Each week, this column will feature a Q&A with a “next generation” death metal representative from the Lone Star State. Through a series of questions, we look to uncover what connects these death metal acts from various cities around the state. We dig into details about specific members musical upbringing, local inspirations, and the various characteristics that make up the spirit of Texas death metal. You can view our first featured band Fleshrot here.
In our second installment of the Texas Takeover, we set our sights on San Antonio death metal act, Mortuary Descent. Mortuary Descent formed in 2019, and released their first single, “Earthwide Extinction,” in 2020. They dropped their newest four-song EP shortly after that, titled Skeletonization, via Life After Death. Their sound is barebones and straightforward death metal, that hits with bone-crushing grooves.
We spoke with vocalist Mateo Longoria to find out more about his Texas roots.
What are some of the things you cherish about having grown up in Texas?
Well, growing up in Texas myself, I was always around heavy metal. My aunt is a big fan of Pantera, and my dad played in bands back in the ’80s. One thing about Texas is we support our locals, and being in a community like the Texas Death Metal scene, there’s plenty of other bands flourishing like us. You’ve got to love the food, too (haha).
Was it common for a lot of you musicians to grow up in a household with music playing, if so, what sorts of music were you guys hearing at a young age?
I think for most of us it was bands like Pantera and Metallica that really started our love for metal. As you get older, you find out about all the death Metal OGs that came from Texas like Devourment, Prophecy, and Imprecation. As for the climate of the culture, shows are always a good time, and everyone comes out for the big bands like Cannibal Corpse and Obituary.
If you can recall, what were your parents’ reactions to the death metal style upon first hearing it? Was this something that they grew to understand or still can’t get into?
They were pretty skeptical at first and couldn’t understand the intensity. They would just hear noise, but over the past year, they’ve grown more supportive as we’ve grown a fanbase.
Has a community developed around some of the more recent death metal bands in Texas? Is it important to you guys to support the other bands from your home state?
I think it’s crucial to support the other local bands making death metal in these modern times; after all, we’re allies, and rising tides make all ships sail. We’ve been able to talk to a few of the new TXDM bands we listen to and make future plans. We only hope to market and connect more. There’s a lot of sick bands right now!
If you were to think about it for a moment, what are the core elements that make up the collective spirit of the Texas death metal sound?
You definitely need a meaty tone with the mids scooped up, palm-muted riffs, and just nasty grooves. We like nasty grooves here in Texas.
A lot of the bands I enjoy from Texas as of late are extremely heavy and in-your-face, what do you guys attribute that to? Is Pantera held in high regard as a big influence for that throwback groove? And on the death metal side of things, what bands do you find yourselves more drawn to?
Yeah man, Dimebag’s style of guitar playing has influenced how the whole state approaches extreme metal. As for myself, I tend to gather influence from the brutal death bands of Texas like Devourment and Putrilage. Flesh Hoarder is also a sick band keeping the brutality alive in Texas.
Who would you consider as local (hometown or statewide) trailblazers for the genre of death metal, and was the fact that these bands were from your home state an inspiration for you to grow as a band?
Personally, for my taste in death metal, I would have to say Corpse Gristle and bands like Necrocide and Embalmed. They really set the bar for Texas death metal. Just great proto-slam/brutal death that would lead to big bands like Devourment.
In what ways have you guys thrived or continued your mission as a band during the pandemic of 2020 and what are your hopes for the future of your band ahead?
Well, we’ve made sure to capitalize on the lack of shows to practice regularly and write as much new material as possible. That, and maintaining our social media presence has been essential. We always want to communicate with our listeners. Other than those two things, It’s mostly been just releasing tapes and merch and doing interviews like this one right here!