With a new single and a forthcoming appearance at Desertfest, these are exciting times for UK death metal crew Celestial Sanctuary. Vocalist Tom takes time out from their busy schedule to field a few questions from Paul Castles.
ZT: Hi Tom, how are you looking forward to playing at Desertfest in May?
CS: Can’t wait! The line up is insane and from what we’ve heard it’s one of the best run festivals in the U.K.
ZT:Have you ever attended before – either as a musician or fan?
CS: Personally I haven’t – a couple of the others have been a few times though.
ZT:Desertfest isn’t a conventional metal fest, so how do you feel your death metal onslaught will fit in?
CS: Yeah – we seem like a bit of a wild card, and I love that! The only other band a bit like us I know from the bill is Inter Arma. But I think you can hear the sludge and doom in our riffs, so it’ll go down well I’m sure. The pits just might move a little slower, ha.
ZT: You had a pretty big show in London recently at the Electric Ballroom with Obituary. How did it go?
CS: It was insane! I keep saying it’s one thing to get an opportunity like that, another thing for the room to be rammed full for the opening band and then a whole other thing for the crowd to react so positively and cause carnage in the pit the way they did. We loved every moment and I think that was quite evident from the big ol’ smiles we had on our face for the majority of the set.
ZT:Towards the end of last year you had a string of dates with Sanguisugabogg – Was that good fun?
CS: Hell yeah it was! Those guys rule and the shows we played with them were so sick. It’s amazing to see such a new band get a warm welcome like that so far from home.
ZT:You recently re-released your debut album, Soul Diminished – what was the thinking behind this?
CS: It had been two years since the initial release and we were told that copies of the original cd were running low and the tape version had been sold out ever since it was released, so we thought it would be cool to mark the two years with an expanded edition. I’m a fan and a collector first and I love shit like that.
ZT:You have a new single out in Perpetual Annihilation – are you working on any new material?
CS: Sure are! We’re finishing up our new album next week. There will be more news on that in the next couple months.
ZT:How do you see the UKDM scene right now?
CS: It’s going from strength to strength and it’s so sick to see. Not that we didn’t have good bands before – but let’s be honest, there’s only been a handful (if that) of good death metal bands here for a long while. So it’s awesome going to shows and there’s all these new bands opening them and fucking killing it. Everyone should listen to Vacuous, Mutagenic Host, Mortuary Spawn, Vaticinal Rites, Slime Lord, Iron Tomb, Coffin Mulch, Brain Bath, Gorgon Vomit. There’s loads more but That’s a great starting point.
ZT:Are there any bands performing at Desertfest you’re keen to check out yourselves?
CS: Inter Arma for sure. They rule. Our good friends Zetra, Tuskar always kill it And obviously Crowbar and Corrosion of Conformity.
ZT:Do you feel the band has made good progress in a relatively short period of time?
CS: Depends what you define as good progress. Personally – we’ve already done way more cool shit than I thought we would. But it does just make you want that next fix of the next thing to do. Luckily we got some really exciting things coming up…