Interview by Chris Forbes with Summer 1999…

First off Immolation is a great ancient band that have been fighting the metal fight longer than most have listened to metal!! They deserve support! I am honored to have this interview done by Chris Forbes of the legendary Metal-Core ‘zine. He is in my opinion one of the best interviewers in the scene (though I must confess, I love how he does some of the longest, most indepth interviews ever so I was a bit disappointed this was on the short side for a band he knows personally inside and out) He is also an influence on me big time as a zine editor! Read on my brothers!!

* Update - This legendary death metal band is still going strong having released a new album on LIstenable records already in 2007 and have a big tour set up for May / June. They have an mp3 of the new album on their site and it is classic Immolation and so damn good. Just a huge fuck yes and total respect for these guys! 



How would you compare “Failures For Gods” to your other 2 releases? How was it for you in the studio this time around? Do you get more comfortable each time you go?

“Failures For Gods” is definitely our best album to date. It is far more intense, darker, heavier and evil sounding than anything we have done before. We have matured as people and as a band, and this shows on the new album. We basically think that we have ended up with the best of our first two albums and taken that to a higher level. “Failures For Gods” is really just the beginning for IMMOLATION! As for the studio, that was the best one yet. We went to Millbrook Sound Studios in Millbrook, NY. The producer was Paul Orofino and he was completely cool and easy to get along with. Paul does not know death metal at all, but the fact is he was interested in doing the project and he knows his shit! He knows a lot about sound, studio, drums, music and he helped out in a lot of ways to bring out the best in our music. It was stressful at times, due to the long days and trying to get things right, but the end product came out great. Although this is our third studio for an album, you always get that excited feeling. You tend to get the nerves sometimes too, because you putting something on to tape, and you know that when it is done, that will be there forever and of course you want it to be good. We do learn a lot each time though, and it’s that learning experience that helps out for the next time.

The cover art is incredible. Who came up with the concept? What does it represent in your eyes? Is the cover the reason for the delay for your CD coming out?

We always come up with the concepts. This time we sketched out the covers and the song icons in order to let Andreas Marschall know what we were looking for. We sent him the album as well as the lyrics too, and even sent paragraphs of information describing the scenes. Andreas is an amazing artist and truly brings our visions to life. He always does an exceptional job, and this time around he truly out did himself! We recorded the album in July 1998, but in fact it was very hard to get in touch with Andreas, so it did delay the album’s release date. We did not receive the finished art until February ’99, so that is why “Failures For Gods” is just coming out now in June (1999). It was worth the wait though. It was more important to us to wait a bit longer and have the packaging we wanted rather than settle for something less. The cover depicts a devil like figure facing out to a mass crowd. You get the impression it is one thing, then when you open the inside you see the face of the figure is that of someone you did not expect. I do not want to ruin it, but let’s just say that the art shows that what was thought to be good and holy is truly evil.

Do you feel Metal Blade is doing a good job with the band? What would you like to see them do more of? I understand this release is coming out on vinyl, is that true and how do you think that  it will sell here in the states?

Metal Blade is doing a good job, although we believe that we still have to prove ourselves to them. We think that this is a very strong album and we plan to do a lot of touring for it. They seem to be doing what they can to promote it. The fact that we are actually here now at Metal Blade Germany doing interviews is a good sign. Yes the release is coming out on vinyl, it will be a gatefold album with printed sleeves and all. We are really happy with this fact as we are vinyl lovers our selves. And for us to have a gatefold is a dream come true!

Looking back what did you think of your Peru show you did and the various tours you did for “Here In After”?

Lima, Peru was a great show. We had never been down to South America so it was great to finally get there. The crowd was unholy and everyone was really cool. We met some really cool people like Mortem, they showed us around the city and took us to some underground catacombs with mass graves. It was all very interesting. As for the other touring we have done, it has all been amazing! We did 5 tours for “Here In After”. One with Six Feet Under and four with Cannibal Corpse. They all had great shows and were each an experience we will never forget. The European touring was especially good as we saw many different countries that do not often get shows, like Croatia, Norway, Hungary,…it was pretty awesome.

Are you planning on re-releasing “The Stepping On Angels” release again? If so when and why?

Maybe we’ll see what happens.

Was it hard to come up with the music and the lyrics for this release? You have some really off key changes and the music is very technical, how long does an average song take to write?

