From deep within the black metal cassette archives lives a curiosity which has been whispered throughout the underground from its brief existence in the early 1990s. Inflabitan, which at the time boasted Carl-Michael "Czral" Eide (Ved Buens Ende, ex-Virus, ex-Aura Noir) on drums to complement the mysterious artist who handled the rest of the music, released two demos before fizzling out, but within those demos was lore. Though Inflabitan (the eponymous artist) would eventually go on to briefly join Dødheimsgard and eventually become a full-time member of depressive black metal pioneers Strid, his solo project was a source of intrigue, even after the 2010 release of a demo compendium on Greek label KYRCK Productions.

Discussing Inflabitan in 2020 was a black metal obsessive's game, something which would have been spoken in the same sentence as "Well, if you like Ved Buens Ende, then…" and so on. Inflabitan's bizarre, morose, early '90s black metal self was a product of its time, an era when musicians were still defining what the second wave really was.

Now, in 2021, the game has changed, and Inflabitan is, surprisingly, back. Armed with a full-length album (Intrinsic), Inflabitan makes a complete about-face within the black metal microcosm. Moving from the dense and avant-garde to the concrete and riffing, the black/thrash metal found on Intrinsic is a completely new identity for this previously mysterious character. With a desire and fuel to make intense music, Inflabitan, armed with guest lyricist Totembjørn (formerly Aldrahn) Dencker (Urarv, ex-Dødheimsgard/DHG) and drummer Anti-Christian (Beaten to Death, ex-Tsjuder), makes an aggressive, positive point about "return albums," however obscure. Listen to an exclusive, pre-release stream of "Children of the Damned" and read an interview with the artist below.

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After such a long time in obscurity, what led you to publicly resurrect the Inflabitan project?

Despite being inactive for several years, I always had in mind that I would return someday. I had a great number of riffs piled up, so it would have been a pity if I had not made anything out of them. In 2019 I just decided to jump into the studio and record the ideas that had occurred during the last two decades, which resulted in ten new tracks. In 2020 all pieces fell in place with the signing with Soulseller Records.

Why such a long wait (27 years) for a debut album?

I just accepted that I had to prioritize other things than creating music at some stages in life. I have been busy with a lot of work and family life, but have a better structure nowadays, so I have time to also concentrate on creating music again. Now, I am just satisfied with the fact that I am still creative and got the inspiration to make something out of it. I am very pleased to finally release a full album of Metal, thanks to Soulseller Records. I hope to release at least one more album in a couple of years. I am already working on new material, but do not have enough for a whole new album yet. I am not rushing this, because the inspiration must come naturally.

Given the sound people might associate with Inflabitan as per the demos, why the sudden pivot to a thrashier sound?

The main intention for the new album Intrinsic was to make it sound intense. I want to attack the listeners with aggressive riffs. There are not many repetitive sections in each track. This is on purpose, because I want the listeners to get the feeling that new things happen all the time through the whole record, giving the listeners no rest. Instead of having many repetitive parts, it is better to play the whole album again. The change from the old stuff is intentional, because I see no reason to recreate what I have done before. Someone says that music is feelings, or expressions of feelings. If so, I was in a different mood during Inflabitan's first chapter, than I am now. Besides that, I also need to see some development, or it will get boring. I was deeply into Black Metal when starting up Inflabitan, but despite being obsessed of Black Metal, I never stopped listening to other genres. That might give an answer to the present musical expression that is basically a mix between Black, Death and Thrash Metal. I guess I missed playing the attacking Thrash Metal riffs, but at the same time wanted to keep the dark voice of Death Metal and the atmospheric melodies of Black Metal. I think these genres complement each other in an energetic way on "Intrinsic".

The Inflabitan album features some black metal icons, from lyricist Aldrahn to drummer Anti-Christian. When it comes to collaborating with others, what qualities do you look for?

I got to know Aldrahn when joining Dødheimsgard for the European tour with Dimmu Borgir, Dark Funeral and Evenfall in 1999. Aldrahn, or Totembjørn that he wants to be called now, has always been very productive when it comes to writing lyrics. In lack of having those skills myself, I am overwhelmed by his generous contribution to the Intrinsic album. He is a great and well known lyricist in the black metal scene, so I am honored to perform some of his works. In his own words, the lyrics are interpretations of the inner universe. Not meaning his inner universe, but the universe surrounding us. For me, it is important that the lyrics are open for interpretations, because that is what makes art interesting. In that way, the listeners can make their own journeys through the record. About Anti-Christian, it was the producer, Christer Krogh, at Velvet Recording that helped me get in touch with him. Anti-Christian had been in that studio before, so Christer knew that he could deliver what I was looking for. Luckily Anti-Christian willingly and eagerly lined up his kit in the studio and recorded the drums in just two days. He said that the sessions were exhausting, because the music is much more progressive than he expected, so we joked about it and associated it with being in a tumble dryer for 35 minutes (the album's duration time). I am very pleased with the skills he shows on all the ten tracks, and his creativeness was important.

What qualities do you feel your guest band members brought to the Inflabitan sound?

Totembjørn has a lot to convey, so the lyrics fill up every tune completely. I see a lot of frustrations in the lyrics that suit the aggressiveness in the music. Or opposite, the aggressiveness in the music fits the frustrations in the lyrics, if you like. Due to that it felt easy to put in the lyrics where it naturally belongs. About Anti-Christian, I must say that his superb drumming has helped binding the tunes together. Anti-Christian immediately understood how I wanted the drums, and he executed his tasks perfectly.

Given Inflabitan's more varied sounds and approaches between the demos and full-length, what do you feel defines this project?

I look upon it as a new beginning. I think the album shows a vast variation of themes and contains several elements I feel I can develop and bring on to the next level. Hopefully you will hear more from Inflabitan in the coming years.

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Intrinsic releases February 26th on Soulseller Records.