Recorded at three different studios over the course of a year, Axis Mundi sounds incredible. The clarity, the power, the musicianship, and the brutality aren’t vying for attention. They’re in absolute harmony. The guitars—tracked by Sotelo at his home studio—are razor sharp yet spine-snappingly heavy. The drums—tracked by Ryan Forsyth at Private Ear Studios in Winnipeg, Canada—are genre-defining, recalling what Sean Reinert, Gene Hoglan, and Steve Flynn did for Death and Atheist, respectively. And the bass— tracked by Sean, also at his home studio—has a great deep-end against the ceaselessly wicked rhythms. Tracks like ‘Hieroglyphic’, ‘Spirit Guide’, and ‘The Sacred Geometry’ wouldn’t have crushed skulls and blown minds if it wasn’t for the accomplished mixing and mastering of Stefano Morabito at 16th Cellar Studios.
“I spent a lot of time recording at my own leisure at my own house,” recalls Sotelo. “I have my own recording equipment. We did go out to a professional studio in 2015 to record the drums. We were there for about a week. I took those drums home and started to record my guitars. That took about four to five months. The reason being I had a lot going on personally. I didn’t have a lot of time to knock out the whole album. Plus, I was experimenting with new things while tracking. That’s just how I do it. We can’t do what normal bands do. We’re so spread out. Sean lives in New York, I live in California, and Samus lives in Winnipeg. That’s a big triangle. It’s hard to get together to play music. It’s a bit unfortunate, but that’s how it is. That means we’re writing songs all the way up to and including tracking. I will say this: recording is a lot cheaper and it’s a lot less pressure.”
With remarkable songs—check out ‘Hieroglyphic’—, an exceptional production, and high concept lyrics, Decrepit Birth will re-shape death metal on Axis Mundi. They’re blasting the doors of convention wide open, paving the way for future generations to explore beyond death metal’s four proverbial corners. Much like the band’s influences from the early ‘90s, Decrepit Birth have different optics on the genre and what has meant and continues to mean. Of course, Sotelo sees Axis Mundi from an entirely pragmatic viewpoint.
“I don’t know if we’re going to re-shape death metal,” he counters. “We’re just a band. We’re doing this. We’re fans of the genre. We do our own thing with it. It’s our own paint job. What sounds cool to us. We don’t aspire to be the most technical band out there. The technicality isn’t our main goal. Technicality is part of what we are. When we were writing this album, we wanted the songs that had riffs that repeat. There’s more structure with our new stuff. We’re trying to write good music. We want entertain people out there. Hopefully, everybody likes Axis Mundi.”