Australian black metal incendiaries Denouncement Pyre recently traveled to Maryland Deathfest for their very first North American appearance. If a blisteringly hot afternoon ruled by oppressive daylight isn’t your preferred setting for esoteric black metal, you’re not alone. But if you wisely crawled out to the Edison Lot to catch their opening performance, you were treated to a sneak preview of their forthcoming LP, Black Sun Unbound. A hellstorm of scorched riffs that provoke whiplash and thought, Black Sun Unbound is an inspired progression from the menace and mystique of 2013’s Almighty Arcanum. Below, listen to Denouncement Pyre paint our galaxy’s dying star black in their new title track, and catch vocalist/guitarist Decaylust’s snarled thoughts on MDF and pursuing the left hand path. Revere the Pyre!
Decibel: How was the experience of playing in the sunshine at MDF?
Decaylust: “MDF was a worthy experience, for sure. We had been wanting to play the U.S. for a long time but the right circumstances were never available until now. The show itself was really wild and unbound. Although we were on early on day four, a good number of supporters, curious folks, and new faces came out to witness the show. We had only played once before during the day and that was indoors, so the environment we found ourselves in was definitely new. I wasn’t aware of that at all during the show though; the performance itself and reaction from the crowd surpassed our expectations, so we felt like those who attended got to see what we are about.”
What’s the lyrical theme the title track, and how does it relate to the album’s concept as a whole?
“The black sun is a symbol of illumination on the shadowside. It aligns with the left hand path, the subconscious. Whereas the sun traditionally represents light and life, the black sun is a gateway to darkness and death. The title track explores this concept with the view of breaking out from the mundane shackles that keep man as merely man, confined to a destiny of mediocrity and failure; to arise the bestial spirit within that would urge one to seek his own path; to plunge into the darkness that awakens the subconscious and unlocks doors to worlds beyond. Outside of the limit is the limitless. Each track on the album explores this concept, which I would refer to as the black sun unbound. As a song, “Black Sun Unbound” is one of the more obscure and unpredictable tracks on the album. For this reason, it was perfect as the title track.”
A quote on your press release mentioned experimentation on this record. What studio or songwriting experiments made their way into this title track?
“We approached the song writing with a totally open mind and no preconceived ideas of how the album should sound. We wanted to remove the boundaries that had defined the band in the past and as a result there are moments that made it onto the album that we had not predicted ourselves. In the context of the whole album, [“Black sun Unbound”] is certainly one of those moments. A lot of the songs have different structures from what we have traditionally used, each song has its own identity so the material varies a lot, between fast and slow, shorter tracks and longer tracks, instrumental sections, etc. The title track is represented by those ideas perfectly.
“Overall, BSU is the longest album we have recorded so far, so the sheer amount of hours that went into writing, rehearsing, and recording surpassed every effort we had made previously.
In the studio we used instruments, percussion, samples, etc. that we have never explored previously. We spent a whole day using contact mics and various gear to record scrap metal, bells, vocal effects, things that we added to the tracks later on. It added new dimensions and transformed some of the raw ideas we had laid down. We also included an instrumental track called “Transform the Aether” where a mate of ours recorded synthesizers and other effects using gear from his power electronics project, which is something I have been keen to experiment with for a long time. We took the approach that no idea was not worth trying. As a result of this thinking the album has a lot of depth compared to earlier material and there are things that may reveal themselves only after multiple listens. The way the album transformed into something we had not foreseen certainly surprised us.”
Catch Denouncement Pyre on tour in Australia when they release their upcoming tour dates, and pre-order Black Sun Unbound for the modest Left Hand Path entry-fee of $6.66 in advance of its July 22nd release from Hells Headbangers.