Welcome to Demo:listen, your weekly peek into the future of underground metal. Whether it’s death, black, doom, sludge, grind, thrash, heavy, speed, progressive, stoner, retro, post-, punk-, -core, etc. we’re here to bring you the latest demos from the newest bands. On this week’s Demo:listen we find ourselves on the wrong side of existence with Huntington Beach’s Encoffinized.
“There is no concept,” writes Encoffinized’s drummer, Max Baxter. “Just death metal.” This in response to an inquiry put his way regarding the larger meaning behind the demo title/track. Interdimensional Abomination of the Dark Abyss is death metal, then. No concept. Just death metal. What is this Interdimensional Abomination of the Dark Abyss? It is death metal. Neither pure nor simple, but undeniably death metal.
Max is one of two morbidly obsessed dudes behind Encoffinized, the latest, and—according to the band—only death metal outfit currently in operation in Orange County. Max’s partner in corrosive slime is guitarist Chris Johnson. Encoffinized is just the two of them. That’s how it’s meant to be, and that’s how it will stay, according to Max and Chris. “Chris and I have been friends for a while, and have played in a bunch of other crappy bands together,” Max explains. “We’ve always had similar tastes in music so we decided to just form a band of our own.” While two pieces aren’t entirely unheard of in death metal, let alone Demo:listen, it’s rare to find one so content in their duoship. But both Max and Chris agree: “[A]dding a third member would just complicate things . . . We’re not looking for anyone else to join the band. There’s plenty of ways to have a heavy sounding two piece band.”
One of those ways, as Encoffinized have zealously demonstrated on Interdimensional Abomination . . ., is simply to write songs full of monstrous clamor, pinch harmonics like squeals from tortured innocents, and vocals like purulent secretions oozing out between the notes. Says Max: “I’ve always thought the more evil and heavier, the better. I’m always on the hunt for the most brutal and hateful sounding music. And I personally believe speed plays a huge part in the onslaught of it all. I also love groove, and feel that it plays a vital role in music. So I tried to have my role in the band reflect that as best as I could. We didn’t really go into this deciding it’ll be a ‘deathgrind’ band.
We just wanted to start a death metal band.”
For Chris, Encoffinized’s more about emulating one of his idols. “I started playing guitar and death metal when I was younger mostly because of the heaviness, and the brutal, gory sounding vocals. Growing up, watching Chuck Schuldiner, and listening to Death was a huge influence on me . . .”
Now couple Chris and Max’s sincerity and love for death metal with their apparent appreciation for old school demos. “[O]ur goal wasn’t to start a band and record something right off the bat and then hit the circuit,” Chris says. “We take music seriously and wanted to take our time to practice the music we wrote. I think we spent a year practicing and rehearsing before we even thought about heading into the studio to record the demo. We wanted it to sound as old school as possible . . . Just gore and insanity. As rotting and fucking filthy as possible.”
With such a disgusting sound, a logo that looks like it’s eating the Altars of Madness cover, and an obsession with the old school and the underground, Encoffinized could not have found a better label to put out their demo tape than Headsplit. Copies of Interdimensional Abomination of the Dark Abyss remain available, but likely not for long. According to the band, writing for the next Encoffinized EP is already underway. Be wary then. This young band is as eager as they are dedicated, and that’s a potent combination. Don’t sleep on this one. Actually, don’t even let these two out of your sight.
Check this space next and every Friday for another killer demo.