It depends on the mood. We have created songs very quickly, while others take more time. There is no average really, it is just done by feeling. The structures of our songs are definitely not the ordinary thing, and we aim to make them that way. We are always trying to be as innovative as possible. We do not want to repeat ourselves and we want to always bring fresh ideas into the music which I feel  we definitely do on “Failures For Gods”. With every new IMMOLATION album you can always expect the unexpected.

What is Sold Soul all about? Is that your label? What kind of stuff do you sign?

Tom is doing that. He was originally working with Laurent and Listenable (Records), but now will be doing his own label. It’s very much in the beginning stages now, but he will start off small and work his way up (I hear they will be releasing the long silent Ceremonium’s 2nd album - Dale).

Do you thik having a web site is important to a band now? Tell us a bit about your web site like what is on there ect. ect.?

Yes, but it is still in the works. It is very important these days because the web is pretty much (the way) people are in touch these days. It is today and the future so you can not, nor do we want to avoid it. We love technology too, and we are glad to bring IMMOLATION to the web: The address is

Do you feel you are a good live band? What are some of the worst and best shows you have ever played in your eyes?

Yes I feel we are a great live band. We put a lot of energy into our live shows because for us that’s where it is at. That’s what it is all about. Getting out there, playing for the crowds, it’s a beautiful thing! This time around we intend to incorporate more into the stage show and bring a bit more intensity then most will expect! It is going to be an event of unholy proportions!  

What are your touring plans this time around? Do you feel the scene is still healthy and can grow or do you see it sort of staying the same now?

The scene is pretty rough now, but we are going to do what we can in the way of playing shows. We think that things will pick up, it is just a matter of time. Metal is definitely on the uprise. We plan do some shows in the States and hopefully Canada. Canada has been a tough thing for us because we keep running into problems with border patrol. They are very strict, and quite rediculous at times. Everytime we go to the Canadian Border it is a 50/50 chance that we get through. We are hoping that this all works out for August of this year. We were lucky enough to play in Vancouver on our last outing with Cannibal Corpse and it was unbelieveable!!

Is your passion still as strong for the band and music in general today as it was when you started out? When you first picked up a guitar did you anywhere in the back of your mind still think you would be doing this today? Do you hope to make a living off of music?

We always hope to make a living out of the music, but we are realistic about things and know that it’s not something we are relying on. We never thought a years ago, when we were younger, that we would still be playing music today and making albums in 1999. It is all unexpected, so we do what we can and work hard to make the best of it. Our passion is stronger than ever before and we are more determined than ever before so we are here to stay!

Have you ever heard a band cover an Immolation song? If you could pick one band to do one of your tunes, which band, which song and why?

We have heard some bands cover our songs in their rehearsal spaces, ect, but have never heard an IMMOLATION cover. It would be interesting for sure to hear such a thing, so any band that does it we would want to hear.

Do you think with this release you can become a major force in the underground?

We feel very strongly about this album and we feel that if we keep pushing hard and get another album out next year,…metal will definitely take place!!!

What stuff is for sale? Plug your website.

We will have new shirts / merchandise soon so just keep yourselves posted on our website, as it will all be there.

Any last words?

Thanks for the interview, we hope to be playing Canada soon. In the meantime be sure to check out “Failures For Gods”!!!! Thanks to everyone for their support and we’ll see you soon! No Jesus, No Beast!!  

IMMOLATION, P.O. BOX 566, Yonkers, NY. 10710, USA



The Complete Immolation Discography 

Rehearsal (Demo) (as RIGOR MORTIS) 1986

Decomposed (Demo) (as RIGOR MORTIS) 1987

Warriors Of Doom (Demo) (as RIGOR MORTIS) 1988

Demo I (Demo) (as RIGOR MORTIS) 1988

Demo II (Demo) (as RIGOR MORTIS) 1989

Holocaust/Warriors Of Doom (Single, Seraphic Decay) (as RIGOR MORTIS) 1990

Dawn Of Possession 1991 (Roadrunner)

Here In After 1996 (Metal Blade)

Failures For Gods 1999 (Metal Blade)

Close To A World Below 2000 (Metal Blade)

Unholy Cult 2002 (Listenable)

Harnessing Ruin 2005 (Listenable)

Shadows In The Light 2007 (Listenable)



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