Revel In Flesh: Band Of The Day

By on 14 March 2014


Germany is famous in metal circles for it’s Teutonic thrash metal bands/scene but not much for it’s death metal, and for many years when people thought about German death metal the 2 names that would often be mentioned were Morgoth and Fleshcrawl (arguably the only 2 death metal bands from that country for a long time who really achieved any worldwide acclaim and got signed to major playing labels within the extreme metal scene), but in recent years there has been a lot of activity deep within the darkest depths of the German underground death metal scene with exciting newer bands such as Necros Christos, Chapel Of Disease and my featured band this time Revel In Flesh emerging from the shadows to prove that Germany still has death metal bands who can hold their own and produce world class old school style death metal.

I had been planning to make Revel In Flesh a band of the day ever since hearing their excellent 2nd album ‘Manifested Darkness’ which was unleashed (pun fully intended) last year and mixed/mastered by none other than Dan Swanö (Edge Of Sanity, Bloodbath fame) and the band have 2 splits on the release radar this year including a vinyl split with Grave Wax from USA (featuring Kam Lee and legendary artist Mark Riddick) so finally sent some questions to vocalist Ralf Haubersson.

WORDS: Kat Gillham

WHO ARE THEY: Revel In Flesh
WHERE ARE THEY FROM: Schwäbisch Gmünd, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
FOR FANS OF: Dismember, Bolt Thrower, Grave, Bloodbath, Morgoth, Fleshcrawl, Asphyx, early Entombed, Autopsy.
LATEST RELEASE: Split with Grave Wax (Doomentia Records, 2014)
WEBSITE: Facebook

Hails Ralf! Please give the readers a quick background histroy of the band and tell them who currently does what in the band?
Ralf (Haubersson, vocals): “Hey Kat & Terrorizer readership! We’re glad to be in! I’ve just opened a beer and rushed into these questions. The history of Revel In Flesh basically started in Autumn 2011 when my old band went down the drain and I was in the quest of creating finally a band that is more strictly bound to the concept of classical ’90s based Death Metal without modern bullshit elements. I joined union with Maggesson (guitars) and we’ve started to nail down what later became our debut album ‘Deathevokation’, that was released in April 2012. Already in early 2012 it was clear that we’ve wanted to exapand Revel In Flesh from a studio project to a real sort of band with the capacity to play live as well; so after a quick search we’ve recruited Vøgtssson (drums), Herrmannsgard (guitars) and Gøtzberg (bass). All of us have experience in previous bands, so we’re certainly no greenhorns anymore.

“The lineup was completed and already our 3rd show was a slot on the newcomer stage of German Party San festival, which is the most important event for Death and Black Metal here in Germany. So it was dream come true in all sort of sense! Well, without getting too much into details we’ve played many shows with bands like Evocation, Fleshcrawl, Panaizer, Obscenity, Puteraeon, Brujeria on clubshows and festivals as well. In May 2013 we’ve released our 2nd album ‘Manifested Darkness’.”

You currently have 2 full lengths under your belts which are both raging slabs of old school style death, the latest of which, ‘Manifested Darkness’, was unleashed last year. Please tell us a bit about it in your own words and what the readers can expect from them?
Haubersson: “To simply nail it down generally: We have a clear agenda in Revel In Flesh, which means the whole music, concept, lyrics is bound to what we see as and label as Death Metal, especially related to our musical roots back from the 90s. If you have a strong commitment to that particular style in Death Metal then make sure to have Revel In Flesh on your list.”

Where are they available from?
Haubersson: “Contact us, the band, via Facebook or via our official HP if you’re interested in our both full length albums, EPs, Merchandise or whatever. Remember getting your stuff from the band means full support to the band!”

Are you very satisfied with how that album turned out?
Haubersson: ‘Manifested Darkness’ is personally for me a really fulfilling creative effort. I connect a lot of different emotions and memories with that album; I still feel a sort of shiver when I listen to the track ‘Rotting in the Void’ or when we perform it live. Also I think that the album has most of all more feeling, more depths etc. than the debut. The production is also a huge step for us! There are just tiny minor things to argue not being worth to mention!”

