Decaying times and self-evidence: an interview with Ade Mulgrew of Darkest Era

DE Ade Mulgrew

The recent release of their new album Severance showed that Northern Ireland metallers Darkest Era has not only evolved as a band with a new flush of blood to its line-up but also pushed their potent sound into new emotively fired and imaginatively compelling proposition. Providing another exploration of the band’s Celtic infused heavy metal in a greater voraciously flavoured and intensive proposition, band and album reinforces the stature and impact of the developing force whilst thrusting Darkest Era upon a new dramatic plateau. Taking the chance to find out more we took some of guitarist Ade Mulgrew’s precious time to talk about Severance, the difficult time around its creation, inspirations and much more…

Hi Ade and thank you for taking time out to talk with us.

Please tell us about the beginnings of Darkest Era and the inspirations or spark to forming the band.

We formed the band while still in school, about 17 years old. Myself and Krum had played together in cover bands, but wanted to form a metal band. We started playing some covers by Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest…but soon we were writing our own songs. The inspiration was, as ever, just to be in a metal band; to write songs and express ourselves. The same reason we do it now.

Was the Celtic influence in your songwriting and music an immediate flavour to your ideas?

It was, yes. The first song we ever wrote came about after I was noodling on a particular riff in ¾, not even thinking about it and Sarah added a guitar harmony. It happened to have a distinct Celtic vibe which we really liked and things just went from there. We didn’t really think about it so much…it just happened to transpire that way and the kind of Celtic atmosphere in our music isn’t contrived really, it’s just how we write.

Where did the Celtic inspiration come from, other metal/rock bands exploring that vein of sound or from a more traditional influence?

I guess you tend to take influence from things around you so growing up in Ireland obviously there is a rich heritage of folk music. We were already to an extent influenced by the folk rock band Horslips, and also the kind of sound on Thin Lizzy’s material. Something about this kind of vibe just came naturally to us. We’re a heavy metal band though at the end of the day and it’s those influences that were the most prevalent and the most important to us.

Initially called Nemesis, why the change to Darkest Era as a band name?

Things started to pick up for us and get quite serious rather early on, so we needed a name that wasn’t taken by 100 other bands. Our sound had started to take shape and we wanted something to reflect this. Candlemass were originally called Nemesis for example and changed their name for the same reasons.

It is fair to say that the second of two EPs opened up a new spotlight on the band and led to signing with Metal Blade Records. Is there something you can point to or say which specifically pulled the trigger to that recognition?

I don’t think so, apart from we are at the right place at the right time. You need a little luck to get noticed sometimes and the fact that we have the Thin Lizzy influence helped a lot as Brian Slagel is a massive Thin Lizzy fan. The band had a bit of buzz going from the demos which helped but I would say to be honest that we were a wild card signing for Metal Blade. We were the first of a few bands brought to their attention by Alan Averill of Primordial, but were an unknown entity by and large. I guess it was a testament to the quality of our demos that Slagel was impressed enough to offer us a deal.

With the label, The Last Caress Of Light, your debut album was unleashed in 2011 to great acclaim and reactions. How did that impact on the band and its emergence beyond having your first full-length out? DE

Joining a label like Metal Blade meant there was a lot of press surrounding the album; we were definitely exposed to a wider audience than we had been before. We had reviews in tons of printed magazines, websites and ads in the right places – so it was a big step up in terms of the amount of people paying attention to us. However the band was still quite pro-active in pushing itself using its own resources. But simply having an album out at last meant we could then go on tours, play festivals and so on so it was a big milestone, as it would be for any band.

Can we turn to new album Severance now; it feels like the band has found a new depth and potency to songwriting and sound, tapped into a stronger vein of invention…

Yes I would agree with you. A lot of it is simply down to maturing as people and as songwriters. The band is on a creative journey, we had no intention of writing the first album over again. We always want to push ourselves and move forward artistically, and on this record we had a much, much stronger idea of what we wanted to do and how to bring our own identity to the fore. It’s also a little darker and more aggressive, which is probably down to the circumstances surrounding the band at the time of writing. It was a fist clenched, teeth bared, back to the wall kind of scenario…

How do you see the evolution in your sound from not only early days but from the first album and Severance?

