For the forthcoming release of the ep “Decennium Ruinae”, and to celebrate the ten years of the band, Ars Goetia had the pleasure to interview Unfathomable Ruination’s frontman, Ben Wright.
Ars Goetia : If someone is listening to your music for the first time, what can they expect ?
Ben : You can expect an aggressive, emotive and intriguing experience. Within an instant you can go from banging your head to some brutal grooves, to listening intently to the intricate technicality only to be hit in the face with a bone breaking beatdown! Each song is a journey that changes direction continuously.
AG : What stimulated the formation of this band eleven years ago ?
B : Dan and Rob (Embryonic Depravity) decided they wanted to create a brutal death metal band with a broader sound, not limiting on any influences or ways to create music. Hence the meaning of the band’s name ‘An Indecipherable kind of destruction’. This was the main impulse to create Unfathomable Ruination.
AG : The line up seems to be going strong since 2014. Two years ago, Jake Law, from Fleshrot, joined you on the bass guitar. Would you say Unfathomable Ruination is the continuity of Fleshrot?
B : Fleshrot was formed by myself back in 2003, we had a good run and made some amazing friends along the way, Dan left Fleshrot to pursue his project (UR) YEARS later he asks me to jon UR, Jake has always been a close friend of us all and it was a natural progression him joining the band, again YEARS later. Id say that is where the relation between Fleshrot & UR ends, we all took part in Fleshrot at different times from one another.
AG : What’s the concept of your music and what inspires you ?
B : We all have such a wide spectrum individually when it comes to inspiration, influences and ideas. Which is where I believe our unique approach to Death Metal comes from. We all bring our own flavour and chuck that into the mixing bowl!! Our concept tends to relate to the lyrical content at the time, which changes with what I’m feeling at the time. The concept of ‘Finitude’ is focussed on the human psyche and its inability to truly comprehend nothingness and the possibility of things being infinite, without end, something that fascinates us. Me and Ross worked together on bringing a lot of the lyrical content together for that album. Whereas ‘Enraged & Unbound’ has a more personal theme, a large portion of the lyrics cover my own experiences and struggles with mental health. Our latest release ‘Decennium Ruinae’ is not only a celebration of the bands 10th birthday (initially intended for a 2020 release, thanks Covid) but its also takes a completely different direction lyrically.
AG : Could you explain to us the song writing ?
B : We tend to do a majority of our writing online, sharing ideas with one another and creating rough demos through home recording (even before the pandemic) and once we have something relatively solid, we will meet in the studio and jam the ideas together, we all chop and change and pick at bits and bobs until we have a new song.
AG : One demo, two EPs (with the next one), three albums, is there a link between these different materials ? Like a trilogy for example for the LP or each one are independents ?
B : Each and every release is different. They are a timestamp of our lives at the time, each one marking the bands growth, our personal development and a milestone set for our constant want for progression. There is very little to no ties between each release thematically. This MIGHT change for our next release, you could possibly see a continuation from our latest EP.. who knows.
AG : Since the beginning of UR, you used to release a new production every two years, do you think it’s important to always have something new to give to your fans ?
B : It is super important to us to keep delivering new material to the fans, we would love to release something every year or even every 6 months! But we take the writing process seriously and really make sure that what we are about to release is the pinnacle of what we can do at the time, this just so happens to average out to two years, haha! This pattern may change, but the music will ALWAYS progress, each release an evolution from the next.
AG : Your new Ep « Decennium Ruinae » will release on May, 28th. What can we expect ?
B : You can expect as usual, another progression from our last release, heavier riffs, faster, more aggressive, nastier vocals and songs that will have you hitting that repeat button to get more!! You already know that it includes a complete re recording of a crowd favourite, but the three brand new tracks on there are something you wouldn’t expect.
AG : What’s the concept ?
B : The direct influence for this EP is taken from one of my main interests, the lore behind Warhammer 40000, particularly the daemon god, Nurgle. The hobby itself pulled me out of some extremely dark times, the community behind the hobby is amazing and I wanted to commemorate that via my music.
AG : Did the pandemic motivate you for the song writing ?
