From the land that brought you Bolt Thrower and Carcass comes Spearhead, an up and coming force in the revived UK death metal scene. The guys have just released their third album, which gained a top rating from Ice Vajal, so it seemed pertinent to ask them a few questions. Guitarist Invictus provided the answers...
First off, thanks for taking the time to answer these questions for Ice Vajal.
Theomachia is undoubtedly my favorite extreme metal album so far this year but with your previous album, Decrowning The Irenarch, being so highly rated did this increase the pressure on you to outdo yourselves?
Thank you for the compliment. As you point out, Decrowning the Irenarch was extremely well received and so to some extent there was an element of heightened expectation for this release. Nevertheless, we did not feel under pressure as such – the work ethos of the band has always been to deliver our music to the highest standard and we are confident that Theomachia surpasses all our previous work.
Did you approach the writing and recording process differently than on the previous albums?
Not particularly. In terms of the writing process, this was very similar – most of the songs were either written as a whole then refined and/or re-worked during rehearsal, or they were a collaborative effort. In terms of recording, we probably put more emphasis on pre-production this time.
Theomachia (The Doctrine of Ascension and Decline) is the album's full title and it is about the nature of time and being against the notion of linear progression. Would you explain this concept a little more for our readers? Why did you choose this particular idea?
Theomachia deals with the cyclical nature of time, rise and fall, ebb and flow, as opposed to the modern Western conception of ever upwards progression, the blind vanity of degeneration. It deals with the idea of civilization as an organic entity, prey to disease and old age as much as every other organic entity - an idea found in countless mythologies and philosophies in the world of Tradition. One either has the choice to perish in the flames of decay, or become an autocrat of one's own existence. For a more in-depth description you'll need to consult the album foreword.
Manuel Tinnemans is responsible for the cover art. Did you come up with the concept behind it or was it completely down to the artist?
We were entirely responsible for the album artwork concept, which was once again skillfully interpreted and executed by Manuel. The presentation of the album, together with the lyrical content, is extremely important and we take this aspect very seriously.
Ex-Belphegor drummer Torturer played drums on the album. Will he be joining you for live dates?
Torturer is a very talented drummer and we are grateful for his input on the album. At this point in time we do not have a full time drummer confirmed. However, we do have various options that are currently under consideration and Torturer is definitely a potential candidate, at least for one off performances.
Any live dates planned?
No live dates are currently planned, although we are open to appropriate offers. Promoters should get in touch directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
How do you guys prepare for a show?
We do not have any particular preparation procedure, just plenty of rehearsing.
You've toured with Impiety and Urgehal, but if you could choose any band, past or present, to play a show with, which would it be?
That is a difficult question, I am sure we could name many.
What do you think of the metal scene in the UK at the moment? Any UK bands you would recommend to check out?
Over the past few years there has been a notable improvement in the caliber of bands coming from the UK, although we generally pay little attention to the UK 'scene'.
Thanks for the interview. Svpero Omnia!
With any luck Spearhead will find a permanent drummer soon and will be out on the road crushing skulls! I'll be first in line to see them!