by R.S. Frost
"Precaria is the black Fire that burns inside your soul, the Water that flows and infinitely transforms, the Earth on which all things bloom and wither, and the Wind that carries the smell of Life and Death.
Precaria is the Poison to euthanise the false God and its direct reflection: Mankind; and at the same time, it is the Elixir of perpetual catharsis for the solivagant pilgrims who've opened their noetic eyes.
Precaria seeks the Abyss below and beyond, the revelation of Chaos and the illumination of the Self. An acausal river ascending to Divinity, and a hermitage towards the Primordial Void. It is a bearer of Light in ‘Darkness' and a bearer of Darkness in 'Light'.”
- Hermit of Tehom
Ianzel Rodriguez is the creative driving force behind Mexican black metal band PRECARIA; a hostile and suffocating musical output born of “anti-cosmic incantations and black metal melodies written with the left hand of the devil”. Precaria’s music carries the promising classification of “not suited for humans”.
I was interested in speaking with Ianzel to gather some insight into how and where this journey began.
- I am from Tehom, but this terrestrial body was born in Texas. I don't think it has shaped who I am in a significant way. I've lived in Mexico for most of my life and I consider moving out at some point.
Within me, there was always a restlessness, rebellion, and opposition to the established. Imagine being that way since childhood. I never had a normal life, there were always problems and I grew up with everything against me. Society is not prepared for different minds; they catalogue them as sick. As a natural reaction, I grew a great hatred against them, a hatred that in those years filled me with obstacles, but that also woke up inside me an evident interest in the dark. Maybe that's the way it was meant to be. A black soul attracting events according to its blackness... It is logical.
Having embraced this trajectory towards darkness and opposition, how did you come to find relative comfort, as well as an outlet, in music and black metal in particular?
- Music is a vehicle for energies to manifest. These energies have different forms and essences. For example, we can listen to a tranquil folk song and it will bestow us with a kind of energy diametrically different from the one we get from listening to black metal. This is dark energy, and music is very effective in transmitting it. We can call this a form of Black Art.
A lot of artists have impacted me, from old composers, writers, and painters to some of my contemporaries who are immersed in spiritual and artistic work. Naming them all would result in a long and tedious list.
When I discovered black metal I fell in love for the first time in my life, and it was instantaneous. I remember that I was going through a piracy market that was removed many years ago in Monterrey, Mexico. It was called Mercado Reforma. There, a metal CD stall-holder had ‘Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism’ by IMMORTAL playing in the background. I asked him about that music and ended up buying the CD with what little money I had for food. From then on, I took the task of investigating this genre, which was totally new to my ears. I discovered bands that ended up reaffirming my love for the genre, such as LUNAR AURORA, DARK FUNERAL, GEHENNA, EMPEROR, ABIGOR, and SHINING, which at that time was totally unknown in Mexico.
I saved to buy an acoustic guitar and started experimenting with sounds. With time, I developed musical understanding and ability to play. I made my first riffs which later became the first official composition for Precaria: ‘La Obra Negra Deicida’. It sounded so malign that I knew I had to keep doing it. This is how Precaria emerged and from 2004 to 2010 it was practically a solitary project, with the sole objective of expressing that darkness that was drowning me inside. In 2010 it became an official band with the inclusion of the drummer Opposus, demo recordings, and live activities.
The recordings mentioned were composed between 2004 and 2006 but would not see a release until 2013. The self-released demo titled ‘Demo 2004’ was limited to 25 copies on cassette.
In 2017, the same material would get a label release through NEBULA CARCOMA RECORDS re-titled ‘Precaria’ in tape format containing the original songs, and remastered versions as well, followed by a CD release in 2018 through CALIGO ARCANUM PRODUCTIONS.
The artwork for this release contained pictures taken by the French medium Eva Carrière,circa 1912-1913.
- After all that confusion regarding the demo, I thought about simply naming it ‘Precaria’, and that represented the need for new artwork. One night I was browsing dark art galleries and found the photographs of this dead woman. She was a medium from the late 19th/early 20th century who lived in France and was known for her work with ghosts and her very open sexuality. She had enemies as well and people who accused her of not being a real medium. I liked her polemic personality and her work in the book ‘Phenomena of Materialisation’, where a lot of her pictures appeared.
I took some of these pictures, being public domain already, and edited them to fit the visuals of Precaria. The result was a peculiar artwork that looks dark and mysterious. I couldn't ask a graphic artist for artwork because I had no money for that. I had to do things by myself and I'm satisfied with it because it isn't a generic black metal cover, it is something different that's easy to recognise if you've seen it before. It stays in your subconscious, just as I like artworks to be.
Following the Precaria demo was the 2014 release ‘Precaria Ex Humanitas’. This was Ianzel’s first album release, written between 2009-2010 and self-recorded and produced from 2011-2013.
How was the process of putting this album together and tackling all of the production duties by yourself?
- ‘Precaria ex Humanitas’ was a long process. I feel so honoured for having created it. It's a six-song monument to the decadence of humanity. This conceptual album was an idea I had in 2009 that I should make my first full length that depicted everything about human misery. It covers religion, poverty, mental/moral decay, nihilism as the bridge to occultism, corruption, social repression, crime, violence, and death.
