Interview with Kab'Rakan (El Salvador)

This is an extract from an insightful conversation that wanders through deep thoughts with Carlos, bassist, vocal, and band's founder, which goes from the material to the ethereal, without losing sight of our motivation: The music.


- What attracted you to listen to and create this type of music and how was the band formed?

First of all, greetings to all your readers, we hope you are well, we know that we are living in strange times... The first extreme metal band I listened to came as a suggestion of a relative, in the late '90s, it was Possessed's “Seven Churches”. I'm talking about that álbum because it's the one I recall; but on the radio or in the streets, I had already listened to other bands ... What I listened to the most was rock music in Spanish and my Possessed cassette almost daily. It was what I enjoyed the most, it was what I had at hand. The thing with that álbum is that at the beginning of 91 I was able to exchange it with a classmate, a friend that I respect a lot. I've got "Harmony Corruption" by Napalm Death. The moment I experienced when listening to the first 30 seconds of that álbum was indescribable... Since that álbum came across my path I have not stopped listening to extreme metal. That was my genesis for the pleasure of listening and making this type of music.

As for the fascination for making this type of music, with the insight that time gives me, now I can say that the need to create has been there since that moment. At that time I didn't have the skills to do it. For this music, you don't need only the desire to make it, but also have enough skills and abilities it demands. The creative and learning process must be constant. The need to make this music greatly influenced me in seeking professional training in the field of músical arts. Over the course of my years in the music school, I obtained rigorous training, which allowed me to understand and assimilate the músical language, or at least a good part of its description and forms. Towards the end of my "formal" education, back in 2005, it seemed to me that I was in a position to express myself in an orderly, clearer way. Since then I began to develop sketches or músical ideas, totally focused on Death Metal, only on paper at the beginning, these ideas were accumulating. At that time I was participating in other bands. Daily business and my commitments to music projects delayed the process of examining those ideas, but it turned out for the better in the end. These sketches, over the years, were transformed into something else. I made some attempts to incorporate those ideas in the bands that I was part of, but there was always something that did not work.

The band is formed by the simple need and fascination of making this type of music. We have always been drawn to the devastating energy that this artistic expression possesses. It is what all the members of the band share. We continue to adhere to this fact. As a consequence of the initial impulse to make this music, and with the will to form a new project, in mid-2016 we began the string ensembles with Inti Chávez (with whom we have been sharing this path for a long time) and Erlin de la O, then rehearsals with the drummer, Eduardo Narváez. In the beginning, everything was based on those semi-structured ideas that I had been working on. Over time these ideas evolved and each one made their contributions, enriching the process until we had the sound results with which we felt comfortable. Since then we have operated under our own ideas and procedures. As a result, we have a demo (2017), a Split with Fleshless Entity (2018), gigs in several countries in South America (2017) and Central America, and we have been part of important festivals in our country. All very significant experiences. 

- Could you tell us why you decide to choose the name Kab'Rakan?

It came veiled in a dream, a few years ago. In that surreal experience I was playing in an open place, suddenly a ring of fire and lava formed around where I was playing; from the ground a being of lava, fire and earth manifested. This being showed his intimidating face, vomited lava, emitted a kind of very low guttural sounds. Everything shook. Even conscience ... Over time, when I was looking for a name for the art project, on recapping, the dream came again, quite clearly. I remembered something about the entity the ancient Mayans related to telluric forces and called Kab'Rakan. The name of the band was more than clear.

- How would you describe the band's style in general?

The músical style of the band has its roots in a harmonic and melodic structure with dark, sinister, fatal, violent and powerful elements; these are integrated with a fast, intense, and abrasive rhythmic cadence. The voices support the músical concept. The lyrics are integrated with the music. Everything we do 43 Metal Extremista II is done from a subjective and totally abstract vision. We bring back what we see or experience in our abstraction or altered states of consciousness, not so much from an intellectual reflection, but from the experience of sound brutality. In other words, we make dark and aggressive Death Metal!...

The full interview was published in English and Spanish in Metal Extremista Vol. II, April 2021.