With their new album Excessive Cruelty, Detroit's master of thrash & speed metal Nocturnal Fear have once again delivered a collections of brutal & violent metal that will surely please their loyal fanbase. Sea of Tranquility's Kim Jensen recently caught up with guitarist Chris 'Rev. Slavehunter, Ph.D.' to talk about the band, their exciting new CD, and the state of heavy metal.
SoT: First off, congratulations on the upcoming album Excessive Cruelty which is a true thrash metal tour de force. What can metalheads expect from your upcoming album?
Chris: Expect a full frontal assault from Hells Infantry-an hour long
relentless pounding on your cerebral cortex, that will rape your ears
and crush your soul. Played by a band that is at the top of their game. We didn't get into metal two days ago, we don't wear; shorts, flip
flops, baseball hats, D or star tattoos, sports jerseys, fedoras,
beards, or are ex members of ska or hardcore bands who think its cute to
"dabble" in so-called "thrash".
We are established to the point where our base is TRUE METALLERS-make
no mistake, this claim is not elitist nor pretentious. TRUE METALLERS know what to expect from us. EXCESSIVE CRUELTY is our 5th album, and we fired up the Devils foundry-expect a molten hot METAL MELTDOWN!
SoT: How would you describe the music on Excessive Cruelty, and Nocturnal Fear in general, to those who have not yet been introduced to Nocturnal Fear?
Chris: We play SPEED METAL-each one of us shreds at our rank in the group.
Being that ive been into metal longer than most of your readers have
been alive, i need to avoid labels. Death, Black, Thrash whatever have
changed definitions over time. Possessed and Onslaught both have tracks
on their first albums called DEATH METAL, now days they would be
I can say this about us-we are dark, heavy, violent, and each song is
structured and crafted to show the seriousness and respect we have for
metal. Games are for boys, posers. We want to blow your fucking face
off. The music is written by a schizophrenic who is considered disabled by
this conformist slave state society, i was given the name SLAVEHUNTER by
Charles Manson for this reason-this was during a time a certain Mr.
Mason was writing, SIEGE.
SoT: Listening to Nocturnal Fear's albums, including Excessive Cruelty, it sounds like one of your primary sources of inspiration is German thrash and speed metal from the 80s as well as some early American thrash metal. Are there any bands you would recommend to Nocturnal Fear fans who are too young to have experienced early thrash metal first hand?
Chris: I would recommend; Sarcafago, Hellhammer, Beherit, Mystifier, Sodom,
Vectom, Assassin, Deathrow, Protektor, Holocausto, old Coroner, old
Bathory, Morbid Angel demos ONLY, Possessed, Dark Angel, old Exciter,
Infernal Majesty, old Mercyful Fate, Usurper, old Deicide, Manowar,
Candlemass with messiah, and old Venom.
SoT: So, your music draws on old school thrash metal, but you also make use of modern metal elements, such as blastbeats, which is perhaps an unusual thing in thrash metal. How has the thrash metal fan community received these elements?
Chris: They love it. We are not Municipal Waste, or any other trend hoppers.
Though i hate all forms of music, we feel at times the urge to draw from
Metals diverse palette. I saw Mercyful Fate, Exciter, and Motorhead at
the Grand Circus Theatre in Detroit-you might hear that. I saw
Candlemass, Atheist and Repulsion at St. Andrews you might hear that to.
I know i do, i cant stop it, its in our blood.
We are not a ska band who discovered metal last week and play it to be
cute-we play with conviction, so when we throw a curve ball its
integrated with class.
SoT: Is the use of elements from other metal genres than thrash metal, like blastbeats, a conscious choice?
Chris: yes-only when its called for. We know we're not going to appeal to
all METALLERS. So you're not gonna hear female vocals, hardcore
SoT: The production on Excessive Cruelty has a raw quality to it, which suits the aggressive music very well. Why did you go for such a raw-sounding production in this day and age when even metal releases sound very polished?
Chris: i can honestly say it is the spirit of the band-imagine the gayest
false metal band you can. Ok, black dollya murder-we walk in on their
session, do things to them that would make the Devil puke, THEN record
with their stuff-it would sound like NOCTURNAL FEAR. Then torch the
SoT: One of the characteristics of Excessive Cruelty, and Nocturnal Fear's music in general, is crushing riffage. How do you guys come up with all these kick-ass riffs?
Chris: I write all the music for all 5 albums. Its like turning on a faucet,
and it helps to be schizophrenic-i hear and see things that my brain
process differently than others.
SoT: Can you describe the songwriting process of Nocturnal Fear?
Chris: First the music, always because we are so riff driven. Then a title
or concept, the lyrics are always very articulate and convey deep
SoT: Nocturnal Fear's central lyrical theme is war. What is is about war that you find fascinating?
Chris: War is something everyone can relate to. There's a whole generation of
20 year olds in the us where we've been at war for half their lives
SoT: How do you channel your fascination with war into the lyrics, and music, of Nocturnal Fear?
Chris: War is endless source of inspiration because it is in every mans
heart. Hate, Violence, Jealousy, Anger, Murder-we are all capable of
some sick shit. But make no mistake, its not something we glorify. We
are not pro-war we are pro Warrior. We are not pro-U.S. we are pro-us,
meaning we support our own. Our troops when duty calls, go into harms
way, we respect that code.
And when they come home with their limbs blown off, their guts in a
fucking bag, blind, ptsd, half their brains blown out or worse-they know
NOCTURNAL FEAR is not in the pit at the GAYBREED show, BUT HERE FOR THEM.
SoT: How do you approach the topic of war in the songs on Excessive Cruelty?
Chris: War brings out the best and worst in humans, it is heart wrenching.
We approach it very cautiously and seriously. Our new disc is a lot to
take in. Everything from the layout to the artwork to the last note of
music was done very respectfully and purposefully.
SoT: A gasmask-wearing character appears on virtually all your releases. Who is this character, and what is his story?
Chris: He has no name but DODESANGEL; the Angel of Death. No name, no race,
no country. The BDSM subculture uses the gas mask and the black uniform
as well-but in our context REPRESENTS THE FETISH OF DEATH! War violence
and killing has been fetishized by our culture-this is the subtext.
Again, we make no attempt to glorify this paraphillia. He is an
insatiable killing machine. So poisoned by radiation, his mask has now
grown into his head, erasing his last trace of humanity, an identity.
SoT:There can be no doubt that Nocturnal Fear is a true metal band. What defines true metal as opposed to false metal?
Chris: True Metal can be summed up best by the song title "Metal Never
Bends" by Cyanide. If this needs explaining-youre not a True Metaller!
SoT:Are you going on tour in support of the new album?
Chris: If the situation feels right, we will and have toured.
SoT: Where can those who want to know more about Nocturnal Fear find further information on the band and the upcoming release, and where can Excessive Cruelty be purchased?
Chris: Everyone can go to www.moribundcult.com
SoT:Thank you very much for doing this interview, and good luck with Excessive Cruelty.
Chris: Thank you-Stay True!
(Click here to read our review of Excessive Cruelty)