The Swedish death metal group Xorsist are in this week’s Meet The Band spotlight. They just released At The Somber Steps To Serenity. Vocalist/guitarist Gustav Ryderfelt introduces us to his band.
Chad Bowar: Give us a brief history of Xorsist.
Gustav Ryderfelt: Founded in the year 2020, Xorsist has undergone a transformative journey characterized by a series of lineup changes and a dynamic exploration of various musical directions. Presently, Xorsist consists of myself, Alphonse Bouquelon and Birk Castenmalm. Over the course of our existence, we have not only matured artistically but have also forged a distinctive musical identity, reflecting the creativity of our current lineup. This evolution has not only shaped the sound of Xorsist but has also solidified the band’s position in the Swedish death metal scene.
Describe the songwriting process for At The Somber Steps To Serenity.
The songwriting process for our second album, At The Somber Steps To Serenity, was an intensive and rigorous period of time. Knowing that we had already booked studio time for early August, we embarked on the composition and production of the entire album starting on April 1 when our drummer joined. This compressed schedule heightened the intensity of our songwriting process, and we found ourselves immersed in a constant state of inspiration and dedication towards the music.
I believe the creative synergy among our members played a pivotal role in weaving the album’s intricate tapestry of emotions and soundscapes, which sought to convey the profound and dark themes that At the Somber Steps To Serenity would explore. In the end, the process of crafting this album within such a tight timeframe not only challenged us as musicians but also allowed us to tap into a wellspring of creativity that we might not have accessed otherwise.
What will be your strongest memory of the recording of the album?
The strongest memory is without doubt the moment we had just finished the recording of the title track, and listened to the eight minute song together. It was then, I believe, we all felt that we had created something that matters, and that we all can relate to. It was beautiful. There is no other way to put it.
What was the biggest challenge in its recording?
As I expressed earlier in the interview, the biggest challenge came from the fact that we were on such a tight songwriting schedule. I mean, there were songs we hadn’t even played together before entering the studio, which means we heard some of them for the first time in their entirety.
How has your sound evolved from your debut?
From my perspective, our second album surpasses every facet of our debut. With more time to refine our artistic identity, convey our desired emotions, and connect with the music that resonates deeply within us, this album unveils a more visceral side of our songcraft. It radiates a distinctive authenticity through its music—a darker, more depressive vibe, and an overall higher level of production quality, making it a definitive evolution from our first record.
What lyrical topics do you cover?
Our lyrics delve into somber subjects such as suicide, the depths of depressive emotions, the inevitable embrace of death, and the visceral realm of gore. Our intention is to create a raw and dark atmosphere that delves into the darker aspects of human experience through our music. We want people to be able to find comfort in the stuff we write about.
How did you come to sign with Prosthetic Records?
To put it simply, they reached out and gave us a hell of a deal, which we could not deny.
What are your goals and expectations for the album?
Our aspiration is to reach the widest possible audience and share our music far and wide. Naturally, our ultimate dream is to sustain ourselves through the music we create and love, and that remains our goal.
What has been your most memorable Xorsist live show?
All of us can agree that the first show we did together as this lineup was the most memorable. All I need to say is that it reached over 40°C in the venue, and at the second half of the show the majority of the crowd were shirtless due to the heat.
What are your upcoming show/tour plans?
We’ll just say that big things are on the horizon…
What are some of your non-musical interests and hobbies?
Alcohol and snus!
What are your top five Swedish death metal bands?
Dismember, Entombed, Dissection, Carnage, Evocation.
How is the metal scene in Stockholm in 2023?
Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of death metal bands out there. Worth to mention though are Swedish Imperishable, and (Finnish) Disguised Malignance. We definitely believe death metal is coming back, though.
What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
Same as the top five, and lots more! (laughs)
(interview published October 7, 2023)
Listen To Xorsist – “Blessed By The Divine”