Interview with Antropofagus vocalist Tya and guitarist Francesco “Meatgrinder” Montesanti | By Christopher J. Harrington
Once the whirlwind pummeling by Italy’s brutal tech death masters, Antropofagus, dissipates, you’re left in a spongy daze. You spin and creak and immediately want more. The band lay out some dark and furious music, but it has a special sunny quality to it as well. Their newest record, M.O.R.T.E. (Methods of Resurrection Through Evisceration) – out now via Comatose Music – is a lightning blaster of immensity. It’s pure joy.
“Playing and writing music is a means to exorcise all that negative energy that surrounds my fucking life,” vocalist Tya notes. “It’s no doubt a pure and healthy therapy for all of us in the band.”
Antropofagus formed from the darkened underbelly way back in 1999. They released a full-length, No Waste of Flesh, an EP, Alive Is Good… Dead Is Better, and a split—Split Torso Trauma, with Infected Flesh, Prion, Mass Infection, and Putridity—and then sort of dematerialized. They came back in 2011, forging the behemoth Architecture of Lust the year after that. It seems time has only simmered and stewed these guys for the better.
“I think one of our strong points is that we are a band that was born in the golden age of death metal,” guitarist Francesco “Meatgrinder” Montesanti explains. “Because we stopped playing for seven years and then catapulted ourselves back into the contemporary scene, it’s allowed us to play freely and naturally in the old way, while still being inspired by modern methodology. It’s a good mix.”
M.O.R.T.E. is all technical and beastly, with passages of pure progression and painterly nuance. The overall pace is perpetual, but in a circular way. There’s some deep resonance here. Tya pushes the form with a vital speed. His approach is tasteful and wicked. Philosophical droplets drip from every stem.
“Let’s just say that the lyrical process was very grueling and very personal,” Tya says. “There is a constant in our lives, and it is the ‘eternal return.’ I’m deeply inspired by Nietzsche’s perception of this concept. On M.O.R.T.E., I tried to explore philosophical ideas and extreme situations in my life, various types of nightmares, and some reflections about life and death. This album is very special to me. It represents me in my overall musical form—although I am deep down a good guy,” he laughs.
“Praise to a Hecatomb!” is one of the new record’s purest gems. It positions itself as a perfectly executed nightmare. The darkness is relentless, old-school and gritty; the weight of it dancing in thrash and terror, existing in the spaces beneath. The unison of the band is at its peak here. They smile and dream in a completely realized death metal vision.
“All the new work is very dynamic compared to our old stuff,” Montesanti explains. “‘Praise to a Hecatomb!’ along with ‘The Abyss’ have an even more particular and refined soul. You hear a lot of Morbid Angel influences and even some Hate Eternal mixed in there. Antropofagus still has the same soul it’s always had, but a lot has changed over the years. We have a group of very different people than when we started out, both as musicians and as people. We have the same goals, but we can now accomplish them without the obstacles our younger selves faced.”