By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Since he was 18-years-old, Chrisom Infernium had tried to get shows together in Central Southern Pa., but with the rise of the hardcore/emo scenes, there was no room for metal.
“Even when they bring bands through like Behemoth or Slayer, those certain venues that were running them through, they’d still put your screamo stuff on or hardcore bands and metalcore that didn’t quite fit that niche because they just did not want to touch the metal bands,” said Infernium. “Over the last year or so, metal’s actually hitting Lancaster [and] Harrisburg because we’re so close to each other. There’s actually a metal scene happening, but it was never really existent up until this point.”
Infernium, who serves as the vocalist for blackened death ensemble Torture Ascendancy 1307, Veilburner and Pyrrhic Salvation, is proud to be a direct influence on metal’s newfound presence in the area.
Torture Ascendancy 1307 in particular, is also composed of former and current members of acts like Tenth Circle and Human Repugnance. In addition to Infernium, the group also involves Isaiah (Drums), Jasin (Bass), Don (Guitar) and TJ (Guitar).
Since their 2011 formation, they’ve shared stages with Soulfly, Vital Remains, Immortal Bird, Mortician and Krieg. Both classic and modern black and death metal have left their mark on the band’s bludgeoning sound, complete with fiery solos, thunderous riffs and sporadic experimentation all around.
The band premiered “Amon Morgue Matrix” this past June at No Clean Singing. The single served as the opener on the group’s first-ever demo offering with Don on guitar, appropriately titled D.E.M.O.S., which was released on Jul. 17, 2019. For the band, it encompasses the essence of what they set out to be and where they currently sit. It works on many levels and interpretations of mysticism, specifically “the four worlds” to allow the listener to perceive the lyrics in their own way.
“Years had passed and we had older material and we were kind of in a limbo state of ‘Do we release all of this? Do we try to write more and try to put it all out together?’ and it just got to a point to where we were like, ‘We have these recordings, we believe in them, just some of the songs are a little older,’ so we were like, ‘Okay, we have to get this done,’ so we took some of the older ones, cleaned them up so they were more up-to-date with the mixes that we have with the newer songs,” Infernium explained.
With lyrics that revolve around Gnosticism and Jewish Kabbalah, philosophy, theosophy and other occult subjects, Infernium noted the music also explores the Veilburner universe as a story arc and a continuation of a larger take of what was created with Mephisto. He purposely blends concepts together so that Veilburner/Torture Ascendancy 1307 are connected in some form, yet musically separated.
Despite the dark subjects of their music, Infernium expressed that the band likes to have a good time at their shows and doesn’t let the fans down when it comes to the live experience.
“A lot of times, the black metal bands I think get put off by us, because we get up there and we’re doing our thing, but then some jokes are cracked or whatever because we like to have a good time,” Infernium said. “We want to make sure the audience appreciates it. Then, if we’re with the death metal crowd, we get a little too grim, but either way, we are just five guys trying to have fun, write a bunch of songs, try and pay respect to the things we grew up listening to and hopefully pay homage to them and get some respect in the scene.”
The group’s at the process of already recording new music, as they hope to have an album with 10-12 songs out within the next year.
“We’ve been around for a long time, played many shows and just to see the response that’s been out so far, people are really getting behind it,” said Infernium. “It’s just kind of cool to be able to sit back and try and take it all in, to enjoy it while it lasts.”