Many young bands can attest that, especially in the world of extreme metal, the road to success is both long and difficult to navigate. However, once success is achieved, it doesn’t necessarily get any easier—especially for deathcore scene vets Through The Eyes Of The Dead.
Initially formed in 2003, the band found monstrous success with their 2005 debut LP, Bloodlust, for Prosthetic Records. After releasing two more albums for the label, 2007’s Malice and 2010’s Skepsis, the band stepped back to regroup. Though they began discussing the potential of a new record as early as 2012, it wasn’t until October of 2017 that Through The Eyes Of The Dead would return with Disomus, a scorching and intense return to form, released via Entertainment One and Good Fight Music.
“When we signed with Prosthetic, we had three records we put out with Prosthetic, and we toured relentlessly on those three,” guitarist Justin Longshore recalls. “I’m talking, probably eight to 10 months of the year, we were on the road. Usually, when that happens, you go through some lineup changes if you’re unlucky like us. It was really tough on certain people, so throughout those years, we were putting in work to really brand ourselves in the metal community. Here and there, we would lose a member and replace them.”
“We’ve had a different singer on each record up until now,” he continues, “so 2005 was when Bloodlust was released, and we had Anthony Gunnells—who was an original member along with myself. Then, 2007 came along, and we parted ways with him and got Nate Johnson to do Malice. He recorded with us in Florida with [producer] Erik Rutan. Then, he had left right before one of our bigger tours that we had done with As I Lay Dying and All That Remains, along with our drummer Josh [Kulick]. So, we kind of had to regroup.”
That decision left the band’s touring plans in limbo. “When we did that, we only had one tour scheduled, which we actually wanted to cancel due to the member changes,” Longshore admits. “It was kind of a huge blow to us. It was with Soilwork and Throwdown. We didn’t want to pull out, but at the same time, we didn’t know what to do. We talked to management, and they said, ‘You can’t cancel, you need to try to do this.’ So, we said, ‘Let’s just do it. Let’s get some guys and try to fill this tour and just go for it.’ We ended up getting some guys who were a little troublesome and didn’t really fit with our group, so we ended up not even finishing that tour due to stupid reasons.”
Despite weathering these mounting difficulties, Through The Eyes Of The Dead found that bouncing back was an even bigger challenge. “Ever since then, it was really tough to get back to where we were at our peak when we were doing Sounds Of The Underground [festival] and stuff like that,” Longshore shares. “Things with the band were dwindling, and it was getting really tough to continue, so we decided to take a little break, regroup, and we got the Skepsis lineup. This is basically the same lineup. We did Skepsis, we really loved the material, but our recording budget got cut in half basically; we weren’t seeing as much support from the label, and things were getting super tough for us. We had to take a little break to get that spark back. Me, personally, I stopped having as much fun. I didn’t have the same drive that I had back in the day.”
“Basically, we decided to take some time off,” he says. “It was really tough to make a living at that point with all those huge bumps in the road. We didn’t anticipate the hiatus being that long, but it was really a breath of fresh air for us. I think it really helped us in the long run, because we basically got to keep the same lineup, and it really helped us to create an awesome record that we’re really proud of [in Disomus]. We also played some shows and there was a good turnout. Fans are really excited now.”
Disomus stands as the unequivocal silver lining amidst all the dark clouds. “As far as when we started writing the record, I wanna say I started it in bits and pieces for a while,” Longshore explains. “We stopped touring in 2010 and 2011, I think I started working on the record in 2014. It was just going to be an EP at first. So, we’ve been working on it for a while.”
Finding a label and hitting fans with new material after such a long time away could have easily been daunting for the band, but following their baptism by fire, very little seems to faze them. “We really weren’t worried to be honest,” Longshore reveals. “That’s obviously a concern you’re going to have, especially when you’re putting out a new record, especially as long as we took to write and record it. The biggest struggle was that we’re all in different states. That was a huge hurdle to write, but when we started writing, we kind of went back to our roots where we were writing what we wanted to hear. We were writing for ourselves. […] It was the most relaxed we’ve ever been when writing, except for when we first started. So, we really weren’t concerned a lot with what people thought or if it was going to be huge or not.”
“Originally, it was going to be an EP,” he reiterates, “and we were going to put it out ourselves, just for the fans who were still with us and who still wanted something. But one thing led to another, and it became something bigger than we had ever hoped. We had some label interest, and we signed with eOne / Good fight and made it bigger than we originally went out to do.”
The landscape of the scene has changed quite a bit since 2010, but with Disomus, Through The Eyes Of The Dead remained more interested in staying true to themselves than fitting in with the crowd. “We obviously have always been huge into metal, so we know what’s out there,” Longshore says. “A lot of it we’re not huge fans of; we’re still into the same stuff we’ve always been. As far as what’s popular out there, we figured that us making a new record would kind of leave our mark again and still be something unique to the scene.”
“So yeah, it just kinda happened,” he concludes. “Everything kinda put itself in its place. There was no strategic thing there, we just really wanted to put out a good record that fans were into.”
Congratulations, gents. You have succeeded!