The Posthumous Trinity
Who would it say that as we have been listening to two demos from Costa Rica, PSEUDOSTRATIFFIED EPITHELIUM “Sodomizing Children Corpses” (1994) and COLEMESIS “Postbiosis” (1993) 19 years ago, the members of these two bands will sometimes form other INSEPULTO band! Today, after the nearly 20 years, we came across this interesting band, bringing disturbing feelings of rumbling Death Metal into underground. “Morbid Spawn of Resurrection” debut we reviewed a few months back, released under Polish Wydawnictwo Muzysczne Psycho. We have been waiting for the interview quite long enough time, but we did not expect how extensive one to come. The questions were answered by all INSEPULTO members and the interview is worth of it, I think this is the longest interview including also Hyberned Children's Dreams fanzine period, so you really enjoy it.
Hell-o, INSEPULTO is still a relatively new band formed in 2008. Except the first "The Posthumous Trinity" demo you have released only "Morbid Spawn of Resurrection" debut album. Could you firstly explain why had you put this bestial band together and what was the initial idea?
A.P. - Hello and thanks Mortuary for this chance. It's an absolute honor to appear in the mighty Necrosphere zine!
INSEPULTO started back in 1994. Basically, it was a combination of members of 3 local bands, COLEMESIS (Death/Grind), PSEUDOSTRATIFFIED EPITHELIUM (Death/Doom) and PROFANVM (Death/Black). Due to logistics like band members living too far away from each other, the lack of a proper rehearsal room, etc, the band never properly started. So, they never went past a photo shoot and 2 members writing down some songs. Finally, INSEPULTO was laid to rest and remained in a dead-like slumber for all these years.
Fast forward to 2007; I had been retired from the Extreme Metal Scene for almost a decade, but I kept listening to my fave albums all the way. Just by chance, I came in contact with U.X.H. again. We started talking about our past projects and bands. In the meanwhile, U.X.H had taken over as the main man behind PAGANUS DOCTRINA. And he asked me if I wanted to contribute with a guest lead on their debut album. Also, I sent him some riffs I had laying around for years. He was really excited about the material and the small contribution to his band took another path and we ended up forming a new band. Right after I started working on the raw tracks, we realized we needed a good vocalist. About the same time coincidence struck again. I came by The Master Butcher at a local bar. He was a former PSEUDOSTRATIFFIED EPITHELIUM/INSEPULTO member and he had started another band, MUMMIFIED. But after listening to some of the demo tracks we had recorded, he said yes to the vocalist spot. We also picked up the band name, because the initial idea is still there. A band formed by members of 3 local bands (PAGANUS DOCTRINA, MUMMIFIED, ASHEN SKY) to pay homage to the music we like.
Our philosophy in the band is pretty simple. We were influenced by a lot of classic Death Metal bands. We started our path into the underground around the same time, say late 80's. So, we just want to pay homage to all those classics by doing our version of their immortal style. We don't copy a specific band or style; neither we want to come up with new styles.
The Master Butcher - Well…first off thanks for the interview and the interest my brutal friend, now going to your point, I’d say Insepulto was born because we are three devotees of metal in most of its forms. That explains why after 20 years of its original conception, the band started to work with the three of us in 2008. In those 15 years we lost contact with each other, so I continued in my first band Pseudo (as it’s known here), Gilbert took over PAGANUS DOCTRINA, and Alfonso stayed in Colemesis for a while and then moved to other bands like Vortice if I am not wrong. Later…for mere casualties, I got in touch with Alfonso and after scheduling a “meeting in a local bar”…he mentions that he is already working with Gilbert on a band and were searching for a vocalist, I immediately got into the whole thing and days later after thinking in a possible name, Alfonso came up with the fact that INSEPULTO could fit perfectly with the concept….and there you…INSEPULTO was brought back from the grave and more than ready to corrupt the righteous!
U.Xerxes.H - Well, these guys basically wrapped well the sum of the events that brought us here with this band. As a curious thing, INSEPULTO came back as something quite spontaneous. Alfonso such as I didn’t have in mind to get together and put this project going. Everything came together as some sort of hidden occult devilish force triggering everything to be set as we know it today. Having Ronald within the band was just as obvious as we knew we wanted to play Death Metal. We never thought in finding other people, it was clear that the three of us were the ones to be in this band and it is kind of difficult even for me to picture INSEPUTLO without any of us. It is strange, but everything fits great the way it is now.
I remember back when in the first mid of the 90s I received the cassette recordings of bands PSEUDOSTRETIFFIED EPITHELIUM "Sodomizing Children's Corpses" and COLEMESIS "Postbiosis", both ones were played in my cassette tape player quite often. Do you remember back those times? Do you like to remember those earlier times? I ask because two of your members have performed in these bands...
