INTERVIEW: King Leviathan (UK)
by Carina Lawrence/ Dark Art conspiracy
Blackened Thrash Metallers King Leviathan from Brighton, UK have been building the cult-like following since their formation in 2014 after the release of their critically acclaimed 2015 E.P ‘The Shrine’, spreading their “Black Mass” to Bloodstock Open Air, local festival Mammothfest as well as touring and sharing the stage with the likes of Darkest Hour, Abhorrent Decimation, Meta-Stasis and more. Their mass continues to spread as in August this year they unleashed their highly anticipated debut album, ‘Paean Heretica’ via new label Infernum Records who they just signed with. There is lots going on for this metal quartet right now, so we caught up with vocalist/guitarist Adam Sedgwick to discuss their new album, the label, their origins, what lies ahead for the future and more.
Can you tell us about your formation in 2014 and how you arrived at the name of King Leviathan?
Our formation was pretty simple to be honest! Rob and I (Adam) Had been in a couple of projects before King Leviathan started, and a lot of them we’re hard rock based or Metalcore influenced. As much as we enjoyed them, when those projects dissolved we decided we wanted to do something that was straight up Sylosis and Slayer worship! Then Sam asked to join the band as he wanted to start playing metal again and we found Danny at a gig after seeing him playing drums with some bands at College – we asked him to join and then the rest is history!
The name was pretty easy as well, I had a solo project when I was living in Northampton called Crown I, Leviathan and I hadn’t used it for about 2 years by the time I started writing the first EP. I changed the name up to King Leviathan to give it a change, and that’s how it came about!
How would you describe your sound?
It’s a whole amalgamation of sound, cause we’re all influenced by very different music! But the easiest way to describe it would be cold, dark and aggressive.
What are your main musical influences?
Our main musical influences nowadays would probably be Behemoth, Paradise Lost, Triptykon, Sylosis, Anaal Nathrakh, Nevermore, Gojira and At The Gates – but that’s only the tip of the iceberg and there’s so many more I could add!
You recently released your debut album ‘Paean Heretica’ on the 5th August via Infernum Records, how happy are you with the response to the album so far?
It’s been quite overwhelming actually! We were so happy with what we had written once it had all been completed, but we didn’t know how people would receive it. We’ve had so much support, and so much love for the album that we’ve been taken aback! All we can really say to everyone is thank you with every fibre of our bodies!
What is the meaning behind the title of the album?
The title means Songs of Heresy and Triumph, simply because they were a collection of songs that we felt sounded triumphant and had a lot of heretical themes – quite a few of the songs questioning why people would worship a God who people decree brings love, but subjects so much misery and hate upon this world.
What was the recording and writing process like?
Quite frantic actually! When we were writing Paean Heretica we were really wanting to push ourselves and create the music we wanted too, but it was only until about 3 months before we went into the studio that we finally clicked and immediately knew what we wanted to write. As soon as we did it was 3 months of writing all the songs, followed by 9 really long days with our most wonderful mate Paul Winstanley behind the console getting the whole thing recorded! A lot of work was put into it, but it is something we feel proud of!
What lyrical themes do you explore on the album?
So one of the themes we explored was the one I mentioned earlier which was about questioning religion – but the majority of themes on the album were about isolation, dejection and loss. The occult themes have slightly crept away as I wanted to write lyrics that were more personal to me, apart from Like Wolves To The Throat Of The Lion where I wrote about greed and corruption and Harrowing Eyes which was about a dream that Rob had which has stuck with him ever since. It’s quite a personal album in a way!
How do you think it compares to your 2015 EP ‘The Shrine’?
For us, The Shrine feels like us developing and learning what we all wanted to write – it still had dark themes all over, but it was still quite thrashy and had a lot of youth to it. Paean Heretica feels like we’ve finally understood where we all want to go with our music and what we want to write which is just extreme, melodic music!
You have just signed with independent new label Infernum Records, what made you decide to join forces with them and how is it going so far?
So Infernum Records was formed this year by two of our oldest friends Paul Marshall and Mark Woodbridge. They have been with us from the start and have seen us grow into who we are today along with our manager Rich Ravenhill! So when they saw we were trying to release the album, they wanted to help us make that next jump to releasing the album. They’ve been incredibly supportive since our inception and we couldn’t be more honored to be working with them!
Can you tell us about the artwork for ‘Paean Heretica’ and who designed It?
The artwork was designed by Alex Norman who has designed shirts for Katatonia, Sylosis, Opeth, Satyricon and Tesseract. When we saw the artwork, we immediately knew he was the guy we wanted to work with! He asked for the themes of the album and some lyrics and crafted the artwork to everything – We were blown away when we first saw it!
In just a few years you have managed to share the stage with the likes of Darkest Hour, Venom Inc and more as well as play at festivals such as Bloodstock and local Brighton festival Mammothfest, how have these experiences been and what have been some of your highlights?
Every opportunity has been incredible and each experience has stuck with us and made its own mark on us – I don’t think we expected to be doing all this when we started, but every opportunity has been an honor!
My personal highlights though were when we first stepped onto the New Blood Stage at Bloodstock 2015 and saw the crowd which was mind-blowing to the extreme, and then the second was when we supported Venom Inc (who were utterly incredible) and then a few weeks later Tony Dolan introduced us on stage for the Mammothfest Christmas Party! Brilliant!!
For those that haven’t been fortunate enough to witness your live shows, what can people expect?
For us, our performances are our rituals and we always like to bring a huge show – so expect a lot of intensity and a little bit of theatrics!
What are some of your other main ambitions you hope to achieve personally and as a band?
At the moment, we’re wanting to forge ahead and tour Europe as well as play as many festivals as possible – but we really want to push us as far as we can go, and we’re all not wanting to stop so the skies the limit!
What else is lurking in the distant shadows for the band in 2017 and ahead?
We’ve got a couple of plans underway at the moment, and some very exciting news on the horizon – but that’s all under wraps for the moment. All we can say is, we’ll see you in 2018!
To find out more about King Leviathan visit: