Beneath the shadowed canopy of Washington D.C.’s diverse musical landscape, GOETIA rises – a death metal entity bearing a signature dark aura. Their inaugural EP, self-released in humble digital and cassette formats, now transcends into the tangible realm of vinyl under Persistent Vision Records‘ dark wing.
Birthed from the amalgamation of talents from Genocide Pact, Brain Tourniquet, and Deliriant Nerve, GOETIA is a convergence of auditory chaos.
Crafted in the depths of Viva Studio by Matt Michel and honed to a sinister edge by Will Killingsworth at Dead Air Studios, this EP is a haunting assemblage of five tracks. Each song is a ritual in itself, weaving relentless riffs, thunderous drumming, and vocals that evoke the echoes of the damned.
The physical embodiment of the EP – swathed in a macabre jacket, complete with lyric invocations and limited-run colored vinyl – intensifies the spectral experience. Each pressing bears its own eerie aura: 200 copies shrouded in Translucent Smoke Grey with Red & White Splatter, and 350 in an ominous Translucent Red with Black Smoke, mirroring the band’s fusion of the visceral and the visually haunting. Grab your copy at this location.
The pack – Matt Scott, wielding bass and vocals, Demir Soyer, master of guitars, and Aidan Tydings-Lynch, orchestrator of drums – merge their seasoned histories into this new, foreboding venture. Their collective past, steeped in other dark projects, informs the frenzied, otherworldly soundscape of GOETIA – a sound more tumultuous and epic than their previous musical incarnations. This amalgam of experience and innovation resonates through tracks like “Nachzehrer,” “Goetia,” and “Cemetery Violence.”
In our conversation, the band members unveil their infernal bond with the D.C. music underworld. Aidan reveals the eclectic and fervent spirit driving the local scene, a realm that both nurtures and challenges its denizens. Demir contemplates the band’s unique auditory vision, a departure from their previous sonic realms, marked by a thirst for evolution and dark experimentation.
Matt’s insights into their collaborative past with Demir hint at an already forged and potent musical alliance.
Describing their recording odyssey, the band paints a picture of a process balancing primordial ferocity with a calculated artistic hand. Their alliance with Matt Michel conjures a sound that is both tightly bound and atmospherically expansive, capturing the true essence of GOETIA. Will Killingsworth’s mastering further sharpens this auditory blade, infusing it with a raw, live ferocity.
Check out our full interview below.
GOETIA’s emergence in the DC scene comes at a time when the area is pulsating with metal and hardcore influences. How has this local backdrop shaped the band’s sound and approach to music?
Aidan: All our friends in the local scene have really eclectic taste! Everyone likes different stuff so no DC bands sound quite alike these days. That said, DC bands historically have been very hardworking and there is a motivation to really take practicing and songwriting seriously among our DC peers that helps us keep pushing ourselves and our bands.
With each member bringing a rich history from previous bands like GENOCIDE PACT, BRAIN TOURNIQUET, and DELIRIANT NERVE, how do the dynamics of past experiences converge to define GOETIA’s creative process?
Demir: This band allows us to explore avenues we might not have in our other projects. Our sound is much more fast and frantic than G-Pact but at the same time more epic than Brain Tourniquet or Deliriant Nerve. Obviously being in those bands has influenced how we approach music but at the same time we wanted to create something that was distinct from them and unique to us.
Matt: Aside from those bands, Demir and I have played in several projects together so we already know how to work with each other well. We went into this project with a pretty clear idea of what we wanted it sound like based on having worked together for years already. All three of us knew we were on the same page musically based on bands we’d done previously so we locked in our sound quickly.
The EP’s title track, “Goetia,” suggests a connection to the arcane and mystical. Can you share how these themes influence your songwriting and how they weave into the band’s overall aesthetic?
Aidan: There’s a lot of bands today doing the gore death metal thing right now which I do like in many cases, but one thing I and I know the others really enjoy about a lot of our favorite metal is the fantastical otherworldly aspect that really takes you somewhere.
Matt: I’ve always had a heavy interest in the occult and the macabre so I knew going into this band that I wanted the aesthetic and lyrics to reflect those themes. A lot of death metal utilizes a pretty brutal aesthetic with imagery and subject matter, and we really wanted to do something a bit different and push for a more creepy or esoteric kind of vibe.
There’s a palpable intensity to your debut EP that feels both raw and meticulously crafted. Could you take us through the recording process with Matt Michel and how you achieved this balance?
Aidan: Despite it being our first release I think we all went in with a pretty clear idea of what we wanted our pieces of the puzzle to sound like. Matt Michel is an amazing producer who is incredibly fun and easy to work with and really helped us through many different mixes and sounds to find what we were looking for. Something tight and pummeling while also having atmosphere.
Demir: Since this wasn’t the first band for any of us we wanted to skip the step of recording a demo and have a release that sounded legit. With that said, the punk and grind influences are pretty difficult for us to break away from. As much as we wanted a professional sounding release, we would never want something that sounds over-produced.
Matt: Matt Michel is so great to work with because he’s really good at picking up what a band is trying to do and adding to it. He’s really hands on with recording and always has suggestions for how to get the most out of a recording. It also helps that he has a punk background which I think comes through in his recordings still maintaining raw feeling without sacrificing quality.
GOETIA’s sound is mercilessly heavy, yet there are layers and complexities. How do you approach song structure to incorporate these nuances?
Aidan: It really comes on a song by song basis. Based off the initial spark of a riff or groove idea for a song you can tell what general direction it’s going in and we do a lot of song structure workshopping to try and bring out what each song should be, versus trying to conform to some specific formulas. We also have a very collaborative writing process, while Demir writes almost all the riffs and begins the songwriting process, we workshop everything in practice a lot with everyone having equal input on structure. Additionally I come up with all the drum parts myself mostly off the riffs Demir writes so even just a drum part I try out to compliment his riff can bring a new element we may not have initially heard.
Demir: For some reason, regardless of sub-genre, my favorite metal bands tend to have an “epic” feel to them and I try to bring that through in our writing. Even on early extreme metal records like “To Mega Therion”, “Seven Churches” or “Pleasure To Kill” there was always this atmosphere and depth that added to the overall intensity of the sound. I don’t think there is really anything conscious about it on our end, we are just trying to replicate the feel of some our favorite heavy records as best we can.
Mastering is often the unsung hero of a record’s final sound. How did Will Killingsworth at Dead Air Studios contribute to capturing the essence of GOETIA’s music?
Aidan: Will’s master definitely took it from sounding heavy and tight to having that live aggressive feeling it gives it an extra sharp crackle to the sound.
Matt: Will knows how death metal should sound. His masters definitely feel more like what you’d hear from a band live which I think can be hard to capture on a record sometimes.
Community and scene-building are significant in the hardcore and metal scenes. What role do you see GOETIA playing in the DC area, and how do you contribute to the growth of the scene?
Aidan: The DC scene is awesome. It’s a fairly small scene compared to some other major cities so it’s a lot more unified in that basically all types of metal and punk bands will play together depending on the shows. There’s no one in our area doing our particular type of death metal so it’s cool to bring a new sound!
Matt: We love the DC scene. It’s full of great people and bands and everyone kinda knows each other despite it being a big scene. Everyone is supportive here so we try to reflect that for other bands coming through DC on tour. Whenever we’re support on a bill here at home we always try to make sure the bands have a good turnout and know that the DC scene is something special. A lot of bands have been really stoked on their DC shows and we’re just happy to be a part of that.