“We set out to write a record about life, and it ended up being about death,” says Lord Dying guitarist/vocalist Erik Olson about the band’s third studio album Mysterium Tremendum. While the new record centers around death (and you bet your ass it’s a double-LP concept album), it focuses more on what awaits us on the other side (while also exploring our culture’s fear of dying, and the struggles with our own mortality). The ideas for the concept have been kicking around for some time, but it’s fitting that they’re only nowcoming to fruition. At the core of these Portland, Oregon, heavy metal titans is Olsonand guitarist Chris Evans, who’ve been making music together since fifth grade. They formed Lord Dying before they had a name or a record when another Portland powerhouse Red Fang beckoned them to open some shows for them in 2010. Two records and countless live performances—including tours with Voivod and Crowbar—followed. Mysterium Tremendum is the record Olson and Evans have wanted to make since the band’s inception. It’s easily Lord Dying’s most musically diverse album, but one that could only be made following the band’s jackhammer 2013 debut Summon the Faithless, and 2015’s brooding Poisoned Altars. “It’s more along the lines of what we wanted to do early on,” says Evans.