Interview with Prosanctus Inferi

Prosanctus Inferi was formed by Jake, who also played in bands like Black Funeral and Father Befouled. However, what is presented on Prosanctus Inferi is twisted blackened death metal, reminding fans of bands such as Profanatica and the likes. We talk to Jake, mastermind behind the band to find out more about the band and their art…

HMT: Greetings Jake. Your debut full length album, Pandemonic Ululations of Vesperic Palpitation received much praise since its release last year. Was this expected on your part, and how does it feel to have your creations being so well-received?

I’ve seen largely good reviews for it, but I’ve also seen some that don’t like it at all. The luke-warm ones are worst who don’t seem to have an opinion one way or the other. Most reviews are completely ridiculous and totally off-point, but those who seem to spend some time with it seem to “get it” the most. It’s frustrating to read a review that clearly indicates that the listener/reviewer only spun it once, or twice, and gave his off the cuff opinion on it. It’s also frustrating to read reviews complaining about how the vocals are buried, or the drums aren’t pounding enough. This is caused in large part by the LP having a different mix than the CD. I don’t dislike the CD’s mix but the LP’s mix is much bigger, fuller, and has the individual elements of the sound articulated better.

The thing that managed to catch my attention, apart from the extremely long album title was the band logo, looking like a mess yet looking closely enough one can almost detect the logo in the midst. What is the meaning behind the name of the band, and how did the logo come about?

The name is latin, and is somewhat non-sensical. I’ve been told it doesn’t really work and doesn’t mean much of anything as it is, which is fine, as it’s intention wasn’t necessarily to be linguistically accurate, but it essentially alludes to Divine, or Sacred things being buried, or below. The latin context of it I think gives it a very rudimentary meaning, and can make the statement largely subjective, but points towards wanting anything divine, special, sacred, or not of the earth “below” it’s intended meaning. The logo I drew myself, and I’m glad you like it.

The music on Pandemonic Ululations of Vesperic Palpitation, apart from being raw, brutal and evil, has a certain sense of urgency on the riffs played, reminding me of bands such as Profanatica with the frantically trem picked riffs and high notes. How does one write something as twisted as the songs on the album?

I don’t know, I have a style similar to that I’ve developed that revolves around a primitive motif, similar to Profanatica, but I think has branched off into it’s own sort of expression. I have a pretty static standard for my riffs that each one sort of needs to meet in order to “qualify” it’s inclusion into new material. If something isn’t up to par it’s quickly thrown out. The requirements aren’t necessarily of a technical nature or anything, but if I can’t remember it after coming back to it then I figure it wasn’t worth remembering. I do write some things down, but only for the sake of mapping stuff out, and not because I fear I might forget it.

The album art on Pandemonic Ululations of Vesperic Palpitation was a piece by Francis Bacon. What was the reason behind choosing this piece as the album art, and what is the significance of the art to the music of the band?

I’ve been a admirer of Bacon’s for awhile, I always like to look at art with the idea in the back of my head that it could perhaps be used for something music wise. There’s a sort of abstract, absurd, other-worldly sensation to his art that I think fits our style. Honestly though I feel there are very few pieces of his that would have been good to use for album art. The two that are featured on that release are some of them.

During the recording of the album, Antichristus (R.I.P.) from Father Befouled was pulled in to handle the drums. How did that in any way affect the creative and songwriting aspects of the music on the album?

It actually affected it a lot. There was a lot to his bombastic, sort of expressive style that really shaped some of the strong structures. The previous drummer was very simple in his approach with the beats and fills. I’d always wanted a drummer who could do more with odd fills, odd timing, and weird blast patterns that Antichristus was able to do. He was really good at picking up the “movement” of a riff and working his patterns around that. Not a top-shelf sort of technical drummer, but very artistic and expressive in his approach.

With the band now down to only yourself for now, are there any intentions to bring in another drummer, and will fans of the band get to see Prosanctus Inferi perform live any time soon?

Oh yeah absolutely I’ve been rehearsing with a drummer for close to a year now and we have four new songs and two old ones that we’ve recorded for a release that will be out in the following months on Nuclear War Now! Productions. We’ve played two successful shows with this lineup and have three more scheduled. The new drummer’s name is Jeremy Spears and he is a significant improvement. His intensity and technical prowess are superb and is capable of handling anything I throw at him.

You are also active in the bands Father Befouled and Black Funeral, both bands with equally loyal followings and are also active, with both bands releasing full length albums last year. How did you manage to juggle your time among the 3 different bands?

Those bands have members that are spread out throughout the country, and my roles in them are largely of a supportive nature, so I haven’t had to devote a lot of time to writing, and organizing, and bringing things together in them. I hate to put it bluntly but my main approach to those projects is, what are we playing? How do I play it? Where do you want me to show up? Of course I put forth my appreciation of the material, and there’s significant involvement beyond that, but on the most basic of levels that’s how I approach those efforts. Prosanctus Inferi is, and always will be my main focus. My involvement in Black Funeral has also been null. I’ve yet to be on any release, we’ve only exchanged ideas thus far. The lineup for that was supposed to be Antichristus and myself, but after his departure / suicide I’ve been going back and forth with ideas with the remaining members. I hope to do something with it in the future. I have a lot of material written for it.

With Father Befouled being an extremely brutal and raw death metal band, and Black Funeral, a black metal/ambient band, what are the experiences like playing in 3 such different sounding bands?

Well as mentioned I have little to no creative input in the other projects, except save perhaps Black Funeral which I’ve a good deal of stuff written but have yet to do anything with. I can more or less play anything so I enjoy playing in all 3 bands so long as the style is the sort of thing I appreciate. I feel there’s little to no difference between REAL black and death metal, and that the only difference is in it’s approach and execution.

With Pandemonic Ululations of Vesperic Palpitations almost a year old now, what are the near future plans of Prosanctus Inferi?

After the new release on Nuclear War Now! Productions, we’ll start to work on a full length with my and Jeremy. There was plans to do a 7” with covers and older songs redone but I think I may scrap that idea. I’d still like to record the covers we have planned as bonus tracks at some point however. We’ve done Crucifier – Sodomy of Angels, and Corpse Molestation – Loathsomeness. I hope to record those at some point in the near future.

Prosanctus Inferi on the internet:

©2011 Heavy Metal Tribune | Hong Rui

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