Well, you just released your new album on Unmatched Brutality, entitled "Voyage towards Abhorrence", how was the response for it? Have you had good reviews for the moment? Are you satisfied with this CD?
Florian (guitars): Personally I still am very satisfied with the current Ingurgitating Oblivion album. Certainly, there are generally some bits and pieces I wish I would have done in a different way, but that is due to my all-embracing ambition I suppose, haha. Honestly, all in all I am quite happy with the result still. Unmatched Brutality have done a decent job so far – they believe in us and we surely appreciate their support. The critical response regarding the current album is overwhelmingly positive. Many reviewers stated that they were surprised that we exist as a band and that they are more than pleased about the tracks. I mean – sure thing, that goes without saying – the album is a solid piece of Metal, haha. There were some negative responses as well – but that’s clear really. It would be strange if we convinced everyone with what we think is a good Death Metal album.
Ulrich (vocals): In general we are all still satisfied with the album. If we were to record it now, some things might be different but for that period it was the the best we could come up with, hehe. As a matter of fact we could gain some new experiences concerning technical details, time schedules and so on – the recording definitely proved the importance of a well thought schedule and planning in advance. In hindsight I wish that I had more time to work the samples into the material as some bits got buried in the mix… talking of new experiences!
I was totally surprised about your CD, I had never listened to any tracks of Ingurgitating Oblivion before, I even didn't know the band, and which was my surprise when I discovered you had three previous albums plus a demo and a split, but all were self-released. I can't imagine there were no labels who wanted to release your music. So please tell us a bit about those previous works and what happened before signing with your new label.
Florian (guitars): Oh well – we have gone the usual tiring way through the demo band phase as a lot of bands still do. It is tedious really – at some point you really ask yourself why things just don’t work out the way you envisage them you know. When I started the band eight years ago I was convinced of my musical visions as I still am nowadays. The goal has always been a focus upon producing high-quality Metal with a lot of emotion to it. That is to say emotion in the sense that we put a lot of personal energy into the music bearing in mind a definite idea of what we want to sound like – deep, always interesting and sincere. Prior to the “Voyage towards Abhorrence” output we have self-released three quasi-demos. All these publications were not exclusively meant to serve as demos – spreading them to the labels was one intention of them being published; the other purpose was, of course, a documentation of what the band sounded like at a certain point in time and, apart from that, the possibility of presenting to others what we were capable of as a band. Besides, I mean this really is one of the main point when it comes to releasing your band’s material, isn’t it?!
Ulrich (vocals): In case anybody out there happens to be interested in the older material and wants to know how the band sounded in previous forms – feel free to drop us a line and check out our site. Most recordings are still available from us.
Now, about "Voyage towards Abhorrence", how long did all the process of composition and recording take? As I said in my review of the CD, for me it has both feeling and technique at highest level, which is not easy at all. Which are your feelings towards this CD? What goals did you want to achieve with it?
Florian (guitars): First and foremost, it is an incredibly good feeling to know that there are some people out there getting our CDs and T-Shirts, listening to our music etc. About the composition of the tracks … hmmm, I think we had been working on the songs for about one and a half years or perhaps even two!? Something along these lines. The actual recording took one and a half weeks … but then the editing, mixing, mastering etc. is extremely time-consuming you know. Yeah, feeling and a certain degree of complexity are integral to our music, you are right. The ideas we have evolve in phases – I usually have these annoying phases where there are no ideas whatsoever; and those that pop up during such a period are just mediocre in my eyes. But then there are times where the Metal flows (to quote good old Chuck) and ideas come naturally and abundantly. So there must not be any pushing party but rather a feeling of relaxation and creativity and possible song fragments will manifest straight away.
Ulrich (vocals): Goals to achieve? I think that I can say that we plan to become a force that has to be reckoned with in the realm of Death Metal – nothing more, nothing less. You have been warned…
Your music reminds me a lot of the darkest Brutal Death Metal bands like Immolation or Morbid Angel on the one hand and the more technical ones, like Cryptopsy, for example on the other. Which bands had a direct influence on your music? Do you prefer the former or the latter ones? What do you think of all those bands that only try to play as fast as possible without searching any feeling in the music (I'm not telling I don't like them, hehe)?
