IGNIVOMOUS, a mysterious name meaning something like vomiting fire, just this can be transformed into music also by Chris Volcano, Jael Edwards, Sean Hinds and Matthew Johnson coming from Melbourne, remote continent of Australia. The band was formed in 2006 that is a relatively new band, their debut and old demo, EP or split fascinated many fanatics a few years ago. But now the band faces the threshold of darkness again with their new "Contragenesis" album which is getting in these days out of the depths of madness to the earth surface. Their dark brutality is built on compositionally great songs which emanate an occult aura of cold death, the perfection of this work you can ascertain yourselves just now. The questions were answered by singing bassist Jeal.
Hailzz IGNIVOMOUS, what is currently happening in your band?
Greetings! We are awaiting the release of the second album, Contragenesis, which should be out at the end of this month (April 2012) via NWN! Thatís the big news.
Your band was formed in 2006, how did it exactly happen? What was the main reason to start IGNIVOMOUS?
I guess it was one of those convergences of fate that happen to you from time to time. It wasnít one of those situations where one person has the idea and puts up advertisements in music shops or anything. We were at a gig, the first Evil Invaders fest, and we fell to talking about what we did and didnít like about what was going on as far as local bands. Consequently we decided that there were not any bands playing the kind of morbid Death Metal we like. Everything flowed from that.
How do you remember your first "Path of Attrition" 3 songs demo? Are you still happy with this? Would you change anything from todayís view?
I remember it was HOT when we recorded that, over 40 degrees! We're all still happy with the recording. We had intended to record another track for that session but we ran out of time. So the Necrotomy cover that appears on the MLP was recorded during the 7" sessions. A strange recording session for me - it was the first time I'd recorded as a bassist in a proper studio. Aside from the vocals and leads itís all live and I still like that recording approach, so I wouldnít change anything.
Immediately afterwards, followed the "Eroded Void of Salvation" EP at Nuclear War Now! How did you get to this label? Have you send them any promo stuff?
We actually didnít send out many, if any, copies to labels as I recall. But the demo did move really quickly from all the distros we sent it to, all 400-ish copies sold out in six months. We sent out lots of copies to the bands we were in contact with, and through that process NWN! approached us with an offer. We did receive others but as we knew a few bands on the NWN! roster and they spoke highly of their experiences, that was the one we chose to accept.
After vinyl split with TSUN TZU there came your first full-length "Death Transmutation" CD. Was it a different feeling for you to record a full CD than demo or possibly split EP?
It was, for sure. Very different. The time around that recording was very tense, with Rodney departing the band with the album half written (for good reasons, so no ill-will there or anything) and our decision to sail into uncharted waters as a 3-piece for the recording. It's a big step in any bands evolution to move from demos/splits/ep's to writing an album. You have a much more expansive format to work with, but it requires a different mindset. I've always preferred those albums that seem to work as a whole rather than just as a collection of songs, and really wanted the whole piece to be coherent in that way - thematically with the lyrics, the art, the production. So trying to capture that, particularly with so many contributors, was difficult.
Your music brings thunderous, dark, heavy, occult Death Metal of underground dimensions, the feelings are overwhelming, nihilistic, horrible; fast moments can crush the skull to dust and slowly ones bring decay to the soul, true Death Metal should sound exactly like this. Is this the vision of your music?
Very descriptive, thank you! We try and create a balance between waves of chaos and ominous foreboding.
Can you disclose how individual tracks have been created? Who brings the most riffs and what inspires you most at song writing?
At different times various members have contributed in varying degrees and to different areas of the band - riffs, arrangements, lyrics, artwork. So in that sense itís both a blessing and a curse - itís great to have 3 creative minds at work who can take turns at handling the different aspects. On the other hand, it can be a struggle to agree on things also. Takes a lot of persuasion and "diplomacy" haha! But itís good to have a 3-way bullshit-filter so to speak.
Seems that darkness, occultism and death are the keywords to you. Has already someone told you that you're playing ugly music full of violence that can not be listening to? I think there are more people like this, not everyone can perceive the beauty of dark and negative music...
As you say, itís certainly not for everyone, even within the Death Metal scene. So many so called "Metal Warriors" like everything safe and predictable, with only fake visions of darkness.
Which bands have you grew up listening to and what you listen to now? Do you think there are still real ďwarriorsĒ of that most honest and obscure Death Metal?
I had a weird introduction to "extreme" (whatever the fuck that actually means) music I guess. I lived in really isolated circumstances in my teenage years, and music was expensive and hard to find in New Zealand in those days. Aside from the usual trajectory through AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Slayer, Metallica Sepultura, Pantera (yeah yeah) - all the stuff that had major-label distribution, it was really hard to track down underground releases. I could occasionally stumble across the Earache stuff - one of the things that made a big impact on me when I got hold of it was the Godflesh "Selfless" album. This opened my eyes to some of the more interesting things you can do with pure sound rather than virtuoso playing. I could say the same for the first couple of SCORN albums - Mick Harris' and Justin Broadrick's various projects were my gateway into electronic music. I started listening to a lot of Death and Black metal when I discovered a radio show on at midnight on a Saturday night on the student radio station in a town I used to visit sometimes. I always used to tape the show and listen back to the tapes obsessively when I went back home. Later on, once I had finished school and moved to a bigger city, I became involved with industrial, Noise and to an extend Goth/Deathrock through the circle of friends and roommates I had while I was at university. These days I listen to a lot of Neofolk and Martial stuff, Post-punk, power-electronics as well as the Metal side of things. Thatís the thing about music - there is always something new to discover, whether it be forgotten gems or new stuff coming out.
