You are about to release a split record with The Infernal Sea entitled “Insidious Art And Serpentine Rites”. Where did the name come from? Was there much haggling going on between the two bands over a name?
Hi Luke, a good question! We had quite a discussion over the name and soon realised there was no real common ground between the themes of our songs. So in the end we picked something which we felt sounded good and summed up both bands and their respective tracks. The ‘Insidious Art’ relating to The Infernal Sea and ‘Serpentine Rites’ relating to OCR.
You each contributed one song apiece and your offering is entitled “The Sockburn Worm”. Now that name brings to mind a few images, all of them juvenile and not at all Old Corpse Road like. (More the Anal Bakery) So, for the sake of all, can you elaborate as to the songs meaning and themes?
In folklore a worm, wyrm or wyvern is essentially a form of dragon and these creatures have played a large part in many legends from these fair Isles. Sockburn is an area very close to our home town of Darlington. The song is based around a place called Sockburn Hall which sits on an inland peninsula to the River Tees on the borders of County Durham and North Yorkshire. It is said once upon a time that the worm tormented the surrounding towns and villages, eating livestock and people and generally causing unrest. That is, until one day a brave warrior forged a sword and chopped its head off and buried its remains under a large stone.
As with many Old Corpse Road songs we take particular interest in our local folklore so it seemed the perfect theme for our track and we’re very pleased with how it all worked out.
For this release you’ve teamed up with Three Swords Records. Are you happy with the working relationship you have and is there plans to release any future records with them?
Are Godreah still in the picture?
Absolutely, Dean at Three Swords Records has been great. He’s given both bands the freedom to do whatever we wanted for the release and has been very good to work with. We haven’t signed any sort of deal with them and are working with them solely for this release. As a result there is nothing set in stone for our future releases but Godreah are certainly still in the picture. I would certainly work with TSR again though.
Speaking of future releases, I managed to spend some time with The Dreamer at Damnation festival and he gave just a little insight into your next album. Am I right in thinking that it will have a warmer feel too it? Do you have any idea when work will start or a date will be made for release? Can you elaborate further on names and themes?
Work on the new album is now well under way with drums, keyboards and most of the guitars recorded. The album itself has a very definite atmosphere, which is summed up in the album title; however that’s remaining buried for now! Without giving too much away the album could be described as a reaction to the dark and gothic atmosphere of the first album, make of that what you want but it is still distinctly Old Corpse Road.
Going back to “The Sockburn Worm” for a second… it’s quite grim isn’t it? It still has all your usual trademarks but overall it is a darker, more traditionally black metal sounding track. Was this a conscious decision or just an organic thing?
A few people have made this comment now. It certainly wasn’t deliberate and it simply what came out in the rehearsal room. To me it has all of the elements you’d expect from an OCR song, but I agree there’s something different and a little nastier about it. We’re very happy with the outcome and the fact that it’s a little more “grim” makes it fit in well on a split with a band such as The Infernal Sea.
Will you be doing any touring with The Infernal Sea? Any chance of you guys hitting Northern Cumbria?
We both already have separate touring plans around the time of the release. We will both be playing a gig in Brighton in May as guest bands for their leg of the Metal 2 the Masses final which we are very excited about. Other than that it looks like we’ll have to book some dates with them a little later in the year, but it will definitely happen.
So far as Cumbria goes, I’m not sure about Northern Cumbria, but a couple of promoters have been trying to get us to Barrow in Furness so it’s highly likely we’ll play there soon. We are also playing a gig in April in Fell Foot Wood near Ulverston. If you know any promoters in the Northern Cumbria area feel free pass on their information as we are always looking for new places to play next time we tour.
How is The Dreamer doing with regards to his arm injury? Is he getting close to returning to the fold and who is standing in for him?
Tom Warner, known as Box Head (https://www.facebook.com/BoxHeadPercussionUK) has been filling for The Dreamer. The gigs have been fantastic and he has done an excellent job learning the set in such a short time. We can’t thank him enough for his dedication and support in keeping the band moving forward. The Dreamer was diagnosed with tenosynovitis (at type of tendonitis affecting the thumb) due to the rigors of years of blast beats! He has kept involved in the band and has resumed rehearsing with the band. It has been a long recovery but he is now back gigging with the band and things will hopefully return to normal.
Lastly, what plans do you have for this year?
Aside from a few scatters of gigs we really want to focus on getting the second album complete and released. Naturally a lot of work as already gone on in the background and the pieces are slowly falling together but we need to really get the hours in now and make some headway.
When the album is release we can then look at booking a tour to support it. There are also talks of us heading over to Finland and Germany later in the year so we’ll see how that develops!
Insidious Art and Serpentine Rites – The Infernal Sea / Old Corpse Road Split is out now on Three Sword Records