The Master Butcher - Yes…the “Sodomizing Children Corpses” Ep tape…ha ha ha…actually there’s a story on that one…I remember I used to trade with Markus Woeste from MMI Recs in Germany (he released the “Preach Eternal Gospels” from Phlebotomized, the “Upon the Medical Slab” 7” from Swedish Deranged…among many others) so I sent him some copies of our Ep…back then there was no internet so I received this letter from the guy telling that when he went to the customs to pick up the pack, the guys there were scared because of the cover and even more due to the song titles ….you know things like “The Sickest Masturbation - Sex with animals”…ha ha ha so we was going to be arrested because the authorities though he was some kind of pervert…at the end I don’t know what he did but he got out of there with the tapes…but he assured me that it was the first time he was about to go to jail because of this music…ha ha ha
As I said before, Alfonso, myself and other good friend of us that we still have contact with named Johnans, decided to form Pseudo, but for the “Sodomizing Children Corpses” none of them were there, Alfonso moved to Colemesis and then to Paganus Doctrina and Johanns took a trip to other musical genres. However yes, I still enjoy recalling such times, we were young, the only thing in our mind was to find more bands and get more music…pretty simple days.
A.P. - Oh man, the good old days. I was a member of both, COLEMESIS and PSEUDOSTRATIFFIED EPITHELIUM. And I can tell you, those were the days. Even though we were releasing Death Metal demo tapes from an obscure and tiny Central-American country, every time reviews came in, we were really excited. We were just a bunch of kids listening to metal 24/7, tape trading and "living the underground", so to speak.
U.Xerxes.H - Although I didn’t belong to any of those bands, I should by all means reckon them as pillars about what was going to come in the Costa Rican scene. I remember I did an interview to Ronald back in 1993 for my fanzine UNHOLY. I also remember we got to meet in a concert and due to my juvenile arrogance we didn’t get along that good at that time. I don’t know if Ronald remembers that episode, hahahaha! That was in the concert when DEATHLESS from Panamá assaulted the Cinema 2000 movie theater… I met Alfonso for the first time when shooting the photos for PAGANUS DOCTRINA’s debut demo where both of us played back then. Even P.D demo tape was already recorded and we met just months later for the first time on that photo session. It is funny how things work in time and it is weird how all these memories come to my mind just right now. I used to have copies of those tapes but today I don’t have them anymore. But I remember well how did they sound and what they represents in the history of our still emerging “scene”.
The Master Butcher - Actually I don’t remember what exactly happened…seems like you didn’t want to talk or something … and I thought “this dude is a real jerk”…ha ha ha …later after the Split CD of Pagaunus Doctrina / Pseudo came out, I remember seeing you in San Pedro and sold you a copy of a Carpathian Fullmoon 7”…that night we didn’t talk that much either...because we were on hurry…you to go back to Heredia and me going to “Sand” for some beers…ha ha ha!
So how does your first "The Posthumous Trinity" demo sound compared to your debut? Was it very similar music?
A.P. - The demo tape includes 3 songs that made it onto the debut. In my humble opinion, it has a total different sound. I don't like the fact that the drums came up too loud in the final mix. And being programmed drums that took a lot from the atmosphere we wanted to create. But we have no regrets. Actually, these 3 songs were taken from the original recording we did for "MSOR". That was how originally our album was going to be released, production-wise. Luckily, I was able to re-record the whole thing with better equipment afterwards.
U.Xerxes.H - As a liner note, in spite the songs for the first recording of the album didn’t convince us that much to actually embody our full debut record I persuaded A.P to release three of them as the demo “The Posthumous Trinity”. Certainly, the sound isn’t the one we wanted for the record but the overall outcome fitted perfectly for a demo recording, actually the sound sins of being too clean, the whole drum sound texture sounds quite plastic. I thought that before releasing the album we should pave a small track onto the underground press and make some noise prior the formal album would get released. And that actually worked because it allowed us to be featured in some printed magazines/fanzines with reviews and several interviews. The old underground formula still works for us.
Finally we can go to your debut. How long did it take to create this stuff? What do you think about "Morbid Spawn of Resurrection" now, after some time? Do you think it's the best you could do then? Would you have done anything differently today?
The Master Butcher - The composition is something where Alfonso can share some more light. But If you ask me about the record, I would say that I really like the end result, I mean, it was able to capture and transmit certain vibe that represents our taste regarding the Death Metal sound. Is it the best we can get?...I don’t think so…there are certain elements that we could have had managed differently…you know…no matter how good an album or demo can be…the people involved in the process will always find things to improve…that’s pretty natural I think.