Such a manifesto deserved a big investment from my part. We rehearsed long enough for Opposus to be able to play all the songs fluently; as they're full of changes it was a hard task. I was working in a studio three blocks away from his home so I would go hang out frequently and, when there was no one else, we used that time to play/rehearse and record fragments of the songs. The recording span was long, and taking advantage of that time I also recorded the Desesperanza full-length album that was pending. At that time, I really had a long way to go in mixing and mastering, so that's the only aspect of my early works that doesn't satisfy me, but the work of art itself is so valuable to me that I'm proud of it nonetheless.
By 2013 everything was done except for the artwork, COLD POISON took like 4 months to get the work done and the 1000 CDs took at least two more months to be ready due to the time the factory takes to press them and their orders before mine, so the release wasn’t out until 2014. I put everything into it, even sold a sofa and other stuff I had to be able to pay for the artwork and physical release. It left me practically bankrupt, but over the years I have recovered the investment. I was convinced Precaria would have success with that release so for me it wasn't a gamble, it was my chosen path to take.
In March of 2018, Precaria featured on a split release via I, VOIDHANGER RECORDS also containing songs from DEATHSPIRAL OF INHERITED SUFFERING and DOMINUS IRA called ‘Metamorphosphoros’. The Precaria songs on this split are noticeably different from past releases; they seem to carry a deeper and more twisted attitude than older works.
- The main song here is ‘Ex Abyssia’. It is a composition dating from 2011. We played it for the first time in an event with NOCTURNAL DEPRESSION in my city. In that time the song had a different name, it was called ‘Fragilitatis Profunda Atrissimsa’. It was meant to be the material after PxH. I had planned a split and recorded the drafts of the songs, then in 2015 the studio was closed and due to an issue I had with Opposus, we stopped playing and even talking for more than a year. There was no public announcement about this, but you can notice the complete absence of activity between most of 2015 and 2016. I used this time to compose new songs and refine others, ‘Fragilitatis’ was one of them. I added to it the first chorus I've done in Precaria and improved some riffs. This was the reason to change its name to ‘Ex Abyssia’. The whole song comes from the abyss.
In 2017 I resumed the plans for a split album and decided to include the bands Dominus Ira and Deathspiral of Inherited Suffering because I know that the individuals behind them are open to contributing, with their input about wider concepts that go outside of traditional Satanism, and the different styles of the three bands would make a very tasteful release. ‘Ritus Primordiales’ is the intro we used to play live so it felt natural to include it as the opening track. The other songs are ‘Traficando los Órganos de la Iglesia’ and ‘La Obra Negra Deicida’.
Having not spent time in Mexico, I took the opportunity to quiz Ianzel about how he sees the music industry in his country and his place within it.
- I'm not part of any industry. Motivation and enjoyment come mainly from my passions. I find interest in arts, sciences (quantum mechanics, geology, astronomy, physics, archaeology, technology, biology...), audio (sound engineering, music production, psychoacoustics...), languages, literature, the occult (left hand path currents, hermetic alchemy...), history, religions (theology, Gnosticism...), space, old cultures (Aztec, Mayan, Incan, Sumerian, Egyptian...), spirituality (pursuing my own path...) and dark music (black, death, doom, ambient, industrial, acoustic, hybrids, classical, orthodox chants...). But from my passions also come sacrifices and struggles. The lifestyle I carry means not being a functional part of society, which makes things harder regarding survival. Eventually, I'll live in isolation from the masses without needing anything from anyone, and keep doing what I'm here for.
Living in a third world country means having to work ten times harder to get the same result as, say, a European. Over here, poverty, violence, and corruption are the norm. I learnt and experienced a lot about how life in a sick society can be. This is reflected in my early lyrics and music. These themes play a big part in the album ‘Precaria Ex Humanitas’. This multifaceted sickness serves to hinder the individual’s potential.
What does the near future hold for Precaria and for yourself personally?
- In the near future, a sequel to the split ‘Metamorphosphoros’ will be released by I, Voidhanger Records. We called it ‘Theosulphuros’. The main artwork is interconnected to MTPHRS, when you put one on top of the other they complete a full image (also painted by IKONOSTASIS: Elijah Tamu). My songs on it are an intro called ‘Ritus Absconditus’ and three full songs: ‘Ex Nigredo’, ‘Darkness is My Light’ and ‘Heautontimorumenos’. In the mid-term future I'll release the second full-length album ‘Necrokhaos’, which will cover a variety of subjects and is almost fully composed by now. It includes tracks that I've been playing live since 2015, like the fan-favorites ‘Gospel of Black Illumination’, ‘Necroforms Ascending’ and ‘Ourobogenesis’.
This article is approximately half of the full interview conducted, which touches upon time spent in a Mexican psychiatric hospital as well as Ianzel’s work through his own studio and label.
The full interview is available in the print edition of Inner Missive #1, alongside discussions with ULVESANG, MISERIST, VLADIMIR CHEBAKOV, CONVULSING, RÁN, TRUTH CORRODED, FEDRESPOR and THE ORDER OF APOLLYON.