview I’ve started with the Fromtschwein album of MARDUK! It impressed me a lot, probably the best MARDUK album since old vocalist Legion left the band. About new stuff….hm, I’m heavily impressed by the new advance stuff I’ve got from our Swedish friends in FERAL! Their upcoming 2nd album will be a real “nirvana” for lovers of catchy and groove ridden Swedish Death Metal! Great vocal lines and damned good songwriting. I also like the new promo/demo tunes of US based FATALIST! I still keep an excited eye and ears on the latest Death Metal movement. I know it’s an overkill situation, but there are still tons of good bands popping up everywhere on this fucked up planet! Nobody can stop Death Metal, Ha! Ha!

What are some other genres of death metal that you listen to and what particular styles can you just not listen to?

To me the most moving style in Death Metal is the classical early 90’s stuff! Simply the style that I discovered back then as a teenie. Albums like The Rack, Severed Survival, False, Like an Everflowing Stream etc. have some sort of timelessness character to me! This music is still moving me in some way! I’m really happy that since the middle of 2000 the classical way of DM has come back, you know the real meaty and not over produced way! I personally can’t handle Death Metal with too many blast stuff; I rather prefer METAL TO BANG YOUR HEAD, if you like to say it like this! Furthermore I’m not into this brutal, gore, core and porn shit! DEATH METAL is also lyrically to me based in the classical way like the early bands did! The music shall deliver a mixture between horror and brutality…a feeling of shiver running down the spine! I don’t like bands singing about excrements etc., that lacks in essence to me!

What are your present touring plans for the new album and any offers to come to America?

 REVEL IN FLESH is a band based on the classical DIY underground principles! We do all the bookings etc. on our own; it’s time ripping and in some way also frustrating, especially when you see that certain parts of the market are just about business and some influential part of that business are really good in threatening bands like shit! At the current stage our main bookings are in Germany; hopefully we get some “realistic” offers in other European countries, too. USA? Well, it would be of course in some way a dream, but at the current stage we are lacking in contacts etc. to make a trip to oversea! Time will tell!!!

So what prompted doing a Manilla Road cover to end the new album?

Breaking the boundaries! We really love this MANILLA ROAD song, although I guess that my vocals will be ground shocking to every ”die hard” epic Metalhead. It’s crazy to hear this tune from 1983 in a HM2 pedal driven version; I was really possessed with this idea and I’m glad that we did it! On our previous album we did covers of BENEDICTION, MASTER, AUTOPSY and DEATH, so this time it was simply to expand out of the classical Death Metal genre, simply to get a fresh breath of rotten death and to do something that no one would expect from a band like REVEL IN FLESH!

How is your band line-up getting along? How is it when touring, recording and playing live together? Are you all friends or do you go separate ways after band activities?

We are all “Die hard” Death Metal fan maniacs, retards and idiots! Put us five together with enough beer and booze and hell is breaking loose! Well, we are fans of the music and we see REVEL IN FLESH as a fan band, means we unit with the audience! This music is about passion and about being authentic! I think everyone in REVEL IN FLESH reflects this attitude and I’m proud of it!!!

Since you guys release an album every year, since 2012 do you already have plans/ideas on a fourth album?

Well, there are some fragments and ideas for new tunes already, but at the current stage our main focus is on getting bookings for 2015 and play as much as we can, especially outside our local area! I don’t think that we will fix a new full length in 2015, BUT there are plans for more split 7”EPs and we keep the deadly wheel turning! Don’t worry :-)

Any final thoughts you would like to tell your fans and our readers?

DEATH METAL is about passion and this scene lives from the “to the bone” freaks that show a true and honest support! This matters more than all business bullshit!!! Be real, be authentic and join the “Death Kult Legions”! For more info on REVEL IN FLESH (Gigs, merchandise etc.) check our Facebook page!

Once again a final thanx to you Frank, keep it brutal and deadly!!!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Revel-in-Flesh/304228902958414

http://www.reverbnation.com/revelinflesh

http://www.cyclone-empire.com/

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