With a new impetus, a new singer and a new dimension to their sound, Canadian death metallers Depths Of Hatred pressed the re-set button for their third album, Inheritance.
Rich Holmes caught up with guitarist Martin Trottier and frontman William Arseneau, and discovers a band entering a next chapter.
“It feels amazing. Now that I know what we can do with this new direction the possibilities are almost endless.”
It’s fair to say that Depths Of Hatred guitarist and chief songwriter Martin Trottier is excited about the start of his band’s new era.
The quintet may have emerged from Montréal, back in 2009, but it’s been six years since Hellborn, their second full-length, was unleashed, with the Quebec outfit concentrating instead on touring and building their reputation on the live circuit. Only a single, Accursed Demise and 2018’s Bloodguilt EP have sated fans’ appetites for recorded material since then.
Inheritance, then is something of a landmark for the Canadians.
It is their first work to feature new singer William Arseneau, whose soaring clean vocals have given Depths Of Hatred’s vicious death metal a glistening melodic edge.
“We needed a new singer and William was by far the most versatile and charismatic singer that we knew in Montréal, so it was just a no brainer for us when we heard that he would be interested in the position,” reveals Trottier. “The album was already written musically when William came in, so I did not change the writing in any way, but he definitely added the missing ingredients on top.”
Does Inheritance feel like a rebirth to Trottier?
“It does feel like that, but it wasn’t planned,” he replies. “It just took place naturally when William joined.
“We are still mostly all original members and the songs have always been written by myself, so we are still the same band… but with a different vision now.”
The band’s new material is certainly imbued with a greater sense of drama than we’ve seen before from Depths Of Hatred.
Songs like Shivers, Illusive Obsession and Emerging As One seethe with tension and emotional intensity.
‘Layering’, explains Trottier, is the key to his writing approach…
“I was never the best at writing technical riffs and it’s not something I strive for, so to make up for it I got comfy at building epic riffs with lots of intriguing sounds layered on top of one another,” says the guitarist, who shares the album’s fretwork with Felix Demers. “Violins, piano and guitar leads with delay and reverb can make miracles!”
Depths Of Hatred’s third album has the kind of titanium-plated production many acts would slay for.
Recorded just before the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, it was a joint effort between the five-piece and Cryptopsy guitarist Christian Donaldson.
Mixed and mastered the opus at The Grid Studio in Montreal, there’s a real sense of quality to Inheritance as soon as it pours from the speakers.
And Trottier is thankful for Donaldson’s input: “We really like what he brings to our sound. Chris is a friend and his work is more than top notch so he’s the obvious choice for us.”
Delving even deeper into Inheritance, you’ll discover the story of a young child born into a small community, who is chosen to inherit the soul of his father – the ‘great leader’. By retracing the steps of his predecessors, he becomes at one with an ancient, inter-generational pattern.
The concept was created by Arseneau, who delved into some disturbing, real life testimony for lyrical inspiration.
The singer says: “The songs felt really dark, so I had to figure out how to reflect that darkness with the lyrical content.
“I was watching a couple of videos of cult survivors at the time and I just had to write something about it.
“It started with that and the story evolved and became something else.
“Writing about a kid wanting to be his own person but then ultimately ending up being forced to become someone else was the perfect way to create a dark and bleak story that fitted the songs.”
What’s on the horizon for Depths Of Hatred?
“These are strange times… and not ideal for musicians,” Arseneau admits.
But there is new material in the works.
And the band are keen to build on the momentum generated by Inheritance.
“It’s probably a cliché to say, but I personally think we stepped up our game big time on the writing side these past months,” says Depths Of Hatred’s frontman. “The new stuff will be epic and heavy, guaranteed!”
Inheritance is our now on Prosthetic Records.
Photo by Dominic D.D.