We've waxed poetic about Extol quite a bit over the years here at Metal Injection, so when it was recently announced that Extol guitarist and mastermind Ole Børud has spearheaded a new project called Fleshkiller, we of course got all kinds of stoked. The band boasts an impressive lineup of some lesser-known metal veterans, including Elisha Mullins of The Burial, Ole Vistnes of Norway's Shining and Andreas Skorpe Sjøen of Umpfel.
If the first single, "Parallel Kingdom" , from their upcoming debut record Awaken is any indication, Fleshkiller is definitely a band to keep a close ear on in 2017. Ole Børud was kind enough to answer a few questions about the status of Extol, how Fleshkiller came to be, and future plans for the band.
MI: Extol released an incredible comeback record in 2013, but soon after its release, the band went back on hiatus. What was the reason for this? What are Extol's other members Peter and David up to these days?
Ole: The reason for Extol once again returning to hiatus was first and foremost that Peter was not able to perform live with the band, leaving us with the option of being a 'recording only' type of band, something that David and I didn't want to do. And so Peter quit the band short after and David and I were left with deciding what to do with Extol. We started looking at some ideas together but soon agreed that it felt weird to only be the two of us and still call it Extol, so we basically decided to call it quits. At this time David was already working on a project with Christer [Espevoll] (former Extol guitarist) and wanted to pursue this, and so I went on writing by myself for a new band which eventually became Fleshkiller.
MI: How did the concept for Fleshkiller come about? How did Elisha from The Burial get involved?
Ole: It basically derived from Extol finishing up it's business. I originally got in touch with an old friend of mine called Peter Dalbakk (Schaliach, Vardøger) to do the vocals, but after awhile he told me that he wouldn't be able to to it due to priority matters in his life. So shortly after that I contacted Elisha (whom I got in touch with during Extol's time on Facedown Records) and asked if he'd like to join the band and he pretty much jumped on board right away and did an excellent job. Looking back at it now it really feels like the right thing happened and so I'm very happy with Elisha handling the vocals.
MI: There seems to be a lot more old school death metal influence on Fleshkiller's debut, Awaken, but also some prog/fusion qualities. What were some of your guys' inspirations for writing this music?
Ole: Old school death and thrash metal is what I used to listen to as a kid so that really comes naturally to me, the likes of Death and those bands back in the days that kinda had a thrashy death metal vibe. As for the more harmonic side, there are definitely traces of 70's prog in there; for instance I've always been a fan of the vocal harmonies in Yes and that probably shows a bit in Fleshkiller.
MI: Lyrically, it sounds like Fleshkiller doesn't stray too far from the Christian themes of Extol. The documentary you released a few years ago touched on some of the challenges of being in a Christian metal band. Do you find those same challenges to be ones you still face today?
Ole: Being a Christian still means being human, although with a perspective filled with hope and inspiration for living life. So needless to say, life itself may give you challenges, but it is in those moments faith steps in and carries through.
MI: As veterans of the metal scene, what are your impressions of the metal scene today?
Ole: There is a lot of great talent out there these days, which I think is awesome. I like the idea that it's cool to be the best you can on your instrument. However, at times, it may seem like the songwriting part sometimes suffers from skills being the centre of attention. So a good balance of both is preferred.
MI: Are there any new or up-and-coming bands you're particularly excited about?
Ole: I have to admit that I'm not paying enough attention to all the new stuff coming out, so I'm more likely to put on Human by Death or maybe Necrophagist, either that or I'll put on Steely Dan.
MI: Any touring plans for Fleshkiller? What does the future of the project look like?
Ole: We have a few shows scheduled for this autumn, otherwise we're currently looking at different ways to get out there and play during next year.
Awaken will be released Sept. 15 via Facedown Records. Pre-order here.