More times than not Blood Red Throne overtakes my MP3 player; the commute to work? Headbang to Blood Red Throne. Hanging the laundry out? Headbang to Blood Red Throne. In the mood for loud music? Headbang to Blood Red Throne. What these Norwegian natives have mastered in their twenty one year career is consistency and the consistency to both amalgamate and dominate each and every environment. With a history as rich as death metal itself – Blood Red Throne are now onto album number nine; Fit To Kill. With an objective that’s both dirty and powerful, Fit To Kill fits the bill. Sentinel Daily caught up with guitarist Daniel (Død) Olaison to discuss the release of the bands latest album.
How does Fit to Kill compliment the bands catalogue? ”It takes us back to our roots. Old-school death metal with that Blood Red Throne groove to it. We wanted to have a dirty, but powerful production. It’s all about the riffs for us, but the arrangement and songwriting has become very important to us over the years. It’s our ninth album and it is evident that we’re still going strong as a band in our twenty first year”.
Dirty and powerful? So, what new elements have you utilised this time around? What surprises are in store for the fans? ”Well, the longest Blood Red Throne song ever written is on this album. I didn’t intend it this way, but the song developed into its own entity. From the slow and groovy introduction to the death and thrash elements thrown in. Blood Red Throne will never surprise. We want to play good old classic death metal…till we die”.
What was challenging with writing this latest album? “For the first time, I was not in the studio when the drums were recorded. Freddy [Bolso] did them all by himself with his technician. I never worried though. Freddy pretty well knows Blood Red Throne and what and where we want it. The vocals were also done by Bolt alone in his studio, but we were always in constant contact, so it was never a great challenge really. The mixing went pretty smooth as well. Our label has been super-easy to work with which also helps”.
What was the primary focus when writing this album? “I can never decide, I don’t have just the one focus, but being an old death metal head, those old school riffs are never lacking. Back in the day I just put riffs together randomly. Now, I’m way more focused on writing good songs. The arrangements and keeping a good flow. After all these years, it comes natural. Sure, I can spend weeks and months on some songs, but for the most part, it comes nice and easy”.
Where has the band taken you throughout 2019 so far? “2019 will always be a special year for us. Ole Bent left the band and Gunner came in as our new bass player. We finally made it to the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise, which is a milestone for us. We also played in Las Vegas again and the whole band stayed there for a week on holiday. Priceless! We signed a deal with Mighty Music. We released a fuckin’ killer album and are getting amazing reviews so far. And lots of gigs of course. 2019 has definitely been a great year for Blood Red Throne”.
So, how has the response been so far with fans in regards to the new album? “Fans are super excited. Most of the reviews are top notch as well. I think people finally understand the quality our music stands for and what we deliver album after album. Blood Red Throne is quality death metal. Take it or leave it”. And what does this album say about Blood Red Throne in 2019? “That we never surrender. That we always deliver the goods. That we are a constant and that we are stronger than ever”.
What are your thoughts on the current climate of death metal? You yourself have been a fan of the genre dating back to 1992 – what have you seen as the highs and lows of the genre over the last two decades? ”I like some of it, but the classic death metal from the nineties will always be better. I do understand that people will develop and explore new things. But, to me it seems like many play technically just for the sake of it. I don’t mind it, but I need the good riffs as foundation. Music is always about the good riffs and songs. For me at least. Luckily, there are younger bands picking up the old school style. A combination is necessary I think. What I don’t like, regardless of styles, is that everybody wants to play in a band and everybody can record their music and put it out. It’s a fuckin’ jungle out there and there is so much crap to wade through. I don’t claim to be the greatest, but there has to be some quality, ingenuity; some integrity when releasing music. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just old and grumpy” [Laughs].
How do you plan to promote the new album? What shows are booked? ”For the first time in many years we have a label that really supports us and promotes the album well. I’ve never seen this many reviews or done this many interviews ever I think. Hail Mighty Music! Next up are a couple of headliner shows in Belgium and Holland. Then we have a mini tour in the UK, including the Damnation Festival. There are some Norwegian shows by the end of the year and then we have some cool stuff going on in 2020 which we are yet to release. It still surprises me though, how difficult it (still) is to get on a festival season rotation – but maybe they [the promoters] need another twenty one years [Laughs] – We’ll be around”.
Fit To Kill is out now.