Pronostic – Melodic Death Metal with Bite

Thursday, 14th January 2016

Working within the parameters of melodic death metal to create something compelling and interesting isn’t as easy as it sounds. It’s well-tread territory, so everyone is quick to play the “sounds like” game, plus there was the whole clean vocal/commercial infection that plagued the genre and many claiming it dead. But there’s still room for bands to champion the sound, which is precisely what Pronostic has done with their second release, An Atomic Decision.

Wisely veering away from cheap clean/harsh vocal patterns and commercially-driven riff-fodder, Pronostic has more in common with heavier acts such as Arsis and Aborted. A European flair for melodies combines with the North American penchant for heaviness gives An Atomic Decision a fresh take, even for those who may be worn out on melodeath. So intrigued were we at DR that we contacted Pronostic drummer Nicholas “Le Fou” Wells to give us some more info on this up and coming act.

Dead Rhetoric: Not many bands can say they started from a lady on a scooter who was hungry for chocolate cake. Where’d that origin come from?

Nicholas “Le Fou” Wells: To make a very long story short, it was thanks to an oversized lady that Alex and Charles met. From there on they wrote some material and sent it to me, Le Fou, asking if I wanted to play drums in a new band they were starting. We’ve been through many events with many different people, but this overload of chocolate obsession was the key to making this band actually start in the first place. I guess she was worth mentioning hahaha.

Dead Rhetoric: Based on that biography, it seems safe to say that the band has a sense of humor intact. Does that sense of humor rear its head in any other dimensions of your material?

Wells: Well yes, but mainly during our live performances. Our music is straight up and serious. But being the kind of guys we are, we like to fool around, especially live. That’s what separates us from a lot of live bands, we actually have fun when playing shows and we like to do funny shit during our live performances. We interact with the crowd and give them a show at the same time. Making them a part of the show is what makes the whole night magical. I always keep in mind that the people PAY to come SEE you PERFORM. So I thinks it’s important to give them the visual part as much as the musical part. And when I see the crowd enjoying our set and people going crazy, I think it’s as rewarding for us as it is for them.

Dead Rhetoric: There’s a long-running history of technically-inclined death metal that comes from Canada. What separates Pronostic from the rest of the pack?

Wells: A lot of bands try to sound like every other band. We try to sound like Pronostic. We think outside the box and add up our influences. People can relate some of our music to certain bands from Canada, but they can’t say it sounds exactly like someone else’s music.

Dead Rhetoric: Likewise, are there any bands in particular that you enjoy from the local Montreal scene?

Wells: Oh yeah. Augury, Cryptopsy, Beyond Creation, Martyr, Neuraxis, Anonymus, Quo Vadis have been big influences for us.

Dead Rhetoric: With An Atomic Decision being your second release, where there things that you really wanted to achieve this time around that weren’t possible on the debut?

Wells: Well one thing’s sure, our debut was our first recording, so we were discovering the whole process. Second time around we were way more prepared and knew exactly what we wanted. We definitely wanted to push ourselves to the next level. Musically we pretty much took everything we liked from Deviated Inner Spectrum and pushed it to the limit, while trying to keep our own sound and writing-style. Also, we’re stoked on the fact that we actually have an official bass player who wrote and recorded his parts which really blends with everything and it sounds awesome. The four of us work really well together and the result is very satisfying. Also, working with Chris Donaldson was really a key element to making this album what it is. I’ve worked with Chris before with my other bands, so he knows how I work in the studio and he adapts very quickly to how bands/artists works, so that helped enormously.

Dead Rhetoric: How do you feel that you have refined Pronostic’s sound to this point?

Wells: I think this album has pretty much defined our sound if not, we’re not too far from perfecting what we want Pronostic to be. If you compare both our ep and our full length, you can clearly hear the difference in sound, and on both musical and technical aspects. It’s like going from Charmander to Charmeleon, man. We’re not too far from becoming Charizard! In other terms, we’ve evolved into what Pronostic is today, and we keep pushing to reach a new level.

Dead Rhetoric: In balancing the technical aspects with the essence of a “song,” do you find it tricky to satisfy both sides of the equation?

Wells: Not really. Actually, it seems to come pretty naturally. Maybe our minds are set in a way we just feel when it’s time for brutality to when we want technicality to when we want any other ambiance. I dunno. We feel whether the song is missing something or not. We write our songs in a way that you won’t say “Oh this song is brutal and this one is soft and this one is technical…” Our goal is to make every song as complete as possible while keeping them unique from A to Z.

Dead Rhetoric: Colin Marks’ artwork for An Atomic Decision is fantastic. How much direction did you give him in regards to the final product?

Wells: We pretty much just gave him a short description of each song and told him to let his mind go wild, hahaha! During the process we just gave a few ideas for the ambiance and stuff like that to tweak it up a bit. We are very happy with the result. Colin is an awesome dude, man!

Dead Rhetoric: Do you aspire to sign with a label, or are you okay with continuing along with the Bandcamp format?

Wells: Well, for sure we’d like to sign with a label, but in reality we’ve sent the album out to labels and it’s either they don’t wanna sign more bands right now or stuff like that. We can’t decide for them. All we can do is keep pushing as hard as we can until a label enjoys our music and believes in us to the point of offering us an opportunity. For now I guess we’ll just stick to Bandcamp.

Dead Rhetoric: What do you like, in particular, about the melodic death genre?

Wells: It’s the perfect mix between hot and cold. As much as it can make you happy, it can make you want to destroy everything. Whatever you’re feeling, you’ll be able to get through the day listening to melodic death metal. And growing up with the genre, it’s become a part of us.

Dead Rhetoric: It’s getting towards the end of 2015. Are there any specific albums that have tickled your fancy?

Wells: Thy Art Is Murder: Holy War, Allegaeon: Elements of the Infinite, Parkway Drive: IRE, Abiotic: Casuistry, Aborted: Termination Redux, Born Of Osiris: Soul Sphere, Veil Of Maya: Matriarch, Ouroboros: Emanations

Dead Rhetoric: What will Pronostic be doing as we begin 2016?

Wells: We are just trying to get our music out and play more around the province of Quebec and maybe go throughout Canada. Maybe we’ll be playing the States or Europe, who knows? We have a video clip coming soon. We’ve also started working with certain promoters and people in the music business, so we’ll definitely be doing something. All I can say is be ready, we’re coming!

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