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Интервью с Evocation,

Marko Palmen (guitar)

Hi, Marko! I am really glad to greet you on behalf of all the Russian EVOCATION fans and readers of Brutal Carnage web-zine. I will begin the interview with the most predicted question: The new album has just been released. How long, where and with whom have you been recording it?

 

 

Hi there! It is really cool to finally be interviewed by a Russian Zine! I didn’t even know that people in Russia knew about us, so I must first say that the pleasure is mine to be talking to you!

The new album was recorded during almost entire 2006. We started the recordings in January and we finished it in the beginning of December so it was a real marathon recording. Hehehe I guess the main reason for the long recording is that we are perfectionists and have always been. We are always striving for perfection in whatever we do and I think we came pretty close with the recording of “Tales from the Tomb”. The album is recorded in our own recording/rehearsal studio that we share with our friends in Lake Of Tears. The studio is located in downtown Boras, which is our hometown. We have mainly conducted all the recordings by ourselves but we did the mastering of the album at Studio Mega in Varberg. Vesa, the other guitarist in Evocation is a really experienced studio technician so he is the main guy behind the production of the album.

Will the digipack-edition of the album been issued?

 

Unfortunately there won’t be any digipack edition of the album. Probably there will be a digipack, limited edition for the next album. We have some really great ideas of what it should contain, but this won’t see the daylight until the autumn of 2008.

Are you planning any actions in support of the new album? Will the round trip be organized?

 

 

Hell yeah, but at the moment there are only two actions planned to support the release of the album. The first one is the Up From The Ground Festival at Gemunden am Main in Germany 24-25 of August together with bands like Sabbat, Arch Enemy, Testament, Entombed etc. This one will be a really great one and I’m really looking forward to see Sabbat with the “Dreamweaver” line-up which is one of my absolute favorite bands from my youth.

 

In December we are doing the Devils Revenge Festival at Stadthalle in Lichtenfels, Germany together with bands like Destruction, Gorefest, Vomitory, Demonical etc. Besides these Festivals we are having discussions with several other gig promoters but nothing more is booked and ready at the moment. And about tours; if the right package would come up of course we would be interested but at the moment there are no plans for a tour.

“Tales from the tomb” crashed the fans’ heads. Are you shaken up with the feedback of the press and critics?

 

You are totally right about that we are shaken up with the feedback! I mean, we have just been having the time of our lives the last two years since we started to rehearse. Just to start hanging around with the guys and to start playing Death Metal again has really made us realize that this is the thing we are meant to do! Then to receive this massive feedback from friends, media and people in the music business is really awesome! So yeah, we are quiet shaken up and are not sure if we yet have understood what kind of an amazing achievement we have accomplished with the album.

Why have you signed a deal with Cyclone Empire? What has influenced your choice of the label?

 

When we had sent out the Demo 2006 we were approached by four different labels. None of the other labels could match the offer made by Cyclone Empire so the decision to go for them was never difficult for us. When we were approached by Cyclone Empire we hadn’t actually heard of them before and we hadn’t sent out any stuff to them. It was a couple of friends down in Germany that forwarded the Demo to them. One of them was Andreas Reissnauer at Metal Blade Records who has his office next to Cyclone Empire. When Andreas had forwarded the stuff to Martin Purr at Cyclone Empire it took only a few days before they contacted us and said that they wanted to sign us. Then after six months of negotiations we signed the deal in January 2007. Cyclone Empire and SureShotWorx have done one hell of a job promoting the “Tales from the Tomb” album so we are pleased as hell with the work they are doing!

Could you say some words about a resplendent reunion of EVOCATION? How did the thing happen?

 

I think the main reason behind the reunion was the release of our old demos from the early 90s on Breath Of Night Records in November 2004. By the time we were about to release the stuff we all were quite convinced that nobody would remember us but much to our surprise people still remembered us and started to contact us. The reviews were quite extraordinary all over Europe as well so we were all really astonished! I mean we were just a bunch of youngsters drinking beer, playing Death Metal and having the time of our lives when we recorded the two Demos back in 1992. We didn’t have a clue back then about the impact we had made within the Death Metal community. So the support we received with the release of the old Demos made us somehow realize that we had to start doing what we enjoy most in our lives – Death Metal! A second reason for the reunion was the fact that we were quite disappointed with the development of the Death Metal scene after 1995 when At The Gates released the “Slaughter Of The Soul” album. I don’t think that hardly anyone in the band has bought any Death Metal albums made after that. I think we all felt that something had to be done and that was a motivating factor for us through the making of “Tales from the Tomb”.

