Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.
David A Couch (guitarist): Thanatopsis first formed in the San Francisco Bay Area around 1991. At the time, we were considered a progressive death metal band. Our sound evolved over the course of time towards more death/thrash metal.
John Bishop (vocalist): Dave and I knew each other for a few years prior to my joining the band. We were drinking buddies in Los Angeles that would sit and listen to metal albums all day and night. I moved back to San Francisco where I am originally from and Dave followed some time thereafter. I remember him calling me and basically telling me that the band that I was currently in, which was my band, sucked and that I should join his band. He was right and I agreed. We were originally called Existence for our first couple of shows but another band locally already had that name, so we changed it to Thanatopsis and the rest, as they say, is history.
How would you describe your style? Which bands influenced your music?
John: Progressively aggressive. Melodically brutal. We combine elements of old school death metal and thrash and smash them together until they are our own unique sound. Bands like Death, Kreator, Pestilence, Exodus, and Iron Maiden all influenced our music in some way.
David: I grew up on bands like Nasty Savage, Watchtower, Hallows Eve, Agent Steel, Cirith Ungol, etc., when bands were really different from one another in terms of sound and vibe. I think that maybe why we don’t really sound like any other band…
Why should a metalhead buy your demos/albums?
David: a metalhead should buy our album because he/she likes the songs – even if they don’t they should buy it anyway!
What have you released so far and how were your releases received by the public/media?
John: We had four demos self-released in the early to mid-90s. A compilation of our first two demos (The Chaotic Order) was also re-mastered and released in or around 2008.
Do you play live as well? How's your live activity so far?
John: We have not played live in many years. The plan was for that to change real soon to support Initiation’s release. With COVID-19, those plans have been delayed. We look forward to getting this pandemic behind us and get some live shows on the calendar.
David: I am looking forward to playing out in support of the new album.
What should labels/zines/promoters know about your band? Why should they be interested in it?
John: We have been around for thirty years. We have shared a stage with almost all the legends in this genre. We never stopped. We never quit. I like to think that Initiation is a testament to perseverance. It harkens back to the early days of extreme metal while remaining just as relevant in 2020. We are extremely proud of this album and hope everyone gives it a listen.
David: We have a different sound, the songs are heavy and cool, we are going to execute them in a professional way this time…
What plans do you have for the near future as a band?
John: This album releases October 23, 2020 on Extreme Metal Music. After that, we want to do as much online promotion as possible in anticipation of live shows in the future.
David: Right now we are going to do the best we can to get these songs out there and promote the album.
Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?
Check-in with us on these major online platforms:
You can pre-order “Initiation” here: https://shop.rockshots.eu/en/home/1745-thanatopsis-initiation.html
Watch the Embodiment (Official Visualizer) video: https://youtu.be/EX-J7TsIoOY
Stream the first single “Embodiment” here: https://music.youtube.com/watch?v=8JhRzLC9CcY&feature=share