Hailing from British Columbia, Canada, Auroch play blackened death metal driven by the concepts of H.P. Lovecraft. Auroch consists of guitarist/vocalist Paul Ouzounov, guitarist/vocalist Sebastian Montesi, and drummer Zack Chandler. The band’s debut full-length studio CD is titled From Forgotten Worlds. Take Five was granted an audience with Sebastian Montesi, who discussed H.P. Lovecraft and his influence on the band. For an in-depth discussion of Auroch’s musical side, check out my interview with the band at my Santa Fe Metal Music Examiner site.
How did you first discover H.P. Lovecraft? What was the first story you read from him?
Sebastian Montesi: “I believe my first introduction to H.P. Lovecraft was through Metallica, and their ‘The Call of Ktulu’ (which, mind you, still stands as one of the finest metal tracks ever written!). From there, I remember researching the man, his work, and becoming enraptured with the strange and obscure images of horror that he evoked. The first story I ever read from him was ‘Dagon.’”
What are the qualities that make Lovecraft an ideal influence for the heavy metal genre, as there are many musicians who have mined his work for inspiration?
Sebastian Montesi: “I don’t really feel that such a thing exists as an ‘ideal influence for the heavy metal genre.’ People are free to write about whatever topics they please, but what I find satisfying about HPL was his knack to question and condemn common convention. There are very few strong characters; there are very few human victories. There’s no saving the day; all is bleak and helpless. Through his writings, Lovecraft illustrated just how insignificant humankind, and even the cosmos, is. That is something I truly believe.”
What is your favorite Lovecraft tale? Why?
Sebastian Montesi: “A tough question, but for the reasons listed above, I’d answer, ‘Through the Gates of the Silver Key.’”
Lovecraft was a dreamer, a topic you tackle in “Bloodborne Conspiracy.” Would you consider yourself a dreamer? Any plans to write lyrics based on some of your darker dreams?
Sebastian Montesi: “My dreams are oft inconsistent and fleeting, but indeed there are elements of them on the record. Strange allegorical things and often unfavourable. . . .”
Tell me about the song “Dregs of Sanity,” which can be found on your debut CD, From Forgotten Worlds. What inspired the composition? How did you go about putting words to paper?
Sebastian Montesi: “That song (in some form or another) has been kicking around since mid-2009 and first appeared on our 2010 demo, Stranger Aeons. We always continued to play it live, and when the band’s style started to change, we updated it. Very interesting to play. The opening section does not actually have a concrete riff, and Paul and I are alternate making noise. It builds in to an utterly discordant and chromatic legato riff and ultimately to the heavily Portal-influenced ending, which makes good use of Paul’s 7-string. The fantastic lyrics were created by Cuillen Sander, and we judged that they fit the song well, so we kept them.”