Why such a mighty stuff of your demos has been kept “on the shelf” for such a long time, until it was released on a self-titled CD in 2004?

 

Actually I don’t have a really good explanation to this. After the break up in 1993 we were all busy with other projects so nobody took the time to see if there was a label that would be interested in releasing the ancient stuff. When Breath Of Night Records contacted us in 2001 we all thought it would be a really cool idea to release it in order to celebrate the 10 years anniversary of the birth of Evocation instead of just leaving it on the shelf in a pile of dust. And that’s how it went!

Did you have pups when you faced the review on your first concert on Russian metallic Web-site? I assume you did not have a clue of what has been written except for the final outstanding appraisal?

 

Hey, I didn’t know that our first concert was reviewed on a Russian metallic website! This is so fucking cool!!! I really love to hear this, and also it is absolutely amazing to hear that people over there in Russia actually are aware of Evocation! Since neither I nor the rest of the band can understand Russian we haven’t been able to know what has been written about us over there. So yeah, you are totally right about that we haven’t had a clue about what has been written about us over there.

Tell us how matters stand with the death metal in Sweden at the moment?

 

At the moment there is a huge interest again in old school Death Metal. In the beginning of the year there was a release party for the book Swedish Death Metal written by Daniel Ekeroth. At the release party there were three really cool bands playing; Nirvana 2002, Grotesque and Interment. That event was totally sold out and people are still talking about it. In May we had a release party for our album in Boras and there was something like 350-400 people there thrashing and banging their brains out! So the support for Evocation and the old school scene in Sweden is tremendous and I feel the vibes from the early 90s again! And the really cool thing is that there are lots of youngsters showing up at the gigs nowadays. For instance at our release party there was this really young dude that came up to me and started talking about the early scene just as if he had been there. Actually he knew more about the early 90s Swedish Death Metal scene than I do! So fucking cool to see that there is a new generation of Death Metal freaks keeping the scene alive! So the Death Metal scene is better than ever here in Sweden.

What old stagers of Swedish old school death metal do you bat your gums or chirp with?

 

Well to be honest, we mostly spend time together with friends from our hometown but whenever we go to gigs here in the western parts of Sweden we occasionally run into old friends from the early 90s. For instance last weekend we were at Metal Town in Gothenburg to see Slayer and there we met Mikael Stanne from Dark Tranquillity, Oscar Dronjak from Ceremonial Oath and Joel Andersson from Exempt. And of course it’s always fun to relive some old memories with people from the early years! I asked Oscar Dronjak if he remembered our gig we did together with Master in 1992 and then he replied by reminding me that there were only 20-30 people there… I guess not all gigs back then in the glorious days were filled with thrashing banging crowds. Hehehe!!

What do you think of groups trying to revive the spirit of the good old ways? I mean CHAOSBREED, MURDER SQUAD, BLOODBATH and RIBSPREADER.

 

Of these bands I have only heard the stuff that Bloodbath has done although I have heard of all the bands mentioned above. The stuff that Bloodbath does is quite cool. The latest album has a couple of real killer tunes which I really like. I think it’s cool that bands try to revive the spirit from the good old days. Some of them do it quite well so that even I get an early 90s vibe.

Marko, is it possible to compare death metal expansion of the beginning of 90s and modern playing?

 

Yeah I think it is possible to compare what is happening today and what happened back in the early 90s. Death Metal meant so much for the people involved with the scene back then. It wasn’t just another metal genre; it was also a statement saying fuck off to all posers! Back in the 80s the music scene was degenerating with bands that were focusing on stage shows and posing instead of focusing on the music. People in the music scene saw through this and felt that lots of bands didn’t feel authentic. The Death Metal scene was the authentic thing that people had sought after. That’s why the Death Metal scene got so big in such a short time. Although the music scene today mainly is uninteresting for me there are definitely similarities with how the scene was like when the Death Metal movement entered the scene. For instance there are lots of bands today that don’t feel authentic in my point of view. I think that people’s newborn interest in Death Metal the way it was meant to sound is due to the fact that people want something authentic again. So I hope and think that we are about to witness the second coming of Death Metal!

