Rites of Gore with Sentient Horror
Art: Juanjo Castellano Rosado
All I need is my guitar, a cup of coffee, and my DAW open in front of me. The writing process is like anything else in music, just a lot of hard work and attention to detail. I’ll begin conceptualising a new record by making some playlists of bands or albums I want to influence my process this time. With lyrics, it’s the same thing, but I’ll try to consume horror media to help with inspiration for that.
I am an atheist, and I have strong personal convictions, but it’s not anything that I try to filter into my music. Some bands are awesome at that, and I like some bands with strong messages in their music, but I prefer Sentient Horror to escape reality.
Death metal, it started with tech/prog death bands like Necrophagist and Obscura. Then Opeth led me to discover Edge of Sanity, which led me to the whole Stockholm scene, which is a very big and obvious influence on Sentient Horror. But if we’re going further back, I started with Iron Maiden and Metallica, like how most teenagers probably get started. Then I was into the shred guitar and power metal stuff, which led me to get into the tech death bands. But the short list of “game changer” albums for me, in terms of death metal, are (in no particular order): Death ‘Leprosy’, Dismember ‘Like an Everflowing Stream’, Entombed ‘Left Hand Path’ (which is also, in my opinion, the greatest death metal album of all time), Edge of Sanity – ‘The Spectral Sorrows’, and Carcass’ Heartwork’. Some of those aren’t necessarily my favourite records from those bands, but they were the albums that significantly impacted me at the time. My five favourite death metal bands are death, Dismember, Entombed, Edge of Sanity, and Carcass. I don’t have many individual musicians in death metal that I idolise. Still, my #1 would be Chuck Schuldiner, as I’ve found myself in an identical role within Sentient Horror as guitar/vocal/band leader/songwriter. I also admire Bill Steer from Carcass and Dan Swanö from Edge of Sanity/Bloodbath/etc. Whom I can say I’ve since had the pleasure of working with on a professional level and consider a friend.
I enjoy my edibles! Aside from that and coffee, I don’t partake in other traditionally creative vices. I enjoy video games and can get sucked into them too much if I’m not careful! I’m a huge Resident Evil fan, and I’ll make it a point to run through some of the classic instalments of that series around Halloween time every year.
In both music and other forms of art, definitely. I mentioned I was into the shred guitar scene in my late teens and twenties, and I still am a guitar nerd and love guitarists like Michael Schenker, Marty Friedman, Yngwie Malmsteen, Gary Moore, Jason Becker, etc. My dad raised me on prog rock, and Genesis is my favourite band to this day because of that. They are my ultimate songwriting heroes. Outside of music, I am a huge David Lynch fan. My wife and I binge all three seasons of Twin Peaks annually. I always find it fascinating to hear David talk about the creative process, and while he enters his creative realm differently than I do, I take a lot of the advice he gives on the process. Like any art form, there are varying levels of appreciation, starting at a surface level of entertainment and going deeper to meaningful emotional and spiritual connections. I think both can be completely valid reasons to consume music.
I had mentioned being raised on 70s Progressive Rock, so those bands like Genesis, King Crimson, and Rush will always be huge bands for me. Rush is well-known, but some metal fans might be unaware of the early Genesis era. If you haven’t listened to any of the Peter Gabriel-fronted albums, I highly recommend them. Same with King Crimson, they were shockingly heavy for the time and probably what got my ears accustomed to the same kind of dissonances used in death metal from an early age. For specific albums, I’d tell Genesis it is Selling England by the Pound, and for King Crimson, it’s Red for my personal favourites.