Tag Archives: Metal

BLACK WATER CHEMISTRY

Black Water Chemistry band photo 2

BLACK WATER CHEMISTRY (from l-r): Dan May (drums), Murphy “Murph” Lee (rhythm guitar/vocals), Matt Saunders (lead vocals), Gareth “Gizz” Stacey (bass/vocals), Chris Saunders (lead guitar/vocals)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

From South Wales, Black Water Chemistry are a five-piece that specialise in an energetic yet aggressive style of metalcore that utilises both retro and modern techniques.

Since forming in 2014, the band have been working very hard, and succeeding, at perfecting this, which has enabled them to make a real impact on the British underground metal scene, with many favourably comparing the quintet to such outfits as Soundgarden, Mastodon, and Parkway Drive.

However, the Newport collective are not content with just this, as they now aim to make bigger waves with the release this August of a follow-up to their well-received 2016 debut EP, ‘A Thousand Tides’.

Having just brought out the title track to that, which has already had a positive response, the band recently told me what else their rapidly-growing fan base can expect from the upcoming offering, and more.

How did the band form?

We’ve known each other for a while, some members longer than others, we’ve also got brothers in the band, Matt and Chris. The organic bit was between Matt and Chris having an idea to change musical conversations into real music, we auditioned “Gizz“, who we’ve known forever, Dan was added, then “Murph“, who was previously in rock outfit GoX. And now here we are!

From where did the name Black Water Chemistry originate?

Black water is waste, chemistry is the analysis of compounds, it’s about missing the bigger picture of what something is by always focusing on the micro rather than the macro.

What would you say was your songwriting approach?

It’s all about feel and context, usually Chris has a riff or an idea, which we then run with lyrically, we see where that ends up, then the guys add their own flavour to it, something may start as a riff, but may end up as a piece of music that doesn’t contain the same riff anymore.

Before finalising everything, we will usually talk about theme and structure, and look at where we’re going with something, then we will let it sit for a while before we revisit it to see if we can improve upon it, we always ask “Are we pushing ourselves enough?” about pretty much everything we do, but the process is very organic and natural.

What inspires the band lyrically?

Personal experiences, we try to not be vicarious in our lyrical approach, trying to imagine someone’s experience is kind of intrinsically impossible, so it’s always going to be our take on things for the sake of honesty.

Any struggle, rising above clichés, and the need to progress are things we admire in any society or person, so these are the themes that reoccur, that and the cyclic nature of all things.

We like the fact that things have a beginning and an end, or at least a transformation.

Recently, you brought out a new single, ‘Return To Ashes’. How has the reaction been to that so far?

It’s early days yet, but we think it’s made a few people sit up and take notice of where we are headed, we’re not the type of band that will sit on the same formula forever, things have to progress and move on, you look at a band like Pearl Jam and every single album has been a progression on the last, that’s the kind of artistic integrity we aspire to, we move on naturally in our sound, so people will notice this record isn’t as clean, has a harder edge, and a different message, and ‘Return To Ashes’ kind of embodies that change. So far, so good, we’d say.

The track was taken from an upcoming EP of the same name that the band will be releasing this August. How has the recording process been?

Incredibly natural, as we just sort of ended up writing the album and then recorded it over the period of about nine months on and off. The themes came together, the music came together, and it was a very collaborative effort all around.

We layered things up, but didn’t want a too overproduced sound, as a lot of bands in our genre use samples extensively and we kind of wanted to move away from that a bit, we’re not saying it’s analogue or anything, it’s just not over-embellished, Chris, our guitarist, produced it and poured a good two months into that including the mixing, Phil Smith from One Louder helped with the process and mastering, he produced our last record, and he has a really good ear.

Jo Sheehy, our friend and drummer from Salt Bath and formerly of Venom Prison, was hanging around the studio, and came up with this huge reverb that we ended up using. It was a good process, very natural, compared to our last EP.

