England’s own traditional doom/heavy metal rogues Arkham Witch have set November 5th as the release date of their much anticipated second full-length “Legions of the Deep”, due out on Italy’s Metal On Metal Records. The album comprises of eleven tracks and will reprotedly confront you with straightforward doom and NWOBHM laden traditional metal, occult, but with a tinge of humor and trademark bard/brigand type vocals of Simon. Three songs are already available for streaming via the label’s official Bandcamp site.
The band offered ZT the following statement concerning the songs: “Hail! To precede the launch of our second album we sought the council of a panel of parrots trained in the dark arts of Heavy Metal. From their manic squarkings and stone faced indifference we deduced that the three songs we should offer up for previewing purposes were the following three. They felt these would best represent the different styles of songs feautured on ‘Legions Of The Deep’ and firmly establish Arkham Witch as a band with roots in various genres of metal. Not just Doom flows through our collective psyche but also NWOBHM, Thrash, Classic Rock etc… and all inevitably have left their metallic DNA in our songs. So here is Simon Iff? to explain the influences and experiences of the three!
The Cloven Sea
The inspiration behind The Cloven Sea is Poul Anderson’s brilliant novel The Broken Sword. Released the same year as Tolkien’s magnum opus The Lord of the Rings, it will annoy John’s brother with the way it handles most of the themes and inspirations behind Tolkien’s work, with deeper northern fatalism and stronger characterisation in a third of the time it takes the Hobbits to finish their twentieth meal.
I believe the phrase ‘The Cloven Sea’ was taken from one of the lines of the book and the song is based upon a group of hardy elfen (elfin? – bloody Tolkien!) making their way across the sea to fight the Troll-King Illrede’s hordes! The riffs remind me alot of Running Wild – I think I was listening to them alot when this song was written!
At the Mountains of Madness
This song is a take on Lovecraft’s most celebrated yarn. It concerns the return of a fella who was on the Starkweather-Moore expedition, and who blames his marital problems on the fact that what he witnessed in the icy wastes has opened his mind to all new vistas of all exposing terror. The mountains of madness, as well as being objective alien artifacts which one can visit if the fancy takes them – are also madness mountains of the mind (which one can also visit if the fancy takes them) – did he really ever go, or was his journey just in the world of literary ideas? Did he meet his woman there – possibly – is she real – what the fuck is he talking about? Riff wise this is a doom metal stomper coupled with a gratuitous fast bit!
Dodo had written this song back in the day and it always stuck with me. Killer riffs and oi!s – you can’t go wrong! The lyrics are very Cirith Ungol and in the 1980’s mutant holocaust kind of way. They were ripped off from a poem I wrote about the One Foot in Hell – I was trying to be a clever twat in an interview!
Cirith Ungol: One Foot in Hell
A red eyed albino curses up a winding stair
And howls to twin moons, as distorted shadows bend
Morose mysteries beckoning; Let Chaos descend
I watch the black mathematics malign the air.
A flaccid cosmic spasm spews over all,
From a black machine gouging itself on logic
And as lackeys fall under the lash of the legion whip
A kaleidoscope of gaudy radioactive nightmares form
On the ground; distant men are striving to save
Small burning specks of worthless dust
Their cracked planets trapped in orbits of rust
As the black circle coils round its electric grave
These unconscious armies arise, their banners unfurled.
It’s the 1980’s again on another world.
I have never owned Cirith Ungol on vinyl – but I imagine that’s what it feels like!”
1. David Lund
2. At the Mountains of Madness
3. Iron Shadows in the Moon
4. Infernal Machine
5. The Cloven Sea
6. On a Horse Called Vengeance
7. Gods of Storm and Thunder
8. Kult of Kutulu
9. Legions of the Deep
10. We’re from Keighley
Thanks for dropping in!
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