CANNIBAL CORPSE – Sadistic Embodiment
Cannibal Corpse (l-r): Alex Webster, Patrick O’Brien, George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fisher, Rob Barrett and Paul Mazurkiewicz
Writing sessions for September 2014’s A Skeletal Domain – the 13th studio full-length album from Tampa, Florida-based death metal outfit Cannibal Corpse – began during September 2013, the quintet convening in the studio in February 2014. These aforementioned songwriting sessions generally mirrored past writing sessions, composers taking it upon themselves to author numbers.
“Pat (O’Brien, lead guitars) wrote five for this record, Alex (Webster, bass) wrote four songs, Rob (Barrett, rhythm guitars) wrote two songs, and me and Rob collaborated on one,” lists Paul Mazurkiewicz, drummer for Cannibal Corpse. “Like you said though, we started in September basically, and just was really working hard, fine-tuning these songs up until we went into the studio in February. Not really much changed in the way we went about the writing. Like I said, we seem to be writing in more of an individual way these years with each guy just writing his own songs. Then of course we all get together and make more of a proper Cannibal song as a whole band, but that’s pretty much how this session was done.”
Penning compositions while travelling from live commitment to live commitment is “very difficult” for the quintet. “Maybe they collect some ideas – like Pat, Rob, Alex or what have you – but it’s just so hard doing your daily thing on the road,” the rhythmist stresses. “It’s very hard to find time to actually be able to create, so most of the writing is done when we are at home and off tour, and are in the mode of knowing that we have to get some songs together. Like I said though, sometimes there are a few ideas, and you take it from there, and maybe you can get a song together a little bit quicker when you are at home. Yeah though, most of the time, it’s all done at home.”
The lone A Skeletal Domain collaboration in question happened to be the co-authorship of ‘Asphyxiate To Resuscitate’, as Paul referenced. “If we’re lucky, we seem to maybe have one per record these days where there’s maybe some sort of a collaboration,” he observes. “The way that song came about was mostly myself coming up with a rhythm and some ideas in my head basically, which was a different way for me to create a song. I’d written two songs for Cannibal in recent years, those being ‘Submerged In Boiling Flesh’ (from March 2006’s Kill) and ‘Carrion Sculpted Entity’ (from February 2009’s Evisceration Plague). Those were written in the traditional way, though. I sat down with a guitar, and came up with the riffs and all of the arrangements and all that. For this one, I had this idea. I had the rhythms in my head and I had a good idea of the song structures as well, but it was a matter of getting together with Rob so I could relay all of these ideas for him to fill in the blanks with the actual guitar playing.
“I would describe it as a very different track maybe for Cannibal Corpse, because of the way it was put together and the fact that it was mostly me writing. I have a different style and a different way of writing than the other guys, so when I do have some ideas and they’re mainly mine, the song is gonna be way different than Rob’s, Alex’s, or Pat’s I believe. It might just stand out a little bit more because I rarely do this kind of thing, but I think it’s a good track. It’s a different track, and it’s meant to be the way it is. It’s just kind of plodding along, and having the repetition because of the song being called ‘Asphyxiate To Resuscitate’. When you read the lyrics, it’s about somebody killing through that method, and reviving, and keeping on going – keeping on doing it. I wanted the song to sound repetitive in that way, as well. That’s basically that song right there, ‘Asphyxiate To Resuscitate’.”
Certain motifs perhaps denote the percussionist’s writing style. “Yeah, I think,” he muses. “Maybe, maybe a little bit. It’d be interesting to see what people think. It’s gonna be a little bit different, but it’s still Cannibal Corpse I believe. Yeah though, I write a little bit differently than those guys, but I think it’s still Cannibal Corpse. We’ll see what happens, but people seem to like the songs that I write. I’ve always heard good things about ‘Carrion Sculpted Entity’ and ‘Submerged In Boiling Flesh’ and all that, and I’ve heard a couple of good things about ‘Asphyxiate To Resuscitate’ already, so it’s a good thing. It just makes the band more diverse and just gives it a different element, a different flavour, albeit maybe only one song on the record. It keeps it interesting, I think.”
