Thanks for joining us today, guys! We appreciate your time. Could you please give us an introduction to the band and a bit of a background check?
Infernal hails. Thank you for having us. Myself (J.E) and D.L formed the band starting around 2009, and officially in 2010, with the intention of creating a Black Metal band from the East Anglia area. There was a lack of bands around at the time, and we wanted to create a band with a mixture of influences that we were passionate about, as all of our previous bands had disbanded. It was an inevitable fate. One which would lead us on quite a triumphant journey.
When did you first realize your passion for heavy music?
Personally, it was the feeling I had when listening to Metallica in the early 90’s, and then many other bands to follow (Iron Maiden, Slayer, Megadeth, Manowar etc) I remember vividly watching the video for ‘One’ on the show Beavis and Butthead, and the feeling the sound of the guitars gave me was indescribable. It was my quest from that moment to piece together everything I could to find out more about this style of music. And so it began. I still have many of my old VHS tapes from that time, all with different recordings of ‘Headbangers Ball’ and various other videos and live footage from the 90’s.
How did the band members meet, and what was the goal for the band’s sound from those early days? Do you guys feel like you’ve achieved the sound you’ve been going for? Or is this an ongoing process?
We all knew each other from the local scene from different bands and friend groups. So, the first contact with everyone and our first initial goals were relatively straight forward. Our sound was more of a mix of Black and Death Metal in the formative first years, which was heavily influenced by everyone finding their feet from the previous bands we were part of. We also had two guitarists, so the structures and songwriting for the first album were quite different from where we are now. After we became a one guitar band, the songwriting became a lot more focused on a traditional sound, which I feel is what we have achieved successfully over the last 6-7 years. But of course, we are ever-evolving, and always writing new material.
What changes did you want to make to your sound and songwriting whilst in the process of writing ‘Negotium Crucis‘?
We wanted a rawer, back to basics sound. With less emphasis on using certain technologies to help the production. Very straightforward, scathing, and hate-filled. We think we achieved that quite well.
Which albums had the biggest influence on your career?
So many, I couldn’t mention all of them. For myself personally, Iron Maiden’s Live After Death was iconic in making me want to pick up the guitar. Especially watching the actual videotape version. Slayer’s Hell Awaits introduced me to the evil side of music, it still gives me goosebumps. Manowar’s Triumph of Steel album introduced me to a world of fantasy. And then, picking up Grand Declaration of War by Mayhem in the year 2000 was life-changing. I still find the guitar playing and drumming fascinating on that record.
Because of the limitations of the pandemic, was the writing process different for this record than for your previous releases?
Not at all, as we had written everything before the pandemic luckily!
What are the lyrical themes and concepts most prevalent in the record?
The lyrics on this album expose the horrific atrocities committed by the Knights Templar during the Crusades. The Knights Templar was a military order sanctioned by the Church, their mission was to aggressively indoctrinate all non-Christian groups to Christian faith by any force necessary. Thousands of innocent people were massacred at the hands of these ‘soldiers of God’: Simply convert to Christ, or die. We chronicle key events during this period that showcase the vile nature of humanity, the Church, and the Christian faith.
What have you guys learned from the global pandemic as a band and did it affect the release of your latest music and videos?
We have learned that you shouldn’t take life for granted, we only have one chance at life, and the pandemic has helped a lot of people re-evaluate their lives, it has been a massive shock to the system and this can only be a good thing going forward. There were certainly pros and cons to releasing an album during the pandemic, but we have come out of the other side victorious. The world’s attention has been focused on the internet thanks to the various lockdowns, we have used this to our advantage, remaining in the spotlight and engaging with our following.
What are your plans for The Infernal Sea in 2021 and beyond?
We are currently working on new material for a bunch of upcoming releases, it has been important for us to have remained productive during a time when productivity has been low. Going forward, we are looking towards 2022 to continue our blackened domination. Hail the darkness!