As I said it is a darker, heavier and generally a lot more focussed. We create a certain sweeping melancholy with our sound but we wanted to bring this into a much more focused heavy metal framework this time around. We cut the fat and went straight for the throats of the listener. We have a lot of different influences in the band, individually and collectively, and we fine-tuned this to bring more of our own identity to the mix and I really think we succeeded. People are having a hard time figuring out what to call us, but the reviews are very positive so that speaks volumes to us.

Did you take a determined or particular course with the new album or let it organically unfold in the writing and recording?

Myself, Sarah and Krum sat down after coming back from one of our tours and talked about what we wanted to do with the album, and we agreed on very general ideas which I said above, for example a general trimming of the fat in our sound. But at the same time things we written in such a short space of time that we didn’t really have time to stop along the way and think too much about things. There was definitely a significant element of letting things unfold naturally. You kind of just have to trust yourself that you have the songs somewhere inside you, and go with your instincts. Too much thinking can hinder creativity, I find.

So how long did the album take to make?

We wrote the album in about 10 weeks, during a very intense period of writing where the band was pretty much falling apart. We then entered the studio almost straight after, and recorded the album in 16 days. We were still writing quite a bit in the studio, although we had the songs more or less there. There was a lot of lyric writing, tweaking arrangements, vocal melodies and so on in the studio. It was intense also but a different kind of intense. Lisa went home after she recorded her drums but the rest of us knuckled down and worked together to push it over the line. The 10 weeks writing, in comparison, was quite bleak and isolated for me at times as I was shouldering the task of getting most of the ideas off the ground.

You were touring heavily leading up to Severance, it must have been less easy to sit down and write songs, certainly in comparison to the creation of its predecessor?

Yes absolutely, as the cliché goes you have your entire life to write your first album, and with album 2 suddenly there is pressure. Even more so when it’s difficult to put time aside to write. To be honest we gave ourselves a deadline because we knew that otherwise we would never get round to making the album. Things will always get in the way, especially when you aren’t playing music as your job, so we said ok this is the date, let’s just do it. We did not foresee the line-up instability however, which definitely made things a lot more difficult. We did two pretty big tours in 2012, and in the middle of it all we were trying to keep the band from falling apart…So yeah, very difficult circumstances to try and write an album in.

de coverYou mentioned there that the band had line-up issues before the album, how big an effect did that gave its making if at all?

As above really…We had no permanent bassist in place, and Lisa was in the process of leaving the band. Things were often at boiling point during some of the writing sessions, and as I mentioned Lisa went home when her drum parts were done so there was a serious atmosphere. Things could easily have fallen apart but we had far too much determination and belief in the band to let it crumble.

How does the writing process work within the band generally and specifically this time around with Severance?

Generally the songs start with myself or Sarah; we’ll have a guitar part, or perhaps a few riffs and ideas put together and we go from there. We’ll normally have a fair idea of where the song is going before bringing to the rest of the band and there it changes shape, gets arranged, pulled apart and the guys add their parts and ideas. Occasionally someone will noodle on a riff in rehearsal and we’ll jam it out over and over and work it into a song, but there was very little opportunity for this on Severance. Mostly it was stuff that I had come up with, and I would send it to Sarah and Krum and we would exchange thoughts and ideas. I did a lot of home demos on this album as I had to have the bones of songs ready quite quickly so the guys knew where I was coming form. Sarah probably had more material on this album than the debut as well; particularly Blood, Sand and Stone. We’ve always had kind of a songwriting partnership but it really came to fruition on this record.

There is a passion and freshness to the album which obviously was not affected by the stronger pressure of getting songs ready for its recording?

I think the passion that people pick up on with this record is a result of the stormy emotional climate that I mentioned earlier, and an unwavering iron will to make a really killer metal record regardless of the circumstances. Some people crack under pressure but it has always been something that I have thrived under, thankfully.

