Interview with Toke Eld - The Cleansing, July 2011


Your first album ‘’Poisoned Legacy’ was recorded in 2007/2008, why did it last so long before it was released in June 2009?


Toke: Well, we recorded the album before we even had a deal, so we shopped it around a little bit. But when that was finalized we had to make the artwork work which took us some time to agree on. I think it was lying around completely finished for almost half a year before it was released. And actually it’s not that different with our new album “Feeding the Inevitable”. It also ended lying around finished for quite some time before released. This time around it was more a schedule thing though.


What is the biggest musical difference between that album and your new record ‘Feeding the Inevitable’?


Toke: It is still very much The Cleansing, but we are much more sure and comfortable in our song writing now. On “Poisoned Legacy” Jeppe and Andreas write almost all the songs together, whereas now they wrote them individually which makes them more complete and focused. More streamlined which makes the album more linear. In our opinion anyways, there might be people who disagrees hehe. Also I think we take more changes on this album.


It is released by the label Deepsend. I’m not familiar with that label, are there more metal bands under their flag and are you satisfied with the way they work?


Toke: Yea it’s a small label, but they do what they can for their bands, which is something you really need when you are a small band like we are. Dawn of Demise from Denmark are also on Deepsend, and we knew that they had exposure, so we thought Deepsend were a pretty safe bet to begin with.


Your style is a mix of US 90’s Death and some Scandinavian influences. You also play a rather technical style. Did you choose for this from start or did it just develop that way?


Toke: We didn’t really choose a style per se. It’s just what comes natural for us I think. We grew up listening to this kind of music in the 90’s, so it would be weird if our music didn’t reflect that. We just try to play the best death metal we can really. The kind we would want to listen to ourselves. I don’t think we have any Scandinavian influences though… Other than we are from Scandinavia ourselves of course. But I can’t really recall us being big fans of Scandinavian death metal. US death metal is definitely more us. Maybe, subconsciously, we try everything we can to NOT sound Danish hehe. The technical level is also pretty natural. We’re not trying to be as technical as humanly possible. Other bands do that on more or less successful levels. No need for us to try and compete. We’re just on the level that really feels natural for us. Where we can play something we enjoy, but still do what we can to push ourselves and develop our music without getting the feeling to force anything.


In some songs I hear some Morbid Angel influences, I suppose you are fans of that band?


Toke: Very much so! It would have been hard to miss them in the 90’s. No other death metal band could come close to them. It’s safe to say we’re all to this day very much indebted to Morbid Angel. I wouldn’t call them my favourite band of all time, but they have definitely made my all-time favourite death metal album: “Covenant”. I know everyone loves “Alters of Madness”… But I prefer “Covenant” on any given day.


Now that I came up with Morbid Angel, did you already have the chance to listen to their new album and if so, what is your opinion about the style-change? Some call it already Morbid Angel’s ‘St. Anger’!


Toke: Oh man, I have been really busy on the Morbid Angel Facebook defending them! Not that they really need it, but people are such fucking retards. I mean, yea it’s different. But Morbid Angel was always different! I remember when “Covenant” came out. I was 13, and everybody hated “God of Emptiness” because all of a sudden there was “clean” singing! That scared people somehow, until they learned to appreciate the band doing whatever they felt that the death metal scene lacked or whatever. You’ve got to admire bands that try to do their own thing. Now, I can understand if people simply don’t like it. But people are so busy talking shit they forget the usage of their brain. Why would any sane person erase ALL Morbid Angel mp3’s on his/hers I-tunes library because they have made an album you dislike? That’s crazy... And stupid! The “St. Anger” argument I heard as well. That I find even more stupid. Metallica wrote a piece of shit album, with incredible bad riffs, even worse frantic-tic-tac lyrics and the most horrible sound ever committed by a major band. Oh, and they also played their instruments like kindergarten kids with absolutely no clue on how to sound. The whole ordeal was just insanely bad. No matter how much you hate “Illud Divinum Insanus”. You can’t really say the band isn’t able to play their instruments. And the production is also pretty good. It’s not something they just did in their backyard with a laptop you know?


