HEMELBESTORMER has one of those names that catches your attention right away. You don’t really know what to make of it but you want to know more. ©2015 Anders Ekdahl

As you might not be that known to most people a short introduction might be in order.
-HMBSM is a four piece collective of long time servants in the hardcore, black and doom metal scene (Death Penalty, Gorath, Serpentcult,…). Since 2012 we open the doors to a new universe and shout out a mix of various genres, whether it is post-rock, sludge, ambient, doom or even black metal, combined to an instrumental light-dark balanced whole.

How does this new album compare to the previous ones?
-A little bit background information about the history of our releases. It seems to be a bit unclear. In 2014 Consouling Sounds released “Portal to the Universe” on CD. A collaboration album with Vanessa Van Basten. The song was cut into various parts and glued together with parts from Vanessa Van Basten into one very long track. In 2015 Tartarus Records released “Portals” on tape. Side A was “Portal to the Universe”, the full song without Vanessa Van Basten’s parts. Side B was a newly written “Portal III”. The same year Sick Man Getting Sick Records released “Portals” on LP, which containted both tracks as listed on the tape. So basically we didn’t release a new album recently. But next year Debemur Morti Productions will release our upcoming album. It will be out in February, so we will most likely play new stuff for the first time at our performance at the Hell Over Hammaburg festival in March. The newer stuff isn’t that different from “Portal to the Universe” in which a lot of different moods and dynamics can be found. The 4 newer tracks got their own characteristics. There’s a heavy one, a post-rock inspired one, a dissonant one and an entrancing one. But in the end it all comes together and they all fit eachother very well.

Was it hard for you to come up with a sound you all could agree on?
-No. We all played different genres in the past and knew what we wanted to do with HMBSM. Our natural jams are bit more post-rock orientated, but apocalyptic heaviness returns each time again.

How important are the lyrics to you? What kind of topics do you deal with?
-We are an instrumental band, though we carry out a concept about darkness and light. Duality in its purest form.

How important is the cover art work for you? How much do you decide in choosing art work?
-We think artwork is right as important as the music. It’s the total package that counts. Being an instrumental band, the visual part has to speak even more because of the lack of lyrics. We take care all art ourselves: albums, shirts, live visuals, et cetera. We don’t steal stuff from the internet. Our bass player is a graphical designer and he works with photos, computer manupilation and own old school hand drawings. We are blessed having a good label supporting strong art and special packaging. It only improves the concept. This is what makes vinyl and CD packaging stand out. This is why holding the real stuff in your hands beats the digital format.

Where outside of your country have you had success with your previous albums?
-We’re not businessmen. ConSouling Sounds took care of a worldwide distribution of our first album. The 500 albums on CD were quite a success and are practically sold out. Though we don’t have any idea how they’re spread and what’s actually sold. Last month Sick Man Getting Sick Records released the vinyl edition, so the story hasn’t end yet.

Why is it that we do not see more metal bands from your country making it big internationally?
-We don’t consider HMBSM as a metal band pur sang. There’s a lot of post-rock, drone and ambient going on. But I think Belgium has got a very talented extreme (metal) scene. There’s a lot of quality in one of the smallest countries of Europe. Names? Aborted, Saille, Amenra, Enthroned, Evil Invaders,…

What is your local metal scene like? What status does does your band have in the national metal scene?
-We’ve got a wealthy scene with much activity. A few years ago there were many shows every week, but saturation has cut off some of them, so I think more quality remains. It’s hard for us to tell and to say something about our status. Because of our experience in the past we had the luck to skip the demo part and start off with label support. For others to discuss our status.

What is the general populations opinion on metal? Is being a metal musician a respectable choice?
-We don’t feel the need to be respected by the mainstream. We do this by heart for decades (!) now. We don’t have any expectations and simply know extreme music isn’t out there to please everyone. As long as we like what we are doing and as long as we’re honest to ourselves, at least we respect our own integrity. And that’s what’s important.

What does the future hold for you?
-In February 2016 Debemur Morti Productions will release the upcoming album on CD and double vinyl. At this moment we are negociating for a tape release with another label. Next year and 2017 will be spent on promoting the new album on stage. Right now we are booking shows and festivals all over Europe. There’s still plenty new territory to discover and a lot of beauty to unfurl.

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