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Rumours of a re-release of early '90s Grindcore/Doom pioneers Visceral Evisceration demo works reached Comrade Aleks, so he tracked down band founder Hannes to find out how true they were.

Interview with Visceral Evisceration.
"Visceral Evisceration were a unique phenomenon within the '90s Death Doom scene. Yes, their influences have become recognizable as the genre has grown more and more popular, but actually they differed from other bands with their attractive melodic sound, remarkably strong song-writing and… lyrics dealing with gore: a lot of gore and horror. As the band’s name (and unreadable logo) points out, it was all about cannibalism and necrophilia. It’s intriguing how the band could have evolved, but they split soon after the release of their debut full-length - with the eloquent title ‘Incessant Desire For Palatable Flesh’ - in 1995. Even the post-split reincarnation, As I Lay Dying, only lasted two more years. There are rumours that early material by both bands may be released in 2018 - is that true? I found Visceral Evisceration mastermind Hannes Wuggenig (guitars, vocals), and he told me this story of bloody innards, death and doom."

Visceral Evisceration in 1992.

The band was founded in 1991, at the dawn of the Death Doom scene: how did you gather? What motivated you to create the band?

I founded Visceral Evisceration back in 1991 in Carinthia, composing 2 songs for a rehearsal tape, which contained a drummer and a bass player. I wrote sort of early melodic death/doom metal inspired by Autopsy, Dismember, Bolt Thrower...The reason why I started VE were pretty much bands like Disharmonic Orchestra (early phase), Disastrous Murmur and Pungent Stench. Lyric wise I was inspired by gore/pathologic themes, which resulted in the moniker. Then I moved to Vienna to form a new line-up and went into a more melodic doom/death/gothic style. With 3 new members and me I wrote songs influenced by early Paradise Lost/Candlemass and the latest 2 new songs for the CD influenced by heavy metal.

What made you switch to the style of more melodic Death Doom? Is that about Vienna itself?

I wanted to write more mid-paced and slow parts to move away from death metal which a lot of bands played back those times - using twin guitars mostly, learning to adapt minor harmonies which I really liked and combined with the vocals it should sound different....The influence of Vienna got me later, when I played with other guys - shortly I was interested by the electronic music scene, too.

The rules of the genre weren't set back then, but why did you choose this bloody concept for Visceral Evisceration? Who came up with this idea?

Well, I always like to have a controversial image like those bands back in the early '90s, sort of provoking lyrics (like the bands I mentioned) - mixed with a sad and melodic musical output... Back in those days I just wanted to create something disgusting lyric wise, which I think we've reached... The whole album was influenced by these themes, just like a feeling like 'The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover' movie.

Original promo inlay.

In what conditions did you record the album? How much time did you spend in the studio?

We recorded the demo and the 2 new album songs in a local Viennese studio...All the studios these times used either analogue techniques or were changing to digital, hard disc recording was soon to appear on the market, in the beginning stadium; I tried to get a sound like a mix of early Cathedral and Paradise Lost playing heavy metal; we used Marshall and Fender amps (If I'm remembering right) plus several distortion pedals and a triggered drum set, cymbals and hi-hat were originally recorded separately ....I think the sound is quite good considering the year of '93/'94...plus we were down-tuned on guitars.

The demo was recorded in late '92/beginning of '93, the CD songs were recorded in late '93, if I remember right...We were all pretty young (18-21) andhad no real studio experience, so it took us about 10 to 14 days (the demo), and in '93 the 2 CD songs 7-10 days plus mix and mastering.

There are female vocals on the album, how did you decide that fitted your music? How did you record it?

Well, I wanted to have female vocals on the recording, our drummer knew someone and so it happened; she came to the vocal recordings and I told her how I wanted the parts to be, and she sang it quite professionally and to our satisfaction. And on the CD she sang again, her parts are on the two songs...The recording was easy as she was very skilled (usually singing in a Schönberg choir).

Visceral Evisceration - (I Am) Enamoured Of Dead Bodies:

Did you have problems because of the lyrics? And what do you think could be the main factor (besides really strong songwriting) which attracted people's attention to Visceral Evisceration?

Back in those days I wasn't really interested what people think about the lyrics and the artwork - its like a movie you do - putting together the parts to a whole, it was sort of artistically freedom and if people don't get it, its not my problem... I think, several copies were confiscated because of the image of the band-but nowadays it seems that extreme bands are quite the mainstream in metal... I think it was a good debut, quite original back those days and the melodic hooks were composed to sound timeless.

