Sculptor Rene M. Hamel, whose extraordinary stage sets were a prominent feature of MAYHEM's performances, has joined their former vocalist Maniac in his new doom black metal project SKITLIV. Aside from designing SKITLIV's stage sets, Hamel, better known by his working name Spacebrain, will also be in charge of designing the band's videos, and, surprisingly, has also taken on the role of bass player.
Commented Hamel: "I very much liked the concept that Maniac had in mind for SKITLIV, and when I happened to bump into him in Elm Street [Oslo nightclub] this summer he mentioned that his bass player was having to leave due to commitments to his own band, and asked if I knew of a bass player. I did what anyone else would do when faced with such an opportunity: I lied, and said that I could play bass. I rehearsed together with the band for three months, and it all worked out really well, and decided to stay. Maniac and I have the same crazy ideas and I am taking those ideas and transforming them into stage and video design."
Oslo-based Hamel, whose sculptures have been described as "more of the same nightmarish world which Hieronymus Bosch once painted, but in Hamel's version we find the basic subject in our fear for what Man is about to transform himself into — not in any chastising Deity," recently debuted his full human-sized sculpture Höllen Engel (Hells Angel) through a special MySpace page. More examples of his work can be found on the Spacebrain web site at www.spacebrain.no.
SKITLIV is due to play six dates with GALLHAMMER on their upcoming European tour, and will be using some of Spacebrain's new stage designs on the tour. Raw, unmastered tracks from the band can be heard at www.myspace.com/skitliv777.