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Rage Nucléaire – Coming Out of the Wormwood

By: David E. Gehlke



Done with his "in sometimes, out most of the time" status with Cryptopsy, extreme metal vocalist Lord Worm has turned his full attention to his new outfit, Rage Nucléaire. Hearing Worm gurgle and pontificate over ballistic technical death metal is one thing; hearing him in the context of warped and sometimes oppressive black metal is something onto itself. On the band's Unrelenting Fucking Hatred (Season of Mist) debut, Worm, who is joined by guitarist Dark Rage, bassist/keyboardist/sampler Alvater, and drummer Frederick Widigs, have amassed the brutalized sort of BM that is part-Norwegian, part-unmitigated extremity, with piles of keyboards and humming riffs to keep pace with Worm's low-pitch vocal spew. It's an unexpected, but expected move at the same time from a man who helped redefine torturous vocals in death metal in the 90's. Furthermore, it puts to rest the relentless questions regarding Worm's post-Cryptopsy tenure. Both parties seem to be doing just fine.

With a new calendar year to set to turn over along with a fresh sophomore album already in the can for 2013, we snagged the always-wordy Worm for a quick round of questions. Here's how our favorite former school teacher/metal vocalist responded...


Blistering.com: The band has been around in one shape or another since 2000, with you entering the fold around 2011. Was there a tipping point in you hooking up with the gents to record the album?

Lord Worm:
Actually, although I stated that the band's hatred as an ensemble began accumulating around the start of the millennium, I meant "after 2000" - specifically, around 2006. Alvater showed me some demo tracks sometime in late December 2009, and in July 2011, it all came together. It's not that we finally reached critical mass at that point, it's simply that our respective outside obligations had been met to the extent that we could finally get proceedings underway.

Blistering.com: What you have been up to in life post-Cryptopsy? Are you still teaching?

Lord Worm:
I'm currently doing something else that I'd rather not go into here. The teaching gig fizzled out due to the great surplus of language schools opening up, and sucking up all the students. If you have 1,000 teachers for 1,000 students, there's not going to be any sustainability for anyone concerned. Even an experienced teacher like myself could only get around seven hours a week, so fuck that.

Blistering.com: When you were in Cryptopsy in the mid-90’s, black metal started to take off. Do you feel differently now about it than you did back then?

Lord Worm:
Back in the '90s, BM was a novelty. It wasn't until bands like Marduk and Abigor started pushing the red button that things got really interesting, at which point I would have liked Cryptopsy to experiment with that ethos a bit. No luck with them, so I'm doing what I want now.

Blistering.com: I’ve read that Alvater has proven to be a solid writing partner and bandmate. What qualities in him do you admire as a bandmate and songwriter?

Lord Worm:
Let's see: Alvater is 100% dedicated, trustworthy, experienced and almost indefatigable. He handles bass, keyboards, drum machine (but just for ghost tracks, while we compose), recording, mixing and accounting duties. Also, he doesn't drink much, which leaves so much more for me. Plus we're on the same wavelength, the 3 of us, so it's really a folie à trois.

Blistering.com: The vocal technique you use in Rage is different than we’ve heard from you in the past. Was it a matter of the old Lord Worm techniques not fitting in with the music? Or wanting to do something different?

Lord Worm:
A little of both, truth be told. RN is too melodic to slap death-grunts all over it, and this new style permits (I find) greater opportunity for experimentation.

Blistering.com: I like the fact that with each song, there’s a different theme, but what led you to name the album Unrelenting Fucking Hatred? It’s very overt, especially for you.

Lord Worm:
It just kinda fits, doesn't it? Besides, it's a title that is so all-encompassing, and with the fans, all-inclusive. No one is left out, with a title like that. If your hatred is real, let your t-shirt reflect it.

Blistering.com: With your lyrics, are you finding new topics to address? For instance, you discuss the Holocaust in “The Gift of the Furnace.” What’s been floating around in your notebooks these days?

Lord Worm:
It's amazing what cinephilia and alcohol will do for one's inspiration. For instance, just off the top of my head, I wrote one called "All the Blood of Humanity" while watching Elias Merhige's "Begotten." Werner Herzog's "Nosferatu" inspired certain bits of "The Gallows and the Black Coffin." Sometimes, as with the upcoming "Ritual Murder (And Its Attendant Blessings)," one of the other guys gets an idea and tells me about it. In no particular order, topics that might be explored include pedophagia, willpower, dogs and asylums in the old days. Also, acres'n'acres of KILL HATE WAR VIOLENCE (which is the good stuff).

Blistering.com: You have a new album on its way for next year. What’s it like? And how does it compare to its predecessor?

Lord Worm:
While it's true that more of the same is to be expected, it's true too that there is more experimentation going on, be it in drumming styles (Frerik Widigs will OWN, as usual), tempo variations, keyboard expressions and vocal output. However, our sound effect samples, ultra-blasts and melodic infusions remain firmly entrenched. In its own way, I guess you might say this next album will be a sequel to Unrelenting...

Blistering.com: Will live dates be in your plans?

Lord Worm:
We have no actual plans to play live, but if we're offered an interesting show and have sufficient time to prepare for it, we might go for it.

Blistering.com: Are you adverse to long spells of touring, or are those days a thing of the past?

Lord Worm:
Long-ass tours are definitely a thing of the past, for a few reasons. Not to put too fine a point on it, but family considerations weigh heavily here, including our execrable day jobs and the (ha) salaries they provide. Then there are the lung infections I tend to pick up on the road (usually double pneumonia, which didn't help the teaching gig). So, naw, no more six-week tours.

Blistering.com: Have you kept tabs on what Flo and the guys are up to? Seems like they rebounded nicely with the new album…

Lord Worm:
Flo and I keep tabs on each other a few times a year and, although neither of them is involved with Crytopsy any longer, I still keep up with Alex Auburn and Dan Mongrain. And of course, I'm still in contact with Steve Thibault. And you're right about that new Cryptopsy album: it crushes all in its path.

Blistering.com: Finally, what’s on the agenda going into 2013?

Lord Worm:
Well, we just last night (Dec. 12, 2012) finished the ghost tracks for the new album, so now we get to flesh it out: second and third guitar tracks, bass, keyboards, sound effect samples, vocals and backing-vox, actual drum tracks, mixing, and all that sort of thing. 2013 is going to be a busy year.

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