For more than 20 years, vocalist/guitarist Michael Poulsen has been spearheading Danish rock and ‘n’ roll machine Volbeat, releasing eight full-lengths, selling millions of albums and filling arenas stadiums worldwide. Before fronting Volbeat, however, Poulsen formed death metal band Dominus, which recorded four fast, brutal albums in the mid-’90s. When Poulsen was putting together songs for Volbeat’s 2021 album, “Servant of the Mind,” he wrote a bunch of death metal riffs and saved them on his phone. Then, when he was done with the Volbeat record, he started putting together songs for his new death metal band Asinhell, whose debut album “Impii Hora” (Latin for “Ungodly Hour”), is a tribute to Poulsen’s favorite old-school groups. The songs are rooted in crushing riffs yet injected with strong guitar hooks and shout-along refrains.
“Impii Hora” will be released Sept. 29, 2023, via Metal Blade. Pre-order it here.
The band has shared the lyric video for “Fall of the Loyal Warrior,” which can be seen below.
(“No, this doesn’t affect Volbeat in any way,” Poulsen said on social media, “the two bands exist at the same time!”)
“We’re very excited to share the first taste of Asinhell with ‘Fall of the Loyal Warrior,'” Poulsen said. “The song is kind of a tribute to bands I love, like Bolt Thrower, Entombed, Autopsy, Grave and Darkthrone. They’re the reason why we can do this in the first place, and we’re proud to wear our influences on our sleeve. The album was inspired by late ’80s and early ’90s old school death metal, and one of our brightest points of inspiration was the mighty Death, fronted by the legendary Chuck Schuldiner. There’s a lot of Death in there. Schuldiner is one of my favorite death metal vocalists, the other being our vocalist Marc [Grewe]. So to me, this song is the combination of two of my favorites. ‘Let the metal flow,’ as Chuck would have said!”
While Poulsen sings in Volbeat and sang for Dominus, he didn’t want to front Asinhell. So, in March 2022, he called his old friend, ex-Morgoth singer Marc Grewe (Insidious Disease), and invited him to join the party.
“I had known Michael quite a long time, and he always mentioned that we should do a death metal project one day, but I never took him too seriously because he was so busy with Volbeat,” Grewe said. “Then he called for real and said, ‘Yeah, I want to do it now. Are you up for it?’ Immediately, I was, ‘Yes, of course!'”
After considering drummer friends from established bands, Poulsen asked Morten Toft Hansen from Danish group Raunchy to join. Not only does Morten play like a fiend possessed, his and Poulsen’s 6-year-old daughters are good friends … and it takes just 10 minutes to drive to Morten’s place.
The two veteran musicians started practicing and completed a full song almost every time they got together. Grewe was tied up at home in Germany when it came time to write the vocals, so Poulsen sent the singer phone recordings from rehearsals to start the process. Through Poulsen and Toft Hansen’s years of experience and renewed hunger to destroy, they captured a firestorm in a bottle.
Asinhell went from being a mere idea to recording the full-length “Impii Hora” in about a year. Poulsen asked Volbeat’s management to help find a home for Asinhell and was thrilled when they mentioned that Metal Blade founder Brian Slagel would love the band. As soon as he heard “Impii Hora,” Slagel made Asinhell a top priority.
“It’s such a dream come true for me to get to be on fucking Metal Blade Records,” Poulsen said. “When they said they wanted to put out the album, I felt like I was 17 years old again. I was like, ‘Oh my God, I’m making a deal with Metal Blade! How cool is that?’ It was like I was finally getting the record deal I dreamed of when I was a teenager.”
The album will be available in the following formats:
- Jewel case CD
- 180g Black Vinyl (Europe excl.)
- Crimson Red Marbled Vinyl (Europe excl.)
- White Vinyl (Europe excl., ltd. 1000)
- Gold/Black Dust (EMP excl., ltd.300)
- Clear w/ Red/White Splatter Vinyl (Europe Band store excl., ltd. 500)
- Silver Vinyl (US excl.)
- Silver w/ Red Splatter Vinyl (US. excl.)
- Black & White Melt Vinyl (US excl.)
- Red/Black Splatter Vinyl (US Band store excl., ltd. 500)
“Impii Hora” track listing:
“Fall of the Loyal Warrior”
“Island of Dead Men”
“The Ultimate Sin”
“Desert of Doom”
“Foj for Helvede”