I’ll be honest with you, my interest in and conception of science-fiction is limited to Star Wars (and none of that prequel shit either!), the Terminator franchise (except for Genisys – fuck that nonsensical noise!), the first Back to the Future flick, Blade Runner and select episodes of the original Twilight Zone. I don’t care a flying how-do-you-do about Dune, The Matrix gave me a headache and everything with the Star Trek name on it might as well be smeared in zebra excrement. On a related note, let’s not even get started on how I haven’t and never will read Tolkien, Lovecraft or Howard. Either I’m a terribly uncultured human being, a bad metalhead, or both.
What does this have to do with anything? Well, Hickory, NC’s Rapheumets Well (pronounced Ra-few-mets) is a band heavily steeped in science fiction and fantasy. And when I say heavily, I mean HEAVILY. They slam dunk their lushly orchestral and luxurious symphonic melodic blackened death metal into a fantastical and fantastically creative and complex world that I don’t even want to embarrass myself trying to explain. But, you gotta give mad ol’ props to any band willing to dive head first into something as elaborately conceptual as this costumed and inventive septet have from the off. Thusly, we’ve recruited drummer Joshua Ward to break down what’s his band is about and the story and theme backing their new video “Crucible of Titans,” a track from the band’s forthcoming second album, The Exile.
“Our albums are centered in a fabricated multi-verse with very detailed lore. Our first album [Dimensions] describes the origins of space and time and leads into the grand war of the Atai, the ancient architects and propagators of life throughout the dimension. There are elder architects whom were born of the greater consciousness called Aea and are immortals who wield nearly limitless power. Their hierarchy is very complex and even odd to mortal species. But one of the nine elders loses favor with the mission of the greater counsel and rebels against the celestial tribunal. A war ensues which eventually leads to the elder Soyumoth's imprisonment. But it comes to pass that this may have been the plan all along. Soyumoth was indoctrinated by a primordial force called Urgael ‘The Darkness.’ With his snake charm, he beguiled the sentinels of the celestial order and even fellow elders into finding truth in his malevolent agenda. This was the first album’s plot.
“The Exile takes place after the capturing of Soyumoth when the elder Sotath Shal flees upon the planet of Vranath Su, the planet of the Sunak Empire where he takes control over the empire's governing bodies. A rare mineral is the focus of Sotath Shal and his three acolytes as the mineral absorbs organic compounds and can be used as a power source for a beacon, a gate that can bend time and space. After having workers mine the mineral, the workers are trapped in the mines by the Sunak military on order by the empire. They are killed and their bodies are left to feed the minerals which make up the gate, which were called the Blood Gates. Darmak, the commanding officer, was plagued with the guilt, hearing the screams of the workers as they are decomposed by the gates. He then swore to reveal the insidious plans of Sotath Shal and stop his corruption.
“This is where the song ‘Crucible of Titans’ comes in. Darmak is confronted by an Okvier named Sen, an inter-dimensional being who offers help to Darmak as Sotath's plan was illusive even to the celestial counsel. Darmak is asked to spy on the traitor in hopes of revealing his agenda. Things go very wrong. Being ratted out by a family friend, Darmak is forced to look on as his family is executed. Darmak is sent to the realm between realms, away from the eyes of celestial order. The demonic servants of Sotath bind a rare artifact to his bones which will forbid him to die. They tear his skin from his bones only to have his organs regenerate and repeat. Having his flesh skin torn multiple times each day and left to ruminate on his families execution, he is cursed to walked the desert of the Nastar (lost realm) until his spirit literally fragments and he ceases to exist. This is the crucible of titans and why we chose to do this video. We actually shot and produced our own video due to budget constraints, but we worked extremely hard and we hope everyone enjoys the work and creativity of the story.”