We love death metal around these parts. We're also big fans of Evoken. So we were pretty stoked when we heard that Evoken frontman John Paradiso and his cohorts in New Jersey's Grim Legion were finally set to release their debut full-length. The album doesn't drop until next week (March 18th via Horror Pain Gore Death Productions to be specific), but since it's taken over 20 years to get to this point, why wait another five days? We're letting you stream it in all of its glory. We also briefly checked in with founder and lead guitarist/vocalist Carmine "Devlin Bane", which you can check out below. Pre-order a copy of Unholy Resurrection here.
How did the band end up getting back together in 2011 after breaking up in the '90s? Mike [Keller] from Sacrificial Blood, [who is] also on [Horror Pain Gore Death Productions], contacted me after I had seen his postings of Grim Legion and wrote him as the founding member. He was a fan of our old demos. He said, "Would you ever consider bringing back Grim Legion?" I was really blown away that someone was into our stuff all these years later. So of course I said yes and Mike played drums for the first year, 2011 into 2012.
The album is a mix of older (from your '90s demos) and newer material -- how did you decide which older songs would make the record, and did any of them undergo any changes from the original demos? I wanted it to be a true representation of what we were doing at the time, but I also wanted it to be more of the faster, aggressive songs. Originally Grim had a lot of slower doom style song--that's what John and I bonded over really back in '91. You can tell with his material in Evoken that he is diehard doom riffer. So there are some tracks on the disc that are mid-tempo and [have a] slow doom feel. But no real changes were made. I wanted to keep the integrity there, just a bit more polished.
What was the writing process like for the new songs? As of now, all of the material was written by me. Writing new songs was a very natural process of scrawling a pentagram in my own blood and conjuring hell's minions for inspiration, haha. That will change in the future now that I have John Paradiso and also I want to announce here first that we have taken on a second guitar player, Randy Cavanaugh, formerly of Anticosm. So now I have both these great talented guitarists to contribute to future recordings. I will be handling lead vocal duties from now on.
The band formed in 1988, so how does it feel to finally be putting out your debut full-length after all of these years? This really is hard to express and it's hard to put into words the thanks I want to extend to Mike Juliano for wanting to put this out and to my brothers in the band past and present for all the dedication and hard work. To finally see this in the flesh is beyond words. You know we were naive young fucking outcast freaks when we started this, we didn't know the ins and outs of the music biz or anything, we were just happy if someone could relate to our music and be at shows. We didn't know about how to get signed or anything like that, no fucking internet, it was all tape trading and demo trading and zines and actual hand written letters corresponding overseas with some other freak you never met, making your own flyers, etc.
What does the next year or so have in store for the band? We will be supporting this disc in every way possible, doing shows and whatever else comes our way. I will say that Grim Legion has never been as full force as it is now, and we are all looking forward to crushing fucking brutal shows. See you out there.