WOM Interviews – Diabolical

Never the black and death metal mixture was so intersesting like the one that Sweden’s finest Diabolical presented on their latest work, “Eclipse”, after six years passed on their previous album. They took Europe by storm in a top class tour with names like Septicflesh and Krisiun and World Of Metal couldn’t miss the chance to check how’s the guys’ current moment. Master Sverker “Widda” Widgren revealed us all a few months ago.
Fernando Ferreira

Hello guys and welcome to our World Of Metal. I’ll start by saying that I’ve been listening “Eclipse” non stop for the last few days… just to set the mood right for this interview (laughs) What are your feelings on the album now that you are waiting for the reactions and probably getting the first ones?

Thank you for taking the time. The release date for “Eclipse” is set to February 15 and that is still a couple of months away, so I haven’t really heard or read anything. To me, “Eclipse” is definitely Diabolical’s best album to date, and that’s what is important to me. 

You were always a band that had a special ability to create these songs with great atmosphere, but on this one you seemed to have excelled. Did you have any prior objectives for “Eclipse”? Did you want to achieve bigger atmospheres, bigger arrangements for example?

The musical direction of our previous album “Neogenesis” (2013) and the mini album “Umbra” (2016) was our starting point, and I think we already had some kind of vibe going there that we felt comfortable with. Starting there, we obviously wanted to take things a step further and improve all aspects of our music. I personally still think that “Neogenesis” is a great album. It has many highlights and as a whole I don’t really have any regrets. Also, the work that Carl did with the novel and the underlaying concept of “Neogenesis” is quite fantastic. Still today six years later I don’t know any other album in extreme metal where the story follows the music in the same way. That said, you always want to take on the writing-challenge from a different angle every time, and we didn’t want to repeat ourselves. We wanted to make a record where every part could stand on it’s own feet, rather than having to be a part of a bigger whole. We wanted “Eclipse” to be more dense and direct than “Neogenesis” was and I believe that we succeeded with that.

One might think that as evolution goes, a band can’t avoid getting softer but in your case and despite the heavy use of orchestrations, you’re heavier than ever. That’s something that you took extra special care on the songwriting?

When writing and arranging I personally don’t think it is interesting to think about music in terms of “soft” or “brutal”. It’s very subjective. But sure, I can agree that “Eclipse” is the “heaviest” album we did. I think it will have a big impact on.

About the production and recording, with all these elements, did it change your habits a lot? We know that you returned to Wing Studios?

The actual production process of “Eclipse” was pretty similar to what we did with “Neogenesis” and “Umbra” as far as schedule, setup etc is concerned. I have produced records for more than 15 years so I got some kind of structure of how I think it makes sense to produce an album. Doing everything at Wing Studios works very good for us.

It’s too early to talk about this yet, but knowing that you guys always want to do better, don’t you think that after “Eclipse” the bar is set way too high? It’s a problem most bands would kill for but even so, might be a great challenge with the next one.

What you have to remember is that if you are honest in your music and aim to create in a manner that reflect your own musical preferences and ideas, rather than sticking to a certain musical formula that is supposed to be “the way it should be”, then development will be unavoidable unless you stagnate as a human being.

Despite not having a keyboard player, and like we’ve been talking about, there’s a lot of orchestral arrangements. Did you count with any special collaboration on this department?

For the recording of “Eclipse” we brought in a choir consisting for 20 singers to do all the choir parts, and it obviously makes a difference in the sound and the atmosphere of the album. The impression that you have about orchestration I think mainly comes from the choir rather than from traditional “orchestration”. We had similar choir arrangements on “Neogenesis” and “Umbra” too. As far a keyboards are concerned; right now we feel very comfortable working as a four-piece. I don’t know what’s gonna happen in the future, but right now we have no plans to add people to Diabolical.

When writing for “Eclipse”, you had a vision of you wanted to achieve? When “Umbra” was released, you already had defined the path that led to the end result in the album?

As I mentioned earlier, the musical direction of “Neogenesis” and “Umbra” was our starting point and then we just wanted to take everything one step further. We wanted “Eclipse” to be more dense but most importantly we wanted the album to simply be the best that we have done since the band was formed 23 years ago, and I have no doubt that it is.

It’s your first album for Indie Recordings, how did you get to them?

For more than ten years we released all our music, four releases all-in-all, through ViciSolum Productions. That co-operation was always working out great so we had a rather high bar set that any other label would have to get over should we ever change. However, with “Eclipse” we felt that we had to change a few things around the band and having been on the same label for ten years we felt that trying something new in that department was one of those things. We have known Indie Recordings for years, for other reasons, and they were the most suitable option so we decided to work with them. It is still too early to say if this cooperation is a massive success, but I have no reason to think it will not be.

You’ll be visiting us in Portugal for two shows, one in Porto and another in Lisbon, with the almighty Septicflesh. What can the portuguese fans expect for these two shows? How much from “Eclipse” can we expect to see live?

I look forward to those shows. We have played with Diabolical in almost every country in Europe through the years, in most countries many times, but for some reason we never made it to Portugal yet. So, we are looking forward to that. If you’re enjoying “Eclipse”, I’m sure you till be okay with the set-list. I think that we will probably focus on the new album during the tour that we do with SepticFlesh.

Any plans for touring has headliners? Would be great to see you guys with more playing time.

Yes, we will go out on tour as headliners as well, following the release of “Eclipse” but I can’t say where and when without having my head chopped off.

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