May 2003
interview by Ian C Stewart

Wiltshire in England is the home of XTC, Meat Beat Manifesto and a black metal band called Behell. Formed in 1994, the band had "become bored of playing death metal and irritated by the fact that the only drummer we could find was a balding moustached man in his mid forties who had no real understanding of brutal metal," explains vocalist (and now, drummer) Morbid Von Savagery. "We made him a cassette with Deicide and Vader on it, but he was having none of it. He proceeded to ruin our material by adding slapdash rock drumming. Frustrated, we broke up the band and began working on far more raw and primitive material. This became the first Behell demo, Unnaturally Evil."

The name Behell came "from a very old dictionary, it means 'tortured with the pains of hell.'" The lineup is completed by guitarist and bassist Devillo Culto. "Devillo records all his guitar solos from within his own open grave. He has a six-foot deep hole at the bottom of his garden in which he wants to be buried. He actually paid a gravedigger to dig it for him. I think he's a bit nuts. He stands in the hole with a wireless system and I hand the guitar down to him. Then I cover the hole with some wood and go back into the house. He usually performs guitar solos to all the songs in one take. He will also only record an album when it is snowing, which makes life hard. He has also recently taken to wearing a flak jacket under his clothes." Songs are written collaboratively. "Devillo sends me a tape of his riffs in the post. I come up with suitable lyrics and drum patterns. We rehearse a few times. Then we are ready to record. We try not to smile or laugh during recording as this would add a false element to the music. Black metal must be devoid of humor if it is to remain truly dark and evil."

Behell takes inspiration from "Bathory. Because they invented this style of black metal, along with Celtic Frost. I think Darkthrone is probably my favorite band from the Norweigan black metal boom. Also Immortal. I suppose Black Sabbath would be another influence because of the darkness of their early albums. It's funny because many people assume that because they have only heard of us recently we must be a new band, but this is only because we have remained underground, producing our music for a loyal set of followers worldwide; particularly in Germany and Japan. We receive emails almost daily, and one in particular that I received last week from a Russian fan said that he considered us an influence on his own band AK-666. I feel honored indeed."

What's the metal scene like in, um, Swindon? "It is mainly ska and punk. Not really much metal. There are probably only two or three bands with metal elements in them, but none as dark sounding as ourselves. We never perform live here as there is no real audience for it. We would merely be mocked for our appearance. Long hair, leather, studs and spikes are no longer popular here, as baseball caps, baggy shorts, hockey shirts, and dyed spiked hair is the norm. Some of these kids wear makeup, but it is not like the foul and creepy corpsepaint that we often adopt."

Behell will release its new album Pit Of Snakes in 2003 on Maggot Infesto Records.

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