FLAMING WREKAGE // Ministers of Infernal Affairs

A cloaked figure gazes upon a thousand-yard vista of turmoil, strife, and purgatory. In the far distance, a beam of light. The boon that will unite the ordinary and the sublime. Embarking upon that epic trek, Flaming Wrekage transform into masters of metal on fourth album, Terra Inferna.

MORE: THE OFFSPRING: Smash … Shaping A Generation REVIEWS: NOFX: Half Album // DRAGONFORCE: Warp Drive Warriors // THE GHOST INSIDE: Searching for Solace // FLAMING WREKAGE: Terra Inferna 

After this album, we’ll eat our delicious hats if they don’t become “overnight successes” that’s been ten years in the making. Making their mark in the Sydney scene at first, they inched instead of zoomed up and down the east coast and eventually the entire continent. After the usual commitment issues plaguing any band that hasn’t quite reached the tipping point, they’re now a non-stop, fully-oiled pyroclastic wreking machine. Even better, the Flaming Wrekage crew often convert even the most rusted-on new music-phobes to their hacking, slashing, death/thrash crossover delights. Speaking to screamer and six-string slinger Dave Lupton says despite a slow burn to album number four, their ensuing blaze deposits scorched earth behind.


Hysteria: It’s incredible to us that you guys have been around a decade, and this is your fourth record. It feels like Cathedral of Bones was your first and released only yesterday. 

Dave: Yes, we have been around for a while. When we started, I guess we just didn’t really know what doing. So I think bands that are able to get off the ground within the first two records… the stars just align. I think you make your own luck in that scenario. We’ve had few lineup changes and stuff, which has kind of put the brakes on a few occasions. Now that we’ve got four dudes that are hungry and keen and we are musically aligned, it just works. I think this record that we have out now is the peak of what we’re able to do right now. We spent a lot of time writing these songs and making sure that they’re as killer as possibly be. So yeah, man, we’re super stoked on it, and it feels like the hard work’s finally paying off.

Not to throw our objectivity completely out the window (lol – ed.), but so do we. The album feels more deliberate, focused, polished.

I think with this one, we just wanted to give the songs a little bit more space in parts. There’s still some pretty straight up brutal thrash and death metal sections for sure. But I think this is a record where you don’t want to take it on face value on the first. There’s a lot to unpack as you listen to it a few more times with the songwriting. I think we just wanted to make it dial it back a little bit because the album before Cathedral, I really liked that record. It was pretty balls to the wall from A to B. I think there’s parts of this record where there’s the space to do some stuff that’s a little bit more interesting and that we haven’t really done before.

Saying you’re all hungry, was it an even split between the songwriting? Everything seems to service the whole this time around.

This was definitely the most collaborative album that we’ve ever done. I think we were all in on the writing process a hundred percent of the time. It wasn’t just like, here’s a riff, we’ll just build it from there. It was ideas from songs were coming from all sorts of different places, and then we were building on it in different ways, which influenced the direction of the song. There’s songs like Ghosts and Blood and Bone that got some kind of more interesting production choices. I guess just some 12 string guitars and some synths in the background. So that’s the kind of thing we haven’t really done before. And I think just working our ass off in pre-production and making sure that we have the structure dialled in just gave us that extra bit of space in the studio to mess around with more interesting production stuff, which was a super fun experience.

Sometimes you get people at those gigs that are pretty determined to not enjoy the support, and my God, they park up down the front and they’re just like, ‘I will not like this at any cost.’ But if you can get those people over the line, it’s one of the best feelings.
[ Dave Lupton, Flaming Wrekage ]

It’s also an album as a complete work. I mean, the tracks individually are great but don’t quite hit the same in isolation.

We put a lot of thought into the track listing and the way the album is kind of a journey, especially on this one, I feel like it really is. It takes you places and in a specific order. So that’s another thing that’s a lost a little bit with the appetite for just constant singles and stuff. You kind of lose that a little bit. I would encourage people to listen to this album from start to finish. If you have the time, you’ll be rewarded for it.

What’s also remarkable is that you’re crafting atmospheres, textures. Songs have individual moods. Some tracks one could say are mini-albums unto themselves, like Hell On Earth for example.

That’s my favourite song. I think I remember playing really working really hard on those lyrics. Lots of rewrites, a bit of a hard task when it comes to that stuff. I really wanted to make sure that it’s coming across in a way that makes sense to me. I often do like to write in a way that’s kind of a bit ambiguous so sort of apply that concept to different parts of their life, or whatever. Throughout this record, there’s just some themes of loss and anguish and that kind of thing, and that song Hell On Earth, you look at the album cover and then read those lyrics, it’ll all kind of start to lock in a little bit. You can see that guy sort of standing on the edge of the precipice and thinking about a big journey ahead, which is dark and horrible and fucked up, and that’s what you’ve got to try and get through.

But there’s that beam of light at the end of the road. On the last song, Our Own Blood, there’s a line that’s like, ‘this was not for nothing.’ So it’s kind of about that eternal struggle and just being in pits of loss. It’s quite dark, but I wanted something to look to help people try and get through those times. Where you need is that beam of light within view, even though a lot of the times it feels like you can’t really see it. That’s definitely the theme that runs through the record.

What was it like opening for Katatonia? Not exactly a hand-in-glove pairing, but it’s all metal, right?

It was awesome. Hey, I was a bit surprised as well that we got it, but I think at the end of the day everyone in that audience are metalheads. So there’s a high chance [someone] hasn’t heard you before, and I love that challenge. Sometimes you get people at those gigs that are pretty determined to not enjoy the support, and my God, they park up down the front and they’re just like, ‘I will not like this at any cost.’ But if you can get those people over the line, it’s one of the best feelings. I remember there was a guy at that gig, he was right in front of me and he was not enjoying the first few songs at all, but then I kind of noticed he started to have a little bop along. Then he was filming. Then he was fully into it. So you can convert those guys. I think it’s really cool to see a bit more of a mixture of supports on gigs like that. It just puts me in front of a new audience and people that might not go to that many local shows or whatever. It gives them a chance to see the bands that Australia has on offer. So I think it’s really important to keep mixing it up.

Fourth album, a bit of a tour – what’s on Flaming Wrekage’s plate for the rest of 2024?

We’ve got a couple of exclusive shows just straight off the back of this, and we’re also playing a free gig on a boat in Sydney with Black Rheno.

That sounds absolutely brilliant.

Then we go playing in Melbourne at the workers’ club on May 25th, and the big one is at the Landsdowne in Sydney on the eighth of June. So we just wanted to do two big Melbourne and Sydney shows just to kick things off, get everyone into gear. August through to October, we are going to do a big run. We’ll come see everyone else in the country. Then we’re going overseas to Europe in November, so we have a very busy back half of the year. I’m super stoked, man. Once this album’s out, it’s just going to be on. If we’re coming through town, we’ll hope to see everyone there.

Terra Inferna is out now via Grindhead Records.

FLAMING WREKAGE Exclusive Album Launch Shows

Sat May 25 – The Workers Club, Melbourne
Sat June 8 – The Lansdowne, Sydney

Tickets available here.


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