How about in the studio, how did that pan out and did you learn lessons with the first to help with the recording of Severance?

We had a fair bit of studio experience with our previous EP’s and demos, but I guess after doing our first album we knew exactly how the recording of an LP worked and prepared us somewhat. This time around we had a better idea of how to get the sounds we wanted for the album. Drum sound and guitar tone were something we wanted to shift around a little compared to the first album, and I think we’ve done that. We stripped the guitars back to just one rhythm track each for myself and Sarah, as opposed to the double tracking on the first record and I think that’s helped give the album a darker and grittier tone overall. You can really hear the bite of the guitars on this one.

Give the readers some idea of the themes behind the album and particular songs.

Decay of all things physical and metaphysical, Cormac McCarthy-esque post-apocalyptic dystopia, the unstoppable force of time hauling us further to the ground, and the philosophical concept of Solipsism.

Severance is released through Cruz del Sur Music, a label with a great pedigree and a striking array of releases especially over the past year or so. How did that link-up come about?

I’d been a fan of Cruz Del Sur for many years, since I first discovered Slough Feg and started trading CD’s with Matt from Pharaoh. Enrico was aware of our stuff and when it came to searching for a new label they were an obvious choice really. As you say they have an absolutely killer back catalogue so we’re in very good company.

It is a home more fitting for Darkest Era you feel?

Yes I think so, with Metal Blade we got totally lost in their roster and the sort of stuff we’re doing is never going to be a priority for them really unless it’s selling 30,000 copies or whatever. Maybe 25 years ago things would have been different but the days of a label nurturing artists and helping them grow into worldwide forces over the course of 2 or 3 albums are sadly gone. There just isn’t enough pie to go around anymore.

From the outside watching the intensive work you guys put in with shows and tours we wonder if there has been time to reflect on the journey of the band so far, if so thoughts at this point in time? DE2

Not really, we’re constantly looking forward and are a very ambitious band. We have many milestones we’ve yet to reach and don’t feel like stopping to smell the flowers until we’ve achieved a lot more. The band is entering a new phase now I guess; we’ve done our first album, did our first big tours and festivals and come through the line-up changes that often occur when a band starts to step up through the gears. Now we have our second album, a steady line-up and are looking to the next touring cycle and writing album 3 so I think the best we have to offer is still ahead of us.

Talking of shows, we can assume Darkest Era will be supporting Severance intensively around Europe and elsewhere in the months ahead?

Yes we have our first headlining tour of the UK starting this September, hopefully Europe in the spring and who knows after that. Touring and playing to as many people as possible is our number one priority right now.

Did you have any particular aims or hopes for the band starting out and if so have they been realised or replaced with new intentions?

We’ve always wanted to push the band as far as it can go from day one, but first and foremost we aim to write albums that satisfy our creative needs and that people will enjoy and get something out of. We’re on course so far I think.

Thanks again for chatting with us, is there anything you wish to add?

Metal or death!

And lastly give five of the most important releases in your record collection which you could never be without?

Iron Maiden – Powerslave

Queensryche – Operation Mindcrime

Judas Priest – Painkiller

AC/DC – High Voltage

Fields of the Nephilim – Elizium


I should point out though these 5 albums will change each time I am asked! 🙂

Read the review of Severance @

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 15/07/2014

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Speaking in Shadows – The Lies We Lead


Already embraced by eager enthusiasm and acclaim from fans and media for their live performances and earlier releases, the new EP from UK alternative rock band Speaking in Shadows, is definitely not going to derail their already potent ascent. The Lies We Lead EP with six highly accomplished and magnetically appealing songs will certainly enhance the reputation and stature of the young Nuneaton quintet whilst providing further potent proof of the band’s potential. It is not an encounter to push the band outside of the pack though, or to define new boundaries or adventures in their genre, but for a refreshing and easily enjoyable proposition there is little to dismiss.

