Welcome the dead: Daemonicus on Host of Rotting Flesh

Swedish death metallers Daemonicus released their first full-length album earlier this year, to excellent reviews. Recently, Metal as Fuck caught up with guitarist PO to talk about their history, their new release, and what we can expect from these guys in the future.



Although Daemonicus formed just three years ago, their debut full-length release Host of Rotting Flesh, which was released this year on ViciSolum, displays a maturity that belies the band's age. No doubt a lot of this can be attributed to the way in which the band works together.


Three of the band's members, Jörgen, PO and Stefan, have been mates since they were kids, and Jörgen and PO have played together in various bands over the years. A previous project that they were involved in had Stefan on vocals, but it was more for fun than anything else.


But by January 2006 the three of them decided to start a new band and give it everything they had. 


'We contacted fellow death metal fan Marcus Nygren and asked him to play bass with us, which he was more than happy to,' PO said. 'We got in touch with our drummer Viktor, through a friend of ours. But he never really liked the music I think, and he quit just before the release of the first demo. Stefan and Magnus shared a common interest in motor sports so when Viktor left us and we had two shows coming up, Stefan asked Magnus, who already played drums in another band, if he could fill in on the gigs? And he never left.'


Lineup changes are something that Daemonicus have had to deal with quite a bit in the past three years. In 2007, Marcus moved to Thailand, so the band brought in Tommi Konu on bass; and just recently Tommi left the band as well. So, at the time of writing, Daemonicus are scouting for a new bass player.


The band's first demo was released on 6-6-06: four months after the band formed. It was recorded in Stefan's modified garage studio; and the reason for moving so quickly on the recording was purely because they figured it would be cool to release it on that particular date.


But if you look at the band's MySpace, and if you look at Encyclopedia Metallum, you'll see that there is a bit of a dispute about which title of the demo is correct. The former notes it as Demon Inside; the latter as Demo From Hell. Which one is right?


'Now you're onto something that we have tried to deny all this time!' laughed PO. 'The truth is finally catching up it seems. This is the true story, exclusive for you.


'We recorded the first demo all on our own and we called it Demo from Hell. But when we mixed it, we drank a lot of beers; and the more we drank, the better it sounded. At the end of the night we were really pleased with what we achieved. The day after when we sat down and listened to it we were blown away by how crappy it sounded! But that day was 060606 and we were heading of to Sweden Rock Festival the same day so we had to release it.


'Later on we remixed it, less drunk, and gave it a new cover art and called it Demon Inside. But the original Demo from Hell is still out there, very limited and very poorly mixed.'


In 2008, Daemonicus were contacted by Thomas at ViciSolum, not long after the label was started. In fact, Daemonicus were one of the first bands to be signed to this small, extreme label.


'It felt really good to sign with him and we have never regretted our decision,' PO told me. 'We feel that he understands what we are aiming for and we get all the support we could possibly ask for.'


When you listen to Host of Rotting Flesh, you get a sense that the album builds up towards something, and while it starts well, it gets better as you listen to it. If you're keen to read my review of this album, you can see it here. Part of the reason for this is that the band had a really clear vision for the sense of the recording: from the artwork to the track order, all of it had to match the music in some way.


'In terms of track order, we wanted to have the songs in a perfect order, starting off with a fast song and still maintaining the intensity during the slower songs,' PO explained. 'All of us wrote down our own idea for the song order and then compared them, and they were almost identical. So we all had a pretty clear vision of what we wanted.'


The key bands to which Daemonicus are constantly compared are Dismember, Entombed, and Grave. As PO told me, they believe the band's sound picks up where '90s death metal left off: they bring something new to the table, without losing the soul of the genre.


The re-emergence of death metal as a stand-out genre, and one that is going from strength to strength, is something that PO believes comes from the fact that people are getting fed up with emo music and pop metal, from the saturation of bands with clean vocals on every chorus. But at the same time, he believes that a lot of it comes back down to the strength of the music on its own.


'With death metal, you know what you get. And when death metal is at its best, there is no stronger music,' PO told me.


While Daemonicus are looking to tour in support of Host of Rotting Flesh, nothing is absolutely firmed up yet, and the band are in talks with various booking agencies to get things moving.


'We find it kind of hard to book shows in Sweden,' PO explained. 'Hopefully that will change now with the album out and getting such good reviews all over the world.

We’ve always considered ourselves as a live band, and we strive to get better and better all the time, since playing live is what it’s all about.


'It would be beyond the dream to be able to come to Australia and play!' PO stated excitedly. 'Satan willing, we’ll have the honour of doing just that!'


In the interim, these guys are working on their next EP - which will be just four tracks: two covers and two Daemonicus songs. They're prepping material for the next full-length album, and have nearly finished their hunt for a new bass player.


Before I let PO get back to what he was doing, I was curious to hear what he was thrashing on his iPod


'At the moment we listen to Gojira, Death, Blood Red Throne, Bloodbath, Aeon, Edge of Sanity and an upcoming band from Sweden called Feral. And of course Steel Panther!' he enthused. 'We listen to them because it is “feel good music”.'


 Daemonicus's Host of Rotting Flesh is out now on ViciSolum Records.