The Scandinavian tsunami of bands invading these shores has seen an unprecedented level of quality and diversity in the last ten years or so. Norwegians, Purified In Blood (PiB) have certainly been one of those bands who deserve more credit. Their brand of Metal/Hardcore with that certain Scandinavian ability to inject melody and make the songs memorable has received some attention of late. With a turbulent career, including a break-up in 2007 only to see them return in 2008, they are now well and truly back with a vengeance. Seaoftranquility's Mark Davies caught up with Vocalist Hallgeir Enoksen at Sheffield's Corporation supporting Overkill on the Killfest Tour.
"Yeah, we had a break but came back" states Hallgeir "We grew up in the hardcore scene, toured a lot and at that time, we were a straight edge band that got big quite quickly, it was too much too soon". Referring to their 'straight edge 'period when they resisted the temptation for drugs and alcohol, a few members chose not to follow the lifestyle which eventually led to their demise. Now fully operational PiB are back and putting the music at the forefront of their priorities.
With a new line-up PiB are again invigorated to take their music to the next step. "People evolve, bands evolve, and it's good that you can embrace different musical aspects and ideologies from others" he says. "It's important that you can change within a band and keep the same core of beliefs, we have a strong political and environmental message".
It seems that PiB have merely started their journey through this fickle world of Rock/Metal, with a lot more to come from them in the future since their re-birth. As the bar staff clutters about around us, getting the area ready for the nights wave of Metal fans, I ask Hallgeir what he thinks of the Scandinavian Metal scene at the moment. "Our mentality is that we (Scandinavian people) try and create for ourselves, instead of leaching off what everybody else is doing, I think the scene is good".
"We're more individualists in Scandinavia" states Hallgeir. So I ask him if there's any competition between bands or if they show interest in what the other scandinavian bands are doing.
"Yeah there's a really good unit in both Norway & Sweden, you check out each other's bands, everybody knows each other, we play gigs with all sorts of different genres…and it works". Success has washed over them in the past however, winning an award for 'Best Live Band' in their home country of Norway back in 2006.
"That was a cool thing; we were pretty young when that happened. For me I didn't know what the fuck was going on, I felt like we didn't belong in the place".
This award had more prevalence to PiB than anything else, as it was voted for by the fans as opposed to some jumped up record executive suits. "It was cool, there were a lot of our fans at the awards as well, we didn't get to play, I think our music was too extreme, the award probably put us on the map in Norway with regards to the press".
Now touring on the back of their latest album 'Flight Of A Dying Son' I quiz Hallgeir on the finer points of it, while bottles rattle in the background. "It only took us 3 or 4 months, we had a good feeling making that album".
"It has a lot of jamming and groove feel about it, everything was happening in our practice room, we wanted to create something that had that aggressive feel about it…I think we did it well, we created a sound that works well for us". I have to agree with him, if you like your music aggressive but with that unmistakable Scandinavian groove & melody you won't go much wrong.
Talk soon turns to the fantastic artwork, after all this is one piece of the jigsaw that has become more important as the years have gone by. "The dude that came up with that is a tattoo artist called Jondix he's really into the band". "The cover symbolises one of the songs, the title track on the album 'Flight Of A dying Son', I lost my farther last year and it's about coping with the whole thing". I sense a certain need for Hallgeir to get me to fully understand how deeply he feels about the whole artwork and album it's attached to. "It's about what happens when you die, even if there is a soul, when it goes away it goes into something else". He continues.
"We're not a religious band at all but it's more about a spiritual thing, where the mind goes". Deep thoughts, I'm sure you'll all agree.
With that deep interlude, talk takes a lighter note and turns to touring and future plans. With 10 dates on the Killfest tour Hallgeir is adamant that they'll soon be appearing in a city near you.
Later that night their set is explosive, like nothing I've witnessed for quite some time I strongly advise you to check them out. A band you will surely be hearing from in the future, I have no doubt.
The amazing album 'Flight Of A dying Son' is out now.
Jondix, Tattoo artist responsible for album art work