Back in 2017 Chile based Death Metallers INFAMOVS released a fantastic debut album via Memento Mori entitled “Under The Seals Of Death”, which all fans of INCANTATION, DEAD CONGREGATION, SADISTIC INTENT, old DEICIDE or old MORBID ANGEL (to name just a few) should definitely check out, since the band perfectly mixes those influences with that typical raw South American feeling that makes all those bands so special. Since it has already been quite a while since we last heard from these guys, we contacted guitar player Sebastián Díaz for the following new interview… Enjoy!
Sebastián, INFAMOVS was formed in Coquimbo, Chile back in late 2014 and if I’m not completely mistaken it was the first band for all of you, except for your drummer Andrés Mosler, who previously had already played in a band called PREDATOR. So, what have you all done prior to INFAMOVS and what made you form a band?
“Exactly, as you say, we started in mid 2014, with no name yet and no vocalist. Until several months later Felipe (Ubillo, vocals) joined us and we formed the band. In general we are all very fanatical of Death Metal since we were teenagers, we have practically very similar ages and curiously we all wanted to express the same musically. We decided to form INFAMOVS because we felt that it was necessary to demonstrate our ideals and musical concepts that we admire, be it occultism, anti-Christianism, all that encompasses the darkest and most chaotic sound of Death Metal. INFAMOVS is the first and only band I’ve ever worked in.”
Who came up with the band name INFAMOVS and the idea to spell it with a “v” instead of a “u”?
“Like any band, it is difficult to decide on a name as it will be the main label and it is something that has to characterize us. C.H. (guitars) believed that INFAMOVS was a good choice and we decided together that it was the best option as it represents the evil and vile action. We choose to spell it with a “v” because it is always likely that there are more bands with the same name, companies, stores, etc., then that detaches us from them automatically by copyright. It’s not just to sound more trve haha.”
Your first line-up consisted of yourself (Sebastián Díaz) and C.H. (both on guitars), Felipe Ubillo (vocals) and Andrés Mosler (drums)… How did you all get together exactly and did you really start INFAMOVS without a bass player?
“It was when I met C.H., he invited me to form a band, he had already recruited Andrés. Then we all three got together and started creating the first songs. Later it’s Felipe who joined in for the lyrics and guturals. We played Death Metal from the beginning and as I told you before, we listened to the same bands practically. On bass, we have never had a stable bassist in reality, it was Francisco Gonzales who participated only in the recording and some live performances. To date we have not yet been able to find someone who plays bass, in this city there are very few musicians.”
Considering the lack of musical experiences you all still had at that time, it is pretty surprising that you already recorded your debut EP “Emanation Of Impure Heresies” about a year later… Did you practice a lot or have you already played a bunch of shows in those days? How long did it take you to write those six songs which ended up on that EP (or was it meant to be a demo)?
“Honestly, it was a time when we played live many times, and we always co-started rehearsing, that helped a lot. We were able to move forward to record as soon as possible. The EP “Emanation Of Impure Heresies” was a musical work of about one year, between 2014 and 2015, then we decided to re-record that same EP along with other songs that were already made but still incomplete. That is why we recorded our album “Under The Seals Of Death” so soon. We also wanted to give it a much more professional sound.”
What can you tell us about the studio where you recorded the material, the REC Studios in your hometown Coquimbo? Is that the only studio in your area or how did you end up there for the recordings?
“Well, in the old age that recording studio was our rehearsal room too, it was pretty small and technically not very well equipped. The recording was sincerely a rehearsal which we edited with tracks of each instrument. It was not something very professional, but we liked the result very much. We never thought that we would get to release our next material with Memento Mori because of that. There are several studios and rehearsal rooms in this city, only for economic and practical themes we decided to record there.”
“Emanation Of Impure Heresies” was released on cassette through LMDT Records in October 2015, limited to 100 copies only… Was it planned from the beginning that you would release it on cassette or did it just happen that way because LMDT Records offered you that format? Why was it limited to such small numbers?
“It just happened, we never thought that this material was going to be released by some label, we would do it independently, but LMDT Records liked it a lot and he offered to release it in that format and only 100 copies. We also knew that because of the sound quality it would be impossible for us to be on CD or vinyl. Then we independently still released a few more copies but decided not to continue to do so as our next material was in process.”
After the release of “Emanation Of Impure Heresies” your second guitarist C.H. left the band and was replaced by Rodrigo de la Barra (SWARM OF TERROR) and Francisco Gonzales (also SWARM OF TERROR) joined you on bass… What lead to this line-up change and how popular was SWARM OF TERROR in your area?
“C.H. left the band voluntarily for labor, changed town for a while and that led us to look for someone to replace him. The recording process was already underway and as a band we wanted to realize it. If it wasn’t for that reason the line-up would never have changed. SWARM OF TERROR was a great band that could have achieved more things, but unfortunately from what I know they are already separated. I don’t know more details. I have no connection or contact with most of them, I take advantage of the space to greet William Malcolm Perry, vocalist of SWARM OF TERROR and GOATZIED, another great Death Metal band of this city.”