Florian (guitars): cheers for the praise, man. Well, I personally appreciate the music of the acts you have just named. Incantation, for instance, inspire me a lot when it comes to almost physical evilness in Death Metal music, Morbid Angel have this ethereal atmosphere imbuing their music and Immolation … well, Immolation are beyond sanction as it were. They really catch some hellish vibes I suppose … it feels great listening to their music. A somewhat perverted approach to an assumption that principally refers to you feeling good – but then I certainly have a perverted approach to what I perceive as beautiful and bounteous.
Ulrich: Our tastes in Death Metal amalgamate into what we create I would say so it is a bit hard to pinpoint exactly which style we prefer. Personally, I get my kicks out of depraved and primitive formations such as Anal Vomit, Goat Molestör, Cauldron Black Ram as well as out of technical material such as Wormed, Disconformity or Gorguts.
Tell us a bit about the lyrical part of Ingurgitating Oblivion because I think it is quite complex? What subjects influence you when you have to write the lyrics, just every day's happenings, some books or what else? Which band’s lyrics do you find especially interesting?
Florian (guitars): Ohh, you should never ask me about Ingurgitating Oblivion’s lyrics, dude, hahaha. I might get into a tantrum and talk about it for ages. Life is inspiring and reflecting inspiration in the lyrics is what I simply do when I write. It is basically just a particular view of things that makes me contemplate life in my words. I have firm ideas about aesthetics and life’s structures, and these ideas help me pondering and actually writing things down. I could principally write about anything – it does not matter. When I am of the impression that an impulse is strong enough, affecting me in some way, it will be digested in my lyrics. I have, then, a certain way of expressing myself in reality and by means of words and apply it to both realms.
Ulrich: Inspiration can come from almost every source. I prefer not to elaborate on the subject of them as I think that much more can unfold out of them when their inner core is not spoken out… I almost never try to make a thesis or something similar and use the rest of the lyrics to explain or propagate that. I use words to paint expressions and states of conciousness, trying to tap the shadows of existence so to say. In general I find some aspects of Hinduism and Buddhism very interesting and inspiring for my thoughts. I like the idea that the lyrics tend to write themselves and that I am a mere medium. The words assemble themselves to a pattern like the beams of the sun when shining through foliage.
About your label, Unmatched Brutality, how did you get in contact with them? What do you think about their work? Do you like the other bands which the label has released?
Florian (guitars): I think Unmatched Brutality do a killer job. We really owe them a lot. They have done great promotional work so far. We have done loads of interviews which they sorted out for us. A lot of new contacts evolved following their support. So nothing to complain about in that respect really. We got in touch with UBR because we sent them a demo CD and they responded to that approach by offering to us a contract. Great thing that. We had the idea of getting in touch with them because of some of their releases which we like – Brodequin, Inveractiy, Liturgy. I mean – it still is a strange feeling being a bit of an exotic act among the UBR bands. Consider the fact that UBR basically host gory blast-acts, which certainly have high qualities, but definitely also a totally different approach to Metal than we have. I like some of the UBR releases for sure: Inveracity, Brodequin and Liturgy are cool acts. Retch are cool, too … I know some Prostitute Disfigurement tracks as well. I am not too fond of these hyper-blast beat bands that only exist to achieve all-time records when it comes to speed. Not my thing …
Ulrich: Nothing more to add – so far their work has been great! Be sure to keep your eyes open for the debut of Infected Malignity from Japan to be released on UBR!
What about live shows? Are you preparing any tour or shows to play the new songs live? Do you often play in your area? Any festival appearances? Which bands would you like to play with? The best ones you have already played with?