In all, Paul is responsible for half of A Skeletal Domain’s lyrical content. “I wrote half of the album lyrically since Pat wrote five of the songs, and I obviously wrote ‘Asphyxiate To Resuscitate’,” he cites. “We could’ve went either way with that one lyrically, with myself and Rob writing the lyrics, but I ended up writing the lyrics for that as well. I wrote six of the songs on the record, lyrically. It’s just the typical way I go about writing and doing things; it didn’t really change much from how I lyrically wrote for the songs that I did for the last few records. I just delve into my imagination, and come up with some cool song titles that we start with. The way I write, I want to have a song title and just kind of have a direction that I’m going in. Then I just delve into my imagination and pull all of these stories out of my head, and that’s what I did on this record.
“I didn’t use any source of reference – I haven’t done in years. Like I said, I just use my own imagination, using things I guess I’ve absorbed over the years. I really try to keep it more simplistic in grammar these days; I don’t use a dictionary, I don’t sit with a thesaurus. I’ve written lyrics in the past that way many a time, but these days I want my lyrics to be more organic and just more from words that I would use, and not words that I might not use in an everyday conversation. That’s how I went about writing the lyrics for this record. I’m really proud of them, and I hope the fans enjoy them as well.”
‘High Velocity Impact Spatter’ inaugurates A Skeletal Domain. “That’s just a song about different ways of being splattered, and causing impact spatter through high velocity,” the sticksman informs. “That one I think is a pretty self-explanatory title maybe, but just using different methods of going about that theme; falling off of a cliff, or getting hit by a train, or getting shot in the head with a bullet – things that are done with high velocity. That’s what that song’s about. I wrote the next one – ‘Sadistic Embodiment’. That’s basically just a typical song about somebody going out and doing some bad things, and having a sadistic embodiment about them, so that’s pretty much what that’s about.
“I wrote ‘Funeral Cremation’, another of Pat’s of course. That definitely has a little bit more of a short story vibe to it. I wanted to make up a pretty intense story about a funeral that’s getting cremated, a whole funeral. It’s almost kind of a play on words, a phrase that’s a little strange. ‘Funeral Cremation’ can possibly be taken in different ways, but I imagine it to be taken as a funeral that is happening that is getting cremated, basically obliterated. The whole funeral, people inside the building – you name it. There’s a little twist to that one that I’m not gonna really talk about. I’d love for the fans to read that song and maybe go ‘Wow, that’s pretty cool,’ so we’ll leave it at that for ‘Funeral Cremation’.
“I also wrote… Let’s see… ‘Hollowed Bodies’ would be another song that I wrote for Pat, the last song on the record. I think that the song overall is a very typical Cannibal-sounding song, but a song that I’m really proud of lyrically. I wrote that one last as well. I delved in and wrote that in a few hours, and kind of just came up with the story as I went because I actually knew what I was going for when I started writing lines down. That’s another really cool story, where I don’t wanna give too much away. I want the fans to read the lyrics when they hear it and see it. ‘A Skeletal Domain’ we just thought was an epic sounding song, enough to prompt it to be the title track of the record. I just wanted to write a pretty cool fantasy kind of story about basically all of the cemeteries and graveyards of the earth coming above ground, and making a whole new world on earth I guess, and destroying everything that’s already here. That’s another one I would like the fans to read and get to know. I’m really proud of all of the lyrics that I did for this record, so I hope the fans like them as well.”
A Skeletal Domain’s cover artwork reflects the subject matter of its corresponding title track. “I think when you look at the cover, that’s what we were going for,” Paul reckons. “It has a lot to do with the song of ‘A Skeletal Domain’. Like I was just saying, I don’t wanna give away too much, but that’s basically what it was about. It was about these structures coming from the ground and everybody dying, but kind of filled in with some sort of mutant creature person kind of a thing. It’s gonna be open to interpretation a lot. That’s basically what I was going for, is just an otherworldly kind of a thing that is brought to the world, to earth, but all from underground and just making a whole new way of life. Everything as we know it is demolished and gone, and here’s the world now, and it’s basically this skeletal domain.”
As has been the case since Cannibal Corpse’s inception, artwork duties fell to Vince Locke. “A lot of times we’ve worked with him, just maybe giving him a song title, giving him an idea of what we’re gonna call the album, and we might not even have an idea yet of what we were going for,” the musician shares. “On this one in particular, we did know what we were gonna go for, once we had the song title and we knew it was gonna be the title track of course. I came up with that idea of the song structure, the content of it, so it was us relaying these ideas over to Vince and saying ‘Hey, this is what it’s gonna be called. This is what we’re going for, and everything. Here’s the lyrics to the song.’
