Engel this year releases their third full length album, Blood of Saints, and displays their continued progression towards a sound that fuses the Gothenburg style of melodic death metal with electronic and industrial elements. We talk to Niclas, guitarist of the band to find out more about their newest release, Blood of Saints.
Hello! I´m alright and enjoying nice sunny weather here in Gothenburg/Sweden and everything´s running smooth in the ENGEL camp with a full booked summer,autumn & winter with a headliner through EU in September and some more touring so were kinda bissy at the moment.Things went over expectations with the Blood Of Saints on the charts here in Sweden and a bigger interests for ENGEL over all.
Before we move on with the interview, tell us more about the history of the band.
It started as an idea of mine in mine bedroom were I recorded some stuff just for fun and to see what would happen if I blended my way of riffage with heavy industrial beats! Met up with Marcus & Mangan just to see if the song could fly in the rehearsals as well and sure it did.We kind of work our asses of since we found out we wanted to give it a go with ENGEL and now 3 albums down the line and numerous shows later we beginning to see some light!!
Let’s now talk about Blood of Saints. This is the first album featuring Jimmy on drums, after the departure of Daniel in 2010. How did this collaboration come about, and how has it been with him working in the band so far?
Marcus kind of knew about Jimmy since his former band and knew that he could be the man to take over from Daniel which is NOT a easy task but he is doing a great job and even deliver some more groove to the songs which we really like.Everything is running smooth with Jimmy since he´s sucha easy going guy and have a lot of ideas and are positive in mind and body which is the most important with playing in a band, so he´s one of us nowadays!!
Also, what is the songwriting process like in Engel, in particular, for Blood of Saints? Is there a primary songwriter in the band who comes up with a main idea for the album?
I do most of the music and have done that since the beginning I have that kind of disease like ADHD when it comes to new ideas and making new music which is something that I need to get going so it´s really natural for me to do a song.But I want to make something clear that I´m no dictator and I really invite the other guy´s in the band to contribute to the music but I guess they are counting on me when it comes to new ideas and such. For Blood Of Saint we brought another songwriter in Pontus Hjelm who play with the band Dead By April which we have done several recordings with and we are very pleased with the result and it was a really funny trip working with Pontus. Mangan is doing the main part of the vocals and arrangements but I tend to have a finger or two in that jar as well.
The unique thing that makes Engel stand out from other bands is the incorporation of industrial and electronic music into melodic death metal. How did the decision to create such a form of music come about?
As I wrote earlier it was something that came about when I was experimenting in my bedroom with different beats & loops and heavy hard hitting riffage, and then add some groove to the mix. I think that the most important thing you got to have is to follow your gut reaction and heart rather that think to much, just go with the flow!!
On the Japanese release of Blood of Saints, the band included a cover of the Black Sabbath classic, Neon Knights. When it comes to releasing cover songs, what goes into deciding which songs to cover, and for this particular release, why Neon Knights?
Black Sabbath is the best band in the world especially during the Ronnie James Dio era with albums a Heaven & Hell and Mob Rules so the decision was not that far away to do Neon Knights: And it´s also a celebration to Ronnie for being the most inspirational singer of our time!! Cover songs is not our main priority but we could not help but doing Neon Knights!!
Coming from the same region as influential Gothenburg bands like In Flames and At the Gates, what are some of the influences when it comes to the music of Engel? Are the impact of these bands on the music of Engel significant when it comes to writing music?
I would like to say that we got our on sound and way of making music and these bands are friends to us and I use to play with these bands before they even was named ATG or In Flames.. So I guess we have more in common with Shotgun Messiah, PLP and Clawfinger (all Swedish bands) with a huge portion of melodies. Nowaday´s we more influenced by vibes from surroundings/environment but still very keen on new music, I like to discover good music in general for instance i´m all in to Dawnbringer at the moment which is a full on classic sounding Metal band.
The band was recently scheduled for a show at the Faceplant Metalfest, which was cancelled due to financial constraints by the festival promoters. What are your thoughts on this?
Nothing wrong with putting a festival together but I guess that this is a sign that we are over feasting on festivals at the moment and it becoming more like a hype than actually creating a proper festival with all the energy, time and effort you need to put behind it but I hope that Faceplant will be up ´n runnin´next year!
With the release of Blood of Saints, what are the near future plans of the band?
Playing Festivals 😉 the whole summer and then our first headliner in September and then Scandinavian dates in october and some more touring through november into December so I guess we got our hands full at the moment. We got tons of cool ideas that we want to see happen in the near future so don´t be surprised if you see something odd coming from us.
Recently we saw numerous Swedish metal bands stopover at Singapore, such as Opeth and Arch Enemy. Are there plans for Engel to tour the region soon?
WE WOULD LOVE TO TOUR IN SINGAPORE!! If any proper promoter is reading this don´t hesitate to contact our booker!! We have done a japanese tour with the mighty Arch Enemy in April which was just awesome!
Alright Niclas, we have come to the last question. Any last words for fans out there?
Just lend a ear or two to our new album Blood Of Saints and you will find something that you will like for sure I can promise you that!!
Thank you once again for taking the time to answer our questions. We wish you and Engel all the best in your upcoming endeavours!
Thank´s to you for the interview !!
Album Review: Engel – Blood of Saints