German band Nailed To Obscurity are getting set to release their latest album, Black Frost, on January 11, 2019. Metal Wani’s Laura Vezer had a chat with guitarist Jan-Ole Lamberti and vocalist Raimund Ennenga about their 2018 in review, their achievements, and the upcoming new release.
When asked about their 2018 in review, both Raimund and Ole confirmed that it was a very busy year for Nailed To Obscurity:
(R) 2018 was quite a busy year, we signed a deal with Nuclear Blast which was phenomenal and a great option to touch new grounds and put Nailed To Obscurity on the next step for the evolution of our band. It was also the year that we wrote the majority of Black Frost and recorded it. Now we are keen to finally release it. We played cool shows like Bloodstock Open Air – was our very first time in the UK. We also played some very small unusual festivals here in Germany and in Austria. It was a very interesting and productive year I think.
(O) Most of the time this year we were busy writing new songs for our upcoming album, and between that we were playing shows. I think the year up until September, we spent every weekend in rehearsal trying to get the album done.
When asked about the upcoming new album, Black Frost,
(O) Well, I think musically it’s still Nailed To Obscurity even though we tried to keep developing our sound like we did on our previous records. We didn’t want to record an album that sounded exactly like the album before. Our goal was to create something new without losing our signature sound. I think we achieved that. It’s more atmospheric than King Delusion, and a bit darker. Less lead guitars in the classical sense, which we used to have a lot of. This time we wanted to focus on the really strong ones, which gave room for new sounds that we haven’t’ used before, almost hypnotic, ambient sounds that we create with our guitars, as well as a lot of vocal experiments, and I think that’s where Raimund can add something.
(R) I think we put a lot more focus on a different vocal styles to make it more dynamic than before. There are more clean vocals on the album, and different styles of clean vocals too. Two kinds of whispering and with this I think we have achieved more variety on the album. Everything is more dynamic than it has been before. On this record I think there’s a lot more happening in just one song than there has been before.
Black Frost seems to be a continuation from the bands previous work. When asked about how the band evolved both as individuals and collectively:
(R) I think we have all evolved a lot over the years. In this line up since 2012, and I think we have grown together a lot. Individually so many things have happened in our lives, like finishing studies, starting day to day work, meeting interesting people and stuff.. we’ve all evolved over the years. When it comes to the band, it’s the music itself that’s evolved over the years. We know the strengths of the band, stuff that we like about our own music, certain ingredients we think are very important for NTO and we all got to know over the years how to use these ingredients. When we try to add something new, we know what kind of stuff might fit, and what might not fit into the NTO sound, so the awareness of our music, and what we do, and what we want to achieve with the band has become a lot bigger over the years.
Focusing on a song on the album, “The Aberrant Host” and the headspace the band was in when they wrote this track:
(O) It’s really hard to say because we wrote all the songs at the same time, bit by bit. There wasn’t a period of time where we were working on one particular song. We were writing on 21 different songs, but most of the ideas we threw away so these 7 songs that got on the album were what we thought were the strongest ideas. I can’t say which mood we were in when we were writing that song. What I think is interesting about this song is that there’s a mini-song within, almost a pop song structure. The main song has a pop song structure, but within this structure there is a part that is almost a song on its own. That makes the song itself really strange, with tempo and rhythin changes, even though the main structure of the song is pretty simple. I think that’s what makes it so simple for me.
(R) I am always collecting ideas on my laptop (for lyrics) .When I have an idea I try to write something down to capture the idea. I already had a lot of ideas when we started with the record. This idea came to mind when I was already deciding which lyrics might fit with which song. This was a new idea that was a new and fresh idea. I watched a documentary about aberrant hosts in nature. When a parasite attacks a host and rules it from the inside, but is dying at the end too, because it is an aberrant host. This was something interesting to me. It is such a strong metaphor. It’s not just about lethal illnesses; it’s also about friendships. When you think you can trust someone and they have betrayed your trust, this is killing yourself because you trusted he wrong person, but it is also killing the bond with them, so they will die for you. I think it is a very interesting topic. When I wrote these lines sometimes I was really into the illness topic, I think it is also a strong metaphor. I like “The Aberrant Host” in many ways. It’s a very interesting song arrangement wise but also an interesting topic.