Everyone whining about the current state of death metal (and there are many) needs to shut their mouths and give Antediluvian a thorough listen. Over the course of several demos, an EP and a split w/ Nuclearhammer, this Canadian duo has concocted a sickening take on DM that is primitive and punishing w/o being self-consciously “retro” or blatantly re-hashing the sounds of 1990s Sweden and Florida. This death metal that reaches back into the primordial ooze of pre-history itself to harness an energy that is desolate, otherworldly, and above all, heavy. I contacted guitarist/vocalist HT to learn more about Antediluvian’s realm of chaos.
THKD: For those who may be unfamiliar, can you tell us a little about how Antediluvian got started?
HT: Antediluvian was started in Guelph, Ontario in 2005 by HT and MS.
HT: If I remember correctly, Darragh and Wes of Invictus/Warfare Noise were interested in reissuing the early demo material. I think Darragh initially suggested a cassette version which is still in the works, but we all decided to do the CD first as the material was available (separately) on cassette for some time.
THKD: It seems like most metal bands don’t even bother with demos anymore before releasing an album. What prompted Antediluvian to stick with this more traditional approach?
HT: We wanted to spend some time developing our ideas for our sound and our ability to execute them accurately, before doing an album.
THKD: How has Antediluvian progressed from the first demo up to this point? How would you describe the band’s evolution thus far?
HT: With each release we have improved. The basic idea is the same but our ability to execute that idea is exponentially better on each release.
HT: This is an exploration on the nature of evil. Death appears to be the ultimate end from our perspective, but really our flesh is reintegrated into matter. We are exploring the seemingly contradictory idea of forces reaching from or back into non-existence in an attempt to disrupt or affect this cyclical pattern. Musically we incorporate abstract patterns of sound in a disorienting fashion, channeled from the unconscious. By purposefully disregarding rational thought/discretion we reflect from beyond the urges of substance and flesh. The MLP discusses in certain terms this contradictory possibility of existence beyond physical matter, and how this is naturally perceived as evil.
THKD: When will Antediluvian unleash a full length? What can listeners expect from your debut album?
HT: We plan to record our full length in the summer of 2011. Thematically it will mock the right/rational morality we ascribe to existence in attempt to make sense of the absurd contradictions of nature. We will continue to expose the Bible and related cornerstones of western thought as the starting point of the false ideals of the current system.
THKD: What sorts of lyrical themes are you dealing with in Antediluvian? Many of the songs seem to deal w/ chaos and prehistory…
HT: Our songs do deal with chaos and prehistory, as well as the exploration of the unconsciousness as described above in my previous answers. Prehistory really implies times before oral or written records and perhaps before human consciousness existed. I find it very interesting to imagine if before human consciousness, the social veil/front/filter we use to veil the self-devouring nature of existence was absent. Living creatures ate each other and procreated without some kind of strange moral front keeping certain instincts in check. However the paradox is that humans now overrun the planet entirely, and perhaps this moral filter is exactly what allowed us to truly conquer matter to an extent that we’ve become the absolute alpha predator and also our own worst enemy.
Thematically we are dealing with how in our current culture the right/rational/ordered side of things attempts to soften or hide the actual terror and constant sacrifice of the cycle of sustenance. Comparing early mythology with pre-historic (pre written word) existence gives an interesting perspective on how humans have always been trying to come to terms with the unknown and the mysteries of the ouroboric cycle of life feeding on life. There has always been a rebellious intuition that guides this questioner to examine life for what it is, and to question the veil of order over chaos and that is what is driving our explorations.
THKD: Antediluvian works as a duo. What does each member bring to the table?
HT: We each play our own instruments and recently MS has been handling some songwriting duties as well. Up until this point I have written all the music but a lot of the material on the album we are preparing has been written by MS. We have always worked together on arrangements.
THKD: With that said, what do you see as the advantages and disadvantages of having only two band members? Would you ever consider expanding the lineup?
HT: The advantages with two members are that you have less chance for scheduling conflicts and can be more spontaneous with rehearsals and playing live. The disadvantage with two members is that bass lines and additional guitar layers composed for recordings cannot be performed live. We nonetheless have a very low end, heavy live sound with two members, but the recordings have some subtle harmonies that that are not present.
Having said that, we are currently rehearsing with a bassist who will also be doing backing vocals live. This will take our already devastating live performances to a new height of abhorrence. We will likely incorporate a second guitarist in the future as well.
THKD: How would you describe your songwriting approach? Do you compose as a duo or separately?
HT: We usually compose separately and arrange together. A lot of times we change/improve/add onto sections of a song spontaneously as we begin to rehearse it. I write on the guitar and MS writes on the piano which is opening us up to patterns of notes that seem quite strange, atypical, and interesting when played on guitar.
THKD: Is the raw, chaotic nature of your recordings a reaction against the overproduced abomination that is most modern death/black metal?
HT: It’s less about being close minded to whatever the specific trend of the moment is and more about being open to that beyond consciousness and matter. Time/budget for specific recordings is really the only thing that has ever restricted us and perhaps some of the rawness you mention is due to such restrictions though it’s also a part of the destructive (un)nature of what we channel.
THKD: Antediluvian does not use social media such as myspace/facebook/etc to promote itself. Why do you prefer not to self promote in this way?
HT: Myspace/facebook to me seem to be a really contemporary fad, fads come and go, and I think that being really with the times is a good way to get out of date really quickly. Some kind of online resource can be very useful for people interested in the band but I don’t think these specific sites are necessary. Just a standard website with the relevant info seems appropriate to me.
THKD: The Canadian metal scene seems to be extremely strong at the moment. What characteristics make Canadian metal stand out?
HT: Part of what makes it stand out are bands that don’t sound alike; creativity seems to flow untainted and unbridled. The idea of bands from the same country, but living thousands of miles apart is really not hurting this factor. It cuts out the usual inbreeding that creates clone after clone in some of the more tight packed areas of the world.
THKD: What are your plans for Antediluvian for the rest of 2011? Will there be any more new material aside from the EP?
HT: We are recording the debut in the summer for Invictus Productions and Profound Lore Records. We have two split releases that will probably be released before the album is complete, One is a 12 inch split with Adversarial (3 songs each on NWN! productions) and the other is a 7 inch split with Witchrist (1 song each on Nuclear Winter Records). All that material is recorded already. Also our third demo “Under Wing of Asael” will be out on 12 inch late spring on Parasitic Records. We also plan to play at least one live set this year.