When dark, sepulchral and massive sounding Death/Doom is your thing, you probably have heard of Costa Rican Bloodsoaked Necrovoid. The music can be described with words like “nightmarish”, “droning” and “repressive” but you can expect dark melodies as well. “Hints of slow moving melody snowball into tumultuous atmosphere, which becomes dark and oppressive” is a phrase in one of our reviews, but it illustrates the sound of the band quite well. I got in contact with Frederico (guitars & vocals) and fired some questions at him… (Ricardo)
First of, thanks so much for opening up a space for the band in your site, really appreciate it.
The band started in the latter half of 2017, I wanted to create a different band and sound than the one I was currently involved in (CORPSE GARDEN) and something that I was fond of but never had the chance of developing any kind of music. Basically the idea was to create this raw cavernous DEATH DOOM sound to pay tribute to legendary bands such a ETERNAL DARKNESS, RIPPIKOULU, INCANTATION, diSEMBOWELMENT and GOREMENT and to have lyrics in the vein of cosmic horror, the occult and spirituality, with a DIY mentality to record and mix our own songs to achieve the specific sound I was looking for.
I came up with the name, started writing some riffs and once I had a solid structure for a handful of songs got in touch with Jorge Camacho for the bass (no longer in the band, replaced by Tomas Campos) that I knew of from other bands in Costa Rica and Jose Maria Arrea on drums that was currently playing with some friends in a grindcore project called LIBEROSIS and we took it from there to start rehearsing and eventually recording.
What inspired you to start a band in this style?
It certainly was the way you can have a slow riff be more brutal and massive than a riff with a thousand notes, that appealed to me a lot and was definitely a learning curve. I think we are only the second death doom band in Costa Rica and not many bands dwelve in that kind of genre and that was another reason to start the band, to create something new in our scene.
Listening to RIPPIKOULU, ETERNAL DARKNESS, WINTER was definitely a huge influence and trying to replicate that heaviness whether it’s a slow riff or a more groovy sound. For any fast parts INCANTATION sort of takes the wheel, that’s the blueprint for us, as well as diSEMBOWELMENT and trying to add that atmosphere in any slow parts and try to make them hypnotic and trance-like.
Before we start on your own music, in your opinion which release or releases absolutely defines the genre you’re playing? Is it Winter’s ‘Into Darkness’ or Paradise Lost’s ‘Lost Paradise’ or maybe a Cathedral demo. Disembowelment’s debut? Maybe another release?
I have to say that WINTER comes in first, the way they set the tone on their record as a very cold, desolate almost post-apocalyptic world is something very cool and very heavy as well as their sluggish and dronish sound is definitely something very unique and sets the standard for any bands that wanted to go into the genre.
PARADISE LOST demo and EP (Frozen Illusion) for me are the reason why bands like RIPPIKOULU, ETERNAL DARKNESS or MYTHIC exist and even defined the whole UK death doom scene with CATHEDRAL and MY DYING BRIDE. So that band and those works are definitely a genre defining point.
diSEMBOWELMENT is a different animal altogether even though it came later than WINTER and PARADISE LOST, I think they had a very unique personality and style as a band and also served as influence not only to the whole Aussie scene but for all other bands that came after them.
Lets talk about your releases…for example your first 2 demos and the compilation of both called “The Apocryphal Paths of the Ancient 8th Vitriolic Transcendence” (12″ vinyl & CD released by Iron Bonehead Productions, Caligari Records & Blood Harvest)
I’m still very satisfied with how the demos came out, they were exactly what we were going for as a very raw, slow and cavernous music with stints of sludge, noisy and drony parts as wells as very fast paced sections ala INCANTATION. The artwork complemented very well and the release overall (demos and compilation) has a very special place for us since we got to work with 3 well known and respected underground labels, released our very first 12” and the reactions for the demo were overwhelming for a new band from Costa Rica.
Recording process wise, was very DIY, we recorded in a rehersal space, set up a couple of mics to record the drums live and then reamp strings fixing any trainwrecks here and there and recording vocals on the side. It was also my first experience at mixing and mastering and there were for sure some misses in the mix but im still proud of how everything turned out.
And what about the split with Ratlord (cassette, released by Testimony Records), still satisfied with that one?
