If you like Death Metal in the brutal American tradition, with strong musicianship and an overall very dark aura, Italy’s CONTINUUM OF XUL is a name you definitely should pay some more attention to. These guys already knew to impress with a very strong promo demo in 2019 and just released their debut EP “Falling Into Damnation” via Lavadome Productions. Since the new material is of the same high quality again, we wanted to find out more about them and contacted vocalist Tya for the following interview…

Greetings Tya, hope all is well and you’re in a good mood to answer some questions about CONTINUUM OF XUL?
“Hi ! I’m very well, thank you. It’s a pleasure for me to talk with you… so, let’s get started!”

On November 30, 2019 you posted on your Facebook site “CONTINUUM OF XUL was born to summon Evil. Relentless and unstoppable.” Does that mean that on this date, you officially started the band CONTINUUM OF XUL?
“Well, this date was very significant for us. At that time we were in the recording studio completing some songs for HELLISH GOD, my former band. During the recording we had some artistic differences and we subsequently decided to part away with Luigi in a completely friendly way. Since he is the founding member of HELLISH GOD, we decided to found a new band with songs that Matteo, Stefano and I wrote. Here is the true story of the birth of CONTINUUM OF XUL.”

Metal Archives has listed 24 other bands using the word XUL in their bandname and 15 releases that has the word in its title… what made you guys use it for your own band? Tell us a bit more what it’s all about. Did you have any other names for the band in mind as well?
“The truth is that we have not even thought about the fact that someone else might have used the term Xul… It is not our target to see what others are doing or not. We know DOMINUS XUL from Chile, great band and awesome dudes, but we never thought about it, as it is not of our interest.”

Where do you draw inspirations from, when it comes to the lyrics of your songs and are they connected to the XUL topic in any way?
“I try to draw inspiration from philosophical concepts related to my life and everything my belief in it. I have many books of various genres in my collection, so I read a lot, lately I’m obsessed with Jung. A real genius. I love everything that is “ancient” and buried in the memories of the time. This society burns everything very, very quickly and I feel completely out of place, I want to be honest with you, hehe. My Daimon wanders in my inner universe. I owe many inspirations to dreams and to my unconscious, the only faithful and pure element of the human being.”

You all have been in various bands already, so I guess we can say that you’re already quite experienced musicians… What made you still form a new band, what kind of bands / projects are you still involved in these days besides CONTINUUM OF XUL and how did you get together with Matteo Gresele (guitars) and Malga (bass) for the first line-up?
“Basically, we all had an idea of playing some kind of Death Metal superfast, aggressive and full of interesting ideas. Maybe in Italy we are the only ones to have this type of sound, you know!? We have always been influenced by bands like MORBID ANGEL, DEICIDE, IMMOLATION, HATE ETERNAL, VITAL REMAINS etc. It was very easy for us to create extreme music, inspired by the bands listed above trying to work on our own sound.”

What about Luigi Contenti (drums)? He also gets mentioned as a session member… so, was he never a full member of the first line-up?
“Luigi recorded drums for songs that weren’t released as HELLISH GOD. By mutual agreement we have decided to credit him as a session drummer. He’s a friend of mine, above all. Respect first.”

At the end of 2019 you already introduced Riccardo Fanara as the new drummer of CONTINUUM OF XUL… How did you find him so quick after you just had recorded the promo songs with Luigi?
“Riccardo left the band after a few months due to some problems at work. He never recorded any material with us. He’s still an incredible drummer and good mate.”

But it seems the line-up still didn’t work out completely since you’ve added Void and Giulio Galati on bass and drums respectively in mid 2021. What happened?
“They have never been official band members, but session members. For sure, they made an incredible contribution to “Falling Into Damnation”, both on the professional side and on the artistic way. They are truly giants in their field. I want to clarify this once and for all: the only stable and founding members of the band are Matteo and myself. End of story.”