And how will it differ from your 2016 debut, ‘A Thousand Tides’?
Massively, it’s more where we want to be, it’s the right dynamic, we’re very proud of ‘A Thousand Tides’, but we think that it was kind of a stepping stone for us, we set out sort of saying, “How can we reimagine our sound and better that record“, and we think we’ve done that, whereas our debut EP was more like a concept album, ‘Return To Ashes’ has a theme too, but each song has its own message now too.

We can’t listen back to our music after checking out the final mixes, as we just find it very masturbatory, so we’ll let everyone else make the final judgment.

How is the experience, for the band, of playing live?

It’s our pinnacle, we think, as we just love playing live, the buzz never goes away, and we’re blessed now with good crowds of good people who want to listen to what we are doing.

Our stage performances are almost cathartic, we give everything, it’s a very cleansing and tiring experience, but it’s 100% worth it, as when we stand in front of a few hundred people, and they are really enjoying the show and the sound, it can’t be beaten.

And finally, what else do you have lined up over the next couple of months?

We’re in The EVI with the guys from the Rock and Roll Circus radio show, which will be awesome, then we head to Bristol to the Fleece, then Manchester to the Grand Central, so that’s the next few months sorted show-wise.

We, of course, have the EP release, then a video coming out for the lead single off the EP, and then it will be a winter tour, which will be announced over the next few months, so it’s going to be fairly busy for us up until December, when we will retreat back into the studio again for a few months with no set agenda other than making some music.

As they say, watch this space!

Black Water Chemistry EP Cover

‘RETURN TO ASHES’, THE SOPHOMORE EP FROM BLACK WATER CHEMISTRY, WILL BE RELEASED ON AUGUST 31.

FURTHER INFO ON THIS, AND THE BAND, CAN BE FOUND HERE.

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OXFORD MATHCORE TRIO MASIRO ANNOUNCE SOPHOMORE EP

Masiro band photo

Oxford mathcore trio Masiro have been captivating listeners with their own blend of math-prog metal since the tail end of 2011.

Originally formed with Chris Pethers on drums and Mike Bannard on guitar, they soon wanted to push the envelope, and consequently hooked up with Chris Hutchinson-Mogg (ex-50ft Panda) to help fulfil their unique vision of producing a sound that is not only interesting and off-kilter, but hypnotic and alluring.

Although influenced by everyone from Meshuggah and Primus, through to the Mars Volta, Masiro bear their own markings, evidenced in the shape of their brand new EP, ‘Geodesics’, which is out on Friday 7th September.

Masiro spent their formative years shaping their set and focusing on their art. By 2016, the three-piece created their first EP, ‘Technocologist Unknown’, which caught the ears of Louder Than War, Alt Dialogue, Can This Even Be Called Music, The Punk Archive, and many others.

Shows with Poly-Math, Core of iO, Iran Iran, and Kusanagi have also only furthered the band’s reputation, and so too did last year’s appearance at Oxford’s renowned Audioscope Festival.

By 2017, the band were ready to lay down ideas for their sophomore EP. After many months of work, the trio put the final touches to the record this spring.

Entitled ‘Geodesics’, the EP features Charlie Cruickshank on saxophone for the song, ‘K-Ursa’, and long-time friend and collaborator, Lee Riley, supplying drone material for the track, ‘Intermission: Graveyard Orbit’.

‘Geodesics’ is a record that displays the breadth of MASIRO’s ability across six distinct cuts, panning from subtle introspection to ferocious catharsis.

Inventive and expansive, the band have amalgamated a sound that is imaginative and ambitious. The prog-math trio are announcing key shows throughout this summer, so stay glued for social media announcements, and watch them soar.

Masiro EP Cover

‘GEODESICS’, THE SELF-RELEASED SOPHOMORE EP FROM MASIRO, WILL BE RELEASED ON SEPTEMBER 7.

FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/masiromusic

TWITTER: twitter.com/masiroband

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/masiro_band

BANDCAMP: masiro.bandcamp.com

 

 

CIRCLE OF CROWS

Circle Of Crows band photo

CIRCLE OF CROWS (from l-r): Josh Smith (bass), Kyle Gormley (vocals/guitar), Steve Sudlow (drums)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Influenced by such outfits as Alter Bridge, Biffy Clyro, Audioslave, and Metallica, Cornish hard rock trio Circle Of Crows have made quite an impact on their local music scene this past year, with a distinct sound combining remarkable rhythms, imposing riffs, and towering vocals, as well as live shows that contain much energy and passion.

Now, the collective are eager to present themselves to a much wider audience, starting with the release of their debut EP, ‘Everything Comes After Zero’, this August.

To tell me more about that, and lots of other band-related stuff, was their frontman, Kyle Gormley.

How did the band form?

The band formed after I bumped into Steve one night and decided to have a jam. We’d known each other for years, having played gigs together in various separate bands.

Josh played with me in an earlier incarnation of Circle Of Crows, and he’d just moved back to Cornwall from Brighton, so it made sense to get him back on board.

How did the name Circle Of Crows come about?

Circle Of Crows is a name that Josh came up with when the old line-up wanted to change from our previous name, which was Breathe. We spent a few weeks tossing ideas back and forth, and when Josh said that name, it was just something we all instantly loved.

What would you say was your songwriting approach?

Our songwriting process seems to differ with each song. Josh or I usually bring in the beginnings of a song, maybe a verse riff or a chord progression, and from there, we just throw ideas around until it comes together. We never worry about a certain sound or keeping within a genre limit, if something sounds good, it’s fine with us.

What inspires the band lyrically?

Most of the songs deal with personal themes – loss, anxiety, love, family. I just try to be honest. I write all the lyrics myself, so it’s a very internal process, but I try to make the songs as hopeful as possible, and therefore, a bit more universal.

You recently brought out a single, entitled ‘How To Wait For Nothing’. How has the reaction been to that so far?

The reaction to the lead single has been great. We think it sums our sound up quite well, from the opening in-your-face riff to the grooving verse and a big chorus. I’m excited for people to hear the rest of the EP.

And that was taken from the band’s EP, ‘Everything Comes After Zero’, coming out this August. How has the recording process been for that?

The recording process was the most enjoyable I’ve ever been a part of. It was a painless five days in a little secluded studio in Cornwall. We had time to try some new things with each song, and there was no pressure at all, so each track came out as good as we could have hoped.

And what can be expected of it?

We think the EP is a really good summation of our band’s sound. There are some real hard-rocking, heavy tracks on there, but also a ballad in ‘Into The Sun’ and a (for want of a better word) epic in the seven-minute closer, ‘Open Doors’. We tried to include songs from every aspect of our sound, and I think we have achieved that.

Since forming early last year, the band have made a name for themselves on their local music scene with highly-energetic, passionate live shows. How is performing on stage as an experience for you all?

Performing live is our favourite part of being in a band. It’s hard to explain the feeling of working hard for months in a practice room on a set, and then getting the opportunity to play that on stage to a room full of people and feel their energy.

It’s so rewarding as a songwriter to know that people like what you have to say and we never forget that, every time we go on stage.

What are your plans once the EP has come out?

After the EP is released, we want to look at making our first music video, and sorting out a tour of some sort. We’d love to play anywhere and everywhere, so we’re hoping to get out of Cornwall and play the rest of the country.

And finally, what is the band’s long-term aim?

Our long-term aim is to be able to play our music to as many people as possible. To be able to earn a living doing something we love would be an absolute dream, so hopefully, this EP is the first step in getting our name out there.

Circle Of Crows EP Cover

‘EVERYTHING COMES AFTER ZERO’, THE DEBUT EP FROM CIRCLE OF CROWS, WILL BE RELEASED ON AUGUST 17.

FURTHER INFO ON THIS, AND THE BAND, CAN BE FOUND HERE.

