Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Interview with Alexander Olaya Ojeda of ABYSMAL DOMINATION by Dave Wolff

Interview with Alexander Olaya Ojeda of ABYSMAL DOMINATION

What is today’s Colombian death metal scene like, and what is Abysmal Domination’s role in it?
These days the death metal scene in Colombia is growing in all its territories; here we can find all death metal styles from old school to new. There are legendary bands like Masacre who for thirty years have worked hard within this style of music. There is Internal Suffering one of the most important brutal bands around the globe. There are Mindly Rotten, Under Threat, Nameless, and more great bands that keep the scene alive. The Colombian Death metal scene is global now.
Abysmal Domination is a new band. We have been active since 2018, playing brutal Death Metal, growing in this short time, playing important shows and fests with the biggest bands in the local scene, and foreign bands. This December we will release our first professional production "Cryptica Manipulación Omnipresente" with nine tracks of our style of death metal. Our lyrics talk about crushing reality, with extreme melodies. We are preparing different shows to promote the album. Our next gig is with Horna and Divide in our country on the 24th of October.

Have the members of Abysmal Domination been part of the Colombian scene for a long time? What previous bands, if any, were you members of before starting this one?
Harold the bass player was in Krashing Scum (grindcore) and Necropsick (death metal) band and was the vocalist from Cremonensis (deathgore). Cesar the drummer was in Witch Hells (thrash/death metal) and I was in Necropsick, and other bands. All the members of Abysmal Domination now just work for this band.

Is material still available from the bands you were working in before Abymal Domination? If so, where can it be found?
There is no material from most of these bands but Krashing Scum are still playing with other members and they have records available.

How much has Colombian death metal grown since it began? What makes the death metal genre in your country unique next to death metal from other countries?
The death metal scene here has matured a lot. You can see it in the bands’ professional work, their sound, their technique and their performances. You can see this in death metal fests and events. The death metal in our country is so different; the first bands had a particular sound that influenced global black metal. What I mean is ultra metal, a Colombian style of raw, extreme and noisy metal, and bands like Parabellum, Astaroth, Necromantie, Reencarnación, Blasfemia, Masacre and others who were around in the beginning. This influenced bands like Mayhem, especially through merch distribution between Mauricio Montoya (Bull Metal) and Euronymous.

How would you describe the “ultra metal” sound of the bands you cited above?
Ultra Metal has a particular raw sound, coming from the violence prevalent in Colombia. The difficult economic conditions here make professional studio recordings impossible; there were no studios where metal bands could record; so the first ultra metal bands made home records. Parabellum was the first band with dark lyrics and an extreme raw sound.

As much as early death metal from the 1980s/90s, does early grindcore or the subgenres that grew from it (deathgrind, goregrind etc) play a part in Colombian death metal’s development?
In the 80s and 90s American, South American and European grindcore, death grind and gore grind were part of the development of the music. They are all a benchmark and we have all the tools to experiment with our music. Venom, Sarcófago, Celtic Frost, Death, Sepultura, Obituary, Morbid Ángel, Deicide, Suffocation, Carcass, Napalm Death, Deeds Of Flesh, Avulsed, Lividity, Gorgasm, Exhumed, Disgorge and new bands like Cephalic Carnage and Nader Sadek influence metal globally.

Have more independent labels, distros and zines appeared in Colombia over the years? Do metal fans in other countries know much about the Colombian scene, or would you like them to know more?
In Colombia you can find studios, labels and distros, and the global scene knows about Colombia as one of the most brutal scenes in the world. Mutilated Records, Lorito Records, Soundblast Records, Eleven Beats, Ultrametal Productions, Wolf Legions Productions… There are many bands from Colombia touring like Masacre, Internal Suffering, Undertreath, Revenge Witchtrap and Reencarnacion.

How many metal fests are held in Colombia each year? At which has the band appeared for as long as you’ve been active?
There are so any festivals in each region of the country, but the biggest festivals are Rock Al Parque, Festival Del Diablo, Grita Rock, Alta Voz, Grind Death Fest and last year’s Knotfest and Nariño Vive Underground. So far our only fest appearance was at the last Nariño Vive Underground.

Who did Abysmal Domination appear with at Nariño Vive Underground? Was there a healthy turnout at this festival? How much press coverage did the event receive?
We appeared at this fest due to a direct invitation after our work from July to December of last year. Every year people from other countries come and the events are growing every year with local media covering them.

What equipment did the band have to work with when they started? Have you been able to get better equipment since then?
When we started we worked with basic drums, bass, guitars, digital pedals and a mic for the vocals, but now we have a better equipment for rehearsals and live gigs. We have good drums with bass, analog pedals and guitars and we work whit an engineer to play live.

