The combination of literary and musical storytelling is a hard one to pull off, but when done correctly it can be quite the spectacle. Storytelling always needs a soundtrack, and sometimes a soundtrack needs a story. The world of metal has always been progressive in balancing these more classical elements with their aggressive deliveries, whether it be creating a setting with the tone of their music or waxing poetic lyrically underneath a deluge of dissonant chords and down-tuned riffing.
The Boston-based metal group The Beast of Nod opt for something a bit less subtle. With roots as far back as 2011, The Beast of Nod set themselves into a genre they describe as intergalactic death metal, a unique brand of technical death metal that involves “linear song structures, odd time signatures, and extremely technical passages”, and through this moniker they center their songs around a fictional science fiction universe unique to the band- The Land of Nod. Following two EPs released in 2015 and 2016 respectively, they have released a full length debut album taking place in this said universe, Vampira: Disciple of Chaos, in May of 2018. They have also delved into create comics to go along with their universe canon, and have already released their first issue via their website.
Read the interview with the band members below:
TFP: Who are you?
TBON: The Beast of Nod is Paul on vocals, Görebläster on guitar and programming, Nate on drums and Brendan on bass. Our current form, has existed for about 3 years. Paul met Görebläster and began recording our first EP with him and Ryan, our old bassist. They hired Nate to be a session drummer and then welcomed him into the fold after recording. The guys met Brendan at a party and he joined the band as their new bassist before the recording of the band’s second EP.
TFP: How would you describe the music you create?
We play Intergalactic Death Metal, a subgenre of death metal that features, linear song structures, odd time signatures, and extremely technical passages, wherein songs center around the characters and events of a sci-fi universe called “The Land of Nod”. You can read about it via our website.
TFP: What artists/public figures/individuals would you say have been influential to you and your music?
TBON: We draw inspiration from artists such as Cannibal Corpse, Gojira, Allegaeon, Fallujah, Scale the Summit, Plini, Sarah Longfield, Rings of Saturn and Berried Alive. We like all sorts of different music including, but not limited to, synthwave, classic rock, and black metal.
TFP: Which would you say is more comfortable for you, playing in-studio or live? Any good examples of either?
TBON: While both are very different animals, our approach is pretty similar. By the time we get into the studio, we are so well rehearsed that we basically just run off of muscle memory. The same logic applies to our live set. We rehearse constantly to make sure our set has the same consistent flow and intensity each night. The main difference is that when we are performing in the studio, we have the luxury of doing another take if we don’t nail something the first time. In the live environment, there are no take-backs or do-overs. Once it’s out there, that’s it. That aspect is fun because it pushes us and keeps us on our toes while we hammer through music that is extremely challenging.
TFP: In an interview, David Bowie once said that it was easier writing music for the characters he created than it was writing for himself. Would you say that writing music centered around the Land of Nod is easier than just writing music for the hell of it?
TBON: Yes, we definitely agree with Mr. Bowie on this one. Prior to writing new music we discuss the different characters and stories that we’re going to be writing about. So, we know what the plot and emotional progression of the song should be, which in a way presents its own challenges. However, with the type of music we work with, it’s good to have some focus and intent when writing.
TFP: What are your upcoming plans for the future?
TBON: Right now we are supporting our first full length album “Vampira: Disciple of Chaos” which is available on our website’s store for physical CD orders and our Bandcamp for digital. We’ll be playing at RPM Fest on August 24th. Additionally we have tons of online content which you can find on our iTunes, Spotify, YouTube channel, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.