You like Death Metal the dark and brutal way, yet performed on a high level? Then Chile’s THY SERPENT’S CULT is a name to remember when you’re on your next shopping trip. The band’s excellent debut full length "Infernal Wings Of Damnation" (from 2011) is a must have for every worshipper of early MORBID ANGEL, DEICIDE, CANNIBAL CORPSE and the likes and can easily compete with the big names of the scene. Sergio "Mutant Balls" Jaramillo of BELLS OF ACHERON zine contacted THY SERPENT’S CULT’s vocalist Hatred for the following interview…
Hell’s Hatred, how are things in Chile at the moment? What are you listening to while you answer this? On my part I’m listening to “Surreal Overdose” of the mighty DECEASED…
"Welcome hell bangers, we are the most insane cult from Chile. Thanks for your support and for this interview. Now I’m listening MASSACRE "From Beyond”."
Even though you guys had released a demo, an EP and an album, you are still an underground band that perhaps is unknown to many headbangers (you guys out there don’t know what you are missing here!), so please introduce THY SERPENT’S CULT to our readers. Are the guys in the band involved in other projects?
"Well, THY SERPENT’S CULT is a Death Metal band without any progressive influences and dedicated completely to erase the lies of the church from the face of the world (eat shit and die pedophiliac priest). Nobody in THY SERPENT’S CULT is involved in any other project and all of our time is for THY SERPENT’S CULT."
Has the band’s intention always been to stay deep in the underground and keep yourselves amidst dark shadows? Would you continue maintaining that low profile or would you maybe like to reach the more wellknown status of more commercial bands such as BEHEMOTH or NILE in the future?
"THY SERPENT’S CULT is an underground Death Metal band. The commercial stuff is for other countries like Norway, USA or Germany. The reality in South America is completing different, bands only survive by the heavy heart of his members. We are an unknown band and we play Death Metal until the very end."
How are things nowadays in Concepcion, how is the Metal scene in your region? Are there any new interesting bands or zines you could recommend to us?
"THY SERPENT’S CULT comes from Concepcion but now lives in Santiago. The underground scene in Chile is strong, many bands and many zines. Bands like CANCERBERO, DIABOLICAL MESSIAH, UNDERTAKER OF THE DAMNED are very recommend to you."
I personally prefer demos released on tapes, this format shows the real essence of the underground, one can feel something special oozing from these tapes when we get them and that’s the reason why I still keep buying them. What was the format that “Welcome To The Cult” was released on and why did you choose that particular format? Are you a collector of demo tapes and zines?
"The "Welcome To The Cult" (demo ’09) was never released, only distributed by hand in the lightscribe CD format by us. "Invocator Of The Spawns" was released in both format, tape and lightscribe CD and later was released by Hell Records in pro cover CD-R format. I’m a vinyl collector for 22 years (fucking old, jajaja), this is my true inspiration but the tape format always is the nostalgic one for the underground scene."
THY SERPENT’S CULT has been active since 2008 and until now the band has released one demo tape, one EP and one album. How do you guys see the evolution regarding the sound of the band between these three releases? I think that “Invocator Of The Spawns” was already a great EP but when I got the chance to listen to “Infernal Wings Of Damnation” I was like “Shit, this is great” with this album you guys consolidated your band, the influences are there, and the music itself is very tight and brutal and that makes this a great album.
"Thanks a lot for your words; we are so happy for that. "Infernal Wings Of Damnation" is a wonderful album for us and represents all the hateful feelings in our fucking lifes translated to music. When the time passes, the band involved a perfect timing in playing our stuff, progressing every day and every day the hate is present in our composition (the most pure feeling). Our sound manager is guilty for this (thanks for all Camilo ”Operación Sodoma” Peralta)."
The album has been available for a while now, but there are still people out there that may be reading this interview and perhaps haven’t got the chance to rage over “Infernal Wings Of Damnation” so I thought who would be better than yourself to explain the band’s proposal and concept behind the album.
"Hate, anger, disease, spells incantations, suffering and pain. "Infernal Wings Of Damnation" is a Death Metal release without any progressive stuff, only raw and visceral."
Australis Records has been releasing good bands from the Chilean scene for years, and a few examples of this is what they have done with MALEKTAUS, DYING, TRIMEGISTO, THY SERPENT’S CULT among others. How did you come to an agreement with the dudes in that label to release the CD? Are you guys happy with the work put unto the CD by the label regarding the promotion of the album? Will the band continue working with Australis or will you opt out for a bigger more established label?
"Well, Australis Records contacted to us, offering to edit the album in CD format. We said ok, and do it. We talked with them only a couple of times but the relationship was very cold with the time (really we don’t know why). In the future we wanted to auto produce all our stuff, but if any record label offers something to us, we will analyze it."
“Infernal Wings Of Damnation” was recorded in “The Hail and Kill Studio”. What can you tell us about it, how were the recording sessions there? Were you guys intoxicated with alcohol or drugs or on the contrary were you well behaved and reliable? By the name of the studio I can only guess you guys have your own studio, right?
