With chaotic, apocalyptic instrumentation and seething misanthropy, Our Place of Worship Is Silence’s sophomore effort, With Inexorable Suffering, is currently one of the heaviest and unforgiving death metal recordings to be released in 2018 thus far. Delivering churning, cacophonous and unorthodox songs rife with complexity and dissonance, With Inexorable Suffering is a an exercise in sheer brutality that turns heads as well as crush them.
In this recent interview with Svbterranean the Californian duo sat down to discuss the new record, misanthropy, and modern death metal.
Could you please introduce yourself and your role in Our Place of Worship Is Silence?
ERIC: My name is Eric, I bring riffs to the table and handle backing vocals in Our Place of Worship is Silence.
TIM: My name is Tim and I am the drummer, lyricist and one of the vocalists of Our Place of Worship is Silence.
Compared to the other projects you have been involved in, how has writing for Our Place of Worship Is Silence pushed you as musicians?
ERIC: It comes more naturally being able to blend both black and death metal vs. hyper focusing either specifically. I managed to find more fulfillment in swaying seamlessly between both genres in a way that empowers both in sound and brings out an immense amount of potential for maximum aggression. Ultimately, our sound and writing style we’ve embraced has kept us sharper than ever and continuously pushing boundaries.
TIM: O.P.O.W.I.S. has a more fluid style compared to other bands I have been involved with. Bands I’ve been in had the tendency of over-complicating things to no end with very little cohesion. With this band, all of the over-thinking and trying to be “different” for the sake of being so is tossed out of the window. Things happened naturally without much initial planning. Having the freedom and ability to improvise pivotal sections of full songs is refreshing. There is a significant amount of musical chemistry between us two, which allows us to aptly coordinate with each other’s detail-oriented playing styles. With all of this being said, I would say it has made me a more concise and direct musician.
Do you feel the Californian scene, or living in the state in general, has had an impact on the band or your personal musical development?
ERIC: To a certain degree if you count disdain. The “California scene” is fickle and trite to say the least, hence why we participate sparingly and spend most of our time practicing, writing and recording vs. playing gigs or touring. Neither one of us care for hype or flavor of the week nonsense and that’s unfortunately the language most of the golden state speaks/understands.
TIM: Naturally, it has impacted my perspective and consequently, our overall sound. Coming from a suffocating prism like Los Angeles breeds a lot of contempt within. Los Angeles is a mirage in the desert; instead of falling for the illusion, self-reliance allowed me to pave a path explored by no others.
What would you say the advantages and disadvantages are of writing and recording primarily as a two-piece?
ERIC: There’s definitely a lot more of an advantage. After playing in 5 pieces for most of my musical venture, it’s a lot easier to work with one other critical member to get songs done or ideas chiseled. Less egos in the room means for less bullshit and emotions flying everywhere desperate for attention. Our patience, time and effort is something sacred we both respect between each other.
TIM: One advantage of writing as a two piece is the efficiency with writing material. When we are focused on writing, there are no distractions, allowing more fluidity when treading the complete potentiality of our musical spectrum. Ideas are evaluated and applied accordingly, and there is a lack of confusion and frustration when trying to get several people on the same wavelength. I don’t feel any disadvantages from being a two-piece for writing and recording; less is definitely more for us in this situation.
The band’s sound has a major emphasis on dissonance and unorthodox song structures. What is it about these musical characteristics that drew you to them and what do you think makes them so integral to Our Place of Worship Is Silence’s sound?
ERIC: There’s harmony between dissonance and chaos. Finding balance and ability to weave that harmony throughout compositions was something Tim and I had been crafting since the end of Lake of Blood. We’re typically a power house when writing and the disjointed unorthodox riffs are a byproduct of this union we’ve mastered. Creating an environment that isn’t comfortable, as well as uneasy, start to finish is part of the challenge you face when approaching this art form.
TIM: Dissonance is vital to our sound because it reflects our defiance to protocol. With regards to the disharmonious nature of the world, we are here to rebel with even more hideous frequencies.