We are, we recorded in a different rehearsal space with more room and equipment and I think it turned out OK, I had more experience mixing by now so I think the production was better. I don’t think it got a lot of visibility and there were some issues with the labels in charge that delayed the release but still think it’s a solid release and RATLORD, although we never had any contact with them, collaborated with 2 great tracks.
Onwards to your debut full-length “Expelled into the Unknown Depths of the Unfathomable” (12″ vinyl & CD released by Iron Bonehead Records).
We started writing the songs for the album at the beginning of 2019 and it was a sort of rough time since we part ways with our original bass player and had to handle everything as a duo since we didn’t find a bass player at the time and didn’t want to delay the album. By the end of 2019 we were done producing the album and started to record in January 2020.
We recorded in a more proper studio, still live and without any click, we used better equipment and mics, really wanted to up the production without compromising the sound of the band.
The artwork was finally made by Alex Shadrin and we couldn’t be happier with the gruesome and eerie outcome, there was a good communication with Alex and we got to talk several ideas until finally landing on the actual cover.
As a musician, you’re never truly satisfied with the work you do. Having said that, I think it’s a solid debut with definitely fertile ground to move forward and define the sound of the band as well as push it further, we learned a lot from this process and we look forward for the second one.
And now, your latest release: the split “Astriferous / Bloodsoaked Necrovoid” (7″ vinyl released by Seed of Doom Records)
This Split was a suggestion from our dear friends Linda and Steven from Seed of Doom Records, not a secret that we share members, and we play DEATH METAL! Once the seed was planted, we started working separately on our songs and ideas went by, many changes were done, writing process takes time and inspiration, but once we were satisfied and ready, we set a date and place to do the recordings, we did it all in the same day, both bands played each song live, in between all this, we worked out the ideas for the artwork which at the end was done by Lucas Ruggieri, (great work by the way!) we were very satisfied with it.
We were able to control the artwork details, Layout etc. Fun fact is that this is the first 7” experience for both Bands, and also, this also marks the first official recordings for Bassists Tomas Campos (BSNV) and Jose Phillips (Astriferous).
The lyrical inspiration?
I handle the lyrics as well as write them. I think of lyrics as a compliment to the music, its basically poetry but I don’t think I’m particularly good at it…still I try and give it a go and try and make them meaningful to me and intertwined with the atmosphere the music provides.
There are certain books I’ve looked up for inspiration such as “Transcendental Magic” by Eliphas Levi, “The Secret Teachings of All Ages” by Manly P Hall, the Bardo Thodol, some of Dr. Carl Jung works, and of course a handful of tales from HP Lovecraft are among them such as From Beyond, Color out of space, Lurking Fear among others.
Your discography beholds releases on both vinyl and cassette, are both formats important for you?
Very important yes, the analog format for me as a collector provides much more appreciation for the music as well as the artwork. They provide a different feel in terms of sound and ask for your attention, to sit down and actually listen to the music as a priority as opposed to send it to the back seat. It provides me with a disconnect from reality.
As an artist, is just an accomplishment to have any music you create engraved in such formats and also serves as a sort of milestone and a motivation to keep on releasing more music. They also bring to life our creations, this is a solid registry of death, chaos, desolation, and nightmares.
What are your expectations for Bloodsoaked Necrovoid in the future?
As of now, we have no specific plans for creating new material since we all are very focus on getting ready for our KILLTOWN DEATHFEST presentation this year. And since we share members with Astriferous, there is also a primary focus on getting this album ready. Basically, we think this two deserve our attention, and once completed, we will move forward with BSNV new material, as mentioned before, the most important thing is to be active.
Some of you are involved with acts like Astriferous, Defunto & Engraved to name a few. Any news on them to tell our readers?
Yes, like I mentioned before, Astriferous is working on the first LP that we hope to release sometime this year. Defunto is of my understanding that are currently working on new stuff as well, they are currently also at the stage of writing music for their LP that hopefully will see the light soon.
Are you involved in any other way in the music scene?
I had this small “recording studio” called COLOSSAL ABOMINATIONS, but it’s just my laptop and some headphones haha. I started recording and mixing the projects I was in out of necessity because recording costs in Costa Rica are too high and also, there are no recording engineers in my opinion who know how to give a proper treatment to the music we were trying to put out. I was also trying to show people here that recording live in the vein as Steve Albini or Colin Marston is possible and bears excellent and very satisfying results and adds a plus because the recordings sound more organic and honest and not robotic or overproduced.
