It’s no easy task to follow up a ruthless four-way split with Gatecreeper, Homewrecker and Scorched, but Philadelphia death dealers Outer Heaven are up to the task. After over a year of musical silence, the quartet have returned with their most vile effort yet, a new song called “Into Hellfire.”
Leading with riffs that dig in like meat hooks and a bombastic rhythm section before vocalist Austin Haines enters with cavernous gutturals, Outer Heaven have taken the hardcore-tinged death/doom style they conceived on 2015 EP Diabolus Vobiscum and made it bigger. That growth is underscored by a guest appearance from Full of Hell’s Dylan Walker, who delivers a blistering verse on the song.
Listen to “Into Hellfire” below and read a brief interview with Haines about the new song and progress on Outer Heaven’s first LP, expected in 2018.
Your last release was a 4-way split with Gatecreeper, Homewrecker and and Scorched, over a year ago. How has your sound developed in the time since the split and your previous EP, Diabolus Vobiscum?
Our contribution to the 4-way split, in my opinion, was us really discovering our sound and moving forward from the Diabolus Vobiscum EP into a realm that we had really been striving for all this time. We started off playing more of a death/doom style that has transformed into what we are now. I know many people at the release of the 4-way split considered each band’s contribution to be some of their best work to date. The overall reception of that split really drove us to dig in and get to work on our upcoming LP.
New song “Into Hellfire” features Full of Hell’s Dylan Walker contributing guest vocals. How did that collaboration happen, and why did you choose Walker to be featured on the track?
Our guitar player (Jon Kunz) and I have known Dylan for many years, even before he joined the ranks of Full Of Hell. I know I can speak for my entire band when I say that we have always held Dylan in high regard as a dude and a musician. When recording vocals for “Into Hellfire,” I was hitting a bit of a wall on what later became Dylan’s vocal part. I was listening back one day and thought about maybe having a buddy from another band do vocals over the part, so I asked him if he would be interested in contributing. He agreed and, of course, crushed it. I have always dug the idea of bands collaborating on full albums, and always thought it would be killer to have that opportunity to do it with another band at some point in the future.
In the time since Diabolus was released, you’ve played with or been announced to play with a laundry list of notable bands including Gorguts, Thanatology, Deicide, Cryptopsy, Belphegor, Noisem and Immolation. Has playing a large volume of shows affected your sound at all?
We all consider the idea of playing live to be the overall reward for our blood, sweat and tears that we pour into this music and this band. We have always been very fortunate to have a lot of great friends in bands and promoters all over the country and the world. They have all really helped us grow and put on for us in a big way. I never dreamed that this band would get to play some of the shows we have, and it has only gotten better over time. We do our best to get out and tour when we can and push away from the tri-state as often as possible. I think everyone will see a real push once we drop our upcoming LP.
Will “Into Hellfire” be on a new Outer Heaven record, and if so, is there anything you can say about that record?
As of right now, “Into Hellfire” is slated to be on the upcoming LP in 2018. We released this version with the video as a “teaser,” if you will, of what’s to come from Outer Heaven. We have about 10 songs in the bag at the moment, with more and more being written every week. I think when it comes down to it, we will end up with too many songs and have to pick and choose what all works best together. I will say that an LP should be expected in 2018. We also have some killer show/fest announcements happening over the next few months!