In celebration of the re-release of their latest album ‘Prophet’s Breath’ on vinyl, The Power Of Metal.dk sent a few questions to Danish blackened death metal crew CROCELL about the re-release and band life in general. Vocalist Asbjørn and drummer Andreas share their thoughts.
POM: As I understand if, you’ve long wanted to make your releases available on vinyl. Why this obsession with vinyl, and why did it take so long for it to finally happen?
Asbjørn: Music in its physical form is barely breathing anymore. The most significant sign of life is vinyl sales going up again. Downloads and streaming are the main source of new noise and there is no doubt that this is the easy way of getting your fix. But the black vinyl has always been the audiophile headbanger’s weapon of choice. It is in my opinion the ultimate release form because the sound and artwork comes in the quality and size that it deserves. Both artwork and sound has always been important to Crocell and it is truly epic to finally get our sound out on vinyl – I really hope that the future will bring more Crocell vinyl for the masses. There have been lots of different obstacles on the path to the first Crocell vinyl. Some of them are labels crashing, promised agreements that did not happen and of course the financial issue. But now, just a year after the actual release of Prophet’s Breath, we finally have the tracks on spinning black matter.
POM: ‘Prophet’s Breath’ is your fourth album and the first in the current line-up. How has the new line-up made it different from the first three albums?
Asbjørn: I’ve only done one album with these guys before Prophet’s Breath and since then Hexen (Seed of Heresy, ex-Panzerchrist, ex-Slow Death Factory) has joined the band as guitarist after Ken (now in Illdisposed). This time the creation of the tracks for Prophet’s Breath was very smooth and precise both before and during the actual recording of the album. Crocell runs like the death metal machinery that it is.
Andreas: The first three albums all incorporated thrash influences to a varying degree, but we have minimized those influences on Prophets’ Breath, which on the other hand is much more oriented towards black metal. As such, I think that the end result is much more homogenous than our previous albums.
POM: If I were to point out one significant difference, I’d say that Asbjørn’s vocal brings in an big element of black metal to the soundscape. Magnus to me was more death metal. Do you agree?
Andreas: I think I know what you mean and of course Asbjørn has contributed to the musical development on our latest albums. But he has a wide vocal range and from my perspective it is more due to the music than the vocals that our most recent albums sound more blackened.
POM: Have there been any reactions from fans or reviewers because of the line-up changes?
Andreas: Definitely! Someone even described us as a totally new band after seeing us with the present line-up. Replacing the vocals is a little more risky than replacing a guitarist, but both when Asbjørn replaced Magnus, and when Hexen took over after Ken, the feedback from fans and reviewers has been very positive.
POM: Did you tour on the back of ‘Prophet’s Breath’ when it came out on CD in May?
Andreas: Yeah, we played a bunch of concerts in Denmark, Belgium and Germany. Most of them were with our good friends from Impalers and we had great fun all along. This spring we have a series of concerts planned as well. The first one is at Royal Metal Fest here in Aarhus, and we are really looking forward to playing there again! Be sure to check out our gig calendar to see what else we have planned.
POM: You can celebrate your tenth anniversary as a band very soon. How are you going to celebrate that?
Asbjørn: We are thinking about throwing some kind of party, but we haven’t worked out the details just yet. Only that Kussen will brew a fine ten-year anniversary schnapps…
POM: Did you start writing material for your next album?
Asbjørn: Yeah, some new soundscapes are forging, but since we haven’t finished any whole songs just yet, it is still too early to say much about the direction. So far it all sounds like Crocell, though, and it all sounds great.
POM: Thinking back, what’s the biggest moment in the history of Crocell?
Andreas: Uh, that’s a tough one as there are so many. For me personally, releasing a new album is always a big deal – and this was especially the case with ‘Prophet’s Breath’, since we put so much time and effort into writing, fine-tuning and recording the songs. Another milestone was when we were awarded “metal talent of the year” at Danish Metal Awards, just a year and a half after we formed the band. Apart from that we have had loads of fun at concerts and festivals in Denmark and abroad, and especially our two European tours (with Gama Bomb and Illdisposed) were really great experiences.
POM: Asbjørn and Andreas, thank you for taking the time to answer these questions! Before I let you go, please share your top five metal releases right now.
Asbjørn: Desolate Shrine – The Heart of the Netherworld, Marduk – Frontschwein, Bölzer – Soma, Sulphur Aeon – Gateways to the Antisphere and Bloodbath – Grand Morbid Funeral.
Andreas: Infernal War – Axiom, MGLA – Exercises in Futility, Dead Congregation – Promulgation of the Fall, Arcturus – The Arcturian Sign and Tribulation – The Children of the Night.