This week’s featured Meet The Band artist is the Chilean death metal group Suppression. Their debut full-length is The Sorrow Of Soul Through Flesh. Let’s meet Suppression.
Chad Bowar: Give us a brief history of Suppression.
Although the band has been very active since 2019, Suppression dates back to 2012 with Pablo Cortes (bass) and Claudio Rojas (vocals). Both got together to record the ideas that Pablo had, in a demo with programmed drums, of which only 10 copies came out (maybe less) independently. After this the band went into recess because each one was dedicated to their main projects. In 2019 Pablo and Daniel Poblete (guitars) left the band Ripper and decided to dedicate themselves 100 percent to Suppression, so they contacted drummer Felipe Zará, who had been a drummer in different projects in the death metal scene in Chile, like Innana, Totten Korps, Trimegistro, etc.
With the four members in the band, the first EP Repugnant Remains was recorded. That same year Felipe decided to leave the band, so we contacted the drummer Christopher Zapata, a very talented drummer who played drums in some Suppression rehearsals back in 2014-2015. Currently the four musicians of the band are from a small town called Peñaflor on the outskirts of the city of Santiago.
Describe the songwriting process for The Sorrow Of Soul Through Flesh.
The music was mainly composed by Pablo during a fairly long period of years, from 2012 to 2020 approximately. Then the lyrics were written between Pablo, Daniel and Alejandro. Generally what Pablo brings is the skeleton of the songs or an idea and then it develops/transforms in rehearsals and over time, according to the ideas that each musician has.
What will be your strongest memory of the recording of the album?
We always enjoy recording a new album and capturing the work that is done behind the scenes. I think that the process of creation and rehearsal is what is remembered, because of the motivation and enthusiasm in the environment. The encounters of ideas and different personalities give life to these artistic projects, or could kill them too, depending on the ego state of the members.
How did Colin Marston come to mix and master the album?
We contacted several engineers to do the work, but Colin showed great enthusiasm for the band. Our budget was not very high, and he adjusted to it. Colin works in an incredible way, he really understood what we wanted to capture, and where our music comes from. We are very grateful for how he was with us.
How has your sound evolved from your 2019 EP Repugnant Remains?
We changed the tuning of the instruments to a lower one, but in composition there is not such a significant advance, because the songs have been composed in a similar period of time. We are currently working on new material, in which we incorporated new musical resources and you will be able to see a much more significant evolution.
To observe the evolution between Repugnant Remains and The Sorrow Of Soul Through Flesh, I recommend you to compare the song “Repugnant Remains” and the song “Unwinding Harmonies” since they are the same song, but one is inverted with respect to the other.
What inspired the album title?
What we were trying to do is find a title that somehow represents all the songs created. The album was never intended as a concept album, but after all, all the lyrics point to the same idea. What we understand as a soul could be an accumulation of information that is stored somewhere that we have not fully understood, emotions and experiences in this carnal world leave traces that are also part of our essence as an individual, in a cycle that seems to be eternal.
What lyrical topics do you address?
the lyrics of our album usually deal with complicated themes. I don’t know if they could be called philosophical, but rather, they are experiences that we have lived that after analyzing them we obtained certain conclusions from which the lyrics were born. Mental problems, insecurities hidden in attitudes, absolute truths (which they are not), pretending to be something you are not, death and some gore, are some of our themes.
How did you come to sign with Unspeakable Axe Records?
We had worked with the label with another band in which Daniel and Pablo were in. Pablo composed an album called Experiment of Existence by the band Ripper, so Eric from the label already knew us. After we left the band, we decided to focus exclusively on Suppression. We explained this to Eric Mussal and he supported us immediately.
What are your goals and expectations for the album?
We hope it will be the gateway to tour in different parts of the world, continue making albums and show and capture the evolution that we will have over time. As we said before, now we are focused on Suppression and we have some things to prove. So we think the album is the start of something much bigger.
Do you have plans to play live shows or tour in support of the album?
We have been trying to reach some producers to do tours, but it is quite difficult due to the current situation worldwide. We are trying to manage a tour over in Europe in February 2023 in conjunction with a booking, which I prefer not to mention, since nothing is agreed to yet.
How did you get started in music?
We started as children, 12 – 13 years old, first united by the metal fever that several teenagers in our city experienced, exchanging moments, music and knowledge. At the same time, our desire to play what we were listening to began to appear, spending hours and hours practicing songs. All this concluded with the initiative to compose our own songs.
Who were your early influences and inspirations?
Generally the influences of a band are varied. But to put a point of convergence, our first individual influences were Iron Maiden, Metallica, Slayer, Death. With the passing of time, each member developed different inspirations, some influenced more by jazz, progressive music, classical music, and thus eventually they also entered the most extreme metal like Suffocation, Gorguts and Demilich, just to name a few.
What was the first metal concert you attended?
Pablo: I think the first concert I attended was the Sodom concert at the Movistar Arena in 2008.
Daniel: As I remember the first one I attended was Violator in 2017. I was 13 or 14 years old I think. By the way, Pablo was also there. I even think we met each other that day.
What’s the metal scene like in Santiago these days?
The scene is varied and headbangers always give a lot to the scene. Chile is a very unequal country, with long working hours. We have the shadow of a dictatorship that still haunts us, and in recent years we have been going through different crises. If you have the opportunity to use public transport in Santiago and observe the faces of the people, you will think that everyone is coming from a funeral. In Chile there is horrible mental health.
What does all this have to do with metal and the scene? Everything. During the week no one has time or energy to attend underground events, and these are usually done on weekends. The bands that come from abroad always say that the Chilean headbanger is crazy and frenetic. I think releasing tension at a metal concert is also an escape route. Regarding the bands, honestly, we are not such fans of all Chilean metal, but there are always gems that are worth reviewing, such as Mental Devastation,
Godless, Inanna or Mortify.
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
First of all we want to thank you for all the support we have received. I think it is a lot and from people we did not expect. Right now we are working on what will be our second LP, so soon you will have news about this. Also thank you for showing interest in us and giving us the opportunity to make known our way of making and understanding music.
(interview published April 30, 2022)
Listen To Suppression – “Monochromatic Chambers”