“We just saw what he came up with. He had a few different ideas, and we picked the one that we used for the artwork that you see. We think that it’s awesome; it’s a really good artwork. It’s a sinister, eerie cover, very epic we feel, and it needed be that way for an album called A Skeletal Domain. We wanted it to be that way. I think Vince did a great job; it fits the whole vibe of the record, that’s for sure.”
‘The whole vibe of the record’ happens to be “just a very eerie, dark vibe,” Paul judges. “It’s a very sinister vibe, but it definitely fits the song title of course and what the song is about. I think like I said though, it just sums it up. It’s a very dark and eerie album for us. The album cover is a great one, and we’re very proud of it.”
‘The whole vibe’ and overall sound of a given Cannibal Corpse platter is arguably dictated by its primary songwriter. “Yeah, maybe a little bit,” the wordsmith considers. “We’re very confident in everybody’s abilities to write songs, whether it’s Pat, Rob, Alex, or myself. Just this time around, Pat ended up having more songs on this record. Alex was a little busy with doing his Conquering Dystopia record (self-titled, March 2014), and everything. He was working extra hard with both bands basically, but it was a good situation for Pat and Rob to just step up a little bit more and contribute maybe a little more. Of course, Rob did pretty much the same I guess as he did on the last record, where he wrote a couple of songs – he had three on the last album.
“But yeah, the fact that Pat just had a lot of creativity going this time really lent itself to him shining through a little more. Like I said though, no matter who writes the majority of songs, it’s Cannibal Corpse. It’s just great that we have the diversity to be able to do that mind, where we don’t have to rely on one songwriter. We can all contribute and write a great Cannibal Corpse record, and I think that’s what we did on this one as well.”
Each composer’s given style bears certain hallmarks. “I think it’s apparent everybody’s got their own writing style when you hear the songs,” Paul feels. “I think a lot of people listen now, and go ‘Oh, okay. That’s a Pat song; I can tell that’s a Pat song’ by just the way he writes. The way his riffing style is, it’s different than Rob’s, it’s different than Alex’s. I think at this point in the game, a lot of fans can really sit and listen, and probably pinpoint maybe who wrote what song. It’s all Cannibal Corpse though, which is what makes it that much better for us to have diversity in the songwriting like that, but yet still all be Cannibal Corpse. It’s an awesome thing.”
Further crazier riffing tends to emerge during Pat’s numbers. “When you hear very brutally hard, very note-y parts that’s just sounding like a thousand miles an hour and there’s just notes everywhere, that’s more of a Pat song,” the drummer tells. “He’s been simplifying a lot more, writing a lot more by feel these days, but for the most part Pat’s songs are the ones that definitely have the notier kind of phrasing and the very fast picking phrasings. That make Pat’s songs stand out a little bit differently maybe than the other guy’s songs.”
The musical traits present within Pat’s arrangements tend to somewhat differ to that of Rob’s and Alex’s. “I think Rob writes a little bit more old school-style, a lot more by feel, and Rob might have a lot more slower parts, which Pat really doesn’t seem to do a lot,” Paul critiques. “Then Alex, he’s kind of in the middle. I think Alex is like the middle ground between Pat and Rob. A lot of his stuff can be very technical as well and then a lot of his stuff can be very simplistic as well, but Alex likes to work in different meters and things like that that make shifts go on throughout his songs a lot and make them very interesting songs. I think that’s kind of what we’ve got here, though. We’ve got some simple, we’ve got some mid-paced, half-simple, half-crazy I guess, and then we’ve got some of Pat’s that are maybe the most crazy, so we’ve got a good mix between the three.”
Recording sessions for A Skeletal Domain took place at Audiohammer Studios in Sanford, Florida, Mark Lewis sitting in the production chair. “Mark Lewis was great,” the rhythmist enthuses. “We did the last three with Erik Rutan, but just felt that it was time for a change really, and that’s the only reason because Erik did an amazing job with us. We just felt that we wanted to work with Mark, because we thought that he could make a great sounding record, and it was great working with him. He was a great guy, a great producer, and we had a lot of fun making this record. When you hear the final product, I think people are gonna be blown away by how great it turned out, how great it sounds. So yeah, working with Mark was really cool. Very awesome.”
Mark Lewis’ production and engineering discography in recent years brought him to the attention of the death metallers. “I know Alex was really into all of his recordings up to this point,” Paul highlights. “The most recent ones probably – like DevilDriver and bands like that. Anything that he’s been doing that we would’ve heard is just phenomenal, so everybody was excited throughout the camp, our record label, and all that – and management. It was just knowing that he’s been doing an amazing job with all of the recordings that he’s been doing these days. We felt that now was the time to give him a chance; we wanted to see what he could do with us. Like I said, I think he did an amazing job. It really sounds awesome.”
