UNEXPECTANCE is a metal band from Spain with influences ranging from metalcore to melodic death metal, with a blend of modern influences, featuring progressive and groove metal.
The band is composed by: Nacho Peña (xSlowDownx, Another Day, Storm of Rage) on guitar, Aitor G. Stamper (Mike Stamper, Gajes del Oficio, Black Devil) on bass, Dani Larriet (Teksuo, STIGMATA, Rock and Rockets) on vocals, Fran Pérez (Better than Ignorance, Atlantis) on guitar and Luis Barrientos (Bourbon Street, Mouthful of Pain) on drums
It was a pleasure to Interview this amazing metal band, Check out the below Interview.
Greetings from Metalheads Forever Magazine, I’m Keith Clement, How are you today?
Hi Keith, we are fine! It is a great pleasure for us to be featured in your magazine.
Your sophomore album “Vortex” was released on January 4th, Can you tell me about the songwriting and production behind the album?
We wanted a more complex, brutal yet melodic album compared to our previous LP “La Metástasis de la Desesperanza”. It was in mind to mix the catchiness of groove metal, melody from modern melodeath, breakdowns (which we all love) and a touch of complexity from djent/progressive contexts, all under our own sound and our way of blending these influences. But we wanted to go further and to interconnect our music with the planned album concept. So, we played with different guitar tunings to symbolize that descent to hell featured in the album concept (later explained), developing a tracklist which leads listeners into a progressive dark journey to Dante´s Inferno.
Before hitting the studio, we recorded by ourselves the whole album (in a sort of pre-production work) to analyze all tracks in order to determine the correct order to achieve that journey and make final arrangements to our compositions. Afterwards, we discussed with our producer Daniel Sevillano how to do it all while keeping a coherent sound along the whole record.
We guess we got it.
What is the concept that was put behind this album?
Two different concepts were placed in game: Aristotle’s spherical conception of the universe and, by extension, of everything tangible; And, in the other hand, an exhaustive analysis of the problems plaguing our modern society. Fortunately, there is a universal literary work that combines both concepts. Only that it required a non-religious updating of all of it and the proper adaptation to the times we live. That is “The Divine Comedy” by Dante Alighieri. Among the different parts that compose it, we choose “Inferno” as a guide to expose all of these visions.
The Cover-Art is fascinating, can you tell me the theme behind the artwork?
Everything in life is made up of circles: life itself is a cycle, the history of mankind tends to repeat itself, the planets orbit, the particles as well. The spheres are the three-dimensional representation of the circles. Dante’s Inferno is made up of nine circles that converge in Lucifer. The sphere of the cover is composed by ten circles, representing each of the songs on the album which, in turn, represent each of the circles, being the last cut Lucifer himself.
The problems of modern society, therefore, could be also represented by a sphere that invades the natural order of things. Those spheres on the cover would be that evil unbalancing nature.
10 massive songs, The Power, The Growls, Melodic Death Metal taken a new form in the art of Unexpectance, How as a band do you feel about the outcome of it?
As a band we fulfill the cliche of wanting to sound our own. We are aware that creating a whole new genre within metal frames is quite difficult. We believe, however, that you can get a fresh sound and something original by merging styles in your own personal way. Hence, we take the music composition phase with intensity, trying to maintain a balance between these genres we like the most and their contribution to our sound.
We take this process as a long road, so that the next album will sound even more personal and different from the rest, or, at least, our hopes walk in that direction.
Self-criticism and a constant desire of improvement are two pillars in the band. We are very satisfied with “Vortex” and it seems that the response from the press and public is being positive, but there’s always room for improvement and our focus is always there.
Taking the concept of Divine Comedy of Dante in your own way to relate with the society was massive idea, can you tell me in detail about it?
Linking with what we discussed above, the circles of Dante’s inferno converge in Lucifer. From Lucifer’s point of view, hell is shaped like a vortex, hence the album’s title. A vortex, in turn, represents destructive chaos in nature. Each circle, in the original work, represents a sin of the society of that time, from a religious point of view. We reinterpret these sins from a secular point of view and relate them to an actual disease or problem of our modern society. Lucifer was banished from heaven for sheer vanity. And we believe that the Lucifer of today’s society is the Internet, especially since social networking appeared. Our world is running through these networks, and everything is getting really worse through them. From simple human relations to the most established scientific knowledge, everything is constantly questioned under the tyrannical power of the ego and fully surrounded by fake news and distorted realities.
“Guerra Interior” (Innerwar), represents the limbo in which individuals find themselves as they are unable to question themselves. If we want a change in our society, let’s not wait for someone else to start it. Let’s change ourselves as individuals first.
“El Altar del Olvido” (the altar of oblivion) represents lust, and is a criticism of the fact that sexual abuse committed in the Catholic Church goes unpunished. A tribute to these people that remain without justice.
“Hipersomnia” (hypersomnia) represents gluttony and is a criticism of the massive and unbrided consumerism that hits us all, leaving us in an inaction state, without any care about our role in this capitalist society that governs us and makes us lethargic.