How often did you play live back then? With what kind of bands did you share the stage? What were your highlights, considering the live shows.

In total we played about 6 to 8 shows, 3 in Germany with Disharmonic Orchestra and Belphegor, the rest in Austria with bands that were on the beginning... We haven't been the best musicians, live it sounded quite effective, but musician wise it was filled with errors which nowadays wouldn't be done anymore...

Did you get recognition from fans and magazines?

Yes, quite a few magazines/fanzines liked the demo - I got letters from all over the world - even countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, South America also. Many small zines featured us; these contacts made it easy to start my label-and at the end of the '90s I got literally 10 letters a day- then I had to stop it nearly getting a burn-out.

Album photoshoot.

Why did you choose to rename the band in 1995? Were some of the members dissatisfied with the Visceral Evisceration concept?

I wanted the band to go into a more capable project, so when we changed the drummer I had no more ideas concerning lyrics, all the things have been said on the CD, it simply was artistically important to develop a new style (like on the As I Lay Dying promo)...These songs were more mature and tighter in musicianship, the new drummer played totally different the first one, so it came quite naturally. The demo was recorded on first take, only some bass parts were re-recorded plus the solos and the vocals...everything done on 1 day. As I Lay Dying - the name was chosen inspired by the book plus it gave me artistic freedom, while Visceral Evisceration was sort of limited.

Lyric wise, and since we changed style so much compared to Visceral Evisceration and we had a new drummer I simply came up with a new name and Jürgen, Dominik and Yusuf had nothing against it

As I Lay Dying was disbanded just after one year of existence, and the members haven't played in any band since then. Why did it end so abruptly?

As I Lay Dying split up after recording the promo 95 which didn't get the wanted result from labels (the promo was intended for labels only). So time went by, then Dominik decided to leave and shortly after Jürgen followed. I found a second line up, but after several rehearsals it ended again since I was busy with my label Magnificence Records releasing the Pleurisy/Asgaia Split CD and with my solo project War of Conquest - a CD which originally was planned to get released in the end of the '90s, but came out in 2010(!). I even had a 3rd line up of As I Lay Dying, but was too busy with the things I already said...and in '97/'98 As I Lay Dying were signed to Wicked World/Earache, but this album never was made since I simply was busy with other things...(DJing and playing drums for the Pendragon MCD).

The other band members like Jürgen played with other bands after the split, I think Dominik quit with active music and Yusuf played in other bands, too.

Visceral Evisceration's 1993 demo and As I Lay Dying's 1995 promo should be re-released in the coming months. Who came up with the idea? Do you feel that this release is a demanded one?

VIC Records asked us if we were interested to do this release containing the demo and the promo on a CD, later on another label contacted me and could release it on Vinyl - which should be out in the coming months, I'm not quite sure when the original release date will be, sometime in 2018, I guess... If it's demanded? I'm not too much into the scene and after more than 20 years, people will decide by themselves if they need it.

Original merch and versions...

What will be in these editions? Do you already have new artwork, some bonus tracks - or is it the original material remastered?

Its planned to have a new cover, a drawn one inspired by the demo cover and the demo songs and the promo songs will be re-mastered, and it'll be a Vinyl edition by a partner label, if everything goes right..?!

Did you ever think to resurrect Visceral Evisceration? Do you want to support the release with a few gigs?

Its not planned to resurrect Visceral Evisceration again, I'm busy with other things musicwise and I still like those times, the '90s - I listen to a lot of other stuff too, you can check out some loops on Soundcloud.

Do your current musical projects deal with heavy stuff, or is that something else?

I'm still into Heavy stuff, every now and then I pick the guitar to play and play the drums once a month...and I like electronic synth stuff, from the late 80íes to nowadays dubstep.

Thanks for the interview Hannes! It was the right time to remind doomheads about Visceral Evisceration. Do you have any final words for our readers?

Thanx for the interview, I think its my first one since 20, years, haha! Still into music as a passion- keep yourself rooted and enjoy life...

Click HERE to discuss this interview on the doom-metal forum.

Visit the Visceral Evisceration bandpage.

Interviewed on 2018-02-21 by Comrade Aleks Evdokimov.
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