Denmark's probably most renowned death metal band Exmortem is about to return after a two year hiatus. The band recently inked a deal with the reactivated Mighty Music and is currently recording their as-of-yet untitled sixth studio full-length. I recently got a brief chat with guitarist Martin Thim about the recording of the new album, but we also touched other subjects as well.

Martin Thim interviewed by PSL

It appears as if Exmortem have been laying very low the last two years. What have you been doing in that time?
We needed to use a bit of time to find our roots as they say. But there have been other reasons as well, Morten has been away for nearly eight months or so and during that time we just put everything on hold. I've been busy with Illdisposed and work, so all in all we just had too many other things on our hands really.

I read that you compare the new material to Celtic Frost, Entombed and Morbid Angel. Is it a whole new Exmortem we'll be hearing or are all the trademarks intact?
I guess it's always hard to describe your own music, but it will be new compared to earlier albums in some ways, as we got a lot more variation and different inspirations this time. We still got the fast and twisted stuff, but I just know that when I hear the drums and guitars we have recorded so far, I get all these different "inputs". I mean, not that we have just ripped a lot of bands off, but I hear some Mayhem, Morbid Angel, Celtic Frost, Entombed, Immolation, Black Sabbath even… it's just dark and… well, very fucking just the way I like it.

Andreas Schubert switching to guitar and the addition of bassist Kim Nielsen has this affected the direction of the band?
Yeah, or at least the fact that Andreas is taking more part of the song writing now has affected the new album. The addition of Kim will come though as he is a real bass player and got his own very dirty sound.

We discussed in an earlier interview the limitations of only having one guitarist and the possibilities of finding a second. What was it that made you decide to have Andreas switch from bass to guitar?
That he wanted to basically, he is a guitarist and only took the bass spot because that's what was available at the time. Now we can present the material in its whole live as well, so that's of course a big plus.

Do you write all the music in the rehearsal room or do you jam home as well?
It's a combination; we always put it together in the rehearsal and try out different drum patterns and so on. We play as a band otherwise we might as well have called the band "The Martin Thim Sugar Experience" [laughs]!?

Things like lyrics and song titles is this something you have ready before you start recording or does it just come along the way?
Normally we have had everything ready, but this time I'm a bit behind schedule and still need one-two lyrics to go. We haven't decided what lyrics to use on what tracks yet either, but we have all the time we need.

You're currently recording the follow-up to Nihilistic Contentment. When do you expect to finish the recordings, have it mixed and mastered and ready for release?
We will be finished and have a master sometime during January. The release will be set around April I think.

I remember you saying at some point you would probably try a different studio other than Antfarm. What made it feel right to do that switch now?
We just wanted to have more time to do the recordings, have time to try out different things. It's not very creative to have to watch the clock all the time you know. With the possibilities to record your own stuff these days it absolutely worth a try, so here goes.

A lot of bands record in their home-studios and do almost all the producer and engineering work themselves. Is this something you could see Exmortem doing?

That's exactly what we are doing, except when it comes to the mix and master, we need some proper guidance for that, plus of course some help along the way.

Back when I talked to you in 2005 you seemed very happy about the deal with Earache Records, but in September 2006 you ended the co-operation. What happened?
Nothing really, I guess that's what happened… we are not going to play a 50-100 shows a year or something like that and they don't promote bands that are not playing live a lot.

You recently inked a contract with the reactivated Mighty Music. What made you go with them and do you think it's going to make a difference that you're back on a Danish label?
I don't know how much of a difference it will be, except that it's a lot easier to talk about things now. Mighty Music is working a lot more professional now, so we look forward to the cooperation.

Most of you have other bands besides Exmortem and is involved in things like Metal Royale. How is it possible to have a job, two bands and be involved in other things without some of it getting less priority?
Well, personally I've always been involved in tons of stuff, so that's just part of living but I've actually come to a time now where I'll have to prioritise some stuff. It has nothing to do with Exmortem though.

I know you have a gig coming up in February 2008 at the Royale Metal Fest. Is this the kick off to a series of shows?
Yeah I guess you could say so. There is nothing confirmed yet and there is the talk whether we should wait till after the release, of the album, playing more than the one show at the festival, we will see. We are ready to bring our new live set-up for sure!

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