Written by Ana Krunic
FRONTMAN OLIVER ALERON DISCUSSES NIGHTMARES THAT INSPIRED DEATH-METAL PHENOM'S NEW ALBUM BLEED THE FUTURE.
After the release of 2017’s Relentless Mutation, it’s been hard to imagine how Vancouver’s Archspire would follow up an album like that. Then again, it can be hard to fathom music still being melodically pleasing with BPM counts that high, and rather than just being a showcase for technical skill, they manage to write some of the most compelling extreme music of this era. Their sound is distinct, with a heavy-handed classical influence that somehow does not juxtapose with the brutal side of their music.
Their upcoming release, Bleed the Future, sees them continue down their conceptual path. Not a lot of death metal bands have lyrics worth going out of your way to read, but vocalist Oliver Aleron weaves nightmarish narratives into his shotgun vocals that are worth following along with. On Bleed the Future, the women of earth begin giving birth to reptilian creatures called Boanets - and no one seems entirely phased by this happening.
“The basic concept came from a dream that I had,” says Aleron. “I was trying to reverse-engineer how something like that would happen, how would people not be freaked out by this? In the dream, the creatures would bite their mouths, which would fill up with golden blood. And people could look into these pools of blood and see into the future. So the parents are basically hypnotized by these creatures because they allowed them to see into their futures. The human children that they previously had, are being used to feed these creatures.”
While most of the album centres around the reptilian Boanets, this album also sees the return of an enigmatic cult called A.U.M. Loosely based off of the Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo, they figure quite heavily in the lore of Archspire’s previous album.
“There are a couple of parallel stories running at the same time,” says Aleron. “The A.U.M. cult find supernatural forces around the earth and try to harness them in their laboratory. Basically, A.U.M. is trying to use these creatures to their own benefit.”
Their newest video, for ‘Drone Corpse Aviator’, lets us put a bit of a face to this cult. In Cronenberg-esque scenes, we see them put the band through a series of experiments that don’t seem to go quite as planned, culminating in some explosively gory deaths - don’t say we didn’t warn you.
“With the video, I didn’t want to give them [writers Mitch Ray and Rob Zawistowski] anything too specific. It was more about coming up with a non-cheesy way to use the practical effects, cause that was an idea we all agreed on before we even started working on the video,” says Aleron. “They came up with the story. I wanted it to be based on the A.U.M. cult, and I gave them a copy of Hard Boiled, which is a Frank Miller comic, as something to base the shots off of.”
Aleron has written the lyrics for the last two albums by essentially exiling himself, going into isolation without any internet or phone access. Not out of some desire to channel his inner Faulkner, but something a bit more relatable.
“It just came from putting things off to the last minute,” he laughs. “It’s really due to my personal faults. The cool thing about isolating yourself is, from when you wake up to when you go to bed, all you think about is that concept. So when you go to sleep, it’s still in your head, it’s fresh. You continue that story in your dream and then you wake up and immediately start writing. You can continue from where you left off. It really helps to not take yourself away from it.”
“When it’s time for a new album and I don’t have these crazy dreams, I get really stressed out that I won’t have anything to write about because I don’t think I can actually just be creative,” he jokes.
Bleed the Future comes out October 29. Click here to purchase.
Archspire plays the Rickshaw Theatre on October 30 and 31. Click here for tickets.