Reaping Asmodeia is an extreme metal trio from Minneapolis, USA. Their music is fast, extremely heavy and technical with it. Maybe we’ll call it technical death metal, but you can decide for yourself by listening to the band’s blistering new album Darkened Infinity. Daniel, Steven and Alexander came together and collectively answered my questions. I hope you’ll enjoy our discussion below.
Thanks for agreeing to this interview for Blessed Altar Zine. First off, who is Reaping Asmodeia and what does each member contribute to the band?
Reaping Asmodeia: And thank you for having us. Reaping Asmodeia is a staunch triumvirate. The three of us have befit our own roles. On top of writing all our music, it takes a lot to run a three man band! Daniel is our pivotal leader and handles much of our booking. Steven currently premixes our live sound. He’s also our in-house engineer for much of our music. Alexander crunches the accounting. Shout out to Brad Gunnarson as the unspoken-now-spoken fourth member, He supports us in many ways, including graphic design.
Darkened Infinity is the band’s third full length release. How was the process of making the album and how happy are you with the results?
RA: This album has been an interesting process. Dan and Alex were riffing on chunks of songs and ideas much of 2017 and 18’. It wasn’t until spring 2019 that we buckled down and wrote the whole damn filthy record, tracking it in Fall 19’. We found a really great groove and the songs started flowing like Evan Williams. With intent to release in 2020, putting an album out almost two years after recording it is kind of a trip down memory lane, haha! We’re very proud of what we were able to accomplish and there was a lot of growth and learning between ourselves and our writing.
There appear to be all sorts of mythic references to the album’s song titles. What ideas and themes are you exploring on the album?
RA: The album was written as a story. The titles foreshadow what events are happening at each “Chapter” of the story. Epoch of Choler marks a milestone in tragedy, a moment of pain which will be felt through the rest of life. False Awakening is an out of body experience. Waking up from a dream to realize you’re still dreaming. Simulacra represents distorted copies and the blending of reality. The titles represent attributes of the sleep-state. Oneirinotic Oblivion touches on absent minded transgressions. Where you do something in a dream but that experience mentally carries over into consciousness. Consequence of Being encompasses the duality of the album. The song title is in fact the first and last lyric of the album. You think of consequence in a negative connotation naturally, in the beginning it is rightfully so. As our main character ascends through the album the true meaning is then revealed at the end. Our happiness and enlightenment are not things to be achieved but merely “The Consequence of Being”. We recommend everyone read through the full lyrics!
Parts of the album go at a real furious pace, like on Simulacra for example. Were there any tracks that were especially hard to nail down when you were recording the album?
RA: Certainly, there are those ‘oh, shit!’ parts in every song. Simulacra is a pretty relentless song, there are some enduring extended gravity blasts. Switching Shadows is at a pretty frantic pace and there are some pretty large string skipping pieces. Tracking ourselves puts less pressure on the clock and more focus on the songs! Dan and Alex generally meet 2 to 3 times a week to rehearse to stay fresh on all the riffs.
The band’s first album Poison of the Earth came out seven years ago. In what ways do you feel the band has evolved since then with this new record?
RA: That was a huge accomplishment for us, as is our newest. At our core we’re still some dudes trying to put out the coolest music we can write and wanna hear! At the same time, we are much more refined and technologically savvy individuals. POTE was recorded with an outside engineer and since then we’ve moved to doing it ourselves. Our musical influences have changed a lot as well. We are thinking more cohesively these days, and constantly trying to push ourselves as musicians.
The name of the band is pretty eye-catching. Is there some story behind that?
RA: Asmodeus is the Demon Prince of Lust. Humanity will from the flesh be tempted.
I’m always intrigued when I hear extreme metal to hear how the musicians progressed to such levels of technicality. What were your first musical influences that made you want to make music?
We all listen to heavy music, we all listen to other styles of music. Each of us will have our own specific groups but we can all agree that early Metallica was ripping! Bands like Despised Icon and Decapitated later really brought forth some unique drumming and killer fucking riffs. Nu-metal roots run deep though, Mudvayne always had amazing production and aura to them. We will even say Beethoven and Bach also led early influence.
What’s the extreme metal scene like in Minneapolis? Are there any local bands you feel a kinship with that you’d like to give a shoutout to?
RA: Minneapolis has always had a great scene. When we started as a band there was a different group of bands playing out than there is today. There was also a different selection of venues for a band like us to play. We’re happy to say the kids and fans coming out to shows, since the pandemic has waned, have been full of excitement and energy!
Shout out to our boys in By The Thousands and Terraform for being real homies over the years!
Outside of the music world, are there any books, shows or movies that you’ve been inspired by recently?
RA: Whiplash 2014, directed by Steve Carver. J.K. Simmons does a great job playing a benevolent hard-nosed instructor. And pushes Miles Teller’s character to his limits. Definitely check it out if you haven’t!
Finally, is there anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
RA: Stay tuned for more content from us, we have no intention of slowing this train down. Please check out “Darkened Infinity” if you haven’t yet! If you like what your favorite bands do, make sure you support them. Share a picture with some fancy swag or mention a riff that you like, every little bit makes a huge difference! We love to see and interact with your posts. You can grab our albums and swipe some merch at our online store! Follow us on the Socials See you soon at a venue near you \m/\m/
interview by Tom Boatman
photos courtesy of Brad Gunnarson
Thanks to Daniel, Steven and Alexander for their time. You have in their own words above what you can do to support the band. Darkened Infinity is out now on Prosthetic Records. Click here for all relevant band links.
**Please support the underground! It’s vital to the future of our genre.**