Which bands had the biggest impact on all of you musically? It seems that you are heavily inspired by the US Death Metal scene with bands like MORBID ANGEL, HATE ETERNAL, IMMOLATION and the likes… would you agree with that? Were those bands basically responsible that you founded CONTINUUM OF XUL? How about the South American scene? Any favorites from there as well?
“I can only agree with you. Obviously it is only part of our background, we are fans of the Dutch and South American scenes. As a band, I repeat, we have as references the various MORBID ANGEL, DEICIDE, IMMOLATION, HATE ETERNAL etc. In the vocal way I have always loved singers like Vincent, Benton, Mike Van Mastrigt, Jan-Chris de Koeijer, Matti Karki etc. Personally, I listen to a lot of Ambient, DarkWave, Hardcore… I don’t have a lot of limits in music. Obviously, there are some shitty things, but that’s another story… Speaking about South America: we would like to join in the condolences for the loss of our friend, Lohy of REBAELLIUN. A great warrior and a wonderful person. Rest in power, bro.”

What I really liked about your releases is the fact that you can even hear the bass pretty good in the mix, which often isn’t the case when it comes to Death Metal releases, so was that of importance to you right from the start when you recorded your material?
“Yes, it is a very important aspect of our sound. I don’t always appreciate when an instrument is generally played badly or has to override its role. I generally like balanced and natural mixes, where each instrument has its function in its context. When you have two good players in the band like Malga and Void, it was very easy to get good results, especially to the sound of the band.”

Your first release was the “Promo MMXIX” demo in 2019, which featured the songs ‘The True Vassago’, ‘Conjuration Through Obscurity’ and the MORBID ANGEL cover ‘Visions From The Darkside’… tell us a bit more about this release and the origin of the songs. It read somewhere that it was recorded, mixed and mastered between May and September 2019 at the Toxic Basement Studio in Milan, Italy. Why did it take you this long to record just three songs?
“Yes, it was recorded and mixed by Carlo Altobelli at Toxic Basement Studios. The songs were composed by Malga and Matteo, I wrote all the lyrics except for the MORBID ANGEL cover, obviously… Yours is a good question, but one that is easy to answer: the most important aspect for having taken a long time to record three songs was precisely linked to the artistic differences created in the studio. Nothing different from what I told you. In any case, I am very satisfied with that promo, it was an important step for our musical growth.”

The MORBID ANGEL cover was the last song you recorded for the promo, so was this more or less a last minute decision or was it planned right from the start that you would record two own songs and that cover?
“No, it was all planned since the beginning. We were just uncertain in choosing the cover, not the band. We just had to choose between ‘Visions From The Darkside’, ‘Vengeance Is Mine’ and ‘Lions Den’. It was all pretty simple and fun!”

In 2021 the songs from your promo demo also ended up on a split release with Mexican Death Metallers ABYSS OF PERDITION… How did this come about?
“Yeah, well… Carlos from Clandestine Productions contacted us as he was interested in our material. At first, he asked us if we had recorded further material in order to publish a full length or something like that. At the time we only had three songs (those of “MMXIX”), so he proposed us a split with ABYSS OF PERDITION, also Mexican as a label. We gladly accepted the deal… and here we are! It was a great experience with really cool and helpful people. ABYSS OF PERDITION are war machines!”

Since I didn’t get to hear the original split release, can you tell us more about the intro that was added to your part of the release?
“Nothing in particular, after all. We needed some kind of alternative introduction and we put it in. There is no secret about that, haha.”

I’m just asking this, because your tracks also appear as secret bonus tracks on the CD edition of your new EP “Falling Into Damnation” again, but instead of an intro, the sixth song is just silence… was that a mistake or was it planned to be like this? By the way, why didn’t you mention the songs on the cover?
“Look, we have opted to include “MMXIX” for all those who follow us in Europe, who have had difficulties finding our material. Basically it’s a sort of “giant” bonus track which, qualitatively, is absolutely not inferior to “Falling Into Damnation” in terms of production and intensity.”