Who is the main lyric writer of Abysmal Domination, and what are your lyrics written about?
Vocalist Andrés is the main lyric writer, but we all have a hand in writing. The lyrics focus on a wide range of relevant themes; mostly human predation, systems of domination, pollution, etc. It’s mostly about our own country and society in general. The idea is to transform minds and take them out of the lifeless world of virtual technology in which we live nowadays.

How would you explain seeing virtual technology as lifeless? How is this idea expressed in your songs?
We think technology and social media in many ways has people blind and enslaved, to take control of us. There are so many people who use this technology to make life comfortable, and it makes them dumb and lazy. They live their lives on social media believing all that happens in the virtual world; they’re controlled by lies and fake news and take from reality. Another topic is the rape of your privacy as the government has all our personal information, and knows the things we do. An example is the Snowden Declarations on Wikileaks. We are "living in the pupil of 1000 eyes."

Does the band have demos available to genre fans at home and abroad? How many have you released, what formats are they available in and how many copies were made?
The band has a physical demo out titled “Abysmal Domination”. It contains five tracks, “Portal Del Engendro Séptico”. “Grotesca Programación Monarca”, “Infierno Interno”, “Implacable Genocida Beligerante Y Perpetuo” and “Abysmal Domination.” We made only 100 independent copies on CD for the local scene. There are no copies available now but we will make copies when the álbum comes out. We have a pair of songs, one from the demo and one from a professional live sessión on Soundcloud and Reverbnation. A live professional track of “Homosapiens Origen Del Horror” and a demo version of “Portal del Engendro Séptico” from the “Abysmal Domination” demo. On Youtube we have live videos, rehearsals and professional/live videos including one for “Homosapiens Origen Del Horror.”

Did you shop any copies of your demo to any zines? If so, were the reviews favorable?
We don’t promote the demo to zines’ we only sold to friends and the local scene. We also want to remix the tracks for a better sound.

How much exposure has Abysmal Domination’s Youtube and streaming pages gotten the band outside of Colombia?
Youtube and streaming pages can also be useful to expand our music and make people outside Colombia know and follow our work. We think the most important thing here is honesty between the band, the listeners and the scene. We do the best we can, and time and perseverance will say a lot about us. We just do what we feel. People like you give us support and we will give everything with honesty.

How many zines outside Colombia have interviewed you? In those interviews did you get to talk about the scene in your country besides the band?
We did interviews with No Te Calles Zine and Comando Under Zine in which we talked about the band’s history and the local scene/

Did you record “Cryptica Manipulación Omnipresente” independently or did you attend a professional recording studio to work with engineers and mixers?
We made “Cryptica Manipulación Omnipresente” at Xieleven Studio Professional. First we recorded drums, then four guitars for each song; two leads and two rhythm; then bass, vocals and finally the solos. The album is in the mixing process now then we’ll master the material. It will be ready in mid-November; we’ll send it to be pressed and it will be out mid-December. We’ll send it to different labels. We want a label that will do good promo work to move the band in the global scene.

Was the equipment at this studio sufficient when it came to having a good sound? How long did it take the band and the others involved to record, mix and master your debut full length?
All the equipment in the studio produced a great sound. The studio has all new recording technology, but we prefer the old school sound so the studio gave us all the tools to make that possible. We started recording in August and now we are finishing the vocals. When we finish the studio will take a month and give us the final product. In October they are mixing and mastering, then in November we will send promos to labels. The plan is to have the album on December 20.

Does the band have any labels in mind to release the album on? Will you mostly be looking for distribution through Colombian labels, or labels outside the country?
We have many labels in mind and will wait for the best and most serious offer. I think all serious labels can make a great distribution inside and outside the country. We are interested in labels like Green Revolution, Unmatched Brutality Records, Headsplit Records and Season Of Mist (jaja I’m dreaming).

Where in Colombia and other countries do you plan to perform to promote the new album?
We have shows in Ecuador in differente dates in November and we want to play in Peru and Brazil.

When you release enough albums farther down the road and gain enough of a reputation, would you eventually like to break into the U.S. market? What U.S. bands would you most like to perform with?
We want to play with classic death metal bands like Morbid Angel, Suffocation, Immolation, Monstrosity, Terrorizer, Malevolent Creation, Cannibal Corpse, Hate Eternal, Possessed, Incantation… the list will never ends. Alsovbands like Malignant Altar, Blood Incantation and Fetid

-Dave Wolff

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