Formed in 2010, Speaking in Shadows has already awoken attention with their debut album Standing at the Edge of 2011 and the single Sweet Gemini of last year. Both put the band on the map with promising strength which the band’s new release continues with pleasing efficiency. The Lies We Lead also continues the maturity and refinement in the band’s sound as hinted at in the previous single, to provide songs which no matter their success in persuasion cannot be denied their polished and passionate potency.

The EP grips ears and imagination right away with its first pair of songs making a thoroughly persuasive and exciting start. Splinters kicks things off and from its first breath is winding a sultry tendril of melodic bait around the senses, Speaking in Shadows - The Lies We Lead - CD Artwork (Front)its lure swiftly accentuated by a broader stroke of sonic coaxing from guitarists Lewis Sketchley and Ali Carvell. Just as sprightly muscle bulging rhythms from drummer Grant Sketchley join the enticement aligned to the deliciously throaty and dark mannered bass sound of Sam Powell. It is a dramatic mix making a vigorous entrance from which springs a restrained plateau of gnarly jabbing riffs and the instantly impressive vocals of Adam Smith. This is just another short flirtation in the rampancy of the song, its burst into a rigorous blast of sonic toxicity and rhythmic barbarism as anthemic as it is imposing. The track continues to twist and show an inventive enterprise which grips the imagination and emotions forcibly; it’s bullish yet melodically seducing creative charge a spark to raise real appetite for the release.

Its successor Technicolour Trainwreck similarly has its sinews and energy on the front foot from the off, riffs and rhythms planting down a firm enticing whilst grooves and melodic potency wraps incitingly around the punchy spine of the song. There is a swagger to it and a pop rock attitude which only adds to the swinging gait and captivating infectious call of the song, its anthemic chorus equally as enticing. A break into a slow harmonious passage is not as successful though the rhythmic climb out reasserts the song’s potency whilst overall the track gives the first a run for its thrilling money if without matching its heights.

Misled Soldiers is the next provocative track, its politically charged wording matched by the passion and rich flame of the music but both sides pale against the opening standards set. To be fair the evocative melodic hues of the song are perfectly crafted and delivered whilst vocally again Smith excels, ably aided by the rest of the band against a good rhythmic framing. There is plenty to please thoughts, the trying of a raw disdainful delivery from the frontman intriguing whilst the more hard rock stroll at its core makes for a good lead, but the indefinable spark which ignited its predecessors is missing preventing a good song being a great one.

The same can be said about both Breaking Silence and Moths, two tracks which have all the depth and tenacity to make a lingering impression but fail to find the same rich invention to flirt with and then seduce the passions. The first of the two opens with a raucous and abrasive texture of guitar and intensity which reins in its grazing for the vocals of Smith to unveil their narrative. The bass of Powell again impresses greatly whilst the guitars design a web to capture and hold firmly the imagination, but with a predictable yet thoroughly anthemic mass voiced chorus with feverish energy and intent, the song slips into expectation feeding realms. It is still another rich showing of the band’s craft and growing expertise before making way for its initially acoustically driven successor. The elegant and evocative caress of guitar is a charmed beauty to which Smith again shows enthralling expression and quality. It is an absorbing encounter which should have been left fully acoustic as once the band around midway bring their full body of sound, the song loses its singular enticing to become another song to fit perfectly in the well of many other strong songs melodic rock encounters. It is a missed opportunity but still a highly appealing song to whet the appetite for future ventures, as is the closing title track. The song is pure rock pop, its passionate and emotive verses a colourful venture with great rhythmic emprise whilst its chorus is an instinctive anthem for voices and emotions to fully engage with. Not the strongest track on the EP but the most contagious and an obvious lead into the release, the song brings The Lies We Lead to an enthusiastic and highly pleasing close.

It is fair to say that Speaking in Shadows is still evolving its sound and presence whilst The Lies We Lead is arguably an encounter which promises more than its delivers, but with both providing an invigorating experience it is hard not to take a real shine to the band.

