Saturday, 15 March 2014

Interview with Insepulto (Costa Rica)

For those who don’t know Insepulto from Costa Rica, they play death metal. When it comes to Insepulto's music, it is not simply death metal. Insepulto is more a traditional type of death metal band. The début ‘Morbid Spawn of Resurrection’ is not something to be forgotten fast as this album is death metal perfection besides shall always stay pristine, without factors like 'time' and 'age' affecting it. I say “If you’re old school death metal maniac, you are going to love this band. If you’re not OSDM aficionados perhaps you should check out this band anyway”. Read this interview to know more about the band. Undoubtedly one of the best death metal bands around there.  

1) Let me ask you an important question first. How important are these promotions to you/band? 

The Master Butcher – First off, thanks for the chance my brutal friend. And concerning your question, we really take seriously the interviews. Actually, every interview that we have received has been responded by the three of us. That pretty much shows what interviews mean for us.

U.Xerxes.H - First and foremost, thank you so much by giving us this space to promote INSEPULTO. Well, to me is one of the most important aspects for the band. Doing interview is the best way to know what’s exactly behind the aims of the band as about its concept, ideology and stuff related to its universe. So, as for us go, answering interviews is the most important aspect of all this work we do for INSEPULTO since it is the way for the people to know how much involved we are in the concept we purvey.

A.P. - Hello Ebby. Thank you for your interest in INSEPULTO. The music will always speak for itself. But we firmly believe that reviews and interviews are the most basic and most important ways of promotion. That is how one gets to know the individuals behind the aural concept.

2) The next album is getting structured and bastardized in full glory methinks.

The Master Butcher – Yes…we are in the process of building it. Alfonso has been composing really cool stuff, Gilbert is also bringing some of his ideas and so far I've written some lyrics for songs such as “Just another Fucking Growl”, “Moribund Sentinels of the Abyss” and so forth. In general terms I would say that Insepulto, musically speaking maintains the punch and heaviness of our 1st obscure aura to our sound…but all in all…we keep praising our devotion to this music through the band.

U.Xerxes.H - Well, there isn't that much to say. We are just preparing the material and thus far just some full completed songs are ready. There is no title yet and at least we have some sketches for what is going to be the visuals as about pictures, lyrical concept and front cover. Yet, there is nothing concise. The only concrete news about it is the fact we are going to release it via Spanish label, Memento Mori since their offer was pretty much what we strived to get and thus far it has been the best choice for us.

A.P. - I think this album will be different. On our début album, the music was all mine and I was composing and structuring everything by myself. This time I am getting a lot of feedback from U.X.H. and the Master Butcher. So you can expect the same attitude towards Death Metal in general, but with some new influences and a lot more darkness and evilness in the atmosphere. Some of the songs are already done and they sound really dense and pounding! I do think we will achieve a much heavier sound with the new material, adding the usual INSEPULTO style of mid-paced Death Metal we have been striving for since the beginning.

3) Do you think that you do have a much possibilities of forming a full line-up at the moment for a live performance? Or is it insurmountable effort?

The Master Butcher – We've spoken about playing live, I shouldn't see any problem finding people to complete the line-up for that. But I don’t know. So far we've been concentrated in the album. Some time ago I heard that we could have some chances to play a big festival here called “Rock en el Farolito”, but we said it was better to use our time and efforts with the new album. However, I know we will be playing live in the near future…hopefully we can record it.

U.Xerxes.H -  I think it is possible but it isn't something we long for at the moment. I would like to play live with INSEPULTO, the music has been written to get the shit out of everybody when being in the pit. But at this point, some aspects should be solved before we would consider forming a full line up for such a task. We’ll see... I don’t know at this point what would happen in the end. So far, we would take care to write and record the next album and we’ll see if we set a whole line up for a live performance.

A.P. - So far, everything has worked steadily and smooth enough for us to remain a 3 piece band. That is our core. But a live performance has been talked about more and more. Enough people has already asked about it. Even though the logistics are somewhat complicated, I do think we will eventually have the chance (or chances) to play live. We have 2 persons in mind, a guitar player and a drummer and they are interested in joining us live. I can tell you that the possibilities for a live show increase exponentially with time.

Morbid Spawn of Resurrection.
4) What has the last 20 years been like for you guys? Band formed in 1993, début album in 2012. A long gap indeed. How have you kept yourself busy in this long period? For example? 

