Bloodstock "is the best independent metal festival, and we hope to play again soon".
Following the latest album release by East Anglian Black Metal horde The Infernal Sea, it was about time we gave them a grilling as we interrogated them about their latest album, what the future of Black Metal in the UK holds, thoughts about Phil Anselmo's recent outburst and once again the fabled Eurovision question.
Buy "The Great Mortality" from their Bandcamp page:- https://theinfernalsea.bandcamp.com/
Jonathan Egmore sat in the interrogation room with us on this one.
So Jonathan, what's new in The Infernal Sea camp aside from the new release? What makes this release distinguishable from your previous releases?
"Hails! We are currently writing for our next release. I can’t really say too much, but we have some music and theme ideas, and it’s quite an exciting time for the band in general. On the whole, ‘The Great Mortality’ is the band at its most dangerous. Previous releases merely touched upon the sound we have aimed to achieve over the last 5 years or so, with this album the bar has been raised musically, and aesthetically. Also working alongside Cacophonous Records has helped us reach a wider market, and we are very proud releasing the album on a label with such a rich heritage."
Would you agree that British Black Metal is not only celebrating a resurgence but also a newfound renaissance?
"I would say so, yes. Especially the fact that ‘The Great Mortality’ is being released on Cacophonous Records, which for the many that don’t know, opened up the UK Black Metal scene by releasing the first Cradle Of Filth release ‘The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh’ in 1994. There is a lot of younger talent being recognised now with the help of good promotion, festivals, zines etc. The 90’s resurgence has been helped heavily with the influx of reissues over the last few years, making material from the Scandinavian scene easily accessible to newer fans that wouldn’t have gone out of their way to buy it before. You can clearly hear that influence in a lot of bands within UKBM, it’s an exciting time for the underground scene."
Do you feel Black Metal is more of an art rather than a music genre? Is it still seen as Satanic?
"I think in essence, especially nowadays, it is seen as a style of Heavy Metal. I think to the uneducated, it is seen as Satanic. I think I have more Death Metal albums in my collection that are seen as Satanic, than Black Metal records. For me, it is an art. It is a means to forget, it is a style of music to express misanthropy, extremity, to reflect on past demons, to appreciate the wild and to praise the older masters. It is for me, the most underground style of music, and should be kept for our own satisfaction."
2016 is in full swing, so what plans have you got for the entire year?
"Writing a lot of new music for the new album, playing more shows, festivals and touring across the UK/EU!"
Speaking of new music, check out the band's new music video 'Entombed In Darkness' below:-
In spite of recent comments made by Phil Anselmo r.e. 'white power', do you think racism is still an issue in metal let alone generally? Would you be surprised to know that metal exists in Sub-Sahara Africa? (e.g. Botswana)
"I don’t think so, only to a small minority that maybe go out to seek that kind of scene. I have been a metal fan for over 20 years, and I have never witnessed any racism at any point at any shows or festivals (and yes, I have seen Pantera!) I think the media is a huge culprit for blowing up things as soon as the word ‘racism’ is involved. I’m not surprised at all, we frequently receive messages from all over the world from different fans from different cultures, and its fantastic. Metal has always been about unity, so lets keep it that way."
You played at Bloodstock back in 2013, how would you sum up the festival and please tell us who you saw at the festival?
"It was fantastic. Playing Bloodstock is still a huge highlight for the band. Especially for me, seeing Slayer & Anthrax the same weekend was a dream come true. I personally love Bloodstock and will continue to attend every year, it is the best independent metal festival, and we hope to play again soon. There is actually a campaign on Facebook started by one of our followers to get us on this years Bloodstock, you can go show your support here." https://www.facebook.com/TheInfernalSeaforBloodstock/?notif_t=page_invite_accepted
What song from 'The Great Mortality' is your favourite and why? Would you submit any for Eurovision contention?
"Personally, my favourite song on the album is ‘Plague Herald’. It shows a different side to the band for the first time, in that we don’t have to play at a thousand beats per minute all the time to sound heavy. That’s an interesting question, I don’t think we would’ve ever thought about doing that to be honest!"
Speaking of Eurovision, if there was to be a metal version of said contest, do you think it would take off? Would you participate? What would your thoughts be of a metal-based Eurovision song contest?
"I’m not sure if it would take off. The Eurovision song contest is so very politically fuelled and very tongue in cheek. I’m not sure if it would really suit our style to be honest. That being said, it would probably make for some interesting viewing depending on what bands were to attend."
Finally are there any hello's, greetings etc you wish to send out?
"Infernal hails to all our dedicated followers who have supported us on this dark journey. Hail Satan! Hail the darkness!"