photo by Carl Eek
(The Norwegian black metal band Tilintetgjort made quite an impressive full-length debut in late March of this year with their album In Death I Shall Arise on Dark Essence Records, and followed that the next month with a performance at Inferno Metal Festival in Oslo. It seemed like a good time for Karina Noctum to reach out to the band for an interview — which now follows.)
Tilintetgjort from Oslo bring a fresh approach to the scene by blending their own musical perspectives with the traditional Norwegian Black Metal sound in their solid debut album In Death I Shall Arise. In this interview they gave us we not only talk about their new album, but also get some insights into its recording and production at Chaka Khan Studio (Darkthrone, Nekromantheon).
What’s the meaning of the band’s name and why was it chosen?
Tilintetgjort is Norwegian for “Annihilated”, or literally “Made Into Nothing”. We felt it reflected our music very well, this concept of destruction, the way all things must end and die. Something has to disappear for something else to grow.
How did the idea of forming Tilintetgjort come about?
Three of us (Hazzlegard, Sturt:, and Den Gamle) were creating a lot of riffs for Whip, a different band, but we felt that some of the output warranted its own project. It was too black metal, and so we created Tilintetgjort to have something to put those ideas in. Slowly, we made more and more tracks, and eventually recruited our drummer Tybalt and vocalist Svik.
Could you introduce the band further? Who are the musicians behind it and in which other bands do they play?
Svik – vocals. Also sings in Den Saakaldte.
Tybalt – drums. Also plays with The 3rd Attempt, Den Saakaldte.
Sturt: – bass. Also plays in Whip, Troll, Urarvbb.
Hazzlegard – guitar. Also plays in Whip.
Den Gamle – guitar. Also plays in Whip, Kvesta, VRS, Satanic Panic, Bull Semen.
There are many Black Metal bands in Norway that stay true to the Norwegian sound. How would you describe Tilintetgjort’s sound?
Tilintetgjort sounds like what we think black metal should sound like.
How do you see Tilintetgjort in relation to the famous Norwegian Black Metal sound?
The sound of Norwegian black metal has many faces. We like to think that our music is one of them.
The music has different influences, tell us about them…
Obviously the black metal from the ’90s is of great inspiration, but also ’70s prog and various other things. All of us listen to all kinds of music, not just metal or indeed black metal. In order for our music to stay fresh and inspired, we have to constantly stay curious. I suppose we just want to make the kind of music that we ourselves would like to listen to.
Who made the artwork and what does it represent?
The artwork was created with the use of Midjourney, and it reflects the albums themes of the cosmos, death, madness and alchemy.
You chose to not to have any typical Black Metal image in the CD booklet — what was the reason for this decision?
It was not an active decision to not have any typical black metal image in our booklet. We made a booklet that fit with our visage of how the CD should be experienced. And frankly, we think it looks pretty black metal.
A Norwegian reviewer says that Tilintetgjort’s debut album “succeeds in reconstructing a Black Metal genre that has stiffened.” Do you agree with this opinion?
We can’t say if we have succeeded in something like that, that’s up to others. What we can say is that we tried to put ourselves mentally in the early nineties, and make music like they did in the beginning, when all black metal bands sounded different. Ivar of Enslaved said it best, Norwegian black metal was like a marathon, where everybody started at the same place. When the starting shot went off, everyone ran in different directions. We tried to go back to that place and run in our own direction. As for the stagnation of black metal, we could agree that a lot of the bands coming out sound the exact same to us. Same type of production, same themes and riffs.
In the song “Dommedagsmonument” you use both English and Norwegian. Why combine the two languages?
Some things just formulate better in Norwegian or English. We do the same in the first song we wrote together, “Vinter og Høst”. Why not combine the two languages?
Are there any guest appearances in the album?
Indeed, Torgeir Vassvik has the joik in the beginning of “Hex”, and the same song features backing vocals by Øyvind Bjørshoel and Amund Tømmerbakke. In addition, Ole Øvstedal (one half of Chaka Khan Studio) contributed Mellotron to the outro of “Dommedagsmonument”.
What inspired the intro in the song “Hex” and which instruments were used?
The intro is a death-joik, which fits in with the hex theme. We were asked by the joiker not to add reverb to his performance, as there is no echo out on the icy plains.
How long did it take to produce it? Who produced it?
The songs were written over a period of two years, maybe a little more. When we were satisfied with how they turned out and had rehearsed enough, we entered the studio and recorded most of the album live over three days at Chaka Khan Studio with Ole Øvstedal and Silje Høgevold. Then we added a few overdubs and extra effects in Evil Octopus Studios before returning to Chaka Khan to mix the album over three days. Finally it was mastered by Jack Control at Enormous Door.
As you say, you recorded the album at Chaka Khan studio where bands like Darkthrone and Nekromantheon have recorded as well. How do you think the choice of studio influenced the sound achieved? Any advantages/disadvantages?
Well, we found the sound on Darkthrone‘s “Eternal Hails……” quite interesting, definitely different from most of the albums coming out. And as we wanted something else than the assembly-line black metal you typically hear, we opted to go there.
One of the things that is both an advantage and a disadvantage when you go into the studio (as opposed to just recording “at home”) is that there is a limited time available, so you have to deliver and keep moving forward. If we had opted to just record it at our rehearsal space/studio, we would have had all the time in the world, and that is a double-edged sword. Of course, this means that you sometimes have to compromise what you are able to do, but overall we are very pleased with our output in the studio.
What were you aiming at with the sound? Do you think the final result satisfies your initial aims/expectations?
We recorded live in order to get the energy of the band, and it feels like that has been nicely translated into the album. The raw energy of the live recording combined with the analog treatment creates a sound we are very pleased with.
photo by Carl Eek
Recently you played at Inferno Festival. What was it like to play for an international audience? What kinda feedback did you get?
We got a lot of good feedback, from people of all nations. From Australia in the South to Bergen in the West. From Iran in the East to the United States in the West. The venue was packed with people of unknown origin, but they all cheered in the same language.
How would you describe the Oslo scene, and what distinguishes it from other scenes like the ones in Trondheim and Bergen, for example?
It is difficult to speak at length about scenes in cities where we do not dwell. I think a lot of the bands from Oslo typically utilize more dissonant and chromatic riffs, perhaps. A lot of the Bergen bands use a lot of “emotional” riffs and melodies. And of course you see a lot of the typical incest in bands, members who play everywhere else. It’s a quite small community.
Any bands you would want to recommend to the readers?
Absolutely! Check out our good pals in Zustand Null, Fleshmeadow, Fullmåne….
Please tell us about your future plans.
Well, the immediate plans are to start working on album number two and to book more gigs. If anyone wants to book us to their venue, get in touch.
Anything you would like to add?
– Salt, pepper
whoa, had never heard of these guys before reading this today… this album just skyrocketed into my top ten albums of the year… mind-melting stuff.