First as Nihilist and later as Entombed, these Swedes defined the Swedish death metal sound. Providing inspiration to multitudes of bands the world over, Entombed were the first out of the gates with the highly distorted, crunchy and brutal sound, which was defined as the sound of death metal from Sweden. Entombed have since shifted gears towards punk and hardcore and lost much lustre. Still, late 2001 produced an Entombed bent on capturing lost glory.
The band was formed in 1987 and switched names in 1989. Four very popular demos were recorded. These were, in order, Drowned, Premature Autopsy, But Life Goes On and Only Shreds Remain - the latter recorded under the Entombed moniker. Days before changing names, the band had fired bassist Johnny Hedlund whose band Unleashed later signed to Century Media and even opened for Entombed in North America. Much of this material was late remastered onto CD EPs. Left Hand Path was released in 1990 and not only made the band and its sound infamous, but also provided the Possessed/Slaughter/Death-influenced band a launching pad that would tag along Earache, Sunlight Studio, producer Thomas Skogsberg, cover artist Dan Seagrave, and the majority of the Swedish scene.
After the 1991 EP Crawl, L.G. Petrov left the band having made an ill-advised pass at Andersson's girlfriend. A couple of singers came and went, but the band basically took the matter in its own hands and had Andersson perform the vocals in the studio. During this period, the band recorded a video, opened for Morbid Angel and Napalm Death and Andersson played lead guitar on the Dismember debut LP. Dismember and Entombed shared rehearsal space at this time. In 1992 the band was part of the Gods Of Grind tour with Carcass, Cathedral and Confessor. 1994's EP Out Of Hand was the band's obligatory tribute to bands which they hadn't resembled until very recently. The band's latest member Rosenberg left the fold in 1996 and was replaced by Grave's Sandstrom. Much dissatisfied with Earache, the band resolved at this point to leave the label and it was a couple of years before things were all right contractually and the band found itself with new management (previously managed by a Morbid Angel road manager) and new label Music For Nations. The new management soon became part of the Sanctuary Group - which only meant opening for Iron Maiden in a couple of years time in Canada and Europe. In between the band had jumped onto East/West after being distributed in North America by Columbia for a while. In 1998 the band played Ozzfest in the UK and Earache released a live MCD/video called Monkey Puss, which the band abhorred.
With their To Ride... album the boys (now long reunited with Petrov) coined the term death'n roll, toured the world -including Full Of Hate and Dynamo Festivals - and alienated even more older fans. At that point, in a surprise move, founder Andersson left to concentrate on his Hellacopters side-project. Having lost much of their earlier ferocity, various Entombed members participated in original-style death metal projects like Daemon and Murder Squad. 2001 brought a new tour with Cathedral and 2 Ton Predator as support and a new album focused on a little more heaviness. An odd occasion came in February 2002 when Entombed performed a 45-minute set of specially arranged material at the Stockholm Royal Opera Hall. The occasion called for 30 dancers and a slew of choreography. The performance was released in 2005 as Unreal Estate.
The band's latest album Inferno was issued in mid-2003. The album was issued by Koch in North America. Pelle Gunnerfeldt was the album's producer. The band supported the album with shows with Nile and Disfear in Europe and with King Diamond in North America.
Bassist Jörgen Sandström left the band in early 2004 and was replaced by Nico Elgstrand (formerly of Terra Firma) who had worked as the Swedes' engineer in the past. The band was forced to cancel its U.S. tour in March, 2004 due to visa problems. "There wasn't enough time to secure a work visa for our new bass player Nico Elgstrand," read a statement by the band. The North American version of Inferno was called Inferno w/Averno and was issued by Candlelight Records in August, 2004.