 

WELSH METALCORE QUINTET BLACK WATER CHEMISTRY DETAIL EP PLANS AND UNVEIL NEW TRACK

Black Water Chemistry band photo

South Wales metal outfit Black Water Chemistry are carving out a prominent name for themselves, as they launch out of the underground and aim for the jugular of the UK scene, loaded with their brand new EP, ‘Return To Ashes’, which arrives on Friday 31st August. Before then, the band have released the title track for it.

Hailing from Newport, Black Water Chemistry were formed in 2014 by blood brothers Matt Saunders and Chris Saunders, respectively handling lead vocals and lead guitars, aided and abetted by long-time friends “Gizz” on bass, “Murph” taking care of the rhythm guitar, and Dan behind the kit.

The formidable five-piece have spent the last 18 months working tirelessly to cement their style and increase their fan base, and the band are now beginning to bear the fruits of their labour.

The Welsh outfit have already been favourably compared to such grunge pioneers as Soundgarden, to metal heavyweights such as Mastodon and Parkway Drive.

The culmination of these sounds has allowed the quintet to utilise a blend of older disciplines, fused with more modern metal techniques and musings, to form an energetic yet aggressive style that provides something for everyone’s tastes.

The band have pulled out all the stops in crafting their upcoming EP, and in doing so, they have truly created something special, from the blistering and engulfing beatings of their future single, ‘Oracles’, through to the cinematic vibe and explosive vigour of the EP’s namesake.

Producing such a statement of intent takes its time; lead guitarist and producer, Chris Saunders, comments about ‘Return To Ashes’: “Our music has progressed a lot within the last couple of years and we needed to update the way we recorded it. This time we had more of a DIY approach than our first effort. Periphery was the biggest influence on the way we approached the production, musically they’re one of my favourite bands, and their production is killer.

Black Water Chemistry EP Cover

‘RETURN TO ASHES’, THE SELF-RELEASED SECOND EP FROM BLACK WATER CHEMISTRY, WILL BE AVAILABLE TO STREAM, DOWNLOAD, OR PURCHASE FROM SPOTIFY, iTunes, APPLE MUSIC, BANDCAMP, AND DEEZER.

FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/BlackWaterChemistry

TWITTER: twitter.com/B_W_Chemistry

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com

 

 

 

EMERGING CORNISH HARD ROCK TRIO CIRCLE OF CROWS TO RELEASE DEBUT EP THIS AUGUST

Circle Of Crows band photo

Despatching slamming rock thrusts and engaging hooks with stout muscular riffs, emerging hard rock trio Circle Of Crows have been ripping up a storm in the south-west of England for the past year, and now they are planning an attack across the UK with the release of their debut EP, ‘Everything Comes After Zero’, out on Friday 17th August.

The three-piece have also just dropped a new track, ‘How To Wait For Nothing’, which will be featuring on the upcoming release.

Formed in the spring of last year, and hailing from the Cornish town of Newquay, the surfing capital of Britain, Circle Of Crows went through the usual growing pains suffered by most new bands, before they hit the ideal concoction with Kyle Gormley on vocals and guitar, Josh Smith on bass, and Steve Sudlow on drums.

The fledgling trio proceeded to make their mark on the south-west by serving up a series of exhilarating performances, and with a growing regional fanbase in tow, the hard-rockers headed to the studio to lay down their debut EP.

Here’s what Kyle Gormley has to say about it: “The EP was actually recorded last summer, over five days at Cube Studios in Cornwall. It was a joy to produce, it’s something we are immensely proud of, and we can’t wait to share it with our new fans.

With post-production delays now out of the way, the three-piece are now ready for a full launch of what is surely an engrossing debut record.

Boasting six slabs of infectious modern rock that take from such highly-regarded outfits as Alter Bridge, Audioslave, Metallica, and Biffy Clyro, 2018 looks set to be the year that Circle Of Crows take flight.

