Monday, August 13, 2012
VORE Exclusive Interview/Review (Aug 13th, 2012)
Country of origin:
Year of creation:
Jeremy Partin: Bass (ex-Fallen Empire)
Remy Cameron: Drums (ex-Apnea)
Page Townsley: Guitar, Vocals
If you could, describe the process in making this album (Gravehammer). What was the toughest part of that process?
Page:Once we had all the material finished, we got together with a good friend of ours named Doug Horton to discuss recording the album. We’ve known Doug for years, ever since before Vore existed, so he was already very familiar with us and was a big fan of our music. He came to our rehearsal space and listened to us play all the songs, and we talked quite a bit and shared a lot of ideas before we ever set foot in the studio. We tracked and mixed Gravehammer at Ozark Film And Video productions. We recorded the drums first one weekend, then came in a few weeks later and worked on the guitars. We were able to spend one whole day doing nothing but fishing for guitar tones, trying every combination of guitar/amp and cabinet that we had. After we tracked the guitars, we did the bass in a day and then recorded the vocals over the course of a few weeknights. Then it was on to the mixing. Remy brought in a guy named Jeff Feast to do some magic with the drum tones and some additional mixing stuff. Once the mix was done, we sent the files over to Colin Davis and Imperial Mastering in California to master it.
The actual tracking and mixing was great - easily the best recording experience we’ve ever had. But we kept having accidents and malfunctions that would bring progress grinding to a halt, so we had our share of bad luck. On the very first day of recording, on the way to the studio, Remy’s drum rack flew out of the back of his truck and into the street when he swerved to avoid a car that ran a traffic light. The rack was hit by cars and bent up before he could get it out of the road. Fortunately, he had a friend with the same model rack as his, and we were able to borrow it. Another time, we were all set up to record rhythm guitars, and my guitar pre-amp fried. I had to send it off for repair, which took a few weeks. Later, the recording pre-amp in the studio malfunctioned, and we had to send that back to the manufacturer. We seriously considered renaming the album “Curse Of TheGravehammer”.
Remy: Waiting is the hardest part.
Jeremy: For me, it was recording the bass tracks. The way the schedule worked, we had one day to complete them all. I was mentally and physically exhausted after it was all said and done.
What albums/bands are the most influential to your sound?
Page: The foundation that Vore is built upon is classic metal, thrash, and early death metal. People hear different things in our sound and will often compare us to bands we never really listened to. When we started Vore in 1994 we were listening to a lot of Obituary, Grave and Morbid Angel. We have an old school spirit to our sound, because we come from the old school.
Speaking for myself,I’ve been listening to metal since before death metal existed. I started listening to metal in 1983 with bands like Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath with Dio, Judas Priest, Accept, etc. I explored the more underground bands of that era like Mercyful Fate and Hellhammer, and also the proto-metal bandsof the 1970’s. Then thrash metal and speed metal birthed and became popular, and I followed along with those bands. Death metal erupted in the late 80’s/early 90’s. Death’s Scream Bloody Gore came out in 1987 and that was a big paradigm shift. I started playing death metal in 1989 in a band called Mortuary, and my compass was bands like Celtic Frost, Venom and Slayer.
How do you feel about the state of death metal in 2012?
Remy: Djent is the new black.
Jeremy: Death metal is in good hands. You've got many of the classic bands that are still putting out great material. And some of the newer bands are being quite creative with the genre. So whatever you're into, you can still pretty much find it.
Page: I think Jeremy answered this question the best and I’ll second what he said.
Do you think that bands are using too many core and technical elements in death metal these days? Or do you think that these elements help to give the music more structure, then say, back in the days of Entombed?
Remy: Technicality and musicality aren't necessarily the same thing. If you make something technical for the sake of being so, you have misunderstood the basis of expression. To do something musically because it's current state within modern music is the equivalent of saying, "Me too!"