The new EP was released by Lavadome Productions. Did you sign with them just for this release or will there be more releases in co-operation with them?
“We have an agreement with Lavadome Productions for two releases, “Falling Into Damnation” released this year and a full length we are working on. We have a handful of really devastating songs in our hands and more in the works. Jan is a unique person in Europe, his dedication is amazing and his incredible support still helping us a lot for the growth of CONTINUUM OF XUL.”

It seems you recorded the new songs individually all on your own in different cities / studios… was this necessary due to the pandemic or do you work this way all the time anyway?
“We have made “Falling Into Damnation” in four studios around Europe. The pandemic was the main problem for logistical travel, however Matteo and I live in different cities, so distance is not a problem. Obviously, you must necessarily be prepared in the studio knowing how to perform the piece in the best possible way. It is not difficult, you just have to want it.”

Are there any big differences from your own point of view (improvements or changes) in the writing or recording, between the material on “Falling Into Damnation”, when you compare it to the songs from the promo / split release?
“They are similar but different, as you can hear. Surely “Falling Into Damnation” represents for us an evolution in terms of song structures, sonic violence and creativity. A song like ‘Dreaming In The Underworld’ would not have been born if not from a process of expressive freedom, without borders or preconceptions. I am particularly attached, I think it is the best song I have ever recorded in general and the lyrics are based on a recurring nightmare of mine. The production has improved, the analog mixing gives strength to the songs and balance of the sound. Editing has not been implemented, another horror of modern sound… that is, there has been growth, although we are still very attached to “MMXIX” and indeed, we are resuming the song ‘Conjuration Through Obscurity’ which will probably be included in the full length.”

The choice of the cover song this time really surprised me a bit, since I didn’t expect you to go for an ABSU song… tell us a bit more about this decision and if you made any changes compared to the original to make it fit the CONTINUUM OF XUL style a bit better.
“It’s one of the things I explained to you in the previous question, if you think about it, a desire to try something different, but at the same time compatible with our proposal. “Barathrum V.I.T.R.I.O.L.” is one of my favorite albums, it’s no mystery to those who know me… it accompanied me for most of my youth. I proposed it to Matteo, he really liked the idea and we put it in a context like “Falling Into Damnation”. I think it was a good choice and is very much liked by those who worship ABSU. Boom!”

What can you tell us about the “Falling Into Damnation” artwork? I suppose it wasn’t created for you exclusively, but seems to be an old painting… who came up with it and does it represent the EP’s title and / or lyrics in any way?
“Yes, I can confirm it. It‘s not an exclusive work of us, but one of 15 engravings from a French catechism from 1647. Matteo showed it to me and there was no doubt that it should become the cover of “Falling Into Damnation”. We could assume that this Hellmouth is literally a kind of no-return entrance after centuries of misdeeds, wars and harassment. But being this art, I think it is more stimulating to allow the listener a free interpretation.”

What about a CONTINUUM OF XUL full length album? Are there already any plans for it? Any new material in the works for it?
“Yes, it will be our next step. We’re working on that, we already have some songs in the works that are really, really powerful. We are still deciding many things but we are certainly not standing still on it.”

What about CONTINUUM OF XUL live shows? Have you already played any or wasn’t that possible yet? Are there any plans for upcoming shows?
“That would be great, but alas there are difficulties. We have ideas for members to recruit and have received requests for a few things, but it’s all in its infancy. I’m sure our shows could really be a Tsunami, haha.”

Ok Tya, that’s about it… Thanks a lot for taking the time. If you would like to add something of importance to this interview which we haven’t talked about, you’re welcome to do so now. Take care and all the best.
“We want to thank you for the nice interview, I have been following you for many years! We also thank all those who are supporting us from all over the world. Keep it brutal! 333.”

www.facebook.com/continuumofxul, https://continuumofxul.bandcamp.com

Frank Stöver

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