Nothnegal are certainly not scared of experiencing a “Paranormal Activity.” In their case though, they could be almost conjuring it. The Maldivian death metallers have just finished prepping and recording their new self-titled EP that is set to release on July 9, 2022 via their label Season Of Mist. The EP explores the supernatural realm, of people’s experience with possession and paranormal activity, decoding the fake from the real - stories found in grim Maldivian folkore. “The EP would have four songs and the theme is based on the folklore, beliefs and legends of the Maldivian islands,” describes guitarist, founder member Hilarl Agil. The six-year-old “transcontinental” band released their debut album “Decadence,” last year shortly after their first gig in India, at Summer Storm Festival 2012 where they opened for Swedish death metallers Opeth.
Alongwith Agil, the band is comprised of American drummer Kevin Talley (Chimaira, Dying Fetus, Six Feet Under), Finish keyboardist Marco Sneck (Kalmah, Poisonblack), Maldivian bassist Hamad Battery, vocalist Affan and Fufu on guitars. On their India tour though, Fufu has been replaced by Maldivian thrash metal act Serenity Dies’ guitarist, Chippe.
Since November 2012, Nothnegal have been working on a follow up to “Decadence” but have chosen to release a four-track EP instead as ”the sound we have on this is far from what we had on “Decadence.” We don’t want to surprise the fans too much,” says Agil. The band also got producers Matt Hyde (Slipknot, Bullet for My Valentine, As I Lay Dying) and Paul Reeve (MUSE) to work in the studio on the record.
A little before the band flew down to Hyderabad for their first show on the Deccan Rock III tour that will also take them to Nasik, Mumbai and Kolkata, we spoke to Agil about the band’s plans with the new EP and their upcoming shows.
Q-1. You’ve been working on a follow up to “Decadnece” since last year. But you’re choosing to release an EP instead. Can you tell us why?
Yeah we have been in and out of the studio since last November. We wrote enough songs for an album but we decided to release an EP instead as the sound we have on this is far from what we had on “Decadence.” We don’t want to surprise the fans too much. The EP would have four songs and the main concept and theme is based on the folklore, beliefs and legends of the Maldivian islands. We recorded most of the instruments including the guitars, bass, percussion, vocals at Vakaruge Studios in Maldives. The drums were recorded in the US and keyboards in Finland. Fufu is sitting out on this one and Chippe (Serenity Dies) is filling in for him on this record, the EP is self-titled and would be released exclusively through digital retailers worldwide and the release date on July 9, 2013.
Q-2. How was it working with Matt Hyde and Paul Reeve? Has their handiwork drastically changed your sound?
We approached a couple of producers and most of them were willing to work with us. We decided to go ahead with Matt and Paul as we thought we could create something different with them. We had already completed writing all of the songs with Shamheed as a producer, who also produced “Decadence.” Matt and Paul flew to the Maldives and worked with us here, Matt mostly gave directions on songs arrangements, guitar tones and everything while Paul handled the vocal production with Shamheed.
Watch the music video of Sins Of Our Creations from “Decadence:”
Q-3. You won an award in Maldives last year? Tell us about it.
It was the National Youth Award. It was awarded to us to recognise our achievements globally as a Maldivian band.
Q-4. Can you build more on the India tour with Deccan Rock III. Any thoughts of playing alongside Hacride?
We performed in India before on Summerstorm with Opeth, so it’s not the first time we are playing in India, but it would be the first time we are playing in these cities. I heard of Hacride before but to be honest the first time i actually heard their music was when I knew we would be performing with them on this tour. They sound awesome and we are excited to be touring with them.
Q-5. Are you taking the EP on tour once it releases?
We had not been booking for any shows until now as we were not sure what was going happen with the new album, now the EP. We had to turn down two previous offers to play in India earlier this year due to this but now that we have a release date set, we have been planning and booking the tours for 2013 and 2014. We will be doing a European tour this winter in support of the new EP. Maybe something else might come in between as well. We didn’t tour much in support of “Decadence,” just a couple of dates in Asia, so we have to do enough to cover that.
June 12, 2022 : Deccan Rock III at Niwec, Nasik, with Nothnegal and Reptilian Death
June 13, 2022 : Bombay Asylum in association with Deccan Rock III at Club Escape, Mumbai with Nothnegal and Reptilian Death. Buy tickets.
June 15, 2022 – The Festival in association with Deccan Rock III at Nazrul Manch, Kolkata, with Point Of View, Nothnegal