I reviewed Lectern’s newest album Precept of Delator a while back, and it was a breath of fresh air. They played death metal the way it was back in the early 90’s when groups like Cannibal Corpse and Deicide were wreaking havoc across the US.
I sat down with the creator of the band, Fabio Bava, and chatted with him about the bands confusing history, the issues they had, satanism, and his views on modern old-school death metal.
First, let’s dig into some history. What was the idea and concept behind Lectern? Why was the name chosen?
We wanted to be a satanic death metal band in the old school way from the 90’s from the USA; no melodies, keyboards, fucking arpeggios, or clean sounds. The moniker was chosen as a synonym of pulpit; spreading topics related to demons and hell, as our concept is Satan. The logo was drawn by Christophe Szpajdel, very famous in the circuit; at the time he did logos for free to all the bands who asked him. I wanted something twisted within flames, so he caught the meaning perfectly.
What happened after the “Bisbetical” EP? You guys didn’t release anything for about a decade!
Bisbetical reminds me of death metal from the 90’s. After twenty years, it seems like I am speaking about something detached from nowadays! We broke up for more than eight years without being disbanded at all and it was quite a long time. The worst thing was to rebuild everything from the ashes; searching for a new drummer and two guitarists was hard. Before I was sure we had the right line up, we didn’t do any gigs and the songwriting was in a sort of lethargy. When we restarted, we made a couple of shows and wrote some new riffs for Salvific Of Perhaps Lambent, which was another demo.
How did Lectern finally get back and release the following EP? Was an album in the works already?
We wanted to resurrect Lectern, so we immersed ourselves into the songwriting and noticed it was completely different and more technical than Bisbetical. We had a very skilled axeman at that time who brought our sound into a new dimension, which seemed a bit experimental for us as we never expressed ourselves in that way. We didn’t plan for a record yet; that came after changing the line-up three times before I met Enrico, the new guitarist who left four years later.
Tell us about the creation process for first record, “Fratricidal Concelebration”.
It was very troubled times in terms the songwriting. Enrico was a longtime friend, who I got in touch with through Facebook, and the next day he was in my apartment with some riffs. I listened to his stuff and I told him to dive into blowing some motherfucking Christians away! Enrico went to Kick Studio to record his songs with the drums as a demo to give to the next drummer and a tentative guitarist. We recorded with Pietro on the other guitar and Marco on the drums, and made a demo called Lectern at the end of 2013. The following year, we were in the studio tracking Fratricidal Concelebration.
Moving on to the following year, you guys released Precept of Delator. What were some things you wanted to do differently in the second album?
A change of direction. The first record was more technical, so this one goes into a much more brutal style; we wanted it to be more catchy, simple and heavy. The production is nasty; especially for the guitars, which we detuned more for the first time in years and chugged as never before while losing the twisting attitude of the first work. Also, the length of the songs were often short and to the point. We paid more attention on the mixing and the whole sound; “Dyptich Of Perked Oblation” is one of the most terrifying songs we ever made! Lastly, we asked Adi Dechristianize to draw the artwork.
Your band heavily focuses of Satanism and blasphemy in your lyrics and overall image, much like Deicide and Glen Benton himself. Would you say he’s one of your main inspirations?
Lectern has nothing to do with Deicide; we are two separated beings. If we have the same approach to religion, I must say that ours can also be compared to a lot of bands around and not only to Benton’s. I lost interest in Deicide after Serpents of the Light; I found them (Deicide) totally useless! Writing about blasphemy is tricky and we are not a second-hand band for lyrics and riffs!
On a personal level, what is it about Satanism that inspires you to write music?
We stay far away from stupid rituals with blood or full of fuckings! If you still think about Satanism in that form, I must say that Satanism does not exist. It is only a mental approach; we are all Satan. Being stoned or using drugs in search of Satan? Too ridiculous!
What does it mean to be a Satanist?
Nothing! I am not affiliated to the Church Of Satan or things like that. My belief is on a personal level only, and I must distinguish between the word ‘Satanist’, which is related to worshiping Satan. I think ‘Satanic’ is more appropriate; related to hell and not only to the Devil.
What are your feelings towards Christianity?