Is there anything you would change given the chance?
Haubersson: “YES, there’s one major thing I still feel pissed in the face and this is the marketing and promotion concept with which our former label handled that release. We’ve put a lot of energy and financial resorts into that release and we realized that you get so easily shitfaced in that business by people to whom you felt a sort of trust before. There was NO (!!!) advertisement at all, no sampler contribution at all, NOT a single relevant interview in a print magazine, we didn’t have a clue about promotion outside Germany. This is for example the first UK based interview and it was conducted by the band. There was much more push for our debut album than for ‘Manifested Darkness’. It got some really great reviews, but as you know – if you don’t feed the machinery – the machinery doesn’t work for you! I’m not thinking in unrealistic dimensions, but if there’s no proper back up this can really harm your band.

“I really felt shitfaced about all this, BUT (!!!) it’s a live & learn. This experience made us even stronger and I think that the only way for a band like us is DO IT YOURSELF – as good as you can and as much as you can!”

The cover art for the album is awesome, who designed it?
Haubersson: “Both our album covers have been designed by Juanjo Castellano from Spain. He also created most of our T-Shirt designs and EP covers, too. Juanjo Castellano is OUR (!!!) Seagrave, so to say! We have a strong chemistry with the arts of Juanjo and he totally understands how to give our music/lyrics a sort of visual impression. It’s a really enriching co – operation strongly bound on creative vibes. Juanjo did a hell of a job on his recent works for Die Hard, Avulsed, Nominon, Paganizer etc., too!!! Have an eye on his deadly arts. Another artist to which we feel a really strong connection is Mark Riddick, who is responsible for the Revel In Flesh logo and several shirt designs, too. Our goal is to have a “red – line” in arts and concept, so never change a winning team!!!”

The album boasts a powerful and sharp yet organic sounding production, where did you record this slab of death metal darkness at?
Haubersson: “Well, all our basic recording was done at Maggesson’s VAULT M. Studios, we try to manage a lot of the production stuff on our own. Regarding mixing and mastering, we work together with Dan Swanö. He did a hell of a job on ‘Manifested Darkness’; it’s production wise far more brutal and massive than our debut. Dan Swanö / Unisound Studios don’t need an introduction anymore – He’s our man in terms of sound!!! A totally dedicated and helpful person; all respect to him and his glorious works for that particular style of music in the past! No doubt we’re big Edge Of Sanity fans, too, Ha! Ha!”

What do you think are the main differences or progressions between the debut and the new album? You seem to be finding more of your own little style with the second one but it is still very obviously heavily influenced by the old school Swedish/European Death Metal scenes/bands.
Haubersson: “Yes, I think you hit it on the head! ‘Manifested Darkness’ has more of its own charm, so to say! Of course we’re a band that clearly does NOT deny the own roots; but I think the new album is darker, has more gloomy elements – it’s more about the feeling the music transmits. My comrade Maggesson got more havily involved in the songwriting with the 2nd album and truly left his vision in tracks like ‘Rotting in the Void’ or ‘Dominate the Rotten’. We’re currently already working on the 3rd album and it will be even more sworn to the dark. Beware!!!”

You currently have a new release out, a split with Grave Wax from USA which has been released on vinyl by Doomentia Records, please tell the readers a bit about this release and how it came to be?
Haubersson: “The idea about this project was that we already agreed in an really early state to do a common musical project with Mark Riddick, who already helped us on some artworks mentioned previously. So after a short discussion the idea of a Grave Wax / Revel In Flesh Split 7”EP was born. Our contribution is the track ‘Corpus Vermis’, which is a sort of bonus track from the ‘Manifested Darkness’ session. The track is also mixed & mastered by Dan Swanö and previously unreleased. Grave Wax is a Death Metal project from Mark Riddick and it features Kam Lee (ex-Massacre, Grotesquery etc.) on vocals. They have classical elements, but have a really unique sound character. They have 2 songs on the EP; the 2nd one is a cover from Impetigo. Yes, thanks a lot to Lukas / Doomentia Records who gave the baby a home. The vinyl is available in bronze, clear and black. Cover and layout done by Riddick Arts – a damned cool eye catcher.”

