When Michal Kusak (ex-Imperial Foeticide, Heaving Earth, Despise), Frank Šerák (ex-Garbage Disposal, Intervalle Bizzare, Fleshless) and Jirka Zajic (too many to mention) first got together in 2006 under the Supreme Conception banner, it was supposed to be a one-and-done collaboration; something to do during the aligned downtime provided by their other bands. And that’s exactly what happened! The Prague-based trio released the Liturgy of Spiritual Disturbance mini-album in 2009 and promptly went back to their main gigs and the rest of their lives, leaving the Supreme Conception name and their brand of brutal tech-death stamped into the foreheads of those lucky enough to have stumbled across the band whilst sifting through the underbrush of the saturated sub-genre.
A decade later, vocalist Kusak felt the Supreme Conception itch again and hit up Heaving Earth guitarist Martin Meyer about reviving the project. Joined by Californian drummer Aaron Stechauner (Interloper, ex-Rings of Saturn, Abiotic), Supreme Conception were back in business, but at a slightly more technical and less brutal clip. Last week saw the band’s official return to active duty with the release of the Empires of the Mind EP, five songs of classy and flashy warp speed death metal that kisses the cosmos, flirts with the stars, pokes at human tropes, shakes its head at the challenges facing the hard sciences and takes musical cues from the likes of Obscura, Beyond Creation, Gorod, Gorguts and the like. Today, we’re running a stream of Empires of the Mind as well as the stylised promo video for one of the EP’s tracks, “Beyond the Antediluvian.” When we cornered the band for a brief quote about their stellar new EP, they hit us back, saying:
“Empires of the Mind represents the beginning of a new chapter for us, the birth of a real band. Musically, Supreme Conception is a different entity compared to what we were on our early material, but building on a greater concept that started years ago and will continue in the future. The new songs have been crafted on two continents and the journey to this record has been almost epic. And we are glad we can present the outcome of this journey. While the music on our new record is still very intense, the message is quite optimistic actually. But no pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars or sailed to an uncharted land or opened a new heaven to the human spirit – if we dare to quote Helen Keller here.
“Empires Of The Mind is dedicated to the remarkable discoveries and inventions of the past, both distant and more recent, as well as to the visionaries who dare to create the future. There are a whirlwind of possibilities that may determine the fate of humanity. And despite the noise in the world, we may as well be going through the greatest transition in history, which might lead to a sharp departure from all civilizations of the past. One of the questions that we are asking on this record is whether it is the destiny of our civilization to become the gods we once worshipped. Because we now have the ability to create and destroy on a truly grand scale. And it is science, not prayers or incantations, that will give us the divine powers.”
Damn, you gotta love a death metal band that gives it up to Helen Keller while simultaneously (and however inadvertently) giving a subtly solid middle finger to the state governments in Tennessee, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana and wherever else rat-fucking politicians have politicized a global health crisis and clamber on with vaccine misinformation, ostensibly prolonging a pandemic that could have been under control months ago. Enjoy, while you can…
Empires of the Mind is available now.
Mixed and mastered by Chris Donaldson (Cryptopsy, The Grid Productions).
Cover artwork by Orion Landau.
Guest backing vocal appearance by Jaroslav Petrik (Elysium, ex-Despise).