pondělí 22. dubna 2024

Home » , , , , , » Interview - WREKTOMB - A dark, freezing doom death metal visit to an old bloody dungeon!

Interview - WREKTOMB - A dark, freezing doom death metal visit to an old bloody dungeon!

Interview with doom death metal band from United States - WREKTOMB.

Answered Nick Krostoff (all instruments, vocals), thank you!

Recenze/review - WREKTOMB - Bovine Mockeries of Human Posturing (2024):

Ave WREKTOMB! Greetings to the underground. I hope everything is fine with you. It should be because this year you have released a first full-length album in your band's career. I have to admit it has literally blown my mind. It is dark, energic and as if it cuts by the sharp edge of the knife. I can hear from the record you did a really good job and you added a big portion of the talent, too. How do you perceive the new album in comparison to the previous work? Where did you want to move and in what are these two records different?

Nick Krostoff: Hail! When I worked on „Hollowed Socket Nystagmus“ it was the just the start of Wrektomb and I was still experimenting with where I wanted Wrektomb to go creatively. I came into „Bovine Mockeries of Human Posturing“ with much clearer vision and the music and themes emerged organically. On “Bovine Mockeries“ instead of a satirical approach to the grotesqueness of humanity, the album dives deeper and is a more refined absurdist reflection on the things we value and dominate as a species. The songs anticipate the karmic revenge that will result from our constant abuse and exploitation of each other and the world around us.

„Bovine Mockeries of Human Posturing“ includes all attributes of good death and doom metal. For me personally, it represents the record, which I really like to listen to. How did you produce it? How look the writing process of new material in the case of WREKTOMB?

NK: The album was recorded during the dead of winter. It was important to me to preserve the atmosphere of the album above all else. While tracking instruments and vocals, to cement the vibe in the studio, I projected horror movies on sheets. It was important to me to capture the performances in single takes instead of obsessing about technicalites. Between tracks, I would lay outside in the cold wet dirt and imagine what all of us eventually do, rot.

I incorporated some the movies that were playing for inspiration into these music videos:

Quantumcreep (Footage from „Beyond the Black Rainbow“)

Society Supported Psychopaths (Footage from „American Psycho“):

This Decay of Me (Footage from „Begotten“)

I found out that Endarker Studio signed under the mix and mastering of the new record. I have to confirm that the sound is literally killing. It still makes me add volume to the player. Your sound that is cruel, raw and at the same time dark and organic. How went the work with him and why did you choose his studio? How did the process look like?

NK: I’ve worked with Devo from Endarker Studio before. He is able to perserve a rawer sound in a mix and what a band realisticly would sound like live. Much of modern metal is edited and tweaked so much that it may as well be EDM. I feel rawer music has faded into obscurity as the masses of humanity has come to expect extremely edited and over-produced music. Art has been progressing to AI manipulation so hopefully people will reject AI art but I don’t see that happening. AI will probably get to a point where we can’t tell the difference and can no longer sense the „uncanny valley“ and that prospect comes as a punch in the gut to genuine artists.

Lyrics are also an interesting component and complement to your music. You deal with perversion, dark minds, gore themes and serial killers. Where do you get your inspiration? And what are they about on the new album?

NK: I feel every human has the capacity to perform atrocities. Every day those thoughts float through our minds and need to be filtered out to keep society floating along. I like to give audience to those thoughts and respect them for what they are as part of humanity. In order for any life to contiune something living must die. „Life eats life“ as the saying goes. For some aberrations of humanity that daily sacrifice is culminated in the death of another human. Putting yourself in the mind of those acts is inspiring when writing this kind of music. Each song on the album has somewhat unique theme, though.

„Gored Into Reality“ is about human deviants engaged in self-mutilation to feel something other than apathy and disdain.

„Unexpected Encounters With Nature’s Order“ imagines the Red Heifer, the Divine bovine, rising from her sacrificial alter to trample temples and pulverize the pride of arrogant unsuspecting victims for their misplaced worship.

„Quantumcreep“ is about a time-traveller exploiting the multiverse to spread his linage across time and space.

„Society Supported Psychopaths“ borrows themes from the movie „American Psycho“ which is great example of refined absurdity and the modern zeitgeist ruled by indoctrination with the vapid values of the psychopath’s all-consuming black hole of derangement.

„This Decay of Me“ culminates in a reflection on defeat and finding the meaning of life in the decomposition of the flesh as the height of human achievement is being transformed into feed for the corvids and carrion-eaters of the sky.

The music comes before the lyrics, but the lyrics always reflect the emotion I’m trying to express through the music. After I get the general concept of the lyrics down, that is when Vera comes in to refine some of the ideas and unify the themes.

An important part and a kind of extra bonus for fans today is the physical CD. You released the new album at CD through Personal Records, and it has a corpsy cover art. Who is the author? Do I explain well the picture when I would think it is a body in a considerable state of decay? How did you choose the motif and how does it relate to the music at the record?

NK: The artist was Misanthropic Art ( The art is three bovine skulls adjoined overseeing cowering humanity. He did an excellent job. Have you stood next to cattle? They are enormous and without human domestication and subjugation they could easily annihilate humanity in droves. It was actually a thought I had on the farm one day. I was standing among the herd and these immense, long-horned cattle were just so docile and ambivalent. I imagined what it would be like if they suddenly rejected their domestication and rewilded to their primal origins, no longer willing to surrender to human control and reminding humans of their status through brute force. That moment inspired the songs „Gored into Reality“ and „Unexpected Encounters With Nature‘s Order“ and of course the art for the album.

