The Cleansing | Interview with Andreas Lynge

[The Cleansing]

Copenhagen’s The Cleansing have a highly impressive pedigree, boasting former members of the Brutal Death-Metal act Usipian along with current members of well-known Danish bands like Corpus Mortale, Submission and The Arcane Order.
Loaded with the same vicious and brutal Death-Metal drive and intent of the defunct Usipian, “Poisoned Legacy” is the quintet’s first output, which is on the verge of being unleashed by US label Deepsend Records.
Given that Death-Metal style of The Cleansing isn’t too far removed from the one their former band used to practice it would be reasonable to start asking what kind of motives made you bury Usipian in the first place.

”You really have to see The Cleansing as a completely new band and not as a continuation of Usipian. I was only in Usipian for six months before we decided to call it a day, so I never really became a big part of Usipian. But we really wanted to try something new and that meant a new name and a new line-up. Jeppe, Toke and I wanted to push the envelope and also try to work with much faster tempos and make things a little more “crazy” if you will, which some Usipian members weren’t into.
To make a long story short we just felt like creating a new band and start from scratch, a new and fresh beginning and that was how The Cleansing was born. It just felt like the right thing to do.”

Comparisons between the two bands will certainly be made and are reasonably understandable, both owe their fair share to American Death-Metal drawing influences from bands like Morbid Angel and Immolation, yet something that listeners will notice is that The Cleansing plays a decidedly more technical style.
What was the band’s approach to the writing of the album compared to previous endeavors?
Did you brought any old riffs originally crafted for Usipian into the rehearsal room and rearranged them with the remaining members or “Poisoned Legacy” only features new material?

”We just wanted to make the best Death-Metal album that we possibly could! Everything just had to be right, the music, the lyrics, the musicianship and the production. The music for the album was written by Jeppe and me.
The first two songs we wrote together were “Insects in the Void” and “The Prodigal Son” and especially “Insects in the Void” with pretty fast and technical parts is a very, very good example of where we wanted to take things.
Since I only got to be a member of Usipian for half a year, it wasn’t until The Cleansing was born that Jeppe and I really sat down and started working on songs. We quickly realized that we worked very well together. When we started on “Insects in the Void” Jeppe already had two songs written that actually were meant for Usipian, but he had a hard time trying to make them work with Usipian. We spent about eight months writing the remaining eight tracks. So, about 80% of the album features completely new material.”

It’s known that while The Cleansing were at Hansen Studios recording “Poisoned Legacy”, vocalist Toke Eld was held in custody by the police and was unable to lay down the vocal parts.
Due to the tight studio schedule, The Cleansing have opted to let bassist Martin Rosendahl do all vocals for the album and even considered to re-record the vocal lines with Toke Eld behind the microphone on a future occasion, which ended up not materializing due to some problems with the singer’s voice.
Do you care to mull over such awkward episode and explain us what happened?

”Well there is not much to say about the situation that we haven’t already said. The official statement on our website and on our MySpace explain what happened and we are gonna stick to that.
Even though some people might remain curious I don’t see a reason for getting into details.”

There’s a whole new generation of Death-Metal bands emerging recently in Denmark like The Burning, Crocell and Dawn of Demise that are making some significant waves and revitalizing the Danish underground scene.
Although The Cleansing cannot be called exactly newcomers due to their vast experience in previous acts, do you still see yourselves as part of such promising movement?

”It would certainly be cool if people would consider us a part of such a movement and I do think The Cleansing has something to offer the death metal scene. Not just the Danish death metal scene but also internationally I think The Cleansing has something to say.
Not to say that we are offering some completely new elements to the scene, but we can offer well played, brutally sounding, aggressive and in-your-face death metal with catchy elements. Especially the catchy elements are something we have been working on. If you can mix brutality with catchy elements it’s a good thing, at least in my opinion. But I think a lot of death metal bands ignore that and that’s a shame.”

What do think it triggered or rekindled the enthusiasm of Danish musicians towards a genre that was once very promising with bands like Panzerchrist, Invocator, Illdisposed, Iniquity, Konkhra, Thorium, etc?

”It’s hard to tell. The scene never died but maybe there is a new wave of Danish death metal coming up. A lot of the bands you are mentioning are not that active anymore and some of them are gone by now. So naturally a lot of new bands are taking over, that’s just the way it works. Maybe Danish metal musicians are now more aware of the fact that you need to be damn good in order to be on an international level.”

If nothing fails and let’s hope not, The Cleansing already had enough bad luck with the recordings of the album, “Poisoned Legacy” is scheduled for release in early 2009. Is there a concrete date for its release, what can we expect from the band in the future?

”I can’t tell you the concrete release date for the album, because we simply don’t know yet, we will of course make it official when we know the date. I can only tell you it’s going to be in early 2009. The artwork was completed just recently and it looks amazing! Really cool stuff! We are going to play shows supporting the album in 2009 and we are really looking forward to that! And of course you can expect more quality death metal from The Cleansing in the future!”

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