Swedish death metal force Feral have signed a multiple album and format deal with Indian label Transcending Obscurity Records. Their style of music is uncompromising and pure, and in their own way they take ahead the classic death metal sound, finding gnarlier and more twisted expression within the HM-2-driven sound. With four releases already under their belt since 2007, they’re gearing up to unleash their new full length on the new label.
Transcending Obscurity Records owner Kunal Choksi comments, “Transcending Obscurity Records is proud to have another stellar Swedish death metal act in its ranks. Feral are going from strength to strength and their latest EP was gnarly, aggressive and yet redolent of the classic Swedish sound. We believe the best from them is yet to come. We’re happy to work with David Nilsson and the band and have signed a two-album contract, starting with a full length that will be unleashed first. They’re taking the Swedish death metal sound ahead and that’s what’s most appealing about this hardworking band.”
Feral vocalist David Nilsson adds, “We are thrilled to announce that Feral has signed to Transcending Obscurity Records, one of the fastest growing labels around right now. Their passion for the music and dedication to each undertaking convinced us immediately and we can’t wait to reveal our next release through them. The new material we have prepared is some of our strongest to date, and we are sure that it will be in the right hands with Transcending Obscurity Records. At this point we have more than enough material written and plan to start recording later this year, a raging death metal onslaught is soon in the making.”
Deceased are a staff favourite over at Transcending Obscurity. They’ve released some excellent albums over the years and have developed an unmistakable sound and identity as a death/thrash metal band. Our label division even put out an official reissue of their 1997 album ‘Fearless Undead Machines’ over HERE. With a new album slated to come out in the foreseeable future titled ‘Ghostly White’, guest interviewer Tyler Brooks talks to King Fowley about that and the band’s illustrious past.
Transcending Obscurity (Tyler Brooks): You were the first band to ever sign with Relapse records, a label that would become a powerhouse at the peak of early 90’s death metal. What were those early days like?
Deceased (King Fowley): Working with them early on was fun. We were all gung ho and ready to rock. As the label got bigger and successful they sadly lost their way and it got harder to deal with them on a business level. But those early days we will always cheer and thank Relapse for giving us a shot!
TO: You made a flyer that you promised you were going to “out-thrash Slayer” at one point in the early days. Do you feel like you achieved this?
Deceased: Yes! We are still playing 100% deceased music while Slayer to me is playing hot topic metal for a paycheck and a past glory gratification! No thanks!
TO: Many fans consider your third album, ‘Fearless Undead Machines’ to be the album that solidified the Deceased style for years to come. What is it about this album, or the circumstances surrounding its recording, that you feel make it so powerful?
Deceased: I just think it was a heavy metal record in a time when heavy metal was a bad word. We didn’t care; we just lined it up and knocked it down! The songs are very strong on it. I think a lot of metal people related to the horror tinged theme of it. It’s my third favorite Deceased record behind ‘Supernatural Addiction’ and ‘Surreal Overdose’.
TO: Everyone has a favorite Deceased album, and I believe yours is ‘Supernatural Addiction’; ‘The Weird Travel On’ happens to be mine. Do you think that says anything about yourself or the people that choose other albums?
Deceased: It’s always neat to hear why someone has favorite record, details of it etc. To each their own I always say. We all have different names for a reason~!
TO: Modern day death/thrash seems to be used as an excuse for death metal bands to play traditional death metal riffs at hyper fast speeds, but Deceased has always held the thrash side of the moniker in high regard. What is the secret to blending so may influences into a coherent product, while still retaining quality songwriting?
Deceased: Passion for the styles and influences tenfold. You gotta believe! People sadly a lot of times toss shit together to hope its unique when it comes off kitchen sink or half assed. Neither is a good thing. Deceased really does where our metal heart on our sleeve. I arrange everything and I love hooks in songs and memorable music in general. Mindless song writing is a horrible thing. Wasted music as I call it, what a shame
TO: Speaking of influences, you’ve made it pretty evident where your influences lie. It’s clear from the plethora of covers of everything from Cro-Mags and Bad Brains, to Running Wild and Voivod. Why do you feel so compelled to show reverence to so many classics when others may relegate one or two song to their influencers?
Deceased: It’s just a part of it. We take Deceased very seriously in our albums. To let up and have some fun amongst the song writing usually means a cover song tribute to a band or moment in time to us. We have lots of influences so we show it as often as we can!
TO: In 1988, tragedy struck when Rob Sterzel, then the bassist, lost his life in an accident. Many bands are incapable of continuing on from something like that. What helped you to get through dark times in your formative early years?
Deceased: It’s all we knew! Music was our lives and we had to trudge on. Rob would have demanded it. Rob’s death was awful and it floored us. But we took from negativity and made positivity out of a dire situation.
