Well goddamn, it has taken long enough, but Montreal occult death/black [my term, as you’ll see below] metallers NECRONOMICON have returned with their first full length album since 2004’s The Sacred Medicines. Entitled, appropriately enough, The Return of the Witch, vocalist/guitarist Rob “The Witch” Tremblay has spearheaded the creation of the band’s most accomplished album to date. Firmly rooted in traditional death metal that is rich in groove and memorable songwriting, as well as offering a range of keyboard and vocal accents, The Return of the Witch is a refreshing display of death metal crush that emphasizes the mighty riff and always puts the song first. Rob breaks it down for us.
MAA: It’s been a long time, Rob. What have you been up to since the release of The Sacred Medicines way back in the first half of the decade?
Rob: Well, first we had to find a new bass player since Dominic had tendonitis problems; it started on the road not long after The Sacred Medicines release and he had to leave the band. At first we couldn’t get a permanent replacement because time was too short so a session guy came on the road with us for a while, then we took a break and started auditions to find a suitable guy that could be really in the band. Once we found “D” the problem was that he was not from Canada but from South America, so you can guess how much time it took to do everything right for him to be living here. After that we spent more time on the road here and there and finally went in the studio. So yeah we have been doing a lot even if some things had took more time that what we were expecting.
MAA: I sensed some frustration the last time we spoke around that same time that maybe you thought that NECRONOMICON just wasn’t getting the level of recognition it deserved, and rightly so.
Rob: It was more that we were just going with Skyscraper and I was still bitter of the no agreement we had with our label just before that. The thing was that we were finishing mixing The Sacred Medicines when the label told us they would not release it. So trust me, that’s enough to get someone not happy for a while. We had to work double time to find a label to release it no matter what. So of course I wasn’t too “happy joy joy.”
MAA: But you made quite a jump from Skyscraper (are they even around anymore?) to Napalm Records. How did your signing to the Austrian label come about?
Rob: I didn’t heard very much about them after we left, but yeah they are still around; not sure they are doing really good though. What happened with Napalm is a bit of a long story but to make it short, I can say that one day I was with someone at work here that I didn’t know was working with them and suddenly he started to ask me a lot of questions about bands from here and about NECRONOMICON without knowing I was in the band, He was saying that he heard the band was recording a new album, etc. So I just said well you are talking with right guy to get info. It started like that and slowly went all the way to Austria. It took a little while to get things done because of the economic situation these last years, but everything is getting on the right place now and it’s matter of time for everything to be rolling perfectly.