Thursday, 5 January 2012


Here is an interview/feature I did earlier in the year for the Terrorizer Magazine website, an edited version appeared there. 

Many bands in recent times have started blurring the genre lines between punk and metal, and some crust punk bands have started to infuse very strong death metal influences into their music for example, but this band have taken it a step further and more or less totally dropped their original raging punk sound for a full on old school darker death metal approach. This week I have gone back across the other side of the pond to choose my band of the week which is Acephalix from San Francisco, USA who formed originally as more of a straight ahead crust punk band but over recent years have evolved into more of an old school/Swedish sounding death metal outfit but one which still retains a certain crustiness to their sound. Acephalix thesedays sound like they could be some forgotten gem from the Stockholm underground scene who's old recordings have been finally released properly after being buried by years of dust and obscurity such is the authenticity of their sound.

My first introduction to this band was the "Aporia" full length album which was released by the USA DIY Punk label Prank Records and was more of a full on Motorcharged Crust Punk affair with some slight death metal influences, I really like this album but I am loving the full on old school Crusty punked up Swedish Death meets Bolt Thrower assault which their sound has morphed into, the crust influence is still evident but the most prominent influence in the newer material which they first unleashed via the "Interminable Night" demo in 2010 is that of old Stockholm Death metal such as early Entombed, Nihilist, Carnage, Grave, Crematory etc.

I had read about them taking on more of a death metal sound but  wasn't expecting such a full on death metal direction so I was quite surprised when I first got to hear tracks from that demo and was met with a sound that wouldn't of been out of place in a suburb of Stockholm in the late 80s/early 90's, but I love their newer style and they do it VERY well.
It is not just the music and riffing that has gone more death metal sounding, the vocals have also developed into more of a Bolt Thrower/Sanctum style growl compared to the more typical crust punk style vocals on "Aporia"

Recently the "Interminable Night" demo along with another recording in this newer style has been re-released both on CD ( by Southern Lord) and vinyl (by Agipunk in Italy).

I like the newer direction so much aswell as the other band which features most members called Vastum so fired off some questions about both bands and here is the answers I got back from vokillist Dan.

I recommend checking out both their earlier material and the newer output. But fans of the old school Stockholm sound definetly should pick up a copy of "Interminable Night".

I first came across you guys the other year when I got hold of "Aporia", I really like that album but it is quite different from your newer stuff, its more straight ahead crust punk sounding....what do you think of this album now looking back on it?
AX: I think it’s great. It’s strong musically, energetically, conceptually, aesthetically. That said, I don’t want to play any of those songs. They’re not from the gut in the way the newer songs are...
I started reading last year about you guys changing more towards a full on
death metal direction but with crust overtones still and I was blown away
when I first heard a couple tracks off the "Interminable Night" Demo, it
sounds very much like old Stockholm death metal a la Crematory, early Grave,
Nihilist/Entombed..what instigated this quite drastic change in musical
direction?! How have people in the punk scene recieved and responded to the
new more death metal direction? Has the response been mixed?
AX: We were drawing inspiration from death metal on Aporia to some extent. It just started to take precedence over other influences. I think more traditional death metal bands do a lot of what crust bands do but just do it with more power. Death Strike, for example, do d-beat better than most d-beat bands! Aside from the music, I think we feel an affinity for death metal philosophically and spiritually.
So far it’s been a positive reception. We released the tapes ourselves not knowing if any labels would be interested and not really caring because we were doing what we felt, in line with our desire.
Your "Interminable Night" demo has been released on vinyl by Agipunk in
Italy and is also due to come out on CD via Southern Lord. How did both of
these deals come about? I read that there is another demo recording tagged
onto these releases called " Flesh Torn In Twilight please tell us abit
about that recording? What were your original intentions with both demos??
You must have been a little surprised when both labels wanted to re-release
them in such formats?

Our original intentions with these demos was to create death metal with the ideas circulating between us at the time. “Interminable Night” has a darker feel, influenced by Abhorrence (fin) and Grave while “Flesh Torn...” has a more punk feel influenced by bands like Divine Eve and Autopsy. We didn’t expect to have labels offer to release the tapes. That was definitely a surprise.

When can we expect another full length album from you guys in this new
direction?? Do you have much new material written?!
We just finished recording a new album. It’s death metal, dark, punk, heavily rotten, and sort of a synthesis of the two demos with some new elements as well.
You seem to be a quite an active live band, how many shows have you played
since taking on them ore death metal style sound? You have a tour coming up
with Danish Death squad Undergång...what are your expectations for this
AX: Undergang are one of the best death metal bands around right now so we’re honored to tour with them. I expect the tour to be crushing.
Why the name Acephalix?
Acephalix is taken from the early 20th century French journal Acephale. Some interpretations of it are no head, no leader, no self, etc.

What do your lyrics deal with??
Desire, violence, patricide, mysticism, grief, animality, eroticism, embodiment, etc. In general they deal with the shattering of the self through practices of immanent violence. Much of the lyrics are inspired by Bataille or literature somehow related to Bataille. This literature ranges from St. John of the Cross to Leo Bersani to Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy. Philosophers, mystics, psychoanalysts... These kinds of thinkers serve as primary inspiration.
Some of you guys also play in Vastum, please tell the readers a bit about this band and your "Carnal Law" recording which will soon be released by Nuclear War Now!
Vastum is more of a death/doom band three of us are involved in. The emphasis is less on attack and more on mood than Acephalix. While both bands have a mystical element conceptually, Vastum draws from this element sonically more than Acephalix. This mystical aspect of Vastum brings bands like The Chasm, Tiamat, and Mystic Charm to mind. Undoubtedly there are other elements and other influences, but in general Vastum is meant to be simple, dark, primitive, meditative death metal. 20 Buck Spin is releasing the CD and Contagion Releasing and Deific Mourning are releasing the LP.
Tell us a little bit about your local underground scene, any bands you can
recommend to the readers to check out?
There aren’t many death metal bands akin to us (Mortuous, Bruxers). Perhaps more will rise (Necrot). There is some black metal (Dispirit, Pale Chalice, Black Fucking Cancer), a lot of good hardcore (No Statik, Yadokai, Vacuum, Permanent Ruin), some death rock (Alaric), and some punk (Livid) bands. Can’t think of any grind bands right now (In Disgust R.I.P.).
The last words are yours, many thanks for answering my questions!
AX: Thank you for interview.

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