Necro Facility - looking into the future.
Text and interview by: Johan Carlsson
As the only media outlet, Release Magazine was present when Necro Facility unleashed their new album “Wintermute”. This was the first time they’ve played it in its entirety, not even their own label had heard all of it.
Necro Facility consists of producer Oscar Holter and vocalist Henrik Bäckström. They’ve been making music since they were 14 years old, and that’s also when they sent in their first demo to Torny Gottberg, then A&R at Energy Rekords. He told them to come back after a couple of years, and so they did.
Thus their debut album “The Black Paintings” saw the light of day in 2005. Inspired by the old school Skinny Puppy and Vancouver industrial sound, Oscar and Henrik created a dark and complex album, and also continued to improve their skills for the excellent second album “The Room” from 2007. After that it’s been pretty quiet, but the lads have been diligently working on a new album for four years, although the work has intensified a lot recently, with the arrival of a strict deadline.
Necro Facility at Lionheart Studio; Oscar Holter to the left and Henrik Bäckström to the right.
We had gathered at Lionheart Studios in Stockholm, where music producer Oscar Holter takes care of his day job creating pop hits for other artists. This is also where the new Necro Facility album was recorded. TornyGottberg and Krister Hessling from the label Progress Productions and some friends were seated in the room as well.
The band was visibly nervous about playing their new material in front of so many people, with Henrik curled up in a chair, and Oscar seated by the mixing desk. After some chit chatting Oscar press play and turns up the volume.
And how does it sound? Well, it’s been four years in the making, and it shows. It’s more mature, innovative, modern sounding and takes its starting point from “Do You Feel the Same”, previously released on a label compilation. This means more focus on the vocals - Henrik takes several steps forward - and a strong infusion of melodies. To call it industrial pop is not wildly off the mark.
- We tried to do something new, and not just do “The Room 2”, says Oscar.
Where did the title “Wintermute” come from?
The album is being prepared for a release in Scandinavia on May 11, with GAS (Germany/Austria/Switzerland) following on May 13, and the band is now gathering material for a bonus disc, to be shipped with a limited edition. Oscar and Henrik have been going through about 60 old demos, including some of their earliest recordings. It’s going to be whittled down ten tracks, and I also got a little sneak peek of some of them, and they sound surprisingly good too, but apparently some material was recorded with very primitive equipment, and it won’t be remastered or touched up. Should be fun to hear.
I have to say that this album sounds very strong indeed, although of course this is based on just one listen. There’s no denying that the boys' eclectic music tastes have influenced it, but I think that’s a good thing since a lot of the stuff in the industrial genre is very introspective and filled with cliches. Oscar and Henrik are a bit apprehensive regarding how the industrial scene will embrace it, since it’s such a different sound than before.
Oscar twiddling his knobs.
Oscar remembers a fun anecdote from Wave Gotik Treffen a couple of years ago.
- We were sitting with a bunch of people at the camp site, and they didn’t know who we were. They were playing Necro Facility, so we asked them if they knew anything about the band. Apparently they thought that we were some elite people who lived in the woods, embracing the darkness, haha.
That kind of image will probably disappear with “Wintermute”, but it’s really more true to the band. I’m very much looking forward to hearing it again in time for release. The label is planning to do some major promotion for it, and Necro Facility are looking to play live all over the place. They have only performed occasional live shows in the past, including the main stage at the German festival M'era Luna.
Here’s the current "Wintermute" track list: "You Want It", "Explode", "Cuts", "Do You Feel the Same", "Fall Apart", "Waiting for the Snow", "Ignite", "Skrik", "Supposed", "All That You Take".