Another split is also due out soon, this time with Puteraeon, please tell us about this release and when it will be out, which label will be releasing it etc.
Haubersson: “Yes, it’s a nice story behind it: We did our first sort of DIY minitour with Swedish Puteraeon last year. 3 shows in row, the last one was at Protzen Open Festival with bands like Malignant Tumor, Blood Motized, Warhammer & many more on the billing. Puteraeon absolutely belong to our sort of friend bands and we’ve had some nice memories about this tour and the madness sourrounding it. Well, in the end Martin of Cyclone Empire Records (label of Puteraeon) offered us the chance to do a split EP together, which is now released on their ‘Imperial Anthems’ collector series. Done totally dedicated in golden vinyl, hand numbered – a true collector slab of death feat. Unreleased and new material by both bands!!! It’s already out now available from the bands or Cyclone Empire.

Please tell us about the band name, obviously taken from the Entombed song of the same name. You are much more than just an “Entombed wannabe band/clone” but why did you decide to choose this name for the band?
Haubersson: “Yes, you nailed it! You don’t have to be a Death Metal professor to realize that the band name is taken from the classical Nihilist / Entombed demo/debut period. We wanted a catchy name and a name that is totally linked to real Death Metal; so I think we succeeded in that mission!!!

“I think we’re certainly a band that has it’s own charm in terms of music, artwork and concept. Of course we stick to our roots and do certainly NOT (!!!) deny where our inspirations come from. But simply when you use the HM2 distortion pedal you get linked with that Swedish box of comparisons. It’s the significant Stockholm guitar boost!!! We love that guitar chainsaw sound – but to do it this way is simply dealing with certain kind of comparisons; which is not a problem to me at all. Bands like our Spanish friends from Graveyard or the Mexican buddies from Zombiefication can tell you a similar story.”

Which bands fuel and shape the sound of RIF influence wise?
Haubersson: “Dismember (!!!), Grave, first 2 Entombed albums, God Macabre, first Cemetary album, Nirvana 2002, first Death albums, Autopsy’s ‘Severed Survivial’, first Master album, early Benediction, Bolt Thrower, Cancer, ‘From beyond’ from Massacre, first Gorefest albums, Morgoth, Asphyx, Edge Of Sanity etc.!!! Bands that really impressed me in a way of concept, presentation etc. are Repugnant, Kaamos, Trubulation, Nominon, Demonical….one of my mega fave new bands is Tormented, too! Well, there’s sooooo much stuff. You never have to forget that also our previous bands left a mark and impression in terms of songwriting and experiences – in a good and bad way, Ha! Ha! Ha!”

Lyrically what inspires you to put pen to paper?
Haubersson: “Revel In Flesh is about worshipping the deathcult!!! The lyrics, music and the whole concept are strictly bound to the feeling of darkness, death and doom. I’m not (!) into gore, splatter or those kind of subjects. It’s about more darkness hidden in gloomy depth of the history of mankind or fictional stuff. To me as a vocalist it’s important to give the verses some catchy aspects as well. I like the earworm chorus stuff classical extreme bands like Venom, Celtic Frost or Bathory.
Germany is of corpse known for producing some world known death metal bands such as Morgoth and Fleshcrawl, but what is the current German underground death metal scene like?
Haubersson: “Speaking honestly we try to give an input and a best possible job on our own creations, releases etc.! We’re an easy going but also hard working band that enjoys also the aspect of having party and enjoying the stuff. Currently after many years there’s really a situation that even bigger medias/magazines/bookers etc. here in Germany that start to care about German Death Metal bands. There’s even some hype around certain stuff – take it or leave it!!!