TO: Your style of melodic death/thrash pre-dates even those bands from the Swedish Sunlight Studios period. At a time when melody was probably a dirty word, what drove you towards it?
Deceased: A love for it. I know it’s a big part of my music heart. A good melody is so inspirational to me. We always had hints even at our dirtiest sounds. But it took time to grow as musicians both song writing and playing wise. When it fell into place I was thrilled!
TO: Deceased has consistently released excellent music almost yearly since 1986, whether it be through singles, EP’s, demos, or compilations. How do you keep so relevant years later without burning out?
Deceased: Again you gotta believe. You gotta want it. People that really listen or follow a band can almost always know when a band is mailing it in. We don’t rush into new records or toss out 8 new songs a year just to call it our new record. We got into writing music because it is dear to our hearts. And all these years later it still is!
TO: You’ve said in an interview that you love performing live shows. How does playing live differ from writing in the studio?
Deceased: The studio is a very serious thing at times. You have to keep your mind right. On stage you get to perform your tuned in front of a crowd there (well a good bunch of them) to hear your music. You give it your all and it’s one big thrill ride. I love to entertain and getting on a stage and going for it really makes me happy!
TO: You’ve had numerous lineup changes over the years, mostly stemming from members living all over the country. Les and Mike seem to be such constants throughout most of your timeline. What kind of relationship is necessary between the three of you?
Deceased: Understanding is the key. We are all older now and things like family, work etc come into the mix as you get older. Everyone still rocks when it’s time to do so. Mike didn’t want to play live anymore late 2000’s and we worked it out so he could continue as a studio guy while turning over his live presence to someone else. Les married a gal and moved to Texas. He is still part of the studio band and plays out live with us as often as he can. Being around since 1985 life tosses stuff at ya it’s how ya deal with it that keeps it moving forward.
TO: For ‘Rotten to the Core’, Dave “Scarface” Castillo took over behind the drum kit for live performances. Was this something you had been seeking to do for a while, or was Dave just the perfect fit?
Deceased: After playing on stage as front man in October 31 it just felt right to be upfront. I always found it constricting live to sit behind a drum set on a stool and front a show. Dave is a dear friend and fit right in.
TO: Iron Maiden, or Judas Priest?
Deceased: IRON MAIDEN WITH EASE! Judas priest should have walked away mid-80s for all the following of musical trends to stay current they did. Iron Maiden just keeps on doing their own thing!
TO: Do you have anything to tell the fans about upcoming performance, or the highly anticipated seventh full-length album, ‘Ghostly White’?
Deceased: It’s almost complete song writing wise then the will record. A lot of time and effort has gone into this one. I’m really digging the tunes. It’s very heavy metal this go round with a lot of emphasis on melody, reminds me in spots of ‘Supernatural Addiction’. We are all very pleased!
LUCIDREAMS from Bangalore, India have been around for a seriously long time. There’s a lot of passion in the music and a heady beat to go with it, and we’re glad to put out their latest and indeed much-awaited album, ‘Ballox’.
Transcending Obscurity India (sub-label) owner Kunal Choksi states, “I’m happy to put out the long-running Bangalore-based heavy metal band’s much-awaited album, ‘Ballox’. It holds a nostalgic charm and has its own individual flavour as well. Though originally supposed to be out on the now defunct distribution sub-label, this has been upgraded to the Transcending Obscurity India sub-label and will see a release in March. A slew of wonderful packages have been designed for this one, setting a new standard hopefully for the bands here.”
Narayan from LUCIDREAMS says,”It’s awesome to finally put LUCIDREAMS‘ music out on a CD, considering the band’s been around for more than two decades. It’s even more special to partner with Kunal and Transcending Obscurity, considering everything the label stands for, both locally and internationally. We look forward to an exciting future together.”
Jayanth adds, “This release is extremely special and we’d like to dedicate this to our brother Suraj Dutt. A band that has seen over 20 musicians, Suraj made a massive impact, musically and personally. It’s an honour to see the release out and to work with Kunal from Transcending Obscurity India on this.”
Warcrab have been signed for a two-album deal via Transcending Obscurity Records. They uniquely combine death metal and sludge to create something absolutely powerful and memorable.
Transcending Obscurity label owner announces, “Most of you may have heard Warcrab‘s track in the latest label sampler, and it’s time to open pre-orders for their epic release ‘Scars of Aeons’ for the first time on CD. It merges the heaviness of death metal with the visceral groove of sludge and the result is astounding. It sounds immense and I’m glad to work with this band for not only this album but their upcoming one as well. Cheers to Jools Green, Shrivatsan (my deputy editor) and others for turning me on to this band!”
