The full length album from USDM cult Malignant Christ, ‘Forever in Chaos’,
has been released on Forbidden Records! To the right, you will find 9 tracks of
streaming, screaming,crushing, punishing death metal with no remorse.
Below, we spoke with Brandon Von about the album and Malignant Christ’s dark atmospheres.
Tell us about your new release, ‘Forever in Chaos’!!!
Well, we recorded it in our rehearsal room over about 9 days at the end of August. We are very proud of how sick and evil sounding it turned out! I don’t think it’s a very poser friendly album. If you don’t like extreme brutality and sickness in your music then we are definitely not for you!
What was the recording process like? The sound is very raw but contains a lot of anger and aggression…
It was very relaxed actually because we did it all on my gear. It was recorded on an 8-track machine and then transferred to a mixing program on my computer. Basically the recording was free for us. But yeah there is a lot of anger from us because we have actually been turned down by studios in our area because of the type of band we are and what our songs are about, etc… I also recorded everything on BC Rich guitars and basses with a CRATE full stack. We use Alesis drum machines, the whole album was programmed on an Alesis SR18.
I understand there were some line-up changes recently…how did this affect the writing/recording process and what is Malignant Christ’s current status?
Yes we had a mutual departing with our longtime bass player Lee LeTourneau, and then Joey switched from vocals to bass and took over vocals again. I originally was the vocalist for the band as well as playing guitar so this wasn’t a huge adjustment for me. Then Joey left and joined another band called Domestic Assault for a few months and then he returned to play bass for the band right as we were finishing up the recording. Unfortunately, Joey was not able to play on the album. Because at the time we began the recording the band only consisted of me I played everything on the CD. But that never really hindered us or anything and now with Joey back we’re better than ever and ready to kick some ass. Malignant Christ is like my child, I want to nurture it and watch it grow and it is the biggest part of my life. There will always be a Malignant Christ as long as I am around and willing to do it.
There are some very sick lyrics that go on ‘Forever in Chaos’, from the gore of ‘Suspended in Agony’ to the religious torture of ‘Thrones of Golgotha’. Tell us what inspires you to create such painful images in the listeners mind with the lyrics…
All of the songs have kind of a horror/fantasy edge to them ranging from a man doing a ritual to become a sex slave of other dimensional beings in the title track to someone being trapped in the grave for all eternity without their soul being able to leave their body in “Shrine of the Dismembered”. Authors like Clive Barker influence my writing style but it all comes from my imagination. The graphic imagery is ingrained in Malignant Christ. I think the lyrics are very important to the overall feel of a band and we didn’t just want to have generic gore lyrics, we wanted to make it very interesting for the listener. There is also a lot of sex in our lyrics, but it has to be very violent stuff and we even have a grisly female domination track (“Suspended in Agony”). “Thrones of Golgotha” was written before any of the other songs on the album, its got more of a religious vibe to like you said but with someone being crucified and likening themselves to Jesus Christ because of the punishment they are receiving, which is crucifixion. I think there’s a metaphor for having a god complex in that song that not everybody immediately picks out.
What about the actual music? Death metal can seem very clichéd at times…how do you stay fresh knowing that there are thousands of other killer bands who are also crushing and killing everything in sight?
Really the best way to stay vital is to just do your own thing, which is what we do. We have our influences and we try to be faithful and true to that but still have our own sound and not worry about what’s cool or what other bands are doing. I think that’s the only way to really survive creatively. If you keep trying to follow and compete not only will you drive yourself nuts but also your music will suffer and it won’t be coming from the heart and the guts.
Is the material on ‘Forever in Chaos’ all new or just new recordings? What previous material did not make it on this album and why?
4 of the songs (“Thrones of Golgotha”, “Forever in Chaos”, “Torches of Sodomy”, and “Into the Pits of Cremation”) were on our demo back in 2009. Also, “Shrine of the Dismembered” and “Blaspheming the Impious” were featured on the “Shrine of the Dismembered” EP we released last August, and Joey sang on those versions. The other songs are anywhere from a few months to a year old so I guess those 3 songs would be considered new material because we’ve never recorded them before.
What other projects are members of Malignant Christ involved in, if any? Does your creativity ever stray to black metal or thrash, or do you only wish to create death metal?
Me and a friend had an industrial project several years ago called The Initial Command after the first album by Frontline Assembly. But really the only stuff Joey and I are involved with now is extreme. Joey will be doing live vocals for another killer band from Tennessee called Cannibal Rites with Sam and Jay from Your Kid’s on Fire and Elders of the Apocalypse. I also play in another death metal band called Vomited Soul. Vomited Soul was the original death metal band I came from but it broke up back in 2006. I decided to resurrect it last year because there are a lot of things I wanted to do that I can’t in Malignant Christ such as super guttural vocals and just different influences like (old) Mortal Decay, Avulsed, Catasexual Urge Motivation, etc…
Tell us about a live assault from Malignant Christ…I have seen a few videos of the band playing with a drum machine live…
We carry our own P.A. setup around with us for the drum machine; we use a Phonic 200 Watt Powerpod for it. I recently played two shows by myself just before Joey rejoined the band.
Have there been live drummers in the past or do you plan on getting a live drummer for the future?
Actually yes, we have had a few human drummers back in the early days. Most notably Gabe Passmore of Besieged passed through our ranks. But that was before we’d really developed how we wanted to as a band and gotten out style, ethos, atmosphere, and general image down. I don’t think we’ll ever have a human drummer, I’ve just gotten so used to using machines to the point that now the programming is one of my favorite things to do. It’s how I play drums. Like in my head I know how to blast and how to thrash and what not but I can’t do that physically. So programming is my way of doing that and in short ensuring that the drums are what I want them to be and what they should sound like and feel like. I think the synthetic drums have become a huge part of Malignant Christ.
What of future plans? Live shows, new material, etc. Do you have any more material written for another release?
We’ve already started working on the 2nd album; it’s going to be even sicker and faster than “Forever in Chaos”. Be on the look out for it in the next year or so. Aside from that the only shows we have planned as of right now is a 2nd appearance at Mayhem in May in Louisville, KY for the 2012 installment of the long running festival!
Thanks Forbidden Magazine for always supporting Malignant Christ and underground death metal!