Profane Burial’s debut album The Rosewater Park Legend gets released at the end of this month, and I heartily recommend you get hold of it. It’s a forceful collection of orchestral black metal songs, all delivered with skill, passion, and obvious ability.
I once more had the pleasure of catching up with the talented André Aaslie about his music, so sit back, listen to the tunes, and learn more about Profane Burial…
Introduce us to Profane Burial
Profane Burial was founded in 2013 by Kjetil Ytterhus (Omnia Moritur) and me. After a lot changes in the line-up due to either lack of dedication or skills, I got in touch with the highly skilled drummer Bjørn Dugstad Rønnow (Viper Solfa, Trollfest) and the guitarist Jostein Thomassen (Viper Solfa, Fracture, ex-Source of Tide) at Blastfest in Bergen in February 2016. Images at Twilight shared stage with Viper Solfa. Bjørn was originally asked to join Omnia Moritur, at that time a funeral doom band Kjetil and I founded in 2015. Just after Blastfest Profane Burial lost both the drummer and the guitarist and we were at that point more in need of a drummer in Profane Burial. Bjørn liked the Profane Burial material even better than the Omnia Moritur stuff, and with the result in hand, his skills are a perfect match with the Profane Burial material for sure! Bjørn invited Jostein to listen to some stuff and he liked the material very good as well. Then they started a unique collaboration and worked hard with the music the hole summer of 2016. Later the highly experienced vocalist Ronny Thorsen (Viper Solfa, ex-Trail of Tears, ex-Blood Red Throne) joined, and did a hell of a beating in the oral department. The puzzle was complete!
What influences the band?
I think we all have much of the same taste in music when it comes to metal. As you can see on the next question I’m the prog-rocking guy in the band, while Kjetil Ytterhus tends to listen to more necro black metal stuff than I do. In between there I think the whole band have a lot in common. Norwegian bands like Limbonic Art and Emperor have for sure influenced us, besides a lot of other Norwegian black metal, as well as bands like Obsidian Gate, Diabolical Masquerade, Septic Flesh and Bal-Sagoth. And as always…my main inspiration to everything I do with music is Devil Doll!
What are you listening to at the moment?
A good mixture of metal and progressive rock. I have been through a rediscovery of old 70’s Italian progressive rock lately. I also tried for the second time to enjoy The Moody Blues catalogue, but it is not enough just to be one of the first bands using the Mellotron. I constantly follow reviews in mags and websites and listen to new music. Favourites among new albums the last couple of months comes from bands like Abigor, Egonaut, Shining, In Vain, Zel Agganor, Strawbs, Kayak, Watain, Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, Moonspell, Taake, Sarke and Monolithe (which Abyssic toured France and Belgium with last autumn).
Tell us a bit about what makes The Rosewater Park Legend tick
Well, what powered and motivated the album from the beginning was our desire to create a band together, me and Kjetil. He had composing abilities that blew my mind very early on, so there was no doubt in my mind that this talent needed to be revealed. Thinking about the fact that so many years later, these days, I do interviews a few weeks before the release makes me proud. That’s the underlying reason for The Rosewater Park Legends being. What makes the flame still burn is the fact that all the members are motivated as fuck to play as much live as possible and perform this album to a live audience. It’s complicated stuff, with a lot of hidden layers to discover, but it is for sure very live friendly as well. It’s a lot of chunky riffs and suggestively strokes in the music.
Where would you say the album fits into the black metal scene?
Well, we have not considered having a “true Norwegian black metal” sticker on the CD, hehe. I’m not sure if we should be labelled black metal, whatever that means today.
How were the songs written, and how did you decide on the final running order for the album?
As you wrote in your review, the orchestra is a very integral part of the music and has been constructed with the orchestral enhancements in mind from the start. The orchestral pieces are the fundamental for the songs, and it’s a hell of a challenge for the guitarists and the drummer to compose their music onto the orchestra. Especially Jostein needs to get deep into the several layers of tracks in the orchestra, and it is essential for him to have a good ear and a pitch to be able to compose guitar on such a massive orchestra. As the lyrics is a concept we needed to rearrange some of the original thoughts of the running order. “The Tale The Witches Wrote” was early on a contender to be a final chapter on the album. We sent the demos to our author Bjørn Nørsterud (journalist in Scream Magazine) as well, so he had the chance to find the right lyrics for the songs. The last chapter also contain some Norwegian lyrics that was tailor-made for “The Tale The Witches Wrote”.
What’s your favourite song on the album and why?
Difficult question, because the answer is different from week to week. When I’m rehearsing for a new gig I perhaps have other favourites than on the album version. Perhaps I’ll choose “The Soldier’s Song” as an all over favourite because of its mix of triumphant and cinematic stuff as well as more sinister and haunting themes. The music goes very hand in hand with the lyrics. We will play this song for the first time at our release party in Oslo 24. March. A live favourite so far is “The Stench of The Dying Roses”. It contains chunky live friendly stuff as well as progressive elements which is a joy to play. I’m also very pleased about how “An Interlude” turned out in the end. This song was a real struggle for us up until the very end. We shortened it down a bit, and Bjørn did some important changes to the drums. From the early demos I have to mention “The Tale The Witches Wrote”. The song have been a favourite from the first few notes, and still is. I remember very well when maestro Kjetil sent me an orchestral preprod called “Malicious Presence”, later to be “The Tale The Witches Wrote”. The first thing I thought of was to steal the material for a new Images at Twilight song, and tell Kjetil that I don’t like his idea very much, hehe. I worked a lot on this song and it turned out to be a nine minute monstrous piece of art in the end.
How would you say The Rosewater Park Legend compares to your work in Images at Twilight and Abyssic?
The orchestra has a lot in common, obviously, but when Kjetil and I started this band it was very important for me that Profane Burial should differ from my other bands. Kjetil and I have a way of composing music who is very similar, so the fact that Kjetil is not involved in either Images at Twilight nor Abyssic didn’t help much for keeping these bands apart musically. The first thing I told Kjetil was to compose his stuff in 80-90 bpm. I wanted a more normal sound regarding the drums. In Images at Twilight we have a very haunting sound with forward driven thrash metal drums and blastbeats in 110-130 (220-260 in the language of drums) bpm. I like the typical thrash/death metal drums better when they have this haunting tempo. In Profane Burial we use other rhythm-figures. Bjørn does his magic in that area, and I’m extremely satisfied with how the drums turned out on The Rosewater Park Legend. Another difference is the total absence of 70’s progressive rock instruments like Mellotron and Moog in Profane Burial. Kjetil enjoys that kind of instruments when listening to Images at Twilight and Abyssic, but we agreed on making the orchestra as organic as possible without any disturbance from external instrumentation.
Are you taking Profane Burial on the road?
We played our first show on a festival called Hard & Heavy Metal Meeting on Gran Canaria in December 2016. After that we focused on the album, which we mixed & mastered in the summer of 2017. Last Autumn we began to rehearse again and played two concerts in November and December. Now we rehearse for our release party at Pokalen in Oslo, March 24. We are really looking forward to our first Oslo gig! We are all very eager to play as much live as possible in the future, but for now the only confirmed gigs are the one in Oslo and at The Southern Discomfort festival (Kristiansand – Norway) in September.
Anything you’d like to add to sum up?
Thank you very much for your interest in Profane Burial and other stuff I work with. It means a lot!
Check out André’s Facebook page.