Interview with UK death metal band Cruciamentum

Today I spoke with one of the best new death metal bands in the Uk, Cruciamentum. Check it out:

First off congrats on the new ep sounds killer – if I am not mistaken Priory Studios is a pretty legendary studio right? How was it recording there?
D.L.: We’ve worked with Greg at Priory Studios at some point on every release we’ve done. We keep going back because it is a great studio, Greg is easy to work with and not only does he understand the music, but he’s open to experimentation and working collaboratively with us.

The Absu cover is pretty sick – how did you guys decide to cover Descent to Acheron?
D.L.: It’s a song we’ve played parts of in our rehearsal room since we started the band. Barathrum V.I.T.R.I.O.L. and Temples of Offal played a big part in influencing Cruciamentum, and once we decided to record a cover it was a natural choice.

If I am not mistaken you guys have been going for about 10 years now. What would you say have been the highlights of being in the band to date?
D.L.: To me personally, our greatest achievement was to release Charnel Passages. The album took a long time to write and it wasn’t an easy process. It seems safe now it’s been released for a few years to say that I feel quite proud of it, it represents a musically and conceptually matured version of Cruciamentum – of what we were building towards on the earlier releases and a mark of quality to which we must adhere to in the future.

If I am right most of you guys have had experience in other death metal bands before Cruciamentum, why do you think you have made it work with this line up versus previous bands?
D.L.: Our experience isn’t limited to death metal but we have also played in other metal bands. Success is subjective and can’t be measured – though I didn’t get to tour with previous bands, I still think I achieved what I wanted to at the time with them which means they’re still a success in my eyes. They’re important steps in our musical evolution. As for Cruciamentum – I think that it worked out because it was the first time for many of us that we were in a band where we as a collective had similar tastes, attitude and ideas as to how a band should be musically, and conceptually. The physical distance between the members and the money, time and traveling involved means that whilst it slows us down and limits what we can do, there’s no-one in the band who is a deadweight because the requirements to be in the band mean that only someone truly dedicated could be involved.

The first song we wrote was “Rotten Flesh Crucifix” which was about the Catherine Wheel, a medieval instrument of torture and execution.

Cruciamentum means torture and pain in Latin right? Who came up with the band and what does it represent to you guys?
D.L.: Torture or torment, but yes. The band name was my idea, at the start of the band the lyrics were less reflective and focused around blasphemy and anti-religious topics. The first song we wrote was “Rotten Flesh Crucifix” which was about the Catherine Wheel, a medieval instrument of torture and execution. It seemed to make sense to take a name which summed up that theme and in a language which conveyed it in a time appropriate fashion. That said, the name doesn’t feel obsolete now – it still very much sums up a large portion of our themes and has a certain obscurity and mystique to it.

Do you guys have a world view (political or religious) that you subscribe to?
D.L.: Philosophically we all to varying degrees view the world in a way that mirrors the band’s themes, but we would never consider ourselves an ideological band.

It’s difficult to pinpoint what it is about the Midlands which made it the breeding ground for heavy music

I presume you guys are based in the West midlands right? why do you think so many legendary bands have come from the Midlands (Sabbath, Priest etc)
D.L.: Actually, no – not any more. I still live in the Midlands at the moment, but the rest of the band is spread across the country, and actually now we’re spread across two countries. It’s difficult to pinpoint what it is about the Midlands which made it the breeding ground for heavy music that it is. I believe many of those bands cite the fact that the area being a very working class industrial place bred a need for a harder form of escapism as the “flower power” idealism of that period didn’t speak to the average working class person. When you take that into consideration it does make sense, Birmingham is not a city where the idealism of late 60s California translates.

We’ve been very lucky to be signed to two labels that have done well by us

How did the record deal with Profound Lore come about? What’s been the most noticeable plus side of working with them so far?
D.L.: We had been in contact with Chris for some years prior to singing with Profound Lore and he had from the beginning shown an interest in signing us. We were happy with our old label Nuclear Winter until it folded, but when that happened we didn’t really consider anyone else and simply contacted Chris to see if the offer was still open. We’ve been very lucky to be signed to two labels that have done well by us. Both have been nothing but supportive and honest to us and provided us with everything that we asked for.

What’s been the biggest show the band has done to date?
D.L.: Probably playing the main stage at Netherlands Deathfest. Unfortunately due to technical problems and very little setup time it was probably the worst show we’ve ever played. I personally prefer smaller, more intimate shows but it would be good to return at some point to right the wrong.

Do you guys have a bucket list of countries you want to play? I know I would love to see you play NYC
D.L.: We actually played NYC back in 2012 at the first Martyrdoom festival. We’d love to return though! As for countries we’d like to play… Australia, and generally South America, Asia and more of Eastern Europe.

What can we expect from Cruciamentum in 2018?
D.L.: 2018 will likely be a quiet year for us. We’ll concentrate on finishing writing our second album which we hope to start recording at the end of the year.

Any final words?
D.L.: Thanks for your support. Anyone wishing to get in touch with us can do at cruciamentum.uk@googlemail.com, and we’ve got plenty of merch available at http://cruciamentum.bigcartel.com/

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