Earthwomb Interview - Becoming Immanence
Becoming Immanence is the first chapter of Earthwombs musical evolution. It is a sound and style that is rich in the cornerstones and history of Black Metal, but also takes classical references and their Peruvian culture to create a spiritual journey that is as moving as it is heavy. Something that began from the very beginning
‘’We knew each other from past projects that, unintentionally, sowed the seeds of this project. Our inclination towards black metal (to a lesser or greater extent) and the creative construction of atmospheric pieces have always been part of our musical outcome. That’s how Earthwomb came about late 2017, with the idea of maintaining, exploring, and expanding our style, which led us to create and release our first single in 2019 and later our EP Becoming Immanence.
The inspiration for the name Earthwomb and its Peruvian influence.
‘’It is indeed a Peruvian influence. It refers to the Quechuan word Pachamama (pacha: land, earth, world, time // mama: mother). In that sense the name of the band comes from a neologism that connects Earth and Womb/Matrix, which implies thinking metaphysically about the Earth. We believe this is inherent to the Latin American worldview, to think and recall the mythic fundamentals of the world. For us “the womb of the earth” incarnates what we consider immanent, cosmic.
The creative musical forces.
‘’Balance is key but achieving it is quite a struggle. We didn’t fully understand that until the mixing stage when we had to think thoroughly about which element had to stand out and which could stay as a support layer. There is a constant tandem between guitars, drums, and vocals. They go up and down constantly depending on the part’s intention. And the same idea applies to the songs themselves as well. They do have the same sound identity, but each has their own nuances. We think that’s the beauty of making a record and telling a story, it can’t all be super uniform or stiff unless that’s the intent, although it wasn’t the case with Becoming Immanence.
‘’Our influences are quite diverse, and they’re not limited only to music itself. We are interested in productions that have a conceptual/thematic foundation and seek to create atmospheres. This of course extends to many disciplines like visual arts, performance art, photography, literature, and cinema. Narrative is of huge importance to us and so, music has to support the story. Therefore, our cinematic approach. Our influences in that regard can come from the work of artists such as Giuseppe Tartini, Franz Schubert, as well as projects like Kammarheit, Northaunt and film/game composers such as Hans Zimmer, Akira Yamaoka, and Gustavo Santaolalla.
Combining the orchestration with the heavy.
We wouldn’t say it’s difficult to combine but to write the precise parts. The orchestral elements were never meant to stand out, they were made for psychoacoustics and dramatic purposes. The issue is that when you start working on orchestration you kinda want to keep adding things because let’s be real, it’s a pretty awesome thing to do. So, the hard part was knowing when to stop when it was enough. So once again there had to be a constant back and forth, always trying to listen in context and don’t get enamoured with string or brass lines just for the sake of it. We need to serve the song so yes, a hundred percent the music is part of the song characterization. There has to be coherence between what the lyrics say and what the music is trying to portray.
Each track musically follows the lyrical theme.
’They do. Becoming Immanence was built upon a theme that seeks to portray the relationship between the Earth and its foundation (matrix) from a mystic, constructivist, and vitalist point of view. In that sense, Cosmic Revelation embodies the instant of chaos prior to creation, Fractal Phenomenon refers to the creation itself of mystic time, Walkscapes to the formation of spaces and territory. Trespassing the Paragons of Consciousness appeals to the origin of organisms that populate that territory, Ulterior revelation then beholds the chaotic interaction between the organisms and the land. The Gathering then embodies the war of these forces, and finally Vital Flux closes the story presenting the idea of life and immanent energy. Time, space, life, war, and energy are the main components of absolute immanence, asymmetric archè, ens realissimum, undetermined plane of existence, destructive and creator.
And it's a journey through thought, spiritual and life?
''For us, and quoting Deleuze, immanence is a life. This means that everything that we’ve contemplated conceptually in our EP (time, space, life, war, energy) are components of immanence as complex life. Nevertheless, this is not a chant to an existent life, but an invocation to the death of this world's paradigm in order to create meaning and life. Immanence is the concept that embodies the relation between earth and origin/matrix/womb, and it allows us to think in mystic and constructivist directions of the world from an esoteric perspective.
The fragility of becoming immanent.
‘’There is a fragility in the sense of a destroyed identity, a body, an alienated life, that comes across us all within these metaphysics planes. We do not believe in the body, neither the identity nor this alienated plane of the world. Hence our attention unto immanence, because it’s such an expansive and universal plane that destroys everything whilst at the same time creates species, landscapes, new times. We believe in admiration, deconstruction, and creation.
‘’In Latin America there's an evident political upheaval. But this doesn't mean that our metaphysical and spiritual exploration becomes an apolitical refuge response that doesn't participate in the local culture. Peru is clearly a ritualistic and cosmogonic country, with esoteric roots, which have been part of urban life forms. More than a denial of the surrounding public spaces, we want to exacerbate those roots that link us to the Earth, with immanence as admiration that breaks a normality. Perhaps that's our form of politics.
Wisdom over material?
