Torture Ascendancy 1307 are a five piece technical/melodic/brutal/blackened death metal band from South Central Pennsylvania. They debuted in 2012 with a self-titled debut, which they promptly followed with the release of a two song EP. Shortly after, the Torture Ascendancy 1307 all but went dormant. TA1307 cocalist Chrisom Infernium says that they were “writing and playing out some,” as well as dealing with some lineup changes, he admits that he himself took a bit of a hiatus while he finished work on the sophomore album from Veilburner, his other band.
But despite numerous setbacks, D.E.M.O.S., Torture Ascendancy 1307’s sophomore album, is finally here.
Infernium says having D.E.M.O.S. finished and out into the world “feels like a weight has been lifted off [the band’s] shoulders.
“[D.E.M.O.S.] captures who we were before, who we are now and some hints of where we are moving with our sound,” says Infernium. “We are extremely happy to finally get these songs into the hands of the people who have supported us over the years and also to those who have not heard of Torture Ascendancy 1307 before.”
Compared to their self-titled debut, Infernium explains that “D.E.M.O.S. is a collection of our writing, hopefully people can hear the sound evolving as they listen to it. I totally recommend the first album to people, it’s more on the death metal side of things but we are still very proud of those songs and ‘Phosphorus Crown’ was on it, we just loved the newer mix Mephisto did with it that we wanted to include it on D.E.M.O.S. also. The first album had a lot of our founding guitarists writing on it which is great and more of my writing influence musically, and really captures our youth and ambitions for what we wanted to be, but didn’t quite have the vision yet to what that exactly was. All but one of us was into black metal at the time and it was lacking that atmosphere which I think was good at the time but reflecting on it now really held us back. We are currently trying to update some of those songs into our live set because as I said earlier, Don has really brought a different life to the songs and I think musically they will be crafted more to what we are now so we are excited to do that also.
“D.E.M.O.S. definitely feels like a proper review, to me it shows we have aged and have found a sound that you can hear the influences throughout but also doesnt allow you to exactly pin point who or what we are paying homage to. With TA we seem to confuse the genre crowds who like to stick with one label etc etc. We play on a black metal show and we are too death metal and vice versa. We like to think of it as a good problem to have!”
Regarding their various influences, Infernium says: “We all listen to very different stuff . . . Don is a Celtic Frost die hard which you can hear when he’s playing the rhythm sections in ‘I, Voidforger’ and ‘In The Womb’ as examples. [Bassist] J is a Cannibal Corpse and Obscura die hard while the three of us remaining are more into the obscure side of things, We all like the bands mentioned and stuff but I like DSO and Leviathan, I really have been jamming on Trepaneringsritualen as of late and got Isaiah [drums] hugely obsessed with Portal. I would say even if it’s not in our music, Immortal and Absu also play a large part of influence on Isaiah and TJ [guitars]. For myself I listen to everything, I think to be able to make music original is to listen to things outside the genre or there comes to be more repeating of what’s been done rather than being original. I listen to anything from Florence & The Machine to The Killers. I know everyone except Jasin jam on other things, J though he is our resident metal only, murder slash kill guy in the band.”
Infernium proves to be more elusive when it comes to revealing the meaning behind the new album’s title. “It is an acronym and metaphor that plays into us releasing this more as a collection of our years versus being a true sophomore album,” the vocalist says. “It’s only seven songs so I thought rather than demos or self titled we could add some mystery to it . . . Over time it will be abundantly clear why it is called that within the lore and concepts of the universe I have created with the lyrics between Torture Ascendancy and Veilburner.”
Infernium explains how the thematic concepts behind Torture Ascendancy 1307’s music “is tied in some way to the over arching themes and concepts of the Veilburner universe. The songs are based in esoteric philosophies of Judaic Mysticism, Gnosticism—basically the whole occult gamut. There is a mythos, it’s Lovecraftian in a sense because I am using a base of real world philosophies and religions and creating my own mythos between the two bands. There are stories that begin within the Veilburner world and end in The Torture Ascendancy world and vice versa. ‘I, Voidforger’ and ‘In The Womb’ both are heavily influenced by Gnosticism and the great Ildabaoth while also allowing my own perception and understanding to breathe within that mythos. ‘Amon Morgue Matrix’ is a play on Albert Pike’s Morals and Dogma, The 3 ruling over the 22, Saturn worship and the idea that while we are alive in this dimension, this flesh we are prisoners of our own ego, our own fate. We allowed ourselves to become this, how do we overcome it?”
Meanwhile, musically speaking, Torture Ascendancy 1307’s new album is a technical and memorable and versatile mindblower of a record. Always unpredictable, but never pretentious; consistently rewarding, but by no means pandering, D.E.M.O.S. will sink its teeth into you and pump you full of addictive poison, too. When asked how they maintained such demonic energy and dark creativity, Infernium, after expressing his gratitude over the sentiment, says: “I think we are all just passionate about what we are doing and when you are playing around other gifted musicians it usually pushes you to be the best player you can be. We have been doing hour long sets lately and even covered Vital Remains’ “Dechristianize” (!!!) and man I feel like I was hit by a bus after we are done but the energy that the crowd shows us just keeps us going . . . I am in no way an egoist or high on myself but I am extremely proud of our live show and it really is something to see. We encapsulate an extreme metal band playing like we are a grind band and the flip side to that is the fact these songs aren’t thirty seconds long which means the chaos is more like four to five minutes long with next to no breaks in-between. I think with all of that and the respect we try to show the crowds who come out, that they see that, for them to be into us we need to be into us, and I like to think that we accomplish that by making them feel like they are apart of something when they are listening to us and watching us live.”
Torture Ascendancy 1307’s second album D.E.M.O.S. will soon see a run of fifty CD, self-released by the band. They’ve got two CD release shows coming up, too.