The Lies We Lead is available now @


RingMaster 15/07/2014

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Zaleski / Ugly Zoo Split


Fleeting Youth Records brings the year another striking and attention grabbing split uniting the debut releases of two potently emerging US bands. Combining the Void EP from Ohio grunge gaze band Zaleski with the self-titled EP of Pennsylvania post-hardcore quartet Ugly Zoo for one pleasingly unhealthy and compelling intrusion on the senses, the release is an exciting introduction to two potential drenched bands. Raw and uncompromising, both bands savage attention as they ignite a strong appetite for their caustic persuasions of sound and intent, their endeavours resulting in one bruising and intrigue soaked experience.

Athens trio Zaleski open up the furious engagement with five tracks of abrasing and predacious imagination. Their sound is enthralling and pleasingly unpredictable, the songs a corrosive blend of punk, grunge, and shoegaze which still only hints at their unruly and unpolished swarm of sound. Opening track Red Walls from its first breath lays a sonic hand on ears, a harsh coaxing soon joined by a further thickening of the guitar’s abrasive enticement within a belligerently antagonistic rhythmic assault and heavily throated bass lures. The song is a scourge of sound but with a melodic yet doom filtered mellow breath which tempers and invigorates the enterprise and senses equally. The rawness of production and sound adds to the seductive intensity squalling around ears for an enthralling and intriguing first and lingering impression.

The following Snake Eyes Baby flames with a brooding intensity and melodic caress with thoughts of My Bloody Valentine and Birdland brewing initially before it expels a riot of feverish energy and resourceful incitement for an incendiary climax. The impressive track fires up the passions which its predecessor in comparison just tickled for a brief but provocatively incisive proposition. Its more elegant seducing is contrasted by Where Are We?, a track with a ferociously shimmering surface to another sway of melodic coaxing melodically and vocally. That gentleness is soon swamped by a voracious tide of sonic rabidity and a more hardcore edged vocal delivery for an instantly appealing but intimidating incitement. Whereas some tracks like the previous one make an immediate success others like this take longer to build their suasion but in varying degrees achieve their welcome goal.

Zaleski complete their side of the spilt with the atmospherically haunting instrumental Silent Hills and the smouldering seduction of Ghosted, a track much like their second which slowly winds around senses and emotions with a searing yet soothing croon of melodic expression within a tempestuous sonic surface driven by an enjoyably varied vocal delivery and expression. It and Snake Eyes Baby take best track honours on this side of the release with ease, each fuelled by the promise which lights all Zaleski’s tracks whilst providing an extra inventive adventure which ignites a hungry appetite.

Ugly Zoo create a sound which is garage punk and noise rock spliced with psyche devilry, and within seconds steals a march on its co-contributors with an irresistible charge of carnivorously predacious riffs, rabidity drenched basslines, and a discord flushed wash of riotous vocals as Westboro Deepthroat erupts in the ear. As soon as its roars provocatively there is a similarity to UK band The St Pierre Snake Invasion which is never a bad likeness to have. The track swaggers and taunts with imaginative bait forged by the punk inspired guitars and crisply swiping rhythms, but it is the demonic snarl of the bass and the mass scythes of vocals which seal the impressive deal.

Jawbreaker takes the outstanding start up another level, its opening gnaw of that great bestial bass sound with matching rapacity from riffs alone a gripping enticement. Fusing a rawer blaze of rock crafted spiky grooves and again dual vocals, the song brawls with and inspires the senses for a potently flavoursome fury which sets up an already greedy attention for the exceptional Jesus Sneakers. Their third song slings a contagious net of pounding beats with another ridiculously riveting bass lure at the ear; that alone addiction sparking but once the guitars spew their sonic ingenuity lined ferocity and vocals squall with vivacious revelry, the song becomes an insatiable stomp with energetic wantonness. It does not end there though as imagination grips the song further with shards of crystalline sparks and crazed warped tempting which adds a truly unpredictable beauty to the encounter, a track which feels like it is inventing itself as it goes.