A.P. - Well, as I stated before, most of the music was created in a period between 1997 and 2007. And the band, per se, started in 2008. So it took us almost 4 years to put out our album. After almost a year, I think it came out as we expected. There were some hits and misses, but the essence, the atmosphere and the feeling are all there. It is a good representation of us 3 as fans of the Death Metal genre in general. And, me being the detail-oriented prick that I am, I still think I would have done other things to make it better. But given the circumstances, I still believe "MSOR" sounds pretty brutal!
U.Xerxes.H - Unlike Ronald and A.P, I think the album is perfect for the time it was released. I wouldn’t change absolutely anything about it. I like the sound, the clarity in the mix and mastering. It is how INSEPULTO sounded at that point and it is a solid representation of the honesty this band came to live. I think we are going for more and the second record will manifest that we are here to raise the dead in denser and darker forms…
I like your debut very much; actually, it shocked me when I have been listening to that recording some time and I found two members played in the above mentioned bands from Costa Rica. How would you describe your music to the uninitiated people, if they asked what are you playing?
The Master Butcher - To the uninitiated…I like the term…he he…let me initiate you…Colemesis for example started as a Death Grind band and later evolved into some kind of Hard Core Thrash (I’m not quite sure if that’s the correct description), Pseudo started as Grind Doom and moved to a blackened form of Death.
So if you compare them both with Insepulto you see no dots connecting one thing and the other because Insepulto is more a TRADITIONAL type of Death Metal band. We don’t like the tag “Old School” because we don’t ´pretend to be a copy of something or someone…we use the classic stuff to inspire and fuel our devotion for this music and create our own thing…that’s why I’ve seen people mentioning coincidences with Bolt Thrower…others mention Massacre…others say Sepultura….and the list goes on…so I think we have a little bit of each one and Insepulto is the mix that triggers its own identity…
U.Xerxes.H - To me, in simple and humble terms, this is Traditional Death Metal to the core! We don’t pretend to reinvent anything, we are here to play what we love the most and that is the traditional ancient flame still running through our veins… no hocus pocus here! Just Death Metal, ancient, rotten and groovy! You should be dead if you don’t bang your head at the beats of our songs!
A.P. - Well, first off, thank you very much for your kind words. It is really good to know that other people enjoy our music as much as we do. It is our way to return the favor to all those great bands that have influenced us in one way or another. How to describe our music? That's a good one. Nowadays everybody out there is either playing "Old School Death Metal" or "Bay Area/Teutonic Thrash" or any other "retro" stuff. I hate tags, but they are unavoidable. I'd say we play pure, old and plain Death Metal. Nothing more, nothing less.
I like you are not trying to play the most extreme, fast, hard, technically etc, yet your music sounds heavy, morbid, cryptic, or mad. I think you rather maintain the quality of composition, atmosphere and controlled brutality. Would you say you are a typical old school Death Metal band?
A.P. - Thank you again. As I said before, we play what we like to play. We are trying not to copy anybody neither bring new stuff to the table. I like the songs to be catchy. I'd rather write a good song that grooves and has a memorable riff than to write a song with 1087 riffs crammed in 4 minutes of music. The atmosphere is also an aspect that we like to maintain. Specially in this genre. It needs to be dark, creepy, tense... all those feelings that, combined, make your senses cringe. Yes, I would say we are typical Death Metal. But I wouldn't say we are "Old School". What a lot of people call "Old School" is not old to me. Those bands were "happening" when I was listening to metal back then. So, they are timeless classics. Just that.
The Master Butcher - I would dare to remove “Old School” and replace it for “Traditional”…and yes…we are not trying to prove we are the fastest, most brutal or ultra technical band of the whole world…I think we are too old for that…ha ha ha …in Insepulto we are three folks that get together to pay tribute to the music we love, we are not in contest, we are not trying to convince anyone about anything…
U.Xerxes.H - Not typical if comparing our sound to what most of the bands do these days which is copying to Nihilist/Entombed, Incantation, Immolation and stuff alike. At least in my ears we are pretty far of being connected to that death metal scope. Yet, we have a link with the past, with the roots! If that make us typical in the ears of others, so be it! Because we are proud to bear upon our shoulders that spirit, that rotten spawn crawling to be manifested. As Ronald says, we are not here to prove anything to nobody.
Listening to your debut, I was trying to find out some similar bands that would be at least a little similar to your music, but it's not so easy, many bands are trying to sound like MORBID ANGEL, INCANTATION, AUTOPSY, ENTOMBED, SUFFOCATION etc. Is originality important to you, or do you think it is only coincidence you are not similar to some big famous bands?
