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Interview

Nothnegal Explains Recording New Album "Decadence" And Signing With Season Of Mist

Burgeoning Maldives based act Nothnegal is about to crack wide open the gates of the melodic death metal scene with the upcoming debut album "Decadence," which spices up the formula with the unexpected addition of industrial and symphonic elements. Check out Metalunderground.com's full review of "Decadence" at this location.

As the official release of "Decadence" nears, guitarist Hilarl and keyboardist Marco touched bases with us to discuss the upcoming album, signing with Season of Mist, and recording tracks for the release all around the world.

Check out the full interview below, or get a taste of "Decadence" by listening to the album's teaser trailer here.

xFiruath: How did the band get hooked up with Season of Mist and how is the fit going so far?

Hilarl: I was in touch with Michael and sent him a couple of new songs we had recorded then and he liked the stuff. Two other labels were also in contact with us back then, both of them were much bigger than SOM but we felt SOM would be the best choice for us at that point so we went ahead with them. The choice was right, SOM is doing an amazing job promoting both the band and the album so I'd say it’s a great fit for us.

xFiruath: Can you give me a little history on Nothnegal? When did the band form and how do you all know each other?

Hilarl: I formed Nothnegal back in 2006 with Fufu. We played in several local shows and festivals for some time and started building a following in Maldives. We recorded our first demo “Antidote of Realism” in late 2008 and released it on the internet as a free download in 2009. The EP got us some recognition and it was around then that our then keyboard player and drummer left the band, that’s when Kevin and Marco joined the band. Since then we have signed with Season of Mist, supported Arch Enemy in Maldives, toured Europe with Finntroll and Samael and now we are preparing to release our debut album which is coming out on January 20th worldwide and January 24th in the U.S.

xFiruath: With this being your debut full-length, how has the music changed from your earlier EP and how would you describe the sound of the band at this point?

Marco: The EP was fully like European melodic death metal, more or less sticking in one genre. We needed to change towards a more standout approach so we made a mix with thrash/death-guitars/drums and atmospheric/industrial keys mixed yet with catchy choruses and overall melodic approach. Quite a combination I would say but I think we nailed the concept.

xFiruath: Although Nothnegal is obviously a death metal band, there is a lot of melody and atmosphere in the songs. What sort of balance do you try to strike between heaviness and melody and how do you decide which lyrics will be growled and which will use clean singing?

Hilarl: We wanted to have more variety on the album instead of limiting ourselves to just death metal, so you will hear a lot of different styles on the songs. As for the clean singing, it’s not really related to the lyrics in any way. We decided those based on the music. If we thought the song sounded better with clean singing after trying out other approaches, then we’d settle on that.

xFiruath: What sort of topics are covered in the songs and how do you want the fans to interpret the lyrics?

Hilarl: The lyrics are based on a story that Fufu and I came up with which is based on a war between man and machine. The industrial sound you hear on the album relates to the lyrics.

xFiruath: Who did the cover art and how does it connect with the music?

Hilarl: Michael Vincent Manalo did the artwork. He is a designer from Philippines who does awesome art which you should check out. The artwork shows a dry dead land. It shows how the world might be in maybe 1,000 years into the future, which is the basic concept our lyrics are based on.

xFiruath: Where was the album recorded and how did the whole recording experience go?

Marco: Haha, all around the world one might say. Kevin did the drums in the U.S. and I recorded my key parts in my home studio in Oulu, Finland. Also vocals were recorded in Finland during the rehearsal session for our first European tour supporting Finntroll a year ago. Guitars were recorded in the Maldives. Due to logistical reasons we all recorded our parts separately but exchanging files was easy and fluent so technology really worked in our behalf on this one.

xFiruath: Do you have a tour lined up yet in support of the album?

Marco: We are preparing to do as many shows as there are to be done, at the moment it seems that after the album we will do a small tour of Asia with bands like Poets of Fall and Opeth. Spring is still open as well as festival season, but we are pretty sure we’ll be doing shows during the whole year and of course as a new band, we have to. Plus, playing live really gives you the adrenaline fix you need! We’re really looking forward to playing these songs to people who might actually know them after the album is out!

xFiruath: Are any of the members of Nothnegal working with any other projects right now?

Marco: Well, yeah. Personally, I've been playing in a band called Poisonblack since 2000 and in 2012 we will be doing headline shows abroad, for example, supporting Nightwish etc. to promote our fifth album. Then I have these power metal/melodic metal bands Afterworld and Stargazery. Afterworld made two albums in beginning of 2000 with Noise/Sanctuary Records and now we are in the studio working on the third album. Also with Stargazery we are in the phase of making songs for second album via Pure Steel Records. Last but not least, I have a trance thing going on with my friend under the name Project Midas. If only there were enough hours in a day, haha. Kevin also has his hands full recording drum tracks for various projects and he currently plays with Six Feet Under and Daath at the moment. The rest of the members are not working with any other projects.

xFiruath: What albums are you listening to these days, and do you have your own “best of 2011” list yet?

Marco: Mostly I like to listen to epic movie soundtracks like Transformers and maybe not that much hardcore metal, but the latest Dream Theater album sure was a breath of fresh air this year. I hope to see them live some time. Turisas from Finland also made a solid package with their latest work.

xFiruath: How is your local metal scene like and what is the metal atmosphere like in the Maldives?

Marco: Young, fresh and active from an outlanders point of view. They seem to collaborate a lot which is good. I guess it’s growing all the time.

Hilarl: Like Marco said, it’s being growing in the recent years. More bands and more shows, bands like Arch Enemy have already done shows here, and more international acts are showing interest in performing here.

xFiruath: Anything else you’d like to discuss?

Marco: Be sure to check our debut album releasing worldwide on January 20th and in the US on January 24th!

Hilarl: It could win you a trip and a holiday to the Maldives!

xFiruath's avatar

Ty Arthur is a freelance writer who writes for both entertainment and technical instruction sites. An avid fan of many different forms of metal, he has been involved in reviewing music for several years and is currently a contributing editor for Metalunderground.com

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