Decaying Monuments

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Normally the thought of female-fronted metal is enough to induce gagging. The disgusting combo of sickly sweet pop melodies over watered-down power metal has been done to death and back in recent years, with each group generally sounding as equally boring as the next. Thank goat for Nexhymn and the evil throat of Holly Wedel. No sweet melodies to be heard on the band’s Black Horizon EP, only sheer, unadulterated brutality and rage (but no monotony). Read on for an interview with the voice of Colorado’s underground DM gems.

So Nexhymn was formed out of, Throcult disbanded or you guys just kind of transferred over to Nexhymn from Throcult, how did that work?

Holly Wedel: Well, what happened was Ivan Alcala is basically the original member from Throcult, and so when Throcult disbanded, he started Nexhymn.  So this is just how it all came to be.  Every member is from different bands, you know, that we were in before just locally in Colorado and we all knew Ivan from Throcult and Serberus days.

Okay, cool.  You released the Black Horizon EP recently…

Yeah, at the end of March.

Okay.  And that’s been your first EP.  So what kind of response have you heard back from that?

We’ve been getting a lot of positive response back from it.  A lot of the negative stuff we’re taking and making better on the new album we’re writing right now.  But most of it’s been really good and positive and it’s getting our hopes up for our future as a band, and touring and doing shows and making more albums, you know.  So it’s just positive, good review, super positive.

Excellent.  Most of the reviews that I’ve read were positive, and it seems like the ones that were negative, those were mostly written by people who don’t like death metal or can’t stand death metal vocals or they have no clue.

Yeah [laughs].  Most of it’s been pretty positive, so the negative ones we just kind of, whatever, take it with a grain of salt.  You have to; you’ve got to read them anyway.

Right.  Obviously your vocals get a lot of attention within the band, I would imagine at least.  How did you even get started doing that?  How long have you been doing the death metal vocals?

I’ve been doing death metal vocals for about eight years now.

Okay.

I started, I was married at one time and my ex-husband was real big into death metal.  He wanted to start a band, and he found more members and they started jamming, and they were like, ‘We need a singer.’  Then he turned around and gave me as a gift a mic and a little amp to practice through and he just showed me how to do it.  From then on it just progressed and got better since day one to now, and it keeps getting better as I go along.  But it’s been a while I’ve been singing death metal and I like doing it.  I want to do it forever [laughs].

[Laughs] Sweet.  I think a lot of times when you hear a woman doing death metal vocals, growly vocals, whatever you want to call them, you can still hear that feminine element in the voice.  And you’ve got a couple parts on the EP where you do some scream-type things, and then you can kind of tell it’s a woman doing vocals, but for the most part…they’re just insane.  That’s so cool.  Your vocals are some of the best that I’ve heard a woman do.

Wow, thank you.  That’s awesome.  Yeah, we’ve been getting that a lot lately.  I guess out in Mexico we’ve been getting a lot of positive responses just to having a female singer.  It’s pretty cool.  Everyone’s liking it.

Cool.  I’m glad to hear that.  Another thing that’s really cool about Nexhymn is that you guys are not the typical brutal death metal, or technical death, because [the music is] really intense and harsh but there’s a lot of groove and melody and it’s not just mindless blasting.  I mean, I like Hate Eternal and everything, but you guys don’t sound like that and it’s cool.  There are a lot of change-ups and it’s appreciated.

Yeah, the faster and slower riffs, we’re writing a lot more of that.  The new song that we just finished, it’s totally awesome.  I can’t wait ‘til we debut it.  It’s got a lot of that melodic death and black metal element to it, you know, so we’re pretty excited about what’s coming up and what we’re writing now.  Ivan’s been working really hard on writing riffs and I’ve been busy writing lyrics and everybody’s doing their part in the band, which is pretty awesome.

Excellent.  So how much of the new album have you guys gotten written?

So far we have one song down and another one in progress.

Okay, cool.

Yeah.  We should be out with a full-length or be in the studio by December with a full-length.

Wow, that’s cool.  And you guys are still independent at this point, right?

Yeah, we’re still independent so we’re still putting pennies away, money away to mix and master and record.  We’ll record through this guy here locally in town and then we’ll mix and master with Flatline Audio, Dave Otero, which he does a lot of the bigger metal bands, Cattle Decapitation, etc.  He’s the one who did the mix and mastering of our EP, so we’re going to pretty much stick with him doing our stuff.

Right on.  Well, I will be anxious to hear the new stuff.  I like the EP quite a bit.  I’ve kind of been out of death metal for a while; so much of it is so monotonous.

Yeah.

So it’s cool to listen to you guys.  The EP is pretty short and to the point and it’s not just complete monotony – the same fast riff, the same blast beats over and over again.

Yeah, that gets boring.  I hate that, when you hear bands where it’s all just blast or double bass or just speed picking.  It’s like, come on now [laughs].  We like what we’re doing and we’re going to continue doing it.

I always think it’s cool to go through reviews and read the comparisons, even though it’s funny that a lot of times they’re off base (in my opinion).  If you had to list influences for Nexhymn, who would they be?

Definitely Immolation, Suffocation and I’m trying to think.  Dissection maybe and some Pestilence, some old Hypocrisy.  Just a lot of the older, greater black and death metal bands that influence bands today.

Cool.  And for you personally, your vocal style, is that completely your own or is there anyone else you’ve tried to emulate?  There’s no way to put that nicely [laughs].

[Laughs] No, not really, I just do what comes out of me, what I sound like.  But I do look up to David Vincent, like in older Morbid Angel.  His new album, I just don’t really care for his vocals.  It’s like, oh my god, what happened?

I know. [laughs]

And Peter Tägtgren from Hypocrisy, and Dave from Immolation is pretty bad-ass.  But other than that, I just do what I feel that I’m comfortable with.  So what I feel, to me, that’s what I do.

Right on.  What’s the metal scene like there in Denver?

It’s pretty good.  It’s really killer; the death and black and thrash scene here is really big.  You’ve got the metalcore bands that are trying to intertwine with us [laughs] and it’s just, no.  But the underground metal scene here is just really awesome.  A local promoter, Amanda with Obsidian Fog, she’s bringing Nachymystium out here, so we’re pretty stoked about that.

Sweet.

She got us on the show with Nightbringer and Weapon too, so we’re excited to do that one.

That’s cool.  I see that you’re a mom.  How many kids do you have?

I have two teenage boys.

Yeah, what do they think about metal mom?

My oldest doesn’t really care for it, but my youngest is crazy about it.  ‘My mom’s a brutal death metal singer!’  They both love it.  They take CDs to school and pass them out to their friends and stuff.

Sweet.

So it’s pretty rad.

That is pretty rad [laughs].

[Laughs]

Well, I guess that about covers it.  Is there anything you would like to add?

Thank you for your interview and your time.  It was awesome.

Oh, sure.  Thank you very much.

www.reverbnation.com/nexhymn
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