With the fifth issue I had my first very tiresome setback: I had made a good bunch of questions for one band and worked really hard to make this interview something special, but then, after lots of waiting, I got nothing from the band. Such is the life of a zine editor. Fortunately this dark cloud had its silver lining after all: I gathered quickly four promising demo bands, sent same simple questions to all bands and finally had a good review to the demo scene at that time. One of these bands was Ignivomous, and their first – and last – demo Path of Attrition still stands as an epitome of dark and murky death metal for me.
Hails Jael, the mighty bassist/vocalist of Ignivomous! So, tell us, where is your band coming from, where does it stand now and where is it going?
– Hails and thanks for the interest! Ignivomous is a band based in Melbourne, Australia playing good old-fashioned Dark Death Metal. Our first demo, Path of Attrition was released in February 2007 and quickly sold out. We then arranged for a Vinyl version with a bonus track to be released through Nuclear War Now! In the US. Our next release, Eroded Void of Salvation 7” should be out by the time you read this, also through NWN. Currently, the band is about to go into the studio to record a track for a 4-way split with Tzun Tzu and a few other Australian bands, and we are writing for our full-length at the moment.
You are a pretty fresh band. What kind of musical and atmospheric goals do you have?
– Our goals with Ignivomous are to create music which does justice to our vision of how Death Metal should be – intense, stripped down and barbaric, with a genuinely unsettling atmosphere.
There are lots of – usually shitty, faceless and mediocre – bands filling and infesting this world. What does make your band so special and unique in your genre? Or is this kind of uniqueness even a goal to you?
– We’re not the type of people to make comparing ourselves with others a big priority, so on that level being unique or not isn’t something we think about a lot. That being said, I think there is a definite sound and atmosphere to our songs which is fairly recognizable.
When I first heard about you, you were still working on a demo level, but now you are heading for the realm of “real” releases. Nowadays bands don’t often use the time to develop themselves but rather release undeveloped albums with help from stupid record labels… How important a phase do you consider this evolving process and demo phase in your case?
– Very important. While we are not overtly technical in the same way as some, we put a lot of time and effort into our song writing and reject a lot of ideas which we don’t feel are appropriate or fully developed. On another level, the demo phase is important in terms of getting your music out before the kind of financial and contractual issues which can come into play with a full-length rear their heads. We went to a lot of trouble to ensure that the tape was as widely available as we could make it, which meant writing endless letters and lining up at the post office for days on end. But doing that shows a real commitment to what you are doing and the ideals of the underground, which is really a bunch of fans rather than a big corporate machine.
Many bands have released their best and effective material on their demos. Throw some of your memories about good demos, bands etc. and some thoughts on the meaning of demo releases to you!
– As you say, the initial phases of a bands career often yield the most interesting materiel and usually it’s carried off with a degree of enthusiasm that somehow lacks after an album or two and a bunch of tours. A lot of what I love about Demo releases is the fact that they show a band operating totally on their own, with no financial considerations or artistic compromise. We all try and keep in touch with the demo scene, particularly here in Australia, and it’s always a cool thing when someone sends you something unexpected just for the hell of it. We often turn up at rehearsal with copies of tapes people have randomly sent to us either from here or abroad, and try and make sure we all have a listen to what comes in.
You released your demo in tape format. What does make the tape so fascinating a format to you (the artwork, sound quality etc.)?
– I guess it’s a less-disposable format than a cd-r and shows a commitment to getting something out there which looks good and obviously isn’t just a rushed job. On another level, they are pretty indestructible, particularly the big old chunky ones we used for the demo. I also think they sound great as they tend to minimise the tinny, digital sound that cd’s can get.
What does Death Metal mean to you when comparing it to Black Metal, for example?
– Before I answer that, I’d add that I’m a big BM fan as well. But for me Death Metal emphasizes heaviness and aggression over atmosphere and image (which has its good and bad aspects). It’s the music we grew up listening to and as such very close to our (black) hearts.
What kind of political/ philosophical/ spiritual message does your music/lyrics carry?
– Ignivomous creates music and lyrics which we hope convey hatred toward the Abrihamic liars, exploration of the shadow-side of human existence and glorification of the beast in man.
One word: Satan. Any thoughts about it/him/her?
– Obviously there are differing interpretations, but to me Satan represents the principal of opposition to received dogma – a universal balance principal which accuses false ideology in favour of the true nature of man (which, like all predatory animals, is “red in tooth and claw”). An archetype in western consciousness representing pride, wrath and rebellion.