Threeman Recordings CD-ified the Nihilist and Entombed demos in 2005. The Swedes were joined by drummer Olle Dahlsted formerly of Misery Loves Co. for live shows in the autumn of 2005 because Peter Stjärnvind was on stand-by for the arrival of his first child. The band also lost guitarist Uffe Cederlund and decided to remain a quartet. Cederlund was not enjoying the band's music anymore. Drummer Peter Stjärnvind left the beleaguered Swedes in the spring of 2006 ostensibly to concentrate on his other band, Nifelheim instead. Entombed released its newest album, Serpent Saints – The Ten Amendments, on July 13th through Threeman Recordings. The band’s new drummer was Olle Dahlstedt (Alpha Safari and ex-Misery Loves Co.). The band cancelled all its pending live dates however apparently due to a death in the family of guitarist Alex Hellid. Entombed announced 2010 shows in the USA and Canada complementing its Maryland Deathfest appearance. Support came from Obituary, Merauder and Woe Of Tyrants. In 2010, former Entombed guitarist Uffe Cederlund joined Atlantic Tide featuring Unleashed veteran Freddie Eugene. Entombed recruited bassist Victor Brandt (Aeon and Satyricon) in late 2010, while bassist Nico Elgstrand moved to the second guitar position. The Haunted and Entombed were touring together for the 2011 edition of the Close Up Made Us Do It tour of Sweden. Support on the November tour came from Walking With Strangers. Entombed’s Threeman Recordings signed with Ninetone Records. Screaming Records was issuing an Entombed 7” single in July of 2012 called When In Sodom Revisited. It featured the title track, a version of the same by Klaus "Q" Hedegaard Nielsen and a cover of King Diamond’s Welcome Home. Guitarist Alex Hellid had undergone "a major operation which thankfully went very well," according to the band. To celebrate Sweden Rock Magazine's 100th issue, Candlemass and Entombed recorded cover versions of each other's songs for a CD single sent exclusively to the magazine's subscribers with issue #100. Candlemass recorded a heavy version of Entombed's song To Ride, Shoot Straight And Speak The Truth. Entombed covered Candlemass' song Black Dwarf.
ENTOMBED - INFERNO - THREEMAN RECORDINGS/CANDLELIGHT USA
This North American version of Inferno includes an extra CD titled Averno with three extra songs, two videos and two 'video edit' versions of Retaliation and Albino Flogged In Black; the latter being a Stillborn cover. The 13-track first CD opens with Retaliation, the song has a sound and pace that is much like a Kyuss song circa early '90s. The Fix Is In follows the opener and the first reaction of this reviewer is to make sure that this is Inferno and not the Wolverine Blues CD. Incinerator, That's When I Became A Satanist and much of the rest that follow continue where the previous songs left off. Young And Dead and Skeleton Of Steel do however provide some speed and real aggression, perhaps providing a more appropriate way to convey the feel of an album that includes other titles like Descent Into Inferno and Public Burning. Overall, listening to Inferno/Averno is like going back to 1993, this is what Entombed must have done after the Wolverine Blues album. - Anna Tergel
ENTOMBED - UNREAL ESTATE - CANDLELIGHT
How the mighty have fallen! It seems that even Entombed cannot get past how low it has fallen. Entombed, which recently reminded us how good it once was by releasing a disc of early demos, has gone from the forerunners of the metal nation to a quasi-rock band of sorts reminiscent of Danzig and Metallica with its roots and talent nowhere in sight. The name Unreal Estate says it all. Except, there is nothing unreal about this release. Bands come, bands wimp out and bands fall into the trap of formulatic imitation. Working with an orchestra is nothing new for a rock band. Deep Purple did it 35 years ago. Metallica did it and claimed to be original. Scorpions did it and realized what a big seller it could be - ha! Rage, Therion, Yngwie Malmsteen, etc etc have been there. Funny thing is, Unreal Estate is the recording of a performance by Entombed at Stockholm's Royal Opera House with the band surrounded by dancers with music rearranged to suit the choreography. In other words, there is little here to listen to or look for in terms of novelty or amazement. At least a video of the band's performance might yield some surprises, although the sight of five ex-heavy metallers on stage with a bunch of dancers is more likely to elicit laughter than new fans.
