Demo:listen: Nogothula

It’s not often that a brutal death metal band with a knack for both organic production and cataclysmic breakdowns comes along, but when they do, you know Demo:listen’s gonna be there. Case in point, this three-headed abomination from Cincinnati called Nogothula.

According to Nogothula’s bassist/vocalist Eric Payne, he and guitarist/vocalist Colton Deem “had always joked around about starting some sort of side project that was different from our main bands. One day, we hit each other up to jam and that’s how [Nogothula] started. We were focused on making some sick riffs that were simplistic yet brutal. We quickly had 2 songs and tossed around the idea of asking my former bandmate and good friend Alex to play drums with us. After hearing those first [two] songs, he was sold. From there things took off and before we knew it, we had enough songs for a demo.”

Eric goes on to tell us it was Colton who “came up with the name of the band with inspiration from themes of cosmic horror.” He warns: “Don’t go looking into it too much though, it doesn’t have an exact meaning.”

Bluntly stated, Nogothula’s six-track debut Gore Vortex Ascension is one of the heaviest releases we’ll hear this year because it’s one of the heaviest we’ve heard in years. This heaviness is not just a result of down-tuning, or engineering know-how, at least not entirely. Instead, Nogothula understand how to write a song and get the most of their compositions. 

“Morbid Angel has always been influential to us in the way that we write our music,” Eric says. “In our eyes, they are the kings of death metal. Other bands include Immolation, Suffocation, Infester, and Angelcorpse.”

When it came to writing Gore Vortex Ascension, it seems like everything sort of fell into place perfectly for Nogothula. Eric tells us: “After churning out those first two songs, Alex jumped in, and we had enough music for a demo shortly after. We always have a good time writing songs together and it all came together FAST.”

And just like the music, Eric tells us, “[the] lyrics were also a collaborative effort between” the band members. “We each took some songs to write lyrics for after we had come up with general ideas and their titles,” Eric says. “Most of the songs are about spacey occultist bullshit that we love.”  

According to Eric, “The recording was very hands-on since Colton and Alex have dabbled in recording demos previously. Once we had recorded the instruments ourselves, we took it to our friend Luke to help with recording vocals and the mixing and mastering process. We’ve worked with him before and trust his opinions and suggestions for the songs. He was an important part of this first demo, and we think it turned out sick.”

The awesome fiery-abyssal-throat artwork was handled by Nether Temple Design. According to Eric, the band stumbled Nether Temple quite by accident. “We came across Nether Temple on Facebook randomly while looking for album art,” Eric remembers. “After looking through a lot of his stuff and picking out quite a few, we decided on the artwork that you see for the demo. It’s got that badass OSDM feel and totally fits with the vibe that we had going with the music and lyrics. The dude has a lot of killer art, it was hard to choose just one from his portfolio.”

Reflecting on the past month, Eric says: “The response has been awesome, we didn’t expect so many people to hear it. The demo was released independently by us with very little promotion, Facebook and Bandcamp mostly. I think we owe a lot of that to the Death Metal Promotions YouTube page. They offered to stream the demo a day early which helped get it out there quite a bit. The feedback we have received has been extremely positive, which was a very pleasant surprise. We are happy to see that people seem to be enjoying it as much as we do.”

Gore Vortex Ascension came out on cassette tape back in mid-January, but copies are long gone. Excellent work if you managed to nab one of those. Meanwhile, Eric tells us, Nogothula have “had a ton of requests for a CD since the release.” He says, “We are currently working on it and should have an announcement soon!”

Looking ahead, Eric says Nogothula have been “spending time preparing for live performances later this year. We are always writing new music and are currently working on a full-length album.”