Exclusive Interview: The Curse Of Millhaven talk “Thresholds”!
Belgian Metallers The Curse of Millhaven dropped an impressive new album in “Thresholds” a few months back and we were lucky enough to be granted an audience with them to talk about the album and being you an exclusive interview! If you’ve not checked out the album as yet… Shame on you!
The band name “The Curse of Millhaven” – is that taken from the 1996 song from “Murder Ballads” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds or is there another story behind that one?
As musicians, besides metal, we love other genres as well. Of course Nick Cave is one of them. The story behind the song ‘The Curse of Millhaven’ thrilled ourselves to find out more. It’s about a fictive little town called Millhaven, were a psycho little girl Lottie, with a murder instinct dwells around. The happy tunes in the song are in contrast with the murderous lyrics, which fit our band perfectly.
When we reviewed “Thresholds” we picked out some Death Metal, some Black Metal and even some Metalcore elements in your sound. Who would you say are your biggest influences and why?
You’ve noticed that well. We must admit that we have some bands which we are influenced by. But nevertheless we try to create our own sound by blending our favourite bands into one piece. I think bands like The Black Dahlia Murder and God Dethroned are major influences, but because we like so many metal subgenres we are able to create a new style of Death Metal.
It’s mentioned that you recorded 10 songs in the sessions for “Thresholds” yet the album holds 9. Can you tell us about the track that was cut and if you plan to release it at a later date?
We haven’t recorded one extra song, but inside Millhaven we strive for the best. At rehearsals we end up picking the best riffs to create new songs, but in the end the riff changed another 5 times until it sounds perfect to all of us. Of course this leads to lot’s of discussion between us band members, but it only means we all want the best for Millhaven. A few beers afterwards in our soundcave and all is peace, love and joy!
The accenting on the vocals, particularly on the album title track adds a touch of Evil. How much was the vocal delivery part of the more aggressive edge that you wanted to achieve with the album? With the likes of Phil Bozeman incorporating clean vocals, was it easy to say “no clean singing”?
The vocal part has changed a bit over the years. It’s how we have changed as a band. We are holding on to Death Metal, but yet we try out new things. There are a lot more backing vocal parts and even whispering appears on Thresholds. It’s part of the process. The sound is more aggressive, but that includes the riffing, vocals, drums, everything. To add clean vocals to the music is an experiment we are open minded about. If you listen to bands like Serpentine Dominion, clean vocals and death metal can go along very well. It’s a challenge for our vocalist Jasper to make it sound powerful enough in the future, if we would introduce it.
As an album “Thresholds” has arguably one of the best all round kit performances with some seriously relentless work, “Shelter” being a fine example. Who are you drumming inspirations?
Oh, thanks a lot for those nice words! Our drummer, Bart is very open minded in his music and that’s something you can hear in the style of drumming too. Going from straight ahead blast beats to groove and even percussion parts, it’s all on Thresholds. It’s hard to name specific influences, but a lot of albums that he was listening to in the past two years when writing the album have given him a lot of ideas and inspiration for this record.
There are no guest vocalists “Thresholds” or any of your previous works – but if you could get a guest with no expenses spared, who would you get any why?
Well, we do have guests on Thresholds. But not in a normal way. The last song ‘Cruciato Mentis’ contains guest appearances of Mendel Bij De Leij (former-Aborted), Josh Fury (Congress, King Hiss) Bart Govers (Fleddy Melculy) and Dieter Willem (Crowsview). Each of them getting the very best out of their guitar. It’s an instrumental Guitar solo song which sounds Epic! To have guest appearances in the vocal part, I think Jasper can create enough styles of growling and screaming so it wouldn’t get to boring. So it would have to be a vocalist which create a whole different voice. Phil Bozeman is always welcome to give it a shot !
What does 2020 hold for Curse of the Millhaven?
We have some big announcements coming up soon. Unfortunately we can’t tell anything about that yet. A tour, huge festivals and very cool clubshows are keywords. Stay tuned!