It’s been a long wait, and it is finally over: Canadian thrash metal masters Infernäl Mäjesty are at last presenting the world with a brand new full-length album. “No God” is their fourth LP, and the first to come out in thirteen years. Singer and band mastermind Chris Bailey is more than excited about the release: “We are seriously feeling awesome. When your hard work, thoughts and ideas finally come together into reality it’s a great feeling but we have a lot of work still to do.” He then tries to give a
short summary of what has happened in the Infernäl camp since the first release of their last album “One Who Points to Death” in 2004: “When I get asked this my brain freezes because I don't know where to start. As you can imagine much has gone on. A lot of soul searching, dealing with personal demons, member changes, death and destruction. All will be revealed in the book I'm writing on our history. Sure to become a movie. There are many more chapters yet to be played out before I begin the final cut.”
Infernäl Mäjesty are celebrating their 30th anniversary in 2017 and the band have a lot in the works to celebrate that special date. Chris tells us what it is they’re planning: “We couldn't be more stoked to be working with High Roller Records as part of our 30th anniversary. We have been celebrating since the new year began. We have lots planned including two more album re-releases, a guitar giveaway later this year and some major news concerning touring.” Doesn’t sound bad at all! But let’s get back to the new album now: What were Infernäl Mäjesty’s goal for the new album, and does Chris think they’ve met them?
“We have slowly but surely been reaching our goals that we set out to achieve when we embarked on our newest journey. We wanted to write a good album with good lyrics that weren't just fluff. There is a purpose and insight to go with a heavy thrash attack on the senses. That was our main goal. We put a lot into ‘No God’ but it will be up to our fans to decide. If they like it, then we achieved our goal.”
While many bands start out with a “we just want to play what comes to our minds”-attitude, Infernäl Mäjesty have had a different approach from the very beginning: “We have always been critical when writing our music. Our approach hasn't changed but our level of insight and breadth of knowledge has increased ten fold. As society changes so do we, often as an observer and orator. The dark side is our muse.”
“No God” is a strong and uncompromising title in itself, and looking at the song titles, it seems as if the absence of God is a topic that runs through the whole album. Chris explains the thoughts behind it: “We were focused on this message of truth from the beginning. It’s important we feel to help the future of human kind. There is no God of the bible and if by chance there was a force of nature that displayed what seemed to us humans as supernatural, then it will be contained and identified by science. Much like how we are unravelling the mysteries of Dark Matter. Religion is destroying this planet as is bad journalism and a public unable to decipher fact from fiction.”
Once again, Infernäl Mäjesty went through some line-up changes before the new album was recorded: Eric Dubreuil (bass) and Kris DeBoer (drums) left and were replaced with two new members. Some people may know new drummer Kiel Wilson from his time with Canadian Melodic Death Metal outfit Severed Serenity.
“Kiel has been a friend of the band for years. He was playing for us back in the early days when Chey left shortly after our arrival in Vancouver. We kept in contact as he stayed active writing and playing music. It was great timing when we approached Kiel to be our new fulltime drummer. Without hesitation he was ready to come back, this time to take the helm on drums.” And what about Daniel Nargang, the new bassist? Isn’t he actually the singer of the classic Heavy Metal outfit Kick Axe? “You bet and still is. This is without a doubt the strongest we have been. Dan is one of the great talents that we are honoured to have on board. We have no missing pieces now. No weak links.” That said, it is no big surprise that Kiel and Daniel played an important role in the creation of “No God”: “The album wouldn't be out yet if it weren't for Kiel's and Dan's contribution creating the foundation for ‘No God’. Working with Kiel shaping the drums for the songs was amazing. You can also look forward to hearing Dan's contribution on False Flag, the intro for Nation Of Assassins. When everyone is on the same page in spirit and in mindset you can feel the energy come out in the music.” Absolutely. And what about the more technical details? “We wrote the album in Vancouver over a three year period. We had a lot of other band related things on the go as well during this time that overlapped that normally wouldn't be on our plate while writing an album but we literally started from scratch. Reborn like the Phoenix. For example, putting together everything to record an album ourselves was a huge challenge that we are proud to have conquered.”
“No God” sounds amazing, it is heavy and dark, crisp and powerful. Who was involved in the production process, apart from the band? “Well, it took a year to capture the sound of this album. We really worked on it day and night. Tweaking and modifying and receiving 3am phone calls saying ‘you got to hear this!’! Steve, Ken and I wrote and produced the album. We believe that it’s the ultimate way to express the band. The powerful skills of Chris ''Hollywood'' Holmes were called upon to take over the mixing and mastering operations. When we started to talk about my return to the band one of the things we discussed that we had to have mutual agreement on was to write, record and produce No God ourselves.”
The two new songs “House of War” and “False Flag” were already released on a single – is that the reason why they didn’t make it on the album?
“As Steve, Ken and I were writing the songs for ‘No God’ the one thing that never crossed our mind was worrying about how long a song should be. We weren't concerned about writing a song at any particular length for air play. So basically we wrote more songs then could fit on an album. ‘House Of War’ and ‘False Flag’ were going to be released regardless. Although now as I think about it, its all the more reason to get both the album and the 7inch. ;-)”
The above mentioned “House of War” 7inch reaped a lot of praise, with people being exalted about the savage combination of death and thrash and the impressive song writing.” The same is true for “No God” and Chris really doesn’t have any objections against this: “We appreciate that. It’s truly how we wanted to excite our fans. As we are now almost finished writing the follow up to ‘No God’ that we will have ready for release early in 2018, you will hear the same approach, only graduated to the next level of melodic cacophony that is uniquely Infernäl Mäjesty.”
What development does Chris see when he looks at “No God”, both compared to the last effort “One who points to Death” and when looking at it as the last link in a chain that runs from “None Shall Defy” to “No God”? “It feels like we have come full circle and are now about to break free into orbit. It feels like a natural progression from ‘One Who Points To Death’. I personally believe ‘No God’ to be our greatest works since ‘None Shall Defy’ was created.”
Infernäl Mäjesty have also released a video to “House of War” that deals with the horrors and the futility of all wars. According to the credits, this video was a complete DIY-endeavour, and Chris also got some family members involved: “My parents mean the world to me. Their support through good times and bad has kept me grounded. I owe everything to them. They volunteered without hesitation to act in a snow storm and abandoned ruins, covered in blood. They are our biggest fans. They are also appearing in the new ‘No God’ video. Not just because they are my parents and they caught the acting bug, but because they are damn good actors. I also think its something special when a band creates their own videos, if they’re good, then great. If they are not, just keep trying.” There are definitely some great things about “No God”, and one of them is the beautifully sombre cover artwork. Chris lets us know who did this amazing piece: “The exquisite and incredibly gifted, professional independent artists, Safir & Rifas. Safir (Dorina Pantea) & Rifas (Diana Pantea). Originally titled ‘Death Angel’ or ‘Fallen Angel’. Their art is breathtaking and will leave a lasting impression on you.” Apart from that, the album will come with a great many of nice features: “It comes with a poster, a lyric sheet, and a heavy cardboard cover with some personal liner notes and thoughts from Steve, Kenny and me. My favourite feature is the Transparent Royal Blue custom vinyl.” Any last words? Absolutely: “We hope you worship our newest offering coming out April 14th. There has been a lot of talk and hype about this and I believe ‘No God’ will live up to it. We have our soul in these songs touched only by us and the forces of nature. If you have a missing feeling inside lately then give ‘No God’ a listen. Take care everyone.”