The final Ugly Zoo track If We Don’t Succeed We Run the Risk of Failure reinforces the striking first look at the band, its body driven by a garage punk stride with boisterous sinews and combative rhythms, The outcome is a protagonist which is unsure whether to party or create havoc but in the end plumps for the former with unrelenting enthusiasm and devilish creative intensity. It is a thrilling end to an exhausting and thoroughly enjoyable release.

Feeding the primal personal wants of our desires, Ugly Zoo provide the most thrilling and exhilarating slices on the release but both they and Zaleski lay down a quality foundation recruiting long term attention upon the pair whilst suggesting big things ahead for both their invigorating presences.

The Zaleski /Ugly Zoo Split is out now digitally and as limited edition cassette @

Zaleski 8/10

Ugly Zoo 9/10

RingMaster 15/07/2014

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Thom Bowden – Searching The Brittle Light


From the release of his striking and impressive The Damage EP of 2012 there has been a healthy dose of acclaim placed around UK musician Thom Bowden and keen anticipation bred for his debut album. This week sees the unveiling of Searching The Brittle Light and those hopes are sure to be satisfied with the ten track encounter. It is not a release which impacts as potently and consistently as Bowden’s previous proposition but certainly it brings another wash of the rich potential within his songwriting and highly agreeable sound.

Surrey based, Bowden takes inspirations from the likes of The White Stripes, Nick Drake, Dresden Dolls, Fugazi, and Neil Young into his imagination catching enterprise. As mentioned The Damage EP brought strong attention and responses from fans and media alike, something you can only see the album repeating and increasing. A collection of songs written when Bowden was ‘at a low point in his life’, the album was recorded with and mixed by Steve Albini (Pixies, Nirvana, Manic Street Preachers) and mastered by Steve Rooke at Abbey Road. Inspired by some advice offered whilst the artists was in Chicago by Kim Deal, the album brings a raw honest intent and beauty to the ears. There is also a slightly more adventurous variation across the songs than on the last EP, a move you can only respect and embrace even with its slightly mixed success in comparison to the consistency of the previous release.

With guitarist Richard George and drummer Steve Matthews alongside Bowden, the album opens strongly with Click!, a song taking mere seconds to seduce ears and thoughts with its opening seduction of sultry blues kissed flames. a2137786508_2The slow swipes of guitar are soon joined by punchy beats and a darkly drawing bassline before the great expressively twanged and unpredictable voice of Bowden starts revealing the lyrical narrative. His voice and a rich essence of the music has a Frank Black like temptation which only adds to the smouldering enticement, an invitation which burns increasingly brighter as the song evolves and spreads its senses sizzling charms. The feisty stride of the track is an incessant call on the passions whilst the increasingly warped vocal delivery which by this point has a more My Red Cell essence, Bowden sounding similar to frontman Russell Toomey of the defunct Welsh band, only captivates with mischievous bait. It is a strong and gripping start to the album which without lighting fires sets up a keen appetite for its offering, a hunger soon spicily fed by the second song.

So So Long makes a controlled and infectious entrance, guitars and rhythms a simple but entrancing lure to which Bowden’s grazing tones lay angst spawned invention and caustic passion. The track never lifts its gait to anything more than a slow determined canter but with expulsions of sonic heat and expressive melodic energy, the song irresistibly wins over ears, again thoughts of the previously mentioned Welsh band coming to the fore. It is a masterful slice of sonic magnetism bringing a licking of lips. Its potent presence is followed by the ballad My Arms, the song a union of voice, guitar, and emotive textures which certainly stirs up thoughts and attention but brings an unexpected and underwhelming halt to the thrust of the album. Obviously a highly personal offering, it is hard and impossible to dismiss, or not enjoy, but the song is a wrongly positioned rein on the passions for personal preference.