“Ira de los Justos” (wrath of the righteous) represents greed. Despite the economic crisis, there has been no control over speculation and the enrichment of a few. Our capitalist system will slowly die out and give way to an unprecedented system, where mega-corporations will decide our fates. As always, the citizen is the one who pays the piper of these abusive behaviours.
“Deus Ex Machina” represents anger and laziness. Laziness makes us believe any data, idea or thought without checking whether the information is true or not. We live in the world of fake news, highly promoted due to social networking. Anyone defending a crazy idea could end up having legions of blinded followers. When you confront these types of people with true data, their reaction is always full of anger, even increased with anonymity. So, their arguments are true “Deus Ex Machina”, when there’s no way to escape the evidence.
La Caída de Prometeo (The fall of Prometheus) represents heresy. The heresy, today, is to think for oneself and confronting the established order, as Prometheus did while giving fire to humanity against the divine order of Zeus.
Neurapraxia (a neural disorder in which there is a temporary loss of motor and sensory functions without apparent external damage) represents violence. In this case, gender-based violence. An apparently normal family man is capable of murdering her wife out of jealousy while considering her of his own.
Déjà Vu represents fraud (including political corruption). Political corruption is a good representation of the cyclical nature of history. An ancient evil that always walks together with mankind along ages.
“Última Palabra” (Last word) represents betrayal. We’re living the rise of populisms and extremisms worldwide, arising due to the constant confrontation between people for race, creed or political reasons. Simplifying our diverse reality into two possible visions: right or wrong (with no more options and being totally subjective). And this always leads to nonsense betrayal among equals with the same needs.
“Pandemonium”. Inferno´s end. Lucifer. Political confrontation on Twitter, where insults have more power than ideas. Constant desensitization through the massive attack of terrible images that we normalize, through Facebook. False data and fake news without any need of source verification. Addiction and indoctrination, through mobile notifications. Vanity as a way of life and making money on Instagram. Sheep followers who do not question anything about their idols or public figures. Children constantly exposed on TikTok or social networking in general. Internet as the root of this modern evil.
You have worked with some of the iconic people this time with Daniel Sevillano and Jacob Hansen, how does it feel to work with them?
Daniel did an amazing work throughout all the recording process, and it was a huge pleasure working with him, because he easily guessed what was the idea behind the sound we were trying to reach. He put all his efforts on building this punchy and perfectly balanced mix, which got fattened after the final touch of Jacob Hansen on mastering duties. We are planning to repeat with this duo for the next album because it was totally a win-win for us.
The Band was formed in 2014, with two albums now, how do you feel about the music that you have created and the road you have travelled so far?
We are proud of our particular evolution, which led us to learn many different ways of achieving our sound while getting several new musical influences on the way, and somehow transforming how we see the entire composition process. It was an amazing experience for us, and we hope to maintain this way of evolving for so long. And we know for sure that someday we’ll want to revisit our old songs with future influences and visions, as we also want our songs to evolve with us.
What would be touring plans be like for you?
Our touring plans are mainly focused by now on presenting “Vortex” in our native country, Spain, but there’s room to think about booking dates on Europe in a near future. There’s an amazing death/groove metal scene along Europe who could potentially enjoy our music and shows.
What would be some of the upcoming plans for the band?
Our plans include the composition of our third LP, which will be another concept album that will set the next step in our particular concept timeline, featuring our most progressive metal influences to date. Our heads are vibing together in that direction, so, let’s see what it brings. We are beginning this process just after “Vortex” release, and we’ll be working hard on this while touring and presenting “Vortex” altogether.
What are some of the great moments?
We had huge moments along these eight years of existence. Lots of funny stories while touring. Once, one of our guitarists was coming a bit late to soundcheck in a gig date because he was totally in panic, confined in our accommodation on the outside of the town, due that he heard wolves in the surroundings between the nearest mountains. He phoned our bassist, and stayed waited there until our vocalist came to “save” him in an expressly made rescue operation. It seems that wolves were actually big nostalgic dogs. They both arrived in time to soundcheck, as our accommodation wasn’t that far from the venue, but it was a funny moment. We have lots of stories like that (always with a happy ending, fortunately).
Finally what would be the message for the Metal Fraternity around the world?
We hope you all give a chance to our latest release “Vortex”. We promise that you won’t stop shaking your heads with it. Thank you Keith for this interview and thanks everyone in Metalheads Forever Magazine for the amazing chance of being here.
1.Guerra Interior 04:42
2.El Altar Del Olvido 04:21
4.Ira De Los Justos 02:24
5.Deus Ex Machina 05:26
6.La Caída De Prometeo 04:21
8.Déjà Vu 05:46
9.Última Palabra 04:15
Nacho Peña – Guitars
Aitor G. Stamper – Bass
Dani Larriet – Vocals
Fran Pérez – Guitars
Luis Barrientos – Drums