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Following a productive year for the band, Comrade Aleks catches up with founder Stu Prickett to find out what's forthcoming for both Illimitable Dolor and The Slow Death.

Interview with Illimitable Dolor.
"Stuart Prickett is well-known in the Australian doom scene, having started in 1994 in Death/Doom outfit Elysium, which later became Stone Wings. After that, Stuart played in some lesser-known bands, but The Slow Death, founded in 2007, is a very familiar name for Doom followers. The Slow Death's vocalist, Gregg Williamson, passed away due to heart failure on December 2nd, 2014, but the band's third album 'Ark' had already been recorded and was released in 2015. Since then, Stuart switched his focus towards new atmospheric Death/Doom project Illimitable Dolor. 2019 was a fruitful year for it, and now he has some news concerning both bands."

Illimitable Dolor: Stuart Prickett (vocals, guitars, keyboards), Yonn McLaughlin (drums), Guy Moore (keyboards), Dan Garcia (guitars), Mat Newton (guitars), Gavin Collison (bass).

Hi Stuart! You formed Illimitable Dolor in 2014, while your band The Slow Death was finishing its third album. What drove you to start the new band?

Hi Aleks! Illimitable Dolor started in December 2014 after the death of The Slow Death vocalist Gregg Williamson. Ark had been finished well before this but had not been released. Basically I wrote and recorded most of the first Illimitable album in late December to take my mind off Gregg's passing. It was not immediately meant to become a full band.

And there hasn't been any news from The Slow Death since the release of 'Ark' in 2015: is the band alive?

There's a new album Siege that will be released on Transcending Obscurity in 2019. It has been completed and everything delivered to the label. We currently have no plans for anything after this so we will wait to see if the desire arises. This was all written before Gregg's passing and nothing has been composed since. Time will tell if there will be another album.

Will 'Siege' be a kind of 'Ark II' or had you already incorporates some new elements to The Slow Death's sound back then?

It's kind of like a mix of Ark and II. It's not quite as intricate as Ark, it's a little simpler but very epic. The original idea was to get the album out a year after Ark but it has had so many delays.

The Slow Death - 'The Chosen Ones' (2014):

Illimitable Dolor's debut self-titled album was recorded by a trio comprising you, Dan Garcia and Yonn McLaughlin. Did the guys help you to compose this material?

No, musically it was all written and mostly recorded by myself before I even considered asking anyone else to contribute. When I decided to make it into an album I asked Yonn and Dan to take part, both because they were good friends of Gregg and great musicians.

The lyrics for your debut album were written by Paul Hardacre, who doesn't play any instrument in the band. Why did you decide to rely on someone from outside?

Writing lyrics is not one of my strengths in general so I decided to look outside of the band. A friend suggested Paul, so I contacted him and he was very much into the idea and it has worked out well. He also wrote lyrics for our second full length and our split album.

I guess a question about influences is irrelevant; there was already a Paradise Lost cover on 'Illimitable Dolor', though it looks like too short a piece of Doom in comparison with your own songs. What are best examples of proper Doom metal, from the Stuart Prickett point of view?

The Paradise Lost cover was more a song of convenience as we knew it and had extra time in the studio. As for my favourite doom bands, stuff like Evoken, Skepticism, MDB, Officium Triste etc. There are many bands I like.

By the way, what would you say about the series of singles, covers of Paradise Lost, Skepticism and This Empty Flow? Why did you decide to pick up these tracks as singles?

These are just songs we thought would be nice to cover. Paradise Lost we already knew, the Skepticism one we play live and we thought the This Empty Flow song would be nice to put our twist on. We also recorded an Officium Triste cover for their anniversary tribute album and have a few others in the works that we will get to. There's no real reason behind the covers other than we enjoy doing them.

Oh, yes, it's 'On The Crossroads Of Souls'. I guess 'Giving Yourself Away' is one of their most deep and emotional albums… well, it was before the new one, 'Death Of Gaia'. Did you ever meet with them in person? Actually, I don't know if you ever got out of Australia with either The Slow Death or Illimitable Dolor…?

