Despite the decent-sized discography of Profanity, this is my first encounter with them other than their 2014 EP Hatred Hell Within. The EP was enough to ensure that I checked out this album when it appeared, (although it Continue reading “Profanity – Fragments of Solace (Review)”
Profanity’s first release in over a decade has been their storming new EP Hatred Hell Within. Containing 20 minutes of absolutely top-notch Technical Death Metal, it put Profanity firmly on my radar and, if there was any justice in the world, should definitely find a place in every Extreme Metal fan’s collection. I traded words with guitarist/vocalist Tom to find out more about this supremely talented band…
Give us a bit of history to Profanity
Hello Nigel, so I will try to keep it short, but 23 years of being in Profanity makes it not easy to keep it short!
Profanity was founded by myself in the year 1993. With this first line-up we recorded two demos. But the music on both demos has not much to do with Profanity sounds today. It was a weird mixture different styles. The reason for this is simple, it was hard for me to find people which wanted also to play Death Metal in the style of Monstrosity or of course Death at this time. So everybody threw in what they liked. That was also the reason for me to change the line-up. I knew there was a crazy bass player out there named Martin who was also very into the Death Metal style I wanted to play. So after some meetings Martin joined Profanity, and it was just perfect. We also needed a drummer who also wanted to play fast and technical. The girlfriend of Martin at this time knew one, and his name was Armin. She managed to get a meeting with him and so he came into our practice room one day, made his drums ready and that was it. It was one of those great moments…Armin was fantastic.
So from that time on we worked together as a three piece and it worked very well. We all had the same motivation, to create something “different“, I mean we had the same vision of how our music should sound. Our first “try“ were the songs which we recorded for our first full-length “Shadows To Fall“. But a very sad thing was, before we did the recordings Martin had to quit with Profanity because of a very sad family situation in his life. There was no other opportunity for him, but we had the luck that we had found Daniel. Daniel had the same intention like us and was also the same Death Metal head like we are so Daniel practiced all the stuff for “Shadows To Fall“ and in 1997 we recorded it. It was released by ourselves.
From 1997 – 2000 we played a lot of great shows and we also got in contact with Cudgel Agency from Germany. Our first colaboration with them was the split 7″ which we did with Lividity from USA. The name of the seven inch was “Drowned in Dusk“. We had also new material written for our next release and so they released also our second full-length in 2000. On this record Martin was back in Profanity, so Martin recorded the bass guitar on this album. His family situation was now good again so he came back to Profanity. Daniel wanted to try something different and all was very cool so.
We played a lot of shows again and 2002 we got the great chance to go on a European tour with Cryptopsy, Haemorrhage and Spawn. So we did and for this reason we thought, it was a good idea to release something new. We made another 7″ called “Humade Me Flesh“. We recorded three songs, “Humade Me Flesh“, “Zombie Ritual“ from Death and “Fear of Napalm“ from Terrorizer. Then in 2004 it should be our last show for a longer time. We played in New York with Exhumed, Misery Index and Uphill Battle and a few days later on the great Maryland Deathfest. This was our last concert.
We always wanted to write new stuff but it’s not easy or almost not possible when you are working 40 hours per week and at weekend you are out on the road to your shows. So we decided to make a break from playing live. We fully concentrated on writing new stuff, and so we did. We wrote eight new songs whith a playing time of 60 minutes and the stuff is absolutely great. But sometimes things go an other way. The “normal“ life just took place. I got married in 2006 and now we have three girls. Martin got also married. We all went and studied further education and each of us started at a new job. So at these years there was not much time for Profanity.
But in 2011 the time was there again and the fire was still burning of course. We started to practice and also played a live show. Then we decided to start recording by ourselves the material we had written in the years from 2003 – 2006 and so we did. But another sad thing happened. Martin and his family decided to move from Germany to Australia. That was very sad for us. So we cancelled all confirmed shows and we also stopped the recordings. But maybe it’s destiny, Daniel got back again. We never thought of this! So the thing was we wanted to release something new as fast as possible so we decided to release an EP with the three songs we had recorded so far. Daniel practiced our live-set and so we were able to play live again in 2014 and our EP came out in December of 2014. So here we are now, 2015. All is perfect, we play live shows, we are working on our next full-length and we will see what the future will bring for us.
What are your influences?
I think all kinds of music we are all listening to are our influences of course. But when it comes to Death Metal, Suffocation, Cryptopsy, Hate Eternal, Dying Fetus, Necrophagist, Death, Morbid Angel, Deeds of Flesh…I think the list would be endless. This is stuff we all like in Profanity. But from the first days of the band we always had our own vision of extreme music. With every release of us I think we are getting closer to that vision. We don’t want to copy stuff, being creative feels so good and when, for example, all recording is done and you take a step back and listen to your own stuff, that feels great. We have many new ideas and we are very excited about how it will turn out. The journey of finding our final vision of extreme music will go on.
What are you listening to at the moment that you would like to recommend?
