UK deathbringers Celestial Sanctuary first demanded my attention when I heard their Soul Diminished record in 2021. It was scathingly old school, doomed without being slow, and drenched in reverb. Two killer American labels that know their fucking death metal (Redefining Darkness and Sewer Rot Records) worked on that album. Two years later, Church Road Records reanimated the record for a redux version. Now Celestial Sanctuary return with their Church Road allies with that album’s savage successor, Insatiable Thirst For Torment.
Today, we’re going to dig deep into the pungent viscera of this killer upcoming record before its release next Friday. Below, Celestial Sanctuary vocalist/guitarist Thomas Cronin reveals the bloody birth of each song on the record in a track by track dissection. Go behind the music and into the guts ‘n’ innards with a band that has toured with American heavyweights Undeath and Frozen Soul. Press play to hear the singles they have unearthed so far, and scroll below to read further.
Trapped Within the Rank Membrane
This song is about an uncontrollable urge to burst out of your own body. Leaving nothing but a fleshy specter that can’t communicate in our dimension, so it roams the earth in misery for eternity. This is the spiritual sequel/conclusion to “Soul Diminished.” Essentially us, shedding our skin of being “just another old school death metal band.” This was the first song written for the record and was always intended to be the opener. I’m a big fan on albums that start with a single riff. It may be a long song but I think it’s a perfect introduction to the record.
Glutted with Chunder
It’s about eating so much of your own sick, that your stomach expands to an uncontrollable size—so it explodes and kills EVERYONE. The land is flooded with bile, blood and ooze. People are drowning in it and can’t escape. The physics make fuck all sense, but who cares? For this one, we took a lot of inspiration from “Blood and Thunder” by Mastodon but putting it through a death metal filter. That and wanting to create a song with a totally “standard’”song structure. We’ve been playing this one live for a while and it’s a tonne of fun!
Swivel Eyed and Gurning in the Shadows
This is about some pathetic, crazed perverted creature. Always on the cusp of committing some horrible acts, but they’re too timid to follow through. So retreat to their disgusting hovel and fantasize about it instead. Then they just die from lack of hygiene ‘n’ shit. Not to mention all they’ve been living off is is their own phlegm and spit. There was no real intention behind this song, and was very much one we let steer itself to see where it would go. It turned out to be one of the more intense and heaviest songs on the record and I think it pulls a lot from all corners of the death metal universe, while still sounding cohesive.
Meandering Stream of Foul Fluid
This one is about weary explorer lost in some woods. It’s been days without food or water. They come across this small stream, the only problem is… it fucking STINKS and there’s obviously something strange at play here. Upon closer inspection, the babbling brook is in fact a stream of old flesh, blood, fluids of unknown origin and the occasional piece of bone. The stream starts to speak to the traveler and tells him to drink from it. As soon as he takes his first sip, it is revealed to him that this stream is thousands of years old and is in fact made of all the people who drank from it before him. He begins to hallucinate, and it causes him to have 10,000 orgasms at once and then he experiences 10,000 deaths in a split second. He dies, falls into the stream, dissolves and joins the other souls.
I always love songs that are bookended by the same intro/outro and that’s exactly what we did here. A few people thought the sorta haunting melody is a synth but it’s just a guitar drenched in reverb and delay. I’m not one to experiment with things like that so that was a first for me and it turned out to be exactly what I had in my head. The whole middle part of the song feels like a total gear shift for us as well—styles we’ve never really played in before, but it fits really well with the rest of the album. Even though it’s heavy as fuck, I think because of the intro/outro it offers a bit of an opportunity to rest before enduring the rest of the record.
Biomineralization (Cell Death)
This song is about a future society that has discovered that by harvesting the iron and copper from human blood, it creates the ultimate metal that’s perfect for weapons and armor. But this leads to people in lower classes inadvertently creating a black market for weaponized blood. Society collapses and the usual apocalyptic shit ensues. Every album needs at least a song that settles into a mid paced groove and sits there. This was fully intended to be a sledgehammer of a song. Would probably be easy to see we drew comparison from “Scourge of Iron” or “Evisceration Plague” by Cannibal Corpse, which honestly isn’t a million miles off. But it has far more in common with “Man in the Box” by Alice in Chains or “Sad But True” by Metallica. No denying those songs go stupid hard.
The Lurid Glow of a Dead, Burning Body
It’s about someone discovering they have a fetish for the sight and smell of a body while it’s burning. They satisfy that craving by taking on this sorta vigilante role and getting themselves off at the same time.
I feel the album in general has a lot more pace to it than our last album. It’s generally faster—dare I say leaning into the thrashier side of death (NOT a death thrash record!!!)—and this record leans into that the most I would say. Also that breakdown type bit towards the end of the song? My new favorite riff to play. Can’t wait to see necks break to that.
This song essentially planted the seed of the idea of the lyrical themes throughout the album, which are mostly about Greed, Waste and Temptation. I read a story about this Governor in Ecuador who taxed one of the native tribes to extremes. They eventually had enough of his shit, so they held him down and poured the molten silver and gold he so desperately wanted down his throat. Probably one of the most painful ways to die, as all the moisture inside of him evaporated instantly and cause his torso to explode. And that is obviously what directly influenced the artwork of the album.
I would say this is the song that’s going to turn a lot of heads when people are listening to the album. This one feels very new and fresh to me. Basically it started as a pure death doom song and was originally nearly 10 minutes and a lot slower. But then after a bunch of demo versions, I tried it sped up and it gave it this entirely new identity. It’s one that I’m most excited for people to hear. Plus one of my best friends Keir Atkinson contributed a guitar solo at the end. I absolutely love his style of playing, and it adds another dimension to the song/album which I don’t think people will be expecting.
Gutted With a Blunt Blade
This is a fast song about getting killed slowly… with a blunt and rusty blade. It takes so long to make a fatal wound that you die of horrible infections instead of losing blood or whatever.
We had to finish the album with the most intense, heaviest song of ours yet. Recording this song actually caused some injuries in the band. Most notably, I damaged my intercostal muscles while recording the vocals… which I’m still recovering from now. Not gonna lie, I kinda (jokingly) dread the amount of strain this one is going to physically put on us when we play it live. Plus, James has a tendency to speed things up when the adrenaline is flowing, so yeah—it might actually KILL US!!!