We managed to send some questions to Piton, guitarist and synth programmer for experimental death metal band YGODEH, to find out more about their recently released second album, Inside The Womb Of Horizonless Dystopia, before they open at The Facemelter this Friday 8th August at The Black Heart.
Photo by Magda Wrzeszcz
You have been around for a few years now. How has the band changed and evolved? More importantly what hasn’t changed? What’s the the concept, idea or value system that sustains and unifies the band?
We’ve been active in the UK for approximately 2 yrs and with 3 albums in short space of time for us is showing that evolution. We are all very different people, different personalities but when it comes to creating music it clicks beautifully. To be honest we are still testing our barriers as a band and pushing the envelope as much as we can. And it is this which connects us as YGODEH.
You use a lot of strings, such as in Descension and in Wake, and there there’s a lot of sampling. What kind of musical background do you come from? Is it all death and progressive metal, or are there other musical genres at play here?
For sure, YGODEH is an extreme form of music however to know that extremity and how to deliver it you need to embrace everything. So all music comes into play when creating our sound from classical to theatrical, for example imagine painting on a black board. The black is the ultimate aggression and darkness but the different colours, shades and tones we decorate this board with is the feeling we wish to portray.
Would it be fair to say that your songs are a form of storytelling, rather than just musical compositions?
Not entirely. The music and lyrics need to go hand in hand. One cannot overpower the other. If the song is great but lyrics aren’t good then we start again. It’s during the composition stage that the lyrical ideas form and how best to tell the feeling we want. Sometimes they can be very different ways of expression. For example how far away Morbid is from a song like Wake.
You use a lot of ‘found sounds’, samples from everyday life. How did that start? And is that something you want to do more of in the future – using sounds of the city for the basis of a whole song?
Inside The Womb Of Horizonless Dystopia is about the pressures of maintaining life in the very corrupt and draining society we live in. So it made sense to use common sounds to get the listener interested as to what it’s about but also for us, as we are a part of the system too so used its voice as another instrument.
Photo by Magda Wrzeszcz
As well as a death metal and progressive metal background to the music, the art of spoken word seem very integral to the work of the band. Are there spoken word artists, or writers, that inform the songwriting process, or do the songs just happen to come out that way?
The songs just happened that way. Serberus has a very deep yet soothing narrator type voice so when it came to experimenting with vocal styles we wanted to try this direction.
Also, having spoken word makes for very good contrast with the black metal/death metal vocals that are on previous albums.
Songs like Descension and Rhythm Of The Beast create quite vivid, almost cinematic, atmospheres in the mind of the listener. Do you start your writing process from a certain image or idea, like a jazz piece, or do you just start playing and let the song reveal itself?
We actually demoed Descension as soon as we finished The Experiment Interrupted and knew we wanted to go down that route in terms of lyrics and style for this album. The feeling we want to give out or what we feel when writing is most important for us and we find it very limiting to just stick with common instruments. There is no contrast.
Having the ability to create an atmosphere or help visualisation is priority for the band as our style and lyrics aren’t easy to digest.
Am I right in interpreting Inside The Womb Of Horizonless Dystopia as a concept album? If so, the ending appears surprisingly optimistic. There is a kind of blues guitar work that makes me think of sunlight, release, awakening. Am I on the right track?
Good guess. The last song Callous is about opening your eyes and the sounds given out reflect this. Whether it’s a happy ending or not is up to the listener. As after all, to see the truth is good but the truth also hurts.
The album is a loose concept album. General idea being maintaining life in a very corrupt and draining society we live in. And the effects this has on our mind, bodies, soul. And also the things we do to dilute this feeling.
Is the dystopia on the album fictional, or are we living in one now?
Correct. We are all living slightly oblivious in one now.
Interview by James Black