"We don’t have our own studio. Hail and Kill is the name behind Camilo Peralta, he is a sound engineer and he works hard in his project. "Infernal Wings Of Damnation" was partly recorded in a university studio and the rest in the house of Camilo. The drums sessions were very hard, many hours playing the same song but the result was great. The other sessions were very easy to make, thanks Camilo once again. He lives in Colombia now and we send all our respect to him from this cold land. We don’t play under the influence of any drugs or alcohol…"
The music on the album was mostly written by JC Castillo, and the lyrics are mostly yours, what was the process of writing THY SERPENT’S CULT material like? Is it spontaneous and it just flows easily from you guys or requires time, dedication and inspiration? What is more important for you guys, music or lyrics?
"The most important is Metal, Metal is the fuel for life. The creative process is spontaneous, JC created some riff and I made some arrangements for building the songs. Later Strife adds the drums and the result is Death Metal from hell."
The album cover is a good one and at first glance one can tell what’s awaiting the listener once the CD is in the player, but I must admit that demons tormenting Christians, is nothing original within Metal. How did you decide on the album cover and whose idea was it?
"We don’t want to create anything new, we are a Death Metal band and Death Metal is only for fans of this kind of music. We don’t play for progressive suckers or hippies and the cover represents all of our hate against the church and his lies (great cover in my opinion)."
The reviews I’ve read about the album are so far very good and favorable and I personally think that the band has nailed it since the album contains enough brutality to make any Death Metal fan piss his pants when listening to this beast. Was that the intention when writing the tracks for the album or were you guys just doing what you like the most? Do you guys care for the reviews and what people may think of you, or don’t you give a shit and just do the music you feel?
"Thanks for your words, once again thank you very much. We appreciate any review about "Infernal Wings Of Damnation", but the most important for us is Metal. We recorded ten tracks, born in our hell’s anger and the result was a very aggressive album. We always want this kind of Death Metal, intense and raw and we never changed it for anybody. We are here to devastate and to kick some fucking ass."
On “Infernal Wings Of Damnation” your voice is very raw, and the drums are tight, guitars and bass fucking kill, but something really special here are the guitar solos that reminded me of LUCIFERION with their great “Demonication (The Manifest)” album. Whose idea was it to add those melodic guitar solos that really fit the music so well? I hope the next album will have more of these raging solos. We think due to this performance that perhaps the guitarist in the band is a follower and listens to a lot of classic Heavy Metal… What can you tell us about it?
"Fuck yeah, we love classic Heavy Metal. Stuff like JUDAS PRIEST, BLACK SABBATH, DIO, RAINBOW and SLAYER. We like this and it will always be an inspiration for us. JC is a great guitar player (very influenced by Tipton) but in the future only he knows what kind of solos he will do."
What can you tell us about your next release? Is it more of the same or would the band’s sound continue a logical evolution; would we have to wait long for the next assault?
"Well, we are recording a new album right now. This new album is more intense than "Infernal Wings Of Damnation" and the sound will be bigger and better. The essence of THY SERPENT’S CULT is the same and hate, anger and invocations are always present in our stuff. Don’t expect evolution or some kind of shit like that In our band, we only play Death Metal."
In Chile, concerts are held regularly and show the great Metal scene of your country. I know that THY SERPENT’S CULT has already played some shows, so what are your plans regarding live presentations, are you guys planning an international tour or something alike?
"We always want to play in any place, but our reality is another and we are recording an album now, but only hell knows what happens in the future. Colombia… are you ready? I hope to see you all soon."
I would say that Chile has in South America one of the most brutal and and perhaps busiest Metal scenes, through the years there have been great bands such as ATOMIC AGGRESSOR, DEATH YELL, DOMINUS XUL, DIABOLICAL MESSIAH, GODLESS, MAGNANIMUS, UNAUSSPRECHLICHEN KULTEN and many more. In the Promo material for “Infernal Wings Of Damnation” there is a phrase that says “Finally one of the most brutal albums the Death Metal scene from Chile has spawned”. And yes, the album is brutal and cool, but don’t you think that “Finally” sounds somewhat presumptuous on your part?
"I don’t know, only bangers can answer this question. Only they will be able to say if "Infernal Wings Of Damnation" is fucking great or if it’s a piece of shit. The promo stuff was made by Australis Records and only they should answer this. We respect all bands and this is only promotional stuff."
I think one of the main influences on your band is MORBID ANGEL (old)… What do you think of “Illud Divinum Insanus”, have you wasted your time listening to it?
"It’s piece of shit."
Do you like Soccer? It is clear that Chile is a country with a healthy Soccer tradition and important teams like Colo Colo and Universidad de Chile, are you a fan of any team?
"Yes I like it; I am a fan of Universidad de Chile."
Ok Hatred, “Only death is real” please finish this off with anything you may want to say, and I hope the next THY SERPENT’S CULT album is as good as the first one (but I think it will be difficult to release a better album than the first effort). Thanks for your time and hopefully this interview didn’t bore you to tears, good luck.
"Thanks for your support! Get ready for our coming LP and welcome to the cult."
Interview: Sergio “Mutant Balls” Jaramillo