Welcome to Grandiosa Muerte.
Created in Costa Rica by Max « Hermes » Gutierrez Sanchez (vocals/all instruments, Advent of Bedlam, Dusk, ex-December’s Cold Winter), the one-man band unveils a first track in 2022 before signing to Bitume Prods for the release of Egregor, his first album, mixed by Colin Marston (Behold the Arctopus, Gorguts, Krallice…) and illustrated by Gustavo Quiros.
With Mercurio, the first track, the musician lays the foundations of a brutal and fast sound but very worked, coupled with massive and oppressive vocals. The efficient and frantic riffs also offer technical points remaining anchored in an Old School style that continues with Destino, a more melodic composition of which samples make darker, especially at the end. Hereje follows with groovy and crushing riffs, mixed with an energetic and bright bass giving relief to the heavy rhythmic that is followed by Oculto and its dissonant tones. The track is extremely impressive, coupling wild and regular blast with more airy riffs before offering simpler and catchy elements, then Isis Sin Velo adopts Doom roots to unveil a heavy and slow introduction. The massive Death Metal will quickly take over before suddenly stopping to let Arcano crush us with its suffocating brutal influences still anchored in an Old School style. We find this jerky and powerful approach on Sibila before finding a raw groove that leads to an occult final, then the modern sounds leaves us on Sincretismo and its energetic but accessible riffs that let the heavy violence express itself in lively patterns coupled with soaring keyboards to close the album.
Grandiosa Muerte handles Old School Death Metal while injecting wider influences. Don’t expect convoluted patterns from Egregor, as the project focuses on raw efficiency, coupled with a heavy mix to choke you from beginning to finish.
Few questions to Max “Hermes” Gutierrez, headmaster of the band Grandiosa Muerte.
Hello and first of all, thank you very much for your time! Could you please introduce yourself and the band Grandiosa Muerte without using the usual music “labels”?
Max “Hermes” Gutierrez (vocals/instruments): Cheers, thanks for having me in mighty Acta Infernalis. My name is Max and in the shape of Hermes the band Grandiosa Muerte was born as a personal need to exorcise myself from mental and spiritual struggles amplified during the pandemic. I have been a Metal musician for more than 25 years and a Metal and Rock producer for more than 15 years and due to a series of events I reached a moment in my life where I knew that I was ready for my solo project and taking care of all lyrical and musical task as well as producing and promoting the entity called Grandiosa Muerte.
Egregor, your debut album, will be out soon. How do you feel about it? Do you already have some feedback?
Hermes: It’s a great feeling that after so much effort the debut album of Grandiosa Muerte is ready to materialize. I constantly remember how this started with just my guitar, an iPad and an iRig and riffing at home just by myself with a drum pattern hitting my headphones in a loop for hours, recording many ideas and deleting plenty of them until an interesting song was born.
Feedback so far is positive and encouraging, with good reception in places like Brazil, Italy and France for example. After releasing the first single Sibila back in June 2021, I got the opportunity to work with the French label Bitume to release a very special and limited edition digipack and cassette version of the album debut Egregor: this is a huge milestone for Grandiosa Muerte being a one-man-band project, allowing the music, lyrics and visuals to reach new ears. Some few weeks after this first agreement, Grandiosa Muerte joined the roster of Italian label WormholeDeath: another huge milestone that will place the debut album Egregor in Japan, Europe and America by the first half of 2023.
How would you sum Egregor up in only three words?
Hermes: Furious, straightforward and honest.
How did you deal with the composition process for this album? What about its name and artwork?
Hermes: My ability to write new music is linked to my mood, environment and feelings. On the other hand, having worked so many years behind the mixer with so many great musicians and bands allowed me to arrange an easy setup that helped me record musical ideas but also work on other elements like synthesizers, drum machines and effects. With my “workplace” ready, I just needed to focus my energy in specific moments to setup a tempo, press “play” and start riffing the hell out until something decent came up. With Grandiosa Muerte the idea was always to write straightforward, less than 4 minutes long songs that offers a multidimensional sonic experience intrinsically linking melodies, percussion and feelings with 2-3 main riffs and a catchy/unexpected ending. At the same time, all songs must be sonically linked in the whole context created by all of them and at the same time without repeating the core essence of each individual song. With these rules in place and with no rush in mind, it was a matter of time and creative energy to finally have the full album ready.
The name selection was a constant evolution that was finally grounded after all music and lyrics where really advanced: this project was never in rush and I was sure that the right name will be crystal clear at the right time. The essence of Hermes and Grandiosa Muerte lies in the concept of Death in the physical, mental and spiritual realms, so while working on each of the lyrics I tried to gather concepts and ideas that were referenced while writing them but also easy understandable for conceptual matters, allowing me to give more context for the artist to create the artworks, but also allowing him to explore and create from scratch the visual concept. This interaction turned out in some solid and mysterious artwork that complements the lyrics and music as a whole.
What inspires you to create your music? Same question for the lyrics. Do you feel some changes compared to your other projects?
Hermes: What inspires me is the opportunity to materialize something that does not exist until you physically execute it. This creative process is very intimate and over the years I have learnt to understand myself by understanding how I do interact in the creative realm, a place with no rules and with one Master: yourself. The lyrics on the other hand were inspired in different aspects of the occult: each song tells a history based on concepts that I do consider important like the Tarot in Arcano, the Mayan teachings in Destino, the Kybalion in Mercurio and the Black Maddonas in Sincretismo. The way I work in Grandiosa Muerte is a completely different process than the ones used for the rest of my musical projects, where the creative lead and final decisions towards the music, lyrics, concept, etc is shared with my bandmates, making it far more complex.
Do you have a “favorite” song on this album? Or maybe the most natural one you wrote?
Hermes: My favorite song is Arcano because the lyric helped me to memorize the 22 Major Arcanes from the Tarot.
I noticed your style is anchored in an Old School and massive style, but you also offer some more complex and energetic tones. How do you manage to keep the balance to create your songs?
Hermes: What you listen in Egregor is an effort to write music channeling the musical references that makes me the musician I am, keeping them extreme and simple. The complexity you refer to can be found in how each individual instrument is in place with a pattern and melody not to mime notes but to add and thicken the final sound through sonic layers supporting and complementing each other instrument. Also, each song’s structure offers an intro, development and closure to ensure a fulfilled trip to the unknown.
Do you have some plans for the band’s future?
Hermes: Yes, this year’s plans are focused on supporting the promotion of Grandiosa Muerte’s debut album Egregor. A couple of new videos will be released before June and a new version of the album will be released on CD with a completely updated cover by WormholeDeath. Also, new music is being written as we speak so expect a new chapter after the Egregor album!
Are there any musicians or bands you would like to collaborate with? Whether it is for one song, an album…
Hermes: I have always wanted to work with drummer Nicholas Barker, he’s the chief and a huge personal influence!
Last question: Do you plan to play live with Grandiosa Muerte? If yes, with which bands would you love to tour with? I let you create a tour (or just a single show) with Grandiosa Muerte and three other bands!
Hermes: Indeed there are chances that Grandiosa Muerte will be playing live in the short-middle term… That tour would go with Suffocation, Igorrr, Full of Hell and Grandiosa Muerte.
That was the last question for me, so thank you very much for your time and your music, last words are yours!
Hermes: It is a complete honor to share some words and thoughts with you Matthieu and Acta Infernalis, thanks for spreading the word about Grandiosa Muerte. I invite your readers and followers to discover great Metal bands from Central America. Keep supporting the underground lml.