Friday, October 11, 2019

an interview with Consummation

With a line-up that includes former members of Impetuous Ritual and Weakling, Brisbane's Consummation should be on the radar of anyone with a soft spot for darkness and evil. Since their first album The Great Solar Hunter and a compilation of their early recordings were both released this year, I reached out to the band to find out about their origins. Guitarist/vocalist Craig Young was kind enough to answer my questions.

Dreams of Consciousness: Please introduce your band - who are you, where are you from, and how would you describe the music you make?

Consummation is a Black/Death metal project from Australia. It is a structural union of dissonant, aphotic textures along with sombre, epic passages. I personally consider our approach to be a modern take on traditional metal. An expansion on the genre’s foundations as apposed to a betrayal.

DoC: What does "consummation" mean to you?

The name was chosen as an apt rubric for the philosophical and practical approach to the project. The meaning, "ritual of completion", aligns both thematically and in terms of the attitude taken when approaching the creative process.

DoC: Please give a brief history of Consummation - when did you form, and what brought you together?

The project’s inception happened sometime back in 2009, but things never really solidified until 2011 when Joel and I recorded the self titled demo. Song writing continued sporadically from that point. We experimented with live shows here and there, juggled a few line up changes and then sometime in 2015 decided to scale things back and focus on recording for a while. I didn’t expect at the time that this would create such a long hiatus in terms of playing shows, but here we are. I also approached Dave at around this time and he agreed to get involved in the project. We then knuckled down and produced Ritual Severance and The Great Solar Hunter in the years that followed. Now my focus has shifted back to playing live.

DoC: In June your first full-length, The Great Solar Hunter, was released by Profound Lore. Where was it recorded? What were your intentions with this album? What do you want people to experience while listening to it?

Due to the nature of the line up, the album was recorded in three different locations. Dave recorded the drums with his brother at a studio in Tasmania, John recorded his leads at a rehearsal space in Oakland and Joel handled the rest here in Brisbane.

My intention was to create the best album possible within the limitations of my own musical ability and patience. Considering the length of time spent on the song writing process, I’d say I posses much more of the latter than I originally thought, as the songs were ruthlessly tweaked over a long period of time. Music should be a very personal experience. This certainly isn’t a party album.

DoC: What can you tell me about the lyrical themes of The Great Solar Hunter? To what does the title refer?

The album covers topics such as the birth of man’s consciousness within the Garden of Eden, individuation through alchemical metaphor, Jungian shadow integration, the mythological motif of violence as a method of transcendence and of course the destructive yet cleansing nature of the hero archetype. Thematically, at the heart of each song there is a strong sense of overcoming the self. Something akin to Nietzsche’s will to power.

The title of the album was lifted from Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces and is certainly a fitting title for the overarching themes. As a listener, when an album resonates with me then my next step is to go to the lyrics and explore the themes. I encourage those who find themselves giving a shit to do the same.

DoC: John Gossard of the US bands Weakling and Dispirit is a regular contributor to your releases. How did he get involved with Consummation? How does his location affect the writing and recording process?

I first met John back in 2011 when I was drumming with Impetuous Ritual. We supported Dispirit in Oakland while doing a west coast tour on our way to the infamous final installment of the Rites of Darkness Festival. We met for a second time in 2015 around Maryland Death Fest, again while I was in the US playing with Impetuous Ritual. We’ve stayed in contact ever since.

I’ve always thought that maintaining the more traditional aspects of heavy metal, like guitar solos, to be important when taking on a sound that’s a little more ‘modern’ so to speak. Dead as Dreams has had a big influence on my song writing. It was one of the first albums that I had heard to seamlessly incorporate melancholic yet epic undertones to suffocating music. Not only is this something that has always attracted me to certain music but it’s also something that I have incorporated, and will continue to incorporate in Consummation’s music. He was an obvious choice for me.

DoC: This year also saw the release of The Fires of Calcination, which compiles your first two EPs. What brought about this release?

Mattia of Sentient Ruin approached me a while back in regards to the band’s activity. The discussion slowly evolved into the concept of doing a compilation release of the early material. I had wanted to get those songs onto wax since their inception and Mattia has a reputation for enthusiasm, reliability and producing quality so we decided to go ahead with it. The end result didn’t disappoint.

DoC: Tell me about the scene in Brisbane - what is it like? Who would you describe as your peers? Would you say your location or surroundings affect your music?

Aside from a few obvious names, there isn’t really a great deal in Brisbane that interests me at the moment. Having said that, I’m not the best person to speak on the subject, as I am far from proactive when it comes to keeping tabs on these things. Brisbane has a small handful of people creating most of the noteworthy output when it comes to underground metal and for varying reasons, no one seems to be too interested in playing shows these days.

DoC: What's the biggest misconception about Australia that you'd like to correct?

I wouldn’t exactly say that I’d like to correct this misconception, as it’s a fairly amusing one, but we don’t constantly live in fear of predatory animals. There isn’t a venomous snake or a bird-eating spider around every corner. These creatures want nothing to do with us and, for the most part, you would have to actively seek them out for an encounter to occur. Having said that, it’s inevitable that you will see something deadly at least once in your life.

DoC: What's next for Consummation?

We are currently working towards playing live which, realistically speaking, may not happen until early next year but we are more or less ready and willing. The initial writing stages have also begun for our sophomore album.

Consummation on Facebook

Consummation on Bandcamp

The Great Solar Hunter on Bandcamp (through Profound Lore)

Fires of Calcination on Bandcamp (through Sentient Ruin)

Thank You, Consume Again:

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