Demo:listen: Visceral Mass

Los Angeles brutal death duo Visceral Mass formed last year, sometime after guitarist/vocalist Jack Scully met Max Baxter (drums) at an Encoffinized show—who we featured back in 2017

“I met Max in the summer of 2019 at an Encoffinized show, the first of many that I went to,” says Jack. “We always hung out at shows and became friends. I showed him some 1-man-band with programmed drums death metal that I was working on at the time, and he said ‘Dude, do you need a drummer?’” 

Jack goes on to say, “I was stoked! That’s how Visceral Mass formed. We both like old school brutal death metal and so that’s just how our music ended up sounding. I don’t think we talked much about what our sound was going to be like, it was more like ‘Hey man let’s make some death metal,’ and it ended up sounding the way it does, which we are both very happy with. I was listening to Convulse’s World Without God and Morpheus Descends’ Ritual of Infinity a lot while we were songwriting, as well as a lot of slam, all of which I think influenced our sound in a positive way.”

Visceral Mass

Max, Visceral Mass’s drummer, who makes his return to Demo:listen after first hearing from him three years ago, says “Human Stew” was the first song he and Jack wrote together last summer. Max says, “To be honest, the songwriting came pretty easy when we worked together on it. Jack would come to rehearsal with a few riff ideas. We would put our brains together to figure out how to piece those riffs together with some drum structures and ideas that I had come up with. Coming up with transitions, tempo changes, and different parts came very easy once the ideas started flowing. Once we had the song structure down and the parts perfected we would throw some vocals in there. After that all we had to do was keep practicing those songs until we felt like we were ready to record!”

They almost make it sound easy.  Like theirs is some ordinary demo. Hardly. This release is colossal. Yet as massive and crushing as Visceral Mass’ sound is, above all else, they are locked-in and air-tight.  

“We recorded [Visceral Mass] with a lot of help from our friend Cody Marler,” Jack says. “Lord Foul (Civerous) also helped out a lot by letting us use the Doom Tomb as a recording spot. We kind of took our time. Recording took about 4 weeks, recording once a week. We wanted to make sure we got each part right. My guitar tone was pretty easy to achieve, I just used a Boss Metal Zone pedal into the back of my Crate Blue Voodoo amp, it’s super simple, but it works! Cody definitely knows what he’s doing when it comes to recording guitars as well. Also, Taylor from The Pit Recording Studio gave the guitar tone a little extra beefiness when he mixed it, he did such a killer job on the mix, top notch work!”

“Cody and I went together to a nice studio out in Anaheim he works and helps out at called ‘For the Record Studios’ to record the drum tracks,” Max says, explaining his side of the recording. “Jack had sent me scratch guitar click tracks that I would rehearse at home since rehearsing together became difficult due to the pandemic. We mic’d up my kit in the studio and knocked out the drum tracks in about 4 hours. It went incredibly smooth and Cody did an amazing job making sure everything was spot on and that I had the sound I wanted. One of the best recording experiences I’ve had. And the record sounds amazing thanks to Taylor over at The Pit.”

Regarding the final product, which hits more like a debut EP than a demo, for sure, Jack says, “The EP completely blew me away the first time I heard it after mixing and mastering. I was like, ‘holy shit, that’s us!’ This is the first band I’ve been a part of and it definitely exceeded the expectations that I had for myself, which is a pretty cool feeling!”

“It sounds amazing,” Max admits. “I’m so thrilled with how everything turned out and sounded. A job well done.”

Now don’t worry if you’re having trouble placing the sample in “Flesh Eating Deceased,” Turns out it’s from a rather obscure source after all. 

“We love that sample!,” the two of them agree. “It’s actually from a video game, Call of Duty: World at War. It’s an easter egg in one of the ‘Nazi Zombies’ maps. Lyrically, the song is based off of CoD zombies, it’s about a mad scientist who turns people into zombies. The lyrical themes for ‘Human Stew’ are directly inspired from The Texas Chainsaw movies. There’s some 80s horror inspiration in general, a little cheesy but still very brutal.”

What about that amazing build-up-to-breadown from the third song, “Verses of Perversion?” 

The band says, “‘Verses of Perversion’ was the last song we wrote for the EP. It was definitely the most difficult to get right, too. But once we had it down we knew we had something good. And yeah, we were pretty excited about that part, it’s one of the heavier moments on the EP for sure! Also, shout out to our buddy Will Eichar for making that sick intro on that track!”

 The band go on to inform us, “The art was by Skadvaldur. We told him we wanted it to be based off of ‘Human Stew,’ and wow, did he deliver!? The artwork is sick! We were thrilled when we first saw it.” 

As for physical manifestations, the band says, “CDs can be purchased from the band directly, Sevared Records or from Maggot Stomp, and they should be shipping out around the middle of August. Tapes can be bought from Maggot Stomp and should ship out around the end of August. We also have 12” records on the way! Those are supposed to arrive around October or November.”

Meanwhile, Visceral Mass remain hard at work on bringing us more much-need brutality. “We’ve started a little songwriting for an LP!”” they say. “Not sure when anything will be released, though. It’ll be ready when it’s ready.” 

And so will we.