The year has only just started and Relapse has already unveiled one of doom’s highlight for 2016: Lycus from Oakland already delivered a excellent debut 2 years ago with ‘Tempest’, but ‘Chasms’ is set to surpass that in every way. We got hold of their drummer Trevor Deschryhver to say some words about their take on funeral doom.
“Tempest” was already great, but with ‘Chasms” you’ve really made a huge leap forward. Where do you think that came from?
Tempest was a solid foundation for our sound and vision, but there were many obstacles that kept it from reaching it's full potential. By the time we started writing songs for Chasms, our line-up was stronger than it had ever been. The chemistry within the band was much better and we were generally more focused than before.
With its long, drawn out, often minimalistic compositions a genre like funeral doom is not the easiest to get into. What do you think is the trick to keep it interesting?
I think the best way to keep funeral doom interesting is to channel every bit of internal darkness to create something beautiful. It is a style of music that heavily relies on catharsis and passion. Without those things, the long songs begin to seem boring and contrived.
Contrary to what one generally thinks about doom, you’re not afraid to speed things up a little from time to time. Like for instance in Evoken or Disembowelment you can still feel the old school death metal roots.
Yeah, we have roots in all kinds of dark music, from post punk to black metal. It wouldn't really make sense for us to limit ourselves to the confines of a single genre. We like to speed things up at times without straying too far from the overall vision.
You’ve again chosen a cover painting by Paolo Girardi whose artwork you also used for Tempest and the cover for last year’s excellent ‘Four Phantoms’ by Bell Witch, my personal favorite for 2015. Where did you discover this artist?
We were introduced to Girardi's brilliant artwork through 20 Buck Spin, the label that released Tempest. Each of us were instantly fascinated by his portfolio and honored that he was interested in working with us. When it came time to prepare Chasms, we didn't hesitate to reach out to him. This time around, he was inspired to paint something a bit more haunting, depressive, and ethereal. I feel that his art is the perfect visual representation of the atmosphere on Chasms.
Together with acts like Loss and Bell Witch you’re at the forefront of a new wave of funeral doom in the US who are all incidentally also huge fans of each other’s music? You’ve also toured together on numerous occasions.
I've been a big fan of Loss since I was a teenager, so it was really great when they discovered our demo back in 2011 and offered to release it on their label, Graceless Recordings. They will be releasing the cassette version of Chasms very soon. We hope to play more shows with Loss and Bell Witch in the near future.
Any other stars on the rise we should watch out for?
Spectral Voice, Alaric, Ēōs, and Altar De Fey are all amazing.
Any plans to cross the ocean to Europe soon. It would be awesome to get you on Roadburn for instance.
There are currently no plans for us to tour Europe, but we'd love the opportunity.
I just want to say thanks to you and everyone else who has taken the time to give our music a listen. It means a lot to us. Cheers!