Greetings Henrik! Thanks for lending us some of your time for this interview.
Could you start off by telling us something about yourself and what you’re up to these days?
Henrik: “My name is Henrik Engkjær, I’m 24 years of age and have been a metalhead for more than half of my life. I’m live in Copenhagen (though I have no accent!) and study religion and philosophy at the university here. It’s way better than a mindless zombie-job, but it doesn’t leave me much to live for economically. I play the guitar for three Danish UG metal units: Exekrator, Victimizer and Full Moon Lycanthropy. Metal is the only thing that has ever really captured me and that’s what all my time goes to. So I’m up to the usual: listening to, reading about, drinking to and playing metal.“
Exekrators last release, “Superstitionis Maleficiae”, was in 2002 and later came as an EP in 2004. Are you working on new material?
Henrik: “Yes, “Superstitionis Maleficiae” was released in 2002 as a promo. View Beyond Rec. loved it up and released is on the glorious 7’’ep format (though it’s fucking MLP length). This is sold out from us and label, so we’re hoping for a picture disc. Many distros still carries this. In DK you can try Horror rec., Ancient Darkness, Epilog and Heavy Metal Denmark. Our coming releases will feature old recordings accompanied by old and new unreleased tracks. We should have “Superstitinios…” out on split cd with Violator. This will feature an unreleased Exekrator song as well as a cover of Misfits “Bloodfeast” (we also recorded “Bullet”, but don’t know what will happen to this yet). Also we will have the “Ordo Bestiae” comp.-album featuring both ep’s and two unreleased Exekrator tracks. Cd through Bestial Burst and tape through Misanthropic Propaganda prod. No plans for a vinyl version yet, though it would certainly be welcome. The new stuff we have recorded (4 songs) will not be official but ONLY as a promo to try and get a drummer. It’s recorded with a drum-computer, you see.”
You also label yourself as “Heavy Metal/Black Metal”. Could you tell us more about that style? Does it have a purpose? It is quite original by the way.
Henrik: “Well, this label is something we use to try and describe our music, although it of course never can be done. Better to go to our homepage and hear for yourselves: www.exekrator.com. It’s just to give people a little idea. To us the music is just black metal. You know; black metal from before the Norway-boom. At the time where black metal bands sounded differently and were unique. I see Exekrator as a continuation of this tradition. Most bands that sound like everyone else probably don’t have any insight in black metal and therefore have to use their heros as crutches in order to be able to play black metal. Exekrator stands alone.”
Have you found a drummer yet or is that still a big issue in the band?
Henrik: “No, we have not found one yet and therefore it’s a big issue. We decided to record four new songs to spread in the Danish metal scene to get some attention about this. Our priority is to get a steady drummer for rehearsal, recordings and live-concerts. However we are also interested in hearing from people who could do session work on recordings. Recordings are by far the most important aspect for me. All drummers should contact us.”
What do you think of the Metal scene in Denmark?
Henrik: “It sucks, of course. There are generally three ways of playing metal in Denmark. Ultra shitty, happy Nuclear Blast-type nu-metal, idiotic groove death (read: life) metal and untalented, insightless Norway-rip off “black” metal. “If we use a trebled distorted sound, scream and play fast we must be black!”. Everyone follows the leader. Being original, unique and writing real songs is frowned upon, while sounding like a 10th grade clone of Burzum you will be hailed by all. I have been wondering, when have you last said “The band is in the vein of this and this, but BETTER!”? It almost never happens does it? I’m not saying that every band has to be very original, but an own identity combined with good, real songs (not 100 riffs that are impossible to remember or get anything out of) is unbeatable! There are some who have raised themselves above the sheep: Mercyful Fate, King Diamond, Artillery, Denial of God, Strychnos, Blackhorned, Opus Obscurium (not metal, though), Church Bizzare (and maybe a few others – I haven’t heard everything anyway), and without being pretentious I might say, that the bands I play in, are also among those, who don’t fear the shepherds cane?”
And outside of Denmark? Anything interesting released lately?