A.P. - Well, to each his own. That's all I can say when I find bands that stand out on their own or on the other side of the coin, they try to get certain sound, evoke an era or even copy one of those big names. I can point out examples for both types of bands, but I'd better shut up and let everybody do their thing. There are bands that really bring back those feelings and some of them sound so sterile and insipid that it is ridiculous. I really don't know why INSEPULTO sounds like it does. As the main songwriter, I can only guess that my "retirement" for most of the first decade of this century, kept me away from listening to a lot of new bands that really have nothing to contribute to the genre. I am not saying I am a Death Metal savant, but I know which bands to follow: the bands that made a huge impression on me back in the day!
The Master Butcher - let’s do this exercise…how many bands have you listened trying to sound like Amon Amarth or the early Entombed?...many right, do you remember any of their names?...probably not and that’s the main problem today, bands do not have identity, most of the newer bands I listen and trying to copy established formulas to be “successful” in terms of exposure and merchandising…seems like these fellas are not trying to form a band…they are trying to make something for living and when you think like that…YOU ARE SCREWED….because you respond to what “the market” is asking for and not your conviction and all these bands are like “suppliers” of a good or a product…but there is no essence or spirit in what they do that’s why they all sound the same. Maybe my vision might sound a little…let’s say “romantic”…but I DO believe that if you are in a band and do music is because of a genuine interest in creating something from your own and not simply supply a product that is consumed by the masses without any sense…
U.Xerxes.H - Certainly, originality is something we don’t consciously search by ourselves at the time to write the songs. We don’t worry about it to be honest. But what we worried about, is to create our songs with a pinch of own touch, twinkling our influences unconsciously into our own vision of Death Metal. It is something different to embody your musical influences by projecting a personal vision of them than just sit and copying them by the sake of it. Just take a look to Obituary and their so rooted Celtic Frost vibe yet they never sounded exactly like the Swiss masters. The same goes for bands that evolved from the sound of Venom and similar bands. Other aspect that sustains our motive to be the way we are is the musical concept the songwriting sits upon and also the lyrical themes we want to explore through. All these elements, very well focused can also allow us to progress and that is something that we’ll be trying to reach in each song but always with the primal idea to evoke the spirit of the ancients.
The only thing that bothers me a bit in your music is use of a drum machine, although it has well sound, still live drummer would be better. I think with the drummer you would achieve even greater brutality and spontaneity. Why did you decide for this option? Are you going to use drum machine also in the future? Are you using machine at live shows as well?
A.P. - I concur with your opinion on this aspect. It is a fact that, no matter how good a drum machine sounds, it would never be the same as having a real drummer pounding those skins with absolute hate! We took a chance with it. I spent almost 4 months programming the drums as to have the most natural performance I could get. I used to be a drummer, so I really pushed myself into it. And there were several reasons why we decided to use the drum machine: the main one was financial. To have a real drummer come in, learn the songs and then record them, would've translated into more money for the studio. And also the time he would've taken to learn the songs. I recorded all the instruments in my home studio and we saved a lot of money by doing so. And we used that money to record the vocals, mix and master the record at Cavan Studios. Max Gutierrez, owner and engineer there, is also a good friend and a fellow musician. So we knew we had to go to him when we had everything set up.
Also, we didn't have plans to add a real drummer, since actual live shows were never in our immediate plans. Since our record came out, we had all these local friends and people asking for a live show. So, we already have two good friends, that will handle drums and guitars respectively, who will help us to finally play live. Maybe one or two shows should do the trick. We will see how that comes up in the future.
U.Xerxes.H - I’m personally not that fond on drum machines either. To those reasons A.P pointed out I would like to add that as a matter of fact, it was hard enough to get together just the three of us and try this band out once again. Our schedules are just too tight and it is actually really difficult to meet and rehearse quite often as we would wish. Remember we all have our main bands that consume our time and INSEPULTO is kind of a project for us, A VERY SERIOUS PROJECT. So, the use of this device suited perfectly at the time of the recording. Secondly, as A.P stated, finding a drummer was kind of difficult since it would take us a lot more time to accomplish filling that spot in the band and not just because financial aspects, also because being involved in this band needs more than just musical technique. It is a committed soul to the music, to the concept and to the source of its spirit. And that is something really difficult to find these days at least in Costa Rican ground.
Even a little back to the question number 7. Where actually do you take inspiration for your music? Which bands are you most often listening to? Which band had the biggest influence on your music?
