Spectres Over Arnehm
So, I guess it kind of shows that variety of the Fresh Blood programme that we can have a band like Wederganger, a band which in most underground circles needs no introduction. Formed in 2013, in Arnhem, Netherlands, the band is composed by ex-members of Heidevolk, Mondvolland and Fluisterwoud amongst other bands, yet sounds like none of their ex-endeavours. A unique band in the treaded and retreaded waters of the Metal scene, Wederganger’s music can most closely be described by the adjective ghostly. Their music, while heavy and innovative, hits a listener differently than most Black or Death Metal band. It’s more ethereal, more drab, and in a way, less simple and easy to understand than your average boom-bam-blast beat affair. So, with my full support, I set out to interview this strange new entity, and along the way, I encountered a one sir Botmuyl, who handles harsh vocals in the band.
Bulldozer: Hey Botmuyl, so Halfvergaan ontwaakt has been out for about a year, how do you feel about the record?
Botmuyl: It captures the atmosphere that we want to evoke. It’s dark, gloomy, aggressive and -above all- it breathes the atmosphere of a medieval Gelderland. We still stand fully behind it as it would be pointless to release an album that does not meet the creator’s expectations.
Bulldozer: The musical concept behind the record is unique, the mix of those special cleans and growled black metal vocals, how did you guys come upon the idea?
Botmuyl: It is a natural thing for us. Alfschijn sings about the inevitable impending doom and the end of time. With my vocals I spit fate’s horrid reeking breath in the face of the listener. The combination is the finishing touch to accompany the riffs that lay the foundation of the tale we want to tell.
Bulldozer: The name of the record literally means “Awakened Half-Perish”, though i’m guessing that’s not a good translation. What does the title mean? and why did you choose it? how does it represent the content on the record?
Botmuyl: That’s more or less an adequate translation I guess. It’s the essence of a revenant, one that is cursed and returns from death to haunt the living. It also symbolises our awakening, this is just the beginning of our hymns of Undeath.
Bulldozer: What are some of the lyrical themes the record touches on?
Bulldozer: The unique artwork is done by Karmazid, why did you choose to go with him?
Botmuyl: Karmazid has the remarkable talent to draw our visions in a way that is perfectly fitting with the atmosphere that we want to evoke. He has really outdone himself with the dotted cover artwork, we are very pleased with his creations.
Bulldozer: The artwork itself is both very clean and very dirty at the same time, with the decomposing human on the front, how does that tie in with the themes of the record? What does it represent?
Botmuyl: It represents everything we stand for. It’s a decaying revenant in all it’s decomposing g(l)ory.
Bulldozer: Why did you choose Wederganger as your band title? How does it connect to the spirit of the band?
Botmuyl: It goes against the order of things. When someone or something is dead, it should stay that way. But if the cemetery spits out this poisonous corpse to send it tormenting the living, it’s a horrendous anomaly. The grip of those that hold dear to order and nature’s laws loosens. It can’t be grasped or tamed. That is Wederganger.
Bulldozer: Recently, in an interview I had with Urfaust, they mentioned that you guys are doing a split together, what can you tell us about it? Why did you choose to work with Urfaust in particular?
Botmuyl: Urfaust are brothers. We share history and a label, and highly respect each other’s music. A split release was inevitable.
Bulldozer: You guys are all obviously very experienced and rather high profile musicians, but what would you say you learned from making Halfvergaan Ontwaakt?
Botmuyl: It all went quick and smooth, it was a very productive process. We have the luxury to have some very talented people within and outside of the band to assist us in recording our funeral chants.
Bulldozer: Are you already thinking about what to do for the next full length? Is there anything you can tell us?
Botmuyl: We are working on it. Expect no style changes or experimental wanderings, it will be an immersion in pitch black Gueldrian Undeath Metal.
Bulldozer: So, what’s in the immediate future for Wederganger? Any shows planned? Tours? Videos? Books? Comically oversized list of items for artists to cover all bases? 😉
Botmuyl: Seances are always unfolding. Physical releases will emerge from ancient Gueldrian gates. All will be known when the time has come.
Bulldozer: Any last words?
Botmuyl: A revenant knows no such thing as “last words”.
Interview: Benek Astrachan
Photo: Niels Vick Esq