In the digital age, it’s easier than ever for artists to get their music out there. It seems like every day there’s another dozen one-man bands on Bandcamp, all playing their own brand of black metal. While this is obviously a good thing for metal overall, it can sometimes make it hard to find truly great, unique acts amidst all the bedroom bands. Fortunately, Glacium, a young up-and-coming black metal act from Wisconsin, has been making waves in the underground with their debut, Elegies to the Freezing Sky. I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to chat with Trevor Keay, the band’s mastermind, about his local scene, some albums he enjoys, and what the future holds for this promising black metal band.
IMV: When I think of black metal, Wisconsin isn’t exactly the first location that pops into my head. Can you tell me anything about the local scene? Any good bands or favorite venues?
Trevor Keay: The local scene around here is just about dead, comprised of little else besides chugcore and watered-down metalcore attempts that swarm the smaller summerfest stages. Project Concinnity is the only real standout I can think of. They’re a pretty much brand new instrumental prog metal group.
IMV: Looking at the cover art for Elegies, it’s a lot brighter and much more colorful than most black metal cover art. One could almost call it idyllic. Can you tell me a bit about why you chose the art you did? Was it a painting you chose to adorn the cover, or did you have it custom-made?
TK: The art for the album was a commissioned piece by Lucas Allen Cook. I feel it does well to encompass the algid atmosphere of the album in its landscape. The bright color scheme is certainly a stark contrast to just about all raw black metal cover art these days, which was purposefully done to convey the thematic juxtaposition of natural beauty and tragedy which is omnipresent within the album. It’s definitely more comparable to Summoning album art than it is that of Leviathan or Ash Borer, and this contributes to the album’s unique identity.
IMV: The word elegy typically refers to a poem written for or about the deceased. Can you tell me a bit about the title Elegies to the Freezing Sky?
TK:The title Elegies to the Freezing Sky is a direct reference to the series of poems and short stories I wrote that served as the foundation of the album. Lyrically and sonically, each song tells its own story of discovery, triumph and loss. This also happens to be the reasoning behind the massive variation of song length, which is mirrored in the variation of the length of literary material each song was based upon. This is probably the part of the album I’m least happy with, as having a 12 minute song follow up a 3 minute song feels somewhat lopsided.
IMV: I’m a big fan of the album, and I bought the tape a short while back. I’m also a big record collector. Are there any plans for a vinyl release in the future?
TK: From one vinyl hoarder to another, I’d very much like to see a vinyl release of this album! I’m currently investigating avenues to make that happen, but no promises.
IMV: What’s next for Glacium? Any tours planned?
TK: Touring is a goal for the future, but the lineup will need to be filled out first. I wrote the entirety of the album myself, and have since acquired a drummer. However long it takes to attract guitarists and bassists is how long it will take before we can start touring, although I’m not keeping my hopes up that we’ll find people soon, as finding dedicated musicians of the genre are scarce due to the desolate musical landscape up here.
IMV: What do you foresee as the future for this band? What’s the next level in your eyes?
TK:I’m happy if I can continue to write and release music, although bringing Glacium up to a full band to tour and spread the music would certainly be the the next logical step in my eyes.
IMV: Are there any albums that have come out recently that have really caught your attention?
TK: The new Sojourner is fantastic, easily the best album I’ve heard so far this year as far as I’m concerned. Bands like them really illustrate what makes black metal genre so fantastically unique. Hooded Menace’s new Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed is also a manditory pickup in my opinion if you’re into doom or death metal.
IMV: Before we wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to add?
TK: That should just about do it! Thanks for helping keep metal’s pulse throbbing!