Interview: Martin Shouler of Superterrestrial

SUPERTERRESTRIAL are quietly building an impressive catalog of spaced out black metal. The Fathomless Decay is their third LP since forming out of Crawley, UK in 2017 and their best entry yet. Martin Shouler (guitar and vocals) took a few minutes to answer some questions on the band and their new album. Take a minute to read the conversation and then be sure to dive into The Fathomless Decay for a thorough listen.

Martin Shouler
Interviewed by Dan Craley
  • Do you remember the first time you discovered black metal? Did it immediately appeal to you? If so, why?

    I don't recall a specific moment to be honest. I think the immediate appeal of the music was hampered by the production values back then so in my younger days that probably took me a bit of a while to get my head around!

  • Superterrestrial has a contrast between the harsher and atmospheric elements of your sound. Is this the direction you knew you wanted to go when you formed the band?

    Yes right from the start we wanted the atmospheric parts to stand out on their own and be separate to the harsh parts, we have occasionally crossed parts over but it is something that we feel is a big part of our identity.

  • How long had you been working on the songs for The Fathomless Decay before releasing this album?

    The songwriting began as soon as the last album was released, there was a bit more of a delay this time due to the pandemic which meant some of us had to shift our focus for a while but the writing never really stopped.

  • This is the third Superterrestial album since 2017, do you find songs come together easier or harder during the writing process?

    Not much has really changed to be honest, with each release there has been a few tracks that seemed to write themselves, then others that required many changes!

  • How do you feel Superterrestrial has improved since 2018's Ocean Of Emptiness?

    I feel we have naturally incorporated a bit more than just black metal into some of the tracks, it wasn't a conscious decision, but things that just happened during writing.

  • Is there a theme or concept throughout The Fathomless Decay?

    Nothing specific to the album, just continuing space themes from the previous 2 albums.

  • Do you have a favorite moment on this record?

    I'd say either the mid section of "Transient Lunar Phenomenon" or the ambient mid part of "Planetesimal", really happy with how those turned out.

  • The elongated logo of Superterrestrial is reminiscent of a mapped out constellation. Did creating a relevant band logo come easy? Were there other failed attempts to tie your moniker to astronomy?

    Yes this was quite tricky as I didn't really have the idea beforehand, it just came out of sketching out lots of different ideas. A few were tried in a more traditional black metal style that did look pretty good but didn't quite fit.

  • This brand of "cosmic black metal" seems to allow for more expansion than traditional black metal. How far can you go before it's no longer considered black metal? Do you even care if it is?

    We aren't trying to stay within any specific confines really, apart from just contrasting the harsh with the ambient. As mentioned earlier we are very pleased with how some different genres have naturally appeared during writing so hopefully more of that will happen. We won't be forcing it, but if it does go in a slightly different direction we will go with it.

  • The Fathomless Decay was released early in the year, what else is in the plans for Superterrestial in 2023?

    No immediate plans but we will probably start writing again and see where it takes us.

Dan Craley
Gotten Out By
Dan Craley

Dan started Getting It Out back in 2018 as a stand alone podcast. He’s been writing for music websites for over a decade and finally decided to start his own. Now living in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with his wife and kids, he briefly sang for Baltimore’s Pleasant Living.

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