ZT PREMIERE: Inferno air the first single from their upcoming album and answer some questions…
Czech black metallers Inferno plan to put a spring in our step with the release of some new music, namely the first single from their eighth studio album, Paradeigma (Phosphenes Of Aphotic Eternity), out on 7 May 2021. The single ‘The Wailing Horizon’ can be listened to below!
DMP’s Jonathan spoke to the band about their first single ‘The Wailing Horizon’, so we’ve included what they have to say here. It should be noted that the first answer was given by guitarist Ska-Gul, the second answer is a collective statement on behalf of the whole band, and the third answer was given by a member who has never spoken officially, namely Spící hrdlo Antikrista, the English translator of the band and “shadow member” who has worked with Inferno in various functions since 2012.
DMP: Let’s get right to it: if I am informed correctly, the song ‘The Wailing Horizon’ was the first track intentionally written for this album. Could you elaborate for us more in detail about how the song was crafted? How did the song ‘The Wailing Horizon’ develop? Did it all start with a melody or a specific (musical) concept in your head?
Ska-Gul (guitars): “Composition-wise each song of the album is specific and different approaches were utilised. Especially when compared to the previous albums. Back then the writing was always connected to the live drumming: a skeleton of the song was composed in cooperation with the drummers and the mood as well as specific tones were then created over the riffs/melodic base. This time I worked with simple programmed drums, just to give me a primitive rhythmic foundation or guideline to create the essential aura of the songs.
“The tones I sought when composing ‘The Wailing Horizon’ were meant to express an atmosphere I felt within and there was also a wish to separate the music from the general metal template. So, I initially ditched the classic foundation of distorted guitars and moved on to creating the arrangements/soundscapes with which I expressed the aforementioned atmosphere. To describe that inner feeling I could possibly use words like detachment, separation or disconnection.
“When composing I simply let the emotions flow, allow the imagination to wander, while trying not to hinder the process by thinking too much. I simply act. Because of this spontaneity I have to edit individual motifs later or even delete them and create new ones to fit in the overall concept. This is what happened with ‘The Wailing Horizon’. It was the first song completed yet at the same time the very last one where I made significant changes.
“From a technical standpoint, I create everything at home in the software I have using just the basic plug-ins (reverb, delay, chorus). The drums and vocals were recorded in the studio.
DMP: Where would you say you encountered the biggest difficulties when it came to composing ‘The Wailing Horizon’?
Inferno (collective): As mentioned by Ska-Gul, there were initially no distorted guitars providing the classic riff foundation and so when Stephen Lockhart suggested that we record extra distorted guitars, we struggled to accept the idea. This change was definitely beneficial for the material and especially its sound because without it Paradeigma would sound very, very flat. Accepting Stephen’s suggestion and actually seeing its merit took time because we were so obsessed with the original vision. That was probably the most difficult thing when working on the album. Generally, the new ideas were flowing very smoothly and the actual construction of soundscapes and/or concept never came to a point where we would have to struggle way too much to achieve the desired vision or settle with less. Though that does not mean the process was easy.
DMP: Lyrically the first half of Paradeigma deals with representing the grand pattern which pervades all creation, so to speak. I guess, one might say that ‘The Wailing Horizon’ – judging from the title – is epically opening all the possibilities of creating, an unfolding of energy before the later tracks put this energy into a specific direction. Would you agree with such an interpretation? And if you do, what musical vision did you have in your head to give adequate representation of such an open and all-embracing energy? Which soundscapes did you know you would need for giving life to such an idea?
Spící hrdlo Antikrista (shadow member of INFERNO): All interpretations are welcome, especially when it comes to music and the visions it may provide. However, when it comes to concept and the lyrics, then each song actually portrays that grand pattern, though in different ways and from various perspectives. When it comes to music, Ska-Gul was influenced by the thematic concept to a certain extent, however here the music had greater effect on the words. When he recreated the song and provided the last version of the composition it provided me with an overwhelming vision of a wailing horizon which I wrote down to the last detail and from this description Adramelech then extracted the lyrics.
General info about Paradeigma (Phosphenes Of Aphotic Eternity)
Burrowing further into the dense, hypnotic soundworlds initiated on 2017’s Gnosis Kardias, this newest emission formulates an alluring new language from the isolationist syntax of black metal, blending the contemplative and the disturbing into a mesmeric journey through veiled psychic recesses and towards the infinite. Using layers of guitar tracks, abstruse vocal and sound textures, intricate martial rhythms and ominous dynamism, Inferno have produced a surreal dreamscape inspired in part by the most obscure, forward-thinking records of Blut Aus Nord and The Cure, ’70s/’80s post-punk and the ingenuity/sheer fanaticism found within the black metal canon.
Conceptually Paradeigma goes deep into psychology, cosmology and horror – primarily influenced by ‘The Cosmos As Self-Creation’ from Czech writer Michal Ajvaz, ‘Time Reborn’ by the physicist Lee Smolin and above all ‘The Red Book’ of Carl Jung – to conjure, in the words of the band: “abstract visions of semi-liquid currents moving within a vast ontological structure where individual layers interact in unceasing cosmic dynamics”.
::Tracklist:: 01. Decaying Virtualities Yearn For Asymptopia 02. The Wailing Horizon 03. Descent Into Hell Of The Future 04. Phosphenes 05. Ekstasis Of The Continuum 06. Stars Within And Stars Without Projected Into The Matrix Of Time
:: Additional Info :: Recorded at KSVstudios, Prague by Sheafraidh and Ska-Gul. Mixed and mastered by Stephen Lockhart at Studio Emissary, Reykjavík.