TOMBS AND DEATH THROES – AN INTERVIEW WITH CORRODER
Yours truly recently had the great pleasure of reviewing the latest demo by the skull-rattling Norwegian outfit known as Corroder, and their spirited and utterly aggressive 5-track gem impressed me so much that I simply had to have a chat with bassist Harald Brovold about the band and their fiery brand of underground music. I strongly urge you to check the hellish Tombs of Terror demo/EP out as it contains some ear-splitting thrash metal juggernauts capable of melting your face and pulverizing your shitty apartment, but for now, enjoy our little chat below.
Greetings, how are you? Let us jump right in there and discuss the raging musical tempest that is Corroder. Tell us a bit about the band and how it came into existence and why. You guys have all played in other bands and so I am curious as to what led to the creation of Corroder.
H: Corroder first came into existence about three years ago when Espen (Hektoen – drums/vocals) got in touch with me and asked if we should try to get a band together. We knew about each other from the bands we’d been in earlier, and by chance we’d both moved to the same rural area outside Trondheim. It was a good opportunity to get something going, and both of us liked a lot of the same bands and music, so it was clear from the start that we wanted to play thrash metal. We soon recruited Andreas as our first guitarist (he has now left the band), and after a while we got hold of Ketil (Sæther- guitar/vocals) to complete the line-up.
The new EP, Tombs of Terror, slices like a goddamn hammer and is a powerful thrash metal gem with a raw, unpolished vibe to it. It sounds so organic and in-your-face. Where did you record it and how did you go about it i.e. did you record it with all of you in the studio playing together or did you mail things back and forth between you and assemble it that way? Can I just add that I love the fact that you released it on cassette tape?
H: We’re glad you like it as we’re quite pleased with it ourselves as well. Unlike our first demo, which was recorded over a weekend, Tombs of Terror was recorded “piece by piece” over a period of time. The main reason for doing it this way was that Espen was going to live in Denmark for four months last fall, so we had to work fast getting the basics for the songs ready so we could record the drums before he left. We booked Dreamfarm studio (where we recorded the first demo) for a couple of days, recording drums and vocals there. Then we got some more time to work on the details for the guitar- and bass parts and we recorded the rest ourselves at the rehearsal place and at Ketil’s house. Guitars and bass were recorded through miked-up amps, and drums were recorded without any triggers, so that helped us get that “classic” thrash metal sound.
Were the blackened and furious tunes for Tombs of Terror written and recorded within a short span of time or had you been working on them for several months or perhaps even years? You have certainly been creative ever since the band’s inception in 2019 and already there are two demos/EPs and a couple of singles out there. Very cool!
H: The songs for Tombs of Terror were written in a couple of months. From mid/late April ‘til late June last year. We knew we had to get something recorded before Espen left, so we put it in sixth gear and got the five tracks together. We were in kind of a “flow” from the recording of the first demo, so the new songs came quite easily, and I guess we had some parts that were written before we recorded the first demo as well. The singles are just the same versions as the ones that are to be found on the demos, so basically, we’ve got two demos/EPs – ten songs in all.
As to the title of the EP and its artwork, what exactly do they signify or refer to? The title obviously sounds pretty brutal and sinister, but what inspired it? The Fulci/zombie-esque aura of the artwork certainly works like a sick charm.
H: The title is obviously from the last song on the demo by the same name. The artwork came out of that title, and we thought it was fitting to make it in that cut and paste style of the eighties, and at the same time we felt that it matched the musical savagery well. The lyrics of the song doesn’t really deal with any zombie/gore stuff but rather with darkness and despair on a mental level…
Musically and lyrically, what bands both past and present inspire you with respect to crafting material for Corroder? A lot of 80s stuff?
H: Yeah, we like a lot of the eighties thrash and death metal stuff, and that was what I grew up with in the late eighties/early nineties, so I guess the musical inspiration comes from that period. There are definitely some great thrash metal bands around even today, but I don’t think they really inspire our songwriting. The lyrical inspiration comes from shit going on in the world and from the dark corners of Espen’s mind.
What are you guys currently up to in terms of band activities and what is next for you? Do you reckon you will do another EP, or have you guys discussed the idea of recording an album?
H: We haven’t shopped the new demo around to any labels yet, but we’re getting to that now. If by any chance we’d get a decent deal, an album would definitely be the next thing to do. But as of now, the main priority is writing new material and then we’ll see if that ends up as a new demo or on an album.
What about touring Norway and playing some of the venues and clubs around the country this year – is that on the agenda?
H: Well, that’s the other thing we’re working on now, rehearsing the “old” songs for live performances. Just as Espen got back from Copenhagen we lost our rehearsal place, and we’ve just moved into a new rehearsal space now and are getting back on track again as we haven’t rehearsed together since August. So, we’ve got some catching up to do. We’ll play at a small festival called Plumbers from Hell (yep, started by a bunch of plumbers!) in the town of Sarpsborg in September, and we’ve been contacted by another Norwegian festival for this summer as well. Guess we’ll try to land some more gigs in the fall too. We wanted to start gigging this spring, but we’ll see how fast we can get everything together.
Do you recall what the first record you ever bought was? And what albums are you currently immersing yourself in at home?
H: I really don’t remember what the first one was, but I think the first WASP album and Manowar’s Hail to England were some of the first ones I bought myself. Before that I had a couple of KISS cassettes and mostly taped stuff from the radio or from a friend who had an older brother (from whom we “borrowed” his albums when he was out). I’m still mostly listening to eighties and early nineties stuff, and as I write this, I’m spinning the Monumental Possession LP by Dødheimsgard, and right before that it was Blessed are the Sick by Morbid Angel.
Thanks once again for taking the time to answer this short interview – much appreciated.
H: Thanx to you Jens for getting into our music and for giving us this chance to speak our mind! There are still some copies left of the Tombs of Terror tape, which can be obtained through our Bandcamp account. Cheers from Corroder!