Jeremy: For me personally, yes. But the genre would get boring without some variation, no? Whether it lends to more structure or not, I'm not really sure.
Page: In my opinion, it seems like good songs are often of secondary concern to how technically complex or fast something is. It’s becoming more a competitive sport than music. How you can play is more important than what you’re playing. I have a lot of respect for technicality, but I like songs that get stuck in my head. Much of this new music just doesn’t really do it for me. I favor the dark and brooding side to the extreme and brutal side.
Be honest. What did you guys think of Morbid Angel's last album, "Illud Divinum Insanus"?
Page: No comment!
Jeremy:I haven't heard enough of the album to really form an opinion. Having said that, I'm a firm believer in artistic freedom. From all accounts, this was the album they wanted to make, so more power to them.
With the advent of the Guitar Hero generation and Brendan Small's Metalocalypse, more young people are getting into metal these days. This is a good thing for the genre, but the kind of metal they are making is not the kind of music that anyone of us would be caught dead listening to. (Paint The Skyline for example.) What do you think of this "new" metal, and is it just a sign of the times?
Remy: The faster a trend rises, the faster it will fall and be cast out by the same disciples.
Jeremy: I don't think much of the newer metal will have staying power. Meaning, a few years down the road, I don't believe it will still be relevant or listened to. But the hope is that people will use it as a sort of gateway to get further into metal's roots.
Page: Getting the younger kids into metal is good. There was a lot of shit metal around when I first started listening to metal too. If anyone really loves music and is passionate about it they’ll explore and discover the quality stuff. As far as the “new” brand of metal goes, I don’t care for it, but I doubt I’m the in its target demographic. It’s for a different generation.
With all this talk of apocalypse, what's the first thing that you would do "after the shit went down?"
Remy: Find the Scotch.
Jeremy: Establish myself as King of the Gingers.
Page: Depends on the type of apocalypse. We talking zombie, nuclear, economic, asteroid, plague, extraterrestrial invasion or biblical?
Where did the band name Vore come from?
Page:The name Vore comes from the Latin word, ‘vorare’, which means ‘to devour’. To us, the name is a statement of the human condition. It symbolizes how the human race consumes and “devours” its resources, inevitably becoming the architects of its own extinction.
We had played the name game in a previous band (Mausoleum formerly Mortuary). We were trying to come up with a band name we didn’t think would be in use. In the early 1990’s there we so many death metal bands with names ending in “ition” and “ation”, or with “corpse” or “angel” in them. We wanted something unique sounding.
We had watched a documentary about carnivorous monkeys that would hunt and eat other monkeys,and we spawned the name “Primalvore”, meaning “The First To Devour”. When Mausoleum disbanded and John and I started this band we said, why not drop the “Primal” and just be “Vore”. I recall that specific moment very well. That naming sent a shudder through me, like I’d been touched by destiny...or maybe groped by it.
Thanks gentlemen, for your answers.
Vore - Gravehammer (2011) - While I've heard of these guys, I've never actually listened to their music. But a couple months ago, I happened upon their page and found that I actually really liked it. Since the band is classified as doom/death, and that is one of my favorite genres, especially when done right; I knew that I had to check it out.
I was always curious as to what the band's name meant, and I found this definition:
"Vorarephilia (often shortened to vore) is a sexual fetish and paraphilia where arousal occurs from the idea of being eaten, eating another, observing this process, or by the general process of eating. The fantasy most frequently involves the victim being swallowed alive, and may or may not include digestion. Since the fetish is physically impossible to achieve in real life, it is enjoyed through pictures, stories, videos, and video games. It may be seen as a variation on macrophilia in some cases, and may also be combined with other fetishes.
The word vorarephilia is derived from the Latin vorare (to "swallow" or "devour"), which is cognate to Greek βορά (vorá, "food"), and Ancient Greek φιλία (philía, "love")."
