After being awe-struck by Nephren-Ka’s third album, the magnificent multi-genre death metal fest La Grande Guerre de L’Epice, there was really nothing else to do but unleash a small battery of questions for the band in question. Live experiences, musical influences and the band’s infatuation with Frank Herbert’s Dune was covered. Read, learn and remember: He who controls the spice controls the universe.
Could you sum up the history of Nephren-Ka in a good way? Any interesting stories?
Well, Nephren-Ka saw the light in 2006 and has released two records: Revenge and Supremacy, first self-released and then re-released via Great Dane Records, and The Fall of Omnius with Kaotoxin Records. Our lyrics are all inspired by Frank Herbert’s Dune cycle. In the past few years Nephren-Ka has already played live in Nantes, Marseille, Nancy, Strasbourg, Golbey, Lille, Clermont-Ferrand, St Etienne, etc, with various bands such as Antropofago, Cephalic Carnage, Exumed, Diluvian, Eths, Dawn Of Might, Karne, Manzer, Napalm Death, Loudblast, Feastem, Devangelic, Methnakriss, Antropofagus, Savage Annihilation, Black Bomb A, Drakwald, Kill The Client, Corpus Diavolis, Kakotanasy, Offending, Demented, Pay To Die, Whoresnation, Armageddon Death Squad, etc… All members of Nephren-Ka have a solid “live” experience and are eager to get back on stage to support their newest album and the ones to come. Our new album La Grande Guerre de L’Epice will be available at the middle of October via Dolorem Records.
Your band name has connections to H.P. Lovecraft, as well as a certain Nile album, but your lyrics are all focused on the Dune mythos. How did this you come up with this idea, and what is it about Frank Herbert’s novels that attracts you?
In the very beginning the band lyrics was based on Lovecraftian themes. When I joined NK, I suggested changing the concept and basing everything on Frank Herbert’s Dune, but we kept our patronymic homage to Nile. I have read all the cycle of Dune numerous times and I keep reading Herbert son’s, the cycle of the origins, the houses and the Genesis in particular. I think the Dune universe is more interesting in Death Metal than random satanic tunes, gore explosions or astrophysician things, ha ha.
What about musical influences? Which bands, genres and musical ideas form your sound?
From the beginning Nephren-Ka plays Death Metal with our roots stemming as much from the second wave (Hate Eternal, Origin, Zyklon, Hour Of Penance, Angelcorpse) as from the first wave (Morbid Angel, Deicide, Immolation). We can say Nephren-Ka is musically between technical/brutal death metal and old school such. Heavy, Black and Thrash Metal are also in our background, I think you can hear that on some tunes.
Yes, you play a very diverse form of death metal. Do you intentionally mix different styles and influences, or is this a “natural” product of how you write your songs?
We compose mainly with the aim of following our concept. Sébastien, the main composer (and I would say the only composer on this album), soaks himself with the universe of Dune to write, especially on the new album which is completely conceptual, based on a unique story from beginning to end. Sometimes the result sounds like Morbid Angel and it’s cool to us, sometimes it sounds like Hate Eternal or Behemoth. That’s cool too, but nothing really intentional. I hope there is also some parts which sound like no other band. Epic breath of the desert, mechanical rythm of Ix, ardent mouth of the giant worms, violence of Harkonnen, perversity of Corrino, we try to highlight all of this in a way.
Now – what about the future? Will there be live gigs, violence and/or drinking? Other plans? Any final words for our readers?
Yes, we are going to rise on stage to promote our new album La Grande Guerre de L’Epice. We already have some dates booked and others to follow. And plenty of drinking of course: Sex, Alcohol and Death Metal – ha ha ha. Praise Shai’Hulud!!!!