As for your second question, I know there are as I fortunately get to meet a lot of them these days. The world really is a much smaller place than you might think now with cheap air travel and the internet. Itís probably one of the advantages of being older - the ability to spot the difference between the poser and the genuine article becomes more acute. But while there are a lot of "instant cult" losers out there, I've been fortunate to meet plenty of people, bands and fans, who share my perspective on things.
What feedback have you got to your debut so far? Have you read many reviews? Are you even interested in fans feedback?
I'd say I'm interested to see what people make of it. Not in the sense that we would change anything to accommodate the views of others, but in the sense that itís interesting to see if any of the themes and atmosphere we wanted to convey reached the audience. I'd rather have expressions of disgust than "oh, yeah, it was ok I guess" bland reactions. There are a lot of veiled allusions scattered throughout the lyrics, so I always enjoy noting when a reviewer or listener has spotted them.
I can say your music is partially complex, I mean itís very hard to remember everything, it demands a lot of concentrated listening, as there is lack of expressive melody and also complex in way that your music has a depth, it is not a superficial music, do you agree?
Following on from your last question, the negative reactions, as far as we can interpret them, are from the kind of people who download 50 albums, listen to them once and form a judgment. If it doesnít have the immediate accessibility that kind of listening demands, itís "boring". That might work ok with pop music, where the focus is on writing the hook or the catchy chorus, but it's missing the point entirely with our music and I would say with any music that aims for more from itself.
Maybe itís due to the fact that we all like "difficult" music, something that has enough substance to stand up to repeated listens and that continues to offer something to the listener once the initial phase of infatuation has passed. Partially itís due to the fact that in order to keep the attention span satisfied for us as musicians we want to challenge ourselves. Not in a demonstrative way - I really donít like music where the virtuosity of the player as opposed to the song is the focus. Not in the prog sense of writing something with 8 movements where the time changes every 6 beats either. The challenge, and what we aim for, is how to write songs that push 4 fairly experienced musicians hard enough to be challenging to play while keeping the sense of venom and aggression present, while also retaining dynamics and an organic feel. To make the technicality part of the song and not the focus. What we aim for is for the technicality only really jump out after 3 or 4 listens because the songs are written well enough that you listen to the song not the playing. If that makes any sense at all!
So in that sense, I think the 2 albums in particular will stand up long after the current "ODSM" revivalism trend has faded. Because, as you say, they are not (we hope) superficial. They have enough character in and of themselves that even had that style not been temporarily popular they would still be albums that people come back to.
Do you regard IGNIVOMOUS as something more than just music and fun as many Death Metal bands are claiming?
Those that are curious about this question are directed to read our lyrics.
Your last record is more than a year out, in that time you have certainly accumulated some new riffs, ideas, maybe some new songs are born. How does your new face look like in comparison with the debut for example? Do you know what media (CD, EP, split) will become your next recording?
The second album, Contragenesis, will be out in May 2012. Itís a refinement and development of Death transmutation rather than any huge stylistic jump.
The Australian scene is a total crazy and mad, of course in a good sense, the bands as CORPSE MOLESTATION / BESTIAL WARLUST, ABOMINATOR, PORTAL, IMPETUOUS RITUAL, CAULDRON BLACK RAM, DENOUNCEMENT PYRE, INTELLECT DEVOURER, STARGAZER, DISEMBOWELMENT and many others. Do you think your mentality is different opposite rest of world?
It's unique I suppose haha! The isolation and the heat have bred a race of lunatics.
In seriousness though, the isolation creates the kind of strong characters that play in bands like you mention and give them their uniqueness. There are only 30 million people in the whole country, and all the major cities are very spread out. So anyone who grew up here and wound up doing something like that has really had to work for it and make a lot of sacrifices - pursue it as a total labor of love. I can totally guarantee you that no one of the bands you mention are able to support themselves financially through music. On the flip side of that, Australia is a pretty working-class, laid back place. None of those folk will have had to put up with too much uptight moralistic behavior from employers. For one, itís the homeland of AC/DC, Rose Tattoo etc, so itís not uncommon to end up working for someone who used to go to lots of those types of gigs when they were younger. Within certain boundaries itís quite a tolerant country as far as personal eccentricities go. But it retains a fairly hard edge in a way - like a lot of recently frontier parts of the world, people speak their mind and donít tolerate much in the way of pretension. You can get a REALLY rough time here if you play your cards wrong as they say.
Have you already played outside Australia? Where would you like to go most and why?
We have played only a small number of shows outside of Australia - Germany, Ireland and the USA. We hope to get back to Europe in 2013. As far as the wish-list goes, I would really like to do a South American tour - the guys who made that documentary for VICE are friends of mine and their description of that experience was insane. Not sure how the band would cope though! Other than that, the gig I always kick myself that fell through was to be us, Archgoat and Morbosidad in St. Petersburg.
How does it look like at your live shows? How do people usually react? Do they tend more to listen or headbang?
It depends how often we have played to that crowd and how well they know the music. We have guys at our local shows now who know all the songs and go nuts headbanging, but at most shows where we are an unfamiliar proposition we see a lot more bewildered stares and crossed arms.
Ok, it would be all on my part, if I forgot something, you have the space, many thanks for answering my questions, wish IGNIVOMOUS only the best for the future, of course, HORNS UP!
Thanks for getting in touch, all the beast with the zine!
Jeal 17. 4. 2012 Mortuary