Here at FEARnet, we're used to various aliens, vampires, zombies and mutants taking up guitars and microphones as weapons of world domination... but we've never come up against a band made up entirely of orcs before. You know the type, from movies, books and games: hulking, warlike beasts who gobble up hobbits like after-dinner mints and have enough body piercings to disrupt cell phone reception for twenty miles. But who knew they could wield axes of the musical variety with such warrior-like skills?
Their debut EP Warchiefs of the Apocalypse was just a taste of what they have in store for humankind, and after listening to this mega-heavy slab of fantasy-themed death metal, I had to find out more about the creatures who spawned it. Whoever said "be careful what you wish for" must have had these dudes in mind, because I suddenly found myself surrounded by the snarling, flesh-hungry band members with nothing but my puny journalistic skills standing between me and certain death. Since you're reading this, you know I survived (barely) to tell the tale, which you can read below. Proceed at your own risk!
Comprised of vocalist Gogog Bloodthroat, guitarists Cretos Filthgrinder & Hulg ElfRipper, bassist Gronk! (exclamation point included) and drummer Oog Skullbasher, the California-based band is known for its outrageously violent shows involving fearsome onstage combat and distributing toy weapons (at least we think they're toys) to the audience to whip them into a battle frenzy. Their rep among the metal underground has grown a lot since Warchiefs was released in 2007, and they've shared stages with death metal icons Decide and mega-thrashers 3 Inches of Blood. The band also premiered an ambitious video for the track "Into the Maelstrom," which draws heavily on their fantasy influences, especially Tolkien's Lord of the Rings saga and Dungeons & Dragons. (Don't forget to check out the video at the end of the interview.) If that's not enough credibility for you, how many bands out there can claim to have their own tabletop gaming pieces? Check these out...
Now that you know what they're capable of, it's time to get up-close and personal with this monstrous quintet, all of whom consented to participate in a very interesting interview. Without further ado, here's a transcript of our conversation:
FEARnet: I was warned to expect just about anything in this interview, so I might as well ask this up front... am I safe here?
All righty then. But our fans would love to learn more about you, so I'll press on. How would you describe the band to the uninitiated?
HULG: It not obvious to human?
GOGOG: We your new leaders and arrogant gods!
GRONK!: Us Orcs play metal in praise of Gzoroth.
When did you first decide to join forces?
GRONK!: Us always been one warband, Gore-Stained Axe Tribe, in Hirntodia.
CRETOS: Not me. Me fight way into tribe. Kill many captains 'cuz me best orc.
GOGOG: We come when Grimp summons us, kill kids playing Dungeons & Dragons.
ALL: [Hideous laughter]
GOGOG: Him think it funny they roll "A Band of Orcs" on polyhedron-thingy and make sorcery to bring random orcs encounter. Us chosen by chaos mother to invade realm.
Can any of you be considered absolute leader?
So how do you...
GOGOG: I, Gogog, leader!
CRETOS: Cretos best orc!
GRONK!: Lies! Gzoroth leader. Gronk! speaker for Gzoroth. Gogog figure-tusk. Gronk! real leader.
HULG: Shut up! Stupid orcs…
GOGOG: Me have biggest axe. Me leader. 'Nuff said.
OOG: Oog smash now?
Moving right along... why do orcs prefer playing metal?
GRONK!: Metal sound like traditional orc folk chants in Hirntodia. It come natural for orc.
HULG: Sound like volcano rumble, black death spinning in vortex, churning blood, fire, death, and rabbits.
Do any human musicians inspire you?
CRETOS: Only Cretos inspire Cretos.
GOGOG: Beiber. Gogog want know what sorcery little puny human use to summon such masses. Him not right have so many legions... [pauses, scratches head] but him do… Gogog not understand.
I don't either, really.
GRONK!: Me channel bass triumvirate spirits: Burton, Harris, Butler. Hail Gzoroth!
ALL: Hail Gzoroth!!!
OOG: Igor smash now?
How about groupies? Do orcs like to hook up after the show?
GOGOG: All human female want make half-orc with Gogog.
CRETOS: All other human females want make half-orc with Cretos.
HULG: Gnhaaarraaa… stupid orcs. Human female lack proper parts make half-orcs.
GRONK!: Human female like orc musk. Us smell good to them! [laughs] Human female know Gzoroth with orcs. Lick Gronk!'s tusks…
OOG: Oog smash now!
Your first music video was a hit... can we expect a new one soon?
GOGOG: No. Cretos spend all us gold on hair product.
[All laugh... except Cretos]
CRETOS: No, Gogog spend all us gold on day-glo hats ‘n stickers.
GRONK!: Silence, fool orcs! Yes, expect new vision from Gzoroth, but patience. We find best sacrifice afore we summon new vision from Vortex.
How would you describe the inspiration of Gzoroth to our human readers? Can our minds grasp the concept?
HULG: No! No! No! No!
GRONK!: Humans not understand. Dragon of Chaos and Fire live in cross-dimensional vortex. Him, she, it source of all stuffs in all realms. Humans not understand, thus you die when Domination comes. Gzoroth underbelly of creation, means destruction.
So we're basically doomed.
Gogog: You side with Gore-Stained Axe Tribe, then us your new leaders ask Gzoroth spare you when Domination comes.
Thanks for the advice. In the meantime, when can we expect a new Orcs album?
GOGOG: We make studio sorcery with Juan Urteaga, warrior of Trident Studio in November.
GRONK!: Us make new tales of orcs' adventures in Hirntodia.
CRETOS: Us kill giants with shreddin' solos!
GOGOG: Release metal tales with Itchy Metal Entertainment in campaign season of 2012, spring… summer. Hail Gzoroth!
ALL: Hail Gzoroth!
Do orcs have any favorite horror movies?
CRETOS: Miracle on 34th Street... horrible movie, ughhhh…
HULG: Stupid Cretos… him mean good movies with blood, dead and fear…nagghhhh…
GOGOG: The Dead Matter. It has us allies the Midnight Syndicate.
GRONK!: Me like werewolves. Like the winter wolf of speak us in super-single "Wyrd of the Winter Wolf." Good vision called The Howling. "Let me give you a piece of my mind," best poetry ever in picture sorcery spoken!
One more question... is there anything out there you orcs are afraid of?