The USA is inundated with techno-brutal music; nobody rolls a red carpet for most of the old singers. We can talk of some trend, which invaded a death-metallic market. Europe is not found in that deplorable state. Your comments, please.

 

The US and Europe always have had totally different music scenes also when it comes to Death Metal. In the beginning of the 90s there was the Florida type Death Metal that ruled the US scene and that was a totally different type of Death Metal compared with the Swedish and European type. The Florida type Death Metal had lots of double bass drum rhythms and were a bit monotone in the song structure if I remember right. I have never been a typical fan of that kind of Death Metal since I more like the Swedish and European Death Metal. Although there are a few bands from the US that I like and that has delivered quality Death Metal. I’m thinking of New York based Immolation that still are really great and would be one of my absolute favorite bands to tour with and Morbid Angel who have done of the best Death Metal albums ever — “Altars Of Madness”. So the comment on this should be that; yeah, there are big differences in the musical scenes between the US and Europe but there has always been such a difference so it’s really nothing new. And when it comes to trends it usually is Europe that follows what happens in the US but when it comes to Death Metal I think it’s the opposite way and I think that is kind of cool. Actually I recently read somewhere an American musician (I can’t remember who it was) saying that Swedish Metal bands are much better than American because the music is so guitar riff based and that the riffing style is really unique! I think that’s a really good comment that I think fits Swedish styled Death Metal. At least I recognize myself and the music we intend to create with Evocation. Everything we do is created around guitar riffs! So the US and the European Death Metal scenes are really in different states but whether the US scene is in a deplorable state is hard for me to say but I have always been a fan of the Swedish and the European Death Metal scene.

How did the people’s awareness towards death metal change in recent years?

 

There has been a huge change in the interest and awareness towards Death Metal in recent years. Just as I mentioned earlier people are talking about old school Death Metal like never before. I think the newborn interest in Death Metal might have started with the birth of bands like Bloodbath that made people see what kind of cool and evil music that was created in the early 90s. And now it seems like people can’t get enough of old school Death Metal! I think people are really bored and fed up with the scene as it is today and that’s the main reason behind the recent rise of Death Metal the way it was meant to sound.

What are you doing in life except for music? How do you gain daily bread? Work hard?

 

The main thing in my life is of course Evocation but besides that I’m also studying at the University in Gothenburg to become a Psychologist. If all goes as planned I will be finished by January 2008. Then when I’m finished with that I can hopefully start working with Death Metal as a living… hahaha! Now in the summertime I’m working for the telephone company Ericsson here in my hometown Boras. The summers always gives me more time to focus on Evocation compared to when I’m studying. This is due to the fact that I have a lot more spare time and don’t have to work when I’m at home. So I really like the summers when I can focus on Evocation without having to think about anything else.

What are the relations between members of EVOCATION? Do you meet for beer guzzling?

 

The members of Evocation are like my brothers. Evocation has always mainly been about a great friendship. We have always shared everything with each other and during the years that Evocation was in hibernation we still kept in touch and whenever we met up at parties the subject always started to circle around when we should reanimate “the thing that should not be”… For us it was merely a matter of when and not if we should start playing again. So to answer your question, yeah we often meet for a beer guzzling. Actually the last time was last night (Saturday the 14th of July)! I had a moving in party in my apartment which Vesa and Tore attended. It was a quiet wet night… hehehe But that’s another story…

Marko, what are your five giddy respected metallic albums.

 

Well, that's it: At The Gates – “Slaughter Of The Soul”, Bolt Thrower – “Realm Of Chaos”, Dismember – “Like An Ever Flowing Stream”, Entombed – “Left Hand Path”, Sabbat – “Dreamweaver”.

Ok, thanx for the interview, Marko. Finally, what can you tell to all of EVOCATION fans as a pep talk?

 

 

Thanx as hell for the interview and keep on supporting the underground scene! Without the underground scene and the people that support it we wouldn’t have existed today, so that’s how much all you people mean to us. So especially to all you in Russia who read this; you are true underground supporters and you mean everything for us!

I hope we will meet you supporters face to face for some live gigs or festivals over there. In the meantime check out www.evocation.se if you want your head blown away by Death Metal the way it was meant to sound! Cheerz!!

 

Вопросы—Papa Vader

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