We do not play that frequently as a matter of fact. But this will hopefully change in the future because we have an agency working for us now - http://www.theprophecyagency.nl/ So that will be sussed out soon. If there are any gig offers we usually go for it … so come on. I would like to share the stage with bands like Gorguts, Primordial, Mortem, Coffin Texts (impossible I guess), Abhorrence, My Dying Bride (believe it or not, haha). The best and nicest (when it comes to personnel) bands I have ever played with definitely are: Hidden in the Fog and Island (back then they were called Kosmoswald). The members of these bands are really good friends of ours!!!
Ulrich: Cool bands to play with would be Defeated Sanity, Ophiolatry, Wormed, Incantation, Eviscium… by far too many to mention!
Ok, to end with the CD, I think the cover is quite interesting, but I still don't understand the meaning of it. So explain to us the concept behind it. How important are the covers of your releases for you? Who did the design of this one?
Florian (guitars): The cover design is as important as the lyrics and everything the band represents. We think a lot about such details. Thus, we spent quite some time, too, finding the right and most appropriate design. I personally cannot give you a clear-cut and straight answer to your question. In a way the cover-design is a project of its own – it is carried out separately, actually quite independent of the lyrics and conceptual ideas of the album. To me, of course, it all makes a lot of sense in the end because we do such things intuitively and thus it all fits wonderfully on account of the fact that the rest of what the band really stands for is produced in a rather intuitive fashion, too. For me the most important thing is an aesthetic satisfaction – and as mentioned above, we have high standards in that respect. Basically we come up with ideas and think about how these can be combined. In this instance it is graphical elements. Limbs as part of this creature that manifests from ether on the cover make sense because they are traits of humanity – but this in a warped way. The whole structure is contorted and so is the music. Then the design is arranged centripetally – which is sensible again on a spiritual level. Well I could philosophise like that for ages, paying heed to the semiotic dimension of what we write and depict. But think a bit as well, buddie, hahaha …
Ulrich: Well, Tim and I came up with a vague concept, I provided him with further ideas and most of the graphic elements and sources that found their way into the actual artwork. Again, as with the lyrics, I won´t give a clear answer as I think it is evocative enough to speak for itself Even though the artwork has not been created for the lyrics it fits… try to see it in connection with the title “Voyyage Towards Abhorrence” and the intro, “Unfolding”.
The perpective of the person looking at the picture is guided towards the “thing” unfolding via means of composition, going on a voyage so to say. Who knows, there might be angles to it that I haven´t envisioned or never will… actually I am certain of that.
Do you guys play in other bands? Tell us a bit about them. Are you preparing any new projects? How easy is it in your area to find people to play in bands? Are there many places to play live? Tell us about some nice bands from your area.
Florian (guitars): I do not play in any other bands, and hell … I am darn happy about it. I used to play in other bands. One band which I started too was Gallery of Darkness. We started off as a Black Metal act and then changed the music into Death Metal. We ceased working with that band two or three years ago. Then I once played in a very technical act called Into the Matrix … I started the band together with some friends who now play in Obscenity and who used to play in BK 49 (killer Thrash act) - we disbanded after some months of rehearsing though. It was just too tough for all of us doing all these projects at once … and then there is stuff to be paid attention to beside the band shit, too you know … . No projects planned whatsoever on my side. Can’t be fucked, man. To stick to your other question – it definitely is not easy to find people who are willing to play the kind of music which we play. I mean there are some Metalheads around, but most of them have their own bands or they are incapable of playing and instrument well enough or they simply are morons (here some of the aforementioned individuals are certainly included, haha). There are some places for live shows, but they are frequently used for Metal gigs – and it is getting annoying if there is too many gigs in a certain time. We try to play as few shows as possible in our own region --- you know, it is always a bit of an awkward situation playing in front of people you know well. There are not many good bands from our area I tell you. Despondency are a great brutal Death Metal act. The Awakening are ok, too … but most of the bands I don’t like on the one hand or I bear a grudge against them for some reason. Ulrich, you sort out this last bit, don’t ya?!?!?!
