Answered by Tomâs (guitar/vocals)
I'm sure most bands have faced difficulty writing and recording during a global pandemic, But we've been extremely lucky in our circumstances. With half of the members having decent home recording setups or even their own recording studio has meant we've been able to power through and get our stuff done with no real drawbacks. The only thing is, with the pandemic hitting the year we had a bunch of shows booked - We haven't actually had a chance to play live yet. Which a) sucks! b) Is so weird/alien to me and a couple of the others who came up in Punk and Hardcore scenes. Like it kinda freaks me out that our album will be released before we've even played live. But that's planet earth right now and there's more important things to worry about than that I guess! We've actually just booked our first show in August today! (fingers crossed it's able to go ahead!)
Rid The Gormless
For me, the best album openers are the ones that just dive straight in. No wanky self serving intros or anything like that, and 'Rid The Gormless' is easily our most direct assault and happens to encompass nearly all the elements for what's to come from the rest of the album. The lyrics are really setting up the scene for the concept of the album from this faceless entity's perspective.
So this song is really the main introduction of the story's 'protagonist' or whatever you want to call it - a drone of a being starting to feel sentient and experiencing pain for the first time. This song actually got written in one afternoon somehow haha - everything just fell into place really easily for this one!
Aside from the demos that were re-recorded for the album, this was the first one written for the album. Another direct, heavy assault with more pinch harmonics than a Zakk Wylde practice session. This one is about being forced into experiencing endless, perpetual suffering and the outro absolutely fucking CRUSHES.
I have a love affair with simple, straight repetitive riffs and I wanted to write a song specifically around just having one fucking killer riff and essentially filling in the blanks around it. In the 'hook' we layered up the guitars as well (I think there's like 6/7 tracks all playing different things) which has this like big opressive feel to it. This was originally on the demo, but we upped the pace of the verses to make it a real stomper. The lyrics are mainly about greed. Exploiting anything and everything around you until everything is just barren and dead.
Suffer Your Sentience
This was the last track written and recorded for the album! Like to the point where we'd already submitted to the label and we had to stop some wheels that were already in motion to allow us to get it finished. But yeah - this one is actually my favourite. Just a classic sorta build up of an intro with some of the best riffs I've ever written...and a guitar solo! wtf! The lyrics for this one were inspired by the artwork we got from Wyrmwalk. It was kinda weird - like it all just came flooding in really quickly. But it's about being sentient and suffering that reality. Reality can be hell.
Another one re-recorded/made better from the demo. A lot of subtle changes - but it's over all been made heavier and harder hitting. This was the first song ever written for Celestial Sanctuary and it's where this narrative for the band/entire album came from really - so we had to include it.
Yearn For The Rot
Formerly known as 'Koalemos' - We recorded this as a demo and put it out at the peak of the pandemic. But it's actually the second to last song we recorded for the album - so it's not some in between demo and album b-side haha, I was just eager to put something out as it had felt like ages since the first two tracks dropped and thought 'fuck it'. But yeah - it's been re-recorded and brought up to the standard of the rest of the album, so it sounds huge now. It actually includes some acoustic guitar and is heavily influenced by more Prog and Doom than Death Metal. But it's still very much a Celestial Sanctuary tune.
This feels like the biggest track on the album to me and the most 'classic death metal' with a lot of that old school influence that borders on thrash. Y'know like early Morbid Angel, Demolition Hammer and Death - but bringing it into the modern era. Plus another outro that is designed to be CRUSHING. Literally the simplest riff ever written - but yeah...you'll know what I mean when you hear it cranked up/played live.
I love immersive elements of albums, I love experimentation and I love atmosphere. So having an album closer that feels dark and reflected the artwork was something I wanted to do on this album from the outset. It's essentially layered synths, drums, bass, field recordings of animals near my house and some ghostly voices - I won't give any more away than that. I find it's almost hypnotic if you stare at the album artwork while listening to it.