Friday, May 10, 2019


Hey brutalbangers,
some days ago I published a brief article about the El Salvadorean extreme metal scene featuring bands such as Witchgöat, Invocation of Death and Apes of God. If you remember, I promised in that article that I had the intentions to interview one of those bands and, so, that promise is today reality. In fact, the following is the interview that I did to Witchgöat, an amazing black/thrash band consisting of veterans of the El Salvadorean scene. P. Scyther (founder and guitarist) and M. Miasma (singer) answered to my questions with the result to tell us a lot of interesting things about their band and the hard metal situation in El Salvador.


Hail men! How are you? Let’s start this interview with this classic question: when and why were formed Witchgoat?

P. Scyther: Hi man! Thanks for your support!
Ok, Witchgöat was born in early 2016 with the idea of returning to the roots of the very first thrash metal, so it was born from the need to produce honest music without technological refinements. Before being musicians we have been fans of metal music that has been produced since the eighties. We wanted to produce our own version of that kind of music that we have loved. Some of us for more are than 30 years old.

Do you remember your first rehearsal as Witchgöat? What do you remember about it? Did you have already some original songs?

P. Scyther: The first rehearsals were until July 2017, and they went directly to practice for the demo recordings and our debut full length album. All the instrumental work of the songs in regard to guitars were totally composed, then I met with E. Driller (drummer of the band) to begin to dock and perform the percussion arrangements. At that same time M. Miasma was composing the lyrics of the songs, and C. Fog joins who made his own arrangements on the bass and mates perfectly to the band.

How many live gigs you play every year? So far did you play only in El Salvador or also in other countries? Do you remember your very first live gig as Witchgöat?

P. Scyther: At this time Witchgöat is a studio band but some of us belong to other bands that are active in the metal scene of El Salvador. However, as Witchgöat, we have not had a chance to get a good deal to play live, but we do not rule out to perform concerts locally and internationally if the conditions to carry it out were given. Anyway, the band remains active performing closed-door trials composing new music and always preparing new material.

Speaking about “Egregors of the Black Faith”, can you describe it for the readers of the ‘zine?

P. Scyther: "Egregors of the Black Faith" is our first full length, we believe that it’s a fairly direct album where each track has its own spirit. We hope '80s thrash metal fans will find a good album that meets their expectations. We do not expect to be a band that innovates or presents new trends, actually we intend to rescue some elements that have been lost and we believe are indispensable in this kind of music to recover the identity of the old years.

What are your main influences?

P. Scyther: Our influences are very varied, many old bands like the old Sepultura, Sarcofago, Death, The Unsane, Possessed, Bathory and stuffs like that, but there are also historical technical bands of the nineties like Dissection, Necrophobic, Aura Noir, etc. We also like a lot the work of the bands that have resumed the old influence, there are several bands nowadays that have old sounds. Some of them pick up the punk base of black metal, bands like Cape of Bats, Devil Master, or thrash metal bands like Inculter, Sepulcher, Nekromantheon, Death Hammer, Antichrist etc, all bands that have rescued the essence of thrash metal in the current era.

How long was the writing process of “Egregors of the Black Faith”? What was the first song ever composed? And the last one?

P. Scyther: The music of "Egregors of the Black Faith" was composed approximately in the lapse of a year. However the slowest process is to convert the composed music into a final product properly rehearsed and with the right sound. The first track composed for the album was "Beyond the Soil of the Dead" while the last one was "Umbra Regit". Anyway, the track "Putrefaction of Soul" was composed for my first band called Funeral in 1992 and it was never recorded, new arrangements were made to match it to the correct style and it was included in the record.

I see that you recorded the album even in 3 different studios. Why?

P. Scyther: The album was recorded in 3 different studios for comfort and ease. The guitars were recorded in my own home studio, the drums were recorded in a private studio, owned by a great friend who supported the band from the beginning. Instead, the bass and the voice were recorded in the studio of M. Miasma, which is the headquarter of Morbid Skull Recs.

Why was your album mixed and mastered even in Sweden through this J.P.? Do you want to introduce him to us?

M. Miasma: Jonny Pettersson, it was a recommendation from another friend. We just wanted a responsible person to do the job in a cost effective budget for us.

Do you want to say something about the lyrics of “Egregors of the Black Faith”? What are the main topics?

M. Miasma: You can find topics related to SLM, war and hatred. There are no limitations, lyrics will be written accordingly to experiences we could be in normal life.

What are your favorite songs of the album?

P. Scyther: When you compose music, you think that one idea is better than another and something like that, then when another member of the band contributes with its variations and its lines, the result is something else and the ideas that at the beginning were less attractive, turn out to be the best creations globally. In general, all the songs on the album seem good but if I had to choose, I would say that my favorite songs on the album are "Umbra Regit" and "Eyes of the Profane".

How was born the collaboration between Morbid Skull Records and the Thai label Hell Productions for “Egregors of the Black Faith”?

M. Miasma: Since I run Morbid Skull Records, I knew Hell Productions for quite some time who has been a good allied to spread the pest in that region and I wanted to find a good partner to release this album with a good distribution in Asia, so I asked him if he was interested and he was all in at once. He's a really good friend that promotes underground releases.

About Morbid Skull, it looks to be THE extreme metal label from El Salvador! Please tell us something about it. Is it runs just only by your singer M. Miasma, right?

