The Cleansing | Interview with Toke Kristof Eld

[The Cleansing]

Danish death-metallers The Cleansing have done very well for themselves in just 2 years. They have signed to Deepsend Records, had their debut album "Poisoned Legacy" nominated at Danish Metal Awards as "Metal Debut Album Of The Year", not to mention that it was extremely well received by press and public, and toured throughout Denmark with label-mates Dawn of Demise.
Their second album “Feeding the Inevitable” was recently issued, once again by Deepsend Records, and The Cleansing look to accomplish greater achievements with their latest work. Scratch the Surface approached vocalist Toke Eld to talk about their new album, their upcoming plans and how the world is walking towards its doom.

It’s been more than two years since we last spoke, around the time your first album “Poisoned Legacy” was released. Since then, a lot of things had happened within The Cleansing camp, you’ve toured throughout Denmark in promotion of said album, switched bass players, and had written and record your second full-length work recently issued by Deepsend Records.
So, fill us in with the details of your experiences during these last two years, all the good things, the bad things and even the ugly things and I’m not entirely sure if I want to know about it?

“Well the good thing I would say is the new album “Feeding the Inevitable”. We’re pretty proud of that! Hopefully the masses will like it as well otherwise things could turn out ugly! And that would of course be bad… But I’m not entirely sure that was what you wanted to hear right? Hehe… Luckily we have yet to run into bad things! The creation of the second album was actually pretty smooth. Of course we had to do the best we could do, but that didn’t require too many sleepless night. Nor did the tour with Dawn of Demise because we’re so old and boring now… Incredibly dull I know. But that’s just us! Yeah the last two years has been good. Way better than the previous two hehe”

This new album entitled “Feeding the Inevitable” is very much in The Cleansing mold, yet there’s also some new dynamics and diversity that I never heard before in your songs. “Processed for Contamination” for instance is very slow-driven and melancholic even.
So, what makes this new album different from your debut album and previous works?

“Well, we are probably richer in experience I would say. We are better song writers now. That makes the biggest differences. But that of course makes the music a little different. I feel that “Feeding the Inevitable” is more direct, more streamlined if that makes sense. “Processed for Contamination” was written by Jeppe. He actually wasn’t sure if it should be on the album. But we liked it straightaway and felt we could get with putting it on the album even if it is a little different. But I think different is good. It’s not healthy to make too many restrictions for yourself. And especially with music and other forms of expressions of art, it’s important to keep an open mind. Now, I’m not saying we re-invented the wheel or anything hehe, but we took a change and went with it. It could easily have misfired. It’s not easy to know beforehand what people will think of the stuff you make. But as you say, it also creates a diversity which I think is really good.”

However, despite these differences, there is no question that The Cleansing is still a straight up and ferocious death metal act. What kind of feedback are you getting from your fans regarding this new album?

“It’s pretty early right now to tell what the reaction is. But the few people who have heard the album and responded have actually been somewhat overwhelming. Really good reviews. It doesn’t seem that people think we suffer from “great debut, crap follow up” syndrome. And that is pretty positive for me! As I said, you never know how people will respond.”

What was the recording process like? Did it go more smoothly this time in contrast to your previous album, where certain legal problems aroused during the recording sessions?

“Yeah that really sucked ass. I had to drop out of the recording sessions as I was… Well… Not available. If anyone wants to know more they are more than welcome to write me personally on facebook if they are curious. But I don’t really want to talk about it here on record if you know what I mean? But yes, the recording went MUCH more smoothly this time around haha. It took about six months for the album to be finished. Of course it wasn’t six months constant work, we had it spread out. But everything went great really. Next time we want to do something else of course, but that is how it always is hehe. Even though things might not be broken, they can often be improved!”

What’s the significance of the album title? It seems suggest something connected with themes of self-destruction and impending doom?

“That is actually pretty much it haha. We, as a human race, will always walk towards our own doom. This isn’t news. That we are spending much of our time to hasten this process probably isn’t news either, but it’s something I spend quite a lot of time to think of, so it’s a suitable subject for me to write about. The human race kind of disgust me, so I find it impossible to not write about that kind of stuff. My lyrics are very personal actually, but this is clearly a theme I keep returning to. Write what you know some author once said. I think that is good advice.”

Are there any tour plans to support the new album? What’s the next step for the band?

“We need to play more live, that’s for sure. We are proud of our music, and there is no reason we shouldn’t be out there ripping people to pieces with it! The next step must be to gain more fans that way hehe… We have some shows brewing in the end of the year, and then hopefully we will take our music international by playing beyond our borders. Then we have to start write the new album which is always exciting stuff! I already have some lyrics ideas that I look forward to work out. But yeah, get our asses on the line and bring the stuff out live. That’s the overall plan right now hehe.”

David Alexandre 

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