METAL PULP AND PAPER: Hello Mel. So glad to be catching up with you. Thank you for taking the time to speak with us here at Metal Pulp And Paper. We appreciate it.
Well, let’s dive headfirst and get this interview started, shall we? For those of you just joining us, we have Mel from In The Burial, a female fronted Symphonic Blackened Death Metal hailing from Adelaide, Australia. So, Mel, what else do we need to know about your band that’s going to capture and pummel our eardrums and want more?
MEL BULIAN: Thank you so much! Well I guess to start off with, we are very grateful for all the interest we’ve had with the Lamentations album. On This release it was very important to us to have the freedom to be very authentic with the artistic direction we had envisioned for quite some time. It’s always a bit risky when you decide to make such big changes to your music, but we’ve received very positive feedback so that’s encouraging. It was our desire to produce our own unique brand of extreme metal that penetrates to core of the soul and has as much beauty as it does brutality. We wanted it to be very human, no theatrics or gimmicks. We don’t wear cloaks or hoods... we don’t succumb to having 'evil' personas and things that are very cliché amongst the black metal genre. What you get is a very real and relatable work of extreme symphonic art that is meaningful, inspired and cathartic... conceptually and musically both light and dark, relatable and penetrative. Lyrically I am not shy of expressive love and hope within the realm of metal, just as much as I don’t shy away from expressing the depth of darkness and despair. Everything we do is balanced.
MPAP:Brutal Female Fronted Metal added In The Burial’s Lamentations: Of Deceit & Redemption to their list of best death metal albums of 2019. You share this honor alongside Ascend The Hollow’s Echoes Of Existence, Monochromatic Black’s Pneuma, The Machinist’s Confidimus In Morte, and Eternal Forward Motion by Employed To Serve, among a few other’s. Lamentations: Of Deceit & Redemption has been getting some great reviews, how does all of this make you feel?
MEL: We feel very humbled and honored. We did not know how people were going to take our new direction and went in with the mindset of playing the type of metal we wanted to hear. It’s really personal for all of us in the band, and to be able to share that in a way that resonates with others is absolutely awesome.
MPAP:In The Burial has been around since 2009, but this is your first release with them. What were you up to before that, and how did it all come about you joining In The Burial?
MEL:In The Burial were trying to poach me from my band for quite some time before I actually joined. They had approached me intermittently over a couple, perhaps even a few, years but I was invested in another project at the time. However, I did do some guest vocals on their first release Born Of Suffering with them on "Amaranthine’s Departure" and "In Death... Absolution." It was just good timing that they parted ways with their vocalist and guitarist around the same time as I had left my previous band and so they asked again if I could fill in for a few booked shows and it kinda just rolled on from there. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I had the stamina to be their permanent vocalist. I had come from a band that was about 50/50 clean vocals and guttural/fry vocals. It took me around 3-4 months to train my voice to match Andy’s guttural vocals tonally... and he didn’t do any clean vocals at all so it was a big task and I wasn’t sure if I could do them justice. Born Of suffering was purely a 'tech death' album, as brutal to perform as to listen to, with relentless gutturals. Of course, that was fine for me to perform, but I was really happy to find out that they were wanting a change in direction and were excited about, and very open to the idea of adding more higher pitched black metal inspired screams and some clean vocals to their evolving symphonic extreme metal sound. That’s what had me sold.
MPAP: Now, let’s talk about Lamentations: Of Deceit & Redemption that was released May 12th. It’s 11 songs, and it packs a heavy knockout punch that lasts just over an hour. What can new fans expect when they hear songs like "Arise The Heretics," "Holographic Webs We Weave," "When Dreadful Storms Bring Upon Metamorphosis," and "Severed Earth From Sky"? And what can the old fans pre-Lamentations: Of Deceit & Redemption expect since you’re now holding the microphone and not former singer Andy Kite?
