Last week we premiered Deliverance of the Godless Void, the abyssal new release from Finnish death masters Desolate Shrine. Since it’s really fuckin’ good, we’re posting it twice, this time with a brief interview with mastermind LL. If you listened to 2015’s Heart of the Netherworld, you know Desolate Shrine play cavernous death-doom that shapes distortion and dissonance into poisoned dreams. When “The Primordial One” blasts out of the chasm, it’s a warning of dangers to come. “Unmask the Face of False” lures the listener in with disembodied guitar before collapsing the sepulcher with a signature dirge. As the ten minute song unfolds, the keyboards hover like ritual incense over the murk as it crawls and pummels to the track’s last gasp. Later, closer “…Of Hell” features the band in full-on baroque nightmare mode, where ambient bleeds into Gothic horror and a crescendo of blackened tremolos. While Heart of the Netherworld was a personal favorite in 2015, Deliverance of the Godless Void offers significantly more groove and primitive delights without sacrificing Desolate Shrine’s supernaturally bleak atmosphere.
Play Desolate Shrine’s Deliverance of the Godless Void below, before it’s officially released from Dark Descent Records on Friday, November 10th. Also check out LL’s thoughts on the album’s appropriately heavy themes, the soundtracks that inspire him, and the possibility of Desolate Shrine summoning the primordial ones in a live setting. But first: Enter the godless void.
Did you have any goals regarding the direction you wanted to take the sound of this record after The Heart of the Netherworld?
LL: Yes, it was premeditated to some extent. [2012’s] The Sanctum [of Human Darkness] was a conscious effort to do some really brooding, depressing music. It was almost masochistic the way I wanted the songs to have no hope nor resolution. Of course there are some cathartic moments, but they’re rare. The Heart of the Netherworld was in a sense a continuation of The Sanctum, but it has a bit more “traditional” songs and riffs as the previous route was already traversed long enough. This time we choose be more direct. Yes, there are long songs this time too, but the main goal was indeed to stop sulking and instead hit hard. “The Waters of Man,” “The Primordial One,” and “Demonic Evocation Prayer” are all quite simple and straightforward on our scale.
Is there a lyrical theme that connects the songs on the record?
LL: Deliverance from the Godless Void is not a concept album per se, but most of the songs share overlaying themes. To put it short, it is about facing overwhelming challenges and odds, tear oneself apart, and rebuild from there.
You’ve talked in the past about how ambient music and soundtracks inspire you more than extreme metal. What are a few soundtracks that impressed you?
LL: Lately I haven´t been listening to soundtracks that much, since I´ve been busy writing material for two bands. These periods do not match well with intense music listening. Anyway, what comes to mind is the Bloodborne OST, and works by Wojciech Kilar and Abel Korzeniowski. A soundtrack’s mission, first and foremost, is to create images and scenery. To tell stories without a single word. I find it inspiring and intriguing.
Your cover artwork is intense and emotive. Is there a story or narrative in your mind that accompanies that image?
LL: It visualizes the concept of the album on quite an abstract level: Darkness, Fire, and Void.
Desolate Shrine hasn’t been a touring band in the past. Any chance you’ll play live to support this release?
LL: There´s a small change for live performances. We are talking about a steady live line-up to rehearse with at some point if everything goes well.