Dream Bloody Gore: Chuck Sherwood of Incantation

Banner by the illustrious friend o' goats Ellie Shvaiko

What happens when you ask extreme metal luminaries to crack open their dream journals and share their most memorable nightmares, dreams, hallucinations, and astral projections? Dream Bloody Gore. This month, Chuck Sherwood of death metal titans Incantation invites Decibel to crawl into his unconscious mind. In the immortal words of Chuck Schuldiner, “See past the dark and use your energy/Learn from these images/Thoughts that we call dreams.” Scream on, and dream on.

When interviewed for Decibel #154’s “Long Live Death” cover story, vocalist/guitarist John McEntee explained how bassist/lyricist/dreamweaver Chuck Sherwood shaped the thematic content and message of the band’s new world-ending LP, Profane Nexus (out August 11th from Relapse Records).

“[Profane Nexus‘] is focused on blasphemy, not any kind of continuous storyline,” McEntee shared. “Lyrically, some [songs] are bashing religion, there are ones that are more historical, and there’s one about a dream Chuck had. Chuck has these amazing ideas and concepts with his lyrics. It always blows my mind. He’s just a freak, you know?”

Ahead, Sherwood shares imagery usually reserved for therapy sessions while revealing the dream that inspired “Visceral Hexehedron” off Profane Nexus. Tie that studded bib on tight; I hope you’re hungry.

Chuck Sherwood (first on left) and John McKentee (first on right) with Incantation. photograph by Scott Kinkade.

Chuck Sherwood (Bassist of Incantation)

“Everyone can draw their own conclusions to explain what the subconscious shows. I use it for a lot of lyrical inspiration. Namely “Hellion’s Genesis” from Vanquish in Vengeance, “Portal Consecration” from Dirges of Elysium, and others that have yet to surface. If you can draw parallels from life experiences — bad food, sickness, a movie, being drunk or high, etcetera — they can easily be dismissed being a byproduct of those examples. But for those I find profound enough to write about, I can’t rightfully say where they stem from. To go in depth with “Visceral Hexehedron” off [Profane Nexus], it was “shown,” so to speak, as a bizarre vision, if that’s the right terminology.

“It was silence as if being under water. I stood in the center of a ceramic-tiled room coated in a residue like black mucus. I held my palms up to a light that centered over me and as I lowered my hands a human fetus was curled up in them. Without any hesitation or emotion I ate it, and my throat and chest expanded as it traveled down my body [to be digested]. From my skin surfaced these long, fine hairs that floated many feet around me, gently in the air. I reached for them and they all went taut instantly around my hand. As I pulled, they were attached to something within me that ripped through my skin painlessly. It revealed an indescribable shelled form, like a misshapen conch. I felt the area between my eyes get warm, and I awoke.

“Wild, right? Well, what better way to utilize the experience then to use it with Incantation, right? As for an explanation or meaning? I leave that up to you; I’m still baffled.”

In Decibel’s review of Profane Nexus, Dutch Pearce calls Incantation “living gods of underground death metal.” Absolutely zero argument here, and I enter the “Messiah Nostrum” video above to support the case. Press play on that sucker, and get a preview of the band’s best material in years before it cracks the planet in half on August 11th. Pre-order from Relapse Records HERE, and follow Incantation on Facebook.

Incantation photograph below is courtesy of Crisrock Photography. Check out some amazing live footage at the following links: Https://www.facebook.com/crisrockphotography and Http://www.irock.cl

John McEntee (second from left) and Chuck Sherwood (second from right) with Incantation in Chile. Photograph courtesy of Crisrock Photography (Https://www.facebook.com/crisrockphotography/ and Http://www.irock.cl)