At the moment, ha…I am listen to Leprosy from Death. A classic album of course. I like also the new Cryptopsy stuff, very cool, new Sinister is great, too. New Dying Fetus “Reign Supreme“ is stuff that I like. Oh I don’t have to forget Aborted’s “Necrotic Manifesto“, awesome stuff, such a brilliant mixture of technique, straight-forward, blast stuff…it has everything you need! I like so many bands, and I am listening to so much stuff. Isn’t that a great thing?! Death Metal for me is just more then music, it’s definitely a part of my life. Every day when I am biking to work, I have my earphones and while cycling I am listening to crazy stuff like Suffocation – Pinnacle of Bedlam……
Yes, absolutely. Everything is the way we wanted it to be. We got mazing cover artwork, done by Federico Musetti from Italy. To work with him was just amazing. The Hatred Hell Within he created for us is just amazing. The same thing what concerns the studio. We recorded the three songs with a total playing time of 20 minutes by ourselves and mixing and mastering we did at the Iguana Studios, owned by Christoph Brandes. He is also responsible for the great albums of Necrophagist. So he is absolutely familiar with technical Death Metal. He has all the equipment and of course the know how, how to get the best result out of our music. We wanted to have of course a brutal sound but for us it was also very important that you can hear what every instrument is playing. We put so much time into the bass lines and it would be sad if you are not able to hear what the bass is playing. Christoph is the man, and I think with our next release we will go to him again. We also got the opportunity to release this EP on a label, so Rising Nemesis Records from Germany gave us this opportunity and we are very happy with that.
The songs on this EP are “I am your soul“, “Hatred Hell Within“ which were both written in 2004 and “Melting“, which is the newest one. I wrote that song in 2010 when there was a bit of time.
Give us a bit of information on the songwriting process.
Our songwriting has changed over the years and for myself as a musician this is very interesting. We had times, when the first parts of a song were created by, oh that drumbeat sounds good here and do here a splash and there a ride and so on and this way we went through a whole song. For us it worked very well. When we had the feeling, ok, the song is done I wrote all the guitar and bass parts fitting to what the drums are playing. It worked but now, the guitar parts come first, or sometimes the drum parts are first. But that is what makes it so interesting. For example “Hatred Hell Within“ I had in mind to write a song which is like a stream. I mean the song structure. When a stream or a river is flowing, the water will pass never the same place again. The waters flows around stones and here and there but the water wants to move on. So I decided to write a song in which part A will be only played one time and part B also only one time and so on, hard to explain. “I am your soul“ does not have such a complex song structure I think. The song is very hard to play, for every instrument but the song structure is not so complicated I think. The best thing, just listen to it. That would be the best I think. Just let the music do the talking ;-).
I don’t have any favourite song on this EP. All three songs are different, all songs are written from another perspective that concerns songwriting. Every song on this EP stands on its own. Every song is its own picture and all together, every song is a part of our vision of extreme music.
How do you see your songs/direction developing in the future?
We have still some material of 40 minutes to record from the years of 2003 – 2006 and that stuff is amazing. It has just to be recoreded but this will for sure take us quite a while. Everything you want to be good needs time, the same of course with our music. I think the stuff we have for our next release “The Art Of Sickness“ is the sickest, the most brutal and of course the most technical stuff we have done so far. But for us the most important thing is the song itself. We don’t want to just be technical or brutal and stuff, we want to write good music. We see all things as tools and we have many of them I think and we will use them, just to create extreme music, our vision of extreme music.
What’s next for Profanity?
We already have started with the recordings because we also want to use the little break we have now from live playing efficiently. In April we played our last show and the next will be at the amazing Deathfest in September in Germany. The headliners are Nile, Suffocation and Asphyx so we are very excited about that. We have to find a good way, to get all things managed. I mean to keep in shape for our live shows, to have time for the recordings, doing all the “promo“ – stuff for Profanity and of course to stay healthy and have time for our families and our kids. That’s not always so easy.
But the thing is, once infected by a virus called Death Metal, there is no chance for healing. I hope that we all in Profanity will have a good time and we are very looking forward to create “The Art Of Sickness“. We will see when the time will be there to go into the studio and we will see how all things will turn out.
Nigel, thank you very much for doing this interview and many thanx of course for your great support of Profanity. We really appreciate this! Keep on blasting, Tom and Profanity.
The band have a strong presence and their Death Metal is tight and precise.
Profanity have a sound that combines the Brutal, the Technical and the Progressive all in three songs, 20 minutes. As they’ve been around since 1993 they clearly know the sound they want and are experienced enough to achieve it, (even if this is the band’s first release in over a decade).
They manage to combine these aforementioned sub-genres in such a way that the end result borrows from both the New School and a more timeless brand of Death Metal.
The songs are intelligently composed and the extended, (for the style), running time of the songs, (or two of them at least), allows the band the space to really work themselves into a Technical/Progressive frenzy.
The vocalist is blessed with a deep, growling roar and he sounds utterly inhuman.
The production is strong and the band can all really play. I also love the bass; I love a band who actually use the bass as an integral part of their sound and here it has a chance to shine like the rest of the instruments. There’s even a bit of a bass solo!
Let me calm myself down a bit before I continue. The excitement is too much.
However, exciting is a good word for Profanity. Not in a high energy way, (although they have plenty of that), but just from the sheer rush of speed, brutality and technical mayhem that the band so easily and effortlessly dish out.
I must confess I’d never encountered Profanity before this. If Hatred Hell Within is anything to go by it’s definitely my loss as this EP is a sterling release by this band. It promises extremely good things for the future and here’s to their next album!