Swedish Sorcery is one of the early Swedish death metal bands that started out already back in 1986. After a couple of demos and an EP (7”) they released their debut-album “Bloodchilling Tales” (1991) [Underground Records]. An album that got some attention, but as many other bands during this time and age, it didn’t get the deserved attention. After this, the band dropped from the face of the earth until 2009. And with the release of their second album “Arrival at Six” [Xtreem Music], 22 years later, I am naturally curious to hear both what happened and what’s up?
Here’s an interview answered in May 2013 by the bands founding-member and vocalist Ola Malmström.
1. Tell us a little about yourselves and how it came to taking so long in between the records?
Well the main reason for the large time-span of 22 years between the albums is that the band split up in 1997 and wasn’t active until 2009. We actually had a deal for a new album back in 1996 and had plenty of good songs for it as well but problems within the band never saw it happen. I guess our biggest problem at the time was that we couldn’t hold a steady line-up and we got really fed up with breaking in new members. Me and Paul Johansson have always been there and are still the only original members, but throughout the years there must have been at least 20 more people in the band and it has sometime been hard to make it work. As always, I feel that the line-up we do have now is the steadiest one and I sure hope that this is the final one as well.
3. Have you been active during all these years (in Sorcery or other bands)?
No, I had a period between 1997 and 2000 that I didn’t make any music at all except for making some appearances in some friend’s projects. I came back into the music when I was asked by Paul to join in with him and a former bass player of Sorcery who were putting together a band. This band became Outremer and parts of this combo became the re-formed Sorcery later on. Paul had joined In Aeternum before Sorcery were put to sleep in 1997 and was, as mentioned, later on a member in Outremer. Paul left Outremer after a couple of years and sold all his gear and didn’t do anything until I approached him in 2009 with the idea to put Sorcery back again. He immediately agreed to join us and I think that the reunion of Sorcery never could have been made without him. We both had been members of the band at all times and I wouldn’t want to have it in no other way.
4. Your career started very early; with your first demo-tape released already back in 1987. What was you inspiration back in those days? And what are your thoughts about today’s death metal scene?
Yeah, we started this band all the way back in 1986 and at that moment I think our biggest influences were bands like Bathory, Slayer, all the German early thrashbands and so on. You can actually hear those influences on the first demo that is much more thrashier, in a very primitive way I must say, than what would become the Sorcery sound later on. Those three demos we made in 87-89 are showing very much the progression of the band. The second demo is more into the speed while the third is a pure early Swedish death metal demo. We had by that time found our style and everything since then is just a progression in the same vein. I think the scene today is real healthy again after some years in the dark. A lot of new bands are coming up and it makes the scene stay alive. I still though can’t understand why lots of the new bands state that they are playing old school death metal and just tries to copy the old bands. They won’t get anywhere with that. I think that the things that they wants to achieve can’t be reproduced and still sound that genuine. I mean the whole scene back then consisted by kids who were exploring their instruments and the whole vibe that were going on at the time, that molded the music, is since then forever gone. Why not try to make something of their own instead. That is the old school way of doing it, like we all did back then. Not to copy other band…..
4. Out of pure curiosity I would like to know what some of your favorite albums from the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s are?
Oh, there are plenty of albums of course. Favorite albums have always a little bit of the “mood of today” component but there are some that always will work. Like for instance Slayer – “Reign in Blood”, Kreator – “Extreme Aggression”, Dio – “Holy Diver”, Iron Maiden – “Piece of Mind”, Trouble – “Manic Frustration”.
5. Out of all the gigs listed on your website is there one or more that stood out more than others? (Positive? Negative?) And do you have any dream gig you’d like to do? (Sweden Rock, Wacken etc.?)
Some of the earlier gigs from the early 90’s are of course very special. There was a very large interest for the scene and there almost always came a lot of people to the gigs. We played with some great bands back then also, like Dismember, Entombed, Therion and Merciless. Then I must say that the recent US-tour we made also hade very many precious moments. Like the gigs in San Diego, Los Angeles, Silver Springs, Oakland, Houston and Birmingham for example. There was really an astonishing experience to meet the American crowd. Some places were really over the top. Of course there would be great to play the larger festivals but we do actually have a “dream gig” booked. We will play Gävle concerthall in February 2014. Together with the Gävleborg symphony orchestra we will perform some of our songs. There will be a very great experience and we are so much eager to hear our songs performed by this 52 piece orchestra.
6. Over here at Deathdomain I graced you with a 10/10 score and it is something that doesn’t happen that often. How has “Arrival at Six” been received in general by the metal community?
Thank you very much for that one. The album has been so much better received by the fans and the critics than I ever could have imagined. There were always a fear that people would put us down because we don’t sound exactly like we did in 1991. Some still do, but they can’t see how the reality is. We are much better musicians today, have lots and lots more and other influences and the fact that the recording equipment and the way studios works these days is miles from what they did when we made our last record. It is almost impossible to recreate something that we already have done and why should we. We have always made the music we like and it is the same with the new album. Our aim was to make a new Sorcery album for the year 2013 not to make a copy of an album from 1991 and I think we managed to do that pretty well (You sure did /Ed.).
6. Last but not least, will it take 22 years to see another release from Sorcery?
No, no, no….absolutely no. We are currently started to work with songs for a new album. I won’t set any date when we will be finished because I have done things like that in the past and it has always proven to be a wrong guess. We just have to wait to see but I can assure you it will be out before 2035….hopefully.