Ritualization are just a skull smashing of a band and here is a interview with the lead singer of the band Warchangel.
Where were you born and where did you grow up? Did you come from a big or small family?
I was born and grew up in France where I’m still living to this day. I don’t think that any question about family can be relevant in this interview...
Were you into music at a young age or did that come later on? What were some of the 1st bands that you heard?
I was into music as a child but what sparked my interest in metal music came in teenage years. IRON MAIDEN, AC DC, METALLICA were some of the first bands that had a great impression on me.
Now when and how did you discover metal music? Was this style that was something that you immediately loved or did it take a few listens to really get into?
I discovered metal in secondary school because of a friend who had an English pen pal and the latter brought some tapes when he came to France, my friend dubbed these tapes and lent them to me, I dubbed them as well ! Those were IRON MAIDEN « Iron maiden » and « Killers » ! They left me speechless and nothing was the same afterwards...I used to listen to French old rock/punk/oi bands (KOMINTERN SECT, SEX PISTOLS, THE CLASH, BERURIER NOIR and so on) but IRON MAIDEN was something far different from what I used to listen to back then...These twin guitar parts, these incredible leads and drum patterns immediately hooked me up !
Now since I don’t know who is doing this interview, if this is anyone but the singer, how did you end up picking up an instrument and who are some other musicians you admire or like?
I’m Warchangel, RITUALIZATION’s singer...when I was in high school, I used to talk to a great friend of mine who was in death metal as well and we were like « we’ll make a band, you will play drums and I will play bass... » but I never could learn to play an instrument properly so when the right time arrived for both of us to set our first death metal band in the mid-nineties, I ended up doing vocals.
Now how did the forming of Ritualization take place? Was this your 1st band or did you come from another band?
Infamist (guitar) and Blastum (drums) began to jam together in early 2006. Infamist and I were playing in another death metal band whose other members lacked dedication so the band was laid to rest. Both guys showed me some bits of the stuff they were playing and I accepted to be the singer. I knew Krig.G (bass)’skills since he used to play in some local bands, I gave him a phone call and he joined the fold in autumn 2006.
What were some of the early practices like? Was their immediate chemistry between you guys? How soon was it until you started writing originals?
We were lucky enough to have our own rehearsal room (the « ritual chamber » where we’re still rehearsing to this day) and first practice sessions brought the evidence that we had found the right formula...lenghty rehearsals where we wrote RITUALIZATION’s first songs...what was obvious to the four of them was that we wanted to tread on the same path musicwise, i.e playing death metal the way it must be...
Now how did you come up with the band name Ritualization? Were any other names thrown around and does your band name mean anything?
Ritualization » was the name of a song we had in this previous death metal band infamist and I used to be a part of. No other name was thrown around. « Ritualization » means that we apply a strict and specific formula, retaining the fundaments of death metal and bringing our vision of death metal forth through our tracks and on stage...That means too, on a personal level, that death metal is more than music to me...
Now in 2007 you had a rehearsal tape come out. What are your thoughts on this these days and did you just pass around like the old days in the 80’s or did you just put it on your website or places like to spread the word about the band?
We recorded this rehearsal tape one year after the band was born, that was a way to hear what our tracks sounded like recording wise and get the name of the band spread out to our close friends and some people of the metal scene.
Now in 2009 you released your 1st demo called “The Abduction Mass”. Where did you record this and looking back what are your thoughts on this demo these days and did you sell this demo at all? Did you send it to any fanzines or radio stations? How about record companies? How was the response overall to this demo?
We recorded it with a guy we knew and who owned a home studio in his house. I still enjoy these early tracks nowadays. The Swedish label Blood harvest productions released this demo and the first pressing was sold out, there was a second pressing of this tape which got sold out as well so I guess that the feedback was pretty good. No copies were spread or sent to radio stations but I sent some copies to some fanzines. Since that was our very first release, we did not intend to send it to some record labels since we thought that we were at an early stage and that was not the right time to ask for a record deal, we had to take one step at a time.
Now where is the band based out of and how is the underground metal scene where the band is based out of? Have you gotten to see many metal shows over the years and if so which bands?
We live in many different French towns, each one is located roughly 150-200 km away from Paris in any direction. I live in Orléans (« Joan of Arc », does it ring any bell ?!) and in the mid-nineties there was a very small thrash/death scene with some locals bands playing but no one passed over the stage of one demo tape/one self-released album...We had to drive or take the train to go to Paris to attend some metal shows in the early/mid-nineties and those were the days since I could attend the first Paris gigs of death metal bands like MORBID ANGEL, DISMEMBER, DEICIDE, GRAVE, OBITUARY...then, in the mid to late nineties, there was this famous small venue namely « Le Gibus » in Paris where most of underground black and death metal outfits played...BLASPHEMY, IMMORTAL, MARDUK, DARK FUNERAL, ANCIENT, BEHEMOTH, BEWITCHED then Paris area first black metal wave MERRIMACK, ANTAEUS, ARKHON INFAUSTUS, HELL MILITIA, TEMPLE OF BAAL, VORKREIST to name a few...those were really the days !
In 2011 a split came out called “The Vision of Fading Mankind”. Why this title and who was the other band on the split and how did you end up working with them? Was this self-released or did a label put it out? How was the response to this and is it still for sale?
War:TEMPLE OF BAAL is a French black/death metal horde and we made this split release with them. Amduscias (TEMPLE OF BAAL) and I threw some names around and we talked about the « purpose » of this release...Both bands are different music wise but share some views of course...Amduscias and I have known each other for a long time, I attended TEMPLE OF BAAL’s first gig in Paris in 99...I threw this title around, that was the name of a song of this former death metal band of mine and I thought that it fitted perfectly since it conveys a view that both bands share about mankind so to say...TEMPLE OF BAAL’s label (Polish Agonia records) released it. I guess that the sales were nothing to fancy about and this release is still available.
