Seasoned Swedes seek out horrific new depths
The Lurking Fear, Lisa Cuthbert, Poseidon
Sometimes the best way to get the death metal you want is to go to the experts. Formed last year by five veterans of the Swedish scene, including At The Gates members Adrian Erlandsson and – perhaps inevitably – vocalist Tomas ‘Tompa’ Lindberg, The Lurking Fear join the acclaimed likes of Gruesome, Vallenfyre and Firespawn by applying old-school values and experience to their own subversive and ferocious ideas.
“Even really original bands like Voivod or Neurosis, they still have influences but they mix them in a new way, and that’s what we wanted to do,” says Tompa. “It needs to be fresh and interesting, with strong songs, but still leaning on those old classic death metal influences. We don’t want to be a Florida band or a ‘typical’ Swedish band – we’re bringing all these cornerstones into something new and exciting and not just retro.”
As Tompa suggests, The Lurking Fear make no apologies for their debt to Autopsy, Death, Morbid Angel and Possessed, but the songs on debut album, Out Of The Voiceless Grave, offer a distinctive and thrillingly untamed take on the death metal blueprint. Steeped in disquieting Lovecraftian atmosphere, yet precise, brutal and sonically incisive, the album comes adorned with one of the most subtly disturbing pieces of art to grace a sleeve in a long time, courtesy of revered French ingénue Stefan Thanneur.
“The whole album is based around the Lovecraft universe, but they’re my stories set in that world and I wanted an image that was all-encompassing,” Tompa explains. “It’s that idea of something really terrible and menacing lurking behind this big vortex of cosmic evil and underwater evil at the same time. When I saw the front cover, it’s a striking image, but the back cover is incredible, the thing is waiting to spew out of it… Oh man, now we’re talking, ha ha ha! Get the vinyl, because the gatefold is amazing.”
Although he and his bandmates have plenty of other commitments, not least a new At The Gates album looming over the horizon, Tompa insists that The Lurking Fear is a serious, full-time concern and not just some jovial side-project. The band already have a stash of new material for a second album and a collective enthusiasm for hitting the road that belies the fact that these men have all been playing death metal for more than a quarter of a century. Ultimately, when the virus is in your veins, escape is not an option and dedication is absolute.
“We’ve all known each other since ’88 or ’90 so we talk about old shows, like ‘Remember when Bolt Thrower played in Gothenburg in ’91?’ and everybody was there, the whole band! So that’s the spirit of it. The egos are not there either. Everyone’s really inspired and trying to help out. The amount of friendship and connection in the band is amazing. Everyone is still hungry but we’re too old and experienced to cope with any drama. Drama queens get kicked out straight away!
“The whole album is based around the lovecraft universe” TOMAS LINDBERG
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