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God Dethroned - The European kings of Death - March 2001


GOD DETHRONED definitely are the European kings of Death! Their furious crusade of Death, Thrash and some Black-ish splinters already has been celebrated on four longplayers. Their latest offering is called "Ravenous" and doesn't fall off the rest musically, but is even more gripping and even deadlier. It was about time to get at guitarist Jens.

If I take a look at your covers and song-titles like "Copulating Maria" or "Bloody Blasphemy" I ask myself who in the band has this special sense of "humour"? Didn't you get any problems with that kind of image?

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We all have this peculiar sense of humour, hahaha! You know, we try to spread a serious message about organised religion, freedom of speech and opinion by using both serious and humouristic lyrics.
Serious has been done often before by very many bands, this humouristic approach is relatively new. And it works miracles, for the people that can take a joke and the ones that are not too fanatic about religion think it's pretty cool or at least don't really mind. The only ones that are offended are those who are way too serious about religion. And that's exactly the ones we try to kick against the sore leg!
But in general, I'd say we haven't encountered many problems with this image, only when hypocrites in right wing Christian political parties try to make a statement in election times by trying to ban our shows. And that only makes us stronger, because they can't touch us and only get us a lot of free publicity, hahaha!

Your new is album called "Ravenous". I think musically there's no big difference to "Bloody Blasphemy". What are the lyrics about?

You're right, I agree, we haven't changed the music drastically. I think "Ravenous" is a logical progression from the previous albums. We've grown as composers and musicians, which manifests itself in shorter, catchier songs and tighter playing, with stronger melodies. In general, I think it's a more mature album.
The lyrics deal with the afore-mentioned anti-Christian topic, but also with subjects like insanity and life in the aftermath of a nuclear war.

Is "The Poison Apple" influenced by the bible?

Yes, "The Poison Apple" is an example of a song, where we twist a bible-story into an offensive one. You know, the Bible can be a pretty interesting book, can hold valuable lessons, if read as a good book, written by people over 200 years ago, not as a law. It should not be used as a means to oppress people, which can happen when preached too literally. By our ‚alternative' versions of Bible-stories, we try to give a hilarious view of how you could also perceive some bible-stories.

Is it true that you have a new drummer, Tony Laureano (Ex-ANGEL CORPSE)? I thought that he joined the American band NILE?

The situation is a bit different: Tony's not a permanent member. He's a very busy guy, has obligations with other bands and works as a drum-tech much of the time. After Roel left us, we asked Tony to play on the album as a session-drummer. At that time he was in between tours with NILE, so we could fly him in to record the album in one week. It worked out very well, and Tony is also very satisfied with the way the album turned out. As the situation is right now, he is very much willing to tour with us, if his schedule allows it.
Tony is a person who likes to be on the road as much as possible, so if NILE are not on tour or recording he'll tour with us. As NILE will be touring in the U.S. in April, we'll do the No Mercy-festivals with Janne of THE CROWN, also a pleasure to work with! Still looking for a permanent replacement for Roel, we have a couple of auditions in the coming months, but having the opportunity to work with drummers like Janne and Tony, we're not really in a great hurry to find someone.

Henri Sadler

You have two covers on the album. One from DEATH and one from MACABRE END. Can you tell me more from them - I don't know them!

MACABRE END is a relatively unknown Swedish Death Metal-band of the early Nineties. Henri has an old, obscure recording of this song of theirs, "Consumed By Darkness". He played it for us at a rehearsal for this CD and we agreed with him it would fit to our material. It sounded really evil: slow and threatening. A very compact, short song with tremendous atmosphere. It was no problem covering it, since it's a simple song to play, so we just recorded it to see how it would turn out. Very satisfyingly, so it made the album. Our version is a bit faster and more melodic than theirs, so it blends in perfectly with the rest of our songs.
About "Evil Dead": we played it on a benefit festival to raise money for Chuck after his surgery this year. All bands that were featured were asked to do a DEATH-cover. We chose "Evil Dead" off the "Scream Bloody Gore"-CD, because it's a powerful song with a simple structure that we could play live without prior rehearsal. It was immense fun to play it and the reactions were great, so we decided to record it, as an addition to the album.

I know a cool movie which is more a western and it's called "Ravenous". It's about cannibalism. Are you influenced by this movie?

Yes! The song "Ravenous" was influenced by the movie you just mentioned. I think it's a cool movie, quite creepy atmosphere, but also quite funny in a way. Henri wrote the lyrics while watching the movie. We work like that more often, have a number of songs that are directly influenced by movies.

