As they say, Metalucifer is like a fist in a spiked leather glove directed into faces of all the trend-followers. Their pure and classic Heavy Metal, full of passion and emotions brings back the spirit of the old times, where everyone was wearing tight jeans or spandex trousers, white sport shoes, patches and badges on their leather jackets. Metalucifer were formed in 1995 as a side project of Gezolucifer, leader and founding member of the legendary Japanese Black Metal act Sabbat (that started in the same time as Hellhammer or Bathory!), who was tired of seeing new trends in Metal come and go. Gezol's and his friends' intention was to create a band that is 666% Metal, and hell yes: they did it! Side project quickly turned into real living beast that plays live shows, tours, and keeps on releasing more and more albums and singles...
From the beginning, Metalucifer set out to play Heavy Metal packed with as many 80s-clichés as possible. Gezol names Iron Maiden, Manowar and Accept as his most important influences and role models and he still remembers how tired he was of seeing new “trends” in Metal come and go.: “Yeah, you know I think Metal should never be about “trends” but I think it should always be traditional, like Japanese Enka music. I really dislike it when the media write something like “traditional metal” = “classic”!! Nowadays, Metal comes in many different shapes so they should be more specific about it. So, what we play is traditional/ typical Heavy Metal. This is right.”
The whole Metalucifer mania started with the "Heavy Metal Hunter" 6-track mini CD - the original pressing is of course currently rare as hell, and years later was re-released again and again on CD and LP.
Gezol still remembers how press and fans reacted to the release: “I received a lot of reactions from all over the world. And I think we had some influence on young metal musicians, too. You know, Traditional Metal will never die, and we will defend this Metal style forever!!”
It’s twenty years ago that Metalucifer entered the studio to record “Heavy Metal Hunter”, but Gezol still has some interesting things to share about the creation of the legendary EP: “Half of the Heavy Metal Hunter songs were songs from SABBAT’s early phase (my main band). And, also our drummer was an ex-member of Sabbat … and the guitarist was the drummer’s big brother. Finding the people wasn’t a big deal. So, we recorded it in maybe four days, and I needed four days for the mixdown! hehe.. we did it all in a very short time, ‘coz, we were a lot younger then! haha… can’t believe that 20 years have passed since then…! Cheers!!”.
Recording the EP was a piece of cake for Metalucifer, but getting that thing out into the world proved to be more difficult. It first came out on Metal Proof Records, which happens to be run by Gezol himself: “Metal proof is my label. Totally independent! I paid for everything myself! Nobody wanted such fuckin’ Metal in those days ‘coz in that time Black and Death were the most popular kinds of Metal! Getting the EP out abroad was kind of an accident. SABBAT toured in Germany and Holland in 1997 with the help of Barbarian Wrath, togehter with Barathrum (Finland) and Countess (Netherland). It was really a mini tour without any big hands. One night the owner of Iron Pegasus came to see our show. And then he came to another show to see us play again...Why ? I don’t know! haha. Maybe he wanted to make sure we’re “real”... After the tour he contacted to me… and then he decided to release Metalucifer, even before releasing anything by Sabbat ‘coz, you know, Sabbat was going to record a new album. I know that a lot of people laughed at our Metal when they first listened to it. But, that’s OK! We’re still alive!” Simple as that. And don’t you ever asked Gezol about the goals they might have had for or with their music: “This question sucks for me. I don’t have any goals! I only wanna play Metal till I die… like Lemmy! haha! I really like, no, I LOVE Metal music, and I listen to all kinds of Metal: Black, Death, Doom, Power, Melodic and more… No Metal, No Life!! Even if I went down with some serious disease that would make it impossible to play Metal, I would never stop being a Metal fan!”
Metalucifer are famous for the way they celebrate their take on Heavy Metal: always too true to be true, extremely humorous and tongue-in-cheek, but still with the will and aptitude to write and play great music. What’s their secret formula? “Some guys say simply … ‘Gezoly, you’re genius’… Haha. That’s right! Hehe…! No, honestly, the ‘secret’ is what I said above: “No Metal, No Life”. I think that’s all there is to it.”
When “Heavy Metal Hunter” first came out in 1996, people said it sounded like it was recorded in 1984, but still nobody accused them of being a mere retro-band. Instead, reviewers were convinced that Metalucifer were ‘totally true’. How did they manage to make such a good impression on everyone?
“I totally dislike the word “retro”!! haha! We’re not retro. We are what we are, a band of our own present time! Traditional Metal is not dead and will never die!! In those days I answered to a lot of interviews, and I received a lot of fan mail from all over the world, and those Metal fans agreed with what I told the Metal fanzines: The only thing that’s important is the right spirit and a lot of passion for Heavy Metal! Metalucifer is not a joke band! haha! But anyway, I never cared what people say, I would always go my own way.”
The “Heavy Metal Hunter” who shows up on almost all of the Metalucifer covers is Neal Tanaka, one of the most famous Heavy Metal collectors and die-hard supporters of Metalucifer. Whose idea was it to have him on the album cover, and how did it come about?: “It was my idea. It’s totally unthinkable to a lot of people that a metal collector should appear on the cover of a CD or LP. So, I thought it’s an exciting idea! I mean, just look at his face… and the whole figure! Don’t you think it’s like Eddie the Head of Iron Maiden? A fat Eddie version!!”
Being traditional to the bone, Gezol has not cut the bonds that were forged with some Germans of quite traditional fame: Jochen “Blumi” Blumenthal and Desaster’s Stefan "Tormentor" Hüskens are still an integral part of the band: “Yeah! We’re a team! Whenever they can take their time, they come to Metalucifer!! And don’t forget Mamono Hunterrrrggghhhhh! He is doing the vocals right now!!”
So it should be clear that Metalucifer are still a force to be reckoned with; and Gezol has some last words to say to his fans: “Nowadays, there are a lot of Heavy Metal Hunters all over the world! Beware if you hear the sound of his breath!!…behind your back! Aiming at your family jewels!!! OH! Neal Tanaka comingaaarrrrgggghhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Ulrike Schmitz / Bart Gabriel