The Master Butcher – Yeah, quite an indeed gap I must say. But the truth is after letting Insepulto rotting in the grave for 20 years, the three of us concentrated in our bands. In my case I was really focused with Pseudostratiffied Epithelium, a band that Alfonso, another friend named Johanns and I, formed in 1992. After recording a promo 1993 called “Grotesque Genital Dismemberment” Alfonso was out and I remained with new members and recorded an Ep called “Sodomizing Children Corpses” and a Split CD called “Sinistrous Necromantika”. Then I got offline the scene for some years and and came back in 2003 with a new band that I'm still currently with called Mummified, so far we’ve recorded a MCD called “Protocol of Mummification” and our full length album “Embalming the Nazarene”. Besides of this we've kept active searching music and reading quite a lot interviews and reviews. So we've always been “updated” on what the underground is producing.

U.Xerxes.H -  As about me is concerned, I've been busy with CTTIH MAG and also with PAGANUSDOCTRINA which are my main priorities when it comes to metal. Anyway; I wasn't part of the former line up which took place back in the 90’s as it was the case for A.P and Ronald. So, I took part of this band until 2008 when it came out from the grave.

A.P. - Both Master Butcher and me were part of the original line up along the other guys, but since we never went past the concept, a photo shoot and some music, I can't even consider calling it a band back in 1993. It was a project and it remained as such until I brought back the name in 2007. It got stuck in my mind since then, because I wanted it to happen all along. The idea of having all these guys involved was great. Sadly, nothing happened with the original line up. I kinda retired from the Underground scene in the late 90's and went to play and write songs with other bands. I also widened my horizons listening to a lot of different music I foolishly ignored for years. I played with 6 or 7 different bands, ranging from Hard Rock to Thrash to Contemporary Metal and some Hardcore. Music wise, I got stuck with my favourite albums from the 80's and 90's and never really got into post-2000 metal scene. So yes, I was busy, but kinda far from the Underground.

5) You grew up listening to 80’s, 90’s metal, so you've literally seen different eras in metal and you guys must have good enough experience.

The Master Butcher - Well yes, we’re veterans in this metal thing to say the least and in my case I've seen several fashions through the time. For example the Sepultura fashion in the 90s where every band wanted to sound like the “Beneath the Remains/Arise” then the Pantera fever. So again, everybody wanted to copy that approach. More recently I've seen tons of female fronted bands sounding the same or the Melodic Metal Core trend…in the end, I've confirmed that good bands go beyond fashions or trends.

U.Xerxes.H -  Well, yeah! That’s right. We've seen the emerging and dawn of trends. We have been exposed to a lot of music which at least to me has allowed be to enjoy almost every metal style available, others more than others, but that’s part of the game I guess. I can listen to every band and enjoy it without attaching me to absurd “true metal” argots and pussy crap like that. Too much mumbling in the scene if it would make a difference if you enjoy Slipknot or Benediction. Who gives a slight fuck, anyway? As about creating music is concerned, I guess we all got experience enough to shape our own crap and delivering it to the world. However, in my case, I'm still learning.

A.P. - Time is just a sense of continuity and it shouldn't matter. But the scene and the Underground have managed to stay the same, for the better. As individuals, we all met back in the day and still we have our own points of view of the 80's, the 90's and the post-2000 eras. We share the same opinions and the same taste for music. And that is a great aid when writing music and lyrics and setting all the aspects that we think work better for us as a band in our genre. Experience also helps a lot. We know what to do and what not to do. We have seen a vast number of people/bands come and go and we certainly want to transcend this dimensional plane as individuals and as a band.

6) Which bands do you consider as an integral influence on the music of Insepulto?

