Reign of Terror is, at this stage, no stranger to the Sleeping Village. In the past, we have both reviewed the death-metal worshiping outfit's debut, and premiered a single from their sophomore effort. To complete the trifecta, we're hitting you all with an interview. Big thanks to Jereth Fewings--Reign of Terror's instrumentalist and stoic UK contingent--for reaching out in the first place, for the sincere answers, and for the ridiculously quick turnaround.
For the uninitiated, Reign of Terror play brutal death metal and worship at the blood-stained altar of acts such as Deicide, Hypocrisy, Death, Bolt Thrower, and Dethklok. You know, the good stuff. These guys have riffs and heart galore...and they somehow manage to churn out new material at an increasingly alarming and impressive rate. Without further ado: we're pleased to introduce Jereth Fewings of Reign of Terror!
Before we get too far into the interrogation, how are things in your corner of the world?
First of all thank you for having us to do this! Things are great here. As you know, we’re currently working on Album #3, and that’s all going smoothly too! Thoroughly enjoying this one!
What originally drew you--and continues to draw you--to death metal? Is there something inherent to death metal, on an emotional level, that other genres lack?
Originally, it was actually my dad that got me into Death Metal when I was young with bands like Death, Deicide, Massacre, Obituary, Carcass, and Bolt Thrower, just to name a few. So that’s where it all started for me, but I think what keeps me coming back for more is the fact that the “Old School” bands, or at least most, are still releasing music and there are lots of new bands that take influence from these bands. When it comes to other genres, it’s not that it’s lacking anything, I just don’t seem to get that feeling of wanting to bang my head to it, if that makes sense? There are a few bands from other genres that I love, for example, Thrash Metal, I absolutely love Testament, Assassin, Exodus, or Black Metal, some of my favourites are Naglfar, Taake, or Dark Funeral.
With two full-length released within a year, and a third on it's way, your release schedule is pretty damn inspirational. How do you maintain such consistent output without burning out or falling into complacency? I'm...asking for a friend.
This is interesting question. I’m not actually sure how I manage to keep it consistent, honestly. I just tend to write what’s on my mind, or at least attempt to, and then flesh it out some more when I start fully working on it. As for falling into complacency or burning out, the way I’ve found that I do it is when I’m working on the albums, or singular tracks, I just work at it constant until I’m at my limit, or I cant be bothered, and then I stop for a little while, be it a couple of days, a couple of weeks, etc, and I find this is the best way to work because I love doing it, so it doesn’t feel like a chore. I think the one thing that does burn me out is writing lyrics, since that’s not my strong point at all.
Given the international nature of your lineup, how do you and Oscar divide songwriting duties? Is it a collaborative process, or do you exclusively handle the instrumentation while he handles the vocals?
It’s a bit of both really. I mostly write all of the instrumentation, and lyrics, then Oscar records the vocals and adds lyrics, removes lyrics. But when it comes to instrumentation, I usually write it all, send it to Oscar, he tells me if he thinks anything needs added, changed, removed, etc. Originally it was a case of, I write it all, send it to him, he records, but I figured since we’re both “Reign Of Terror”, it was only fair I got his opinions!
What's your favorite Reign of Terror track to date? Which was the most rewarding to see realized into the world?
This is an easy question. I have two favourites, Revolution Through Violence, and Execution Of God. R.T.V simply because I just love everything about it, I love the way the drums are, the way the guitar is, all of it. It’s just an incredibly hard-hitting song for me. As for E.O.G, I love this one because it was the very first song I wrote that didn’t particularly stick to the standard “Verse – Chorus – Verse – Chorus” layout that I usually do, and I just love it.
Your inspirations are well documented across bandcamp and social media, as well as our prior conversations. There's no doubt: from Deicide to Hypocrisy to Dethklok, death metal of the brutal variety seems to be your bread and butter. Rather than ask about your influences, then, I'm curious: what is a band or artist no one who listens to Reign of Terror would ever suspect you enjoy?
Ahh, I think this one will surprise you, but it’s definitely gotta be Ice Cube or NWA, hands down. I just can’t help but love their stuff. Their music is just brilliant, and I’ve always thought so, Ice Cube’s latest album was killer as well.
I know you were enjoying the latest Malevolent Creation a few months back. What other albums have caught your ear in the past few months? And is your music-listening time spent exploring new releases, or revisiting the classics?
There’s so many! Haha! Legion Of The Damned’s latest album was great, along with Rotting Christ, Possessed, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Firespawn, Hate, and Memoriam. Memoriam’s new album is awesome, I cant stop listening to it, it’s definitely an amazing combination of Benediction and Bolt Thrower and it’s damn good.
The jump in maturity between your debut and sophomore albums was impressive, especially given the quick turnaround. With that in mind, what can you tell us slumbering Villagers about The Black Abyss?
Hmm, what can I tell you about our new album? Oh, I don’t know, only that for the first time ever, a Reign Of Terror album is going to have fully recorded guitars, done by my friend Dan from Mormegil. I’m incredibly excited about this because I’ve always used MIDI to write guitars since I’m not a guitarist myself, so having an actual guitarist to re-record it is gonna be amazing! Along with that, I can tell you that it’s DEFINITELY a combination of the first two albums, there’s a lot of fast tracks on there, and there are a couple of slower ones too, but it is definitely gonna be worth the wait. I promise you that.
Lastly, I want to thank you for the support you've provided us over the past year! The last word is yours--is there anything else you'd like to add?
I would just like to say thank you to you guys for supporting us as well! I mean, it’s nice to have people who constantly support us and our goal to make music that people enjoy! Thank you again! I hope you enjoy our new album when it comes out!
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.
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