Catacombs of the Grotesque
Greetings to Mexico, how are things going for DENIAL?
Hey! Greetings to Necrosphere webzine! Well, right now things are doing great. We are working on new material for a 7"EP that will be released by Cyclone Empire from Germany, and already for our second album as well. I must say that we just received our vinyls from Blood Harvest and we are more than happy with the results! The production is flawless!!!
Yeah, as soon as I discovered your band, I have lapsed into pure madness hysteria, old school Death Metal with Lovecraftic themes, what more could I wish? How did DENIAL started?
I'm glad you felt that way about our music, that's our main goal! To put the listener into a realm of madness and insanity followed by a sonic assault of intense and chaotic Death Metal! Denial started back in 2006 only with Oscar and Marko, and then Ivan joined on vocals and Ricardo on bass as well. They recorded the first EP "Immense Carnage Vortex" and I joined one week after that. The rest remains the same...
Seems that almost all members of DENIAL come from an old cult CENOTAPH band with perfect debut album "The Gloomy Reflection of Our Hidden Sorrows". Where can you see the main difference between these two bands?
I can see that you are getting all your info from Metal Archives right? I say that because only Oscar (drummer) comes from Cenotaph, if you have the original CD of "The Gloomy Reflections..." you can see on the lineup that none of us played in that album but Oscar. But to answer your question I have to say that the main difference between "The Gloomy..." and "Catacombs..." is that Cenotaph in those days were more influenced by American late 80's early 90's Death Metal. We have those influences as well but our sound goes most to the European scene, specially from Finnish bands like Demigod, Demilich, Belial, early Disgrace, Xysma, Convulse...etc.
Arrggh, I have to admit your debut album "Catacombs of the Grotesque" is simply amazing and in our top 40 of 2009 it ended up on 7th place. How are you satisfied with the debut? Has everything gone according to your expectations? Do you think you would change anything now?
I'm really happy with the results! It's our debut album and it caused a lot of expectations among the people who are into underground Death Metal, it's a real honor that our album is considered one of the best of 2009, and appearing on those lists with bands like Asphyx, Tribulation, Grave Miasma, Funebrarum, Teitanblood... it's really pushing us to create even darker and morbid music. I wouldn't change anything at all, I think that we are getting more mature as a band so the next album will be the evolution of "Catacombs...”, the same music we love to play and to create but with more elements, more well crafted songs and just letting the music flow.
It is obvious you are big fans of mainly Nordic / Swedish scene and I can say your debut overwhelmed many Swedish bands in my viewpoint. How long have you been writing this material? Who wrote most of the music?
Absolutely! YES! Like I mentioned before we have a huge influence from Finnish Death Metal bands, also from American bands like Immolation, Incantation, some people even have mentioned Morbid Angel, which is a great band that we all like a lot but I really can't tell where is the influence, haha! We started working on "Catacombs..." since 2007, after the release of "Immense Carnage Vortex" we started to work for the first album, and you can notice a huge difference from that EP to our first album! We got lower tunings and the influences changed a little bit, but the spirit of the band remains the same..... At the end of the day we are still a bunch of guys that play the music they love. The composition is made mainly by Oscar, Marko and myself.
What inspires you most from musical viewpoint or in general terms?
Personally when I'm composing music for Denial I have to be on a certain state of mind, my inspirations range from things I read or things I imagine about..., but at the same time I get inspired by things that happens to every person every day, so I just channel those feeling to the music I create.
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard hard music and neither Death Metal?
That's quite a challenge!!! hahaha, well I will say "It's the most fucked up music you will ever listen in your shitty senseless life! Run now that you can weak bastard!!!".
What fascinates me is sound of your "Catacombs of the Grotesque" debut. How did you get to Evolution studio? Is it known and sought out studio in Mexico?
The owner of Evolution Studios is a good friend of us, Jesus Bravo (singer of Agony Lords and Souls on Fire), he has been recording bands for a long time and his specialty is metal so, since the beginning we knew that he was the right guy for the job! He hated us for the amount of distortion that we wanted for the guitars hahahaha! We even blew the amp that we used to record "Catacombs...", but now that we look back at the results, it was really worth it!
CD mastering was done by Dan Swanö in his Unisound studio; do you think his mixing has contributed much to overall sound of your debut? Were you also in touch with Dan? How did he react to your music?
Mixing and Mastering are way different process, in the booklet of our CD (which I assume you own) you can read that recording and mixing was made on Evolution Studios by Jesus Bravo, and he did an impressive job by the way!!! Ivan got in touch with Dan for Mastering duties, me and Ivan kept in touch with Dan for indications and stuff, but everything went pretty normal. Dan did a killer job with the Mastering, it was the final touch for our CD, and I'm very pleased with it. The treat with Dan was very professional so I really can't tell how he reacted to our music, he was hired to make a job and that's it.
Do you think you will record next album in Evolution studio as well?
Who knows..., we are already working on our second album but we will think about going to Evolution Studios again or looking for another studio. We enjoyed a lot working on that studio so I could say that Evolution is on the top of our list for recording our new album.
What are your ambitions for the future with DENIAL? Haven’t you think about any song to do in the form of a video clip? Do you think video clips can help unknown band in the promotion nowadays?
