Never to Arise - The Diabolical Duo
By: Mike Sloan
Florida’s Never to Arise are on to something here and if they have any say, the future of American death metal is going to be a splendid one. Along with a few other young bands out there who play an old school style of traditional death metal, Never to Arise has taken what’s been done two decades ago, given it the restoration treatment, and made it new again.
To say that Never to Arise play old school DM properly would be a gross understatement. It was written in our review of their debut album Hacked to Perfection that if their album came out in 1991 it would probably be considered an all-time classic today. However, since we deal with reality and not fantasy, we take things as they are when they arrive and Hacked to Perfection is a terrific way for a young band to kick start their career. It’s possible that twenty years from now we may have enjoyed a full resurgence of classic death metal with plenty of new bands that replaced the dinosaurs and Hacked to Perfection might be this era’s Scream Bloody Gore or World Downfall.
We were able to catch up with the duo that comprises Never to Arise and bombard them with questions regarding their debut, their writing process, and where they think they’ll be down the road. Michael Kilborn and Gordon Denhart took time out of their busy schedules to answer every question honestly. Read on…
Blistering.com: First off, congratulations on your debut album Hacked to Perfection. With this being your first ever full-length, how much difficulty was there on the two of you to get it right, for it to be the best possible album you could release for your debut?
Michael Kilborn: From the time Gordon approached me with this project until now it has been a five-year process with a few songs never seeing the light of day and restructuring of others. There was a lot of trial and error in the beginning, with what to do with the drums and the guitars but in the end, we feel the initial intention was finally achieved with the help of Dennis Munoz (who mixed the CD) and badGod Music, our record label.
Denhart: It was more time consuming than anything else. We recorded everything in our home studios, which gave us the luxury of being able to take our time with everything. However I will say that for me the recording process was not easy, having never quad tracked rhythm guitar parts before.
Blistering.com: With Hacked to Perfection being your debut full-length and since you have no prior releases under the Never to Arise name, was there any pressure at all? Meaning, since you two don’t have a legacy with Never to Arise to uphold, I can’t see there being a ton of pressure of “being true” to your core sound.
Kilborn: Though there was no exterior pressure in the project we did put some pressure on ourselves to make a product that sounded and was performed they way we wanted.
Denhart: Correct. This was more about developing a style and especially for this CD a certain "sound;” in other words laying the framework for what hopefully will be at least some sort of legacy further down the road.
Blistering.com: Being from Florida and considering your approach to death metal, it seems obvious that a large chunk of your sound comes from the great Floridian bands of from the glory days. How important is it for you two carry the torch into the future for the entire Florida scene? Its history goes without saying, but there hasn’t been a whole hell of a lot of new, worthwhile blood coming from that state in recent years.
Denhart: To be totally honest, it never was any concern at all. I don't think you can ever truly relive those times as far as a "scene" is concerned. We just happen live in Florida and I happen to be a fan of many of those bands. I wanted to do a CD that at least captured the style of that great era. Not just the Florida bands but the glory days of death metal in general.
Kilborn: Basically, I feel we are more concerned with creating music that make us happy first than worrying about a legacy that would be linked to the past
Blistering.com: In keeping with that question, why do you think it is that there aren’t many new terrific bands from Florida these days? Also, how is the scene down in that state these days?
Denhart: Oh I think there are still good bands, but they don't really get their name out there other than doing a few local shows. We are really not in touch with "the scene" that much, but I don't see a common bond that stylistically ties bands together. That and it's not like record labels are falling over themselves to sign Florida bands anymore.
Kilborn: I feel that many of the younger kids in metal have gravitated to other genres and are more concerned about how low they can tune their guitars and god awful auto-tuning.
Blistering.com: If you’ve read my review of your album on Blistering.com, then you’ve noticed the only real gripe I had with the album was the sound of the drums. Was this a conscious or intentional decision to go without a human drummer or was programming the drums more or less a choice out of necessity?
Kilborn: From the very beginning, this band was designed to be a duo incorporating drum programming.
Denhart: It was a necessity considering we had no actual budget to record this. Having said that though, we are very pleased at how things turned out, human drummer or not.