. Following their first European tour and the critically acclaimed 2018 EP “The Crypts Below”, US Death Metallers SENTIENT HORROR return with their sophomore full-length entitled “Morbid Realms”. The confirmation that they have the experience and skills to make you enjoy as if there was no tomorrow.
Hello Matt, last year you released your ep The Crypts Below, followed by your first European tour, how was it?
The European tour was excellent! It was our first time playing in Europe, as well as our first tour, so it was a very exciting experience for all of us! Our tour-mates Carnal Tomb were super awesome guys as well.
Morbid Realms is your second album due to release on November 29th, how do you feel about it?
I feel extremely proud of Morbid Realms. I think its definitely our strongest release yet.
When did you start the composition of the new album and how was the recording process?
“Call of Ancient Gods” was written first in April of 2018. The main songwriting process lasted from June through September, then we took a break to go on tour, and the final two songs written for the record, “Cemetery Slaughter” and the title track, were written at the end of October 2018. I try not to spend longer than one week writing a song. I am only writing in my free time, so I think things come together pretty fast.
The renowned Dan Swanö was in charge of the mix and mastering duties. All as you expected?
Yeah, Dan did an amazing job!
When you work with a guy as Dan Swanö, do you also get some ideas or orientation for the album, although unconsciously?
Actually, I had asked his advice on track order, and gave him two possibilities I was working with, and he was able to give his thoughts on the final track order.
Morbid Realms sounds to me as a more mature album than your debut, which was already powerful, with more personality
Yeah, for sure.
I also think that Morbid Realms could be well included in the 90s death metal club
Well, I made a conscious decision to refer back to some of my favorite classic early 90’s and late 80’s death metal albums. Some key albums of inspiration for me were Entombed’s “Left Hand Path,” Carnage’s “Dark Recollections,” and Death’s “Scream Bloody Gore.” I noticed these albums had songs that all had very unorthodox structures and abrupt tempo shifts, and I wanted to highlight that feel.
A great selection indeed. The work on drums and bass is rich in shades and so powerful as the album demands, but who is behind the drums?
We once again used a drum machine for this record as we did on Ungodly Forms. We had to part ways with our previous drummer Evan Daniele mid-way through the album recording, so we would have lost too much time and money to find someone new to record the drums. No one seemed to care about the drum machine on Ungodly Forms, so we used it again. A friend of ours who is currently filling in temporarily on drums live, Sean Meyers, helped me program them to make sure all the drum parts were realistic and something he would actually play.
The machine against the human being, curious. It seems the drummer is a position not fixed in Sentient Horror, subject to changes, any reason for it?
Really it has just been bad luck. We had to split with our first drummer, Ryan, because he was going back to school to pursue his degree. With Evan, the split was more personal, something I’d rather not get into, but there was no way the band could move forward with him. Sean is only temporary, as he has his main band, a post/prog black metal band entitled “Gates to the Morning” that is a focus, plus he does tons of session work. But with his help we will be able to do some initial support shows for the new record.
The cover artwork contributes also to the classic flavour of the album
I absolutely love Juanjo’s artwork! He did a work that really reminds me of a mix between Dan Seagrave and Andreas Marschall. Total old school!!
What are the lyrics about?
I prefer to write death metal lyrics in the horror/fiction style, rather than real life stories. This time around, I wanted to try some new ideas, rather than the usual zombie/slasher horror, so a lot of the album was inspired by works by Clive Barker and HP Lovecraft. The song “Call of Ancient Gods,” for example, was inspired by “The Call of Cthulhu,” and songs like “Bound to Madness” and “Ripped From Hell” were inspired by Clive Barker’s Books of Blood and the Hellraiser movies.
Founded by you in 2016 Sentient Horror has been able to grow in a massified style, well maybe so much as any other, and get a name by itself in a short time. That is enough to feel proud, but what are your goals?
I make a living as a guitar teacher, and it’s a job that I love, so I don’t need a career out of Sentient Horror. But it would be nice for Sentient Horror to be able to make enough money someday to support itself 100% as far as costs of production for new albums.
Any tour programmed for the new album?
Not yet, although we have decided to focus on branching out in the US for the year 2020, and maybe plan on returning to Europe in 2021.
As an horror band, you see the world with clearer eyes or its madness anyway?
I’ve always loved horror movies since I was a little kid. I was always fascinated by the practical special effects, and i still am, I think that’s one of my favorite aspects of them. As I said before, I write Sentient Horror lyrics for fictional horror. The real world has its own real horrors in it, I want to escape that and have fun with the music I make.
Year 2020 is just around the corner, any wish for it?
I’m looking forward to doing shows again. We haven’t played since last year in Berlin, so its exciting to start up again and debut the new songs live!
Thanks for your comments and congratulations for your outstanding working, if you wish to add something
Thank you for reading, and don’t forget to check out “Morbid Realms!”