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Which movies and books then are your main influences?

Up till now we have songs that are influenced by movies like "The Prophecy" and "Warlock". Books that influence us are mostly historical: Dutch history and of course the Bible, heheheh! Also Nostradamus' writings, and works of Aleister Crowley.

"The Iconoclast Deathride" does include a message of Aleister Crowley! What's your opinion about him?

Personally, I haven't yet read any of his material, no time to read anything except books for my study. Henri has read some of his stuff, though. Mr. Crowley must have been a very intriguing person, he had some interesting views. Also, I think he deserves quite some credit for influencing so many Metal-bands directly or indirectly. That's one of the reasons why the album's been dedicated to his memory.

Besides GOD DETHRONED Henri is the boss of a label called Cold Blood Industries. I have a CD from THE WOUNDED. It is more Gothic-Metal, but I like it. Is this the music you like at home? Or are you only into Death and Thrash Metal?

I listen to a lot of different styles of music, varying from classical music (the Russian composers most of all - dark stuff!), through obscure 80's pop to Death and Grind. I'd say about 80% of what I listen to is Metal, various genres. I don't really listen to Gothic all that much. As for THE WOUNDED, they are quite a good band, nice guys, too, but it's not really my cup of tea music-wise.

You toured a lot around the world? What were the best/worst experiences on tour?

I think the best experience was playing the Dynamo-fest. You can't imagine what it's like to stand on that stage and see such a sea of people in front of you, enjoying your music. I was really amazed by this and couldn't get the grin off my face for days! Actually, Wacken '99 falls in that same category, great time! But, thinking about it, there's so many wonderful things we have seen and done, I could write a book about it, heheheh! D.O.A and W.O.A. are just two of the many highlights.
As for the worst experience, I think our show is Strasbourg on the No Mercy-festivals with CANNIBAL CORPSE and IMMORTAL amongst others would qualify. We really screwed up that show! Half way through the third song ("Under A Silver Moon") I heard one of us was very out of tune. Sound on stage was bad, so I didn't know who it was, but it was terrible! Since my clean solo part was almost due, I decided to change guitars really fast, just in case it was me that was out of tune. Not fast enough, of course, so I fucked up the clean part. And when the band kicked in again, I noticed it wasn't me who was out of tune. After the song, Beef tuned his bass to Henri's guitar, hoping to solve the problem. Mistake! It turned out Henri's guitar was out of tune, and now Beef was as well! So, we mangled half our set before the problem was solved. Really embarrassing, hahaha! Audience still liked the show, though!

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The five most important albums of all times?

Phew, a tough one! You know, it changes from time to time, there's so many influential albums in my life, but I'll take a shot at it. Here goes.
For one, "Slaughter Of The Soul" by AT THE GATES is a classic for me, brilliant!
"Nemesis" by OBLIVEON is another one: awesome Thrash-riffs, still one of the most innovative bands around!
ENTOMBED's "Clandestine": monster riffs and very eerie atmosphere.
Another very creepy album: "Aenima" of TOOL. (Can't wait to hear the new one!).
As for pure aggression: "The Ten Commandments" by MALEVOLENT CREATION is still one of the most brutal ones around, a great inspiration!

What are your plans after the release of "Ravenous"?

We plan to tour as much as we can to promote the album, do as many summer-festivals as we can, and we'll find a great drummer before the next CD, which we'll probably start recording in the summer of 2002. We'll see what comes to us, as we've done after each previous CD. That way we get surprised with every new chapter in the G.D.-history and won't be disappointed if a chapter remains unwritten.

Which question have you never been asked about GOD DETHRONED?

Ha! This one, until now! I've had some really interesting, different questions throughout the years, and this one falls neatly into that category. Always cool to get some alternative questions! Thanks!
Let's see, a question I've never been asked... Oh yeah, for example: "What are the five least important albums of all times?" (luckily not, since I wouldn't know the answer to that) or "Why don't you get a job" (at least not by the Metal press, luckily!), heheheh!

Your last words?

Thanks for the interview and the interest in GOD DETHRONED! See you all on tour in April! Keep the Metal pumping through those veins! Hell yeah!

Discography:

1992: The Christhunt (CD, Shark)
1997: The Grand Grimoire (CD, Metal Blade)
1999: Bloody Blasphemy (CD, Metal Blade)
2001: Ravenous (CD, Metal Blade)

Ralf Henn



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