In 2013 you released an EP called “Beyond The Shrine of Shattered Bones”. Why this title and who put this out. How was the response to it and how did the recording for this go? How many songs are on this and how easy did the writing of these songs come about?
The title is lyrically linked to the song « The graveyard coven » which is included on this ep. The lyrics of this song deal with necromancy and obscure rites performed to reveal what lies beyond the boneyard. Blood Harvest Records (the Swedish label which released our demo) was responsible once again for this release which contains two tracks. The recording went smoothly as for each recording session with RITUALIZATION. We created these songs using the same routine, all members being involved and yearning for the same purpose music wise.
Now the band has just released the awesome “Sacraments to the Sons of the Abyss”. How did you come up with this title and how did the recording of all this come together? How much time did you spend in the studio for this and are you pretty happy with it?
Sacraments to the sons of the abyss » will be released in early February 2017 as I answer this interview. We recorded the album at the Hybreed studio in Paris area with sound engineer Andrew Guillotin, he was advised to us by Amduscias (TEMPLE OF BAAL) who has worked with him for many years. I found the title which sums up some of the lyrics and the lyrical thread shared by all the songs, id est : the damned souls stand by their own laws...We began the recording in autumn 2015 and it was over in mid-2016 since there were many sessions on a few months span. I can’t wait to hold this release and play it loud !
Now which band members write the music and who writes the lyrics? How does a song come together?
Music writing is a common task. Krig G (bass + backing vocals), Da’ath and Infamist (guitars) write a lot of stuff/riffs, sometimes even a full song. We work on these bits at our rehearsal place, every note and pattern, until we are all satisfied with the outcome. I (Warchangel, vocals) am responsible for all lyrics, I would not be able to sing some lyrics written by any other member of the band...
How did you end up working with Iron Bonehead Productions?
We released our first demo tape “The abduction mass” through the Swedish label Blood Harvest in 2008. I attended the Finnish black/death metal fest “Black flames of Blasphemy” in 2009 in Helsinki, that was Canadian hooded demons BLASPHEMY’s return on stage. I met VK (of New Zealand black metal act VASSAFOR) who played session bass for this Canadian legend there and we stayed in touch. He listened to RITUALIZATION and he advised Patrick from Iron bonehead productions to check our demo out. One day I got an email from Patrick who was telling me that he liked our band and that he wanted to work with us...he first rereleased our sold-out demo as a LP with some bonus tracks and immediately showed pure dedication ! He got us to play at a black / death metal fest he set in Berlin in 2011 (namely “Ritual of the dead”) and always kept an eye on us. When time has come to record our first album, I asked him if he was interested in releasing it, he agreed and that was it.
You guys have a killer old school death/black metal sound and are far from all these trendy black metal bands and all those shitty black metal bands in the early 90’s. What are some bands you worship and were you a fan of all those stupid church burnings and killings that went on a few years back?
Thanks for your comments. We all have some different musical tastes in the band yet some bands get (almost) unanimous appreciation. Death metal, black metal, thrash and heavy metal, whatever the style is, I enjoy a lot of stuff. Here’s a few bands off the top of my head who were loudly played at home lately : ARCHGOAT, INCANTATION, MORBID ANGEL, SADISTIC INTENT, BLASPHEMY, IMMOLATION, MORTEM (Peru), SARCOFAGO, IRON MAIDEN, (the true) MAYHEM, SABBAT (Jap), NECROS CHRISTOS, the list goes on forever...Heh, you’ve got some bold comments about these events...I discovered the second wave of black metal in the early nineties but mainly listened to thrash, heavy and death metal back then ; when church burnings, killings and death threats spread over in Northern Europe, I was puzzled and began to search for some of these bands...I discovered some real gems music wise and a wide new part of the metal scene that was unknown to me.
Has the band ever played live or if not any plans to? Do you as a band practice a lot in other words in any given week how much time is spent doing band related stuff?
Our inception dates back to 2006, that would have been sad and a waste of time if we had not played any ritual ! We played in France and abroad (Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Italy,...). We’ve got our own ritual chamber for rehearsals but every ritualist works at home ; writing music and so on...I am responsible for mail/contacts/anything related to gig. Everything dealing with the band may be time consuming and demanding, a few hours in the week and especially week ends with the rehearsals (2-3 times a month at least) but this brings so much on many levels...
For those who have never heard the band before describe what you think your band sounds like and how long do you think it took you before you found the “Ritualization” sound so to speak?
We are a death metal band, drawing influences from CENTURIAN, ANGELCORPSE, INCANTATION and a few others but not only...We quickly found our sound and we all tread on the same musical path, we immediately know what works and what must be left behind when we create a song, it’s almost an intuitive process, (musical) chemistry at its best...
Please plug any websites or media pages you have or any merchandise you have for sale.
Our Facebook page mentions anything related to the band, our next live rituals, which merch is available...The ‘’Genesis to your curse’’ shirt and the « Vision of fading mankind » split mcd/mlp with TEMPLE OF BAAL are the only items left, everything else is sold out. ‘’Sacraments to the sons of the abyss’’ will be unleashed on early February 2017 and more artefacts will be unveiled when time is right.
Horns up for doing this interview any last words to say to wrap this up ?
Thank you for your interest in the band. Anyone interested in booking RITUALIZATION or any other information about the horde, just drop a line at warchangel(at)wanadoo(dot)fr.
Interview by Chris Forbes