SECTARIUM, as many Cubans and metalheads know, was formed in 1993 and that origin can be traced to the center region of Cuba, in Caibarién municipality. “The God’s Wrath” demo was spread in that very same year, and it has represented the most influential Death metal recording for the Cuban scene. A tragic event happened to the vocalist and bassist Franto Paul and that has been an irreparable loss until these days. Abel Oliva, the guitarist, kept the band alive and in 1999 released another demo “Larvae of God”, which rose the hopes of many who dream about SECTARIUM performing on stage again. Many years passed and 2022 saw a tribute release where some Cuban bands recorded some songs and put them in a Digipack format “The Wrath of God, A Sectarium Tribute”. And here we are in 2023, Abel Oliva, the other mastermind, put some songs together and released the album “Ad Infernum” which called our attention to this questionnaire.
What does SECTARIUM’s revival mean to you? “…More than 25 years passed before I decided to do it. I must tell you that the spark that brought me back to this creative obscurity was a SECTARIUM track request for The Cuban Wall of Death compilation album by The Lucy Fer Music Factory, LP in 2020. Then I knew that I was ready to return to the project that really initiated me in the ways of extreme metal…”
What is the reason for this recording? “…I had my demons inside and I had to release them! It was a difficult process as I had to fully focus and listen carefully to the two previous SECTARIUM demos to keep up with the same style. This was all happening while I was recording two totally different projects like NAUREA (Industrial Rock) and GODES YRRE (Doom/Gothic metal) …”
Give me some highlights and details of the recording process. “…I recorded all the songs in a few months and put them aside to re-take them almost a year later and make adjustments. I re-recorded some tracks, mixed everything, and put it back on hold. As a highlight, I can tell you that I recorded all the instruments and I only program the drums. It was done following the patterns of what the original SECTARIUM drummer did. For the final mix and mastering, I sent it to Deepblast Studios where he did a magnificent job, and with whom I plan to continue working on future recordings.
Are you going to keep SECTARIUM as a studio project? Will this be the last recording, or can we expect something else? “…For now, there are no plans to take it to a live band, although I have received some interesting proposals. It will not be the last recording and I already have some plans for the next album in which I will invite other musicians, Cubans, and Swiss…”
Do you think that SECTARIUM is alive inside the island, that someone expects a return? “…I know that SECTARIUM still has many fans inside and outside of Cuba and that this new album after 25 years of silence, will be taken in diverse ways by these fans. To return to Cuba, you never know. SECTARIUM will return, perhaps to play in some deserted city after the fall of communism and the exodus that the island is still condemned...”
Has it been difficult to write music for SECTARIUM without having Franto Paul by your side? Will Franto approve “Ad Infernum”? “…It hasn't been difficult because, as you know, we both shared the creative process, and each one made their own songs and lyrics. If you check the demos, there are only a couple of songs where we both coincide. The most difficult side is the spiritual one because the wound still hasn't fully healed after all these years. This album reopened that wound, so in some ways, I feel that Franto was by my side, and surely wherever he is, he must be happy to see that I continue with SECTARIUM…”
Anything you want to add for the followers of SECTARIUM and our readers? “…American Line Productions is preparing a double CD containing the demo “God's Wrath” and the tribute album The “Wrath of God” (with seven Cuban bands). It will be released this year and will commemorate the recording of that demo’s 30th anniversary. This demo has been restored and it is possible that it will be re-edited in a deluxe edition and later LP, although it is still in the works, and I cannot give more information at the moment. “Ad Infernum” is already available on Bandcamp, and I'm looking forward to releasing it on CD this year as well. Old fans and new ones, give it a listen and keep the flame burning! Labels are welcome for CD and/or LP release! Yoth-Sothoth rules!
Interview by Alex Sanchez
Photos: Band's courtesy
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