The following Control brings the temperature and energy back with accomplished and thrilling enterprise. Rhythms roll invitingly through the ears as guitars swerve and let fly with melodic scythes of enticement and sonic tempting which reawakens a thirsty imagination. There is a definite eighties new wave feel to the track, another shade of familiarity which in different designs attractively flirts with most of certainly the rockier numbers on the release. As it continues to tease and impress, the glorious song casts a web of inventive guitar endeavour, melodic mischief, and sonic alchemy to treat and seduce the emotions; it all aided by an emerging Pixies sounding toxicity.

Next up How About It? slips into a gentler hug of emotive intimacy and melodic caressing around a spine of shadow involving rhythmic invention from drums and bass. It is a slowly burning temptation which takes longer than certainly the previous song to persuade but emerges as a deliciously riveting and evocative highlight of the release. Its broody success is followed by the forty five second instrumental , a piece which is just there before the outstanding With Pace unleashes its grunge spawned sinews and punkish desires. As its title suggests, the track romps with swift, heavily thumping feet and fiery riffs around which rapacious grooves and fuzz encased vocals flirt and rage respectively. There is no escaping a Nirvana comparison but as elsewhere it only spices up the brawling encounter. The album and Bowden seems to wear inspirations on their sleeve, definitely more than the EP, to predominantly bring stronger aural colours to embrace.

The raucous air and exhaustive pleasure of the triumph is swiftly tempered and brought back to the ground with the folk seeded reflection of The Water Is Cold, a decent and strikingly performed song but again an underwhelming shift in scenery and suasion. Its emerging emotional stringed flight and expressive vocal coaxing does light thoughts and feelings, but there is the thought that the track would be better served elsewhere in the order or set on a separate release to find the reaction it deserves.

The bluesy plaintive cry of In The Ground comes next to stir up a nest of satisfied thoughts and emotions with its persistent tendrils of sonic imposing and fiery enticement around another roar of vocal lament and expression. It is a track which you want more of before the final elegant balladry of Sweet And Tender brings the album to a musically and lyrically rueful close. Soaked in more folk seeded melancholy it is a captivating end to a fine if inconsistent album.

     Searching The Brittle Light is an impressive next step for Bowden but because of its intent and bravery in stretching its boundaries may be fails to match its predecessor. The songs are a clear step on in craft and maturity let alone invention but the album feels like two releases in one which defuses its impact whereas separating them into EPs of rock and ballad seeded tracks might have brought the showcase and clarity they deserve. Nevertheless Thom Bowden is an exciting talent which will be creating remarkable and keenly devoured statements ahead, we for one wait eagerly.

Searching The Brittle Light is available digitally, on vinyl, and CD now via Audio Candle Records and @


RingMaster 15/07/2014

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EMPEROR CHUNG announce ‘I Vow This Day’‏ with new video single.

Emperor Chung Online Promo Shot



Rising skewed rock crew ‘Emperor Chung’ continue their climb with the national release of their new video single ‘I Vow This Day’, out now and taken from their hugely acclaimed self-titled debut album.


Possessing a sound that pitches infectious grooves, pounding riffage and alluring vocals, Emperor Chung are continually growing in stature. Pulling influence from Alter Bridge, Coheed & Cambria and Queen, the Midlanders are set to raise the bar yet again this Summer with an explosive new single.


Born at the end of 2011 and coming at you from Ilkeston, Derbyshire, the members of Emperor Chung individually served their time in the local scene by playing in an assortment of bands, but to limited success. When the quintet collectively hit the rehearsal room, however, everything clicked into place and Emperor Chung was spawned. After a string of successful shows and festival appearances that included Download Festival, as well as playing alongside the Darkness and Tesseract, the band amassed a killer set along with enough material for their debut album. The record hit stores at the end of last year and racked up many accolades and high acclaim with Classic Rock, Rocksound, Scuzz TV, Total Rock and Team Rock Radio, all firmly supporting the release with glowing coverage.


The rock crew now release their stunning new single ‘I Vow This Day’, which includes a mesmerising animated video that is sure to light up the senses. The track is a stout piece of engaging modern heavy rock that first rattles and then buries itself deep inside your cranium. Look out for festival appearances and shows throughout the Summer.