The Master Butcher - ...we are three metal underground freaks…so these type of questions are where we have the chance to name bands and bands…either classic or underground …so in my case…my inspiration comes from classics from the Finnish early 90s death metal scene…Demigod, Adramelech, Purtenance, Abhorrence, Xysma, Lubricant or newer stuff like Stench of Deacy, Krypts, Ascended…I am very much into some US cult stuff such as Sadistic Intent, Skeleton of God, Solemn, Horror of Horrors, Disma, Funebrarum, Embryonic Dead, Morpheus Descends, Killing Addiction, Morgue etc…I totally worship Sarcofago and Mortem…I am a confessed fan of Horgkomostropuz from Honduras, Vibrion from Argentina, Abramelin or Destruktor from Australia…things from Sweden such as Crypt of Kerberos, Unleashed, early Entombed and Candlemass can be cited…there are too many friend that I can go on and on so better stop here…ha ha
A.P. - I am an avid fan of Florida's 90's Death Metal movement and the NWOSDM too. And I grew up on BayArea/Brazilian Thrash Metal. Thrash Metal bands from the 80's and 90's really made an impression on me. Also, back in the late 90's I started listening to a lot of different music. I widened my horizons so I could get a better grip at all the brilliant music that is out there, besides Metal.
But when it comes down to Death Metal, the UK had it all! Death Metal, Doom, Crust, Punk, you name it. It seems every band was absolutely great! Carcass, Napalm Death, Bolt Thrower, Benediction, My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost, Unseen Terror, Anathema, Cerebral Fix, Extreme Noise Terror, Defecation, Doom, Azagthoth, Cancer and the list goes on and on. And I guess that's the style that kinda shines out when you listen to INSEPULTO. Ha Ha Ha!
U.Xerxes.H - Just like my folks, we just share the same bunch of bands as source of influence. To make things short I would name bands the means a lot to me from different scenes: ACHERON, BENEDICTION, NAPALM DEATH, MORBID ANGEL, MAYHEM, DEATH, MASSACRE, IMPALED NAZARENE, BOLT THROWER, ASPHYX, GOREFEST, CARCASS, ENTOMBED, MASACRE (Colombia), SARCOFAGO, MYSTIFIER, VULCANO, HEADHUNTER D.C and that’s it!
What could you write about the scene in Costa Rica? Seems that Metal has pretty decent tradition in your country even though many your bands are not such known as bands from the USA or Sweden. Could you recommend some your bands you consider as the best? What is the position of Metal in Costa Rica and how is it perceived? Do you have also any trendy metal bands?
The Master Butcher - well my friend…I’ve seen the local scene changing quite a lot from the days when were just starting. Back in the 90s everything was harder in terms of finding places to rehearse and even finding people interested and with the equipment necessary to be in a band. Besides of these limitations, we had to deal with a social phenomenon that derived from a Concert named “Craneo Metal” (Metal Skull would be the translation), for some reason, that show got a lot of negative exposure and the people who assisted were labeled as “satanics”…something really crude for a very conservative society like the Costa Rican back in the 90s…so after that incident…I could say that 90% of the bands simply disappeared…it was almost a crime to wear a black shirt after that show…cops could stop you just because we were perceived as criminals. This perception gave to the metal music certain feeling of “clandestinity”…something that summed to the limitations, created a 2nd generation of metal heads that had to deal with that “hostile” environment and for that reason, for us…metal is completely conceived in a different manner.
A.P. - All I can say about the scene in Costa Rica is that we are not as developed as in other countries. The Underground movement was not big back in the day. And it has been kinda dragging for the last 20 years, but the internet and all these "digital collectors" have not helped at all. I am not taking merit from the ones who deserve it. But all this sudden "retro" trend really gets on my nerves. I mean, I tend to ignore it, but it's everywhere you go.
The exposure levels are not as good. Most of the bands do their own gigs, they pay for independent releases, merch etc. And to top it off, the local market is small. So basically, if there is no money from promotion, you can't go out there with the "big dogs" or at least, attract middle to big size label interest.
Band wise, the scene has been growing steadily for the last decade, but it still lacks some aspects that could help a lot and make it better. There are great musicians and lots of talented bands, going anywhere from Jazz to Grindcore. If I had to recommend metal bands, regardless of sub-genres, I'd say you need to check out the following: Morbid Funeral, Advent of Bedlam, Corpse Garden, Cold Grim, Colemesis, Paganus Doctrina, Mummified, Violent, Versus Cristus, Time's Forgotten, Alastor S.E. and lots more. Or look up some bands from Costa Rica. I'm sure you'll find a band you like.