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Black Minds squeezing Horricane

Horricane's demo "The Lynch Lawyers Death Squad" floored me with it's perfect mix of death metal bludgeon and creeping horror atmospherics, in fact it is one of the finest demos I've heard for a long time. I was hoping to hear a lot more from this band, so that was reason enough to get in touch with drummer MDX and organise an interview.

Greetings! How are things in Estonia today? What's the latest news on Horricane's front?

MDX: Hello! Things in Estonia are going to be better and better. We just did a great gig in Green Christmas festival with Paradise Lost headlining. The audience was great and warm.

OK, let's get down to business. “The Lynch Lawyers Death Squad” has undoubtedly been the finest demo I've heard all year! How successful has the demo been (if you can measure success, that is) for you?
MDX: The main purpose of the demo was to push the record-labels as much as possible and the purpose to make money hasn’t been primary idea. We have reached the targets 100% by now. The demo is completely sold out and we have signed the record deal. The feedback from the media has been better than expected.
ERX: Very respectful magazine BraveWords&BloodyKnuckles has voted our demo to the highest No. 1 position in demos/indies category in 2004. It has been total surprise and honor for us. Can you imagine that a band from Eastern Europe, from a small republic called Estonia reaches the highest place? We still cannot believe it.

The production on “Lynch Lawyers Death Squad” is without doubt the best I have heard on any demo, are you satisfied with it? Will you be using Zorg Studios for future recordings?
MDX: It’s still quite low budget (for us at least) and we know that we can get better results also with the same equipment. Horricane is going to record the first full-length in the beginning of 2005 and we have chosen the same studio, because right now we feel confident with the same producer. We know how to get the sound we want to create.
PCHN: Our music isn’t easy to comprehend for everyone and it’s quite hard to explain our ideas and understandings to every sound engineer that’s why we chose the same studio and same engineer, because groZmoT has the understandings already.
ERX: You should check out band called Zorg from Estonia. It’s really catchy industrial stuff with amazing Zorg Studio production.

If I could hazard a guess at the Horricane's influences, I would say Morbid Angel, first Darkthrone LP, Fear Factory's “Demanufacture”. Would you agree? Do you fellas listen to much DM stuff at home, or is your musical palette slightly broader than the average metal caveman?
MDX: Actually the comparison with DarkThrone came a bit surprising for us, but hell yeah, everything influences us. We all like very different music from 50-ies horror soundtracks to very modern metal like hybrid metal or metalcore. The common dominator for us has been and still will be POWER!
PCHN: I think it is incorrect to make parallels that if band plays slower death metal, they must listen to Morbid Angel. I like only some of riffs from MA, generally Trey’s solos and composition aren’t my cup of tea. Darkthrone had my airtime only for 2 seconds :) FF is great, I have listened them about 10 years from the beginning, but that’s not the band who gives me the direction in my own music. It is weird that lots of people say that Horricane has some mechanical touch, as I really cannot understand it. What I like are movie soundtracks, especially horror-movie soundtracks. I see them more inspiring than some metal band’s music. Of course, there are a lot of great bands which I like and there are only handful of CDs I listen to over and over again. Horricane’s idea is to mix catchy melodies, hard ramming riffs and individuality and the outcome is 100% Horricane and has nothing to do with any band you can name…

I read a review of your demo (which will remain nameless, hehe) which stated that the keyboards were “useless at best and annoying at worst”. What the hell?! I think the synths add immeasurable amounts of atmospheric menace, and they are a key (ahem) component to Horricane's sound. Synths are a controversial instrument to use in extreme metal nowadays. Why do you think this is?
MDX: I guess that the keyboards suit perfectly to create the atmospheres we want to. Maybe it is something that any other death metal band in the world haven’t made yet.
PCHN: Synthesizers give a lot of opportunities, but we really like to keep them on the background not to abuse them like many of bands do. The idea of keyboards is to create the special and unique atmospheres, to give creeps and chills to a listener with absurd or cacophonic tones or to have low-tune depths and chords. We settle no limits and synthesizers have to be tasteful.

Estonia has quite a tradition with death metal bands, in the early 90's you had Aggressor and Misdeed, and now there are newer bands like Surrogoat playing in this style. The thing is, most of these bands are just about unknown outside Estonia. Why do you think this is? Don't you think it's about time the rest of the world sat up and paid attention to the Baltic scene?
MDX: I think, that the best days for the Estonian metal are just coming. Our scene is very strong at the moment - many bands are releasing albums and record-labels are discovering bands. The audience is enthusiastic and we have great concert-places. What more would you like to have?
If I had to choose 5 bands that certainly deserve full attention, they would be: Recycle Bin - young and very talented guys playing metalcore; Forgotten Sunrise - combining EBM (Electronic Body Music) with death metal, they call themselves deathbeat shortly; Kantor Voy - superb prog-metal; Metsatöll - the best pagan metal act from Baltic’s and Manatark - these guys know how black metal should rage!
PCHN: We have really great web-page for all Estonian acts, you may check it out anytime.

Horricane = it's a hurricane, right?
MDX: Ha-ha! It’s just the game with the words. Our name is ‘horror’ combined with ‘hurricane’. Somehow it describes the attitude of our band.
PCHN: More like ‘horror’ meets ‘hurricane’ - the craziness and insanity meets rumbling power.
ERX: As I remember, we wanted to pick a name without any meaning. The name might be confusing, but at least we can be sure not to meet any band with the same name somewhere around the globe.

I think one of the appealing aspects of your demo is, and in truth I feel a bit wrong saying this, is that clearly no expense has been spared. I mean, the artwork, the production, even the bio-sheet that accompanied the demo just reeked of sheer class. It was as if it was screaming “Sign me now!!!” at me. Was this a clear decision you took from the start? To show labels that you are an organized and professional band, as well as a talented one?
MDX: Absolutely! In the beginning of 21-st century, when there are thousands of very talented bands out there, you have to differ from the others and the only way to do this, is to act professionally in every meaning.
PCHN: You got that right - nothing is left for a chance.

So has there been any label interest so far? What will be the next step for Horricane?
MDX: Horricane has signed a world-wide deal with Black Mark records and our debut album will be released during 2005. The next step for us is to enter the studio and record the material.
PCHN: Next step is recording session for sure. We are open-minded and have fresh ideas which we would like to take along wit us in to the studio, thoughts about how to get the sound better, how to record keyboards and so on. I assure you that you must be quite alert about the Horricane’s release -more powerful, more interesting and more mature than the demo.

Alright, that's all from me, I wish you all the best and hope to be hearing a lot more about you! Final words?
MDX: Thanx a lot for you for all the kind words and great interview!
PCHN: Also lot of thanks and just be patient about the full length release! It will strike you right between the eyes.

Author: Jamie
Zine: Black Minds

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