Melbourne newcomers Sentinel are easily one of the better metalcore bands emerging from the current local scene. Containing the heavy and guttural moments typical of the genre, the band also channels progressive elements to offer a greater variety. Since forming in 2013, the upstarts have released their debut EP ‘The History Weave’ and single, ‘Fabrication’. Now, they’re about to drop their impressive sophomore EP, ‘The Primordial Ruin’. Killyourstereo.com recently spoke with guitarist Jamie Marinos, among other members of the band, regarding the upcoming EP.
Out of curiosity guys, with the artist behind the artwork, Par Olofsson, did you pick the artwork because it looked awesome (which it does) or because it sat more with the doomsday theme of the EP?
Jamie Marinos [guitar]: We wanted to go for something a little more illustrated. The EP is a concept in itself and is a follow on from our first EP too, and we wanted something that was a great representation of what’s going on with the lyrics. So that’s why we went with an artist, rather than just photo manipulation.
I think it works in your favour as the EP’s artwork is very eye catching too.
JM: Oh yeah, Par Olofsson is one of those guys where if you’ve seen his work, then you’ll know his work.
Excluding the doomsday theme, is there another set story running through the release?
Brandon Hoogendorp [vocals]: ‘The Primordial Ruin’ is a continuation of ‘The History Weave’. That started off with nothing in the world but Life and Death; Life would create something and Death would destroy, and this repeats for eons and eons. Life then got tired of it all as nothing got to where he wanted it. Life made a deal with Death where he’d keep Death in a person to get some idea of humanity. But Life tricked him and kept him in there forever. Death gets a God complex and decides to see how far he could push his immortality, so he kills himself, which he wasn’t expected to do, and everything starts to crumble around him. So each song goes on with different parts of how it all unravels and, in the end, Life and Death meet and destroy the entire universe. So it’s a good story (laughs).
That’s very cool. That’s not what a lot of other bands would write about, which is usually loss, depression, motivation, politics and such. Do you think that will help set this release apart?
BH: I’d like to think so. It’s got personal elements in there, they’re just not as obvious. I find it’s easier to write about a bigger concept and go from there and put in little bits of yourself. Instead of, “Hey, I’m sad, here’s a song! Hey, I’m happy, here’s a song”. I find it easier to focus more if I’ve got a bigger concept to work.
Are those concepts and themes planned out for any other releases?
Not really. When we did The History Weave, I was pretty happy with it. But then I thought I could do more with it, as I didn’t like how it ended, it was too short. Other singles probably won’t come from it, as I’ve wrapped it up too nicely, so maybe just a track here and there. But at the moment, it’s pretty set in stone.
One thing you guys did for the EP promo was using the various artworks for each track, and I think that was much better than, “check back here at 6pm for some news!”, or something like that.
Dale Lee [guitar]: Yeah, a lot of bands do these hype campaigns and it didn’t really suit our style and we wanted to do something different. We got our friend Morgan to write up a series of sketches and draw something that reflected the songs, and then released it bit by bit.
Right on, dudes. With getting Mark Poida [Aversions Crown, I, Valiance] on ‘Nadir’, did you already know Mark and the others guys in I,V or did you first meet when you supported them and Prepared Like A Bride?
BH: We’ve met I, Valiance before and are pretty good friends with them. Jamie wrote the song and with the breakdown, we said, “That would be sick if we got Poida on it, that’d be insane.” He was pretty cool about it, and a day or two later he had it back, and it was amazing.
Speaking about I,V…they’re a pretty progressive band as far as metal goes, what other bands or artists inspire you and the band to play and write the way that you do, Jamie?
JM: I listen to a lot of proggy bands, like The Contortionist and After The Burial; pretty much Sumerian bands from my teenage years. But, I also like a lot of post-rock and ambient music, bands like Sigur Rós and This Will Destroy You. In terms of layers and approach, that’s where I draw the most influence.
Now that you mention it, I can see the influence of say This Will Destroy You on the EP, what with the guitar layers. Now, you must be keen to be playing alongside Chelsea Grin and Boris the Blade?
JM: It’s going to be a lot of fun. It’ll be our second time playing the Corner Hotel, should be a sick show. I like that it’s deathcore bands and then…us.
Will be a bit of a mix, but there are some pretty heavy moments on the EP so I think you won’t be too out of place.
JM: We tried to keep it different, but still sounds like us, you know? I actually wrote the songs to fit the lyrical content as well, so where it gets heavier in the lyrics, the music will follow. This half of the story is much darker so it’s also heavier.
With getting Brian Hood to mix the EP, what were your expectations from a guy who really knows his stuff and can pull some awesome mixes?
JM: We worked with him on our single, ‘The Fabrication’, and we had a really good experience, so we decided to go with him on the EP. With ‘The Fabrication’, we recorded that in the first year of us being an active band. With this we had more experience. We put a lot more effort into recording this EP, like with the single we recorded with two separate guitars – small things – but that were important. With this EP we made sure we both used the same guitar, spent hours going over the tracks. When it came time to send it off, we were very confident with it.
It was cool to work with him, we sent the pre-production before we sent him all the songs, and he was really stoked on them. That was a good inkling that he was keen to work on them.
Ah, good to hear dude. No doubt you saw Brian’s guitar tone video using your song with the TSE X50 v2 plug-in?
JM: Yeah (laughs) that was awesome. He didn’t even tell us about it, he just popped it up there. It was really good promotion for us. A lot of people were commenting on it, asking who we were and what the song was called. It was great.
That’s sick. With that Jamie, that’s all the questions I had for you guys. Thank you so much for taking the time, and sorry to interrupt during band practice.
JM: Ah, that’s all good man. It’s been good, thank you.
‘The Primordial Ruin’ is available from July 3rd through iTunes and Bandcamp.