The album features flawless performances of the band's latter day songs completely eschewing the band's earlier albums save an outro. This one is for hardcore Entombed fans only. - Ali "The Metallian"
NIHILIST – same - CANDLELIGHT
Rare demos and classic recordings eventually make their way back and are re-released but at least in this case Threeman Recordings is probably the right label to be touching this material. If anything it is surprising that a CD complete with all of Nihilist’s demos hasn’t come sooner, although some songs like Revel In Flesh and Shreds Of Flesh have already made it onto CDs in one form or another - on the Clandestine album and the Stranger Aeons mini-CD respectively.
This 14-song collection provides a very good look back at the initial Venom influence on the then teenagers and the quick morph to the now famous Swedish death metal sound. This Entombed predecessor which, at various times during its short existence, featured future Unleashed and Dismember members certainly turned out to be of one of the most influential bands of the late ‘80s. - Anna Tergel
ENTOMBED – SERPENT SAINTS – TEN AMENDMENTS – CANDLELIGHT
After suffering through the drivel that these former heroes unloaded upon the scene in the last ten years, and laughing at all of it, Serpent Saints is an almost implausible listen from Entombed. Indeed, during the last decade anyone craving for something heavy could have gone for anything but Entombed! The album is distorted, crunchy and heavy. It is an all-out and complete attempt at recovering lost ground from a band that was viewed as a lost cause by most honest observers.
Before anyone starts thinking this is a new Left Hand Path (the band’s 1990 debut) it is imperative to emphasize that as heavy as Serpent Saints is it still features some hardcore moments, hoarse vocals and doomy music. It is not all a bed of (metallic) roses here all of a sudden. The band’s dick of an album (see front cover) does compete with or better 1993’s Wolverine Blues however. The album’s back cover gets the order and the titles for the album’s songs wrong with impeccable failure, but track number four Thy Kingdom Koma, Ministry, The Dead, The Dying And The Dying To Be Dead and When In Sodom, in particular, with its Slayer inspired opening stand out with that much extra power. It is a trip hearing the band pull a couple of crushing riffs out of its hats again that it introduced to the world in 1990 and later abandoned.
It is like-wise exciting to hear the band’s new line-up still has what it takes even if the re-conversion seems suspect to some of us. Either way, notice the label’s write-up claiming “this is Entombed’s best work since Wolverine Blues” and ask yourself why the forerunning group had to abandon itself for so long only to have to do a full-circle to matter again. – Ali “The Metallian”
While on a tour of Canada following the release of the Clandestine album Ali “the Metallian” hosted drummer Nicke Andersson and guitarist Alex Hellid of ENTOMBED to his radio show, Sonic Disaster, in Montreal where the three spoke about the aforementioned album, goings-on within the band and the whole metal landscape. In 2009, Metallian has unearthed the vintage conversation after seventeen years and is presenting it below. – 26.05.1992
METALLIAN: Singer L-G Petrov recently rejoined Entombed. What were the circumstances behind his return?
ALEX: We weren’t satisfied with the other singer and his live performances. He never got into singing really.
NICKE: He was more of a guitar player. We met L-G more and more. I saw him a couple of times and we forgot about the argument we had before.
METALLIAN: Which was?
NICKE: You could say… we had a difference of opinion.
METALLIAN: In musical or personal terms?
ALEX: Yeah, I mean it was a year and a half ago. We get along better than ever now too. So, it’s cool.
METALLIAN: Nicke, it seems like Entombed is becoming an artistic expression for you. It seems like Entombed dances to Nicke’s tune, as opposed to say what Alex would want.
NICKE: I don’t think so. I write the majority of the riffs. I don’t write all the lyrics though. I write some lyrics, but Alex writes the rest.
METALLIAN: Alex, do you feel that you have sufficient input into the band and it is not just Nicke leading Entombed?
ALEX: Mmmmm… as he says, he writes the majority of the riffs and stuff. I’ll try to get more songs together. It is up to the members in the band to contribute.
NICKE: It is not that I am the dictator. Everyone says “that’s a cool riff,” you know? If everyone thinks it is then we use it.