It extended to helping out friends and their bands to record their stuff at low costs, a mix/master that truly gel with their style. I did mainly demos and Eps for bands like VOIDOATH, DYSST, CORPUS NECROMANTUM, LIBEROSIS and DEPLORABLE as well as the demos and splits from BLOODSOAKED NECROVOID, ENGRAVED and ASTRIFEROUS.
Don’t know if this is something we can count haha, but Tomas our bassist, he used to live in Toronto for a while, and during that time he worked for Steve’s Music Store, a major store in the area, playing loud with all that gear around, having access to free tickets here and there, Clinics from artists from different brands and of course, access to new products to taste first hand.
Also, Jose Maria owns a record store/distro called Harmful Existence Records so he is constantly bringing in all kinds of metal records and some other albums of different genres into Costa Rica and the local scene.
Are there any bands or albums of your recent playlist you would like to mention? A rediscovery, an overlooked gem or an unsigned demo band that deserves attention? Any other bands of your region of Costa Rica that are worth mentioning and to check out for our readers?
Not a secret there is lots and lots of bands around, new and old, it’s impossible to be on the top of everything, however I can mention some serious names Morgion, Dusk, Winter, Thorr’s Hammer, Pentacrostic, Goatlord and Doom Snake Cult playing constantly. Beyond Belief will be a rediscovery, if you haven’t, do yourself a favor and play Towards the Diabolical… their first, won’t be disappointed. Also, worth mentioning Lithuanian Death Metal act, Regredior… been wondering why no one has put a compilation together with their material, is so sick and we think it deserves more attention and a release. Caustic Vomit great demo and very rare these days another one.
Yeah for sure, there are an increasing number of good bands that been spawning here in Costa Rica in the form of PAZUZU, REPULSIVE DEATH, DEFUNTO, LIBEROSIS, TEDIO, CRYPT MONARCH, VOIDOATH, MORTUAL, NECROGOD, ORDO CAPER, SOLARCRYPT, (KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR CANDARIAN!!), CULTO NEGRO and UMBRA CONSCIENTIA and outside extreme metal bands like Dilapidated Mechanism, AcorpsenotWorthy are worth checking out. From nearby Costa Rica, ABATUAR and ABERRANTE from Panama are really great metal acts as well.
Also do you have favourite labels you always keep an eye on when they announce a new release? Or a distro you order a lot from?
Yeah for sure I look into IBP, MSUO, Dark Descent, Profound Lore, Blood Harvest to name a few, if im looking for breaking bands I sure check out Caligari Records, Seed of Doom, Everlasting Spew and Desert Wastelands but death metal and any other metal bands tend to come out also independently or through more obscure record labels so, you sort of have to be always on the lookout for new bands. I usually buy whenever I can from the NWN! Distro or HHR just because it’s easy-to-get European releases in these places. There is also Shrill Cries Distro, Nihilistic Holocaust Web Zine/Distro and we also support local record labels and stores such as Psychogrind Records and Harmful Existence. In terms of buying music, it all depends on your location and your music preferences, but you get the idea, which is to support in any way possible, keep this thing alive, it is the only way at the end of the day.
And what about zines?
I don’t have as good access to fanzines because Costa Rica postal mail is in the shitter even more so thanks to the pandemic but the ones, I’ve had the chance to read or collect at festivals abroad such as CRYPTS OF ETERNITY or BURNING TONGES have had great material. There is also Noxious Ruin Mag or the books from Seven Metal Inches Records, killer releases and very detailed.
Any favourite artwork illustrators?
We all keep an eye on many different Illustrators or cover artists, hard to track them all… but to mention some, look for Maegan Lemay, Lucas Ruggieri, Festering Phlegm, Alex Shadrin.
Thanks for answering the questions, feel free to mention anything we haven’t covered yet.
Think we covered a lot, we sincerely appreciate the space you are giving us, thanks a lot for the support and interest shown, hopefully this is not the last time.
And for everyone reading this, Keep supporting initiatives like this, buy merch, go to concerts, support local.