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Monday, December 7, 2015

Interview: Gomorrah

In January Gomorrah will release their new album The Haruspex. DutchMetalManiac's Tim van Velthuysen asked a few questions to guitarist Bowen Matheson.

Hi, how are you?

Doing well in not-so-cold Canada, thanks!

Can you tell us a little bit of the history of Gomorrah?

Sure, the band was formed by a bunch of high school kids back in 2006. I joined the band in 2009 when one of the guitarists quit to pursue an acoustic solo project. The band was a garage band for several years, doing a few demos and scratch track recordings until we formed the first official line up in late 2012 which went on to write and perform tracks for our first full length release in 2013, Perception. After that, members began losing interest and putting the band on back burner due to work and family responsibilities, and all of the members went their own way. I came back to the Okanagan in early 2015 with a new line up and members switching some instruments, and we recorded and released the single "A Disaster's Nightmare". Jeff Bryan and I wrote and recorded "The Haruspex" over the summer of 2015, and brought in our new drummer Casey Long-Read this fall.

You formed as a black metal band, now you make death metal. Why did you change?

When I joined the band it was a focused black metal band due to the original drummer having a huge bias towards European metal. He was very disinterested in any modern "-core" genre's, and the band performed two shows wearing corpse paint before I joined. When I joined the band I learned the handful of mostly old-school black metal tracks the band had written, and their two latest creations were much more modern and death metal influenced. I capitalized on that interest by convincing the band leader at that time to push for the modern sound. I was also not interested in performing in corpse paint, being a teenager incredibly self-conscious of their physical appearance I highly doubted that anybody would take us seriously if I poorly applied corpse paint over my whole body. The main reason was that my experience with death metal influenced music was way greater than any black metal music, and as a new member of the band that was the direction I wanted to support.

Are you continuing making death metal in the future?

Yes - the goal was for this record to be our own explicit brand of death metal. Genre elitists will probably consider us as some obscure sub-sub-genre though, or condone that due to the presence of the fact I play 7 string guitars and some of our songs have "breakdowns" that we are deathcore. It's all besides the point to me, because I just write the music which I enjoy. Let's just take an extra step right now and call it post-modern blackened metallic ambient deathcore.

You make some death metal that's very complex, while it keeps fast. Is it difficult to combine these two things in making your music?

Thanks! I know that it sounds complex and fast, but I believe the reason we consider it death metal is because of our close friends who play in "technical death metal" projects who are pulling over incredibly complicated compositions with non-stop instrument acrobatics at the highest tempos. I take it that you are referencing the tradition death metal which didn't push tempo's as far as we have, but for us it comes pretty naturally. Combining speed with death metal isn't problematic because the modernization of death metal has influenced me to already expect that from death metal.

In January your new album, The Haruspex, will be released, how is it going to be?

The album is going to be something which death metal fans can enjoy and appreciate, or at least respect on some level. There's no inclusion of any electronic samples, obnoxious bass drops, or abuse of over simplified breakdowns (there's just a few of those). The production value gives us a great deal of confidence that we won't be berated on that level, and if anything we hope the production quality is recognized and appreciated. Most tracks are between two and a half to three and a half minutes long, with only one song going over four minutes. We wrote with these song lengths because we want to pack as much focused material into the songs, with consistency to the overall feel of each track and as little filler as possible. With the age of most memorable media being incredibly short and the very short attention span of people checking out new music, we hope that people can pick up on something that gauges their interest and keeps it for the whole track.

Hopefully we can surprise some listeners with some parts that they weren't expecting, but we made sure the standard appreciated elements of death metal composition were there - blast beats, guttural lyrics, demanding guitar and bass work, and quality song writing and structuring.

You recently welcomed your new drummer, how is it to work with him?

Casey has been incredibly supportive and forthcoming for all of our performance plans regarding the support of this album. As he came in after the album was written he has undertaken a huge work load to learn the songs and improve them with his own style and creative ability. He's a multi-instrumentalist as well, so I'm looking forward to convincing him to work with Jeff and I with writing the guitar parts for our work down the line as well.

Besides the release day for The Haruspex in January, are there any other future plans for Gomorrah, like touring for example?

We are currently arranging our record release shows for the end of February in Kelowna and Vancouver BC. Performances in Alberta and Saskatchewan are also being considered with the living locations of Casey and our touring bassist - so we may plan performances in those areas in the spring of 2016.

Do you want to say something to the readers of DutchMetalManiac?

Hey guys, thanks for checking out this interview and take a second to listen to our new material at Soundcloud and keep up with us on our Facebook.

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