The Master Butcher – In my case I have plenty of bands I totally worship. For example I’ pretty much into 90s Finnish death metal: Demigod, Adramelech, Purtenance, Rippikoulu are total gods for me. I like some US stuff such as Horror of Horrors, Embryonic Dead, Sadistic Intent, Skeleton of God and I always have had deep admiration for Abramelin from Australia…fuck…what a band!!! And also, among my favourite of all times, there is one band from Honduras called Horgkomostropus. Simply brilliant for those who seek that evil and obscure sound in death metal. Newer bands? Sure there are many I worship, for example Krypts, The Ascended or Stench of Decay from Finland…Burial Invocation from Turkey, Denial from Mexico…Dead Congregation, The Grotesquery, Funebrarum, Horrendous, Superior Enlightenment and so many others. I mean, I try to search new bands despite the fact that the majority of what you find out there might be a copy crap of some mainstream bullshit. And U.Xerxes.H says - To me, it’s pretty simple. The bands that influenced us are basically the pillars of our own current taste as about Death Metal, the kind we grew up with and still fiercely get hold on to. So, bands that influences our shit comes from BOLT THROWER, DEMILICH, BENEDICTION, DEICIDE, MALEVOLENT CREATION, MORBID ANGEL, ACHERON, NAPALM DEATH, GOREFEST, GORGUTS, PESTILENCE, NIHILIST – ENTOMBED, DISMEMBER, UNLEASHED, among a long list. Today, I listen to the old fathers of the genre but also the new death metallic breeds. I didn’t get stuck in the past you see, I listen to almost everything in metal is concerned and other non metal music. From HAIL OF BULLETS, NECROS CHRISTOS, FUNEBRARUM to SLIPKNOT, 30 SECONDS TO MARS, TERRY REID, DAFT PUNK, and a lot of music. I’m not tied to only one musical style. Anyway, the music I feel more connection with are Black Metal in its rawer satanic verge and also Hard Rock Glam Heavy metal. As you can see, I'm an open minded bastard, a ” poser” if you wish!

A.P. -  I can easily pinpoint my main influences and most of them show throughout INSEPULTO's music, in my humble opinion. The whole British Death Metal/Crust/Punk scene had a huge impact on me back then and still does. Bands such as NAPALM DEATH, CARCASS, BENEDICTION, DOOM, AZAGTHOTH, EXTREME NOISE TERROR, BOLT THROWER, CEREBRAL FIX, ELECTRO HIPPIES, PARADISE LOST, MY DYING BRIDE, DEFECATION, UNSEEN TERROR, ONSLAUGHT and all the others. They had it all: the heavy as fuck production, the "I don't give a fuck"-Punk attitude and the means to hit you with a wall of sound so dense that everything else sounded tiny in comparison. I mean, I am also a huge fan of the mid-late 80's Brazilian scene, the 90's USA/Florida Death Metal scene and the NWOSDM. And yes, I might say I find myself listening to a lot of my favourite albums pre-2000. I am not stuck in the past, but I don’t listen to old stuff a tad more than I listen to new stuff. Also, I have discovered a bunch of new bands that impressed me and surprised me in all levels. Some of those brilliant bands that have been in my playlist for a while are: PORTAL, DISMA, ALTARS, BOLZER, BLOCKHEADS, INSECT WARFARE, INSORCIST, SULPHUR AEON, GRAVE MIASMA, BLASPHERIAN, MITHOCONDRION and EMBRACE OF THORNS, just to name a few. Unique music made by unique individuals. I am glad I got to discover them, because nowadays, you need to be selective. There are way too many bands and albums out there and just a percentage of them may be worth your time and money.

7) Everybody among us likes and knows early Xysma, old Disgrace, Nihilist, Abhorrence (of Finland), etc. Bands like these truly define that death metal and extreme metal in general is nothing less than grotesque aural art. Do you think that Death metal is one of the most excellent canvases for portraying the artistic excellence? And that’s why you formed INSEPULTO.

The Master Butcher – Absolutely agree with you my friend. Death Metal is a type of music meant to be evil and obscure. That’s why I just can’t understand how these new bands are playing that happy type of so called death metal. Seems like their main goal is to get more attention from the media and for that, they got to have a friendlier image and concept, soft enough to be accepted by the majority of this new public that consumes such product. However I wouldn't say we formed Insepulto to say/teach “this is how death metals should be or should sound”. Not at all. We formed this band because we praise this music much and took our devotion to another level.

U.Xerxes.H -  I think music as a whole is an excellent canvases to portrait artistic excellence, no matter the style. So, Death Metal is the one to portrait the essence of death, despair, rottenness, disgust, satanic worship that defines the non conventional aspects of human life. So on that department, the style accomplishes its task. We did form the band just because it pleases us to play this music and we enjoy it so much. There’s no hocus pocus behind this art we play, there is not a definitive ideology although I myself hold to a Satanic Ethos, but as a band there’s nothing related as ideology to purvey.

