Why The Voynich Code aren't just for tech-metal guitar nerds

The Voynich Code band promo photo

Portuguese tech-death newbies The Voynich Code are premiering their new video for I, The Weak exclusively with Metal Hammer. Taken from their forthcoming debut album, coming this spring on Primordial Records, it’s a departure from their dirgier deathcore roots and hits hard with more of a death metal gutpunch.

To gain an insight into what the band are all about, why they’re named after an ancient manuscript, and if tech is just for guitar nerds, we hooked up with vocalist Nelson Rebelo and guitarist Vinicius Cunha for a quick chat.

Firstly, why did The Voynich Code form as a band?

“We started in December 2013 and released our first single Antithesis in February 2014 When TVC started we wanted to make a groovy yet melodic band, that was full of aggressive ‘in your face’ vocals, never forgetting the enigmatic and mysterious art conception.”

What is the band’s vision?

“Travelling and sharing the stage with our fans were always our priority. With this album we are aiming to tour around Europe, play lots of local shows and hit metal festivals, especially during summer. For curiosity purposes, touring in Asia, especially Japan, is one of our big dreams. We love the Asian culture and we can’t wait to hit stores full of Pokemon stuff!”

Why did you name yourself after the infamous codex manuscript?

“When we discovered this document and got more and more into it, we felt like our name and concept should revolve around it, because we love the mystery behind the manuscript. As everyone knows by now, we love mystery, so it sounded right to name this project after such an enigmatic manuscript. If you never got the chance to look it up, take a few minutes off and do it. Can this manuscript actually have a meaning or is it just a scam? Who knows. The possibilities behind the meaning are endless, which is a pretty cool history to explore and write about!”

What is the story behind your new song I, The Weak?

“These lyrics relate a weak entity to our planet. What we mean by this, is that humanity overly abuses its power regarding our planet’s natural resources. Every time ‘I, the weak’ is written, we are referring to our planet, and as soon as we cross the line in terms of natural resource abuse, our planet naturally responds with greater power showing that we are the weak ones after all.”

You’ve been teasing the internet with #UnveilTheMystery. Can you now reveal what the mystery is?

“We are addicted and fascinated by the mysteries that hide throughout the universe; themes like the the Seven Wonders Of The Ancient World and, of course, The Voynich Manuscript make our eyes shine with curiosity. So why not share the mystery with everyone around us?”

You’ve taken a leap away from deathcore toward more technical death metal territory. Why?

“This album has a different dynamic compared to our previous release Ignotum. We had almost two years to write and record it, so we got the chance to go back to our roots, go back to bands like The Black Dahlia Murder, Through The Eyes Of The Dead, and All Shall Perish that had a big impact in our lives before we started this project.

“We ended up writing an album with a deeper death metal feel instead of doing the classic deathcore of Ignotum because it just felt right. Some riffs are really heavy and straight in your face, but at the same time some parts have the traditional TVC keyboards and breathtaking leads that everyone can find on Ignotum.”

How do you feel about the conception that tech-metal is just for guitar nerds?

“It depends on the level of ‘tech’ we are talking about. If we are talking about crazy-technical-guitar-shredtastic-stuff-that-melts-your-brain-and-unleashes-the-guitar-pro-inside-of-you kind of shred, it will definitely be much more appreciated by someone who has musical knowledge, aka guitar nerds. But if we are talking about the tech-but-at-the-same-time-not-that-tech-because-I-can-understand-what’s-going-on kind of tech metal, then we think the common metal enthusiast will probably like it as well. There’s a place for every kind of genre – not only guitar nerds like tech stuff. We hope there will be a hot chick somewhere in the Bahamas that likes it too.”

What is the Portuguese metal scene like?

“Knowing that Portugal is a small country that doesn’t have much culture regarding alternative music, we never expected much from it at all to be honest. Be that as it may, we are pretty positive that it has been getting better year by year since there is a new generation of young metal enthusiasts that are changing the game. They don’t just fancy going to concerts and support every band with heart, but also create new fresh bands that have huge potential. Basically, it’s not the best scene ever, but it’s got a lot better and we like it this way!”

What do you want to achieve with The Voynich Code?

“We want to know what the world has to give us, travel as much as possible, meet as much fans as possible. We want to get up on stage, share our passion and see if the world can truly unveil the mystery!”

The Voynich Code’s debut album is out this spring, via Primordial Records.

Tech-Fest announces Black Dahlia Murder, Obscura, Aborted for 2017

Luke Morton joined Metal Hammer as Online Editor in 2014, having previously worked as News Editor at popular (but now sadly defunct) alternative lifestyle magazine, Front. As well as helming the Metal Hammer website for the four years that followed, Luke also helped relaunch the Metal Hammer podcast in early 2018, producing, scripting and presenting the relaunched show during its early days. He also wrote regular features for the magazine, including a 2018 cover feature for his very favourite band in the world, Slipknot, discussing their turbulent 2008 album, All Hope Is Gone.