What can you tell us about the creation of your newest record, With Inexorable Suffering?
ERIC: The album was written with a lot more focus and confidence than our first by far. We had a better understanding of what we wanted to achieve sonically but it’s not to say we’re done evolving either. Each song was approached with a sense of urgency, almost innate, which makes me believe our sound is only going to get more dense with each album to come.
TIM: We knew we had something special after the second or third song. Compared to our first album, this one is more refined and detailed. Our writing process went smoothly with plenty of rough drafts that evolved into intricate parts of a greater whole.
How did you approach the record differently than your previous full-length, The Embodiment of Hate?
ERIC: The Embodiment of Hate was written and recorded with the same tactics as With Inexorable Suffering, the biggest difference would have to be Erol, our sound engineer, upgraded a lot of his drum, cabinet and room mics which helped achieve a much larger sound. I used an Ibanez Iceman on this recording and that guitar has a bigger body and better neck than what I used on The Embodiment of Hate, all minor details that played a huge part in the end.
TIM: The approach for recording this album was not different from the first. There were countless practice sessions involved in cultivating its root.
The overarching theme of the record is misanthropy. Do you feel there are any redeeming qualities in humankind? Do you think there is any hope for mankind as a whole?
TIM: The main themes are tyrannicide and misanthropy. They stemmed from witnessing the actions within this hideous despot matrix while being sickened by man’s docile and lethargic response to this farce. There is nothing but disinformation and rot awaiting humanity.
How does the artwork tie into the album thematically? What is the significance of the labyrinth?
TIM: The artwork is a visual depiction of man’s suffering due to forces outside of himself. The labyrinth is the mechanism that we are trapped within. The artwork should be seen as additional context clues for the album.
In a press release for the new record, Tim claimed that the record “hopes to set a new standard in this swelling of over-saturation and decline of authenticity.” Assuming this is directed at death metal (perhaps metal in general), what are your thoughts on modern death metal and how do you feel it is unauthentic?
ERIC: Whenever trends emerge, especially within metal, flocks blindly follow and create a vacuum of mediocrity. Once a formula or mold is assumed, then begins the onslaught of bands aching for a piece of some half ass spotlight and cash grab for a bunch of half ass labels. Tim and I made a dedicated decision from the start to stay completely clear of interacting or rubbing elbows with these entities and focusing on creating what we felt was truly relentless, unforgiving, free from any mold or weak and timid formula.
TIM: That quote is directed towards any bands playing styles of extreme metal that are recycled and not trying to stand apart from the flock. We aren’t claiming to have reinvented the wheel, but straying away from the revival of antiquated styles is crucial. This, in my eyes, is ultimately a grand form of stagnation birthed out of trite sympathies towards nostalgia. Too many bands sound the same. When bands take a deep dive and try to recreate early sounds through undecipherable riffs and hollow-sounding drums—one can only ask, are they being for real? As far as modern death metal, there are bands worth mentioning, but even more that should choose another style of metal to play, which will be the case in a year or so.
What do you want listeners to take away from With Inexorable Suffering?
ERIC: That you can take a genre and it’s influences and truly create something original, that you don’t need to subscribe, create nor over saturate to what is already over flowing with an abundance of obnoxiousness and pretending that you’re “giving back to the scene” for a bunch of tourists, because you’re not. You’re moving a pawn on a fucking chess board at best, if that. With Inexorable Suffering sets a new standard and way of approach when embracing extremities and raw aggression.
TIM: What they take away from the album is their own prerogative.
What is next for Our Place of Worship Is Silence?
ERIC: We’ll be doing a few shows here in LA and hitting the road in September for a west coast/southwest run. It’s long over due but not something that’s first on our list of priorities typically. There’s new material in the works but we’re going to spend some time with the first two albums and get those sharpened for the live experience. We’ll more than likely have another album ready by mid/late 2019.
TIM: There is a tour coming in early Fall. After that, there may be some other sporadic dates, along with the first drafts of the language and music for the next release.
With Inexorable Suffering is available now via Translation Loss.
Read our review of the record here.