Within the world of extreme metal, Sweden has been bringing death to all for quite some time. Be it Dismember, Entombed, At the Gates, or Bloodbath, Sweden’s contributions to the timeless art of death metal needs no question. Between the HM-2 drenched buzzy style of death to the melodic Gothenburg sound, Swedish bands haven’t just been happy to play around with the form either, they’ve been innovators in the realm as well. Looking to add their name to their country’s storied history is Omnicidal, who burst onto the scene back in April with the release of their debut album, The Omnicidalist.
Since forming several years ago, Omnicidal has been dropping quality singles since 2021. When The Omnicidalist finally arrived on April 7, it was the culmination of a series of singles that brought anticipation for the record to a fever pitch. After spending more than a month with the record, the wait has well been worth it. I recently caught up with Sebastian Svedlund to get the story behind Omnicidal and The Omnicidalist.
First off, how did Omnicidal get started? What made you guys all want to start a death metal band together? How did you decide on the name?
Sebastian: Me and [Fredrik] Jordanius had been talking for a couple of years about a death metal project and when both our regular bands were put on hold/laid to rest we decided to join forces. It was Jordanius who came up with the name…It is quite suiting considering what we are about. Death and destruction.
How did you get into death metal in the first place and who are some of the bigger influences within the genre on the band?
Sebastian: It has been there since our childhood…or teens. Being a Swede you know your death metal. We do love bands like Dismember, At the gates, and Dissection.
What makes this particular group work so well and how do you keep a healthy band dynamic?
Sebastian: We all have our different personalities. We are suited together very well. Jordanius being the smart and effective one, me being…me, good with shouting and good with the rhythmic guitar, [Stefan] Jansson being naked and [Andreas] Strandh being the most solid bass guitarist ever with his lines.
What’s your process like for writing the music side of things? Has that changed at all over the years?
Sebastian: With age. That is my reply. With age. With age comes the power to know what is good and what is not.
How do you write the lyrics for the band? What do you turn to for inspiration for the songs?
Sebastian: Real life events. And horror flicks. Mostly it is self experienced stuff we write about, coloured to suit the rhythmic song and the drive in the music.
The new record, The Omnicidalist, is a totally killer debut. What was the writing and recording process like for this one and what was the goal with the debut? What did you learn through the process that you’ll take to future recordings?
Sebastian: We recorded it live at Studio Soundport with Mikael Andersson behind the steering wheel. We did the entire album live, meaning we recorded everything together at the same time. It requires every member to be well-rehearsed and tight with the band. We did all the drums, rhythmic guitars, and bass like that and recorded the solos and vocals in Jordanisound Studios afterwards. The goal has always been to show the world that good death metal can still be made. I think we will work exactly the same on our following record.
I wanted to ask about a few songs on that new album to get the musical/lyrical origin of them. What’s the story behind “By Knife?” Was it always intended to be the opener?
Sebastian: It was, when we heard the entire album in its whole. “By Knife” is a sinister saga both within its music and lyrical theme. It is about you finding out you are about to meet your maker. The last minutes of your life… all the ”what ifs,” ”should I have?” ”maybe I would have…” It is too late. You have a knife pointed at you and you can’t escape. It is the perfect opening song with its melodic punch and the musical drive.
How about the origin of the “WWD?”
Sebastian: That song is the entire band’s all favorite. It has the drive, the heaviness, and anger. It is about the state of the world right now. War? Yes please.
What about the story behind “The Neverborn?”
Sebastian: A personal lyric from the band. It is about someone we knew…and lost.
How about the story behind “Ten Shots?”
Sebastian: Serial killers? Yes please. This is a quite easy nut to crack if you are into serial killers…
What’s your local scene like where you live in Sweden? Is there an active one and has it had an effect on the band?
Sebastian: It has been better… There is, but mostly in the cities of Gothenburg, Stockholm and Malmö. The three biggest cities of Sweden. What does that say? The metal scene is dying out. Nowadays kids listen to some gangsta rap made in a home ”studio” somewhere by an asshole who can’t make a difference on ”mono” and ”audio” and uses autotune on every track. Fast food can also be converted into the music business… Talent is rare these days.
Lastly, what’s next for Omnicidal? What are your goals for the future of the band?
Sebastian: To conquer the world of course! But we want YOU on the front row banging your heads out!!!!
Photo at top: The Omnicidalist album cover.