Immediately, I was intrigued by this (especially being a big fan of the Bloodbath song, "Eaten" which I played religiously at one point) and felt that this also gave me an idea of their sound. It is quite simply like something being eaten, digested and then shit out again. The band had a very dirty doom/death style that I think is absolutely at peak levels on this, their fourth disc.
Vore seems to prove that they don't need to release an album every other year, like 9/10 of the scene and that's what makes their sound seem to pay off so well.
It is definitely worth the anticipation and could see the band gaining greater fame in the musical industry if they desired it.
The band sounds as crisp and clear as any well produced disc that a major label shits out these days, but the music is actually memorable, and puts a possible spin on an old sound. There are definite experimentations this time around, and the use of atmospheres works well to their advantage. The music itself is hard, crushing, and over all, brutal. If you don't like this disc, I suggest that you get your head examined, or check out the new Korn album as metal may not be the choice of music for you.
The riffs are fleshed out into grandiose rhythms that quake with an epic ferocity. Whatever the hell came out this year that thought it was heavy, these gentlemen have stomped well upon. Songs like "Gravehammer 7:43", "The Cruelest Construct 8:32", "Doomwhore 7:43" and "The Claw Is The Law 8:32" really cement the fact that this band is certainly a force to be reckoned with. The drums on the disc are pummeling as the killer vocals that Page is belting out, sounding as good and gravelly as they need to. Sometimes there's a scream used, but it does work well with the music.
Effects are used on the disc as well, making things even more epic than they already are. This is probably one of the most bombastic and epic doom/death discs that I've ever heard, and it's up there with my best of 2011. People who thought the new Esoteric was good, haven't yet heard this.
The melodies on the disc are superb, and at first you wouldn't expect to hear beautiful melodies and solos on a disc as dark and uncompromising as this, but the melody really helps to shape the music. From a musical standpoint, this disc is extremely well crafted, right down to the bass rhythms. Vore sounds incredibly technical here, and the polish of these songs can be well felt. While I am not sure of their other discs, this album is certainly one of my personal favorite discs of the year, and I wasn't expecting that.
The artwork on the disc was also quite attractive. It really screams death metal when you've got an armored fire elemental with a warhammer on the front of it. This is probably one of the discs that I would've bought when I was younger, just because it had a badass looking thing on the cover. Trust me, when you're young, that shit matters. But what makes that concept even more great, is that the disc sounds as epic as the goddamned cover art looks. That's pretty fucking tough to do guys.
As far as I'm concerned, this disc is far better than the new Amon Amarth released this year, and it should be selling umpteen million copies. If the band doesn't become a couple thousand (maybe a million) dollars richer from this effort, I'd be shocked and would lose my faith in man entirely.
This disc has prog, it has thrash, it has death metal, it has the sheer epicness of what death metal fucking should be. Slow and brutal, but delivering on every song with an unparalleled and uncompromising approach, I definitely have enjoyed this disc much more than most of the death metal I've reviewed this year. It's better than the Paganizer I reviewed also, even though I loved that disc too. But not near as much as this one.
Some of you might think that I'm just talking flack to butter up the owner of this board, but I will tell you with all sincerity that that is not true, as I have nothing to gain from this. I am simply reviewing this as I would any other album. If you PM me, I will tell you the same as I've said here. This disc threw me for a fucking unexpected loop. I was expecting some slow doom death with southern influence. But what I got was some epic doom/death with tight and well-crafted musicianship.
Well, you know how I am about 1:00 instrumental pieces, "Uroborous" (It could have been part of the song) but I think that's a minor gripe compared to the death metal that I've been delivered here. I really don't think there's anything more you can ask for in a doom/death album.
You really should buy it, because it's worth it. Hell, I would. I still can't fucking get over how good this disc is. Get your hands on this shit now. The wait was worth it. This is how death metal should sound, as far as I am concerned. A great disc to play while killing thousands of monsters in Skyrim or Diablo III.
It's perfect for a killing spree. Summon up some demons to battle, and go get your Gravehammer.