Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Interview with SACRAMENTUM in Issue#3, 1998

The best blackened Swedish death Metal legacy will always be DISSECTION – SACRAMENTUM – DAWN. Those are the compulsory three if you wonder what makes them absolutely revered by the scene in general. Here’s an interview with Sacramentum’s mainman Nisse Karlen, in the year 1998.
Speak something about your latest release, “The Coming of Chaos”?
“The Coming of Chaos” was recorded in June 1997 in Los Angered Studio in Gothenburgh where we live, the record contains eight tracks and an infernal and chaotic outro and was released on CENTURY MEDIA in September 1997.
No more Dan Swano to engineer and co-producing it. Why?
Well, as you probably know we have worked with Swano two times before and we felt that we needed to change studio to be able to develop our infernal sound.
And what made you chose Andy LaRoque? How about his work then?
We chose Andy because he has a very good studio here in Gothenburgh and we had been visiting the studio when other bands recorded and we felt that this studio would be the place where we would feel most comfortable in working. It’s been a pleasure to work with Andy since he is a very nice guy and also a damn fine musician, we will for sure use his knowledge again.
No more in Unisound too. Opted for a different sound, I guess…
Sacramentum will always progress and don’t stand at the same point all the time, but everyone will for sure recognize the infernal sound of Sacramentum.

Why you didn’t use the artwork of Necrolord for “The Coming of Chaos”? His work on “Far Away From The Sun” is brilliant.
The reason why we didn’t use Necrolord this time was that we wanted something different like we always have done. I mean the first cover is a photo and the second cover is a painting. And this latest cover is computer made and I feel very satisfied with all the covers. They have their own unique feel and I think it would be boring to use the same artist all the time.
What is your lyrics about? “The Coming of Chaos” is some kind of a conceptual album right? And the song, “Black Destiny”, will have its continuation in your next album?
Well, yes and no. Some of the songs are connected to “The Coming of Chaos” and some are not. The lyrics is about the blackness and frustration of my own soul, it’s hard to explain. You’ll have to figure it out yourself. Yes, “Black Destiny” will continue on the next album which will be entitled “Thy Black Destiny” and it will be recorded in November 1998.
What is the relevant of the two naked girls photographed with the album?
Haha! It has nothing to do with the actual album, we wanted to have something different than just standing there and since we enjoy naked girls very much we choose to have these beauties as a contrast to us.
Sacramentum produced all the releases by themselves. You don’t really trust other people huh?
We totally know what we want and we know how Sacramentum should sound so we don’t need anyone to tell us how we should sound. People can come with opinions and we listen to them but it’s Sacramentum who decide if it’s good or bad and you’re right we don’t trust anyone to shape OUR sound.
Your line-up seems to be pretty stable with only three members since “Far Away From The Sun”. What made you kicked-out those ex-members? Three is a family?
Yeah, we have found the ultimate line-up now but it would have been a lot easier if we had a second guitarist. But it’s impossible to find one who’s not already playing in a bigger band since we are very careful with who is worthy to play for us. You have to be a good musician and have the same personality as we have. The reason for kicking the old bandmembers out was that they were not dedicated to what they were doing. They did it because we told them to and they thought it was fun. We cannot accept such behavior.
Sacramentum frequently plays live-shows. You’re using sessionists in them?
We always have a session guitarist with us since much of our music is based on two guitars. For the first European tour we used Nightmare from Swordmaster and on the second tour we have used Vassago from Lord Belial and he is also rehearsing with us nowadays but he is not a full member of Sacramentum since he has Lord Belial.
Sacramentum’s sound is great Swedish death Metal with blazing technical parts…
Our influences comes mostly from old heavy Metal bands and a lot of speed and thrash bands where we have our roots. A lot also comes from within ourselves, moods and so on.
And does the fact of being Swedish contributed?
I don’t really know. But probably I think that you get influenced by everything you hear and see. So if we lived in Malaysia we might have sounded completely different but it feels very weird to think like this because we would still have our early influences from the beginning of the 80’s but who knows.
Is anything such as ‘Gothenburgh Sound’ really exists?
I don’t know. It’s just that there are some bands from Gothenburgh who plays aggressive and melodic music. It’s not that many bands from Gothenburgh who sounds like this. It’s more in other cities in Sweden who want to have a piece of the cake for the winning concept. Gothenburgh sound or not, who cares.
What do you think about the comparison people always made between you and Dissection?
It’s rather frustrating because I think we are far more aggressive than Dissection and I also think we have our own unique Sacramentum sound, but we play similar kind of music and because Dissection became known before us, people like to compare us to them. The truth is that we have been around for as long as Dissection but they spread their name better while we just played and didn’t care much.
“The Coming of Chaos” also marks the changing of the label for the band…
After we had released “Far Away From The Sun” we didn’t have a contract anymore so we started to send out promo packages and some labels were interested in signing us. So we started to negotiate with some of the labels and came to the conclusion that CENTURY MEDIA would be the best option for Sacramentum. We are very satisfied with all that CENTURY MEDIA have done for us so far. The only problem is that we really could need some better equipment but CENTURY MEDIA is not very interested in that because it costs money and they want to make money but hopefully this will change.
How would you compare the works of ADIPOCERE and CENTURY MEDIA?
Well, ADIPOCERE is an underground label and is run by one guy and CENTURY MEDIA is a big label with over 50 employees. So there’s a very big difference in professionalism and promotion and so on.
The Swedish bands (well, lots of ‘em), has kind of losing their aggressiveness, and are veering towards more melodic lately. What is your comments about this?
There are very few bands who can do this good so I think it sucks. I have nothing against melodies as long as they are not happy circus melodies. And that’s the problem, everyone seem to like this happy sounding shit, extreme Metal should not be happy. I really don’t like this. Aggression is important. Fight it. Fight till death.
I don’t think Sacramentum will get rid of their aggressiveness…
No, we will never get rid of it. It’s like you say, a very important part of our sound. Aggression and intensity is Sacramentum’s trademark.
Sacramentum is already in the scene for a while, what’s the secret?
I think that you have to be yourselves and to be comfortable being yourselves. Be true to yourself and to your surroundings, that’s the combination for success I think. Years of hard work is of course a big part of it as well.
What is the importance of image then for a band?
As I said in the previous question, I think that by being yourselves you gain a lot more than pretending something. It makes the music and the lyrics really mean something important to yourselves and hopefully to others as well. Image can sometimes be cool and interesting but that’s nothing for Sacramentum.
Since the very beginning of Sacramentum’s existence, what is your main ambition by joining the Metal scene? Has it been fulfilled?
When we started it was just because we wanted to make extreme music, violent music. We had no ambitions whatsoever. Then thing started to happen. A lot of people liked the stuff we made. So we became more serious and after we had recorded the MCD “Finis Malorum” we realized that we could really achieve something. So we kicked out the unserious members and started rehearse more often and that’s the way it is. I think that everything we could dream about then has been fulfilled but we will carry on for many years to spread our message of hatred.
Reveal us Sacramentum’s forthcoming plans…
We will play live as much as possible in the nearest future and we are working on our forthcoming album “Thy Black Destiny”, which will be recorded in November ’98. Thanks a lot for the shown interest and good luck with your ‘zine. Let misanthropy and sodomy show the way. Die hard.

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