Interview: Necronomicon’s Rob “The Witch” on new record ‘Unus’

Posted by on September 12, 2019

Canadian extreme metal veterans Necronomicon are soon releasing a follow-up to 2016’s  Advent of the Human God with Unus, which will be released on October 18th via Season of Mist. This new one is definitely worth checking out. We spoke with Rob The Witch about the new record.

The new record is entitled Unus, which in latin means “one world.” Is this the underlying theme of this new record?

In fact that is what it means, and the statement says it really clear from my point of view. Unus means ”One’,’ ”Only,” and ”Alone” at the same time depending on where and how its applied. 

Gerlioz of Dimmu Borgir guests on the track “From Ashes Into Flesh”. Can you tell us how this guest appearance came about?

 There’s no big secret, I think, that Dimmu Borgir and Necronomicon have been friends for years, decades even. It has been a while now that I like to have special guests on the albums. I had the super good pianist from the band Black Guard before and also JF Dagenais from Kataklysm playing a guitar solo on another album. Last summer, Dimmu came around here in Montreal and the day before the fest we went to have beer and snacks, just chatting orchestrations and piano stuff. And while in the studio, I started to talk about that out of nowhere and told myself I should write to Gerlioz and ask him to do something. Two friends doing something together, that’s pretty much it. No real big story. 

I’ve been to many shows up in Montreal and it certainly seems to have come a long way in recent years. Can you tell us about Quebec extreme metal scene?

There are a lot of bands and some are really solid, but to be honest, the scene has a shortage now. Promoters have difficulties finding opening bands on some events and some shows are even cancelled because bands just drop like flies. In some cases I saw 3 bands of 4 cancelling on a show. I’m not sure really what’s happening, but it happened a lot this last year. I’m from a different era, so for me you do a band or you don’t. It means sacrifice and dedication. It won’t happen in 1 or 2 years buddy so you hang on or just don’t do music at all.  

I’m really loving the sound quality and sonics on this record. For example, the sound on the track “Paradise Lost” really stands out to me. Can you tell me about your recording and production process and how has this process changed for you over the years?

The recording itself was not really different from what we did, or should I say how we usually work. Everything happened at the mix, that was the biggest change. We decided to work with someone who had a different way to work and a more modern one. Usually, we are doing our albums in an old school way; this time was really different. Working with Logan Mader (Machinehead, Once human), he was not just relaxed and funny but up to date on how things are rolling in studio these days and it gave us a modern texture and sound contrary to a vintage one.

Can you tell us about the striking cover art by Simon Bossert?

Actually, Nestor Avalos did the dragons and caduceus. Simon did the rest of the layout and the inside as well. Both are artists who I respect and admire. Nestor is someone I followed for a long time and always wanted to have some artwork from him and now was the time. Simon became a friend many years ago after doing two album covers for us and we help each other a lot. He is an awesome artist too, but very different from Nestor, both did an amazing job for us. 

“Vox Draconis” has some rather elaborate orchestration and you managed to create an epic, yet extreme song in only about four minutes. Can you tell us about how you crafted that track?

No big work. Sat down and played it. I wanted to have a certain specific groove and everything came together in a matter of minutes. It rarely takes time for me to write songs, I need to be spontaneous. Every time I take a long time to write, it always ends up that the song is less interesting at the end. I like old school metal, when I listen to metal and that is rare, so I wanted that feel and groove and the orchestral appeared just like that in my head. Again, there’s no big secret here. 



Unus releases October 18, 2019 in North America via Season of Mist records. It can be pre-ordered here.


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