A.P. - I agree with you Ebby, up to a certain point. Artistic excellence can be achieved in a lot of different ways. True art is original, non-compromised, detailed and chaotic at the same time. It's been said that most art expressions can only be product of madmen. Picasso's art was once considered grotesque, as well as Poe's, Nietzsche's and Dali's. Death Metal shares all of these pre-conceptions. It is a perfect medium of expression, the expression of Death itself! It is darkness, evil and the grotesque made music. Whoever invented the genre as it is, namely POSSESSED, SLAUGHTER, MANTAS/DEATH or any of the other pioneers, they were madmen. Going against the world, bringing sheer aggression and brutality to a world oblivious to evil. INSEPULTO is our way of showing our respect to these madmen. It is our way of expression and devotion to a genre that marked us in a lot of ways back in the day. We are not going to set the bar higher or to bring new stuff to the table. It's all about the music and the feeling behind it.

8) How do you perceive the kind of death metal albums being made today, and how do you see yourself fitting to it? [There are people who belong to the "iT sUkZ cUz iTz noT oLd sKeWlZ" category as well whereas as bad as people who think old school sucks because it's not technical. [Laughs] just saying but yeah it’s a fact].

The Master Butcher –Yes. Quite a controversial I must say. My point of view here is that I don’t care if a band is new or old. That’s secondary, as long as the band has its own personality and feeling. And as long as isn't a mere copy of something else, for me is enough. I feel deep respect for a band like, lets say Demigod or Krypts. There might be 20 years of difference between each other, but both are simply great. They're not similar at all, but both preserve the feeling of obscure heavy death metal from Finland…get my point?

U.Xerxes.H -  Quite honestly we don’t do things to fit. We just do our shit with the primal aim that we should like it first. That may sound as a cliché but is an absolute truth regarding our way to create our songs. I don’t give a slight fuck if the bands are technique or “simple” in structure as long as it keeps the essence of its concept and achieves to transcend a feeling more than just a fucking showing off contest with no horizon at all. I like some of the new records released, I think there are very cool bands working their shit such are HORRENDOUS, GRAVEYARD, BACKYARD MORTUARY, NECRO CHRISTOS, GRAVE MIASMA, FORCE OF DARKNESS, among a hell of other great bands. But there are other cheap clones that the only thing they do is to fill the lowest scope of fifth rate crap!

A.P. -  It's curious. For all these new "I listen to metal because it is cool" fans, I've met a few individuals, that despise being relatively new to metal, already have that Underground attitude towards the scene. It's good to know that these guys at least have made up their minds when it comes down to keeping the Underground alive. On the other hand, I absolutely hate that tag. Back in the day, the music and the bands now labelled as "Old School" were happening. They were going around, putting out demos, 7"s and albums. That is how I got to discover the genre and some of it's finest exponents. So, all that "Old School" is not old at all to me. Now, it doesn't matter if you talk about PESTILENCE, ATHEIST, GORGUTS or any other technical Death Metal bands. In the end, technical or primitive, it is all Death Metal!

9) You guys aim to restore the essence of 90’s death metal through the compositions I think because ‘Morbid Spawn of Resurrection’ is a barrage of pure old school death metal perfection. Great vocals, feel-good riffs, groovy and a great production work. It’s done in the best way possible I think. It cannot get any better than this in this day methinks. Do Insepulto seek to ‘revive’ death metal?

The Master Butcher – Wow, thanks for the words my friend. As mentioned somewhere above, I think we've always wanted to do just one thing with Insepulto and that is to praise the music we so much like. The music that has been with us for the past 20 years. For some reason, we just can’t sit down and listen other bands. We needed to do our own thing…ha ha ha…is kind of a narcotic dependence we have!!!

U.Xerxes.H -  Thanks for the compliments my friend! I don’t think we aim to revive death metal, we just play the kind of death metal we love the most and with the one with grew up and got fun with. So, that pretty simple. There is nothing beyond that other than experience the old flame still running in our veins.

A.P. -  Thank you for your comments. It is good to know that you and other people enjoy listening to our music as much as we enjoy writing it. INSEPULTO is not here to bring back Death Metal. Death Metal has been constant since 1980. It has remained unburied, undead and in deep slumber in the Underground. And that is where it will remain eternally, in my humble opinion. We just wanted to pay homage to our influences and favourite bands! That's all.

