With a Finnish tour taking place at the end of April, we took some time to speak to Matt Davidson from Repulsive Vision and find out some history of the band, his take on the Death Metal scene, and what the band have planned for album number 2…
How did the band form?
Repulsive Vision was started as a solo project while I was at university. Id just discovered video nasties thanks to a documentary on the “Box of the Banned” boxset and I was hugely inspired to write material about that subject. Within a fortnight, Id written almost a full album (most of which has been used on the debut or dissected and reused for the second album) and I was eager to take it to the live scene. At the time, Death metal wasnt huge around my local area and as such, I had a number of lineup changes and musical differences that culminated in years of slow progress and disinterest. However, I met Gary (drummer) while working on another project and ended up revitalising Repulsive Vision with a new, stronger, and more focused lineup. The past 3 years have seen the band go from strength to strength as a much tighter unit, leading to a greater sense of musicianship and a reason to challenge each other to progress.
What albums turned you on to Death Metal?
The first band I really latched onto was Obituary. They absolutely blew me away when I first saw them at Graspop 2008 and I quickly bought their entire back catalogue. From there, I started to buy albums by bands like Morbid Angel (Covenant), Death (Scream Bloody Gore), Mercyless (Abject Offerings), Gorguts (Considered Dead), Carcass (Necroticism), Napalm Death (Harmony Corruption), Brutal Truth (Extreme Conditions…), Edge of Sanity (When All is Said)… Too many to list. I also bought a few compilations like the Swedish Death Metal box, the Peel Sessions and Grind your mind that helped me to find more bands.
What’s been the highlight of the band’s career so far?
Without doubt, the highest point of the band so far was the US trip. Even now, its surreal to consider that we were able to organise such a venture as a relatively unknown band. From surviving the intimate chaos at the Tavern in Ventura to the huge stage at the Las Vegas Death Fest, it was amazing. We met some incredible people, shared the stage with some great bands (including Mortician, Internal Bleeding and our friends in Bestial Evil and Infernal Damnation) and got to visit LA, San Francisco and Las Vegas for the first time. An incredible experience that’s certainly helped our career since and I hope we can do it again someday.
What can we expect from the follow up to Look Past The Gore and see the Art?
Owing to the distinct change in the dynamic of the band, there’s been a significant evolution in the nature of our material in many ways. As previously mentioned, the debut was largely written in the inception of the project 7 years ago, and I definitely feel that I have since become more focused on upgrading the technicality of our riffs while also maintaining the punk-like energy and aggression as always. We’re still taking influence from acts like Discharge and Driller Killer but perhaps taking a more thrash inspired direction akin to Testament or Sacred Reich. Obviously, the usual death metal elements (Carcass, Entombed, Napalm Death, etc) are prominent but Ive found that they seem more natural and clear in the more recent tracks. Its certainly been more of a group effort this time and I think that shows in the diversity and overall orientation of the compositions. It terms of subject matter, this is a far more personal album than the first, discussing situations that we (and many others) suffer throughout our lives. Song titles such as ‘Regret’, ‘Soul Destroying Realisation’ and ‘Exterior of Normality’ show a sense of what has partially fueled this record.
To me, it’s the path that felt most natural and its certainly the way we want to continue.
How were the US dates, and how did it compare to touring in the UK?
I think it’s quite difficult to compare the two as it’s a very different situation. The UK scene is phenomenal and has been very supportive to us over the past few years. The US scene is equally as passionate about their underground metal and their level of support was incredible, especially for an unknown band such as ourselves. At every show, we had people eager to talk to us, wanting to discuss potential tours in the future and then pitting throughout every band’s set. Particularly in Ventura, I felt that they appreciated us travelling over to play in such a small city and it really showed in how heavily they supported us. Its tough to get used to the time difference and the heat, but the US fans are incredibly welcoming and it’s an experience that Id love to relive. No matter what country/city you visit, it’s always a worthwhile learning experience and you never know who you may meet and where it may lead.
How do you see the UK Death Metal scene at the moment and how do you think it compares to the early days?
The underground extreme metal scene in general is doing rather well, although its impossible to compare with it’s heyday in the late 80s/early 90s (largely as I wasnt alive to experience it). There’s so much going on in the UK and Europe right now and it’s amazing to see those small bands progressing. Bands like Live Burial, Austerymn and Scordatura that have become respected names worldwide. It’s inspiring to witness
What’s the plan for the rest of 2018 for the band?
Slowly but surely, we’re putting together the final parts for the second album with the intention of recording it in Summer. We’ve currently got 12 complete tracks and we’re hoping to finish one more to finish the project.
We’ve also opted to branch out into mainland Europe with shows in Spain, Portugal (Oeste Underground), Croatia (Goathell Metal Festival) and a weekender in Finland with Festerday and God Disease at the end of April.
Our next couple of gigs include performances at Hammerfest, Siege of Limerick (Ireland) and a slot in Manchester with Cannabis Corpse.
We have several other plans in motion at the moment but I cant divulge any more.
What bands can you recommend to Atomsmasher readers?
Blasphemer, Mercyless, Seprevation, Live Burial, Scumpulse, Monolithian, Severe Lacerations, Triverse Massacre… Too many to mention!