When it comes to Texas death metal, you’re really coming up against the frontier of the genres unwholesome outback. It’s not easy to find a death metal band out there that doesn’t have the term “brutal” somewhere in their bio. Maybe it has something to do with the landscape or the culture, but Texas is unequivocally the home of some of the ugliest and most primitive sounding death metal in the country.
Despite their commitment to keeping the primitive roots of death metal a focus of the genre, Texas’s SaviorSkin is anything but typical amount their putrid peers. Taking the brash and streamlined aesthetic of early death metal, they vivisect it, and use the raw viscera to construct a mechanistic proxy of dark ’80s post-punk. In embarking on this unholy task, they have managed to manufacture a uniquely evocative form of electronic metal that is both thoroughly original and troublingly familiar. This breakthrough in blasphemous sound is pushed further by the threading of doom metal’s threnody evoking melodicism and replacing whatever was left of rock ‘n roll’s soul with the cold, succubous-like energy-drain of darkwave and synth-pop.
SaviorSkin is releasing their latest album Omnipotence Of The Absolute (which we premiered earlier in the week) today, via Horror Pain Gore Death Productions. They will be inaugurating the release of their new album tonight with a live stream performance beginning at 8pm Central Time on their Facebook page.
We at New Noise are exceedingly excited for this savage and remarkable album, and because I couldn’t help myself, I reached out to the band with a few questions to see if we couldn’t help stoke the flames of hype for their new release a little higher.
You can stream the entirety of Omnipotence Of The Absolute via Bandcamp while you read my interview with one of the group’s masterminds Somnus Mortem below. Please enjoy!
Below is the transcript of an interview conducted over email on December 14, 2020. It has been altered only slightly for the sake of clarity.
How did you happen upon the title Omnipotence Of The Absolute?
It’s a sarcastic stab at organized religion. Fabricating an infallible and omnipotent deity to justify literally anything with no repercussions.
“Higher power” is a myth. There’s no way around that. Religions are various opinions of that said mythology. It’s the exact opposite of empathy.
It offers nothing viable, and lots of empty promises. People that fall for this are those that have no one to look up to, so they look up to something that’s not really there, therefore no disappointment.
They just make shit up as they go. It’s a sad culture of death. We prefer to live now instead of, well, later on, when we pass.
The cover art is pretty eerie. Where did you find it, and is there a story behind it?
Yes, eerie indeed. It’s a photo of a mental patient being forced
into a crucifixion pose, from 1890 Germany. It conveys perfectly the message of the record. This is how they were punished for unacceptable behavior, forced to take medication, and in some cases,
raped and rented out to help maintain and pay for the asylum.
Irony? Nope. That’s what religion is designed for; systematic mental and physical rape, until you’re too limp and indoctrinated to question anything.
Patient rights were virtually nonexistent back in those days. Private institutions with no government interference tend to do that.
We could’ve easily got a trendier metal cover with some undecipherable logo, but we actually have a message and we’re not
just trying to emulate a “look.”
How did you get connected with HPGD?
I’ve known the owner, Mike Juliano for over a decade, back in the Myspace days. He was interested, and so was I, so there you go.
What can you tell us about the recording of Omnipotence Of The Absolute? Was it different from recording other albums you’ve worked on?
Other than the obvious sonic improvements from previous recordings, I would say I’ve had this style in my head since 1991. I was already trying to bridge the gap between synth-pop and death metal back then – it just took a while to develop it, since, you know, I have to live.
The topics haven’t really changed much, I’ve always had atheistic tendencies at a young age and I just got more and more curmudgeoned as I got older. Now, I guarantee you there is absolutely nothing there. I’ve never been agnostic because I always thought the God mythology was ridiculous.
And I was alone with this belief of non-belief most of my life. I’ve been threatened, judged, bullied, discriminated against because of it. I do not care.
How did you accommodate the conditions of the pandemic in your recording process?
Everything was done “In the box” so it wasn’t that hard. It just took a long time, reworking things here and there, changing melodies, re-arranging, etc. We didn’t need to have any special set up or dumb vintage mics in the studio or anything pretentious like that, our drums are all samples and guitars and bass were recorded direct.
I then sent all the files to HastePro here in Texas, mixed by Ricardo Contreras, and we just bled off each other via Zoom. It worked out pretty great I think.
Where did you get the idea to combine death metal and industrial metal?
I think “electronic” is more apt, as my schooling comes from the post-punk era and pretty much stopped right at the golden age (the early to mid 90’s)
of primitive death metal. By the time all the technical stuff started coming in, I fell out of that. I felt being too technical lost the point of why barbaric music was created in the first place. There was an obsession with doom metal somewhere in between that. I love the simplicity and the mood. I like electronic music mainly because of sampling, I don’t have to have 20 members to achieve what it is I’m striving for. I’m a huge control freak when it comes to that, that way it’s easy to control everything.
What is your gear set up? And how did you achieve the sounds that you did on this album?
For this record, I used this POD Pro rack unit I got from James Murphy. I did the distorted tracks and the DI tracks for the guitars and bass like that.
A lot of people, especially in modern metal, diss Line 6 products – because they’re modeling amps – that’s exactly why I like them. Everyone is obsessed with warmth and tubes and Les Pauls and all that BS. I prefer the cold, digital sound you can get from solid-state…it fits the atmosphere and sound I’m looking for. I collected a bunch of samples and just started building song structures from that.
What can you tell us about the drums and percussion for this record?
Honestly, 3 of my top 5 bands of all time use drum machines…Sisters Of Mercy, Godflesh and Samael. Drum machines amaze me. You can do so much with them. Unlike musicians that use drum machines in the studio, I don’t try to hide the fact that I use a drum machine. I don’t try to make them sound “real”. Since I love Godflesh I used a lot of Alesis drum samples on here, layered with metallic sounds like nails and pots and pans. [laughs] Did a lot of the sound manipulation using a vintage version of Fruity Loops (now FLP Studio).
Any other knowledge you want to drop on our readers?
SaviorSkin is the best new band you’ve never heard of (and probably never will).
Do check out our Album launch livestream concert on December 18, 2020, 8 PM central time on our Facebook page.
Photo by Houston Metal Project.