If you've read Trevor's review of Sephuchral Ruins Below the Temple, from UK band Sheol, you'll know that it is an EP that is demanding of your attention. It's an outstanding slice of death fucking metal that just gets better with each listen. Recently, Trevor had the chance to interview the 2-piece band, about Sepulchral Ruins, touring and much more. Read, enjoy, then grab yourself a copy of the EP!
(Lair of Filth) Firstly, congratulations on your debut EP - it's a great release, how satisfied are you with the end result?
(Sheol) Quite satisfied to have finally brought about what we had intended. One complaint, highlighted in some reviews already, has been the disparate timing on the drums for our cover of Cromlech. We had not created a tempo-map for this, and the drums and guitars were all recorded in one-take to account for this. We accept these imperfections as part of the whole.
(LoF) You've achieved an authentic death metal sound without any hint of retro or rehash of old formula, was this your intended sound?
(Sheol) To some degree. Whilst we take influence from many Death Metal classics, we wanted to create a dense, morbid atmosphere that goes far beyond merely rehashing used Dismember riffs through a HM-2 pedal, Death Metal should have its own character.
(LoF) I appreciate the EP has only just been released but are there any plans for a full length release from Sheol?
(Sheol) We intend to begin work soon on material for a split through Iron Bonehead Productions, with whom we shall not yet name. There are simultaneous currents and contrasts which complement one another, delving into divergent ancient gateways of Death and the great Nothingness.
(LoF) Have you any tours or gigs planned for 2014?
(Sheol) Yes, we have now began rehearsals to perform a few isolated performances in 2014, these will be alongside Hungary's Gravecrusher, as well as with Negative Plane, Vomitor and Gospel of the Horns amongst others planned for the end of the year. We'll have to see announcements closer to the time. We're ardent about performing these sepulchral tomes live.
(LoF) Do you see any advantages or disadvantages to being a two person band?
(Sheol) The disadvantage is that playing live becomes an afterthought which requires tedious rearrangement. The advantage, however, is that I do not work well composing in a full band, I prefer to compose all the instruments myself - this allows us to refine our sound easily without compromise.
(LoF) Obviously when you play live you will need session artists to help, have you anyone in mind for these duties?
(Sheol) We have asked T.H.M. (Tom Hinksman) and T.M.K. (Tom McKenna) of Hellsworn and Towers of Flesh to join us. Both are very experienced and competent musicians with a solid grasp of what we want to create.
(LoF) What are your views on the current state of the UK/Ireland death metal underground scene?
(Sheol) The UK is very prolific with Death Metal, as is Ireland with the bands under the banner of Invictus Productions. The UK has more of a 'scene' with Brutal Death Metal however, thus why bands such as Grave Miasma, Cruciamentum and Lvcifyre have made such a strong impact through their independence.
(LoF) Your EP is just being released on two excellent labels, Iron Bonehead and Invictus Productions - are you aware of the music of your contemporaries such as Malthusian, Zom etc?
(Sheol) Of course, we have kept up with many of the excellent releases through both Iron Bonehead and Invictus Productions, which is more cause for being indebted to both labels for their support and work with us. Malthusian's demo is without a doubt one of the highlights of 2013 for me.
(LoF) Who would you cite as being an influence on your music?
(Sheol) We are influenced by many forms of art, literature, religion, history and mythology - anything which can attempt to capture the exaltation and grand triumph of Death over the collapse of civilisation. Lovecraft's writings have especially influenced the lyrics; the underground city in "Rats In The Walls" was what I had envisioned for B. Johnson's cover art. Musically we take influence from Demigod, early Darkthrone, Incantation, Autopsy, Morbid Angel etc, but look towards Doom Metal for our amp and guitar tones.
(LoF) Aside from Sheol, what be your ideal line up for a 4 band gig?
(Sheol) Incantation, Grave Miasma and Portal.
(LoF) It's been a joy listening to & reviewing your EP. I wish you every success with what's certainly one of the year's best releases. Hopefully we'll catch up for a beer at some stage, Trevor
(Sheol) Thank you and of course!
Interview conducted by Trevor Proctor.