Circle Of Crows EP Cover

‘EVERYTHING COMES AFTER ZERO’, THE SELF-RELEASED DEBUT EP FROM CIRCLE OF CROWS, WILL BE AVAILABLE TO STREAM, DOWNLOAD, OR PURCHASE FROM AUGUST 17.

FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/circleofcrowsUK

TWITTER: twitter.com/circleofcrowsUK

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/circleofcrowsuk

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com

 

 

GOTTWUT

Gottwut band photo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

PHOTO by VIKTORIA STROGANOVA

Drawing from a broad range of musical influences, including such outfits as Rammstein and Nine Inch Nails, Russian quintet Gottwut specialise in an atmospheric, energetic, rage-fuelled industrial metal sound that they can truly call their own.

Having burst onto the scene in 2016 with a debut single, ‘Oil’, the Moscow collective recently brought out their first album, entitled ‘Konglomerat’, and they spoke to me about the recording process for that, the reaction the release has had so far, and much more.

How did the band form?

Gottwut was formed in the summer of 2015 by guitarist Theodor Artemenkov, who, having made some demos, found all of the other members of the band through social networks. None of the members had previously been acquinated with each other.

What would you say was your songwriting approach?

Usually, it all starts with a guitar riff, which should be groovy and catchy, then Pavel, the vocalist, writes lyrics based on associations with the riff. Theodor then programmes the keyboards and samplers, and after that, the entire band work on the song structure.

Recently, the band unveiled their debut album, ‘Konglomerat’. How was the recording process for that?

It was semi-recorded in the house of one of the band members, with guitars and synths being recorded in the bedrooms, which was very convenient for recording parts in an atmosphere that was cosy.

The drums were then programmed into the sampler, which is a common practice in industrial metal, and that gave out a sound that was punchy and tight.

After that, we went to the studio to re-amp the guitars and record the vocals, which were recorded under the supervision of a vocal mentor.

Then, all of the multi-tracks were sent over to Andrew Brodsky at Slaughtered Studio, and he made it sound even better!

And how has the reaction been to the release so far?

We received quite positive feedback from fans and the press. Many noted the good quality of recording and final sound. 

Nevertheless, the album will not bring anything new to the genre, and we understand this. Therefore, we will keep this in mind with new songs. 

You have become known in your native country for your attention to detail in regards to visuality, for example, specially-designed costumes and theatrical live performances. How is the experience, for the band, of playing on stage?

We have played at small clubs to improve skills and test show elements, and now, we are preparing for a great concert in Moscow, scheduled for this autumn. There, we plan to do our best to make a memorable show.

Russia is not usually the first country somebody would associate with having a metal scene. Would you all stay that that was the case?

Yes, because like you just said, Russia is not associated with metal music, and that is because of no well-established infrastructure in the form of labels, specialised media, etc.

Of course, the Iron Curtain played a significant role in this, but now the metal scene in Russia is gradually beginning to improve, as lots of cool bands have appeared recently, such as Shokran or Jinjer.

Now that ‘Konglomerat’ has come out, what are the band’s plans for the remainder of 2018?

In addition to our live show in Moscow this autumn, we will also be playing a show in St Petersburg. Also, we were planning to shoot a music video.

And finally, what is your long-term aim?

To perform at European festivals, and to eventually record our second album.

Gottwut Album Cover

‘KONGLOMERAT’, THE DEBUT ALBUM FROM GOTTWUT, IS NOW AVAILABLE TO STREAM, DOWNLOAD OR PURCHASE FROM SPOTIFY, iTunes, APPLE MUSIC, BANDCAMP, OR DEEZER.

FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/gottwut

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/gottwut

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com

 

 

SHOUT

Shout band photo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Swedish four-piece Shout may have only recently got together, but already, they are making waves in their native country with a pulsating blend of heavy metal, rock n’ roll and punk rock that takes you back to the days when legendary outfits such as AC/DC, Motorhead, and the Ramones were at the peak of their powers.

