Coppice of Corpses
CoC interviews Forest of Impaled
by: Aaron McKay
After listening to Forest of Impaled's new release on Red Stream, _Demonvoid_ [CoC #44], more times than I care to recount, I couldn't resist the opportunity to seek out some of the vitals behind the band through an interview. After requesting some time from Mark Trela, one of Forest of Impaled's guitarists, I was granted an e-mail exchange with Adrian Adamus, FoI's other axe-wizard. I was thrilled with the candor displayed by Mr. Adamus and intrigued by the band's music as a whole. As they did me, let Adrian's words enlighten you!

CoC: Well, Adrian, some interesting things have happened with Forest of Impaled since forming in 1992, correct?

Adrian Adamus: Yes, many things have changed both musically and structurally. At first the band was focused on creating melodic and atmospheric music that was still extreme, but had an almost majestic undertone. As our influences changed and our musical capability improved, we started to write more from an extreme point of view, yet still managing to keep the melodic side of our music. "The Seventh Dominion" captures both the movement to a more original direction of extreme black metal and some aspects of death are also apparent; overall the album is our best material to date and hopefully will be accepted favorably into the underground scene.

CoC: You guys started out as a four-piece, right?

AA: Originally we were under the name of Nocturnal Serenity. The band was greatly influenced by early At the Gates and Amorphis material. The original and founding members back then are still here: Dan Prawica (vocals), Mark Trela (guitar), Andy Rusin (percussion) and myself also playing guitar. For the _Mortis Dei_ MCD we also added the talents of Chris Bulkowski on the keyboard to enhance the overall mood of the material. Although in the beginning our songs weren't that technical, back then it still helped us to develop our skills and a foundation of melodic song structures.

CoC: Then you added a keyboardist before recording the demo, _The Seventh Dominion_.

AA: Yes, Mike Zielinski joined the horde, proving to be a great contribution to the extreme yet symphonic song structures and melodies.

CoC: Do you think this move increased your songwriting range to include more of a symphonic texture than, let's say, from the work on _The Dark Wilderness_?

AA: Actually, when we're writing material we mainly focus on the guitar and drums; after these two parts are complete, we try to incorporate keyboards into certain parts. Usually we see what Mike comes up with and then decide if we should use it or not. Everyone in the band contributes and naturally has their own opinion about what sounds good and what doesn't, and this adds to the originality of the band itself. _The Dark Wilderness_ had some keyboard parts, but those were very basic; with the addition of Mike, his experience as a keyboardist proves to be noteworthy and adds great atmosphere to our music.

CoC: How is the new material being received? I understand that you guys had -quite- a following even back so far as with _Mortis Dei_!

AA: Well, we have no idea how it's being received, since it has only been out for a week. According to our record company, Red Stream, they have received many comments from underground zines such as yours and from other people which are positive, and we think the record will be a surprise to most of our fans who may be expecting something similar to _Mortis Dei_. Hopefully _Demonvoid_ will mark a new era for the band and for our loyal listeners.

CoC: I want to concentrate for a moment on how absolutely heavy as -fuck- Forest of Impaled's sound comes across without loosing an ounce of the chaotic black metal feel. Will you attempt to "top" the heaviness of _Demonvoid_ with the next album?

AA: Yeah, the sound of _Demonvoid_ is very impressive and we are very satisfied with our producer Jason Walsh. Actually, we had done three final mixes of the material, which gave us some options for the sound of the album, but overall it captures the essence of Forest of Impaled in its present state, which is hostile and aggressive in nature. This album is basically our stab at creating something a bit more catchy and rhythmic while still keeping the majestic nature and power of black metal in general. Our next album will surely be an all out attack of power and chaos, as hinted by some of the songs on _Demonvoid_.

CoC: In my review of the _Demonvoid_ album, I singled out "Metamorphosis (Birth of the Seventh)" as having a some incredible riffs. What are your thoughts on that? What pulled the band in that direction?

