Sludge crushers Lord Dying upped the ante significantly on their new album Mysterium Tremendum and came out a more-mature band for it. Mysterium Tremendum takes the deathly sludge they practiced on their first two records—2013’s Summon the Faithless and 2015’s Poisoned Altars—and takes it on a progressive journey through creative songwriting and rich atmospheres.
Look no further than “Freed From the Pressures of Time,” one of the album’s most enthralling cuts. Its slow build into soaring melodies and heavier sludge is extremely gratifying, feeling like a journey was accomplished over the song’s runtime. You can hear the new song now alongside an interview with band mastermind/vocalist/guitarist Erik Olson.
Mysterium Tremendum is out on April 26. You can pre-order it here.
This is the third full-length Lord Dying record. How do you feel that the band has evolved since your first two records—Summon the Faithless and Poisoned Altars—to Mysterium Tremendum?
From 2012 until 2017 we were on the road pretty much constantly and got to share the stage with a lot of incredible musicians. We started out with a penchant for the heavy and brooding doom-laden sludge but with Mysterium Tremendum we didn’t want to let any specific genre define the music. It’s a concept record and we wanted to explore sonically different outlets without any boundaries. Ultimately, the result is something more progressive than anything we’ve done before.
Mysterium Tremendum is a record about death. What was going on in the minds and lives of the members of Lord Dying when you wrote the album?
During the writing process, we lost [guitarist] Chris’ [Evans] younger sister Amber unexpectedly, which was absolutely devastating. I came extremely close to losing my mother due to complications with her chemo treatment and [drummer] Chase [Manhattan] lost a former bandmate, so death was something on all of our minds. However, Mysterium Tremendum means so much more to us than simply death. It’s encompassing of all things, the journey of life and what, if anything, happens after. It was cathartic to make the album and we’re very pleased with the result.
This is the most diverse Lord Dying record to date—where did you find the inspiration to incorporate things like clean vocals, psychedelia and more progressive influence?
We always wanted to make a concept record and didn’t want to let a single genre define the album. We took it song by song and meticulously put everything under the microscope, adding what we felt was needed for each part. Sometimes that was clean vocals, synth, acoustic guitar or a death metal growl. It completely depended on the part. We wanted to think outside the box and push ourselves way outside of our comfort zones.
Decibel is premiering the song “Freed From the Pressures of Time” today. Can you shed some light on what the process of writing and recording it was like?
We were extremely prepared for the recording. We did all the pre-production ourselves and knew where every track needed to go, like a jig-saw puzzle. We recorded it with Mike Plotnikoff at West Valley Studio in LA and he killed it. The writing, as with everything else on the album, was done in Portland at our home studio piecing together everything part by part. Adding harmonies, doubled guitars, synth, drums and eventually vocals. This one is a pretty experimental journey for us but it’s a good example of the direction we take on the new album. Enjoy!