B : The pandemic just pissed us all off. Which is great fuel when writing extreme music! The concept was already pre determined before Covid struck, so the lyrics relate perfectly (but unintentionally)
AG : The situation was very hard in your country, a strong lockdown, how did you manage to work on this Ep and for record it ?
B : Luckily, as I said before, our writing process wasn’t really affected at all to be honest. We didn’t have the luxury of being able to rehearse it together as much as we’d like (many of the ideas were around pre-lockdown) The recording part was a challenge but all it did was push us to find alternatives. All the strings were recorded via upgraded home setups and sent to our producer, Sam Turbitt. As soon as there were any changes in the lockdown regulations, we acted as fast as possible to get Doug and myself in the booth to record drums and vocals. We managed it luckily but it wasn’t easy!
AG : Four intense and heavy songs for near 20 minutes, what about the lyrics ?
B : The lyrics (except the re-recording) are all inspired by the plague god, Nurgle. Which is a fictional character from the deep lore behind a table top game called Warhammer 40000. I have loved the hobby since a child and after a long time out have reconnected with it. As I said before I used the hobby as a life raft during some pretty hard times and I really wanted to immortalise that phase in my life, hence the direct correlation in my lyrics. I absolutely love the lore behind 40k and Nurgle is by far my favourite, a daemonic plague god who finds joy in decay! So brutal!!
AG : The meaning of the cover art ?
B : So as any 40000 hobbyist knows, the creators are FIERCELY protective over their intellectual property and rightly so. Unfortunately the band weren’t active when the creators of Warhammer actually had a label and directly licensed art to bands such as Bolt Thrower and Saxon back in the day, so I asked a popular artist who specialises in Warhammer styled work to draw me up something that shows the inspiration behind the music but without directly copying Warhammer themes. The dudes on the front actually represent us! Answers on the back of a postcard for who you think is who!!
AG : Let’s talk about that. All your albums’ cover art are different. Do you work with the same artist ?
B : We have had a different artist for each and every release. For us, the artwork is just as important as the music and MUST be connected. The artist we choose is the one who we believe can best represent our music at the time. For example Eliran Kantor is one of the greats, he captures so much emotion and movement within his work and we agreed he was the best person to capture the theme behind ‘Enraged & unbound’ Its the same with all of our releases. Ross our guitarist for example had perfect ideas for ‘Idiosyncratic Chaos’ so he was the perfect artist to create the artwork.
AG : In what way is the cover art important for you ?
B : The cover art is as much a part of the release as the music, it’s the “face” of the product. It’s what is going to help advertise and spread the release. So for us, it has to relate to the music on several levels. Eliran’s work for Enraged for example has each song on the album drawn into the front cover.
AG : How do you work with the artist to design the cover art ?
B : We send over everything to the artist, lyrics, concept, demos and a very rough idea or sketch of what we envisage. But since the artist is so carefully chosen, their input is as important as ours. So we try not to give TOO much direction and trust the artist and their creativity. I don’t see the point in commissioning an amazing artist and force them to make a carbon copy of something I have thought up. I want them to enjoy the process and put their all into it.
AG : With the release of this Ep, did you schedule any live streams ?
B : As restrictions drop here in the UK, we will definitely be looking into some kind of live stream performance for sure
AG : What do you think about this new wave of shows ? (A lot of bands started to do that since the pandemic)
B : I mean, it’s a great way around it, sure. But for me, the energy and electricity that comes from a live audience is impossible to match. The idea of performing to an empty room is really strange, I thrive off the energy that the crowd gives and I love to interact with the crowd. It will be a really strange sensation performing to some gopros….But if there is demand from the fans for us to do so, I wouldn’t want to deny them that. Man, the first normal shows back are gonna be fucking insane. I cannot wait to get out there!!!
AG : Is this Ep foreshadowing a new LP in a couple of years ?
B : There will definitely be an LP next…Maybe sooner than two years, we shall wait and see!!
AG : Have you already got some material, did you schedule a release ?
B : We always have material, we are always writing, we are always growing as a band. There is no set schedule as yet. Stay tuned!!
Thanks for your time Ben, and see you on stage soon, I hope !