Friday, 16 September 2011


 Bastard Priest who hail from the Stockholm area of Sweden are a band that I have been following very closely and keenly for a few years now ever since hearing tracks from their "Merciless Insane Death" demo via Myspace, I was eagerly anticipating the 2nd full length album by Swedish death metaller's Bastard Priest after being blown away by the bands debut album "Under The Hammer Of Destruction" which was unleashed upon the masses in early 2010.

I was lucky enough to score an advance preview of the new album "Ghouls Of The Endless Night" in it's entirity thanks to Roy over at Pulverised Records who are putting out the CD version of this album (the vinyl version has just been released by Swedish label Blood Harvest) which features 8 ripping and devastating tracks and more of the same raw punked up death metal mayhem but with more slower darkly melodic parts thrown in which creates a great diverse listening experience from track to track, there is still plenty of full on heads down skulldozing aggression (see the song "Fucking Slaughter" for a prime example which is just fierce, like a short sharp shock, it kicks in, assaults your senses and before you know it has finished and crushed your ears like an aural bulldozer) and the emphasis is still very much on the uptempo scale of things and this album is what could overall be best described as Anti-Cimex having a fist fight with Nihilist and early Entombed in a graveyard on a cold fullmoon night with Death Strike, old Master and Autopsy watching on. That sounds like a dark and ugly scenario dosn't it...well Bastard Priest's music is suitabally dark and ugly.

This band get straight to the point with their music and don't fuck around, there are memorable riffs, vocal lines and hooks aplenty on this album that will embed themselves into your head like an axe blow to the skull from the opener "Pestilent Force" to the closing track this album just oozes death metal perfection to my ears and is like a musical adrenalin shot of old school nastiness which in this current musical climate is most definetly needed..
This album is definetly at the top of my favourites for 2011, no doubt about that. Great earthy organic sounding production aswell courtesy of ex-Dismember drummer Fred Estby.

The band is a 2 piece consisting of Matt Mendoza on drums/vokills and also Inventor on guitars/bass, I sent a bunch of questions to one of the duo, namely Matt and this is what he had to say about the bands influences, his thoughts on the current death metal scene amongst other things.

Hails Matt! Please give the readers a very quick background history on the band and who does what?
Matt: Hello Kat! Bastard Priest has been around since 2002/2003 but can only be considered active since 2007 when we did our first recording. The band consists of me, Matt Mendoza, on drums, vocals and occasional guitar lickin and Inventor on guitars and bass and occasional barking.

Your bio states that you set out to "create some filthy ripping death metal heavily influenced by hardcore punk roots", I would definetly say you have succeeded in creating a such a sound perfectly, someone described you as being like a cross between classic Nihilist/Entombed meets Anti Cimex...what do you think about that? 
Matt: Well thanks for that I guess - I can appreciate blazing fingers down the neck of an Ibanez and well educated drummers straight out of drumming high school but that’s nothing I want to do. When I do music it comes out hard and angry with no frills!

What bands would you personally say fuel and shape the punked up death metal beast that is Bastard Priest?
Matt: All the good bands - especially Bathory, Crow, Nihilist and the unreleased 1985 LP by Master. 

I first came across you guys before myspace started to suck, can't remember how I first came across you guys, it might have been via Fenriz's blog or maybes it was even before then but when I first heard the demo version of the song "Under The Hammer Of Destruction" I was totally blown away! What are your thoughts on that demo looking back now?
Matt: To be honest I don’t think much have changed since then - I think that demo still stands for what where doing now and there hasn’t been much progression... in a good way. The actual recording of the demo was a lucky shot cos we had no clue whatsoever at what we where doing - things just came out that way and that was very inspiring for future of the band.

The demo tracks appeared on your debut album along with a bunch of new songs, the album is perfect in every way to my ears, from the production to the songwriting, it seems to have really propelled Bastard Priest onto another level and there was quite a buzz surrounding that album, what are your thoughts on that album now?
Matt: Once it was out I’m felt quite satisfied with it. The album got overall good criticism also so people seed to be pretty into it. It was only a year ago that UTHOD was released so you’d have to ask me again in a couple of years I guess.

How would you describe your debut album in your own words to someone reading this who has never heard it but is curious to hear it? How do you feel about the response you got to that album?
Matt: Never mind, the first demo was better.

