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Sentient Horror Interview

What could you tell me about the influences on your music?

I’m sure the most obvious one is the Swedish Death scene from the early 90s, particularly the first two Entombed records, Dismember, and Edge of Sanity. I think that forms a core element of our sound, what with using the chainsaw guitar tone and all. But I’m equally influenced by Carcass, Death, and Gorefest. So I would say that a combination of influences makes up the Sentient Horror sound. Of course, no one lives in a vacuum, so I’m sure I’m also influenced a little bit by whatever else I’m currently listening to.

As far as I know, “Sentience” was your solo project, where did you find the members? Did you already know them? And why did you change your name later?

Sentience wasn’t so much a solo project, but I did do the demo on my own. The goal of the demo was to find musicians and a label, which I did. The original drummer was found through an online ad, and then he introduced me to the original rhythm guitarist, and I knew the bassist already. That Sentience lineup never existed past the demo stage, and we’ve had some changes since. Our current lineup consists of Jon Lopez on rhythm guitar, who has been a member since 2016, although he didn’t play on the first record, Tyler Butkovsky (bass), and Evan Daniele (drums). They both joined at the end of 2017. The name change was suggested by Testimony Records, who released our records in Europe because there was another metal band called Sentience at the time that was appearing at some festivals and they wanted to avoid confusion. I think Sentient Horror is a much better name, it sounds more “death metal” to me.

Are there any future plans for Sentient Horror?

We’ll use the remainder of 2022 to play shows to support “Rites of Gore” and then I believe I’ll start writing music for the follow up sometime this winter.

Are you planning a tour for the new album? if the necessary conditions are met, can we expect to see you play in Turkey?

There is no touring planned at this time. Given where some of the members are in life right now, with jobs and family stuff, touring regularly or for long stretches is not something we can do, however, we wouldn’t pass up a good opportunity if it came up.

What is the difference between the “Rites of Gore” and your earlier releases?

I think Rites of Gore is an angrier record and more straightforward and a little less melodic than Morbid Realms. I blame the pandemic for that shift. My headspace was particularly negative when writing this time, but I think it must have done something good for our sound since I’ve heard from a lot of people that they think this is our best record.

What are your general lyrical themes? Do lyrics have any special kinds of themes?

I like writing horror fiction. My main influence for this is King Diamond. I really like how all his lyrics are to tell horror stories, so I do the same with mine. On Morbid Realms, there was a lot of influence from otherworldly horror like Lovecraft and Clive Barker. However, for Rites of Gore, I was inspired by anthology horror shows like Tales From the Crypt and Creepshow, very “classic” style, with zombies, werewolves, vampires, and mad doctors. Kinda cheesy, but it’s fun for me to write.

How was the reaction to your last album?

Morbid Realms, when it came out, I think it got good reviews, but because of the pandemic, it never got its opportunity to really get supported in a live setting. We were able to do only two shows to support it before the lockdowns happened. And I think the band lost some momentum in the process. I think Rites of Gore will give us the opportunity to do a proper album release cycle again.

Are you satisfied with Redefining Darkness Records?

Very! I consider Thomas a friend, not just the label head. He’s been incredibly supportive of the band ever since our first release.

Is there anything else you want to share?

The band just got an artist deal with Lone Wolf FX pedals, the makers of the Left-Hand Wrath, which is essentially a modern, super flexible HM2 on steroids. Our sound has already improved immensely from switching over, and it’s made me even more excited to play in support of Rites of Gore. Thanks for reading and check out “Rites of Gore” if you haven’t yet!

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