By Andrew Bellavie
BeatRoute.ca is proud to premiere “Maruta,” the fourth track from Alberta death metal quintet Display of Decay’s latest, Dust of Existence. This track’s lyrics are based off of events of the Japanese “Unit 731” experiments during World War II, where prisoners endured gruesome acts of human experimentation. Read writer Andrew Bellavie’s interview with lead guitarist Sean Watson below and stay tuned for Display of Decay’s Edmonton and Calgary album release parties, happening in mid-September (dates and locations below).
CALGARY — “During our set at Armstrong, [vocalist Jessy Leduc] ripped out a clump of his own hair and didn’t even seem to notice.”
So begins lead guitarist Sean Watson of Edmonton’s Display of Decay.
“After we were off the stage, a fan approached us holding the bloody clump of Jessy’s hair. Without hesitation, the fan stuffed it into his mouth and chewed on every thread of hair.”
Few stories sound more brutal than a presumably drunken fan proudly stuffing a mixture of keratin and dead skin cells into their mouths. Fitting then, that the Edmonton act identifies as “brutal death metal.”
“Compare it to having your ears ripped off,” explains Watson, laughing. After a pause he goes on to describe Display of Decay as a combination of old-school aggression and infectious grooves that will get caught in your head.
“I’ve heard people say that we sound like Morbid Angel.”
Active since 2007, the band was conceived by Watson and former guitarist Mike Turnbull while they were still in high school.
“The first song I learned on guitar was ‘Wish You Were Here’ by Pink Floyd,” he says. “But eventually we were jamming to Slayer and Megadeth, which opened the door to extreme metal.”
That was eight years ago and the band has been extremely busy since, adding four other members to their ranks, the most recent being the aforementioned vocalist Jessy Leduc, who joined shortly before the band performed at Armstrong Metal Festival in July. They’ve released constantly as the years have passed. Their debut EP Blood Borne was unleashed in 2010; another EP dubbed Feasting followed that same year. Their self-titled full-length followed in 2012, the Outbreak of Infection EP came in 2014. They are now on the verge of releasing Dust of Existence, an album that was engineered and mixed by Tyson Travnik and mastered by Vasilis Gouvatsos at Grindhouse Studios Athens.
“It’s a constant process,” says Watson of the writing process that led up to the release. “Any time of the day I might be humming a riff and just record it on my phone. I wrote 300+ riffs in this way and then Jacob Maisonneuve (bass) helped to piece it together. It’s hectic.”
Watson also took on writing the majority of lyrics of Dust… that revolve around the band’s favourite themes of violence, plague and murder. Musically, expect their brutal approach (alongside some Pantera-esque grooves), with some slower segments often found in death doom.
“My favourite song off the new album is “Cellar Goratory” because of how ‘90s death metal and slowed down it sounds,” explains Watson.
Riding high on their recent success and impending album, Display of Decay are planning to support the release of Dust… with a string of shows throughout Western Canada.
“We already have the Alberta dates confirmed, then we are heading to Saskatchewan in early October,” Watson says.
“After carrying on into [British Columbia] in the spring, we are hoping to spread the infection further east during summer 2016.”
Attend the Display of Decay album release party in Edmonton on Friday, September 18th at DV8 and on Saturday, September 19th at Distortion in Calgary. They perform in Calgary with Vile Insignia, Dethgod, the Lucifer Project and Morbidly Depraved.AB, Alberta, Display of Decay, Distortion, Dust of Existence, DV8, Maruta