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Acoustic Torment

Tobias Roller and Christian Urff from Acoustic Torment were our guests on the Art For The Ears Interview Message-Board! They are the founding members of this German metalband. Acoustic Torment was started in the Summer of 1996. Below you can find the results of this online interview.


Discography: My Hope Is In You (1999). Available through: Acoustic Torment. Official website: Acoustic Torment.   Interview by: mpomusic, Rogoth, Andre. Date: December 9th-December 17th 2000. Article work-out by mpo.


mpomusic: As moderator of this board I'll kick off things with the first question. I outlined the band's history quite simply, so, why don't you give us a good introduction to the band? Who are you, what are you like and what are your achievements so far?

Acoustic Torment (AT):  The band was founded by Tobias and Christian in the summer of 1996. We are both Christians, live in the same village, and prefer hard music. This is why we decided to try our luck. At this time Tobias had had his drumkit for merely three months and Christian had been playing electric guitar for about one year. By and by songs developed, some of which - at least in changed versions - can be found on our CD. But some important elements were still missing since we didn't have a bass-player and a singer. After a long time of searching we found a second guitarist called Sascha Hornberger. After still some more time of unsuccessful searching, Sascha surprised us with a bass he had purchased and his decision to do the vocals. In summer 1998 we then decided to record a demotape in the studio of friends of ours, a band called "Dreschflegel". After having recorded a few things we decided to do a CD rather than a demotape because of its higher quality standard. Since this time we sold more than 500 CD's of My Hope Is In You. We did some concerts and we are now planning to record a new CD. We play some kind of melodic soft rock :), often called Death Metal.

So far we have a CD called My Hope Is In You, a T-Shirt and some other practical merchandise things (like toilet brushes and games) that can be ordered on our homepage (www.acoustic-torment.de). And no, we are not married yet and the weather is fine in the Schwarzwald. We aren't very creative at the moment so before it's getting more boring we stop now!

mpomusic: Okay, you call yourself Death Metal. But there's quite some variety in Death Metalania. So, how would you describe the sound. Is it slow, doomy stuff, or rather grinding fast. Or....???? Describe the album...!

Christian: I think there is a big variety of styles within our music. There are slow parts played by clean guitars and with clean vocals (like on Sick World, Atomic Threat,  My Hope Is In You or Satanic Seduction). There are very fast black metal elements (Environmental Disaster, Praise The Lord, etc.). There are doom parts like on My Hope Is In You or The Return Of Jesus Christ and melodic parts like on Sick World or My Hope Is In You. And there are also some so-called metalcore or deathcore elements as well (First Commandment, Atomic Threat) etc... . But it is probably easiest to describe our music as death metal, although our message is surely not 'death'. We try to use many styles because we think using only one style would be to boring (for us and for the listeners). In our new songs - which will be on our next CD - the variety of different deathmetal styles are more extreme I think. There will be a very fast atmospheric (un)black metal song and grindcore songs, doom elements as well as nice instrumental arrangements and traditional deathmetal.

So if I have to give you only one word for our music style it would be:

Rogoth: One question, you call yourselves Acoustic Torment but as I understand it, you play death metal. So why this name Acoustic Torment? Are you acoustic music with death metal growls? Or is there another explanation?

AT: The 'Acoustic' in the name doesn't mean that we often or always play acoustic guitars or something like that. It just means that this music style (and the acoustic it produces) is for some people a torture. Tobias already came up with the name before AT was founded. He thought it up for the band of a class-mate. The class-mate didn't like it very much though, so we were abled to use it for our band later on. This name leaves us a certain leeway with regard to disharmonic melodies / harmonies and unusual song structures. Of course, one can also find some kind of self-irony in this name: Of course we want to play music that we like, but some people just simply regard it as an acoustic torment. We don't want to play agonizing music, but music that conveys a certain message. But simply test out our sound (and if it is a torment or not for you). On our website www.acoustic-torment.de you can find free mp3-samples from our CD!

Rogoth: Okay, thanks! I'm wondering. The name might confuse people. Do you get that sort of feedback from people, that they are confused by the name? Acoustic Torment might sound like some mellow stuff...

AT: The feedback from people about our name differs much. You are right, many people who are not familiar with us or who aren't involved in the death metal scene suppose we're an acoustic rock band or something similar. But there are many people who like our name very much and understand what we want to express with it!

mpomusic: I'm told you're working on a new album. Can you tell something about it? How many songs do you have, how will the musical direction be, etceteras!

Christian Yes, that's right! We are working on a new album! We finished five songs for the new album until now and we are working on a few other new songs. In January 2001 we will do our first recording session in a studio of friends (a band called Dreschflegel) to record the finished songs. The production will be more professional than on our last album because we and our friends bought new and better equipment. The musical direction on our new album will be very different. It goes from grindcore over doom to unblack metal. We will have songs like on our last album and songs that will differ much from the old songs, for example it is planned to make a song with cello, violin, female vocals etc. I think the new songs and the new album will be very interesting.

mpomusic: When I went to your site I noticed that you used some violin on the first album too. I also noticed you used the word unblack. I'm sure you mean black metal but why do you prefer the use of the word unblack rather than black?

AT: A Christian black metal band called Horde used the word unblack for their music style the very first time. We like this band and use the word too for this reason. But there is another more important reason using the word unblack. Black metal is mostly linked with satanic lyrics and for this reason the style was named black metal. But we are not a satanic band, we are exactly the reverse: We are Christians. And therefore we don't want to use the word black metal. Instead, we think unblack metal is a very good style name for black metal with Christian or non satanic lyrics.

mpomusic: Personally I feel there's nothing wrong with the color black, if that's a color. And the term black metal goes back to the time when black metal was just a spoof. It meant nothing really satanic. Personally it feels like calling a style unblack is like separating yourself from the rest of the metal scene and risking not to be taken seriously. How do you feel about this? Is it something you experience with the band? Or are you really part of the normal extreme metal scenes and be respected? Can you tell about that?

AT: We don't want to separate ourselves from the rest of the metal scene. We only want to differ from black metal bands with satanic lyrics. I personally think there's nothing wrong with the color black but with many black metal bands and for this reason we use the word unblack!

Andre : Hi, I saw you guys selling CD's on the Flevo Festival in 1999. Unfortunately you didn't play, but is there a possibility that you're coming to The Netherlands soon???

AT: We don't know anything about a show in The Netherlands. But it would be very nice if you could organize a concert in your country! Thanks! See you on Flevo 2001!