Ulrich: I don´t exactly play in another band… I have some old stuff up my sleeve which is also Death Metal but nowhere near the sound of IO. I have this shit in my head for so long that my pals actually make jokes whether I will ever something with these ideas or not. Well, my fault really…
There are many different bands to be found, one of more well-know is certainly Obscenity who will release a new album soon so watch out! Anasarca surely ring a bell to several readers I think. I am not certain how things are working out at their camp – there was talk of a new album but don´t quote me. Another important and great band is Fearer who also have a new album out now. A nice newcomer from this town is Fetocide.
Now tell me about the last albums that surprised you. Which music styles do you prefer to listen to? Only metal or anything that sounds good to you? And any big disappointments lately?
Florian (guitars): The new Hate Eternal record surprised me in a positive way – good sound again, killer riffs. I admire the current Gorguts CDs – they are simply ingenious! I also love the latest Strapping Young Lad and Meshuggah outputs – maniacs, I tell you, man. Band that disappointed me are acts like Morbid Angel, The Shining … that’s all a bit too predictable I’d say. I listen to a lot of post-rock material such as Goodspeed You Black Emperor, Pollis, Kaligma, Gaston – these acts inspire me when it comes to ultimately complex song structures in terms of rhythmic ideas. I still listen a lot to classical music (my faves are the Russian composers still: Shostakovich, Rachmaninov, Rimsky-Korsakov … then I also like some Hip Hop acts or electronic stuff … it depends.
Ulrich: Surprised? Phew, the new Bolt Thrower, albeit in a negative way – much to my dismay. Anal Vomit´s “Demoniac Flagellations” truly caught me offguard – I knew some older stuff but the album is a pure hellride! The demo and the debut album from Coffins from Japan are absolutely marvellous pieces of doomridden Death Metal, essential so to say. The split CD of the demos of Necros Christos and Goat Molestör was a real eye opener… filthy and dark metal, great! Coming to slightly more modern approach, the debut of Melek Taus blew me away! Fucking ungodly dark fast Death Metal, even better than their previous incarnation Dominus Xul. The new record by Scent Of Death was also excellent and itr came out of nowhere – at least for me.
Besides metal I listen to loads of electronic music. Drum and Bass used to be high on my priority list but as time evolved I grew more and more fond of twisted Breakcore and similar cut-up massacres… Venetian Snares, Drumcorps, Enduser, Hecate, Donna Summer being some of them. Glitch recordings also have a place in my heart… Yet the acts which are most interesting for me are from the genres of Power Electronics, Industrial, Dark Ambient, Drone and experimental (non) music in general. Some faves of mine are Inade, Haus Arafna, Culpis, Tardive Dyskinesia, Akira Rabelais, Bad Sector… actually too much to mention! To round up that wild mixture I also dig some 60ies big band stuff or longy stuff.. it can even be chanson sometimes or some genuine folklore (I hate Folk Metal, by the way). Whatever it is: I go for the “real” thing – no half-assed shit or I will puke in all colours of the rainbow!
Well, this is the end of the interview, so I thank you for answering my questions and just hope they were not too boring. Last words are yours if you want to say something to your followers...
Florian (guitars): Cheers for the interview and the support, bro. The questions were definitely not boring … actually some very interesting points that are usually not mentioned in the interviews which we do. Good luck with your mag, cheers to all our friends and followers – hopefully we meet up one day having a glass of beer. Check out our label’s website to get more information about our killer label Unmatched Brutality Records at www.unmatchedbrutality.com plus have a look at ours at www.ingurgitating-oblivion.de. Cheers!
Ulrich: Thanks a lot for the support! If somebody is interested in obtaining our previous recordings drop us a line! As almost all shirts we have are gone be sure to check out UBR as they still have the shirt with the album cover on it. We are planning to print another design but that is more than likely to take some months until we do it. All the best and hope to see you at a show soon!
Gia Thanatos is a webzine dedicated to music for the apocalyptic times. No matter the scene or genre it comes from, and mainly chosen according to its author's taste.