METALLIAN: Then again looking from the outside in it seems as if you, Nicke, decide, who leaves, who joins, L-G should go and he can come back…
NICKE: Ohhhhhh, I asked him to leave, yeah, but we all asked him to come back It wasn’t just me.
METALLIAN: It seemed like a similar story with Johnny who ended up in Unleashed.
NICKE: Well, we kicked him out because…
ALEX: He and guitarist Uffe Cederlund didn’t get along.
NICKE: It was a question of personal views too.
ALEX: It was a question of personal views too. It was difficult to rehearse too. It took ages to get a song together.
NICKE: It was just a hard time. There are no hard feelings between us now. We only cannot play together. He wants to be in charge of a lot of things like he is in Unleashed. I don’t think it was working out.
METALLIAN: You must be getting along because you were all in the same tour bus last time we were speaking. Elsewhere, how do you see Entombed now? Until recently you were an underground band with a cult following. Now, Entombed is on Sony Records in Canada, which is the same label as Michael Jackson.
NICKE: That is not our fault though.
METALLIAN: Do you see Entombed becoming mainstream?
NICKE: Here is what I think: If we still do what we want to do I don’t think it’s mainstream. This music is still underground. Even though it is put on vinyl and it is in every store, it is still underground.
METALLIAN: Since there are so many bands now who sound like Entombed could you be becoming one of them?
NICKE: I don’t think so.
ALEX: Many people don’t know which band came out of Sweden first. Some in the States think… that is bothering us. People come up to us and ask, “why do you sound like Dismember?”
NICKE: When somebody says that I get pissed off. When someone says we sound like Unleashed I get furious. I mean the Dismember album doesn’t sound like our Clandestine album. They maybe sound like our first album. We definitely have our own style. I don’t really care about it because if we do then it makes it worse.
METALLIAN: The problem revolves more around the guitar sound as opposed to the song writing.
NICKE: Yes, it’s probably that, yeah.
METALLIAN: Alex, do you feel honoured that so many bands are tuning down and sounding like Entombed?
ALEX: Err… no.
NICKE: It’s a bit of a compliment.
ALEX: We didn’t start it, so.. we didn’t start the tuning down thing.
NICKE: We didn’t start tuning down, Black Sabbath did.
ALEX: Yeah, they have been tuned down for thirty years.
METALLIAN: Still, it seems like many bands are looking to Entombed’s guitars to find their way.
NICKE: I guess that’s a compliment that they like it. I can’t see why they do it through instead of doing something of their own.
ALEX: If I liked something I wouldn’t like to copy it and do exactly the same thing. You have to do something new.
NICKE: Slayer is our favourite band and we put our own sound to it. Then again, Slayer sometimes sounds like Black Sabbath.
METALLIAN: You recently shot a video for the song Stranger Aeons. Why would a band like Entombed film one when everyone is doing it? Is it just a matter of making more money?
NICKE: I don’t know!
ALEX: It gets our music out to a wider audience.
NICKE: It’s a lot more fun playing in front of a thousand people instead of two people. I like the small shows a lot, in fact, I like them better sometimes, but we will continue doing videos though.
ALEX: This video was done in a hurry. In the future, we would like to do a horror story.
NICKE: Yeah, we didn’t have much say in it. I don’t think of it as doing a video to sell more albums. I think of it as doing a small film.
METALLIAN: Why would you do a small film? Robert De Niro does not do a small album.
ALEX: I want to see Slayer videos!
NICKE: What I think is “if I were into Entombed as a fan would I like the video?”
ALEX: You always try to find as much material on your favourite band as possible.
NICKE: I think we are going to do a home video. We will do more clips and some of them will be too violent to be shown on TV. It is definitely going to come out, probably with the third album.
METALLIAN: How does Earache in Europe and Relativity in the United States compare? Is money flowing into your pockets?
ALEX: Seems like Relativity in Canada, through Sony, does much better than relativity in the USA. Sony puts more money into us than the States’ label.
