Infernäl Mäjesty’s second full-length album “Unholier Than Thou” was originally released by Hypnotic Records in 1998. Vocalist and band leader Chris Bailey explains why the album was remixed and re-released only three years later by Hypnotic Records along with Big Daddy: “I don't know what the label owners had in mind but we are always looking for an opportunity to have our works released. Unfortunately there have been distribution problems in the past so it wouldn't surprise me if the labels where just trying to open new possibilities.” The 2001 version has never before been available on vinyl: “Yes, that’s true. We are stoked. It was first released on CD, then we released it for streaming and downloading. The distribution was very weak and it never had the proper fanfare we believe it deserved. To see ‘Unholier Than Thou’ on vinyl for the first time is a monumental trophy that just doesn't exist anywhere else on planet earth. There are no other vinyl copies of ‘Unholier Than Thou’ that I've ever come across. This is authentic.” Moreover, the remix version has been extremely difficult to get hold of, as it was originally only available in the US, if that is correct? Chris confirms: “To the best of my knowledge yes, or at least it was only officially available at the time in the US.”
Infernäl Mäjesty also had to deal with some line up changes the same year the remix came out – did that have any effect on the release? Chris: “The line up changes were just normal day-to-day struggling to survive and keep the machine alive. We are used to working under pressure but ideally we wouldn't normally be making line up changes as releases are coming out. We were also transitioning from Toronto to Vancouver, which had a larger impact setting us back that didn't allow us to focus on things happening around us that could have used more attention. Looking back now it was the right decision.” A year before, Infernäl Mäjesty’s “Chaos in Copenhagen” live album was released, which also included “Night of the Living Dead”. Chris explains why the band decided to put that song as a live recorded version on the remix of “Unholier Than Thou”: “Because of where it was recorded, also, it sounds great and we thought it would be a nice gift to those who have been so kind as to collect one of our works.” And where exactly was this version recorded? Probably during the European tour Infernäl Mäjesty did after the release of “Unholier…” in 1998? Chris: “You bet. The whole experience that led up to the night of that recording was something I'll never forget. It was my first time in Christiania. I had such an amazing time there. It will always be etched in my mind. The same way a familiar smell can stimulate a flood of memories happens to me whenever I hear it.” Now getting back to the record as such: Who did the remix and remaster? How much was actually changed about the sound? “It took an already excellent recording to a new level of excellence in my opinion. It was remastered in Vancouver by Steve Terror and Kenny Hallman. As technology is always improving to capture music, we felt that it was an opportunity to fine-tune it, only to keep it at a level of quality that we are always striving to achieve.” And when that was done, how did people react to the new version of “Unholier Than Thou” when it came out in 2001? Chris: “Those that could actually find it were thrilled. Many were just discovering it for the first time. We hope to have many more new fans find they have been missing something unique from the land of snow and ice. Something uniquely Infernäl Mäjesty.” Chris also has a clear favourite when comparing the original CD-version and the new vinyl release by High Roller Records: “Well, to be honest, the version I prefer is the vinyl version. It has everything I love when listening to music. Vinyl is part of my soul.” Not just yours, I guess. One thing vinyl records are loved for is of course the cover artwork- and what about the amazing artwork that adorns the 2001 version of ‘Unholier Than Thou’?
It looks like an original medieval or early modern painting, right? “Yes you are correct. We had originally commissioned some artwork for the 2001 version but that didn't work out so well. We were disappointed. Luckily Steve was doing some research and discovered the artwork. It suited everything about the concept but in a new light from the original.”
Before we end our conversation, Chris has one last important remark to make about the remix version of “Unholier Than Thou”: “Just to remind everyone, when possible, listen to it loud. The quality of the recording can handle being turned up to max volume. It transforms into a different beast the louder you go. Send us your feedback on it. We love to hear from you. Take care all.”