Our plans are to keep making music and record it, that was the main goal for the band since the beginning and we are staying like that. We are not a hard touring band because everyone has other responsibilities, Oscar (drummer) is already married and he is running his own business, Ivan (singer) lives in another city 6 hours away from us, Ricardo (bass) is currently living in Cancun which is even far than Ivan, I have other projects/bands like The Suffering in which Oscar is playing drums, so as you can see it will be hard to get on a huge tour for more than a month, which will be killer but hard to achieve right now. Of course we have thought about making a video clip, but the budget is always an issue..., we are an underground Death Metal band and Denial is not giving money enough in order to afford the making of a video clip. But of course we are not making this for the money, if so we wouldn’t be playing Death Metal haha! I think that a video clip will help a lot to promote your band..., if you upload it to YouTube, everyone in the world can have access to it, and it’s free! That's one killer site to promote your music as well!
Certainly you would like even to go to some American or European tour, have you already received some offers? If you could choose, which bands you would like to share the stage? Would you like to go to Europe? I think your music would be quite appreciated here...
We have received some offers to go to South America, North America and Europe as well..., but like I mentioned before, the schedules of all the band members are not easy man, I would love to say that Denial is our priority in our life but sadly it's not. We have a lot of other responsibilities and in order to maintain the band we have to work. So we just can't leave for a couple of month’s tour over Europe. But well if I could choose with which bands I will love to share stage with I will say Tribulation, Asphyx, Purgatory, Vorum, Necros Christos, Demonical..., and a lot more from this wave of Darkened Death Metal!
What is your view to entire global metal scene? Do you think Metal is now trend already falling into the mainstream? Which bands would you like to mention? Which albums of 2009 have most interested you?
I really don't know where to start...hahaha! But to be honest I don't give a shit if it's getting trendy or falling into mainstream..., In Denial and I'm pretty damn sure that the other bands of this new wave of Undergorund Death Metal doesn't give a fuck either! We are into this because we love what we do, and I could bet my balls that we all do this music with the ultimate passion and dedication. Death Metal doesn't follow any trends..., at least REAL Death Metal. I really don't like the term "Old School", we are making Death Metal and that's it! If there are more extreme and fast bands nowadays, then that should be called in another way, not the bands making real Death Metal. Back in the early 90's bands like Merciless, Demigod, Abhorrence, Utumno, Convulse, Demilich... etc, were called Death Metal, not "Old School"... so let's keep it that way!!! Some killer bands I would like to mention and also I got caught by their relentless Death Metal last year are Necrovation, Tribulation, Grave Miasma, Teitanblood, Stench of Decay, Necros Christos, Vorum, Hail of Bullets, Infinitum Obscure and Magnanimus.
Can you describe the Mexican scene? I think you have many good underground bands there...
I really can't give you an accurate description of how the Mexican Metal scene is. I'm not into it at all, only when we play at a local show or something but mostly we all go to different ways. And you are damn right! Mexico had and have some really killer bands when it comes to Underground Death Metal, like Shub-Niggurath (Evilness and Darkness Prevails is the BEST Mexican Death Metal album by far!), Cenotaph, Bloodsoaked, Agony Lords, The Suffering, Infinitum Obscure, Infernal Conjuration, Zombiefication...
Still, I would like to mention the cover art of your debut; of course, it is totally crazy and exceedingly useful for your music. How did you get this cover art? Was it designed specifically for you? Can you say something about the author?
Paul Carrick was the man behind that piece of art!!! He really surpassed our highest expectations when we thought about the cover art! I think that it fits like a glove to our music..., at a first sight it could seem to be a little bit abstract but after many looks it gets more and more realistic, you get caught by this landscape of putrid madness, and when you put your eyes in the center of the cover you see this non of this world being coming out from the deepest catacomb you could ever imagine. The overall morbid and twisted atmosphere of our music is pretty well expressed on the cover art. The art was created just for us, it's exclusive for Denial and you are not going to get it anywhere else HA! Hails to Paul Carrick!!!
I love old school Death Metal bands which are lyrically influenced by Master Lovecraft. How hit you thought to write lyrics in this style?
Just listen to our music! Which other topic could fit better to it than H.P. Lovecraft influenced lyrics?
When did you come to Lovecraft´s creation first time and which story has scared you first?
I got to read my first Lovecraft short novel when I was a kid, but I just couldn't understand it the way I do now. Every time I read an H.P. Lovecraft novel I really try to get inside this fantastic world of insanity and madness, but at the same time you can notice that you are dealing with feelings you have any given day! If I remember well, the first novel I got to read was The Music of Erich Zaan and it's still one of my faves!
Do you take Lovecraft’s heritage only as a perfect scare or you see something deeper in it as for faith? What do you think about Necronomicon generally and about entities which could be evoked from other worlds by it?
I can't say that H.P. Lovecraft's novels are scary..., well for me is not like that. When I'm reading a novel I feel an eerie morbid feeling surrounding me, and in some twisted way you can imagine how the entities of those novels could look like. About the Necronomicon I really can’t say much, if I ever got to read it I will die because of a severe case of insanity!!! hahaha. In general I could say that my personal experience after reading any H.P. Lovecraft novel drives me to a state of mind that I can't reach with anything else, and I channel those feelings to Denial's music.
Still I’d like to know how many members actually DENIAL features. Metal Archives describes 6 pieces (on the picture is four pieces), and 5 pieces on myspace:)
Again with Metal Archives...., man rumors spread fast!!! Only what is on our myspace is real, fuck other sites! If it's not on our myspace then it's fake.
Ok, it would be all from me now, if I forgot something, feel free to write, thank you for the great interview and wish success to DENIAL, many insane fans and a lot of good shows!
Thanks a lot to you for taking some time to make this interview! We really appreciate your support and the best for your zine! Dark Regards!
And feel free to check out our other band "The Suffering"
Rob 4. 2. 2010 Mortuary