After listening to “Of Martyrs’s Agony and Hate” a couple of months ago I felt quite impressed by the music of Scent of Death that I really wanted to interview the band. It didn’t take me long to think about the questions – done them all at work, as I had one very quiet day and was able to write all of them of paper and think it through – also Jorge didn’t toy much and gave great and informative answers. The result is al good I think, but check it yourself.
I guess I should start by asking you why the hell have you been so inactive for the past seven years? What happened to the band after the release of the debut album “Woven in the Book of Hate”? Have you had maybe some line up problems or label problems what led you to stay a bit inactive? I’m just guessing here, but the truth is that this CD went by pretty much unnoticed and not so many maniacs know it and Scent of Death, right? Tell me, if I’m wrong and explain yourselves, please!
Hello from Spain!! Here’s Jorge, lead guitar of Scent, ready for this third degree interrogation, hehehe… Well, a lot of things had passed since we released “Woven in the Book of Hate”, we made a good number of concerts after the CD release, working with live drum programming, but after some gigs, we were very bored of this situation. We’ve found a local drummer, Jorge, and began the rehearsals with this new member. We spend a lot of time practicing with him. He never played death metal before (but he likes this music a lot, obviously), so the work was very hard in the beginning. After some months, we were ready to make the first live show with the new line up… The songs of the CD were played in a slower tempo on these gigs, but the performance was great, we thought that we’re building a good way to work faster in the future. Later, we made a short tour with Dementor and Killchain, but the speed of the songs was the same, we were completely blocked in this aspect. We didn´t find a solution for all these speed problems, so we decided to part ways; that was a completely friendly separation, you know... He is now in a nu-metal band and I only have the best wishes for him.
We began the search for a new drummer. The first option was Alfred, who recorded the first album, but he was very busy with other bands, recordings, clinics, masterclasses… Finally we didn´t find a way to combine our agendas. A couple of months later we’ve found our actual drummer, Rolando “demolition man” Barros, a legendary musician in the Portuguese scene. We spoke with him and he accepted the offer to play with us. Rolando is a fucking grinding blastmachine; you can hear his work in the entire album, it´s completely amazing!!!
During this time we had finished the composition of all the tracks of the new record…time to search a studio. We were in contact with a local producer, but this man was a fucking incompetent, he works with delays and an evident lack of professionalism in all the aspects. At the same time, our singer disappeared, we lost completely the contact, no phone calls, no answer to the mails… Fuck, he only told us a couple of months later that he was very busy and another shitty explanations (we still don´t know the real reasons today!!!), after eight years of friendship and musical affinity he left the band in the worst moment, in the middle of a new recording… fucking situation, man!!! We began the search of a new vocalist. Rolando suggested us one of his friends, Sergio (he is the singer in another brutal band from Portugal called Bleeding Display (check this band!!!)).He learned all the tracks of the album in a month, so he was ready to enter the studio in a record time!!! He recorded the vocal lines in two days and all was great (finally!!!...). The incompetence of our sound engineer was growing and growing and we decided that we will either change the studio or we could kill this “professional”. Once again, Rolando gave us the solution. We spoke with the man who recorded the last CD of Grog (one of the bands where Rolando is playing), a fucking genius called André Tavares. This men saved us from all the incompetence we suffered in the past. He works fast and with an incredible precision and patience. In two months the mixing and mastering of the songs was made… Finally all comes to the end…
All the changes in our line-up made us stronger, our actual formation is the best of all our years in our musical life… We have the problem of the distance, but Rolando and Sergio are very talented musicians, and only with a rehearsal we can be ready for a concert.
Yes, the CD is pretty unnoticed for now, but we are beginning the work, man. You know, day after day we are busy in the promotion; sending CDs, using the web to spread our name, working with promo agencies like Viral Propaganda, answering interesting interviews like this one, hehehe…
I actually meant that the debut album “Woven in the Book of Hate” went by rather unnoticed and not many maniacs would hear it and know the band’s name.
I see that some of the band members, who recorded “Of Martyrs’s Agony and Hate” are new, they joined the band quite recently – I mean here the drummer and vocalist… What happened to the previous band members and how have you found the new companions, who joined you in your antichristian crusade?
Well, I think that this question is answered in the previous one…
I actually do have “Woven in the Book of Hate” and I can say it is damn good album. I rated it for 80/100 at that time of its release. Tell me what reactions of the underground have you seen on this CD? What happened to this album that it remained so little known? Do you think it deserved more?
Thanks a lot for your words about our music, my friend… We make music in a complete hedonist way, hehehe… fuck the new fashions, we are here to play killing Death Metal in an obscure and technical style. We make music for ourselves, for our personal pleasure and satisfaction, you know… All the reviews were very good; the people really appreciated our songs and the effort in the design of the booklet and the killer cover. We are proud of our edition; we think that our CD can compete with any release of today in the extreme genre.
I don’t know if we deserve more recognition for this new opus, I am not too worried for this aspect. Scent of Death was born in 1998, we are a part of the metal scene for 15 years, we still are here, our unique intention is to make good music, the music that we like to hear… Obviously, we are trying to promote our name around the world, but we are conscious that our style is underground and the underground is a fucking jungle where it is very difficult to stand out from the mass. Many bands work very hard every day to conquer some recognition, and we are now in this situation. The personal satisfaction of a well done music is enough for us.
With Pathologically Explicit Recordings, aren’t you afraid that once again the album may not get the deserved recognition? You know, I’ve never really heard of this label before, so I’m afraid that their abilities as well as promotion, distribution may be very limited. I mean, OK, they’ve released a number of brutal death metal, mainly Spanish and US bands, but really I have a feeling like your album may need a little bit more, but correct me if I’m wrong and actually Pathologically Explicit is improving with their promotion?
Remember that we come from Spain and in this country the situation is very fucked in all the senses… We trust in the work of our two record labels, the conditions they offered to us were the best in my country. Other labels only give us promises and nothing was clear with the final result. I think that Bloody and Pathologically Explicit are making a good promotion work within their means. We know very well the work of Fernando and Dani (the owners), they are working hard for the underground scene and their bands, you can be sure!!! The album deserves a little bit more? I don´t know, it will be great to make a contract with Listenable or Unique Leader, perhaps for the new record, hehehe…
And they also release the LP version of “Martyrs’s…”. Ha, that must be great feeling to have something like this released! And with that artwork it surely will look great (and sound also of corpse!).
It´s very cool when you see your music released in this format. The vinyl is the best representative of the metal music. After some years of the CD supremacy the big format is coming again with strength, that´s good!!! I think that the sound in this version is more “organic”, far away of the “clinic” sound of the CD and near to the “real” sound. It´s great when you see a big size cover with all the details.
Trick question now! But I’m curious – is the misspelling in the title “Of Martyrs’s Agony and Hate” intentional or it’s just a result of imperfect English of Scent of Death members? I guess it is a bit sad that the album came out with the mistake in the title…!
Yes, this is a trick question!!!The misspelling in the title was a fucking incident! You can be sure that this mistake is not intentional. It’s a sad situation, but I hope that this small error does not represent a drag on the quality of the CD . Come as you see, the English learning level in Spain is not the best, hehehe…
Seeing the titles of both your albums and also reading a bit of the lyrics from the new CD I can make an easy conclusion that Scent of Death is very antireligious, antichristian band. Tell me something more about it. You know, Spain, just like Poland, belongs to those very catholic countries, so is this fact actually making you even angrier towards religions as you can see its hypocrisy in your everyday life?
We are against all religions, my friend. Spain is a catholic country, but we see year after year how the cult is getting weaker and weaker. If you go to a church on Sunday, you will see that the ages of the congregation are between 55-65 years. The Catholic Church doesn’t have a young generation to continue the worship. I think that this religion is condemned to oblivion. The other side of the coin is the Islamic fundamentalism… They are fucking crazy, but their power and influence is growing every day. They represent the real problem.
I wonder how your families react on these antireligious views and the fact that you desecrate all what’s sacred for most of the Spaniards? I know that your country is not just very catholic, but also with big family bound. So, have you already been cursed by all your grandmothers for being “the devils” hehehe?
Well, we never had any problem in this aspect, some people can think that we are crazy or something like that, but the freedom of expression in this country still stands strong. The best for our grandmas is that they don´t know what we do hehehe…
The artwork for “Martyrs’s…” is pretty symbolic… Dead Christ embraced by the devil in the ruins of church… Say something more about it…
Our cover is a very strong and symbolic image, that´s true. We like a lot the concept, where you can understand the composition of the image like the triumph of the reason (symbolized by the devil) and the failure of the religious dogmas. One of the strongest figures in the Christian iconography are the martyrs, the higher expression of the sacrifice in the catholic doctrine. All the faith and love of the martyrs can be turned in the purest hate when they see that their god is only a lie. They spend their lives for a false idol, and that´s a fucking situation!!! You can understand the cover art in this way but it can also be seen like a simple satanic image.
Do you think it’s possible that one day we’ll live in world without any religions?
I think that it´s impossible, my friend. The religious yoke appears in all the aspects of the actual society, like a cancer in the roots of the men through the history. The humanity needs to create a superior “god” to justify its existence, that´s a fact. Even if the initial purpose of the religion is good (to preserve a moral laws for the society), you can be sure that sooner or later the doctrine will be distorted and perverted for the benefit of an elite. It’s a sad thing, but the mankind and the religion are united till the end of the times.
Technical, brutal, modern death metal, but played in the way which still makes it memorable, energetic and killer is not easy and common. But Scent of Death really managed to get it done all right way. I did enjoy the album a lot, even if often such music is not necessarily my thing. Tell me, what aim did you have while composing “Martyrs’s…”? How did you want the music to be like and sound like and how much are you satisfied with the final result?
We are very satisfied with the final result, but as I told you in the first question, this album was a hard test for the entire band. Once again, thanks a lot for your words about our music, I think that you are our fan #1, hehehe… We spend a lot of time in the composition of a new track, we use a lot of riffs and arrangements in our songs and this process can take three or four months for each track. We try to use different tempos and riffing style in the composition, it´s a hard work, but we don´t want to be a band that is repeated on each album. Until now, we have two new tracks (“The Lesser Evil” and “Sooner or Later”), and I can assure you that these songs are a fucking storm of fast Death Metal!!!
Our personal tastes are varied. Personally, I don´t like these new bands of “old Death Metal”, it’s a fucking metal fashion… Most of these bands don´t contribute with anything to the old style, they only make a “clonation” of the historic bands. Death metal must evolve with the time, we must respect the old and the music of the pioneers, but if you base your composition only to make a copy of other bands that isn´t good for the style.
I think “Ego Te Provoco” is my favourite song, what about you?
Yeah!!! “Ego…” is one of my favorite tracks of this album. Five minutes of a mid-tempo song with a lot of groove (something like “Where the Slime Live” hehehe) and fucking explosions of brutal death metal. The drum work of Rolando and the vocal lines of Sergio are amazing and the solo work is very precise and clean. We are very proud of this track, I think that this song is like a death metal symphony, with some kind of orchestral atmosphere, you know…
Would you say that bands like Suffocation, Hate Eternal, Nile, Morbid Angel, Severe Torture have influenced you when composing “Martyrs’s…”?
Yeah men!!! We love all these great gods of Death Metal (except Severe Torture, this band don´t represent any influence for us). Immolation is a very strong influence for us, you can see it clearly in our first CD, we love this band, but I must said to you that this band has lost a lot of power and intensity when they replaced their drummer (Alex Hernandez) for the actual (Steve Shalaty). Don´t get me wrong, he is an incredible drummer, but he doesn´t have the creativity and the style of the previous one, that´s true… The band lost a very important member… They lost the twisted character in the composition and the arrangements. “Harnessing ruin” is the first bad album of these gods of death metal and I think that they are fixing this situation CD after CD, but I prefer albums like “Unholy Cult” or “Close to a World Below”. We try to search a personal sound, but we are surrounded by metal everyday and this situation can be an influence, hehehe…d the ter member drummer, but he don, but I must said to you that this band has lost a lot of power and int
What make you go to Portugal to record “Martyrs’s…”? Was it because of the financials or you just don’t have any proper studios in your area?
As I said before, our first sound engineer was a fucking idiot… we left the first studios for this reason. The problem was the men behind the controls, not the recording room, with very good equipment!! As I said before, we were lucky at the end, because we’ve found the perfect men for the work in Lisboa - André Tavares saved our asses, my friend!!
Arrgghhh, tell me honestly – do you like Behemoth’s “Lucyfer” song?! And guess why am I asking this question!
Hehehe… You think that I had copy the beginning of the “Lucyfer” song, because it´s very similar , but this track was composed in the times of our first CD, in 2006, so I think that in this case, Mr. Nergal has stolen my riff, hehehe…
Who knows, maybe he did hehe???!!! How do you remember the beginnings of Scent of Death and those days when the band was formed? What led you to form this unholy legion? And what about “Entangled in Hate” demo? Do you still enjoy what you’ve done in your very beginnings?
We were younger and with more hair in our head, I think… I founded Scent with Carlos; we were very active in the local metal scene and our previous bands were dissolved so we decided to create this new beast, hehehe… We are proud of our first tracks (even the ones which never were recorded), and of course we love the “Entangled in Hate” MCD. That release represents the first steps in our musical path, and songs like “Tortured Mind” and “Living Structures” are full of hate, darkness and Death Metal violence. In the first times we spend a lot of hours in the rehearsal room (time has not changed that) and we were trying to find our personal sound and way of composition, you know… We are still working in the same direction, but with another point of view, perhaps more professional. Without any doubt, the old times in the band were fucking great, but I prefer the present times, we are very happy with our new CD and the upcoming t-shirts, with a incredible design for all the die-hard metal fans!!! (some subliminal advertising, hehehe…)
Will you be playing some gigs to promote the album, maybe a small European tour or something? Would you be able to do something like this, or your day jobs, families and other responsibilities don’t let you do that?
We are now working in this aspect, but a European tour is very difficult in this moment. The distance between the members and the economical aspect is a big burden. We only can make plans for gigs in our country or a small tour between Portugal and Spain. Anyway, we prefer to make a small number of concerts with good promotion to assure a minimal affluence of public, we prefer quality before quantity. We only accept a European tour with Morbid angel or Immolation, hehehe…
Ha, question I always like to ask!!! Tell me something about the early Spanish scene, from early 90’s! What bands did you like most and why do you think they’re not so well known? I do like such bands as Antropomorfia, Necrophiliac, Unbounded Terror, Elbereth, Avulsed, Mythical, Sacrophobia, Fermento, Feretrum, etc,. How do you like them? Why they all seem so little known? Would you like to record some covers of such old Spanish bands? And from nowadays, what are your fave hordes from Spain?
The old times!!!! I was a young metalhead, always listening heavy metal and thrash… and beginning my way into the death metal. We were very lucky in this time, because Galicia has a little but very strong scene. I think that the best bands of the country come from my land: UNNATURAL, SUFFER AGE, DEFACE, S.O.K., ABSORBED… you can hear their recordings and see that they were one step beyond the rest of the Spanish scene (Check “Avowals”, a three-split CD of Galician bands). The bands you said from Spain are a legend in our metal history, but I must tell you that I don´t like very much their music… sorry! We don´t have in mind made a cover of these old songs, we prefer to spend our time in our music, hehehe…
My fave bands from Spain are the old UNNATURAL (the BEST Spanish Death Metal band of all times - check their MCD “Throne of Anguish”) BAALPHEGOR, VERMIS ANTECESSOR, EPHEMERAL and UPCOMING OF DEVASTATION. I recommend you all these bands, my friend!!
I do also respect what Dave Rotten did and still do for the scene. Oh yeah, this is the questions, would you want to join the roster of Xtreem Music, which seems to be a good label?
Xtreemmusic it´s one of the biggest labels in Spain, sure… Rotten is a very active figure in the underground scene in our country. This label has edited a lot of CD´s and is one of the biggest portal of brutal music in the world… but they don´t show any interest in us. We send a promo, but we didn´t receive any answer from the label… I don´t know why.
Galicia, where you live, is autonomous land, belonging to Spain. How do you feel about this? I ask about that, as recently there was a lot of noise around Catalonia and Basque and with the problems of Spanish economy maybe some would like to separate from Madrid? Do you think it is good option?
This entire politic situation is stupid, my friend… Some people in Catalonia and Basque Country want to conquer the independence of the Spanish state. Here is the problem: some people, but not all the people in these lands… the separatist are a minority, but they make a lot of noise in the actual crisis. Spain in very fucked in this time… our Politics are a bunch of corrupt motherfuckers, we have five millions of unemployed, the public money are poorly managed. This situation makes stronger the separatist opinion, but I think that the economic and social problems will not disappear with this political option. We need to stand united in the present time, our country needs a political cleaning, a purge in the institutions.
If I was a tourist, interested in history, which historic but also some modern places would you recommend me to visit in your area?
Ourense is a little city, but this fucking hole in the ground has a good number of historic constructions, like cathedrals and roman bridges. We have a lot of thermal waters, and this situation bring us a good number of tourists. Is a very quiet place, you know, but in the cultural aspect it´s a dead city.
OK, I’ll finish here as it seems already a lot of questions on different topics have been asked. Do you have anything to add? Maybe you wanna recommend the album or something, do it freely now and take care! Thanks for this interview!
Well, thanks a lot for this great interview; I hope that all the people who read these lines will be interested in our music. All the metalheads can be sure that our new record don´t disappoint anyone! We are in a good number of places in the web, check our links and stay in touch!!!