NICKE: It is better than Earache. I personally feel that we could have a lot more support from the labels than we do now. It is small things here and there that we need that are hard to describe for you because you are not in the band.
ALEX: Our manager does a lot of work for us. He put this whole tour together for us.
NICKE: No tour support from either Relativity or Earache. No advertising. Nothing. We only have advertising in Canada.
ALEX: Sony told Relativity to not spend any money supporting the tour. They want to save money.
NICKE: We are not on their priority list. That is about it. They have other bands they want to spend money on.
ALEX: They want to break Corrosion Of Conformity.
NICKE: I love Corrosion Of Conformity, but that's what I see. They are a bigger priority.
ALEX: To find new fans we need to find new ways of doing it, like a video, because other people won’t pick up fanzines. People don’t know about this underground zone all over the world.
METALLIAN: Was the video on MTV in the USA?
NICKE: They showed it in the States. They showed it a couple of times in Europe.
ALEX: They had sent the script to MTV and the channel crossed out what they wouldn’t show. It’s better if they show it if we are going to spend money on it.
METALLIAN: Going back to the current tour, Exhorder were supposed to be on the bill, but are not. There have been multiple rumours about the circumstances.
NICKE: We get along with them.
ALEX: It was the business side of things, the money, which we had nothing to do with.
NICKE: It’s their first tour.
ALEX: It was a lack of communications basically. Their record label didn’t inform them of what is going on. We had the same problem with Earache the first time we went to the States. Exhorder thought they would have a full road crew. It was their label that didn’t tell them.
METALLIAN: What about rumours stating about how Exhorder trash clubs and tour buses?
NICKE: I guess they did, but missing the tour is not the reason they did it.
ALEX: It wasn’t against us, but it ended up being against us because we shared the same… they didn’t think that much!
METALLIAN: How did Incantation jump unto the tour?
NICKE: Our manager got them onto the tour. They are a very good band. We get along with them.
METALLIAN: Does Incantation share a manager with you?
METALLIAN: Something that has peeked my curiosity for a year now is Nicke’s contribution to Dismember’s Like An Everflowing Stream album. Strangely, you as a drummer, played the majority of the lead guitar on that album.
NICKE: As I said, I compose most of the riffs for Entombed so obviously I play the guitar. They just asked me. I don’t know why.
ALEX: I think you should ask Dismember.
METALLIAN: Well, how did it come about?
NICKE: I like playing the guitar, you know?
METALLIAN: Well, why didn’t they ask Alex, for example?
ALEX: I mean, that would be even more ‘Entombed.’
NICKE: Yeah, that is true! I don’t want the leads to sound like Entombed! I don’t think their album sounds that much like Clandestine so I don’t care. They are good friends with us. I am tired of all the bullshit.
METALLIAN: How is Clandestine doing?
NICKE: We don’t know. We know it’s doing pretty good, but we don’t know.
METALLIAN: What will the future bring next?
NICKE: We are going to Rochester in New York tomorrow!
ALEX: That is the future (laughs)! We are going back to Europe.
NICKE: We are doing a small tour in Europe with Disharmonic Orchestra. We are also doing a few festivals. Then we are going to take it easy and work on our third album.
METALLIAN: Do you guys have any ideas already for the third album?
ALEX: We have two songs.
METALLIAN: My friend and I heard them at the sound check earlier before we came back here. Will you play them tonight?
NICKE: Maybe we should so we can try them out. Otherwise, for the near future, we will be working on the home video thing and get some new shirts.
ALEX: We have some touring left to do.
NICKE: I think we have to come back to Canada. We are sorry for what happened.
METALLIAN: I was just going to ask for a recap of what happened.
NICKE: The van got stolen in Cleveland hours before we left. It was the show before Toronto. We had two passports in the van belonging to L- G and bassist Lars Rosenberg. That meant that they couldn’t cross the border into Canada. We still had to do the shows. We didn’t want to disappoint and I wanted to see Canada. We tried to do our best and hopefully people don’t hate us for that.
