Music is more than just making sounds. For many artists, it’s writing a story, developing visual art, and entering an alter-ego or character in a performance. That’s what UK blackened sludge doom band Wallowing have done with their 2020 release Planet Loss, originally out on vinyl and cassette by Sludgelord Records and Astral Noize Records. Working with the cover artist Luke Oram, they’ve created a 36-page glossy paperback graphic novella called Planet Loss, inspired by classic ’70s sci-fi movies and dystopian comic books akin to 2000AD. It’s available for pre-order now in a book and CD digipak bundle through Trepanation Recordings and Surviving Sounds. Wallowing is going above and beyond to share the vision of their record, at a time when we really need to appreciate the breadth and beauty of what human beings are able to create when we put our minds to it, even when we’re expressing dystopic visions. Check out all the info below, and make sure to pick up your bundle before they’re gone!
Pairing the lyrics for the album alongside artwork inspired by conceptual drafts and the lyrics themselves, the full story of Planet Loss has been compiled into a vivid, visual experience which truly brings the story to life. Drawing influence from comic books such as 2000AD, Moebius, The City and more, this graphic novella oozes a classic retro-future style and is a reflection of the overarching visual sci-fi themes throughout the record and Wallowing as a whole.
The graphic novella captures the full story of Planet Loss chapter by chapter making it the ultimate accompaniment to the record by creating a fully immersive experience.
CN – Could you give me an overview of the story/ stories you’re telling?
Tom Harrison (guitars) – ‘PLANET LOSS’ tells the story of a small group of rebels fighting the make and break fight to reclaim their home planet from an evil tyrannical overlord who has run their version of Earth into famine and turmoil for their own selfish gain.
The album is broken into four main chapters which detail the realisation of living within a broken system, the anger felt toward the overlord and their governing regime for allowing this to happen, the forming, marching and battle for Planet Loss, and the outcome of the battle itself. Each chapter mirrors a current world issue such as the current political climate, racism, homophobia, classism and discrimination as a whole, capitalism, consumerism and its effects on humanity, as well as mental health and the stigma surrounding it.
CN – Do you have the whole story written? Is it one long story or is it over several short stories?
Tom – The lyrics for the album have always been the story. They were written as the kind of inner monologue of the first rebel who ‘wakes up’ to everything happening around him, who then proceeds to form the rebellion and tries to bring harmony back to the planet. We are yet to release the lyrics in full as of yet, as we have been working on a special format to release them in, which is looking to be completed by the end of this year.
‘PLANET LOSS’ is one singular story, although I think we would all like to contribute further to the universe we have created, so you may see more “in world” stories cropping up over time.