Interview with instrumentalist Matron Thorn | By Brandon Ringo
Florida is certainly not an odd place to hear great, unique death metal. For all intents and purposes, the genre was born in Florida. Even so, it’s shocking that the hateful, oppressive, horrifying sounds of Ævangelist were spawned by the state. With the release of Writhes in the Murk – their newest slab of terror – the band has now released head-turning full-lengths three years in a row. Guitarist, bassist, drummer, and terrifying atmosphere-ist Matron Thorn discusses how the band formed, their prolific output, and why their sound is so damn unsettling.
What were the circumstances that led to the band’s creation?
2010 was when I approached [vocalist, saxophonist, cellist] Ascaris about working on an original project after we toured together in that same year in a different band. There was a certain chemistry onstage that suggested something more to our encounter, creatively. By design, this “music” is an aberration of all our collective influences; we distanced ourselves from the nuances of pre-existing bands to cultivate something closer to the soul. Whether or not its form turned out to be metal of some kind was inconsequential to the path.
Was your dark sound and atmosphere something you initially aimed to create when the band started?
At the heart of Ævangelist, we have always sought to provide an honest reflection of human existence through our mirrors to the other side. Terror and misery were simply the result of our formula.
Where does Ævangelist’s creative influence come from?
The music and lyrics combine to transmit the dark frequency of the esoteric, which is heard by every person who decides to listen. Nothing is necessary to channel the muse that endows the art, for it is something which defies rational explanation, yet we carry with us always.
Tell me about the album art for Writhes in the Murk.
The artwork for Writhes in the Murk is a piece originally created by a Polish artist, Andrzej Masianis. It was selected for its empirical visual relationship to the atmosphere of this album: an image vaguely romantic and of equally sinister portent to convey what could be interpreted as voluntary enslavement to the grandiose vices of the “murk,” or however others might define the blurry moral dead zone where crimes are victimless and indulgence leads to madness. Many secrets are disclosed within the music and are left to be found by whoever may stumble upon them, but the ending is never clear and is never given away without exchange. Whatever is taken away from this art is always reciprocated by the listener, and this is how the music continues to live on and spread through others. We intend to perpetuate the addiction of the devoted to our formula for as long as we shall live.
With the release of Writhes in the Murk, you guys have now put out three albums in three years. Are the albums tied together by any particular theme?
Regardless of how often the formula is replicated, it must transform and change shape, though the exchange will always be the same. This is the only constant. We will explore new ways to peer through the veil and innovate the flavors of horror and despair that exist where others don’t perceive them. We are constantly refining our approach to make every album unique. Some instances will be more technically diverse, others will expand soundscapes to exterior dimensions, and others should suffocate you inside of a box. There is too much unexplored to never go astray.