When I first heard Monotheistic Enslavement, the newly released album by Sweden’s Godhead Machinery, I was immediately taken with the sound. Part black and death metal, modern and crisp sounding production, but still packing a hefty wallop. I immediately wanted to find out more about the band. Vocalist Niklas Ekwall kindly took the time to answer some questions about the band.
Thanks for agreeing to this interview for Blessed Altar Zine. First of all, who is Godhead Machinery and what does each member contribute to the band?
Niklas Ekwall: Thank you for showing interest in Godhead Machinery.
Godhead Machinery is a blackened death metal band from Norrkoping, Sweden.
Current line-up is:
Niklas Ekwall – Vocals
Robert Kail Karlsson – Guitar
Tommy Ericson – Guitar
Daniel Forsberg – Bass guitar
Drums – Session
Monotheistic Enslavement, the band’s latest album, has just been released. How happy are you with the result and how has the reception been so far?
Niklas: We are very pleased with the results. The reception has been good but there are a lot of releases right now after the pandemic, making it hard to really reach out.
What are the main ideas the band chose to explore on the latest record?
Niklas: The main ideas are the same as all our albums and what Godhead Machinery stands for in general. We explore how religious beliefs affect our society, behaviors, and traditions. Making it a part of who we are when growing up. With Godhead Machinery as a tool, we strive to liberate ourselves from these indoctrinated beliefs and codes.
How much of an impact did the pandemic have on the making of the album and how has it affected the band?
Niklas: As many other bands, we re-directed our focus and made an album instead of trying to make live shows happen. It also influenced me personally to observe what chaos does to a world that craves order. ‘Magna Mortalitas’ from the MCD ‘Masquerade Among Gods’ deals with that subject.
How did Godhead Machinery first get together?
Niklas: Godhead Machinery was in the beginning a one-man project founded by Kail. He then decided to make a band out of this project and recruited the rest of us. Godhead Machinery has had a complete line-up since 2017.
Do you feel like the band is part of any local scene and are there any current bands you feel a particular affinity with?
Niklas: No, not really. Not being black metal and not being death metal puts you a little bit on the sideline. Of course, we have a lot of friends in other bands but the only band we have had some relations with is Myronath.
Is the digitisation of music and the popularity of streaming sites something you embrace, or do you feel that analogue recordings and physical mediums have something special about them?
Niklas: Of course we prefer the physical mediums above digital, but we embrace the development.
What were the first musical influences that inspired you to start playing and making your own music?
Niklas: I started playing thanks to Iron Maiden. But Dissection made me want to do something that was bigger than a band, bigger than just music.
Are there any non-musical influences that have had a significant impact on the band in recent times?
Niklas: Most of our influences are non-musical! Religion, human behaviors, death and so forth.
For our readers, what’s one book and one record they might not be familiar with that you’d recommend they check out?
Niklas: Cormac McCarthy – The road (book)
The Temple – The Temple
Finally, is there anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
Niklas: If you want to book Godhead Machinery, write to us on: email@example.com
Orbis Non Sufficit!
Interview by Tom Boatman
Thanks to Niklas for his time. Monotheistic Enslavement is out now on Black Lion records. Follow the band to stay up to date with news and forthcoming releases.
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