I have been wandering the underground for over thirty years and I still go to USA for music with certainty. I think we have a similar nature and taste when it comes to metal. I like your bands a lot and I monitor your scene carefully. Maybe I envy you a little, because we only have a few death metal bands that are worth it. How do you explain that death metal are doing so well in Baltimore? How do you perceive your scene, fans, labels?

NK: From the outside it might look that way, but I wouldn‘t say Death Metal is doing well in Baltimore. I suppose the grass is always greener on the other side. I often wish I was in Europe as there seems to be better support for music and art in general. In America if we can‘t eat, fuck, or sell something it has no value to our society. Maryland Deathfest in Baltimore is great and pulls attendance from all over the US and world. Often with the biggest draws being bands we don’t usually get in the US predominantly coming from Europe.

There have been some great death metal bands from Maryland. Dundalk, Maryland is the former hometown of Corpsegrinder.

As for the label, Personal Records is great. As for the fans, I thank them for their support!

You play doom death metal influenced by, among other things, the old school. Today, the band can't avoid comparisons, but I would like to know how the idea to start WREKTOMB was born, who was and is your metal idol? Where do you want to move your band? Are you attracted to large foreign festivals, for example, are you willing to go on tour with a more famous band?

NK: Wrektomb was formed one drunken evening around a fire with friends listening to a bunch of doom metal, specificaly a lot of Evoken. The following day I wrote the first Wrektomb song „Ingrained in a Mossy Bank“ inspired by the former evening‘s debauchery and an episode of „American Horror Story“. I am influenced by bands such as Ruins of Beaverst, My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost, Incantation, Tiamat, and Type O Negative as some examples.

As for metal idols, probably Gregory Mackintosh from Paradise Lost.

Yes, I am attracted by festivals as long as there are bands I like on it. I’d have no issue going on tour with famous bands but unfortunately Dieter doesn’t like to fly so we have to find a way to sedate him. He doesn’t go down easy.

When I started my website six years ago, I had a vision that I would try to support bands that are not so much popular, or they are lost in underground. To let the world knows about them. I think I'm doing quite well, at least according to the responses. How do you approach the promotion of your music? Do you rely upon the label or do you send the CDs for various reviews by yourself? For example, I buy albums that I really enjoy. What about you? Are you also fans who often support your colleagues? Do you go to concerts?

NK: There is nothing organic in promotion and it is often a soul crushing experience equivalent to screaming into a garbage can with all the noise on the internet. It is difficult to hold anyone’s attention long, let alone to listen to a 10 minute doom song! I let the label handle the promotion and help where I can but the more time I spend on promotion the more my creativity gets drained. For me, Wrektomb is a creative outlet and not about business, and I prefer to keep it that way. It is really cool to have people like you who are passionate about metal and actually make an effort to support the scene! I still make a point to buy physical albums and merch from bands I enjoy. I’m a little more selective about the shows I go to as I have gotten older since time is my most valuable resource, but Dieter is a youngster and hits up more concerts than I do these days.

On the one hand, today the new band has a lot of opportunities to make themselves more known, but on the other hand, there are a huge number of groups and the fans are getting lost in this big metal sea. A lot of people just download mp3s from the internet and instead of to visit the concert they prefer to spit poisonous saliva on Facebook. How do modern technologies affect you as WREKTOMB? What do you think about downloading music, google metalists, streaming music, etc.?

NK: I can‘t add much to what has already been said a thousand times by a thousand other artists. When everything is free or stolen it loses all value. Performing in a niche genre it is best to set your own personal levels of success. Modern technology will keep progressing though that progress isn’t necessarly in a direction that is beneficial to the underground. As you‘ve observed it is a double edge sword. When everyone has a voice, no one has a voice. Everyone wants organic art and genuine interactions but social media is a contrived interaction controlled by algorithms and paid ads. Ultimately it is the underground though, and the underground stays that way because it doesn’t conform to the larger machines at play.

I like to ask the musicians what death metal means to them. How would they define it, whether it is more the philosophy and lifestyle thing for them or "just" relaxation? What does it mean for you? How do you perceive and experience it?

NK: Death metal has expanded to so many subgenres but aside from the techincal attriubltes it is a observation of the macabre. To me, death metal represents all the things society tries its best to hide. Death metal draws out the purtrid rot of society and formulates it into exetreme music and themes, that to me have always been a catharsis. Kind of like busting an abscess instead of letting it fester and cause more damage.

Finally, a classic but important question. What is WREKTOMB planning in the upcoming months? Where can we see you at the stage and when will you visit the Europe?

Nick: Several songs are in progress for whatever is next though there is nothing we are rushing towards. I write when inspriation strikes. I try to not overthink or force the process because that tends to crush the emotional connection to the music. We aren’t planning on performing live anytime soon, unfortunately. It’s hard to get away from the farm for long trips.

Thank you so much for the interview. I wish a lot of success to the new album and let the number of your fans expand as much as possible. I will look forward to seeing you somewhere live again. I wish you a lot of success both musically and personally. I'm going to push „Bovine Mockeries of Human Posturing“ into my head again!

NK: Thank you for the support and interest! It really means alot to have fans who appreciate the music.

Recenze/review - WREKTOMB - Bovine Mockeries of Human Posturing (2024):

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