1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?
1. The past few months have mostly been focussed on completing the album. Naturally, the whole Coronavirus situation has prevented us from getting together
and forced the cancellation of several gigs (including one with Wormrot that we were very disappointed to miss). But with no gigs we’ve had some time to work on our individual projects (COVID-permitting) as well. We were lucky that we completed the recording
process just a few weeks before the UK went into lockdown, so the process wasn’t hindered massively. The time away has actually given us a certain eagerness to get back together and start working on the next phase of Ba’al after a needed break so in that respect
it’s actually had something of a benefit.
2.You have your first full length coming out towards the end of October, musically how does it differ from your previous ep's and singles?
2. It’s more expansive than anything we’ve released so far. It’s rooted in the same ideas and influences but they are all fleshed out a lot more. We’ve
always blurred the lines between post-metal, sludge, and black metal. Since Joe joined as our vocalist, we have certainly seen a gradual shift towards the black metal side but it’s by no means a black metal album. We all come from different musical backgrounds
(albeit with a lot of crossovers) so naturally, there is a lot of variation in the ideas that we bring to the table, which is something we encourage within the band. We don’t like to reject any ideas for being ‘too X’ or ‘not Y enough’ so we often find ourselves
writing songs unlike anything we’ve written before.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer release and also how would you describe your progress as songwriters over the years?
3. Lyrically the album deals with grief and the different stages of which we go through in life. Joe writes all the lyrics and they are very much reflections
of his own experiences. That being said, we hope that people will share in the energy and draw their own conclusions.
We’ve never approached this band with any particular agenda which has always given a lot of room to explore different ideas and concepts. We find that
the songs we write refine themselves quite naturally and it’s because of this that we are establishing our sound. It’s likely that following releases will expand further on certain elements heard on Ellipsism and perhaps move away from others, but this is
uncertain and will be something that again occurs naturally.
4.I know that the name 'Ba'al' came from an ancient Canaanite God, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in Occultism and Ancient Mythology'?
4. In truth we actually know very little! It’s true that it refers to an ancient iteration of beelzebub, although there are numerous sources which suggest
the origins of the name are different. We actually chose the name for the far less compelling reason that it simply had an interesting ring to it. Of course it’s an appropriate name for a blackened post-metal band but we were more drawn in by the unusual spelling
and pronunciation which seemed quite memorable and impactful.
5.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
5. ‘Ellipsism’ is variably defined as the sense of melancholy associated with the knowledge that one won’t experience the future. We initially went
over a few ideas around the concept before being alerted to the work of Eeli Helin, an artist and musician from Finland. His work is extraordinarily dark and compelling and after taking in the message of the album he conceptualised and executed several pieces
for us including the cover art. The image is representative of the harsh weight of knowledge, here presented as the rocks carried across the subjects back. I don’t think we could have found a more appropriate and visually striking image to represent this album
and we are beyond thrilled with the work Eeli has produced.
6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
6. We’ve been lucky enough to share the stage with some incredible names over the past few years. To name a few, Conan, Conjurer, Downfall of Gaia,
Gnaw Their Tongues, Fen, Bong and many more. Bloodstock Festival was an early benchmark that we achieved which actually led to our recording sessions with Russ Russell. We also played and were involved in the organisation of Rolo Tomassi’s first hometown show
in years which took place inside an amazing old cinema building in Sheffield.
7.The new album is coming out on 'Clobber Records', how did you get in contact with this label?
7. We were made aware of Clobber through Argesk, another band on the label who Joe has known for a while. It didn’t take long to realise how much good
work they’ve done in the underground metal scene in the UK. We saw that they were seeking new bands for their roster and submitted our album. The rest, as they say, is history!
8.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black, post and sludge metal?
8. It seems to go down fairly well! We’re always beyond pleased, and often dumbstruck, whenever we find out that someone has listened to us in another
country. Even more so when we’re shipping merch or a CD to another country. Of course, in the internet age there is a massively enhanced sense of connectivity, so we are able to connect to people across the globe in ways that seem normal now that simply weren’t
possible in previous decades but it still feels very strange to us. We hope that our music can be experienced and enjoyed by anyone, no matter their geographical location.
9.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?
Hecate Enthroned (Joe's bigger, 'other' band), like most, had their plans for this year scuppered by COVID, but they're looking forward to getting
back to playing live as soon as possible. Bleating Apocalypse (the 'easy listening metal' band featuring Richard and Luke) have been absent from the public eye for a good while now, working on new music, but they've been using this recent time to start demoing
their next album from home, whilst also celebrating ten years as a band.
10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
10. We’re not a band that wants to remain rooted in one sound and we’re always open to expanding our ideas. We are already informally writing ideas
and putting together concepts for what comes next, including something that we definitely haven’t explored before.
11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
11. We listen to a very broad range of music both within metal and beyond. Hip-hop, techno, jazz, folk, pop, drone, ambient, noise, glitch; it’s all
fair game in this band, though naturally, it doesn’t all make its way into our writing processes. We actually run a monthly playlist on our blog which details what we’ve all been listening to of late as well as what we like about them. You can view this via
https://cvltofbaal.wordpress.com/. With regards to Ellipsism, the most obvious influences are bands like Deafheaven, Amenra, Deftones, Primitive Man and Cult of Luna.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
12. We are an inclusive band that believes that prejudice and hatred have no place in society, let alone music. We hope that our music can offer a safe
place for all to enjoy regardless of their gender, race, culture, sexuality or religion.