How did you initially hook up with Pulverised Records? The label seems to have done a great job getting it out into shops, I have seen it in a local store in Newcastle, England so their distribution network must be very good, I guess you must be very happy with the work they did for that release as you stuck with them for a second album!. 
Matt: Actually the deal with Pulverised goes thought Blood Harvest Records. Blood Harvest has an agreement with Pulverised for the CD release.  But anyway - we’re really satisfied with Pulverised and the work and distribution they put into the release of Under the Hammer of Destruction. They did a superb job at getting it out there both to record shops/dealers and for magazines/people to review - so it’s easy for us to say that we’re more than happy to be working with Roy & Calvin with this release again! 

You are also working with the Swedish label Blood Harvest who are taking care of your vinyl releases if I am not mistaken? How is your relationship with them, you happy with their work so far?
Matt: Yeah that’s right. Rodrigo and I go back a long time and he’s a good friend of both me and Inventor. Hes a good chap and super easy to work with, that’s why we do things with him - he just get ‘em done without any hassle. 

Speaking of the 2nd full length album, it is titled "Ghouls of the Endless Night", I must say having heard the whole album it is a total ripper of an album, from start to finish...all killer and definetly no filler to my ears, there is a great mix of tempos, from the fast paced punked up d beating aggression of "Fucking Slaughter" to the songs which have some slower morbid doomy moments in them...what did you personally want to achieve with this album songwriting wise and would you say you succeeded in your vision? What are your thoughts on this album, happy with how it turned out? Any fave songs in particular?
Matt: I wanted to base it on the original Bastard Priest formula - with some really fast songs, some songs leaning more towards hardcore punk and some slow more melodic stuff with cheesy guitar leads. On top of that I wanted to extend that formula and perhaps work a little more on the structures of the songs and try new stuff - I felt we did some of that but perhaps we didn’t do it to the extent I wanted. I don’t know why but sometime things just turns out one way or the other. I know for a fact that I’m always a little to hard on myself with what I create.
I’m really happy we decided to work with Fred Estby for the mixing part of the album - he really brought a different edge to the material and managed to fork out a totally different sound from what I expected. He’s such a genuine guy that’s really awesome at what he’s doing and so easy to get along with

The album is coming out on vinyl via Blood Harvest and CD via can people get hold of these releases?
Matt: Well the CD is probably gonna be all over the place but if you wanna order it from Pulverised check their homepage at 
The LP is available from Blood Harvest at or your local underground death dealer!

Describe Bastard Priest anno 2011 in 5 words cheating just 5 words!

You are only a 2 piece band, you don't play live shows, do you think you will ever expand to a live line up? Would you like to take Bastard Priest onto the stage and tour to support an album? I guess there must be quite a few people out there who would love to see you guys play these songs live! Or do you think playing live can be a pain in the arse too much at times and so therefore prefer not to have to deal with the shit that comes with gigs?
Matt: We’ve decided not to do live shows right now cos it would be to much of a hassle to get everything together and rehearse and stuff. That’s how it is right now - you’ll never know what happens in the future. I know Maim have played “Under the Hammer of Destruction” live a couple of times - check them out if you wanna hear our songs, or at least one of them, live.

Do you think if more people got involved in the band it could complicate things and spoil  the way you work and how things come together? Do you think it will just remain yourself and Inventor for a long while to come?
Matt: Don’t know - I mean me and Inventor we have our own way of working out things and our own language when it comes to music. Right now I’m just happy we’re a two piece cos it’s really easy in pretty much every aspect I think. It’s a lot less compromising, the decision process is short and so on.

I love the artwork for the new album, it looks kinda horror punk-ish, very striking cover anyway, who designed it?
Matt: Our friend Robert did the artwork. He’s a really talented tattoo artist and great at drawing. He got his own special style that I think is really cool! I’m more than satisfied with what he did for us this time! We decided we wanted it to have a lot of color cos too many other records are to black or grey or whatever.

