OPERA DIABOLICUS Death on a Pale Horse

I have to add that I was not so familiar with Opera Diabolicus before but yet I have learned so much about the band during last few weeks or even moths when they have annuanced their comeback album. Anyhow, the band is definitely coming from Sweden including all the aspects of their music since there are various influences from Therion to Candlmess…so the quality of music is unquestionable!

Hello! We are really looking forward to hear your latest album which will be released in a days to come. So, please could you present Opera Diabolicus to the people? Is it a project or a full band with a lots of great and well know guest musicians?

Well, we’re a Gothenburg based act from Sweden which core consist of me David Grimoire and my trusty sidekick Adrian de Crow. To my aid in my endeavor to realize my musical vision and to create the new album I took help from some friends; Snowy Shaw, Mats Leven, Andy la Rocque and Michael Denner amongst others. I wouldn’t call it a band in the regular sense but I wouldn’t call it a project.

You have already published a record but it was a long time ago 2012. So, please could you tell us about your debut full-length? Somehow many people has missed it…but now the band has finally got the full attention!

Man, that was so long time ago I don’t even remember [laughter]. On a serious note, if you haven’t heard it, I’ll recommend you look up the video for the song ‘Blood Countess Bathory’ on YouTube. That song sums up the album pretty well. The album was mixed and produced by Andy la Roqcue (KING DIAMOND). We also had some friendly help on that album from Snowy and Mats plus some other people.

‘’Death on a Pale Horse’’ is a name of your upcoming full-length so please could you tell us something more about it? There are already some songs out and they are sounding indeed promising…so we are really looking forward to it it could be one of the major releases in 2021!

It’s the album of the year in my book at least [laughter]. All jokes aside, if you’re a fan epic songs inspired by heavy metal in the style of KING DIAMOND, CANDLEMASS, perhaps some death metal, perhaps some 70s prog rock plus film scores, this is probably the album you don’t want to miss. It’s probably not the easiest album to digest because it’s a pretty dens piece that requires a lot of its listener. But when you’re in, you will never get out [laughter].

I have to say that Opera Diabolicus sound every close to Therion in a way since your have so many guest musicians so please tell us something about that? I mean there are already people out there who are talking that this is real Therion since they have changed…

Interesting question. I don’t think OPERA DIABOLICUS sounds like THERION musically, where THERION is more operatic and symphonic I find OPERA DIABOLICUS more in the vein of KING DIAMOND and CANDLEMASS but with hints of symphonic rock. But the usage of a variety of vocalists is of course a common denominator. Plus, that both Snowy and Mats have been in THERION of course [laughter]. For me, my love for Snowys drumming arose the first time I heard MEMENTO MORI’s first album and the love for his singing trough NOTRE DAME. And for Mats sake, it goes back to his amazing performance on the ABSTRAKT ALGEBRA album from mid 90s. If you haven’t heard that album, I urge you to listen to it immediately. It’s so damn good, an 11/10 album for sure.

When I listen Opera Diabolicus I could really capture the Swedish doom metal atmosphere do you agree with me? I mean there are so many bands that I could named here…from Candlemass to Memento Mori and alike…

True, CANDLEMASS is a major influence. The song writing from their main man Leif Edling is unparalleled in Swedish music. ABSTRAKT ALGEBRA that I mentioned before was his band for an example. KRUX too, where Mats also sings. I could also recommend the band VENI DOMINE. Their first albums are amazing.

How many musicians were involved in the recording sessions of your upcoming album? There are really some prominent and popular names around? Especially were are talking here about the vocalists…

The we’re a lot of musicians contributing to the album, but the main cornerstones on the recording is me, Snowy and Mats. Mats did probably 70 % of the male vocals and Snowy the 30%. Both of them have so unique voices and I’m super happy that all the vocals turned out great. Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios who mixed the album did a hell of great job mixing the vocals too.

I also found this guy from Brazil, Ronaldo Rodriques that helped with the Hammond organ and Moog solo plus some amazing piano parts. He did an outstanding job. I asked Andy la Roqcue and Michael Denner if they could help me out with some solos and to my joy, they did. Besides these people it was more of a hard work to find the rest of the people that played violin and sang female vocals and see to that their parts were done correctly.

What about the topics and lyrical themes this time? Are you dealing more or less with the same topics that you have faced before?

The last album was mainly focus on the story about Elisabeth Bathory. This time around the songs is inspired by stories about the vision of heavenly secrets and the end of the world, the Black Death, Scandinavian folklore and Greek mythology.

As I mentioned, one of the song’s is about the Black Death and I must say it felt a bit prophetic recording that song just when the pandemic hit. The song was written years ago and all of a sudden, we were in the middle of a frickin pandemic ourselves. Strange times, strange times indeed.  

One off topic so to say…Sweden was well known as a country with many persons with occult like back ground and your music really sounds like this, like digging the part so what could you tell us about this topic?

I couldn’t say that there’s a lot of occultists roaming around on the streets of Sweden [laughter]. For my part, I write music in pictures, more or less like a painting or a movie. I’m a huge fan of old Hammer horror and such so it feels natural that the music I paint is in that direction.

Do you plan to have any concerts with a band in a near future since you have so many musicians?

There are no plans yet but let’s see what the future holds. Would be cool to do something 2022. Of course, a stage show with all musicians participating on the album would probably be an impossible endeavour mere logistic wise but a show with the main characters is plausible.

Interview by Marko Miranovic

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