MEL: Well it’s really interesting because we have released Lamentations independently this time and it has gathered far more interest and spread a lot further than the last album, yet Born Of Suffering had label backing so were kind of the attitude that it’s really about the music and it speaks for itself. Yes, it’s a long album, we were very inspired and had a lot of fire when we reformed so we had a lot of music... lots of variation. We thought, hell, we may as well release it all as it flowed really well as an album. I think the first thing that fans of ITB will and have noticed is a very obvious change in musical direction can be attributed to the major lineup change the band went through. I had just joined, Mark had stepped up as the main song writer, we also got a new guitarist, bass player and added Keyboards to mix. Mark and Fox were the only remaining original members. The keys changed ITB’s sound immensely and added a whole new dimension to our overall sound. We really wanted to keep our intensity and aggression yet balance our sound with the epic-ness of souring melodies and orchestral arrangements. Of course, vocally we sound slightly different, as women even guttural singers tend to have a different tonal quality and pitch to their male counterparts. The majority of my screams tend to have a more black metal aesthetic, but I was also eager to introduce some clean vocals and choirs to the mix because why not utilise everything in your inventory. Fans can still expect the extremities of our death metal riffage and bombastic blasts, we’re still an extreme metal outfit, just with more dimension symphonically.
MPAP: And for Fleshgod Apocalypse fans, one of the songs on the release, "Holographic Webs We Weave," has guest vocals from Veronica Bordacchini. How did this come together, and what was it like being able to work with her?
MEL: We’re all big Fleshgod fans so of course it was a big honor to have her feature on the album. I personally was very excited; I just adore her voice. Luckily technology makes things easy nowadays and we just sent her the track, she recorded her parts at her home studio and sent them back to us. That simple. She was an absolute pleasure to work with and we we’re stoked with the result. "Holographic Webs We Weave" would have to be one of my favorite tracks on the album.
MPAP: After talking with Steve Staal from Brutal Female Fronted Metal, he had this to say about your group, "Instantly impressed. Insane musicianship and relentless screaming vocals that you can understand most of the lyrics in. I’d like to know how they pulled off the sonic clarity of such complex death metal?"
MEL: The clarity you hear on this album was very deliberate throughout the whole recording process for Lamentations. In the studio I am extremely conscious of pronunciation and delivery of the words as they hold a lot of meaning so I want fans to be able experience the story within the music. Our music is meant to be a journey, you need to 'feel' it, so without clarity, the intent and feeling of the songs would just get lost and it wouldn’t do our music any justice. Our music is both lyrically and musically complex, therefore it is really important that we spent the time in production to get that right. Thank you for noticing!
MPAP: Tell us about the album artwork for Lamentations: Of Deceit & Redemption that’s done by Trasid at Disart design. What was the inspiration behind it?
MEL: That was a piece we chose from him that we felt perfectly embodied the essence that is now In The Burial. Stark, majestic, tormented, elegant, somber, dismal, dark, fierce, beautiful... it just seemed very fitting.
MPAP: What are some of your favorite songs to sing off of Born Of Suffering when playing a live show?
MEL: It’s been a few years since we’ve played anything from Born Of Suffering admittedly, however "In Death Absolution" and "Merciless Carnage" were fun… perhaps we will revisit these on a special occasion.
MPAP: On behalf of myself and Metal Pulp And Paper, I’d like to thank you, Mel, for doing this interview. We look forward to what In The Burial does to finish out 2019 and beyond. We hope you can cross the Pacific Ocean and play some live shows in The United States soon.
MEL: We will be doing some interstate shows towards the close of the year. We would absolutely love the opportunity to travel overseas to your fine country one day! Let’s keep supporting these underground bands so that one day that may be a reality! Buy their music and their merchandise and share away! With enough backing, perhaps we can ignite the music industry again so bands can afford to tour and bring their music to the masses! One can only hope
MPAP: Before we bring this interview to a close, any last words for all your fans out there?
MEL: So, I’d like to say a big thank you to Metal Pulp And Paper, our fans, and all the reviewers, critics, and metal lovers out there for taking the time to give us feedback and share our music. It means so much to us and we really appreciate it!