10) Had you debuted album back in the 90’s, rather than today, do you think your band would have had a better recognition?

The Master Butcher - It’s hard to say that. Now, being completely honest, recognition has never been something we consciously seek forth. Don’t take me wrong, we feel really pleased with the response obtained from people. It feels great to know that so many people share the same vision for this music. But we do what we do just because we like it. We all live normal lives, pay bills, family and work, so this music and the band is, at least in my case, a component in my life to keep everything balanced.

U.Xerxes.H -  Not at all! I think releasing INSEPULTO up to these days was the great choice time did for us. Back then promoting a band was really difficult because we were all teenagers and most of us did not have a job so we couldn't cost any promotion, qualified studio and experience to record an album. It was better to let time do its course and wait although we didn't aim to reactivate the band consciously, it just happened. For me, having a trio in the band and the facilities technology provide us to record and produce, make everything easier to write the music and present it on a qualified professional way and there’s no room for cheap standards now.

A.P. -  Well, looking back in time, I really don't think that our album could've been released back then, for a bunch of reasons. Also, technology has advanced a lot and it definitely helped us with our début album. Recognition? INSEPULTO is not making music for such trivial reasons as recognition. We make music for ourselves. And if there are people out there who share our vision and like what we do, it's all a plus. But that is about it.

11) What were your major influences while making “Morbid Spawn of Resurrection” Of course comparisons with early Deicide/Bolt Thrower are inevitable as are shades of it.

The Master Butcher – Music wise, I think Alfonso is the right person to talk as he composed the entire album. For the vocal work I wanted to do something really focused on a type phrasing that added heaviness and rhythm to the music. I've always thought Glen Benton is one of the best singers because you can follow each of the words he sings and I wanted to reinforce that legible approach; not the vocal tones but the clarity and metrics in the phrasing. Gilbert is pretty much connected with things such as Mistifyer, Embrace of Thorns and bands into that line, so he brings some of it also.

U.Xerxes.H -  Well, there’s not much to say actually. As about me is concerned, I guess I answered part of this question somewhere above. Anyway, it was amusing when we decided to re-record the whole album because we just didn't feel comfortable with it. So, everything was delayed but the waiting was worth of it.

A.P. -  As I mentioned my main influences in one of the answers above, you may already have an idea of the musical point I was at when writing and putting together the riffs and the songs for our début album. Curious enough, most of these riffs and songs I recorded when I was "away" from the Underground between 1997 and 2007. I had been working with other bands and other types of music. So, when inspiration hit, I kept recording whatever came to my mind. In the end, I used almost all of these ideas for INSEPULTO. Somewhere left behind, but you never know. I may use them for our second album.

12) The first track ‘Epitome of Rigor Mortis’ is a sheer aesthetics of death metal stumbles right from the first tune. The vocal is another aspect adding to the total appeal of the band other than the music and lyrics.

U.Xerxes.H -  On this department, I will let The Master Butcher do his remarks. I just like the fucking song so much and love every piece of it. So you crazy bastard, be my guest here and do your job! Ha ha ha!

The Master Butcher – Thanks. Insepulto vocals are really made thinking the phrasing. Adding heaviness and punch to the overall atmosphere the music evokes. Lyrically speaking, I tend to write about general things in a death metal way, For example, I did a couple of lyrics dealing with the three of us like “The Posthumous Trinity” or the one called “Epitome of Rigor Mortis” deals with the bands we’re or have been connected(Colemesis-Paganus Doctrina and Pseudostratiffied Epithelium). Now for the new album I did a song called “Moribund Sentinels of the Abyss” that pretty much serves as a tribute to the old Costa Rican bands that started the whole thing here in the early 90s. So the story goes about a person that arrives to a mausoleum at the border of an abyss and, once entering, finds all the ancient bands covered by time and dust still beholding the scene from that abyss. So it is not just a mere listing of bands, but I am name them all in certain moments. Gilbert also writes cool lyrics but his approach differs from mine.

13) Gilbert’s bass work on the album is laudable. It shows that he’s meticulous about crafting the music for bands he working on. Omnipotense Aeternae Diabolous is no exception.