METALLIAN: Thanks for your time, guys.
There's no need to introduce the legendary force known as Entombed. The groundbreaking collective that gave the world classics such as Left Hand Path, Clandestine and Wolverine Blues is also renowned for pioneering Stockholm's signature Sunlight Studios sound. Since then, the group has floundered only once (1999's confoundingly bizarre Same Difference), but Entombed erased that error completely and effectively with the awesome Uprising and the thrash-obsessed chaos known as Morning Star. Entombed's newest record is called Serpent Saints, and the impressive album is a return to the group's renowned sound of yore - fear not though, this isn't a nostalgia fest. Instead, Entombed has re-embraced its founding purpose and put out an effort that is doing the group's legacy proud. Metallian spoke to guitar player Alex Hellid about the band's latest foray as well as its initial period. By David Perri 12.10.2007.
METALLIAN: The new record harkens back to the band's classic sound on Left Hand Path and Wolverine Blues. Why did you choose to go back to that style?
HELLID: It kind of just happened. We had been straying from it for some time, playing whatever we wanted to do. I've been longing for the energy of the earlier stuff recently. We did a tour with Unleashed and Dismember in Europe, and we started rehearsing a few older songs just for that tour because it was a real death metal package. So we did a couple of Clandestine songs we hadn't done in a long time and we re-discovered how much fun it is to play those songs. We wanted to get back to the energy of the band that made the first albums. And this pretty much feels like a new band for us at this point, we have a few new players and, like we try on every album, we wanted to capture that naïve energy from the first couple of albums. It's energy that comes from not really being familiar with the studio environment and everybody's a little nervous and you do what you do but you don't really know what you're doing. The older you get and the more albums you do and the more studio time you have… the danger in that is getting too comfortable and thinking that you know everything. That's when it usually starts to get boring. I really wanted to try to get back to and capture the feeling of early Slayer or something like that. We spent a lot of time with the new album trying to make it sound not too polished or modern. We just wanted it to sound raw. We didn't want it to feel over-produced. We wrote and recorded at the same time so if something sounded the way we wanted it to sound the first time it was played on the drums, that's what you hear on the album. We didn't record stuff over and over as you often do: first you do a demo and then you try to perfect it. A lot of times you feel that the demo had something that you didn't quite capture on the album version, but the album version sonically sounds more expensive usually because you spent more money in the studio. But I always feel that I prefer the rough mix to the finished mix. There's always something in that first time you put something down to tape. So this whole album is sonically about trying to capture the raw energy that happens when you record. I think we managed to do that pretty well. It's like with the early Slayer stuff where you can really hear what's going on. It's one guitar and then another guitar kicks in, it's not a wall of guitars.
METALLIAN: You mentioned demos and rough mixes, so I'm wondering what your thoughts are on the Nihilist demos (note: Nihilist was Entombed's original incarnation circa the late '80s) that were just officially released a couple of years ago.
HELLID: It's so weird listening to that stuff. I dug out all the boxes with the old tapes and went to the studio and started going through it. Just hearing that stuff and knowing that we were, like, 13 years old… we sat there wondering how the hell we made those sounds. Just a couple years earlier we had been listening to KISS and Iron Maiden and those kinds of bands. And you're wondering, what happened (laughs)? And then in between songs on the rehearsal tapes, the voices that we spoke in sound like very, very young female kids (laughs). We didn't include that when we released the demos, but we might do an extended version with that stuff included if we get around to it. But I was pleasantly surprised when we went back and listened to the tapes. Because back then, when we were starting out, nobody thought that we were playing music. Everybody was like, 'You make noise but when are going to start playing real music?' Now that we listen back to it… we realise we knew what were doing (laughs).
METALLIAN: For sure, those demos sound great. I really like that demo release.
HELLID: Yeah, we liked it too (laughs).
METALLIAN: Was there a lot of nostalgia when you were listening to those old tapes?
HELLID: Definitely. That whole period is so… it was only a couple of years, but it felt like it was ten years. It's so weird. It's the whole thing with being a kid, like waiting for Christmas. The day before Christmas is the longest day of the year. It felt like it was a lot longer than just two years.