“BUT to me it’s also a wait and see; I’m into this underground thing since 1994 – I’ve seen a lot of stuff (Bands, people, labels…) come and go; my respect goes out to those German bands that stick to Death Metal or the extreme stuff on the long term –even not changing, when Death Metal was out of date. I think about old bands like Purgatory, Fleshcrawl, Blood, Dead, Drowned, Necros Christos etc. – bands that simply deliver what they really feel dedicated to.”

Any bands you care to recommend to the readers who are currently lurking in the depths of the German underground death metal scene?
Haubersson: “If I mention one the other who I don’t mention might wanna kick my ass, Ha! Ha! A band I feel really enthusiastic about are Graveyard Ghoul from north Germany. They play a sort of “necro as fuck Death Metal” – really raw; it reminds me a lot to the early demos of Darkthrone. Pretty cool for a bloody young band. Their 2nd album just hit the earth. Give ‘em a try!!!”

What is your current opinion of the worldwide death metal scene? The old school death metal sound has seen a resurgence in popularity in more recent years with older bands reforming and newer bands forming and playing in the old school style, and a new generation of death metal heads coming into the scene which is great to see/hear. Which current newer bands out there do you feel an “affinity” with and if you could pick 5 current bands to do an ultimate death metal package tour with who would they be?
Haubersson: “I remember seeing the very first reunion show of Asphyx on Party San festival in 2007 and in some way this opened the gates for a lot of ’90s classics to return and also for a brand new breed of classically infected Death Metal breeds to rise from the underworld. I’m really happy! I think nowadays a completely new generation of Metal fans discover the old extreme bands. You see a lot of really young fans nowadays wearing patches etc. of ’80s bands like Possessed etc. – extreme Metal got back to the roots, back to the REAL deal!!! I’m totally happy with this evolution, although it already reaches the point of overkill. Newer bands worldwide that impressed be recently are Vampire from Sweden, the new release from Corpsessed is also great, I like the latest creations of Graveyard (ESP), Zombiefication, but I’m also mega impressed by bands like Procession, who did a brilliant Doom release with their last “Mini – Album”!

“The ultimate package? Well, I like people in bands that are smooth to get along and I think a cool package for Revel In Flesh might be playing with Tormented, Graveyard (Esp), Fleshcrawl and having Dismember doing their reunion show in the classical early line-up. This would be a perfect night, of course nobody would have to drive, perfectly arranged and the beer would flow like an everflowing stream, sounds good, right!?!”

You are the main man behind the print zine/underground death metal bible Mystical Music Mag. Please tell us how this all started? It’s a great zine… are you still active with it? Which issues are still currently available? When can we expect another issue?
Haubersson: “Well, it’s a too long story; actually I started Mystical Music when I was 15/16. It was my first step into the scene; buying first stuff/demos from bands like Monstrosity, Dew-Scented, Krabathor etc.!!! I’ve managed to do 16 issues with Mystical Music. I totally like the SUPPORT thinking behind such a project and not the selfish bullshit, which usually dominates the scene. After issue #4 it became a total Death Metal fanzine, with little exceptions. My goal was always to get a new issue together without having too much repeating in the bands/content selection. Unfortunately nowadays I’m lacking in time. I still have like 20 copies of issue #16 left; but beside the band and my regular life I don’t have the time/money/capacity left to do a zine completely. I still enjoy the writing thing and I do some contributions here and there. If you like to find out more about Mystical Music then take a look here.

“The zine is NOT buired, but a new issue is far beyond the divine horizon…”

What is on the horizon for RIF…future plans…etc..?
Haubersson: “The goal for 2014 is to nail down album No.3 as deadly as possible!!! Do the record and finally get out and play the new material as often as we can. We have some more bookings coming up this year; we’ve just been confirmed for German In Flammen Open Air. But there’s more madness coming this year, too.”

Thanks for answering the interview Ralf! The last words are yours, plug away with merch etc…
Haubersson: “Kat, I wanna thank you for your dedication and this cool chat!!! Check out our Facebook page to be updated on the recent stuff in the Revel In Flesh camp.

“Finally to all “Die hard” old school Death Metal maniacs; make sure to check out Revel In Flesh!!! Hail the Deathcult – Eternally!!!”

About Kez Whelan

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