- Torfinn Sirnes
Producer focus: Flemming Rasmussen
Flemming Rasmussen is one of the most successful and versatile producers in the history of heavy metal. Let's have a closer look at his interesting career. There's certainly more to it than those three famous Metallica albums!
From his Sweet Silence Studios in Copenhagen Flemming Rasmussen has produced and worked with a lot of well known Danish artists in many genres, including jazz, pop and rock, but we'll focus on his contribution to metal history here. Rasmussen has an interesting and versatile metal catalogue as he has produced classic albums in a whole range of different subgenres: classic hard rock, thrash metal, traditional metal, glam metal, death metal, power metal, folk metal etc.
Rasmussen started out as an engineer and his first major work in metal history was with Ritchie Blackmore and his post Deep Purple band Rainbow. The classic hard rock albums "Difficult to Cure" (1981) and "Bent Out of Shape" (1983) were both engineered by Rasmussen in Sweet Silence.
Rasmussen's work with Metallica is nothing but legendary. He engineered and produced three albums for them in the 1980's: "Ride the Lightning" (1984), "Master of Puppets" (1986) and "...and Justice For All" (1988). Thus he was very important in creating the classic thrash metal sound. Those three Metallica albums were monumental for both thrash metal and other extreme metal genres. Rasmussen also produced the Danish thrash metal band Artillery's third album "By Inheritence" (1990) and he returned to thrash metal when he produced Evile's debut album "Enter the Grave" in 2007.
His countrymen in Pretty Maids played more of a traditional metal, sometimes even leaning over to glam metal. Ramussen mixed five of the songs from their "Future World" (1987) and later produced both "Sin-Decade" (1991) and "Scream" (1994).
A far more aggresive sound can be heard on death metal pioneers Morbid Angel's third album "Covenant" from 1993. The complex album is considered a death metal classic and was a great commercial success in the extreme metal world.
Rasmussen moved on to produce two classic power metal albums, namely Blind Guardian's "Imaginations From the Other Side" (1995) and "Nightfall in Middle-Earth" (1998). The latter is even crossing over to progressive metal with its grand arrangements, multiple vocal layers and delicate instrumental twists and turns.
The versatility of Rasmussen was once again showcased in his production of Finnish band Ensiferum's second album "Iron" from 2004. The album was important in cementing folk metal as a distinct genre in the mid 2000's.
On a more exotic note we can also mention the Japanese band Cocobat. Rasmussen produced their 1999 album "I Versus I" which is a mix of groove metal and NU metal. Just another example of his versatile production skills!
Today Flemming Ramussen is still highly active in his new version of Sweet Silence Studios in Copenhagen, working mainly with Danish artists. His legacy as a metal producer will remain forever and we are very proud and humble that he found the time to mix our thrash metal song "Thrash of the Titans" to perfection!
Check out these cool metal albums in different metal subgenres produced by Flemming Rasmussen:
Metallica. "Ride the Lightning" (1984)
Metallica: "Master of Puppets" (1986)
Metallica: "...and Justice For All" "(1988)
Artillery: "By Inheritance" (1990)
Pretty Maids: "Sin-Decade" (1991)
Morbid Angel: "Covenant" (1993)
Pretty Maids: "Scream" (1994)
Blind Guardian: "Imaginations From the Other Side" (1995)
Blind Guardian: "Nightfall in Middle-Earth" (1998)
Cocobat: "I Versus I" (1999)
Ensiferum: "Iron" (2004)
Evile: "Enter the Grave" (2007)