Warcrab member Paul “Budgie” Garbett adds, “Warcrab are over the moon to be able to finally release ‘Scars of Aeons’ to you all on CD. We have waited a long time for this to happen and are pleased to also tell you that not only is it coming out on CD but there is also going to be a very limited box set available with lots of cool Warcrab bits inside. We are delighted to be working with Transcending Obscurity Records on this release and there will be more to follow.”
One of the biggest bands from the subcontinent, Severe Dementia from Bangladesh, are back and have been touring relentlessly. They released an album in the last decade that has since been much sought after. The legends have risen since then and are furiously working on new songs. It’s great to be involved in supporting the scene of our brethren in Bangladesh and they’re the third band from there after Warhound and Exalter to get signed to the Asian leg of the label.
Transcending Obscurity owner Kunal Choksi says, “I’ve known Severe Dementia since the last decade when they took part in the 4-way split ‘Rise of the Eastern Blood’ in 2006. A decade later, I’m thrilled to know that Severe Dementia are back stronger than ever before and more importantly, are poised to release a full length album under Transcending Obscurity Asia. Arguably the ‘biggest’ band from their country for this kind of music, it’s an honour to have them join the Transcending Obscurity roster, along with their label mates in Warhound and Exalter. 2017 might just prove to be a great year for Bangladeshi extreme metal.”
Severe Dementia add, “Kunal of Transcending Obscurity has always been a passionate metalhead who is devoted to promote the glory of true metal. He has known Severe Dementia since 2006 when we played in India for the first time. After ten years, while we are back with the new lineup and writing to release the full-length album, it was without any hesitation to join forces with him and his label. I am delighted to work with him who share vehemence to promote extreme metal beyond boundaries. Together Severe Dementia and Transcending Obscurity will unleash pulverizing and cataclysmic Eastern Death Metal.”
Current Severe Dementia lineup:
Riasat Azmi – Vocals
Saimum Hasan Nahian – Guitar
Raef Al Hasan Rafa – Drums/Vocals/Guitar
Kawser Ahmed Pervez – Bass
Samir Hafiz Khan – Session Guitar
In our quest to unearth more promising acts from Asia, we have stumbled upon Warhound from Bangladesh. Their music is uncompromising death metal with the right attitude and intent. Warhound are poised to release a full length in the coming year which should probably set new standards for death metal coming out from their region.
Transcending Obscurity Asia owner Kunal Choksi comments, “Warhound are undoubtedly one of the most promising bands from Bangladesh. Going by their past record, Warhound will definitely uphold the same spirit and I’m sure their debut full length release will be remembered as something of a landmark one in recent times from that part of the world. Credit goes to Zoheb Mahmud for helping out with this signing. It’s an honour to have such a dedicated band on the Transcending Obscurity Asia roster and I hope to do more for bands from Bangladesh in the foreseeable future.”
Warhound add, “So far this is the most exciting news for Warhound this year.We would like to thank Transcending Obscurity metal horde specially the great Kunal Choksi and Zoheb Mahmud for making this happen. Get ready for the death metal madness from the land of Bengal”.
Embalmed have been around since 1991 and have put out some excellent material in the early ’90s. They could be regarded as one of the founders of the brutal death metal style, notably the TXDM style. Their ‘Boiling Humans’ release in particular has music that stands head-to-head with bands like Suffocation, InternalBleeding and Pyrexia. This was before bands like DyingFetus, Devourment and others took the style to popularity.
Transcending Obscurity Records is proud to sign its first international brutal death metal band and there would none more fitting than the long-running band from Texas, Embalmed. Transcending Obscurity Records will be releasing the band’s second full length album which promises to be just as good if not better.
Label owner Kunal Choksi states, “‘Brutal Delivery of Vengeance’ blew me away with its pugnacious intensity and execution. It was brutal death metal that hadn’t completely abandoned the roots and on the whole was very, very satisfying. I had the opportunity to do PR for that album, and upon getting in touch with the band, we worked out a smooth and very respectful understanding, and it’s great to be finally working with this legendary death metal band.”
Embalmed comment, “Embalmed is certainly excited to join the Transcending Obscurity Records roster. Kunal’s passion for music and success has made Transcending Obscurity Records one of the top global metal labels and we look forward to being a part of and contributing to it’s rampant growth. Kunal has the drive and ability to spread our brand of relentless death metal to it’s most proper brutality-craving audience.”
Touted as a supergroup when they started off, Hellwind underwent some lineup changes and are back with a fresh new song called Metal From Above. Transcending Obscurity gets to premiere it exclusively here and while we’re at it, we also asked the band a few questions about their formation, intentions and future. They’re apparently on the verge of releasing their debut full length. Current lineup: (more…)
Mumbai-based thrash metal band Carnage Inc. are on the verge of releasing their debut album and have worked out a deal with prominent entity Transcending Obscurity Distribution for the same. The release date is August 1st, but pre-orders are open for CD + T-shirt combo, digital, and CD only. (more…)