METALLIAN: What are the goals for Entombed in 2007? You've already accomplished so much, what is there still to accomplish?
HELLID: Over our whole career we've been building the band up and then something happens, like fighting a record company. After that, it feels like we're starting from zero and then building it up again. A couple of years ago we decided that we wanted to… when Music For Nations got sold we decided that instead of having a new label and recording a few albums with them, that we'd start our own thing, Threeman Recordings. It was about bringing the catalogue back home and building something out of that. So that's one of the goals now. We've been a band for more than half my life, so all the work that we've put into it we can have back with Threeman. If one day we decide we're not going to make new music and we decide we want to work with what we have, we can do that with Threeman. It kind of pisses me off when I walk into a record store and don't see our releases, or when I hear people say they can't find our older records. If somebody wants one of our records, I want to be sure to provide them to everyone who wants them. And to do that, you need control over it just to make it available. I don't want our material bought and sold by another company, I want us to take care of it. It should be us doing that. So that's one of my goals, to make sure that everything we've done in Entombed is available, whether it's through the internet or wherever else. We don't feel good about it floating around and not knowing. Many bands, after a while, have no control over their music and we don't want that to happen to us. On the musical side, you always feel that you have something more that you want to prove. When you do an album, you're always trying to make it the best album ever. And then when you're done, you listen back to it and you want to make an even better one. And that's the drive for everybody. As long as you have that drive, you're OK. As long as you always think you can write a better song. And then there are always places you want to go and there are always places you want to see. If not, you get bored. Music is the best way to travel (laughs).
You go somewhere and play a show and meet and hang out with a lot of people. You get bored if you go somewhere as a tourist and hang out with other tourists.
METALLIAN: Entombed has some fresh blood in the band with a few new members. Does it still feel like Entombed with these new guys?
HELLID: Very much so. Of course it's different, but even from the beginning we had line-up changes all the way through. Now it's me and L-G (Petrov, vocals) left from the early albums. But the way I see it, and the way it feels, is that Entombed is just bigger than the pieces. That's what makes it what it is. For some reason, when we play, all we have to do is make sure we don't fuck with the spirit of the band. We have to make sure we don't fuck that up. There's something that happens when we come together as Entombed and it becomes this Entombed entity with whoever is in the band. And I hope that's what other people think. With every album we kind of changed, even between the first and the second album. And even back then, people asked 'Why have you changed so much' (laughs)? So the changing part of Entombed is what we've always done. Of course, it's been a big change going to one guitar but that's also been a big challenge. But if you don't have those challenges, it gets boring.
METALLIAN: You wrote with Nicke (Andersson, ex-Entombed/The Hellacopters/Death Breath) for the first time in a long time for Serpent Saints. How was that experience?
HELLID: We recorded one song with Nicke that we haven't finished yet. We did a show with him where he played guitar with us last summer. He's been doing The Hellacopters for so long that I guess he's started coming up with music that he knew he wouldn't be able to use in The Hellacopters. And now he's got his Death Breath death metal band, so he's channelling that music into Death Breath. But he had a couple of songs that he thought would be cool to do with us. So we recorded one of them, but we didn't have a lyric in time for this album. We still have half an album worth of material that we'd like to finish this year. Hopefully we'll put it out early next year, depending on when we get around to finishing it. It's cool that he's into the metal thing again.
METALLIAN: Is there ever talk of a full reunion with Nicke?
HELLID: Not really. He likes playing guitar and even though he plays drums in Death Breath, I don't think a reunion would be a good idea (laughs). I mean, he's got all these other projects he's doing and with Entombed we play all the time… he has more than he can handle already and we're so busy, so I don't think a reunion would be possible.
METALLIAN: I've been an Entombed fan for a long time and there's always been one aspect of the band I've always wondered about, the Satanism. Are you guys doing that in an ironic way? Is it done in a humorous way, or is it serious?