P. Scyther: Yes, as far as I know he runs it alone. He has some distributors and partners but he is the only owner.

How was started the metal music in El Salvador? So, what are the most historic bands? Are they still well respected today also by the younger generations?

P. Scyther: The metal scene of El Salvador started late, even though there were already fans of metal music in El Salvador since the eighties. The country's first thrash metal band was born in 1990, its name is TABU, then others like TRASH, FUNERAL (band to which I belonged in 1991-1992), but sadly of those bands nothing was recorded because in the old days there were not the means to record in a musical studio and there wasn't a record label that would give support to those extreme musical expressions.
The scene in El Salvador is complicated even today, the precarious culture of the country generates a quite divided and conflictive metal scene, in which there are several sectors that do not support each other.
Currently there are bands with great quality, such is the case of: Conceived by Hate, Invocation of Death, Disorder, Morbid Stench, Apes of God, Genetic Disorder, Satanic Priest among others. But many of them do not receive local support for the reason already mentioned.

Did you live the Civil War that hit your country from 1980 to 1992? Can you say something about the war? Do you think that, in some ways or another, it influenced the kind of rage of the El Salvadorean metalheads?

P. Scyther: Definitely El Salvador's civil war is still a source of many problems in El Salvador, the post-war brought corrupt governments and this brings with it a lot of underdevelopment, violence, poverty and migration, and El Salvador is a country where one third of the people who were born here, live today outside the borders of the country. It is logical that a lot of that violence is being included in recent years in music that has implied a lot of rage and that is good for metal music. The local scene in El Salvador is not very united, there is not much cohesion between organizers and promoters. Despite this, it is one of the most solid scenes in Central America, a scene in which metalheads support the bands, attending concerts and buying the original material of the bands.

What are the conditions to play the metal music in El Salvador? They seems to be very hard, if you says, in the description of the promo video of “Black Vomit of Souls” on YouTube, that, in Central America, you haven’t “great technical and economic resources, as South America in the ‘80s”.

P. Scyther: The economic difficulties mean that few bands have access to good equipment and opportunities to record their music in an acceptable way. The local bands make a lot of efforts and sacrifices to get ahead. I suppose that this is normal in the whole world but, in El Salvador, due to the existing levels of poverty, the challenge is much greater. Most of the development of the metal bands of El Salvador take place in a medium social stratum, firstly because the lower economic strata do not have access to the culture that requires interest in this kind of music, and secondly because the music production has a high economic cost and the money you invest in producing your music is money that will not come back.

Maybe I found the “right” bands like you, but it seems to me that the El Salvadorean extreme metal scene is strongly remained in the ‘80s-‘90s roots of the genre with plenty of bands playing in the vein of the older acts. Is my statement correct? Why is ancient metal so popular in the underground of your country?

P. Scyther: In a country where everything is underdeveloped, music is considered a luxury and not a need or a cultural expression. There is no musical training in schools or in education programs, everything is done in a self-taught way. In countries like this, scenes like metal music wake up belatedly, and begin to evolve ten or more years behind the rest of the world and are at a disadvantage compared to countries where they educate you for music. The low musical maturity of the underdeveloped countries goes hand in hand with all this.
Another point is the global tendency of the youngest musicians to reject the music of the last decades and to look for the roots of the movement that was born in the eighties.

Are the metal bands covered through your national TV? Or is there only commercial music on your TV?

P. Scyther: There are very few spaces in El Salvador in the media to support the local metal scene, but there are some that have struggled hard for years and they have been forged their names little by little. On the part of the governments there has never been a support to foment the musical expressions of this type, everything is handled practically through private means and through Internet.

Are there some metal festivals in El Salvador? What are the most famous ones?

M. Miasma: I just lost the interest in following local festivals because there is too much bullshit and egos, with all their respect but I consider there are very few honest acts/people in this place.

Do you have many places to play gigs in San Salvador? Can you mention them? So, I’ll have some ideas where to go when I’ll visit your city haha!

M. Miasma: Great brother, whenever you come here you will be our guest!
This is a small country, main concerts are in San Salvador which is the capital but there are some acts in Santa Ana, San Miguel, Morazan (sometimes) which are other states besides San Salvador.

The Central American metal scene is generally very unknown by the rest of the metalheads in the world. For you, what are the reasons behind this fact?

M. Miasma: Yes I have noticed that! I think main difficulties are related to lack of money and local support, I mean most people like to spend their money on shows with international bands than going to local band shows. Things like that turns down the energy from bands to keep working, you must have a lot of passion here to be able to keep releasing stuff with a band, also there is very few vision on getting a good distribution. These are just ideas on why this happens, its a complex environment but I think is related to some of these things I tell you.

Upcoming news from the Witchgöat front? So, Aren't you planning live gigs?

M. Miasma: As far as I know there are no plans going live, at least for know just working to distribute this album and also maybe new ideas.

Any last comments to close this interview? Thank you so much to replying to all my questions and see ya, men!

P. Scyther: I want to thank you for the interest you have placed in our music and for conducting this interview. We hope the people who read this, will be a little more interested in the metal scene of El Salvador and in the music of Witchgöat. In advance, a big greeting for all metalheads brothers who share the ideals of this lifestyle! Cheers!!


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