Our debut album, Terminate Damnation, is turning 10 this month. Our precious debut album, of which we were immeasurably proud, was unleashed on the general public on August 30, 2005.
The album was a collection of songs that various members had written over the previous couple years. It was the best of what we had and we felt we had a lot. We were full of vim and vigor, and we had no idea what we were doing.
The album had some really great aspects, chief among them being the insanely great painting by Dan Seagrave. Dan is British, so perhaps we should expect him to be better at everything. But of all the incredible pieces he’s done for legendary metal bands (and they number in the hundreds), I honestly believe Terminate Damnation is his best work. You can’t imagine how excited we were when we saw what he’d done with the direction we gave him. We commissioned an idea and Dan made the idea one of the best paintings I’ve ever seen.
Terminate Damnation also saw Tue Madsen do the mixing. He’s Danish, so of course he does everything better (notice a pattern?). His mix was huge. He made the raw recording a behemoth. We ended up using him again on I Am and in both cases, the mix sounds monstrously gigantic.
Ryan Clark (singer of Demon Hunter, guy who signed us to Tooth and Nail/SolidState) hand-drew our original logo. I kinda wish we’d stuck with it longer because it was so raw and thrashy. But since The Physics of Fire was so black metal, we asked him to design something more along those lines for our sophomore album, which he graciously did very well. But that original logo is so freaking cool. It looks so good as a patch on a blue jean jacket that I actually have it as a patch on my punk blue jean jacket that I haven’t worn in at least a couple eras of my life.
Even in 2005, we were black-metal-minded, though. I wrote Elegy as a direct desire to produce a perfect marriage of Opeth and Extol, my two favorite bands, both of which have prominent black metal roots and both of which are Scandinavian. We also adopted names, and my moniker of Count Seth was a direct result of my black metal love. There was Euronymous, Hellhammer, Count Grishnackh, etc. So of course I had to be credited as Count Seth. Unknown to most, I had built my own coffin the summer before (2004), and I burned into the wood door an Elizabethan simply portrait of myself , encircled by the words “Count Seth, Lord of Death.” So I carried that name over to Terminate Damnation. We actually used that coffin to carry in our merch at our CD release show for the album at the Shma in Birmingham, AL. I also slept in that coffin during my last semester of college before leaving on tour. It was hot.
So the album is about to be 10 years old. It’s still our best-selling album. I’d like to compare it to our other albums, but I think that should be its own post, don’t you?