HELLID: It's definitely serious, but not in the way of us being religious. For me, if you're doing it that way it's just the same as Christianity, it's two sides of the same coin. Entombed and Satanism is more a statement of being the rebel or taking some of the thoughts that are associated with Satanism, things like 'you are your own master' and all those things. We very much believe that you should decide for yourself and you should decide on your own what you believe in. But we're far from a religious band. Satanism, when you do it that way, it's Christianity. I know what I am and I know what I believe in. It's not that we're against people who believe in certain things… for all I care, people can believe in fly shit (laughs). It's what you do to other people that matters. Believe in what you want to believe in, as long as you behave (laughs). When people do stupid things and blame a book or something, that's when you've got a good source to get pissed off and write a song. A lot of bands use political ways of saying think for yourself, and they'll say this is bad and blah blah blah. But we definitely don't want to be a political band, so as long as you keep it on the Satanic side there's no danger in being mixed up with people that think they know what's going on because they believe in this or that god. And, of course, the devil's got the best music, too. When I get more time I'm going to read all the religious books that I can, because there's great stories and there's things to learn everywhere. It's just what you do with it. If you're going to be philosophical about religion, it's what people do with it. People justify things because they read it somewhere, and that's just not thinking. That goes against everything that's said in the books. People use religion for power. And if they can fool someone else, they do. And that's something I never want to be part of.
METALLIAN: Where does your aggression still come from after so many albums?
HELLID: All those things. I'm kind of mellow, I don't go out and fight people on a Saturday night and all those things. I try to stay away from the news because it depresses me (laughs). But whenever you hear something, it's very easy to get pissed off. It's usually just what people do to one another and try to get away with just because of some stupid rule. That's just ridiculous. It's been five thousand years or something of civilization and it's still like it's year one but with better toys. But Entombed's not trying to preach to anyone. People know what's good and bad, it's just that you can choose to be bad or good. When people want to be bad, they are bad. When people want to be good, they are good. I kind of enjoy the chaos of it all. That's why we're not a political band. I like the chaos of it, because out of chaos comes good things. Sometimes when we write it just happens because you're looking at something and then you write what you see. You write a song about what you understand things to be. Sometimes you're for things, and sometimes you're against. And sometimes you're just amazed at what you see around you.
METALLIAN: Entombed is still closely associated with Sunlight Studios and the Sunlight Studios' sound. I think that's pretty cool. What are your thoughts on the association?
HELLID: I wish Sunlight Studios was still there. We did our first four albums at Sunlight Studios, and the first few were recorded in this really, really small studio. And then on the fourth one, it was the new Sunlight Studios. It was the same house, but the studio was in a different form. The old Sunlight Studios was a small demo studio and we just managed, with the help of Tomas (Skogsberg, owner of Sunlight Studios), to get so much out of it. Of course, there were no computers or anything, so to create the mixes most of the time you needed four pairs of hands to help pull out the sound and turn knobs and get the mix. The mix was live, and all the faders were up and when you got a certain part you had to put the faders back down just at the right moment. I haven't been to the third studio that he has now because it's out in the countryside. But you never know, maybe we'll go there and record something. I haven't heard anything that's been done there lately, but Tomas is a great guy.
METALLIAN: What are your thoughts on a classic Entombed track like Rotten Soil?
HELLID: I like that song a lot. We played it live for a long time. I don't think I've ever had anyone ask me about it (laughs). It's the most technical song on that album (note: Wolverine Blues). We haven't played it live for a long while, though. Now that you mention it, I'm going to see if we can pick it up again for the live show.
METALLIAN: Cool! And speaking of the live show, hopefully we'll be seeing you back in Montreal and in all of Canada some time soon on tour.
HELLID: Definitely! I hope so, too. Back in the day we were over like four times a year, but it hasn't been that way for a while. I don't why, but we we're going to try making it back. It's really not that far. Sometimes we travel like 13 hours just to go Denmark. The world is getting smaller and you can get anywhere in pretty much 10 hours so we're going to try to come back.