The Master Butcher – Well, I must say that Gilbert and I are not musicians. The musician here is Alfonso. However, in Gilbert’s case, he manages to create extremely cool lines either guitars or bass, either with Paganus Doctrina or Insepulto. His contribution is really important and part of the overall band personality.

A.P. -  During the time I was recording and arranging INSEPULTO's basic tracks, U.X.H. was busy with his own job (he is a self-employed structural engineer), in the middle of the recording of PAGANUS DOCTRINA's debut album and in between work for his zine, CALL TO THE INFERNAL HORDES. Since he was in a really tight schedule, we decided that I would record the bass lines and so I did. This time, since he has some time off his regular schedule, he will get on the saddle and be an active part of the recording/composing of our second album.

14) New technology brought a lot to music; it has added tools to musical expression, which is good for those who know how to use them. Alfonso Perez did an amazing job here. He used to be a drummer but why did he does programmed drums on this album? He became creatively weak while making this album?

The Master Butcher – Yes. I think Alfonso did a very cool job composing and making arrangements to the songs. When we were both in Pseudostratiffied Epithelium back in the early 90s, then he was playing drums. If you listen that promo, you can hear this mother fucker attacking the drums in such a killer way that well. It is no strange to find some of it in Insepulto, despite that drumming work has been programmed. In the end, it still preserves the feeling and that what counts for me.

U.Xerxes.H -  Alfonso, you have to explain this question since you are the pussy who got weak and didn't accomplish to record the drums the death metallic way! Hahahahaha! Go for it, dude!

A.P. -  Thank you again for your comments. And yes, technology has evolved a lot and it is, nowadays, a big aid when putting together songs and arrangements. As you said, I used to be a drummer. But I haven't played or practised in 10+ years. My drum-set has been in storage for the same time. So, playing the drums myself was out of the equation. It would've taken me a lot of time to actually get back into form AND then go into the studio to record the actual drums. The drum programming was a painstaking process that took me around 3-4 months to complete. Why? Simple: I wanted to have a human feel in the drums. I edited each pattern and each break as if I would've played it. I put a lot of attention to detail (let's say I am obsessive most of the time), so I took all the time I needed and finished when I felt satisfied with the results.

15) Anything importance is going on right now. Perhaps getting a new label, resonating new tunes in head etc.?

The Master Butcher - Besides of the doing the album and getting ready to record it. I think some t-shirts are coming along the way. We've always wanted to make some cool shirts and seems we’ll go for that quite soon.

U.Xerxes.H - Well, actually there are some cool news. We just signed with Spanish based underground death metal label, MEMENTO MORI for the release of our second album which is being written while you’re reading these lines. But for this, I will let Alfonso so explain how things go. In a small advance, I can tell you that I'm writing more lyrics for the record and have some riffs to show Alfonso and Ronald and see if they could fit to INSEPULTO or just leave them for PAGANUS DOCTRINA.

A.P. - The well-respected Spanish label Memento Mori will be in charge of releasing our second album. Raul is not only a great guy and a devoted fan of Death Metal, but also a person with an Underground attitude and a dead-serious label owner. We have settled for a great deal we couldn't refuse. I have 5 completed songs and I am already working in 4 more. We want to have enough songs to hand pick 10 or 12 for our next release. As soon as all the raw tracks are done, we will have our listening session and the usual brainstorm, so I can go back to recording and arrangement until we have exactly what we want.

16) Anything else you’d like to tell through this interview? Warmest regards, Insepulto’s greatest fan from India.

The Master Butcher – Thanks to you my sick friend. Greetings to all your readers and remember: STAY BRUTAL MOTHERFUCKERS!!!....C’YA!!!

U.Xerxes.H - Thank you so much Ebby for such a strong support to the band. We are now working in new shit and expect it to be out by the end of the year or beginning of 2015. We’ll see how things go. But now, INSEPULTO is walking steady and it seems to be we are here for more years to punish your ears with some old styled metal of death... Hails! AmSg!

A.P. - First of all, thank you again Ebby for this interview. It's an honor to have a space for INSEPULTO in the mighty IMHOTEP zine. Thanks to all the people that have contacted us with their criticism, it's all welcomed. Also, huge thanks to all the maniacs out there that have bought our début album. For our second album, we can only promise another slab of the music we have devoted our lives to: Death Metal! Only Death is Real!