Degial – Metal for Death

Emil Forcas – Drums

Hampus Death – Vocals/Guitar

Rickard Meresin – Guitar

Joel Megiddo – Bass




It’s early in the afternoon and the old café Ofvandhals downtown Uppsala is not so crowded as it use to be. Hampus, Joel and Rickard have one cup of black coffee each. Hampus and Rickard met around 2002, they had the same guitar teacher, Emil went to the same school as Rickard and then after a couple of years came Joel along into the picture. Their former bass player didn’t entirely fit in as he didn’t have the same meaningful devotion. Joel arranged at that time in Uppsala a show where they finally met. It was 2008 when Degial supported Dismember at Ungdomens Hus. A perfect time for Joel when the band was in need of a bass player.

Death Metal, Absolutely Death Metal” said almost at the same time all the three of them when I asked how to describe Degial. “If I may say, this is what Death Metal is, setting all the focus, the entire atmosphere, all the things we do, for death. It’s not about the sound, but the meaning of it.” Joel explains. “All the Death Metal bands have their own style and sound, but for me Death Metal is about to worship death.” Hampus adds to the description.
What distinguishes Degial from other bands is 100 % dedication” Joel makes himself more comfortable in the chair :”It’s not only about the sound of the riffs, of course it’s important to make a great riff, but for us it’s much more about the signification about it, a connection with it. We have this central intention. We can’t end it, because now there is no choice“. Rickard agrees : “Like Joel said, there is no choice, we just can’t end this. Many chose to describe our sound of Death Metal more chaotic and dark, but for us Death Metal is just one explanation. There is an energy in the music we make that many other Death Metal band haven’t at all, We are Death Metal just as it is.”

degial-bandpic2I take a sip of my coffee and wonder:  Why worship death?
You can’t avoid death, it’s one thing that you can’t run from. The total darkness which suddenly comes. There is something very fascinating about it, when you have been very close to it, you can’t let go of it, there is so much mystery in it, It’s about a force.” Joel says.

“I know that everyone in the band feel this energy everyday, maybe as a supernatural phenomenon,
a feeling, a connection…Rickard seems to look for a certain word. “A presence?” I asked, and the others accord. “Exactly! It is a presence that we feel everyday. It’s this presence that make us wake up in the morning, go to the rehearsal, worship death, and its energy we sense. If we hadn’t felt this power we wouldn’t sit here together, and we apparently would have been like any other band.” Rickard confirmed.
Is it an abstract presence or a physical one?
“When I was 14 years old, I was like any other kid from nowhere, who played soccer, listened to music, I had a very close relationship to my grandfather back then, and I was there when he died. After that something happened.” Joel takes a deep breath “And last year I was close to die myself…Even if it’s like a dream scenario to know how things are for real, so It was a relief to have made it through, and it was, of course, a rough time for all in the band”.
Even Hampus starts  to share his experience: “I’ve always been interested of horror movies from the beginning, then I discovered bands that sang about similar things but on a deeper level, more seriously. My interest increased and I became completely into it. When you get the vocation, it’s difficult to get away from it.”

The name Degial derives from the word “al-Masih ad-Dajjal” which is “false messiah” in arabic language.
“I was around 14 years old and I read about mythology and I was searching for a cool band name” Hampus explains “Religion to me.. doesn’t matter if it’s Islam or Christianity, to me everything is the same but it’s interpreted differently. So Degial is just a word for antichrist.” – “Here it’s not so common to use Islam terms in music context, so it feels more unique” Joel adds.
We have our own faith, of course we have Dajjal behind our image, Dajjal is the one that will spread death on this planet. But it’s up to everyone to interpret how we look like and why, but for us our image is a unit of chaos which reflects everything we stand for.” Rickard says.
When we put the make up and the cloths on when on stage, it’s like a transformation, this presence becomes visible.” Joel explains. “Though, everyone have each own style and personality, it’s very important that it shows that we have different personality on stage, that it’s about 4 subjects which in a group delivers a force in each respective way”.
“It’s like a ritual each attribute we add on us before performing“- Hampus delineates.
We never know what will happened before a concert because we never have plans of how to perform. It’s just about chaos, and get this force, this energy out” – Joel continues drinking the last of his coffee.

Degial have released earlier this year the album Death’s Striking Wings. Hampus is the one composing the music, who often creates the base of one track, Rickard writes most part of the lyrics but everyone creates and contribute to the final work. All the lyrics are about the bands faith and motivation. Behind each song lies the concept of death.

“Everything that this album contains, within the music and lyrics are different forms and descriptions of what we believe in and are devoted to” 
Rickard says proudly. “The message is incredibly strong, we get our energy out as we wished from the beginning” – “This album is raw and direct as it should be”- Joel exclaims nodding.

“This thing we are doing gives us so much in return, when we have our faith, our worship, we want to spread this further, not because everyone would understand it, but just to let them get at least a part of it, that force, those words which we make of what we feel” –Rickard concludes.

/Viktoria Colonna

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