Yes. Especially in music. You may have all the tools in the world but if you don’t know what to do with ‘em you’re lost. We can tell that now from experience having made our EP all by ourselves. We focused on what we wanted to do despite the gear limitations, instead of not making music at all just for the fact of not having the right equipment. That situation pushed us to think out of the box and look for alternatives. We are certain that when it comes to making a record, the most important thing is to know, know what you want to tell, know what feelings you want your music to Evoque, know how to approach things within your capabilities and circumstances.
The energy from nature?
Everything that has an empiric and spiritual life at the same time is immanent. In that sense, energy is the universal expression of immanence that travels dark and bright zones, metaphysic, and material, visible and invisible. Our song Vital Flux walks through that trail. Part of our musical motivation comes from these questions: how can that energy be expressed? How can we make visible some energetic processes that are invisible? The proximity to Latin American poetry, the Andean landscape and the vitalist philosophy have been triggers in our way of answering those questions.
The journey of man?
Man as an identity, as body and alienation marches towards his regulation and docility unless it’s beaten, broken or de-composed by a great event. Immanence is that event to us and implies a process of separation between chronologic and rutinary time, a deceleration that strips a body from its comfort. Including the notion of travel and ritual in our music and lyrics, later translates in the experience of living a process of transfiguration and transformation caused by the proximity with the energy of natural spaces.
The inspiration for your form of Black metal?
‘’The construction of our sound started from the classics of the first and second wave of black metal. Bands like Bathory, Hellhammer, Mayhem, Gorgoroth or Ulver, marked our way to conceive extreme music, and opened a gate for us to explore later. We’ve witnessed how the genre has gone through some changes over the years, broadening the expressive possibilities to all the musicians involved in it. In our case, we wanted to build bridges between that primal essence of the first stages of black metal and the freedom to explore, most related to contemporary acts. It is also important for us to reassess and appreciate the impact of the south American movement, its way of writing and sound logic. In that sense, black metal is ONE of our forms of musical expression, but our eagerness to explore may take us through different paths (dark-ambient, post metal, progressive, etc) and could allow us to contemplate different elements in our work.
‘’For us dark and extreme styles are quite the opposite of what the common eye may imagine, meaning some sort of apolitical way of life, withdrawn, separated and individualized. We believe there’s vitality in extreme forms of music and it participates in non-taken spaces allowing their creators to visualize invisible forces focused on cracking both the retracted individuality and ludic commodification. Extreme music liberates a life entangled in a loop, releases an energy that summons and insists. Making heavy music is a practice of insistence of a not alienated life.
‘’We started our musical journey on this project taking the concept of immanence as catalyst and we feel like there’s still much to explore in that regard. That said, we do want to go on a darker path for future releases but of course maintaining the atmosphere and the vitalist vibe. We’re already working on some ideas for our debut album which hopefully we’ll be able to release next year.
Ultimate Musical Goal… ‘’Keep on shaping and polishing our sound is a big goal for us. We know each release will take us further as long as we keep working hard. This of course is not exclusive to music but to the concepts and narratives we choose to use as canvas because they will take us to the right sonic path. We feel like exploring and experimenting is also a big part of that process and will help us refine our search and integrate different elements and ways to create atmospheric spaces. The learning that will come from each record is what we cherish the most and even though we're now focused on promoting our EP we can’t wait to go back to the studio to keep creating and learning.
The scene in Peru
‘’We wouldn’t be making justice to our scene if we didn’t mention Hastur, Mortem, Hadez, Anal Vomit, Goat Semen or Nahual. All of them legends who put Peru in the global scene since the 80s-90s. But there are some great bands outside the capital, with very powerful and interesting aesthetics and sound. Bands like Ayahuaira (Huancayo), Bestial Possession (Trujillo), Dark Rituals (Cusco), Bellum (Arequipa), Deprisofisty (Ayacucho), Dominus Legion (Puno) or Katari (Huánuco), to name a few. Overall, the black metal movement in Peru is quite active and we can’t wait to join them in live shows as soon as the circumstances allow it. Our touring plans are quite big. We don’t only want to have shows here in Lima but in other cities of our country as well, atet’s something we really want to pull off next year. After that we’ll seek dates and venues in South America. Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and Colombia are among our priorities. And then we’d love to expand and aim for gigs in Europe and the US.
‘’We’re about to close a deal to make CD copies of our EP. Hopefully we’ll be able to do the same with different formats such as Vinyl and Cassettes. Our first batch of Merch was released a couple of weeks ago and that’s something we’d like to keep on working and creating new designs. We also have this audio-visual content we mentioned above in the works and hopefully we’ll go back to play live next year as well as start planning some Tours in and out our country as soon as the circumstances allow it. And of course, new music. We've been talking about making and releasing an EP prior to our album but with a much more experimental and cinematic vibe, as a sort of continuation of both our tracks Cosmic and Ulterior Revelation. We’ll see how time works for us.
Top 6 albums of all time?
1349 - Demonoir
Sunn O))) - Black One
Mayhem - De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas
Vital R̲e̲mains - D̲e̲c̲hristianize
Behemoth - The Satanist
Abigail Williams - Walk beyond The Dark