Now the beginning of this month I came across the one that is the most respected vocalists and active in the Dutch doom metal scene, Pim Blankenstein. In this chat, gave us an update on the band since their album Giving Yourself Away to the present day. We also talked about plans for the new album is underway, with the split Ophis, and also their participation in the project of Ed Warby ‘The 11th Hour’. Let’s check.
The Officium Triste is a band that needs no introduction, but I want to give us a short biography since the album Giving Yourself Away to the present day.
Pim Blankenstein – Actually quite a lot has happened since that album was released in 2007. First of all our guitarist Johan told us he was quitting so we had to find a new guitarist. We did a show in Holland that was one of Johan’s last shows and we met Bram who I already knew from his former band Imbolc and seeing him at gigs and so on. So when I told him Johan was quiiting he told us he was willing to step in. Then Martin, who lives in Germany said that he didn’t really have the time to practice his drums that much and he decided to focus on the keyboards, se we needed a new drummer. We got Ronald who used to be in Imbolc with Bram. Another problem solved. We then decided that we wanted do do a special album as we had our 15th anniversary as a band in 2009. We re-recorded some songs, wrote a new track and did a cover along with some out of print songs that is the album ’15 Years Of Hurt’.
Next thing was that Ronald couldn’t commit to the band as he would have liked so we asked another drummer called Niels. We knew him from the band In Age And Sadness, and he’s our current drummer. Basically that’s all that happened since the release of Giving..
Oh yeah, there was that tribute to Thergothon we were part of that was released in the meantime. We recorded that song when Johan was still in the band.
The Officium Triste had some changes in their line-up, and its drummer moving to the keyboard. As the band finds itself today.
Pim Blankenstein – I basically told everything about our line-up changes in the previous answer out of the original line-up we still have Martin who changed from drums to keyboards, Gerard on lead guitar and myself on vocals. And our bass-player Lawrence has been in the band since 2001.
How would you define Officium Triste and what song you think best represents the band.
Pim Blankenstein – Melodic yet heavy doom/death metal. That’s what we are!
That’s difficult as we have a lot of aspects but at thi moment I would say A Flower In Decay of the Reason album.
How did the invitation to the split with Ophis? And this track will be totally new?
Pim Blankenstein – Phil of Ophis told me about this new Spanish label called Memento Mori and that they were doing this split release and they want to do it with us. Since we really like Ophis’ music we decided to do this and the contact with Memento Mori is great too. We have about 20 minutes of time available and we haven’t actually written the material yet, but we have great ideas for this split CD. It will definitely be new material as that is part of the deal.
What could you in advance of Mors Viri?
Pim Blankenstein – We’re recording the music as we speak and we only need to do some guitar melodies and solos and my vocals. Then it’s mixing and mastering. We recorded 6 new songs and an acoustic track and an interlude. It’s pretty much Officium Triste what you will hear. The songs are really cool and we hope to have it out as soon as possible.
What do you think of the current scene Doom, and which band you would highlight.
Pim Blankenstein – Well, there’s not a lot of bands out there that are changing the genre but now and again there are bands that are truely great. There’s a lot of sub-genres within doom and I am more or less fed up with the funeral type doom metal. Newer bands I do like are Procession and Black Oath. I’m very much impressed with the scene in Portugal with great bands like Before The Rain (check their new album Frail) and Process of Guilt to name just two. Next to that I still enjoy bands like Solstice, Warning/30 Watt Sun, Ras Algethi, Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus, old My Dying Bride. Too much to mention really.
What you have achieved with the doom?
Pim Blankenstein – With Officium Triste we simply have fun writing the music we like and doing a gig every once in a while. Next to that I have done my share organising the Dutch Doom Days. We’re working on the 10th edition right now. I guess that’s all. Perhaps others are better to tell what I have achieved.
Recently you attended a few shows with Ed Warby on his project The 11th Hour. Is there any possibility that you participate as a guest in a future release, or their participation is only at concerts?
Pim Blankenstein – No this is just for the live shows. Ed writes and records the music all by himself and he has Rogga Johansson doing the grunts and that won’t change on the upcoming album. But he asked me as well as Bram of Officium Triste to help him out with the live shows along with some other musicians like guitarist Frank Harthoorn who used to be in Gorefest with Ed. We have some cool shows lined up later this year.
I did record vocals for the project Extreme Cold Winter which was started bu AJ of the bands Beyond Belief and Temple and drummer Seth of Severe Torture and Centurian. Watch out for those recordings too.
With this series of disasters happening around the globe, do you think the doom metal would be the perfect soundtrack for the end of the world?
Pim Blankenstein – First of all I think those disasters are warnings of mother earth. This planet is overpopulated and if we don’t do something it will mean the end of mankind as we know it. But it will be mankind itself that is responsible. The earth will still be there when mankind is gone.
As for the soundtrack it could be doom metal but it could be a classical piece by, say, Wagner too. It could be black metal. Maybe it’s just silence.
I thank you for this interview and I wanted to leave your last breath to Brazilian fans.
Pim Blankenstein – Thanks a lot for the interview and make sure to check out all the music I’m involved in. Hopefully we can come to Brazil some day.