After their successful return with “Reanimated Homunculus”, Protector now deliver their second full-length album of the not-so-new millennium.
What can fans of Protector expect from the new LP? Martin Missy tells a bit about “Cursed and Coronated”, which contains a nice surprise for everyone familiar with the Protector back catalogue: “On ‘Cursed and Coronated’ there is a song with the same title. The lyrics to this song are about Urm the Mad, who people might know from our 1989-album – this is so to say the return of Urm the Mad!”
About the last Protector album Martin said that the band “wanted an 80’s Thrash metal sound, and I hope we have succeeded with that.” Judging from the reviews “Reanimated Homunculus” got, a lot of people out there think they definitely have achieved this. Now what were the band’s goals for the new record? Has it been forged in the same furnace as the “Reanimated Homunculus”?
“Definitely! We keep the ‘Protector boat’ sailing steadily on the seas of Thrash Metal, with some visits to ‘Death Metal Island’. I think that fans who liked ‘Reanimated Homunculus’ will like ‘Cursed and Coronated’ as well.”
On their facebook page Protector already posted some new material, namely a ferocious new piece titled „The Dimholt“, performed in Wolfsburg on June 13th this year. Even though the sound quality is not very good, the video gives a good impression of what the whole album is like: evil, fast, cutting and slicing old school Thrash in the true Protector vein.
Now that Protector features Martin as the only original member, who is responsible for the songwriting? Martin explains: “Most of the songs were, like on “Reanimated Homunculus”, written by my three band colleagues Michael ‘Micke’ Carlsson (guitar), Mathias ‘Matte’ Johansson (bass) and Carl-Gustav Karlsson (drums). I wrote all the lyrics to the album, and I also contributed the guitar riffs for the title song.”
“Cursed and Coronated” was recorded in May 2015, in the Sunlight Studio in Norrtälje / Sweden, the same studio where the “Reanimated Homunculus” saw the light of day. And for the rest, the Protector crew remembered to never change a winning team: Again the producer is Tomas Skogsberg, the mastering was done by the Patrick W. Engel, and the cover artwork stems once again from prolific artist Kristian Wåhlin.
Being situated within the vast Swedish countryside, Tomas Skogsberg’s studio was a place of literally wild adventures for Protector: “On one or two occasions there was a pheasant outside the house who even dared to walk up right to the studio entrance. And one night, when our bass player went outside to take a break from the recording sessions, he suddenly stared right into the glowing eyes of a wild boar!”
Luckily, all band members survived their adventures in the Swedish wilderness, and the recordings were finished as they should.
Just as on “Reanimated Homunculus”, Protector again proffer a mix of both older and new material: “Three of the songs already appeared on demos and split-singles between 2011 and 2013, while seven of the songs are brand new.” Martin finds it hard to pin down his own favourite track: “Oh, that's really difficult to say, because I like them all. But maybe I would pick ‘The Dimholt’ because it's a really cool Thrash song with great riffs.”
For “Cursed and Coronated” Protector invited a couple of guests from the Swedish Thrash/Death underground: Ludvig Engellau from Blood Mortized, Shayan Jahanzadeh from Obscyria and Oliver Palmquist from Phidion all hired themselves out as background vocalists.
Life hasn’t changed very much for the band, even if a lot of people welcomed “Reanimated Homuculus” as a great, exemplary “comeback” album. Thus they are not in for extensive touring and keep their live appearances at a low level, playing something like 4-6 shows a year. Nevertheless, Martin enjoys it a lot to be on stage with Protector:
“The gigs at the CMOA, in Wolfsburg, at the Headache Inside and the Obscene Extreme festival went very well. It was really fun to play each of these gigs, and to meet many old and new fans and friends.”
While being located in Sweden, Martin assumes that Protector still have their biggest following in Germany: “That’s so difficult to say, but, yes, I would guess it's Germany. From there we get most of our concert requests!”
Asked if there is anything left to say about “Cursed and Coronated”, Martin’s reply is as modest and likeable as always: “Only that we hope that our fans will like ‘Cursed and Coronated’ as much as ‘Reanimated Homunculus’. Stay Metal!”