02 03 Metal Melancholy: INTERVIEW: Ingurgitating Oblivion [German Death Metal] 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

INTERVIEW: Ingurgitating Oblivion [German Death Metal]

Ingurgitating Oblivion are a death metal act from Germany who play some of the finest melancholic and haunting death  metal I have ever heard. The band released a fantastic album in "Continuum of Absence" last year. We sat down with the founding member Florian Engelke for an in-depth talk about the band, their musical voyage and some general death metal chatter!

MM: Hi Guys, it’s a pleasure to have you over on Metal Melancholy.

IO: The pleasure is in our side, too. It's been a while, really, since we've done an interview. So here we are. Sun's shining in merry old Berlin, I took some days off. Life's good!

MM: Firstly, the new album “Continuum of Absence” [REVIEW HERE] released last year, was the first full length after nearly a decade for the band, what caused the large break?

IO: Oh well, that's a bit of a lame and tedious story, really. After we finished “Voyage towards Abhorrence“, I moved to southern Germany and after that to Berlin. My bandmates at the time basically stayed where they still live right now – northern Germany, that is. Well, I had to travel up north once every 5-6 weeks, which sucked and was extremely time-consuming. Also, me being the major contributor of songs, structures and definitely the main man coordinating things like website, partly shows along with most of the organizational matters which come with a band and being quite distant geographically, all this slowed the entire compositional process down. When we actually started recording the tracks of "Continuum of Absence", this posed quite a logistic challenge as well owing to the fact that the guys recorded their stuff up north and I had to finish everything as a musician as in all rhythm guitars and lead guitars and jointly with our producer we had to sort the editing, mixing and mastering as well. Well, to say the least, the material the other guys recorded in the first place was questionable regarding musicianship and that is why the producer and I had to spend weeks of editing, re-recording and so forth. This is how you secure the Nobel Prize in inefficient working processes if you know what I mean. Rest assured, though, that such a long time period happen again. Either we break up altogether (which hasn't been envisaged as of now) or we publish high quality music on a regular basis again, which is exactly what we have in mind.

MM: The album has a very raw yet technical death metal sound to it. How would you guys describe your sound to the unactuated? What was the idea/concept behind going for that melancholic sound the album has?

IO: I guess this just happens. We did not pursue a particular sound – this all comes naturally. When it comes to components such as the kick drum, the overheads, bass sound, guitars, a certain kind of reverb applied to the vocals, I do have a specific idea indeed. However, I cannot claim to envision the entire sound prior to getting started with the mixing, for instance. I kind of take things gradually and at the end there is this beautiful result and I haven't got the faintest idea as to how it came to be. So how would I describe our sound? Well, when it comes to “Continuum of Absence“ I'd say the album presents a mixture of down-to-earth Death Metal tracks which have been spiced up with a certain degree of complexity in the guitar work. The song structures are multi-faceted and diverse, the lyrics are kind of typical of the Death Metal genre – possibly kind of eloquent and certainly dealing with quasi-religious / spiritual matters such as death, rituals, diverse traditions of burial ceremonies, resurrection and such. On “Continuum of Absence“, it was mainly Ulrich, our former singer, who was in charge of the lyrics. I only did “Stupendous, Featureless, Still” and “Descent to the Temple“. Both these pieces of lyrics have been done in an expressionist stream-of-consciousness kind of style. I mainly envision pictures such as labyrinths, rivers, surfaces, busts, faces and put these pictures into language. That is mainly what I do when I write lyrics. That is why I usually cannot be bothered to nail down the lyrical ideas later on, hahaha. Personally I am fine with good language, tasteful pictures and some kind of semantic tension.

MM: What would you like for the listener to feel while he/she is listening to your music? Or let me phrase it this way, do you aim to provoke a reaction or recognition in the listener and if so, what is it?

IO: I very much hope to trigger some kind of awe or an experience which can be likened to diving, swimming in sounds and letting go or possibly disappearing in some sort of vast ocean. I also like to think of IOs music as sonic paintings, something utterly deep. Personally, I like “Stupendous, Featureless, Still” quite a lot as this track kind of foreshadows what is to come on the next IO album. This is a beautiful track both lyrically (linguistically speaking this is a wonderful, dense and sublime) piece and musically I love its complexity and intricacy. This is by far no show-off explosion of technicality. This is a beautiful piece of music which makes sense both technically and most certainly artistically. The new IO tracks will dwell on these ingredients quite a bit, the new tracks will be even more epic and most certainly deeper, deeper, deeper...

MM: I have also noticed that the band is going for a makeover (at least on social media), with a new logo and website in the works. What does the near future hold for the band?

IO: Well, I have been through quite a lot with the band, man. I mean I founded the band almost a decade ago and it has grown dear to me if you know what I mean. At the moment I am working on the new website at www.ingurgitating-oblivion.de. This whole chapter was a drag as well and I had to fight for that domain for a year or so. But that has all been sorted, which is great! The band has undergone some major changes in its line-up – basically four band members left the band or vice. At the end of the day I am the sole remaining original band member and yeah, I managed to team up with some great musicians to record the new IO which is due for early 2016 / mid of 2016. Again, it won't take us another 10 year! We are in the middle of recording the new material and lo and behold, a teaser can be checked out at www.ingurgitatingoblivion.de already! The band has also undergone a makeover, as you rightly stated above. That is, we use a different logotype and some friends and I have created an entirely new website as well. The new album will be more state of the art when it comes to recording standards, we will work at a different studio, some of the tracks are up to 20 minutes long, we have developed some progressive aspects which had already been indicated in “Continuum of Absence” such as fusion elements and rather unconventional instruments, the lyrics will be b-e-u-t-i-f-u-l and the complexity of the tracks has been cranked up quite a bit. The recording guy has been working on one of the tracks aptly entitled “A mote constitutes what to me is not all, and eternally all, is nothing“ for more than half a year, which is a good representation of how complex these tracks are going to be. The tracks are being recorded by two session drummers by the way. One guy is called Paul Wieland, a good friend of mine. The other guy most of you will know as he is the drummer of the most important Death Metal act from Germany, Defeated Sanity. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it's gonna be Lille Gruber, which is gonna be killer!

