Now You Know: Tragic Death

Tuesday, 15th July 2014

Formation: 2009
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Style: Melodic black/death metal
Personnel: Joe Dunn (bass); Cody Stein (drums); Steve Moser (vocals, guitar)
Latest Release: Purgatory Rites split with Fiends at Feast

Many bands liken themselves to a name that associates with death in someway (this is heavy metal after all). Tragic Death started out not quite so death-ly. Originally using the moniker Withering Youth, the band switched over to Tragic Death after recruiting a new bassist in 2009. The band when through a number of changes and lyrics of hatred for human life and apocalyptic death wishes for mankind just didn’t suit the current name. Tragic Death, as described by vocalist/guitarist Steven Moser, “Some people say that all death is a tragedy. Death is a natural part of this cosmic cycle, as natural as birth. We do know that the ultimate tragedy would be the death of a planet. Nothing is as severe as all lifeforms being wiped away. Tragic Death symbolizes the end of all, the definitive tragic death.”

Under the Withering Youth moniker, the band released the debut album, Apocalyptic Metal. In comparison to their most recent offering, 2014’s Purgatory Rites split, “the Apocalyptic Metal album is a collection of melodic death metal inspired songs but also the early creations of what we label as Apocalyptic Metal. We’ve carried over our ambition to create a totally different style on Purgatory Rites but we all feel that we’ve painted a much better picture of what our Apocalyptic Metal style should be. With its atmosphere and more black metal inspiration it’ll definitely conjure up images of Armageddon.”

What is ‘Apocalpyse Metal’ all about then? Moser states, “We combine the atmospheric and dark melodies of Black Metal with the brutality of death metal. We throw in some classic thrash riffs in there from time to time but really the sound of Tragic Death is meant to aurally replicate the emotion and destruction that armageddon would bring.” As for it’s origins, “It really just came about. We knew in the beginning, although we shared similarities of genres that we loved, Tragic Death was a completely different beast from the bands around us. The Wisconsin scene mostly catered to the metalcore and deathcore bands/fans. This is a style that we didn’t want to be associated with so we strived very hard to create brutal melodic music that didn’t relate to the bands we were playing with. We were the black sheep of the Wisconsin scene and after comparing our own creations with the creations of the locals we knew we had a deadly, destructive, and ultimately apocalyptic sound.”

Purgatory Rites is a split cd between Tragic Death and another blackened death metal band, Fiends At Feast. Fans of the split format, Moser adds, “The best part of a split is the discovery of new music. Most times when people pick up splits they only know one of the bands on it. It’s exciting because you have a feeling that the other band will be like the one you are familiar with but you aren’t truly sure until the next half is played. It’s that feeling of walking into the unknown and discovering something you never knew existed.” As to how Fiends At Feast became their partner for the split, “We wanted to do a split with a band that shared a similar outlook on metal but with a completely different delivery. After speaking with some of our friends from Fiends at Feast we immediately knew that both our bands would compliment each other’s style. We are very pleased to have worked with Fiends and released this split.”

With the release of Purgatory Rites, the band is now looking towards the future. “Work has already begun on the follow up to Apocalyptic Metal. Every culture on this planet has music or art that relates to something they perceive as the apocalypse. Our goal is to combine many of theses stories, art, and music into interpretations of our own, ultimately infusing our style with World Music from all over. We aren’t sure when this will be completed but we hope to be recording by this fall.” In addition to writing a new album, the band looks to be on the road soon. “We are in the beginning stages of planning one [a tour] so realistically we don’t know if that will be able to happen this year. We definitely do plan on playing many shows in California and Wisconsin to promote this split and our first album.”

Still not convinced to check out Tragic Death? Moser states of the band’s sound, “We think we have a really original style that turns heads. We do things our own way and never follow like sheep. I think that is what has kept us around so long. The songs all hold strong resemblance to music that has been released but we also have this shroud of mystery. Our stage shows are energetic and people go insane over the intensity of our music so we pride ourselves on that. All in all, while many tried to ridicule and jest about our “Apocalyptic Metal” style in the beginning we have been seeing people taking us seriously and truly excited about Tragic Death.”

So where might you find Tragic Death in five years? “Hopefully Europe. America is a great place for metal and we will never turn our backs on that and everyone that has supported us. Although there are some good scenes in the states every metalhead knows that Europe is the place with all the prime festivals, hundreds of amazing metal bands, and awe-inspiring influence everywhere you look. We want to tour and play Europe as much as possible. In the end I know we’ll never back down and this band has a good internal relationship. We will have many more releases and shows to play ahead of us!”

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