There seems to be a very strong old school death metal scene happening thesedays, with plenty of bands returning to the roots of the scene for inspiration, there seems to be like an everflowing stream( pardon the pun) of great new generation death metal bands with the old school vibe and attitude coming out of Sweden and definetly plenty of Autopsy and old Swedeath worship happening, what are your thoughts about this revival of sorts? Who are some of your fave newer death metal bands out there? What do you think makes Bastard Priest stand out from other bands?
Matt: I think it’s great - more good music for everybody! I have no problem there being hundreds of death meal bands out there doing their thing, if it’s good - it’s good. I just like the general idea of people being creative and doing stuff - no matter if it’s death metal or space music to be honest. If the passion is there and the heart is there (and is in the right place) it’s almost certain to have something honest and special about it. 
About people playing “old school” death metal - I don’t really think “modern” death metal has progressed that much over the last 10-15 years or so - most of the big bands have become stale long ago are just repeating themselves. I mean - they sound “modern” cos the have this modern production and by today's studio standards a “good sound”. But these bands have had this sound for 15 years now and it’s not going anywhere right? I don’t like their sound - I have nothing against them as bands, they can do whatever they want - but I wouldn’t say the new Vader is that modern - they’ve done the same album since the late 90ties (perhaps even before that - I don’t know)...
People pay to much attention to this production-stuff - It’s just music the way I want it to sound and that’s that. My fave bands are Maim, Morbus Chron, Miasmal, Entrapment, Invidious, Antichrist, Nekromantheon and Obliteration.

What about your local scene, any bands locally you would like to tell the readers about from any music style that you personally like a lot?
Matt: A couple of weeks ago I went to see this band called “Gösta Berglings Saga” - it’s some sort of prog-rock I guess but it’s really good - highly recommended. I don’t know if they’re from Stockholm but Sweden’s so small anyway... it’s from Sweden. Other than that I think people should check out Infernöh from Malmö, good hardcore. Nitad from Stockholm has recently turned more towards some sort of darker and more introvert style that fits them really good - check that out. 
Don’t know if Totalitär is still around but it’s probably the best Swedish hardcore band that ever existed.

On the first album you did an awesome cover song of the old Uppsala  käng crust punk band Bombanfall "En Hälsning Från Helvetet" what do this band mean to you? why this song? I personally think their EP is one of the best and most intense punk recordings to ever come out of Sweden...too damn short though, I always find myself listening to it a few times in a row whenever I listen to it!
Matt: I got the Bombanfall EP from this guy in Linköping more than ten years ago. He was selling off his whole record collection cos he was getting more into cooking and other random hippie stuff. Anyhow - I hadn’t heard the band before but got totally knocked down! It’s as much death metal as hardcore can get I think - Bombanfall and Svart Parad plays this perfect blend of hardcore with death metal influences. Punk EPs are short - cos punk songs are short - that’s why they do EPs I guess - haha!

Have you done any other covers or do you plan to record any more?
Matt: Yeah we’ve discussed some options for covers - I won’t tell you now thought, that would ruin the surprise wouldn’t it?

What is your opinion on the current crust/ d beat punk scene in general? There seems to be quite a few more bands around thesedays mixing in strong old death metal and such influences with crust-d beat punk than there was some years ago...and the lines between metal and punk seem to have got very blurred in places...which I think is a cool thing how about you?
Matt: I think that’s cool - I haven’t got that much insight in whats going on within the crust or d-beat scene to be honest. I found some recent bands that I really like though - like Krömosom, Teargas, Giftgasattack. 
My all time faves of the newer bands playing heavy hardcore is Martyrdöd and World Burns to Death - they always rule - especially Martyrdöd!

Lyrically what topics do you touch upon with the new album? It all seems very sacrilegous, unholy and gruesome! Who mainly writes the lyrics? Where do you draw inspiration from?
Matt: Well it turned more against those kind of topics this time - I think I felt the songs were more dark and mysterious (yeah that’s pretty pretentious I know). We both write the lyrics and this time a friend of ours, who shall remain nameless, helped us out with some of them.

What are your plans for the year 2012 now that the new album is about to drop like a bomb on the scene? Have you already started writing new material or is it too early to start thinking about that?
Matt: Right now I don’t have any plans for the future - we’ve just released this album and that has to sink in  before I can go on and do new things with Bastard Priest. I have ideas and riffs for more stuff - I always have new riffs - but it’s gonna take a while I think.

What exactly is a bastard priest?! Who came up with the band name and did you call yourselves anything else before deciding on this name long term?
Matt: The band name comes from some discussion me and Inventor had about how many bands there are out there with the word bastard in them (this was in 2001/2002 I think). We were just joking around and came up with Bastard Priest - it’s just a name, nothing to pay any special attention to.

Have you guys been in any other bands that you would like to tell the readers about before Bastard Priest or do you currently have any other musical projects?
Matt: No.

The last words are yours Matt, please plug any merch or website address's thanks for answering my questions! Skål
Matt: Anything you wanna buy with Bastard Priest is and will be available from Blood Harvest & Pulverised. Thanks for the interview Kat! Cheers!

BASTARD PRIEST are also one of my featured bands on the Terrorizer magazine website this week. Check out and you will find my feature on there.

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