With an eagerly-anticipated debut album, ‘People Of The Night’, coming out this September, the quartet’s bassist, Kriss Biggs, gave me an insight into the recording process, what to expect from that, as well as more about the band.

How did the band get together?

Shout are a band that started quite recently, and consists of myself, Rob “Raw” Paris (guitar), Danny Diemond (vocals/guitar), and “Ol’ Hurricane” (drums).

We all started up in different bands, but we’ve all known each other from way back, as we come from the same area of Sweden, and our paths crossed at concerts, parties, and much more over the years.

We have all carried the torch of rock music, ever since we got our first taste of the rock n’ roll lifestyle as teenagers, which got us all hooked for life. Me and Danny played in a band called The Scams, and with them, we hit the road all over Sweden and Europe for more than a decade – having a bit too much fun.

“Ol’ Hurricane” started out as a farmer boy, and he learned to play the drums in his basement. He later moved to the city, where he met me, Danny, and Rob.

Rob had been rocking out playing guitar with his band, Danger, touring Sweden and Europe, and had no plans to slow down when he joined what was to become Shout.

How did the band name come about?

It kind of just came to us. We wanted something that reflected our music, and was also straight to the point, and when you listen to heavy metal, all you wanna do is shout!

To somebody who has yet to listen to your music, how would you describe it to them?

I would describe it as traditional heavy metal, the high-energy, ass-kicking kind, with lots of sing-along choruses that everybody can also shout along with. Scream! Shout! That’s what it’s all about!

What are the band’s musical influences?

Our influences range from heavy metal, rock n’ roll, and punk rock, bands like AC/DC, Judas Priest, W.A.S.P., Kiss, Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Turbonegro, Rose Tattoo, the Ramones, Misfits, Danzig, just to mention a few of our rock n’ roll heroes.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

We usually write either at home or in rehearsal, sometimes after a few beers at the pub, just to get the right flow! When we get to the studio, we do make some changes, as well as putting the finishing touches together.

I don’t think we have ever written songs whilst on the road, but it’s something that I would like to start doing, since it’s probably easier to get inspired when you’re out playing, surrounded by it all!

What inspires the band lyrically?

Well, since we mostly write about the rock n’ roll lifestyle itself, I guess it’s the usual stuff like fast cars, girls, and rock n’ roll, but also the freedom that the lifestyles brings, and the bond that the music gives us, which also unites all headbangers out there!

You have a debut album, ‘People Of The Night’, coming out this September. How has the recording process been for that?

It was quite a long process from writing the songs and recording the demos, but once that was done, we recorded the album down in Pama Studios in southern Sweden.

We recorded it with Mankan Sedenberg and John Strindgerg, in ten intense days, a period in which we barely slept, but we got it done just in the nick of time, and we had a blast doing it!

How is the experience, for the band, of playing live?

Like I said earlier, we all come from a line of different bands, and have all been touring a lot, since we love it, but since Shout started out only recently, we have only managed to play one gig so far, which was actually at Bullet’s release party for their new album, ‘Dust To Gold’, so that was fun!

However, we are looking forward to hitting the road again when we get the ball rolling after the album release.

What have you got lined up for the near future?

At the moment, we are working on getting out our second music video, which is entitled ‘Scream! Shout!’, and after that, there may even be a third one, but we’ll see.

Also, of course, we are preparing for the release of the album, that’s something we’re really looking forward to, as well as getting out on the road again!

Many adventures await!

And finally, what is the band’s long-term aim?

Just to spread our music as wide as possible, to be able to play all over the world, and awaken the party animal and get some heads banging!

Shout Album Cover

‘PEOPLE OF THE NIGHT’, THE DEBUT ALBUM FROM SHOUT, WILL BE RELEASED THIS SEPTEMBER.

CHECK OUT THE BAND’S FACEBOOK PAGE www.facebook.com/thisisshout FOR FURTHER INFO.