Friday 25 May 2018

INTERVIEW: Denver down-tuned blackened sludgers Oryx are all about that bass

By: Mark Ambrose & Aaron Pickford
Alvino Salcedo (C)
The two-piece metal group is a risky venture: for every stellar example that incorporates multiple registers, tones, and intimate dynamics (Bell Witch, NEST, Obsidian Tongue) there are a dozen that do not sound like anything except an inept demo tape (which I politely won’t call out here).  Thankfully Oryx, the Colorado by way of Santa Fe two-piece, fall solidly into the former group: a balanced collaboration that sounds like a symphony of savagery.  While “Stolen Absolution” is a sophomore release, this marked their first album as a two-piece – a sort of second debut, more distinct, assured, and unique than their prior effort, Widowmaker”. 

Skip forward nearly 4 months since the release of this record and the band are set to play some of the biggest shows of their short tenure, what’s more the band are set reinvent themselves again.  This week I hooked up with drummer Abigail Davis to get the low down on their forthcoming shows and she tell us about their decision to change up the line up once more, to present Oryx 3.0

So Abbey, welcome to THE SLUDGELORD! Could you tell our readers a little about how you started playing music, leading up to the formation of Oryx?

Tommy (guitar, vocals) has been playing in metal and punk bands for most of his life. I picked up the drums in high school and then really dove headfirst into it once Tommy and I started jamming five years ago. We helped run a DIY show space in Las Cruces, NM called The Trainyard. We lived right down the street from it, so we would show up at around midnight and play as loud as we wanted without bothering anyone. We just kept playing together until we felt ready for shows.   Oryx was born.

For those people unfamiliar with Oryx, is there any bands on the scene past and present that you would use as a reference point bands to describe your band, and who or what continues to inspire you and push you to try new things?

Bands like Earth, Man is the Bastard, Eyehategod, Drunkdriver, Corrupted, and Noothgrush are all huge influences on us. Currently active bands like Primitive Man, Yob, Bell Witch, Thou, and The Body continue to inspire us and pave the way for heavy music in general.

What can you tell us about your latest record “Stolen Absolution” and where do you feel it sits within the context of current doom scene

With ‘Stolen Absolution’, we set out to create an album that could represent our live sound more accurately and articulate our voice better than any of our other previous recordings. We feel the album stands strongly on its own in the current doom scene, but it’s also a mash up of several genres and with darker undertones that black metal or blackened doom fans could appreciate.

Alvino Salcedo (C)
Does anything spring to mind when you think about the completion of “Stolen Absolution” and for those paying attention to the article, they may notice a change.  So with that in mind, how is the mood in the camp at present?

After “Stolen Absolution” released in February, Tommy and I re-evaluated what we wanted for the band. We decided that we wanted to see this band evolve and grow beyond what we’ve been able to achieve as a two piece. We figured that one way to try this would be to incorporate a bassist into the mix. Over the past several months we have been writing new music with our newest member, David Saylor. We met David years ago when we played with his band Terminator 2. David brings a unique style to the band and we are happy to have him on board. Having a new voice to collaborate on song writing feels like a fresh start for the band. It’s also allowing Tommy to expand on his guitar parts in ways we’ve never been able to do before. It’s an exciting time for Oryx!

With you new record released and a new member on board, how is your schedule shaping up over the next 12 months?

Well we are excited to announce that we are heading back to the studio in June to record several tracks for an upcoming split. This time we are recording with Greg Wilkinson at Earhammer Studios in Oakland. This is a bucket list recording studio for us. We have two big shows in June as well. We are opening for Ufomammut on June 9th at Sister Bar in Albuquerque, NM and then we open for the legendary Sleep at the Ogden Theatre here in Denver on June 11th. For these two shows, we will have a friend guest subbing on bass while David travels back to Texas for some shows with Terminator 2. Get ready to see Oryx debut as a three piece for these shows! We also have plans to tour in August. Those dates and cities will be released soon.

Finally, do you have any last words?

Thanks for the interview and the support, SLUDGELORD! Cheers!

“Stolen Absolution” is available here (CD) and here (Tape)

Band info: facebook || bandcamp