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The Blackscreen

Jim Peterik


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Deutsche VersionInterview mit God Dethroned (19.11.2010)

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Logo God Dethroned

After the ingenious performance at the Helion Festival und the furious album Under The Sign Of The Iron Cross it was a question of honour to contact Holland's Death-Metal-institution God Dethroned to do a little interview. Band leader Henri Sattler took care of me and gave some insights behind the scenery of the new epos where in musical regard the band fathomed itself.

God Dethroned

HH: Greetings from Bavaria! How are you? Your new album Under The Sign Of The Iron Cross is in its starting block - are you a little bit nervous shortly before the release?

Henri: It's always exciting to find out what people think of our new album, but the overall response has been really good, so we are happy. Of course for some people the new album is too extreme, but even that we take as a compliment.

HH: When I took a first look at the cover artwork of the album I recognized that you have unearthed your old band logo. Did you have a special reason for this decision?

Henri: We thought it would be cool to use that one again, but then Metal Blade advised us not to do it, because they think that our regular logo is stronger, etc. But then they made a mistake themselves by sending out a press release with the album cover with the wrong logo and now everybody thinks we're going to use the old logo again which we are not.

HH: After Passiondale you now publish the second concept album about World War I. What makes this war so fascinating to devote two albums to it?

Henri: It is a very fascinating war. People know very little about it and the topic hasn't been used by other bands that much so it gives me space to write lyrics without having to worry if other bands already used that idea. The fans were so enthusiastic about Passiondale that I felt triggered to continue using this subject.

HH: I have not seen the booklet of the new album yet, but for Passiondale's promotional pictures the band was dressed in old uniforms. Are you not worried that people, who do not deal with your lyrics, could miss the point and interpret this as a kind of glorification?

Henri: The people who are narrow minded could maybe do that, but it didn't happen for Passiondale so I also don't expect that to happen for Under The Sign Of The Iron Cross.

HH: World War I is an open field of scenes, incidents and stories. Does this release describe a kind of focal point / main focus, you know, something like naval warfare or a special battle?

Henri: The album's lyrics deal with the Schlieffen Plan, the battle of Verdun, the Red Baron to name a few topics, but mostly it's based on Ernst Juengers book "In Stahlgewittern" which was his personal diary of daily life in the trenches during world war one. A really impressive book that gave me a lot of inspiration.

HH: And so the song "Storm Of Steel" is devoted to this book. Perhaps you could tell a little bit more about it.

Henri: The book describes daily life in the trenches, but also the various attacks he was in. He describes it in a very dry way like it nothing special, but if you count the amount of times that he nearly got killed, your jaw drops down in amazement.
This could only lead to writing songs that would represent this harsh life amidst dying comrades in the mud. Just listen to the album and you'll know what I mean.

God Dethroned

HH: In the background of your intro excerpts of a historical speech in German language can be heard. What speech is it?

Henri: It's Kaiser Wilhelm's speech from August 1914. He was the emperor of Prussia and he told his people to stand strong together and that with the will of god they would overcome the war. We used this because this is something that most big world leaders tell their people before they go to war. For example Bush said this to the American people before they attacked Iraq. It was almost exactly the same.

HH: Are you finished with the subject Word War I after In The Sign Of The Iron Cross or could you imagine one further album and create a trilogy?

Henri: Definitely a trilogy.

HH: Ok, let's talk about the music on this album. I think it is out of question that Under The Sign Of The Iron Cross is the most brutal release since Bloody Blasphemy, perhaps the most brutal release in your whole discography. How would you describe the music on the album?

Henri: As brutal? Ha ha, yes, as brutal and fast, but typical God Dethroned at the same time. It's an album that shows you its beauty after a couple of spins. In the beginning you will not hear the details that are covered by the tornado of noise that blows out of your speakers, but after a while you will discover more and more in the music.

HH: Do you have a favourite title?

Henri: Nope.

HH: After this quite uncompromising firestorm - do you already have a vague imagination how the next album could sound?

Henri: Yes, but I'm not gonna tell you. It's too early for that anyway. Music evolves while composing an album, so it can still go in all directions.

HH: Alright. Back to the actual album! The song "Storm Of Steel" already celebrated it's live premier a few weeks ago at the Helion Festival in Munich (the hometown of our magazine). How did you keep this little event in remembrance?

Henri: It was simply great!!! Munich always was a hard shell to crack for us, but this time the audience gave us everything we wanted and more! Awesome!

HH: Will there also be a tour to promote the new album or do you have some confirmations of any festivals in 2011? I think your fans are hungry to hear the new stuff live on stage.

Henri: We'll see what happens. It's still a bit too early for that.

HH: Could you imagine some special live features concerning the last two albums, like a special stage set, screens showing old war recordings or something like this?

Henri: You're right, but it's not easy to achieve something like this.

HH: Ok. We are coming to the end. And now I have one request on my own behalf. Would you please resume "The Grand Grimoire" in your setlist?

Henri: We can do that. On December 24th we will have a show where we will play with a lot of the former God Dethroned members and I think "The Grand Grimoire" will be one of the songs we'll play. Maybe we can keep it in the setlist from then on.

HH: Excellent! I thank you very much for this interview and hope to see you live on stage pretty soon again. Any last messages to our readership?

Henri: Check out the new album. Cheers!


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