For myself, I like the album. I like the intro, the metal tracks, the outro. But strangely enough my favourite track on the album is “Destructos VS the Earth”. There’s actually only one song that I really dislike and its “Radikult”, but it’s more because I really don’t think it fits the band. But I can accept it and listen to it, no problem. Even on “Covenant” I never listen to “Angel of Disease” and “Nar Mattaru”… I seriously can’t see what all the fuzz is about really. No matter how you look at it you have 30 minutes of really cool death metal songs. Well played and well executed. And for me, David Vincent once again shows why he is the king of vocalists. No one can do it better than him. He is so articulate and expressive. Even if he looks like a washed up porn star.


The track “Processed for Contamination” is on the other hand a very slow almost doomy song. Are there some doom fans amongst you too?


Toke: Jeppe wrote that song. He showed it to us not really sure if it fit The Cleansing, but we thought it was really cool right away. Jeppe likes the slow and melancholic stuff more than the other guys in the band I guess, so it feels pretty natural for him to do stuff like that. I’m not really a fan of doom, but I like to do lyrics to those kinds of songs. And it also gives me the opportunity to sing more slowly, which I actually like.


The title of the new album is not very positive, what is it that the band wants to express with it?


Toke: In this society we live in, I don’t see positivity being the most obvious mind-set to be in really. Our species are slowly but steady destroying ourselves.  Both on a physical and a spiritual level. And that is something I feel I have to address. I know it’s not news, but what can I do? You have to write what you feel and know. My lyrics has always been very personal. Expressing my view and feelings of the world. And the inevitable apocalypse. I just didn’t feel that would have been a very good title hehe. I probably like to hide it just a little bit so that people can make up their own mind. If they bother to read the lyrics of course which I don’t think many do.


On “Crossroads” you have Martin Leth Anderson as a guest, I know he participated in the band Koldborn, is he a good friend of yours and what is he doing at the moment?


Toke: Yep I’ve known him for quite a while. We all have as a matter of fact. Jeppe basically grew up with him. Jeppe also plays in Strychnos together with Martin and Nis Larsen whom I used to play in Usipian with. Martin has a band called Symposion as well, that are about to release a mini album.


You have been nominated for the Danish Metal awards some years ago, was that a big surprise for the band?


Toke: A little bit maybe. We were not that surprised that our album was viewed as a quality product, but we were of course quite honoured to be nominated. We didn’t expect to win. I think we’re a little too hardcore for that compared to what kind of show it is. But you know, it’s nice to get some recognition.


If you look at the new album now, is there already something you would have changed, something you hear and you think this could have even been better?


Toke: There’s always things you would like to have changed if you had the time. I think it’s impossible not to feel that way. Nothing is ever really perfect. Nor should it be. There’s some tracks that I would like to re-record. I tried to keep the whole thing raw and in-the-moment. But there’s some small stuff that I would change for myself if I could. Not that it irritate me that much. It actually helps me to look even more forward to making the next album. To make it better. Better myself and my performance. If you make the perfect album and you can’t make it better, then there’s no really point in going on to the next.


What will the band be doing in the next year, a lot of touring perhaps?


Toke: We sure hope so! We are working on setting it up right now, but we don’t have a big label behind us which makes it a little harder to go beyond our borders. But we hope it all works out. We really want to support our new album. We are proud of it!


I guess most of you have regular jobs, can you combine them with going on tour?

Toke: So far it hasn’t been a problem. But then again, we have mostly been playing in the weekends so it remains to be seen. Obviously we can’t pay our bills by playing in The Cleansing, so it will have to work out somehow.


What is the question I certainly must not ask because I don’t get an answer anyway?


Toke: Erhm… hehe… You probably shouldn’t ask about my guilty pleasure movies because I’m WAY too honest for my own good haha.


Is there a question I did not ask in this interview and that has to be in it because you want to tell that to our readers? What’s the question and what is the answer?


Toke: Well, feel free to contact us on The Cleansing Facebook and ask us whatever you want! And if you like us, set a show up near your hometown so we can come and tear the place apart! I don’t know what the question should be, but here’s your answer hehe. Have a good one and thanks for the interview buddy!

The Cleansing - Feeding the Inevitable

Label: Deepsend Records




Toke Eld (Vocals)
Jeppe Hasseriis (Guitars)
Andreas Lynge (Guitar)
Morten Lowe (Drums)
Martin Rosendahl (Bass)

Feeding the Inevitable (2011)
Poisoned Legacy (2009)


Interviewed by Reinier de Vries