Like every creed, it is wrong from part to part. Humankind cannot stand to an entity superior than themselves. How can you pray someone who stands nowhere, without a reason, only because someone preached to you that it is right without any explanation, and that you know fucking nothing about him and the whole truth? The existence of God has nothing to do with me; I don’t look up to that!
Let’s talk about the lyrics themselves. They seem a little obscure and maybe harder to understand, was there a reason they were written this way?
Personally, as being the writer of all the lyrics, I cannot stand senseless titles like “Go Fuck your God”. What moves me is reading about Christian theology and then hit the center of their hypocrisy! We speak about failed transubstantiation’s, peeping on God to steal his secret of immortality, triple crucifixions, Paraclete, the Christ who was in hell before his resurrection, and priests’ sexual abuses in the confessional and the church. It is fucking boring to speak that Satan will be the lord; if it happens…then what? Who is the enemy we hate? Where can religion and Christians be defeated from? We were moved about things which are all about Christians and the truth is that we have to desecrate them all. Death metal lyrics are often very structured, so we wanted verses that could not be bounded to each other in the common way. Writing haughty riffs means to have unbelievable lyrics.
What are some of your favorite modern metal bands? I’d like to see what you guys think of the re-emerging old-school styled death metal, too.
It depends how the word “modern” is used. If you mean new bands playing classic death metal, I think they are doing the job, but I am not interested if someone takes us as a model. The aim is not to take things back to their former position, as death metal is death metal in 1990 as in 2017. The way of recording has changed and the number of bands has increased. When it comes to old outfits that re-recorded their stuff or reformed again…I think it is fucking silly. If they cannot stand up to what they did twenty five years ago, why must they have a second chance? Pestilence and Sinister are good examples with Testimony of the Ancients and Diabolical Summoning. Confused reunions and new approaches are not for me, especially to re-do mediocre albums after years.
Do any of those new bands influence your style, or do you guys stick to the old-school stuff from the 90’s as your main fuel for inspiration?
United States in the years of 1989-93 had death metal at its best! Only some bands made incredible records later; Morbid Angel with Domination and Formulas Fatal To The Flesh, Death with Symbolic, and Deicide with Once Upon The Cross and Serpents Of The Light from 1995-97. Atheist disappeared; Death changed to mimic progressive heavy metal acts like Dream Theater infused with death metal within their last album, which was more close to Judas Priest than before. Incantation went into a hiatus, Immolation discovered blast beats and a songwriting far away Dawn of Possession, which is their best thing up to date. Many bands collapsed or disappeared; the interest for death metal lessened for the audience and for the labels. All of these were purveyors and some changed, do you know what I mean? Death metal today is for an authentic few, especially for those who stayed brutal since the beginning!
Lectern recently played at the Helsinki Deathfest and the Eradication Festival in Wales, played alongside acts like Archgoat, Necrowretch, and even opened up for Incantation and Sepultura back in 2016. How do you feel about playing with those guys? What does this mean for Lectern?
It is a turning point, as we have a brand new lineup, a new record in the pipeline, and many tours in store. We have to increase all of those things every year and we will have all the results we are waiting for, I am sure!
How did you end up getting signed with Via Nocturna, and why?
After the release of Fratricidal Concelebration we worked with Sliptrick Records, but we were disappointed when they made changes in the cover, photographs, and style. They began asking different things to us and disguising the true results of the copies sold, so we couldn’t use those royalties for paying the costs for a new release. We left and were not singed to anybody for some time. We had an idea of being a self-releasing band, but we got in touch with some labels. Via Nocturna came with the best offer and we signed a new deal with them.
It has been over a year since Precept of Delator. What’s the next album going to sound like, and most of all, when will it be unleashed?!
We will enter The Outer Sound Studios between November and December for a pre-production, with Giuseppe Orlando behind the mixer. Recordings are set for January and February in the next year and touring will start between March and May complete with a new booking agency, so we expect to have the new record out for early 2018. The album will be released on Via Nocturna as a premiere release. About the new songs…we have very old school sound and riffs. You’ll see how devastating they are!
Let’s leave off with something for the fans. As old-school death metallers, what are some hidden gems or underrated old-school classics you could recommend?
Sickening Gore from Switzerland and their Destructive Reality album! A very impressive death metal record!
Any last words for the viewers of Angelus Mortem?
Your name is God, but we will fuck your meaning anyway!
I encourage you to support the bands you love! Links below: