Ageless Oblivion stripped it back
Joe catches up with David Porter of rising British metallers Ageless Oblivion.
How Are you today?
I'm doing pretty well, I didn't get drunk last night so I'm starting off a Saturday actually refreshed!
You just finished a tour supporting Vital Remains and Gogoroth How did that go?
It was great fun. It was a bit intimidating at first, we had no idea what the guys in the bands were going to be like. I mean everybody has heard the stories about Gorgoroth and of Taake the band Gogoroth's new singer Hoest is part of. The kind of stories you hear about them, we were thinking "Shit, what are we getting ourselves into?" but we realised there is no way we could not do it and above all we were massive fans of Gogoroth and Vital Remains. I can remember listening to Vital remains when we first formed this band. So we knew this was an opportunity we just had to take. So luckily they were extremely welcoming. We hadn't really toured that much as a band and we hoped to be shown the ropes a little and they were more then happy to do that. They were all extremely friendly. Especially on the UK dates we had a band opening called Ethereal who were awesome, really tight and they had the corpse paint thing going on and Vital Remains had the Satanist thing going on then there was Gogoroth and then there's us! We're kind of stripped back, just 4 guys playing their songs so I think people were expecting a big extravagant show but people seem to enjoy us. We had some really good shows and the whole thing was alot of fun.
Was there talk of Satanism backstage?
Oh hugely! Well not so much Gorgoroth surprisingly. They just kind of kept to themselves but the vocalist in Vital Remains Brian Werner (ex- Infernaeon, he is actually a high priest of The Satanic Temple. It came up now and then but mainly everyone are normal people who just love playing their music.
It's interesting. I'd like to speak to someone in that circle because I read interviews with black metal bands or people like Glen Benton and I get what their saying I agree with it. I'm an atheist myself but... I'd like to find out the difference. Where does Atheism end and Satanism begin?
Yeah you've got to remember there's two types of Satanism. There's the symbolic kind of Satanism with Anton LaVey where... basically satan means adversary, it's means against religion and what Satanism teaches is to worship yourself and give into the 7 deadly sins. That's one kind of Satanism. Where you see Satan as a representation of human nature basically then there's the more absurd side theistic where you actually believe in satan as a deity and a God which is open to the same scrutiny as any religion. There's a saying that "All religions can't all be right, but they can all be wrong" you could look at the universe and says there's a creator there, I can't see how there was no design or thought behind it. I can't disprove that, no Atheist can. So it's ok to say I think there was a creator but as soon as you start saying I know who that creator was and he wants me to cut the end of my dick off or he wants to wear cotton on a Sunday that's when things start getting silly.
Let's go back to the beginning. Lets talk about the history of Ageless Oblivion.
Well me, Richard and Steve have been playing in bands for about 10 years. The three of us have been the core of the band since the beginning. We've gone through about 4 or 5 second guitarists and 3 or 4 bassists but the newest member our bass player Sam he joined just after we recorded the first album. He's really committed to music which is what alot of our past members didn't have that. A band takes up alot of your personal time, it costs alot of money. We've had a few different line ups and few few different name.
That leads to a question I was going to ask. Is it true you were signed before you had a name?
I wouldn't say definitely, but yeah we were in contact. We basically recorded the record and Ageless Oblivion was the name we wanted. Siege Of Amida were looking for us online we didn't have a Facebook or anything at that point. They said they didn't like the name! Then we had to think of another which is harder then it sounds but after a while they warmed to it so that solved it.
How did they here of you if you didn't even have a Facebook page at that point?
We went to see Dyscarnate in London, they were supporting Ingested and we just started chatting to them and it turned out we were recording at the same studio they used. They said let us know what it sounds like send us a track. We went to the studio with nothing really in mind we just wanted to see where it would take us. At the end we just wanted a professional sounding record that we could be proud of. So we forwarded a track to a guy in Dyscarnateand he sent it to people at his label and it went from there.
Let's talk about your new album "Penthos".
Musically we wanted to create an album that more emotionally engaging what you find with alot of death metal bands now, not all of them, but alot of them sound like they have written the song by a pro-tools grid. It's all guitar acrobatics etc. We wanted the strip it back a bit. We are mainly inspired by early Nile and Neurosis that more dark kind of stuff. We wanted to create an album that had an atmosphere, something that would resonate emotionally with the listener and with us as well. We always were going to write death metal but we kind of touched on the atmospheric side of things on the first album and we wanted to expand on it. Made things more progressive, darker and more cathartic and heavy as fuck basically!
I've read some interviews with you and you mentioned that Nile's "Black Seeds Of Vengence" was a favourite album of yours and Neurosis and a big influence and I think to sum "Penthos" up in a sentence I would actually say take Neurosis "Times Of Grace" and Nile's "Black Seeds Of Vengence" and "Penthos" is bang in the middle.
Excellent! you've made me very happy! My favorite Neurosis album is actually "Eye Of Every Storm" it's not as heavy as other albums they have done but it has such an atmosphere to it and I'd never heard another band create something like that the same with Nile and "Black seeds of Vengence" it has a certain sound and an atmosphere that you don't find on other Nile albums. So we wanted to do something like that. Something that really had an atmosphere and a sound of it's own.
Let's talk about the amazing artwork.
We commissioned it for the album the artist is Lucas Ruggieri. He is unbelievable, I was a fan and knew I wanted to work with him. We contacted him, told him he concept of the album, sent some lyrics. The theme is basically about human misery and Penthos was the Greek deity of lamentation and sorrow and the album lyrically about the necessity of grief. I sent all this to him and he sent back a draft of what he had in mind and we said straight away to expand on that. There is also an illustration in the booklet for the track "Where Wasps Now Nest" which is based on a Norwegian folk tale about a giant with a wasp's nest as a heart.
What's next for Ageless Oblivion?
Well we've missed the boat on most festivals this year because of when the album was released. We are probably going to go out again in October. We have a few things we are planning but can't really say too much yet. We have made an early start on new material, we're not sure if we are going to put out an EP or an album but we want to make a logical step forward from "Penthos" so we want to be sure it's solid. yeah we've got things coming up.
What are your top 5 favorite albums?
Nile - "Black Seeds Of Vengence"
Iron Monkey - "Our Problem"
Peter Gabriel - "So"
Neurosis - "The Eye Of Every Storm"
Darkthrone - "Transilvanian Hunger"
Maiden or Priest?
Favorite Priest album?
So glad you said that! "British Steel" is always regarded as their classic but "Painkiller" is so much better!
Are you looking forward to the new album?
Yeah well they put one out a few years ago "Nostradamus" and that was dogshit! But if the new one is a bit more classic then I'm looking forward to hearing it.