TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE
This interview with Jerry Brouwer of Centurian was done through e-mail in November 2001.
Hello, how are you doing?
Very well actually! Thank you very much!
Your new album "Liber ZarZax" has just been released. What can old and new fans of the band expect from your most recent material?
A total Death Metal Whirlwind! The old fans will certainly recognize the CENTURIAN style of songwriting and aggressiveness, combined with deep spiritual and hateful lyrics and concept! They will also be confronted with the addition and integration of two new members Oskar and yours truly and will be surprised by the way CENTURIANs music has evolved, in terms of compositions, as well as the technical approach. Of course, the same goes for the new fans, ha! People unfamiliar with our music must be advised though to give the record a thorough listen to fully contemplate what is being spawned upon them! Itís no easy shit! But people who find themselves interested in higher spiritual and occult knowledge, will find Liber ZarZax deeply rewarding. To those not inclined to care for the lyrics, itís a fuckiní brutal record, regardless! But it is the full interaction between music and lyrics which make this record so goddamned interesting!
I understand you produced the album on your own. What were the reasons for this and did it work out as you wished?
We produced this record ourselves because the collaboration with a so-called certified producer didnít get the aimed results last time. The sound of the previous CENTURIAN releases is very crappy and as a result of that it is very hard to distinguish the various guitar riffs, which is a major loss to the quality of the whole production and the songs in the end. For this album we had a very clear idea of what we wanted and above all, what we didnít want. The owner of the studio gave us full use of the studio-equipment and took off when we felt that the technical shit was under control for the day! Although this was the first time that we produced an album ourselves, we are pretty satisfied with the end result, but as a musician, one is never completely satisfied. However, it was the best we could come up with in this situation.
This is the first of at least three albums for your new label Listenable Records. What caused the label shift?
We felt that our former label, Full Moon Productions could no longer represent us in the way we deemed fit for CENTURIAN. Although they have done a great job for us in the States and South America, unfortunately they did not cover our homeground of Europe just as well. Being a European band, this is of the utmost importance to us, regarding shit like tour support and promo and so on. With Listenable we feel that our opportunities to get noticed by a widerspread audience are much larger. We feel very confident with this collaboration. They have been taking a lot of our crap and do the utmost to get us noticed wherever they can.
The album title "Liber Zarzax" is probably rather confusing to most people. What does it mean? Is this sort of a concept album?
Liber ZarZax literally means: The Book of the Power of the Tenth Aethyr called Zax. All the songs on this album deal with Chaos, Satan and Death. In that sense, yes, this can be considered a concept album, although not in the traditional sense, where all the songs are connected by a central theme. It is the contents as a whole that creates the concept behind the title. Liber ZarZax summarizes the whole of events taking place. Zax is non-dimensional sphere, where nothing is, yet everything is possible. It is a place of total chaos and is the home of the demonic Force Choronzon, leader of the demon hordes. To us, all this has a deeper, spiritual meaning and the concept is metaphorical to our feelings and experiences with the occult and satanic issues. It is both an observation as it is a sharing of thoughts and knowledge.
Who is the artist behind the artwork for the new album? Was the cover art based on your own ideas?
That was Polish artist Jacek Wisniewski, who also did the artwork for Vader, amongst others. We worked closely with him, regarding our wishes for the artwork. He did a great job!
Most ordinary folks would consider your lyrics and music quite diabolical. Would you call yourselves satanists?
Well, satanism is a very subjective issue. What is considdered spiritual to one, might seem very insignificant to others. In basic terms you can label CENTURIAN a satanic band. Although the lyrical concept goes beyond satanism on Liber ZarZax. There is much more to occult knowledge than just that particular item. But as said before, satanism is a very personal matter and he lives in our souls and thoughts. It is a part of who we are!
The Dutch metal scene seems to be doing fine at the moment with progressive metal bands like After Forever and Within Temptation but there are also plenty of death metal bands like God Dethroned, The Mangled and of course you. Is metal on the rise in Holland at the moment?
There is a lot of quality in our country, which you noticed very well. Strange enough, it seems that only the foreign press notice the enormous qualities we possess overhere. I think due to this lack of interest by our own press, that Dutch bands need to go the extra mile to get noticed. Maybe this explains it a little.
How would you say the band has developed since the release of the MCD "Of Purest Fire" back in 1998?
I think that the music we make today says it all, basically! In the early days, you can hear that the band is searching for its own sound, which was more noticable on the Choronzonic Chaos Gods album. With Liber ZarZax I believe we have managed to produce a very balanced album. For the first time, that is. The songs are more structured and the spirtual ideas have been worked out better than on the previous releases. I also believe that with the addition of the new blood, there is more balance in the band as a whole and at the creative side in particular.
There are now four equally capable musicians in this band and although the new members joined the band after the main parts of the new songs had been written, I think we have been able to integrate our skills and ideas to the fullest. We are eager to start the writing process for a new album again, I must admit.
You have gone through some line-up changes during this year. Could you tell us about them?
Both Oskar and myself have been working together in another band called ZI XUL for over six years, but although we have not been able to release anything worth mentioning, our demos got noticed by the right people in the end. We are the most critical persons around and we didnīt hassitate to ventilate our critisism and our ideas during the recordingprocess of Liber ZarZax. I think our personallities really blended in perfectly in CENTURIAN, and I sense a lot of balance in the band. We are all very happy with this move and feel that CENTURIAN has gained a lot of creativity, skill and personality.
Centurian was originally formed in 1997 when the death/thrash metal band Inquisitor broke up. Did Inquisitor release any material?
Yep, they released one album, called "Walpurgis-Sabbath of Lust" which is well known in the underground. We still recieve damned lot of reactions about it.
When and how did you enter the metal scene?
When I was twelve years old, I started out listening to Quo and such softie oldtimer shit, haha! Later on I came to learn about Iron Maiden, Slayer and Metallica and so on. Again somewhat later I came under the spell of Morbid Angel and Deicide and I was hooked for life!
What are your plans for the nearest future?
Do as many interviews and gigs as we can to spread the gospel of CENTURIAN and persuade the world of our qualites and power! To spread our Chaos into madness and beyond!
Any final words you want the world to know of?
Yeah! Eat more fruit and go to school! Nah, seriously, I wish to thank you for taking an interest in CENTURIAN and the latest developments concerning the release of Liber ZarZax! We hope to be able to bring our chaos to Sweden some day soon! Take care and `be well`!
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