Swedish Death Metallers SARCASM are back with their second full-length. After a first, short-lived reunion in 1997, a newly redesigned line-up of the band finally got together in 2015. And it’s a return to a specific mix of black and death-metal, no time for nostalgia, actually a blast of an album. Heval gave us details about it.
Hello Heval and congratulations for you new and second full-length album “Within the Sphere of Ethereal Minds”
Thanks, we’re glad you liked the album
You are a band from Uppsala (Sweden) and during your first years it seems you were addicted to demos
Addicted? Well yeah, we recorded lots of demos so you might say that we were addicted haha.
Heval Bozarslan and Anders Eriksson are still on command. How many things have changed inside Sarcasm since those early days?
Yes Anders and me are the only members left from the Burial Dimensions line-up. Two of the members have passed away, Dave Janney (bass) in 2008 and Oskar Karlsson (drums) passed away last year. Henrik Forslund was in this line-up briefly but didn’t have time to continue. We have three new members in the band, Peter Laitinen (Guitar), Jonas Söder (Bass) and Matte Modin (Drums)
Former drummer Oskar Karlsson passed away last year, your new album is also kind of a tribute to his memory I suppose
That is correct, it’s a tribute to his memory. And the content of the album is very “other-wordly” so you can say it’s connected somehow.
You have recruited new guys, what can you tell about the current line-up?
Yeah Peter joined September 2015 and Jonas and Matte joined just right before the recording of the album. It’s a great line-up and these guys are very talented and experienced musicians. Peter wrote all the music for the new album and we have already written two songs for the next so things are going really fast right now.
In 2016 you released “Burial Dimensions”, although it was an old debut, recorded back in 1994!
Yes we recorded it in 1994 and it was shelved for a long time for various reasons. To The Death Records released it in 2011 as part of the 3-LP compilation “Never After – The Complete Recordings” Dark Descent released the compilation as “Burial Dimensions” on 2CD in 2015 and finally in 2016 Burial Dimensions was released as a standalone album.
Now it’s time for your second album “Within the Sphere of Ethereal Minds”, but this time I suppose it is all new, isn’t it?
Yeah it’s only new material on Within the Sphere of Ethereal Minds.
There are 20 years between the composition of “Burial Dimensions” and “Within the Sphere of Ethereal Minds”, this has its translation into your musical approach, hasn’t it?
Actually it’s 22 years. The new album is a natural continuation of Burial Dimensions. The same atmosphere but a step further.
You feel like “Within the Sphere of Ethereal Minds” is the culmination of many years of effort, finally you come to express all the gathered experience?
We feel that Within the Sphere of Ethereal Minds is the ultimate Sarcasm album.
As I commented before, despite of the many changes in the line-up you have suffered in recent times, this new album is solid as a rock
That is true. This new album of ours is a really strong one, and much better than the first. It sounds much more mature.
How long have you worked in the new album and how was the process?
The songs were written from September 2015 – May 2016. And we recorded the album bit by bit during three months after and it was mixed in one week in November 2016. We didn’t rehearse at all before the recording.
In your new album we find a blend of melody, speed and brutality that is what everyone might expect from a northern band as Sarcasm
Yeah we tried our best to combine all those elements. To make memorable songs has always been the most important thing to this band, then if the songs have death, or black or thrash or whatever sounding riffs, it doesn’t matter, the songs must be good first and foremost. And we are influenced by all kinds of metal and you can clearly notice that, it’s a bit more than typical “swedish”
A Black Veil for Earth is the song that surprised me the most with its great epic touch, discovering new lands?
That song is different from the rest but we have done songs like that in the past too. I mean, both Pile of Bodies and Scattered Ashes are a different and “experimental” than the rest of the songs on our first album. It’s nothing new to us. A Black Veil for Earth is a slow and a very dark and atmospheric song. The vocal style is different also, it’s more “growling” than the others. Peter said in the beginning that he would like me to sing like I did in the earliest days on some song, like our first demotapes you know. No I said, it will sound stupid, none of these songs are made for that kind of vocals. Then he wrote this long, slow and epic song, and I thought ok, on this perhaps it can work, and it did. It was just made for it you know.
Any especial message in the lyrics?
The whole album is about the laws of the universe, power of the mind and creation of your own reality so yeah you might say the lyrics have a special message. It’s a thematic album and almost all lyrics are from the non-physical point of view. Very “other wordly” as I said.
Dark Descent Records has accompanied you these last years, how do you feel about it?
Dark Descent Records has been great to us and gives us the freedom we need. They are growing fast and in my opinion one of the best underground labels today, and I’m not saying that only because we’re on the label. They have a big heart in what they are doing as all labels should have.
Being a band from Upsala can be seen as an advantage in its own, a reference, something as if you work in the furniture industry for Ikea?
I’m not sure if I understood the question correctly, but Uppsala is a great city to live in, and many talented bands here and I live very near ikea, I sometimes take a walk to that place to buy cheap and crappy stuff.
Good publicity both for Upsala and Ikea. How do you see the current Metal business?
There’s a jungle of bands out there. I try to check out new bands as much as I can. Some are really good, and I think the metal scene is much healthier today than 20 years ago.
Preparing some killing tour?
I don’t know about the touring yet, but we will do some gigs for sure. Some festivals next year maybe.
Thank you Heval for your attention and see you on the road
Thanks for the interview. Check out our new album and we’ll also have a new music video coming up soon.