Blackened plague across the land
The Infernal Sea announce their signing to the relaunched extreme metal label Cacophonous. “We are honoured to sign to a label with such rich history and feel this new alliance will add to the great legacy of Cacophonous. ‘The Great Mortality’ is a visceral and relentless soundtrack that captures the essence of our intense live rituals. It’s harsh and experimental, pushing the boundaries of the ‘traditional’ Black Metal sound to create something unique and terrifying” – Dean Lettice, Vocals
‘The Great Mortality’ focuses on the dark and macabre history of the Black Death which swept across the UK & Europe from 1348. Each track focuses on the sadistic nature of mankind in times of fear and despair, with historical insight into the horrors and atrocities committed to their fellow man. Artwork comes from renowned Richey Beckett.
HMA: Welcome The Infernal Sea to Heavy Music Artwork. What is ‘The Great Mortality’?
Dean: Infernal hails HMA. The Great Mortality is the modern terminology used when referring to the Black Death or Black Plague. It is also the title given to our second album because it best represents the darkness contained within the music.
HMA: I believe the subject for the album is taken from the pandemic that devastated Europe in the years between 1346–53. Can you tell us more on this topic?
Dean: That is correct, lyrically ‘The Great Mortality’ delves into the dark and macabre history of the Black Death that swept across Europe. With each track, we explore the sadistic nature of mankind during this time of despair and the violent acts and atrocities that occurred.
HMA: How was this selected as the topic for an album?
Dean: It’s something that piqued our interest as a band, there are so much factual information and history to delve into. The macabre, violent and disparate nature of this particular time period lends itself to being portrayed through the medium of black metal perfectly.
HMA: Your first release ‘Call of the Augur’ has also a medieval theme to it. Can you tell me more?
Dean: ‘Call of the Augur’ explores the notion that ‘your god’ is tired of humanity and has therefore decided to punish all who sin. Each song is about the wrath incurred and the destruction that ensues. It isn’t necessarily bound to one specific period in time and lyrically is relevant to current issues and events. We wanted to capture a time when religion was at its strongest, most corrupt and foul in the extreme.
HMA: Why are such topics used in your music?
Dean: There is so much darkness to discover from our history, with so much destruction and death why wouldn’t we want to explore these macabre subjects? With ‘The Great Mortality’ we wanted to create something unique, a concept album if you will. We wanted a theme that we could carry through the art and stage wear, something that would visually capture the listener and fit accordingly with the music.
HMA: Black Metal seems to go hand in hand and best link these types of emotions. What is your take on this?
Dean: That’s true; Black Metal has a long history of exploring traditional folk tales, historical events and the occult. Like I said earlier, it’s dark soundscapes lend itself perfectly to the storytelling around these particular themes.
HMA: Richey Beckett did a great job with the cover. Any anecdotes, stories and symbolism related to the artwork?
Dean: Richey Beckett is a phenomenal artist and we are grateful to have worked with him on ‘The Great Mortality’. Richey has perfectly captured the sombre tone of the record and his beautiful illustration compliments the bleakness of the songs we have composed. The cover symbolises the destruction of humanity, the illustration depicts a plague doctor removing his beak and revealing that he too is infected. There is no hope left and the harsh reality is exposed to all.
HMA: What kind of non-musical sources do you draw inspiration from in composing and arranging your music?
Dean: Our dreary surroundings and personal demons influence us. Each one of us has a creative affliction and The Infernal Sea is our outlet to exert this pent up energy and frustration. There is an overall misanthropic outlook to our attitude, however, within the band, we are all on the same page and influence each other in positive ways, both musically and personally. We also draw upon the darkness, contempt for the human race and a thirst to spread our blackened plague across this cursed land.
The Infernal Sea, The Great Mortality is out on the 19th February 2016 via Cacophonous Records.
Interview by Alex Milazzo – Copyright 2016 © Heavy Music Artwork. All rights reserved.