We all love a bit of horror, don’t we? From psychological head wreckers to gore-drenched blood baths and from psychotic serial killers to vampires and werewolves, who doesn’t dig a chilling flick? Having recently released their crushing debut album, Indisputably Carnivorous through Prosthetic Records, blackened death metal troop The Day of the Beast is no different.
Taking inspiration from the darkest, filthiest corners of the human psyche by way of apocalyptic, horror-inspired storytelling, each track revolves around its own specific tale or theme, with inspiration coming from the likes of Clive Barker, Bram Stoker, and Lovecraft, with the album title itself taking inspiration from Graham Masterson novel The Wells of Hell.
With this in mind, we sat down with vocalist Steve Harris to get his thoughts on what ingredients need to come together to make a good horror.
1. “A plot that deters from what you’d expect. The more twists and turns the better. Begin building something, then take it in a completely different direction. I love unpredictability. Graham Masterson‘s The Wells of Hell (which the title track is based on) begins with strange microscopic organisms infecting a town’s water supply, who evolve into Lovecraftian staggering monstrosities, and ends with a final battle against Satan himself that you’d never see coming.”
2. “Human characters that slowly devolve into madness or are overtaken by demonic forces are the ones that tend to get my attention. Seeing the gradual change before shit starts hitting the fan is always fascinating. Obviously, something like The Exorcist would not have been as effective if we hadn’t seen the slow spiral of an ordinary, helpless 12-year-old girl into the clutches of pea-soup vomiting, crucifix defiling demonic possession.”
3. “Completely abstract monsters. I’m of the Lovecraft camp where the more formless and bizarre the better. And when in doubt, throw in some tentacles and giant eyeballs. The Mist stands out in my mind as far this goes, I kind of consider it an unofficial Lovecraft film.”
4. “Creating that sense of dread, exploring morbid landscapes and setting the tone in great detail is vital. Lovecraft and Clive Barker are my favourites with this. I know I mention Lovecraft a lot and I’m far from the first vocalist to draw influence from him, but the classics never die. As far as films go, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is a great example of creating an entirely uncomfortable atmosphere that never stops being effective even after many, many viewings.”