Evaluated against earlier producer Erik Rutan, A Skeletal Domain’s official press release states that Mark ‘offered a slightly different, modern recording approach.’ “This was the first time that we worked with Mark of course at Audiohammer Studios, and it’s not a real studio per se,” the percussionist notes. “Every other studio we’ve been in is an actual studio. We did the drums in a great room, which is part of Audiohammer. It’s the one guy, at Eyal Levi’s house (engineer and Dååth guitarist).
“He’s another great producer as well, and has got a great drum room basically. His house is basically a drum room, and it’s right around the corner from Audiohammer. They’ve got a little combo going on there, a couple of places, and then Mark just works in his own place – it’s just pretty much a room. With technology these days and with know-how, you almost don’t need a studio any more to make albums. Yeah, we wanted the drums to be natural and do them in a proper drum room, but everything else after that? You really don’t need an actual studio to get everything else done, so I think that was our big change.
“It was like no frills, because we were just there to record. We weren’t at Morrisound. We weren’t at the Sonic Ranch, where there are a lot of extra things going on. You’re gonna pay more money just to be in those kinds of studios, so the fact that it’s Audiohammer and the way Mark works is very much no frills, you just go in and you get the job done. Like I said, it was very different for us working in that situation, but I think it was awesome. We all loved it. I think at this point in our career, we’re not a new band. It’s not like we need to be experiencing studios, because we’ve done it. They may be a little more luxurious in a way, but we didn’t need any of that. That’s not why we’re there. We’re there to record great sounding records, so that’s the way Mark works, which is – like I said – a little bit different, but very effective. It worked well.”
In light of the plethora of records Cannibal Corpse has cut as well as its veteran status, the group arguably know how to shepherd full-lengths through the recording process. “Of course, we’ve gained much experience over the years,” Paul admits. “We’re not newcomers to this. We go into any recording trying to be as prepared as we can, so we’re not wasting time and all that. So, exactly, it’s not our first record or second record. If it was, maybe we might’ve been a little more let down, because you want to experience some studios like a Morrisound (Temple Terrace, Florida) or a Sonic Ranch (Tornillo, Texas). This time around though, like I said, we don’t need that. We just wanna get this job done; we wanna be there to record and make a record, and that’s it. We had more time, I guess. The fact that we did it that way with Mark saved us a little money, and actually I think gave us more studio time than we’ve ever had with it being a no frills kind of situation. I think it was very effective and very beneficial for us to do it with Mark.”
As one would expect, Mark supplied feedback with respect to each members’ parts. “Every producer’s going to…,” the sticksman begins. “No matter what producer you’re gonna work with – and we’ve worked with a lot of great ones – they all have their different ways of recording and suggestions for this and for that, and that’s just the way it is. Mark was no different than any producer we’ve worked with in the past of course, but like I said, we go in pretty much as prepared as possible.
“A lot of Mark’s things are just exactly capturing the sounds, getting us the sounds that we need, and making his suggestions where applicable. Maybe we changed a line or maybe we did something slightly different, because Mark said ‘Hey, maybe try doing that fill there’ or ‘George, maybe try to sing that line only once there’ – stuff like that. That’s what our producers pretty much do these days, so they’re always gonna help out, and try to do what’s best for the songs and what’s best for us. Like I said though, we’re in there knowing what we want, so we’re gonna be as prepared as possible, and very rarely anything gets changed in any way that’s gonna be really noticeable, or detrimental, or just different from what we set out to do. That’s what the producer’s there for.”
Such comments suggest producers tend to employ mostly a hands-off approach. “Yeah,” Paul confirms. “If we didn’t know what we were doing, then of course a producer is gonna come in and go ‘Oh man, these songs are terrible. You guys don’t know what you’re doing.’ We know what we’re doing at this point. Like I said, even back then, there’s never been any influence in the songwriting, because we feel that we write the songs that we wanna write.
“Like I said, if things are gonna happen, then they’re gonna be subtle. The producer is gonna work in tandem with us of course, but the producer’s never gonna be that heavily involved to where they’re changing arrangements or what have you. So yeah, that’s how producers work with us. We can probably say that we produced this record as well, because we knew what we wanted, but we just let whoever the producer is do their job. When it comes down to it, we want them to make us sound as best as they can. I think that’s what Mark and pretty much what every producer has done for us over the years.”
Weighed against more recent Cannibal Corpse fare, A Skeletal Domain features more high screams from vocalist George ‘Corpsegrinder’ Fisher. “I think George went in and did a great job,” the musician compliments. “He’s been working hard with a couple of side bands that he’s been in – his voice is in really good shape. We just wanted him to come in, and make him sound like George; make him sound as heavy as he could, and get the best product out of him. I know that Mark was definitely set on just trying to get more screams and just spending more time on the vocals, which of course, like I said…
“Coming back to the answer of we had more time to work on this record, that was a liberty or a luxury that we’ve never had in the past, to maybe do some vocals and then come back later to kind of go over and see what we need to redo, or what have you. We’ve never done that on a record until now, so I think that was key and very helpful, and getting the best performances out of George as possible.
“Yeah though, we really wanted to hit home with this record, to have George hopefully sound as great as he can, and I think he did. So yeah, let’s throw in some highs, let’s do some more screams, let’s do some doubling, and all that kind of stuff. I think George sounds really awesome on this record.”
Mark compared A Skeletal Domain’s vocal tracks to those contributed towards October 1999 outing Bloodthirst. “I think if you listen back to that and then you listen to this recording, he just sounds a little bit more maybe powerful I guess or something,” Paul speculates. “It sounds good, and that’s what we need; we need George to be sounding the best that he can. On this record, it does seem to kind of have more of a vibe of that perhaps. That’s for everybody to interpret – to listen to make their decision – but we’re definitely happy with his vocal performance, that’s for sure.”
The songwriter’s goals with respect to personally recorded studio parts are elementary. “I just wanna play the best that I can play, and do everything that I wanted to do while I was practising,” he divulges. “One thing where Mark helped out on that is that we wanted to make the drum performances as heavy as possible; heavy in terms of hard hitting, and just getting really good strokes and hits on everything. I actually used heavier sticks for this record per Mark’s suggestion, because he knew that the drums would sound better; they’d sound heavier, and they would have more velocity – more impact – if I used heavier sticks. I said ‘It’ll be a little strange, but you know what? You’re the producer, and you know what’s gonna sound good on recording because that’s your job. I’ll do it.’ For this one, that was key. Mark really wanted to just capture every hit that I did, and tried to make them as hard as possible. We were going for a natural drum sound here; I felt that that was important, and I’m sure that he did as well.
“It’s just a matter of me – when it comes down to it – making sure I’m happy with everything that I do, doing a fill or what have you, and not just saying ‘Okay, that’s good enough. Let’s move on’ because that’s a spontaneous thing or what have you. No, let’s make sure it’s gonna sound great, and make sure that I’m happy with it overall. That’s what we really concentrated on on this record, and so I think the drum sound and my performance is probably the best that I’ve ever had.”
All of A Skeletal Domain’s drum tracks “were hard in their own way,” Paul submits. “I recorded the drums pretty quick – I got them done in maybe four or five days. Yeah, they’re all hard. The fast songs on A Skeletal Domain needed a lot of endurance. A song like ‘Vector Of Cruelty’ was actually a slower song, but sometimes it’s hard for me to play slower than it is faster because I’m not used to that way of playing. They were all challenging in their own way, but when you work hard at practice and you go into it as ready as you can be?
“It was probably my easiest session ever, because of the fact that I was so ready for this. There wasn’t like any roadblock whatsoever, other than just getting these done, spending the time to make sure every song is the way it needed to be, and moving on. Twelve songs take a good four or five days to get done, and there you have it. When I look back, to me it was some of the hardest stuff that we’ve ever done, and that I’ve ever done perhaps. I was prepared more so than ever, though. It actually seemed to be a very smooth, easy recording session in that way.”
At the time of writing, the wordsmith is performing death metal material at the age of 46. “It’s crazy, yeah,” he concedes. “If anything, I think we’re just getting better. If you use your mind a little more so, and as long as you’re feeling good physically – which we are, and I am – that’s key. I think you tend to learn how to use your body a little bit better, just having the experience of us doing it this long and playing for many years of course. Health is very helpful, very key of course, but it is really crazy to think that the older we get, I really think the better all of us have gotten over the years. Of course though, it’s still challenging. We’re in our mid-40s – exactly. Like I said, I’m 46. I’m not 20 anymore, but I really do feel that I’m playing better than I ever have.”
