Metal Inquisitor from Germany unleash a heavy metal fury in the grand tradition of Priest and Maiden, while maintaining an instantly recognizable sound that is all their own! From the superb musicianship to the triumphant vocals, the collective has been assaulting Europe with their artillery of heavy metal thunder since 1998. Their fourth full length magnum opus is entitled Ultima Ratio Regis, now available worldwide through the mighty Massacre Records! Here is a recent interview we conducted with the various comrades of Metal Inquisitor to find out more about these true legends of the underground and their exhilarating new album! They may not be known around the world yet, but judging by what’s heard within Ultima Ratio Regis, expect these guys to break through with a vengeance! Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Metal Inquisitor, and how long the band has been together.
Blumi: Metal Inquisitor was established in 1997 together with Tormentor of Desaster. First it was the plan to keep this project just small. But Tormentor said that he knew two guys, El Rojo and KronoS, for making the band complete. We have been lucky to find in the right moment the right people. In 2000 Tormentor couldn’t stay in the band anymore because of his main band Desaster so we found with Havoc the right successor and T.P. on the rhythm guitar made the band finally complete. In 2010 Cliff Bubenheim joined the band to take over the bass guitar-part.
T.P.: In 1998 the line-up of the Apparition-album played together in an eighties-metal-cover band. In the beginning, it was a project just for fun and we did not do it with the intention to play some shows or to earn money. But someone asked us to play a few songs at a garden party. Okay, why not? So we did it, and the resonance was so great and we had so much fun that we played more shows and had more rehearsals. When Tormentor left Metal Inquisitor, Havoc and I started with M.I. And the cover band has been buried. Up to now, it is the same line-up except the position on bass.
Where is the band based out of and what is your local metal scene like there?
Blumi: I remember back in the end of the 90’s, many True Metal Bands were coming up and it seemed to me, that the metal scene would develop in a direction which I can´t endure. In this way Metal Inquisitor was some kind of counter-movement to me. I wanted to show to the scene how metal should have to sound like. We formed at the same time a Metal-Club “Hellbangers Moselfranken” in our area. Such typical Metal-Clubs have a long tradition in Germany and are still very common here. Right out of this Metal-Club other Bands like Desaster, Nocturnal and some others emerged as well.
How did you wind up signing with Massacre Records?
Blumi: We had contacts to different labels already two years ago. It was initially not easy to find the right label for us but ultimately Massacre Records has made the best deal for us. One can summarize it and say that they wanted us the most.
Is there any story or concept behind the title Ultima Ratio Regis?
El Rojo: The Latin sentence “Ultima Ratio Regis” was marked in the Prussian guns of the 18th & 19th Century. Translated it means something like: The extreme, the last possibility of the king, the ultimate weapon of the King. It should be less a threat than a warning: If this instrument is used, it can be controlled very little. And it is possible that the result is not within the meaning of the king – wars can topple kings! Today, such an inscription would be superfluous, since nuclear missiles end it all: A fallen King would be the lesser evil here! But the warning “Don´t use incontrollable toys” is still actual to every politician….
Select two songs from Ultima Ratio Regis and what inspired the lyrics.
El Rojo: “Death on Demand“: The song is about “World War One” and of the hell of “trench warfare”. It must have been unimaginabley terrible to endure such things. Since start of the First World War 100 years ago, this theme has currently a highly topical again. I think it’s always interesting to concern myself with the question “How does a war start” and why people endure such a hell: Why do not ALL Soldiers say ” F*** you, I ‘m going home “!?
“Servant of State“: This is about the youth of “Frederick the Great“, which is well known because he made Prussia a major power – while paying the price of a permanent warfare course. Less well known is that he was a rebel in his youth and wanted to escape from the “hard school” of the father. In his escape, he was caught and then he had to watch as his best friend was shot. As an “educational measure” of the Father! That something leaves a deep disturbance of the soul stands by itself, doesn´t it?
Who did the artwork for Ultima Ratio Regis and how much input did you have on it?
T.P.: Dimitar Nikolov did again the artwork. He already painted the Absolution-cover and we like his style. We told him the title of the album and asked him to convert it into a painting. Then he sent us two designs and we could choose which one should be use for the album.
What could one expect from a live Metal Inquisitor show?
T.P.: For me personally, the shows are like a heavy-metal-party. We don`t have any spectacular effects. We let the music talk. You can expect a lot of passion, beer and sweat…
Havoc: There is a simple metal show. Real guitars, real drums … pure heavy metal. No hardcore shit.
What was the experience like playing Wacken and how do you prefer the big festivals or club shows?
T.P.: Playing big shows are so different to club-shows. At a big festival, we are a small unknown band, and mostly we get to feel it. Of course that`s not nice, but on stage, the crew always works professional. Sometimes we had bad luck and the monitor-man was an ignorant asshole. But the energy of a big crowd in front of the stage you can feel is incredible. Club shows are more personal. People who come to such shows are mostly close and well-known with the band and their songs. That is more like a party.
Havoc: Big festivals are very cool because you have a mega sound – in small clubs, the atmosphere is better. We celebrate together and living metal. We can play some special songs exclusively. Here come the fans who want to see and hear us. I find it better and more beautiful.
Has Metal Inquisitor ever played here in the States or plan to do so in future days? If so, what was the experience like?
Blumi: We have since many years the idea to tour in the U.S.A. but unfortunately Metal Inquisitor has been not known enough to realize this in the past. But it has for us but a very high priority to implement this plan in the future! We are currently in contact with an organizer and think about to make it in 2015.
When you look back on your earlier albums such as The Apparition and Doomsday For The Heretic, what do you think of them now? Speaking of Doomsday For The Heretic, has anyone in Judas Priest ever heard or commented on your Invader cover?
Blumi: On our first album “The Apparition” we have approached quite at ease to the music. I think that this can also be heard in the songs as they come along somehow freely. On “Doomsday for the Heretic” we wanted to create more serious songs and have focused on less melodies. For sure the first two albums are the favorites among our fans. Surprisingly, no one has commented on “Invader” in the past. Rather to “Twardy jak skjala” from ”The Apparition”… this song is a real hit.
If Metal Inquisitor could open up for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
T.P.: Lets would choose the classic: Iron Maiden!
What’s up next for Metal Inquisitor?
T.P.: We will play some club shows and festivals in Germany and Japan and in between we collect ideas for new songs. Time runs quickly…
Havoc: We play a few concerts. Even in Japan. Let’s see what else happened. But we still want to play in America in the future necessarily.
Metal Inquisitor is:
Blumi – Lead Guitar
T.P. – Guitar
El Rojo – Vocals
Havoc – Drums
Cliff Bubenheim – Bass
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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