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Majestic Downfall: Journey into true, mournful doom metal from Mexico

Interview with Jacobo Cordova of Majestic Downfall by Vera in November 2009

All great music does not always come out of Scandinavia or Germany. We all know that communication with the whole world appears to be the keyword of modern society. Why should it be different when talking about the metal community? Recently I discovered Majestic Downfall, a one-man-project hailing from Mexico that charmed me with their album ‘Temple Of Guilt’. This was doom/death metal with major nineties overtones, yet made with current knowledge. We sent some questions to Mexico to learn more about this interesting doom project. First of all, Jacobo sends us apologies that it took so long, but he just moved from his old house to a new one and things had been rather stressing over there. We understand the fuss of moving and are glad to finally lead you into the doom-like, dark world of multi-instrumentalist Jacobo Cordova.

With this interview I find myself in the Mexican metal scene, which is quite non existing for me, at least not well known. Is there a kind of scene at all?
Actually there is a pretty big scene here in Mexico. Many great bands, mostly extreme metal. There are tons of shows all the time and the scene seems to be growing day by day. Hopefully in the near future the world will hear more from Mexico, which unfortunately is a tough country to play metal in as all third world countries are.

I guess it was not that easy to achieve something in Mexico?
As I mentioned before, it is tough being in a third world country. Resources are not like the ones bands in Europe or the US have. But the biggest problem I see here regarding this issue, is that some bands swallow this idea so deep, and that keeps them from getting outside of Mexico even if they have the quality. I think that even if you live in the hardest place to play metal, say Mali for example, if your goals are clear and you are determined, you can make it.

But I see you have ten years experience with Antiqua and Project Firestart. Can you tell a bit more about this period?
The real important band from these two and the one that sucked my blood for more than ten years was Antiqua, which was a doom/dark metal project. Here in Mexico we were very respected and played a lot, but unfortunately didn´t have the idea of how to transcend the boundaries, so after a long period of time being together and seeing that things didn´t happen we decided to quit. But at the same time, thanks to this experience, I was able to keep on growing as a musician and have finally transcended those boundaries. I am very grateful with my Antiqua Red Moon brothers for all those years. Project Firestart, was as it says, a progressive metal project that in a very little time made a lot of noise. But with this band, we never really recorded anything as all of us were in other bands.

There is also your thrash project Ticket To Hell. Are you still active with them?
Of course I am still active in the pummelling Ticket To Hell jejeje. Actually two weeks ago I finished recording the 2nd album and right now we are talking about the release date and those details. This band is also a One Man Band like Majestic Downfall. In the near future you will hear more about the upcoming release.

Well, now about Majestic Downfall and proper nineties doom metal. How come you started so late to make this kind of music when you were already a fan in the nineties?
The idea is very simple. I grew up with bands like Anathema, Celestial Season, The Gathering, Phlebotomized, Visceral Evisceration, Saturnus, etc. In Antiqua there was a lot of experimentation and influences. But when it ceased to be, I had the urge of making a band heavily influenced by my beloved nineties doom metal, which I feel that bands don´t make anymore. I think that by listening to the first demo and the split, you will realize that the need to be original was not important. It was more like a tribute. Now, with ‘Temple Of Guilt’, things have changed a bit. I have gained newer influences but at the same time tried to keep the older ones, which I never plan on burying. I think that no Majestic Downfall album will sound like the other one.

What can we see as your main influences of that genre and what is your favourite record(s) of those bands?
Anathema – Crestfallen, Serenades
Celestial Season – Forever Scarlet Passion, Decameron
My Dying Bride – The Angel and the Dark River
Phlebotomized – Preach Eternal Gospels, Immense Intense Suspense
Paradise Lost – Lost Paradise, Eternal.
Katatonia – Dance of December Souls

At the same time I think that these albums have also influenced the actual Majestic Downfall sound.

Forgotten Tomb – Songs To Leave
Shining – III, V

Did you ever see one of them live?
From these bands, the three I haven´t seen are Celestial Season, Phlebotomized and Forgotten Tomb. Hopefully I will get to see the latter ones someday, since the other are now gone forever.

As you were helped by three musicians, are there plans to play live with Majestic Downfall?
I have been thinking of the idea for some time now, and hopefully in the near future I will be able to do it. The next step for the band now, is to record the new album in the beginning of next year, release it and then start to make the live band something real. Right now almost four new songs are written.

How was the record received, since it is already out since April 2009?
Extremely well. I am very grateful that it has gained a lot of good international press and that many people have heard about it and liked it. I get a lot of messages from people all over the world, especially from Eastern Europe countries, telling me how much they have loved the album. It feels great when you get that kind of support from people so far away. Here in Mexico things are starting to happen, and right now people are starting to be aware of Majestic Downfall.

Can you tell something about the lyrics? Is there a kind of theme or a specific lyric you want to tell more about?
Actually there is an overall theme in ‘Temple Of Guilt’. But since it is a very personal one, I don´t really want to get into it. I encourage everyone to check out the lyrics and make an interpretation of them. Sorry that I can´t help you here, I guess that if you want to dig about the words, the best way is to dive into the booklet.

Where was the album recorded? Did you use an extern producer or not?
I recorded the album here in my city with the help of Carlos Padilla. He is a great producer and one of Mexico´s most respected rock/metal engineers. He has worked with bands like Disgorge, Hacavitz, Impiety, Demonized, Ravager and many more. And also having him here in the same city is also a plus. He is a great friend and a great musician too.

Do you have plans for a next record already?
Yes I do. As I mentioned before the songwriting is already half way through. This time I think that the material is getting more influenced by depressive black metal, but without loosing the essence of the band. I am very happy on how it is turning out.

What are the plans for the near future with Majestic Downfall?
To record the new album as soon as possible and hopefully make a live performing band of Majestic Downfall.

If I forgot to cover something important, please feel free to add it here…
Vera, thanks a lot for taking the time to write this interview. And to everyone one interested in Majestic Downfall, you can contact me at majesticdownfall© or at the MySpace site, for anything related with buying merchandise or CDs or whatever.

At the same time please check out my other bands sites, Ticket To Hell,, which is my Thrash/Death Metal project and ZOmbiefication,, my old school Death Metal project which is not a one man band like the others. Here I share credits with Arturo who plays in Hateborn, who happens to be, besides a rotten vocalist, one of Mexico’s best graphic designers. Thanks again!!!

Geplaatst door Vera op vrijdag 13 november 2009 - 21:28:28
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