UTTERTOMB is undoubtedly interesting Death Metal apparent, not only because they come from Chile, but also for their originally performed style. Of course, they are neither innovative nor progressive, but they can mediate dark atmosphere with interesting guitar harmonies in the fields of morbidity and disgust. So far they have not released any full-length album, just three EPs, one demo and split with compatriots Death Vomit. Originally the band was called Ultratomb, but later it turned into an even more interesting UTTERTOMB. The interview was committed with a solo guitarist and vocalist SS, whom you can know also from Black Metal Communion and Death Vomit bands. I believe this band is heading to a great future and I hope they will remain faithful to the dark, devious Death Metal as it has been so far...
Hi. Seems you like EP format. So far you have released up to three EPs if I do not count your first "Advance Promo" demo and split with Death Vomit. What fascinates you on this format? Do you think the following material will be EP as well?
SS: Greetings from Chile and thanks for the interview. We think that through EPs it's the best way that we can define and see the real result of a line-up and composition changes, so before the LP we must define ourselves for the sake of reaching our main goal: Give an approach of Death and Darkness through Metal. Our next release it's a split with Evil Spectrum that shall be released this year.
Your music includes many deep, heavy feelings, literally cocoons and burls of darkness, at listening I feel as if I've gotten to an inhospitable place where everything rot, everywhere I feel the presence of death and so on. You have to have quite interesting visions and ideas at writing process. Could you expand it more?
SS: The main idea is to be engulfed in darkness with every song more and more, to make the real listener (with ears to hear and a brain to understand, not a superficial listener which is on party mode or doing something else) feel the urge to fall into the abyss. So for us is primordial as you say to recreate a desolate and dense atmosphere through music and lyrics, like we did on "Sempiternal" EP that is a cyclical conceptual release (Eternal Return), and the feeling is to be encarcerated through life and death forever.
We might call your style as old Death Metal. You definitely do not play something that has not been played ever before, but you use elements that could be called as your own, as if you were combining something from the European, American, South American kind of style and finally we have Death Metal which does not explicitly copy anyone. How do you look at your music in terms of originality?
SS: For us the way of course to materialize all death-related topics and influences is through Death Metal, so of course we have our own personal influences, but we don't want to copy anyone or anything...We have been always developing our sound and theme, but if some people wants to compare us with other stuff it's ok. Our Metal is just for us...We didn't invented the wheel, but we keep on turning it over bones and weak bodies.
I really like the sound you've got on "Necrocentrism: The Necrocentrist". Although all the instruments sound clean, you have preserved analogue approach and underground feeling as well as grave deposits in it. Do you think you have got your own characteristic sound or you are always trying to come up with a different sound? What is typical for your sound?
SS: We're constantly testing and discovering our own vibe and aura, so we're trying everything until we find our "formula". There's nothing special behind our sound, we use whatever amp, a little bit of reverb and the typical gear, no pedals, no nothing, so I can say that the most important thing it's how you play it, every note must have conviction and decision, nothing else.
Terrible and inexhaustible atmosphere lurking behind every riff, in the vocals, drum beats and in the dark, blasting tones of bass guitar must mesmerize every listener accidentally listening to your stuff. The atmosphere evidently arises already at writing process when you feel more than just a musical tones, later adding deadly vocals with lyrics, some acoustic guitars and the spooky music is in final state. Would you recommend to listen to your music in a suitable environment like in the dark, old buildings or in the cemetery?
SS: Listen it in misery and embrace death with all your senses. That's it.
Could you write if use some special procedures for inspiration and writing music? Some bands dig their guitars underground a few days before recording or they try to expose themselves to some stressful experience in the occult, to visit some special places, old crypts to soak up even more powerful feelings then melting to inside of music... Do you think such experiences can contribute to creating even more sophisticated atmosphere?