I have met Pim in person when I was touring with Mournful Congregation in 2013. We played a show with The 11th Hour. That was a cool show. The Slow Death has never played a show anywhere and Illimitable has not played out of Australia yet. Giving Yourself Away is my favourite OT album and 'On The Crossroads Of Souls' is my favourite song of theirs so it was cool to cover that.

Illimitable Dolor - 'Comet Dies Or Shines' (2017):

The split between Illimitable Dolor and Promethean Misery was self-released as a CD in February 2019. Can you say if there's a certain DDoom scene in Australia nowadays?

There's a few doom bands/recording projects going in Australia such as Promethean Misery, Cruciform, Lucifer's Fall etc and of course Mournful Congregation but it's quite a small scene overall. There's loads of stoner doom bands around but I'm really not into that style so I don't pay much attention.

Do you mean Cruciform, with one album from the '90s? Are they active?

Yes, same Cruciform. They have been active again for years now.

Not long ago I found extreme Death/Doom band Carcinoid and Thrash/Doom act Tyrannic. Are Asphyx and Celtic Frost your cup of tea? How do you see these faster branches of doomy metal?

I love Asphyx and Celtic Frost. Both Carcinoid and Tyrannic are good bands. I love death metal bands with doomy parts, that is the style my other band Horrisonous does.

Do you see Illimitable Dolor as a real band with regular rehearsals and gigs or do you feel yourself more as a weekend warrior? Well, actually I suppose I know the answer as you're always occupied with a few bands at a time, but, well, that's the question…

It's definitely a real band, we rehearse and we gig although we try not to gig too often since the Australian scene is small and we like to keep our performances as more of an event rather than a band that plays every week. That said we will never be able to make much money out of doing this as it's too difficult to do this in Australia. I only have one other active band, Horrisonous, and The Slow Death was only ever a recording project.

Stuart, do I understand correctly there are three guitarists in Illimitable Dolor nowadays? I see there's Mat from Lycanthia listed in the line-up since 2018 (though he didn't take part in recording of the band's new album 'Leaden Light') as well as Gavin Collison who joined as bass player a year ago.

Yes, we have three guitarists for our live shows, Mat, Dan (who played bass on the first two albums) and myself. Mat and Gavin joined after Leaden Light was completed, Gavin played on the split album with Promethean Misery and Mat joined just after those recording sessions. We are currently in the process of recording our third full length which is the first to feature all six members. We need three guitarists live to replicate the guitar parts on the albums. It works well.

Illimitable Dolor - 'Horses Pale And Four' (2019):

Sounds ambitious! Can you share any more details about the new material?

The new material is a progression from Leaden Light, it's dark, epic, heavy and miserable. There's 5 songs and it's about 70 minutes long. I think most people who like Leaden Light will like the new material. The album will be called Sol Extinguished.

How do you see your progress on 'Leaden Light' as a song-writer? Was it a strict development of the debut, for you, or did some ideas you had for The Slow Death crawl into it as well?

I don't know if there's much of a progress but it was a different process. The music for the debut was written in five days after the death of Gregg. Leaden Light was written over a longer period. No ideas from The Slow Death were used though because I wrote all the music for both I'm sure there's some similarities. Leaden Light has a bit more of a broad sound I think, a bit more thought went into it. I haven't written anything musically for The Slow Death since 2015, Illimitable Dolor has been my sole doom songwriting focus since then.

What's your mission with Illimitable Dolor? What's the place of the band in the modern Doom scene, from your point of view?

We have no true mission, we just want to record and perform the doom that we want to hear. I love writing, recording and performing doom and ID is my vehicle for that and the band we have assembled is very much a part of my enjoyment of it, great musicians and great friends. I think we are definitely unique in the Australian scene, there are no other live bands here that sound anything like us. I've never really concerned myself with the place of the band with the scene, we do what we do and if people like it that is great. I do think we are one of the better doom death bands out there but I am biased haha.

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Visit the Illimitable Dolor bandpage.

Interviewed on 2020-01-06 by Comrade Aleks Evdokimov.
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