Much wear and tear has taken place on Paul’s body. “Oh yeah, of course there’s gonna be wear and tear,” he accepts. “How can there not be? I’ve been playing drums in this style for almost 30 years now, so how can your body not be beaten up in some way? I feel pretty good, overall. I feel really good, but yeah, I’ve got a little something going on in my right elbow. I know that’s from years of just hitting, but hopefully it’s nothing major at this point. You never know, though. I’m 46-years-old, so you never know when things could just turn a little more serious, or start to nag you a little bit more so than it did in the past.
“Like I said though, overall, I’m feeling really good. I don’t feel that there’s anything at this point – right now – that’s gonna make me think ‘Oh man, I don’t know how much longer I can do this.’ Right now, I feel like I can go on for another 20 years, but that can change on a dime at this point in our lives and our career because of the age factor. Knock on wood, none of us really have any major kind of issues going on, other than just probably the normal wear and tear of doing this for almost 30 years.”
Despite all of its members being in their mid-40s, Cannibal Corpse still records regularly and performs roughly 200 shows a year. In that sense, Cannibal Corpse is still setting the pace for fellow groups in the death metal genre. “Yeah, and that’s what we wanna do,” the drummer underscores. “We wanna be relevant. We don’t go through the motions; we love playing our style of music, playing Cannibal Corpse music. We wanna go down in history as being the most brutal band of all time, getting our way, never compromising, and doing it until the very end. I hope that that’s a good example for younger bands, to look at us and go ‘Hey, we’re this age and we can still be doing this at…’ That’s good for young bands, and for the future of everybody. So yeah, it’s a pretty cool thing.”
Written by journalist Joel McIver, authorised biography Bible Of Butchery was issued to co-ordinate with A Skeletal Domain’s release. “Actually, Joel approached us a couple of years ago about wanting to do a book about Cannibal Corpse,” Paul recalls. “We thought that it was a good idea; we felt ‘Why not? If Joel wants to take initiative, and take over, and really work on this.’ Metal Blade thought that it was a great idea, as well. We just wanted to do something a little different for the fans, too; since we’ve done the ‘Making Of’’s and put out live stuff, we felt that it was time for something a little bit different. Yeah, Joel did a great job compiling a bunch of interviews – mostly from us. It’s really focusing on the five members of the band now, which has been our most consistent line-up of course, and our best line-up of all time.
“A lot of things of course were discussed and went over in our Centuries Of Torment DVD (July 2008), which talks about the whole band, and everybody basically. This time around, we wanted to focus on the five members. There’s a lot of pictures, a lot of old pictures that have never been seen before. Like I said, a lot of cool stories from us, from other people, and from other bands, and breaking down some lyrics and everything. I think it’s a really cool book that the fans are really gonna enjoy.”
The rhythmist rules out the possibility of Bible Of Butchery being expanded in future to become a more conventional biography of Cannibal Corpse. “Everything’s been covered elsewhere,” he explains. “The only previous member that wasn’t in Centuries Of Torment was Bob Rusay (bassist, 1988-1993). Everybody got to talk, and everybody told their story, and everything. This time around, it’s not about the whole; it’s not about talking to everybody – it’s not about talking to Chris Barnes (vocalist, 1988-1995), it’s not about talking to Jack Owen (guitarist, 1988-2004). It’s about talking to us five, as Cannibal Corpse now. That’s been the most solidified line-up and what we’ve had going for a long time, so it’s really us five talking about certain things.
“Like I said, a lot of it may be talked about in Centuries Of Torment, but I think when you’ve got things in print, it’s able to be referenced better and maybe there’s a few stories in here that we didn’t talk about – I’m sure there is – and then having other people talk as well. Gene Hoglan does the foreword (drummer for Dark Angel, and various others over the years). We have some other people telling some stories, like Brian Slagel (founder and CEO of Metal Blade) and Metal Blade people, and things like that, so it is a different book in that sense. It’s not a replication of Centuries Of Torment put to book, which it could’ve been. We went for focusing on the five members. If anything, it’s more about pictures that people haven’t seen; a lot of old pictures, a lot of different pictures – pictures that people just wouldn’t have seen before. That’s what we did with this book.”
Bob Rusay refused to participate in Centuries Of Torment’s documentary portion. “He didn’t wanna talk; he didn’t wanna be a part of the DVD,” Paul discloses.
A Skeletal Domain was released on September 12th, 2014 in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, on the 15th in the rest of Europe, and subsequently on the 16th in North America, all via Metal Blade Records.
Interview published in September 2014.
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