SS: Of course, what you do everyday or some special moments leads you to a final result, every factor is very important through the whole process. That also is the reason of why we don't release too many stuff, for some people maybe we are a lazy band, but we have to stay in a special moment to make everything, not doing things randomly or without intention. Personally I have to be quiet without any distraction, alone in the dark wherever, and then the whispers and voices comes to my head by itself.
I have to admit I got willies at listening to "Necrocentrism: The Necrocentrist" which is an unmistakable proof of excellent grasp of the atmosphere, but also good compositional flow. Deadliness is like your primary expressing means. Many Death Metal bands simply play rhythmical riffs that are joined together, as if they have forgot many factors so they release only an average recordings. How do you see it?
SS: Thanks for your comment. For us listening something must give you a picture in your mind, like a movie, or at least give you some emotion or provoke you, that makes the difference on any song, doesn't' matter the genre or style. For example when I hear Pagan Altar, Bestial Mockery, Sadistic Intent or Iron Angel, each one has a special determinated message and intention, so can lead you to cut yourself, to bang your head or raise your fist in violence instantly or whatever... so that's the important thing, soulless and without attitude music it isn't necessary.
What would you write about your lyrical concept? How much does the lyrics have to do with music and how you tie these two elements together? Where do you draw inspiration for words and thoughts contained in them? Could you write what is the lyric of Ascension Ritual track about?
SS: It depends on which release, but all concepts leads to embracing the death, darkness and a hopeless existence. Lyrics are much important as the music of course. Ascencion Ritual is about necromancy.
Your cover artwork for the new EP exactly portrays your music, not just by the theme itself, but also by the style of the drawing, the special colors, the atmosphere, everything is perfectly matched and it creates a great whole. Could you write something more about the cover art?
SS: It-s "The Necrocentrist", the analogy of Zarathustra proclaiming to the feeble ones the mysteries and the revelations of the end of mankind and afterlife. Alonso Wiltschek was the responsible for that artwork.
I am totally fascinated by your already mentioned second Ascension Ritual track, it is my favorite thing from "Necrocentrism: The Necrocentrist". There's all the best from you, the riffs are deep and gloomy, the passage in the middle with the acoustic guitar is spectacular, the guitar leads are as if coded by the secrets of death and the finishing riff is great. How do you relate to this song? Do you play it alive?
SS: We constructed that song in 3 parts lyrically and musically, as a soundtrack for a movie or something... And yes, we play it alive most of the times.
I have to ask about your Chilean scene. I've been watching bands from your country for years and I can say you have such great bands! From the powerful Unaussprechlichen Kulten to Uttertomb, new bands are still emerging and the orthodoxy of your bands is a showcase. Are you proud of coming from Chile?
SS: Objectively, the last 10 years more or less here have been the most prolific, with tons of bands in every style emerging from nowhere and lots of awesome releases too, so for me is not a surprise that many guys from other countries (Specially NA) knows a lot from Chilean Metal. But at the same time I'm not proud or chauvinistic about "the scene" here, it's pretty much like in other countries, but more violent and raw...things here are taken very seriously by the guys who are really into it, so that's something "hopeful" maybe. Check out these bands by the way: Insanity (Speed/Thrash), Demoniac (Thrash Metal), Force of Darkness (Black/Thrash), Capilla Ardiente (Doom Metal), Ancient Crypts (Death Metal), Godless (Death Metal), Yajaira (Stoner/Doom), or dig into other ones by yourself if you dare.
Ok, that would be all from me, we are proud to be able to do this killing interview for our fanzine. If you have a message for fans in our lands, you have a space. Finally you could add some of your top albums of 2017, thank you!
SS: Thanks for the questions and interest.. The top albums of 2017 for me are this ones (In no particular order):
- Pagan Altar - The Room of Shadows
- Demoniac - Intemperance
- Bell Witch - Mirror Reaper
- Procession - Doom Decimation
- Spectral Voice – Eroded Corridors Of Unbeing
- Pallbearer - Heartless
- Necrot - Blood Offerings
- Ascended Dead - Abhorrent Manifestation
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