AA: Well, "Metamorphosis" is a fairly old song -- I believe we wrote it about a year and a half ago --, but it still has a great vibe and mood to it. It tries to incorporate a more methodical approach to writing and composing metal music. One may say that it has many aspects of traditional black metal, but at the same time it features a more rhythmic centered guitar work. Basically, we were trying to create music that is both original and contains memorable riffs that are catchy yet still otherworldly and melodic. This has been the main goal of ours since the start, and _Demonvoid_ proves to be a work of this type.

CoC: How do you pull off recording what can only be described as a thick, corpulent black metal gateway to an unspoiled expanse of entropy?

AA: The heavy sound has always been something we have been striving to achieve. Unlike many bands who focus on high pitched guitar riffs, we try to compromise with one guitar playing a lower octave of the same riff or a deeper harmony, but still incorporated into the overall song as an important contribution. Also, on the final mixes we decided to turn the bass up a notch, just enough to balance the sometimes trebly guitar. We also thank our producer for giving us input and his thoughts on the sound, which helped us make some important decisions during recording.

CoC: In my opinion, the mid-west could use more bands like Forest of Impaled. How is the area -- Chicago, specifically -- treating you?

AA: In my opinion, the Chicago scene is good and thriving in that it possesses a lot of talented bands, such as Gorgasm, Scepter, Cianide, Usurper, Disinter, Fleshgrind and a lot of other bands that give rise to the scene. The only problem is that most of the local shows are often attended by people who are already doing something in the scene, such as band members, zine writers and merchandisers. It's not that there aren't that many fans of extreme metal, it's just that most of these people will only show up if a national or big act is playing. At that point they suddenly appear, but where were they last week when the local bands were playing? In general, we have a good loyal following that comes to our shows and just supports the onslaught of mayhem in Chicago.

CoC: Is there anyone around you guys there in the "Windy City" that you know personally, or have played with, that might be of interest to the Chronicles of Chaos readers, possibly, paying particular attention to more "underground" bands?

AA: One band that has been in the scene since the early days and has proven to be a big name in the scene is Gorgasm. We have played many shows with them and respect their brutal death / grind style that is almost a hallmark of the Chicago sound. Recently, they have recruited Dave Culross (ex-Suffocation drummer) to record their follow-up to _Stabwound Intercourse_, a most excellent album that incorporates the best of the grind/death style but also a melodic aspect. Anyone into technical death metal should definitely check this band out.

CoC: Who are you listening to currently? Any major influences?

AA: Currently I just picked up the new Kovenant album and am very surprised by the way they changed into an almost mainstream techno/metal band, except for the voice. The album is still very well played and arranged and I must say it is a masterpiece of new age black metal. Other stuff I'm listening to is the new Satyricon _Rebel Extravaganza_, Samael's _Eternal_, The Haunted, Abigor and the new Deeds of Flesh album. As for influences, I guess all the above can be accounted for as influences since anything that one listens to leaves some kind of impression on your thoughts -- even though you may not be aware of it at the time, it may show up while writing your next song... who knows?

CoC: Where does, in your opinion, Forest of Impaled see itself in the black metal scene?

AA: Forest of Impaled is a band that constantly evolves and changes direction while still keeping its black metal roots. We feel that originality is the key for the future of black metal. In a world of countless bands, Forest of Impaled tries to deliver this new form on _Demonvoid_ and we will continue to strive for extreme chaos and devastation in our future releases.

CoC: From a marketing standpoint, and as a fan of music, as I'm sure you are, what would you say the group's most valuable asset would be, musically speaking?

AA: Forest of Impaled's most valuable asset is that we compose music that can appeal to both death and black metal enthusiasts. We also spend a lot of time contemplating the structure of our music and must say we are very selective in our arrangements of riffs and drumming. In the end, we try to put out music that satisfies our creative needs but still is very well thought out and composed for the listener.

CoC: In conclusion, I want to thank you -very- much for everything Forest of Impaled has accomplished in its seven years and its contribution to metal thus far!

AA: Thanks for the interview and hail to all our fans, "For Ours is the Kingdom and we shall forever Desecrate the Heavens."

(article submitted 15/1/2000)

7/31/2004 T DePalma 4 Forest of Impaled - Forward the Spears
12/9/1999 A McKay 10 Forest of Impaled - Demonvoid
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