With this line-up you finally recorded your debut full-length “Under The Seals Of Death” with Cristóbal Valenzuela at Cuerda3 Studios in 2016… What can you tell us about that studio and the recordings in general? How long did it take you to record the album and did you have to face any difficulties during that time?
“It was a great experience to record with Cristóbal Valenzuela at Cuerda3 Studios. It all went very well and professional, very pleasant in all aspects since we totally achieved what we were looking for. Good sound, without any pressure or rush. Personally I would say that there were no difficulties, to come up with good material, we are very happy with it. We took approximately 3 to 6 months, I do not remember exactly. What took the most time was the mastering, since we tried to have a different and specific sound. Then it took another month longer because the release date of Memento Mori were another month later. But we’re completely satisfied with what we achieved.”
Was it already clear prior to the recordings that Memento Mori would release the CD version of it or did you self-finance the recordings first and then you shopped the finished product to labels?
“Both music and art, everything has always been self-funded. While we were in the process of recording (2016), Mememto Mori contacted us. He told us that he really liked our first material and that he was very interested in working with us. We then showed him what we already had, what would become “Under The Seals Of Death” and then we reached an agreement, a total of 1000 copies that were released in January 2017.”
“Under The Seals Of Death” was also released via Repulsive Merchandising on cassette, limited to 60 copies… What can you tell us about that company and why was it again released in such limited quantities only?
“A year later (2018), after our album was released, Repulsive Merchandising contacted us and told us that he would like to release it on cassette format next to INFAMOVS t-shirts. Unfortunately I think, the same as you, only very few copies, which sold out in just days. We wanted to release more but that was not done, it is no longer only our decision, we hope to be able to do so at some point anyway. They are a Chilean company of Santiago, very small but they work spectacularly and we liked that a lot. If I am not mistaken they are only two people in charge of it.”
Except for ‘Of Force And Plague’ (which was a new song) you just re-recorded all songs from your EP for the album, so does that mean you weren’t satisfied with the original versions or were you just lacking in enough new material at that time?
“Good question, since they were songs that were made, but incomplete, you could say that the song ‘Dawn Of The Black Dance’ was the last one that was composed for that album. We weren’t at all satisfied with the debut EP, we wanted more. We wanted something much better and more complete for our next material. We didn’t leave any songs out for that recording, that’s all we had.”
You mention bands like INCANTATION, DOMINUS XUL, DEAD CONGREGATION, IMPRECATION, SADISTIC INTENT, early DEICIDE and early MORBID ANGEL as your musical influences… which sums up your style pretty well I’d say. Do you just listen to Death Metal exclusively or also to other styles of music?
“I think that nowadays it is very difficult for someone to hear only a single subgenre of Metal, there is a lot of variety. I really like Black Metal too, but my passion has always been for Death Metal. The bands mentioned I think are the main basis for our compositions, we also do not seek to be equal to them but somehow they are our inspiration when it comes to creating music together with some others perhaps.”
When it comes to the lyrics you name the occult, ancient deities, indigenous culture and history as your main inspirations. Can you give us a short overview what the songs on the album exactly deal with?
“The concepts that INFAMOVS has used are mainly the occult, pestilences, plagues and constant blasphemy. Also the theme of each song is different, we try to ensure that each letter always goes according to the rhythm of the song. That is, if it is faster, slower, blacker, more rhythmic, etc, to give you an example, ‘Chaos-Madness’ for us is a bestial song, very messy and fast, as its name indicates. It is chaotic, that is why the lyrics refer to Azathoth, who is the first engine of chaos, the antithesis of creation, the foolish sultan of demons. We chose that concept because it expresses that to us musically, in each song it is different, I hope you understand.”
What can you tell us about the cover artwork? Is it based on your own ideas or was it a finished piece that Memento Mori chose for you?
“That’s our ideas, but we sent it to Thy Soggoth, a Chilean national artist, to create it. We gave him the indications of what we were looking for based on the lyrics of the album, what we want to express, and that was the result. There are minimal editing touches but they don’t mess up or intervene in what the artist has created. As for the layout, that’s what Mememto Mori took care of.”
It’s already three years by now since the release of “Under The Seals Of Death”, so will there be some new music from INFAMOVS soon? What have you done since the release of your debut full length and what kind of response did you get on it in general?
“There is a completely new album ready, with cover, new songs, lyrics, everything is finished. It should have been released already, unfortunately it could not be recorded, the quarantine still has us locked up in many regions of this country and we do not know when everything will return to normal. The desire to release that album is great because it is something that is finished.”
Ok Sebastián, I think we covered all by now. Thanks a lot for taking the time. If you would like to add anything to this interview, you’re welcome to do so now. All the best for you and INFAMOVS!
“First of all, thank you for the space you give us. For us it is super important to make known that we are still more current than ever, we have not stopped working despite the difficulties that may exist. I take the opportunity to advise that the album that is coming, will be more chaotic and full of absolute rotten Death Metal, much more brutal and dark than the previous one. We hope that by the end of this year or the beginning of the next it is already being released. For now, we continue composing. Thank you again for the space you give us. Unholy greetings!”