Interview from Vampire-Magazine
Conducted by Geert Van Mook
Also features: Fenriz, Forlis, Pain of Salvation, Scenteria, Xasthur, Turisas++
In this interview we’re going back to 1349, the year the Black Plague was the cause of thousands of deaths in Norway. Several Norwegian (black) metal bands are influences by this subject, one of them is Gjenferdsel, who recently released their first demo; old school black metal inspired by the black plague. Iudex tells me more about his band and its lyrical concept.
First of all, can you please introduce Gjenferdsel to our readers?
Gjenferdsel started back in 2002, after I had be planning to start a black metal band. I got in contact with Iratus, and we started to rehearsal. It worked out very well and we soon started to rehearse for our debut demo “Det kom et skip til Björgvin...”, which was released in April 2004. It was limited to 100 copies which have been sold out. Now we’re rehearsing for our upcoming demo “Thurs”, which will be recorded in a studio and I can already now say that the material kicks ass.
What does the name Gjenferdsel means?
It’s pretty hard to explain since it’s actually a made up word. It’s build on the word “gjenferd”, which is the Norwegian word for ghost/spirit. And Gjenferdsel would be something like a spiritual journey from the death.
‘Det Kom Skip Til Björgvin…’ is the first demo of Gjenferdsel. It’s a rehearsal demo. Recorded in your rehearsal room. That’s the reason for the quite bad sound quality. Despite of the sound quality it becomes clear that you want to create an old school black metal atmosphere during the songs on the demo.
Yeah, absolutely! On this first demo we didn’t think that much about making a polished demo with Dimmu Borgir sound. People started to ask us for some music, and we just thought that we could start with recording a rehearsal demo to kind of introduce our band to the scene. Even though the sound quality is poor, we think that people gets a clue on what Gjenferdsel is all about; pure black metal played in the old way.
The main lyrical theme on the demo is the black plague, this plague was the cause of thousands of deaths in the year 1349. that’s all of the black plague I know, can you tell us something more about it?
The title on the demo actually means “There once came a ship to Björgvin(old name for the town Bergen)...”. And this is how the black plague arrived in Norway. It came with a ship in 1349, and about the half of the population died from it. The skin turned black on those who were infected, and you died a slow death. Back then they didn’t know what it was, so they explained it as a punishment from greater powers.
This black plague is a source of information for many other black metal bands. What’s the main reason for that do you think?
Probably because of all the histories and myths around it. And of course the cold and hopeless circumstances back then. Everything was so dark, and so many people were dying. The perfect inspiration for black metal bands if you’d ask me.
I like the ‘Det Kom Skip Til Björgvin…’ demo, my colleague Marcel is also into it, like you can read in his review. While searching the Internet I also found some less positive reviews. What’s your meaning about those reviews?
Neither I nor Iratus care that much about reviews. We do our own thing and this is how it always will be. But if you read the reviews you’ll find out that it’s mostly the sound quality that drags the score down. This is something we are very aware off, and even was aware of before we recorded it. And we will be recording the next one in a studio. So we’ll see how the response will be on the next one. But of course, there’s pleasant to read positive reviews. But the best thing is when there’s constructive feedback to obtain from the reviews.
Gjenferdsel contains only 2 members. So you can’t play live. Is it a goal to find other fitting members for the bands and complete the line-up so you can do live-shows?
We’re already in contact with some people that maybe will play live. I and Iratus will always be the core of the band, but we will have session members when doing live gigs. We will announce this later on our website. But I guess that it will only be us two in studio.
The demo was limited to only 100 copies, what was the reason to make only 100 copies of it?
First, because we don’t like the commercializing that’s within the metal scene today. And also because this demo only was a rehearsal demo, and not like an album. Some guy just bought the demo #100, which was printed with 2 picture pages signed by me and Iratus. We want to make people that got this demo feel that they have something rare, something that you cannot get from your local CD-store, if you know what I mean.
By what bands are you guys inspired by making music?
We don’t have any main inspiration, and we’re not only inspired by music, but also the beautiful natures of Norway. Still, bands like Immortal, Kampfar, Einherjer, Emperor, Satanic Warmaster etc. have meant a lot to us.
I read on your website that you’re working on a new demo called ‘Thurs’. Please tell us something about what we can expect from this upcoming material.
Thurs is a Norse word for the destructive natural forces. Like thunder, floods etc. In this demo we’ll have much better material; Faster and catchier riffs, and of course a lot better sound quality. I guess that people, who found our first demo interesting, will be thrilled by “Thurs”.
What is the main goal you want to reach with Gjenferdsel?
Like your colleague Marcel wrote in his review. He started to think back on the old black metal scene. That’s one of our goals. To make people get the same feeling as they did by black metal made in the real way. Another goal is to make music that we feel is ours, and makes it give people this feeling of hatred, sorrow, misery, but also the feeling of might and pride, like real black metal should do.
The demo is sold out now, but there where some places left where you can order them, can you give the url’s for interested people of the distro’s that still have the demo available?
The demo is starting to get very hard to obtain. The band doesn’t have any demos left, but there’s still a few at http://www.blackforest.no/, together with other rare titles. That’s the only place I know about.
Any Last Words?
Stay underground and never support those who do it all for the money! That’s not how it was meant to be, and not how it should be! And if you want to stay updated about the band and upcoming news, keep visiting our website at www.gjenferdsel.no! Thanks for the interview!