To some, Canada is viewed as just a region frozen over and thriving with stark raving men wielding hockey sticks. Perhaps this limited notion of our country is justified in the eyes of a few, but a band like Auroch is here to prove there is more to this great nation than just snow, ice and curved wooden sticks. In fact, this band has risen up from the darkest and most primitive depths to lay waste to the musical landscape with the Lovecraftian influenced sounds of death metal.
Hailing from Vancouver, Auroch is a three piece outfit that displays a remarkably mature songwriting ability and highly technical musical skill to full effect. They’ve stuck to the true essence of early 90’s death metal and recorded a debut album of raw, relentless, and barbaric blasting to prove their sheer dominance to fans and peers alike.
Guitarist and vocalist, Sebastian Montesi took some time out from his busy schedule to rap with a fellow Canadian about all things Lovecraftian, so this is your chance to find out that not all Canadians wield just hockey sticks alone. Some of us find other means to lure the masses out from their doldrums and it starts with Auroch.
Blistering.com: I was listening to the split you guys did in 2010 with Ancient Obliteration and the music was quite thrashy, so I was wondering what was the thinking behind moving forward with a more death based sound?
Sebastian Montesi: You know it was just a natural transition. When we recorded that in early 2010 we were already headed in a death metal based direction. When we parted ways with our old singer for other reasons and our old drummer for logistical reasons the idea behind switching styles became apparent.
Blistering.com: There is a wealth of influences to be found here on your latest release, and I make comparisons to early Cryptopsy, Morbid Angel and perhaps a bit of Adversarial or Begrime Exemious. Do you agree with any of these comparisons?
Montesi: Oh, absolutely. The first two Cryptopsy records are hugely influential to me. Unparalleled brutality. Needless to say we adore Altars of Madness all the way up to, and including, Heretic. The masters! As for our contemporaries, Adversarial and Begrime Exemious, we've had the pleasure of playing with both bands are we are big fans of each and what they are doing.
Blistering.com: For that matter, what are your musical influences?
Montesi: An insanely long list, not limited to metal, but to name a few of the obvious suspects: Akercocke, Carcass, Emperor, Morbid Angel, Inquisition, Suffocation, Conqueror, Cryptopsy, Gorguts, pre-1999 Kataklysm, Steve Vai, Absu, Timeghoul, Symphony X, Immolation, Nile, Incantation and many, many more...
Blistering.com: I love the fact that you are known as Lovecraftian death metal. What is it about Lovecraft that you find inspiring to be used in your music?
Montesi: We use Lovecraft as a literary mirror to reflect certain ideals we hold close and believe in. Lovecraft’s writing is bleak, vast, misanthropic, antecedent and therefore the perfect vehicle.
Blistering.com: Do you have a favorite story by Lovecraft?
Montesi: I think that The Case of Charles Dexter Ward is his master work, but I also hold The Silver Key and Through the Gates of the Silver Key (his follow up) in very high regard. Pieces of horrifying transcendental fiction that is far closer to non-fiction than anyone would like to admit.
Blistering.com: I love the cover art. Who was the artist chosen to illustrate the piece and what was the creative process behind the concept?
Montesi: Ah, the cover art was created by a good friend of ours, Danille Gauvin. We had talked to Danille for a long while and had always been a fan of her work. We told her what we were looking for in the illustration and gave her artistic license to take it from there. Needless to say, the results were mind-blowing.
Blistering.com: I understand you are currently on tour with Arch Enemy. How is the tour going and how have you been treated by Arch Enemy?
Montesi: We're not, nor have been, but we wouldn't turn down the opportunity. We want to get out on the road as often as possible and actually just recently finished a successful slew of Canadian dates. We currently have a bunch of dates booked throughout the country for next year and want to play abroad as often as possible. Not sure how the Arch Enemy rumor got started, though.
Blistering.com: My favorite track on From Forgotten Worlds is "Terra Akeldama.” Do you have a favorite song on the new release, and if so why?
Montesi: Glad you like that track. There are a few songs I am partial to, and overall find more weighted for the importance of the record, but I don't know I have a favorite, per se. Maybe as more time passes I'll develop one. I really like Paul's solo on the title track; that's one moment that sticks out for me.
Blistering.com: Where do you see the band going in the next few years?
Montesi: We're going to get back to writing and recording here soon, and we want to tour outside of this country. Step by step we're building and 2013 holds a lot of big things for us. You have been warned.