MM: With an amazing album as “Continuum of Absence” now under the belt, what is next in the musical journey of Ingurgitating Oblivion?

IO: We will finish recording the new material by the end of 2015 / beginning of 2016. Also, we have teamed up with Lille Gruber of Defeated Sanity on session drums. By mid-2016 we will release the new IO album on Willowtip and parallel to all that we will get down to business and play some shows and also complete the line-up. As of now, we are happy with how things progress. I will create a sublime album cover with Rafal, the guy who is running the website together with me. So much looking forward to all that, man. Also, it is just great to work on new material without other people hampering efficiency and decreasing speed. Such a relief! It is awesome to work with such talented musicians right now. Lille and Paul are just amazing drummers. The guy on bass is a good friend of mine, too and is one of the most talented, probably the most talented bassist I have ever had the pleasure to work with. His name is Adrian, he and I write the new IO material, he is an analytical geek, which results in impossible as well as immaculate bass lines. Also, he is a kick-ass vocalist. You better check out the new IO release, haha.

MM: Do you believe you have found your original sound and base, or can fans expect the band to march into further unknown territories with future releases?

IO: We will most certainly venture further into untrod and rugged territories. Rest assures. I guess we will become more progressive, but increase the level of brutality. The new material will certainly be more complex, even more layered, more epic, unconventional without being over the top, irrelevant or cheesy. So no, we have not established some kind of sound base, really. I mean there certainly is ingredients which will tell you right away that you are listening to a new IO album. You will also realize that it has always been me who coined this kind of sound. We will most probably continue to use massive riffs and epic structures. The lyrics will evolve, too, but I will always stick to this linguistic mania of mine, I assume. We will develop elements such as vocals and add ideas, instruments and moods which bear witness to the only one goal I have always pursued: the highest level of musicianship the band was capable of capturing at the moment of recording the respective albums. Life's good and teeming with inspiration. That is exactly what IO have dared to encapsulate in their work – and that is exactly what I will keep on doing. Not matter the odds!

MM: Coming back to some general death metal talk, what is your take on the modern death metal bands and the underground death metal scene in general?

IO: Personally, I care more about music as such … as opposed to some particular genre. I love good music and I appreciate decent people. Bands or composers I dig are the likes such as Nobukazu Takemura, Gorgots, Alessandro Marcello, Prokofiev, Deathspell Omega, Stockhausen, Dordedu, Les Tetes Raides, Brigitte Bardot, Schubart, In the Woods, Ved Buens Ende, Incantation, Coil, Reich, Dvorak etc. There is an infinite number of interesting artists out there – in post-modern composition, Rock, Metal, Jazz and so forth. What I love about bands such as Ulcerate, for instance, is that they care about sound, musicianship and atmosphere. That is what I appreciate in music. Technicality per se is tedious. The bass guitar needs to sound good, the song needs to make sense, and the tension needs to be generated. That is all what I care about. When it comes to Metal as a genre (and again, I do not really care about this category) I am more into obscure shit such as Angel Corpse, Anal Vomit, Sarcofago, early days Sepultura, early days Obituary, Ignivomous, Iniquity, Mayhem, Perversor, early days Morbid Angel, Cerebral Fix, Portal and such.

MM: This brings me to, what does the word “underground” mean to you? Can a band be popular and successful, and still be considered “underground” in spirit?

IO: Hmmm, all I care about is that I like the music. The whole business which comes with it is a technical necessity, I guess. When I go to concerts and people are cool, relaxed and respectful toward one another, I am all happy. I appreciate inspiring, enthused conversations as well as I appreciate a good party. You know, I do not want to over-accentuate this underground idea as I believe it is not really a relevant category. It is normal that people form bonds and want to separate themselves from others. These are traits, however, which cause a lot of conflict and are the perfect feeding ground for preconceived ideas, you know? I go to concerts to have a good time and not to define myself as a person who belongs to a certain sub culture. Don't get me wrong, I have been into Metal for more than 20 years now. I reckon I can be considered a Metalhead. But still, I really do not separate myself from the world by over accentuating categories such as genre, underground and such. This takes a bit of thinking out of the box to grasp a standpoint like “I love Metal, I love music, and I love life”. However, I do not necessarily care too much about underground or subcultures as categories which are relevant in my life“.

MM: That is all from my end. Thank you for taking the time and effort to answer the questions. Is there anything else you’d like to disclose as we end this interview?

IO: Thanks heaps for the interest in IO and what we are about, music and passion for complexity both lyrically and structurally. I am so much looking forward to delivering IO releases again on a regular basis and hey, the new album, of course, is gonna outshine its predecessor. Keep it real, chill out and check out www.willowtip.com as well as www.ingurgitating-oblivion.com for some forward-thinking music :-)

Band Links: Facebook | Website

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