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Blood Red Throne Guitarist Daniel Olaisen Discusses New Album "Imperial Congregation," Heading Back Out On Tour And More

Ask any metal fan about Norway and the first two words that spring to mind are, "black metal." That's completely understandable, given the nation's infamous black scene of the nineties which put the genre on the map, but Norway has always had so much more to offer than corpsepaint and shrieks. Take for instance, death metal, which saw such bands as Cadaver gained the attention of Carcass who signed them to their own label Necrosis, or the more progressive sounds of In Vain, who have been going strong for nineteen years now. Perhaps however, the most prominent name in Norwegian death metal, will always be Blood Red Throne.

Blood Red Throne began life in 1998, following Daniel "Død" Olaisen and Terje "Tchort" Vik Schei's departure from Satyricon. Tchort in particular had roots in death metal, being a member of one of Norway's first death metal bands, Green Carnation, before playing with other black metal bands such as Emperor and Carpathian Forest. Eventually the band released their debut album, "Monument Of Death" in 2001 and would go on to become an established name in the whole sub-genre.

Fast forward twenty years and Blood Red Throne, now only featuring Daniel Olaisen from the original lineup, has unleashed what could be their most vicious beast yet, in the form of their tenth studio album, "Imperial Congregation." Boasting stellar music and incredible artwork, Blood Red Throne are once again proving why they're the ambassadors of Norwegian death metal. To find out more about this record, we put some questions to Olaisen. You can read the interview below.

Diamond Oz: Congratulations on your new album, "Imperial Congregation." What would you say makes it different from your previous full length, "Fit To Kill"?

Daniel Olaisen: Thanks! Most definitely. This is our 10th album and we wanted to do something special and step up everything. Main focus was to write the best riffs and songs and give them a worthy production. Ronnie Björnström mixed and mastered the album and it's the best production we've ever had. Also worth mentioning, the leads on this album are better than ever. Melodic and epic, It's simply our best album!

Oz: What was the recording process like for this album? Was it affected by the pandemic in any way?

Daniel: Pandemic doesn't affect anything. The last decade I've recorded all guitars, bass and vocals for all my albums in my home studio. We don't rehearse. I write most of the songs and record them and then the other guys put on their stuff. Meathook also wrote a couple of songs and I helped out with some riffs, leads and arranging them.

Oz: The artwork for this record is quite stunning. What was it about Marcelo Vasco's work that made you feel he was right for Blood Red Throne and ultimately how well do you think the art represents the music within?

Daniel: Nuclear Blast recommended him and put me in touch. Marcelo is super-cool and totally understood my vision when I told about my ideas. I wanted it to be old-school, like our music. Old-school death!

Oz: This is your first album through Nuclear Blast. How did this partnership come to be and what about the company makes you feel that this is the right label for you?

Daniel: I met the US label manager 11 years ago when we played in LA. He was a super-fan and we tried to sign the band already back then. However, many years and albums later, we finally made it and it was a big satisfaction. We want the biggest and the best. Now we got it!

Oz: This is the band's first album with Stian on bass. How much has he brought to the lineup since he joined?

Daniel: I've always been blessed with great and skilled bass-players and he's no exception. He has a really tasty style and extremely easy-going guy. Even better that he lives in my hometown as well.

Oz: This year marks twenty years since your debut album, "Monument Of Death." Was it important to have a new album out to celebrate this milestone and how do you look back on that record?

Daniel: It's just a coincidence. However it's cool that it's 20 years and our 10th album out now. MoD was my first extreme metal release and I was super-happy when it came out. Looking back now, I think it's the weakest BRT album, but still part of the history.

Oz: Once "Imperial Congregation" is out, what plans do you have to promote the album further? Will you be back on the road?

Daniel: Definitely on the road in 2022. We just signed with Continental Touring and all festivals postponed in 2019/2020 will happen next year!

Oz: Thank you very much for taking the time to speak with me and I wish you every success with the album.

Daniel: Cheers and thanks for supporting norwegian death metal!

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com since 2007 and a metal fan since 2001, going as far as to travel to other countries and continents for metal gigs.

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