Interview: Gabe Mangold of Enterprise Earth Talks ‘Death: An Anthology’

It’s a tale as old as time: Friends long for a chance to spend uninterrupted time together; a cabin in the woods becomes available, and chaos ensues. However, in this case, all deaths were limited to the lyrics, and the friends actually had a great time—Wait, I thought this was a horror story, not a bromance tale? Well, I can’t confirm if the members of Enterprise Earth would refer to the creation of their excellent fifth record, Death: An Anthology, out February 2 via MNRK Heavy, as a “bromance,” but the nine days they got together in a cabin in the woods near Lake Tahoe absolutely make a heartening story.

Arguably one of the top prog deathcore bands in the world (earth?), Enterprise Earth have undergone a fairly consistent flow of seasons within their band. Guitarist Gabe Mangold is the longest-tenured member now, though he was not there for the metaphorical Big Bang/Garden of Eden situation for the band. With Death: An Anthology serving as the introduction to the current version of the band, it was a great opportunity to reset. What better way to do that than meeting up in a cabin in the woods. It turns out, as Mangold notes, it was invigorating and a lot of fun:

“This is the first record with Travis Worland, our new singer, who’s actually been in the band for about two years now. This was actually the first time that we all got together in a room. We rented a cabin near Lake Tahoe for about nine days and penned most of the record in that time. Because in the past, I wrote all the music, and then (the vocalist) wrote all the lyrics, and it was the same thing with the three singles (with Travis). But this time, I came into the session with five or six demos going. We wanted it to feel cohesive and a true blend of all of our influences, not just me, not just Travis.

We really wanted to make it fun for us and hope it came through on record. This band have been through so much over its entire existence. We’re going through another thing with this vocalist change. Fuck it, we just want to write good songs that we enjoy and just write genuine music and put it out there. And if people like it, that’s fucking cool.”

To go from being the main songwriter to just a cog in the process can go a lot of ways, and many of them are negative. It turns out Enterprise Earth 5.0 wanted to become a truly shared enterprise, with even splits on royalties and aspirations to create equally going forward. Mangold sounds reenergized and revitalized, and unlike those of us who are a little more ego driven (I write solo bylines, so you do the math…), there was never a chance of going back after this.

“(The process) very refreshing and exciting for me personally, because normally I do all the instrumentation and composition. That’s (great but) also a lot of work, and it’s a very heavy workload, especially for an hour-long progressive metal album. So having other minds in the room, it was wonderful. I felt like it alleviated a lot my workload and was just a very cohesive, fun, and efficient way to go about the writing process. So I’m very much looking forward to doing that again.”

The band share a sort of four core influences, but it was how they were utilized and emphasized that made for the special sauce on Death: An Anthology as Mangold shares:

“I always wear my influences on my sleeve. It’s no secret. I like Meshuggah, Opeth, Pantera, and Necrophagist. If I could pick four bands that I pull from when I write, it’d be those four. (This was) an Enterprise Earth record because we were all doing it together. Yes, everything in the past was Enterprise Earth too, of course, but it felt like more so here because there were more minds and energy being put into it. We have a lot of crossover between all of our influences, the four of us, and it was really interesting to see how we all kind of arrived at the same place for each song, but kind of got there with different roads and avenues, if you will, via our own takes on each of those influences that we all share.”

Death: An Anthology comes out on Friday, and you can preorder it from MNRK Heavy. Follow Enterprise Earth on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for future updates.

Photo courtesy of Nick Chance

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