Henrik: “No matter how low the metal scene sinks there always seems to be lots of great stuff coming out too, luckily. The new albums of Watain and Marduk rule! So does W.A.S.P.’s Neon God-series. The new Darkthrone is good. Hail the new Abysmal Grief split 7’’ep and Nunslaughters “Burning The Cross” 7’’ep. I’m really looking forward to getting the new Inquisition from Pentagram Warfare rec. and Death SS “Horned God Of Wicthes” from Horror.”
You also joined the ranks of Victimizer some months ago. Do you enjoy playing in the band? Has it become your main band now or is that still Exekrator?
Henrik: “Yes, Killheiler called me when they needed a new guitar-player (actually a whole new line-up), and YEZ I enjoy playing in the band. It’s very pain-free and straight. I have written four songs until now. Killheiler comes in with the lyris, then we rehearse and record. Very straight and un-perfectionistic – great! In Exekrator every song is changed many times and most riffs are thrown away, but the result is always very good. Fuck, main-band? I hadn’t thought about it until this question. I would say none of the bands’ plans have ever interfered with each other and if they did I would have to evaluate the particular situation. You don’t cancel studio-time to do a normal rehearsal-session! I use much more time rehearsing with Exekrator and do lots of promotion-work for it. I don’t need to do that in Victimizer since Killheiler and Azter have so good contacts already. So in this manner you could say Exekrator, but when I’m not forced to choose there’s no reason. It would almost be analog with telling my friends “You’re my best friend, you’re my second-best, you’re..”.”
What are you currently listening to?
Henrik: “Well, right now I’m listening to Antaeus “Cut Your flesh and Worship Satan”, but I suppose you mean more generally. I would say the releases I have already mentioned as well as old W.A.S.P., Black Sabbath, Autopsy, Necrophobic, the new Kreator. I actually listen to a lot of different stuff at the moment.”
You also play in the band Full Moon Lycanthropy. Could you tell us more about that project?
Henrik: “Well, a project is a good term for this band, ‘cause we don’t rehearse or play live. We write the songs, record and release them. We have done two demos, but only the second showed our real style as the first one was written when we were too young. We wrote the first one in 96 and tried to record it four failed times. Member- and technical incompetence. When we finally did get it out it was mostly to show ourselves that it could be done. We have recorded a new song for a split 7’’ep with the cool band Conjuration (at the pressing plant now!). This will be out on finnish Bestial Burst who will also release a cd with both demos. Tue of Exekrator came up the name “Danish Werewolf Metal” which we use. We mix black metal and horror music, making twisted but yet melodic music. Again I can’t describe but listen to it at the homepage: www.fullmoonlycanthropy.dk. Where you can also be updated about what’s going on.”
What are your views on politics?
Henrik: “Well, my political views are a matter of deteriorating importance and have been for some time. Exekrator is not a political band and we don’t agree on political subjects, so it would be meaningless to try and be one. Politics used to be a thing that mattered but not any more. I would describe it like standing outside the world and looking at it with loathing or exhaustion. Mostly the latter, lately. Politics is something people rave about when drunk.”
Do you listen to all Metal related genres? Are there any genres you listen to more than others or is your musical taste pretty varied?
Henrik: “Well, yes I would say my musical taste is pretty varied. I listen to 99% metal and a few hard rock bands. I would say I’m into most metal genres, although I don’t consider nu-“metal” (or “guitar-rap” as I call it) to have anything to do with metal and the same goes for -core. I like black, death, thrash, heavy, and a bit of 70’s doom metal. Black metal is probably the genre that is closest to my rotten heart though. Some of my faves are: Mercyful Fate/King Diamond, Death SS, (old) Slayer, (old) Mayhem, W.A.S.P., Dissection, (old) Metallica, Black Sabbath, Absu, Judas Priest, Danzig, Darkthrone, Funeral Mist, Destroyer 666, Sabbat (Jap.), (old) Emperor, Venom, Bathory and many more. At least I think it’s pretty varied.”
Thanks once again, any last words?
Henrik:”Yes, thank you for the support and interview. Judging from most of the previous interviews you have on the page, you are a man of taste. All that are interested in Exekrator and something that doesn’t sound like other bands can check out the homepage and listen to the music. All drummers most get in contact as soon as possible!