Band Of The Day: Anguish

By on 29 July 2015

anguish

I first came across Uppsala based doom dealers Anguish just over three years ago and did a feature on them for this very website in early 2012, around the time their debut album ‘Through The Archdemon’s Head’ was unleashed upon an unsuspecting extreme metal scene and was immediately captivated by the band’s approach to doom metal, mixing epic classic Candlemass style riffing and tempos with harsh vocals which have much more in common with Rob Miller from Amebix, Tom G. Warrior or Cronos from Venom than, say, the operatic vibrato of Messiah Marcolin or the crisp melodic tones of Felipe from Procession and are refreshingly different and unique, making them stand out from a lot of their peers.

A few years have passed since that first Terrorizer feature went online and now the band are back with a new album titled ‘Mountain’ once again released by US based label Dark Descent which follows very much in the same vein as the debut, like ’80s Candlemass fronted by a man who sounds like he has been possessed by a demonic entity and whose normal voice has been replaced by ungodly snarls and growls. I thought it would be a perfect time to catch up with the band again, and guitarists David Eriksson and Christoffer Frylmar answered my questions…

WORDS: Kat Gillham

WHO ARE THEY: Anguish
WHERE ARE THEY FROM: Uppsala, Sweden
FOR FANS OF: Candlemass, Black Oath, Procession, Saint Vitus, Solitude Aeturnus, Black Sabbath
LATEST RELEASE: ‘Mountain’ (Dark Descent Records, 2014)
WEBSITE: Facebook

The last time Terrorizer interviewed you guys was soon after the release of the excellent debut album ‘Through The Archdemon’s Head’, looking back on that album are you still satisfied with how it turned out overall?
D: “Yes, we are still satisfied with ‘Through the Archdemon’s Head’.”

Your secnd full length album ‘Mountain’ was recently released, once again by well respected USA indie label Dark Descent. Please tell us a bit about this album in your own words and what the readers can expect from it. What made you decide to work with Dark Descent again for this album?
D: “In ‘Mountain’, there are more variations than our last album, and more fast parts. Besides that you can still hear very much similarities from our last album. Dark Descent wanted to work with us again, and of course we can’t say no to that offer!”

Musically and vocally the album, to my ears, seems to follow very much in the same direction as the debut album (definitely a good thing in my opinion!), was that intentional? Do you see any significant differences in the newer material compared to the older material?
How soon after the debut album did the material for ‘Mountain’ start coming together?
D: “Well, ‘Markarian Furnace’ and ‘Snowhammer’ were done first, and that was maybe 2-3 months after the release of ‘Through The Archdemon’s Head’. I (David) do the most material, the others have their ideas sometimes but not very often, and J.Dee does all the lyrics. Usually J.Dee does a bounce of lyrics at his place, and I write the music in my place, and then when we rehearse a song for the first time J.Dee just listens and chooses which of his lyrics suits best for that song.”

I personally am very glad you kept the same harsh vocal approach overall as that is one of the elements that made the debut album so unique sounding in my opinion, epic Candlemass style doom metal with harsh vocals. I know some people out there were quite critical of the harsher vocal approach, whilst a lot of other people out there including myself loved it, were you ever tempted to add more melodic style vocals that might appeal to more people or does that not bother you?
D: “Thanks for that! We have no plans to remove the harsh vocal, and have never thought of removing it either. It does not bother us that some people don’t like it.”

You once again used Johan Ericson of Draconian fame for production/mixing duties, what qualities do you think he personally brings to the album and the overall sound of Anguish in the studio environment? Are you satisfied with how the new album turned out sonically overall? Once again he has got you a very powerful and crisp sounding production.
D: “We love working with Johan and we will keep working with him in the future, he adds a sound to Anguish which is very unique in doom. He gets this cold feeling in the sound which suits us perfect. Personally I like the sound on ‘Mountain’ more than our last album.”

Please tell us the meaning behind the album title? And also the album cover? who designed that?
C: “The meaning behind the album title and the cover art is a story, really. The Worshippers of Siugnah gathers around the MOUNTAIN that is a certain hollow ground, where the energies are flowing constantly, and as the acolytes are gathering the higher being appears before them to instruct them. What exactly this higher being is are unknown to the acolytes. What makes them convinced is that she is always  carrying the head of the fox goddess, that got vanquished earlier. The one who designed the cover art and painted it is David’s girlfriend Tuva Andersen, who also did the ‘Through The Archdemon’s Head’ art and the split with Black Oath art.”

Lyrically, what subjects fuelled the album songs?
C: “Lyrically we are writing about pretty much the same thing as we did on the first album, so you could say it is a continuation from the first one. But if I have to name some topics, it deals with this dark fantasy world where Siugnah plays a important role, and we also have a touch of Outer vast cosmic philosophy.”

Are there any new doom bands you have heard recently that you feel an “affinity” with and care to recommend? What is your opinion on the current doom scene both in Sweden and worldwide?
D: “I can recommend Third Storm, black/doom where I (David) handle the music writing and guitars along with Jimmy.”

Are Anguish an active live band? Do you plan to play live much in support of the new album?
D: “We do play live sometimes, but haven’t done it for a while now. The ‘Mountain’ CD was released about 6 months ago and the LP just a few weeks ago. But still no offer from any organizers. But they who will book us can email to anguishdoom@hotmail.com.”

Last words are yours thanks for answering this interview!
D: “Thanks and keep supporting us and underground doom metal bands all over the world! And organizers,  please contact us if you want us to play live. anguishdoom@hotmail.com

About Kez Whelan

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