Coming out of a not-so-quiet corner of America known as New England, Massachusetts’s Conclave are an almost perfect example of a band’s members bringing their A-game strong points to the table. This band effortlessly showcases not only what the four members are capable of, but also hints at their past musical efforts as well as what they grew up and cut their teeth on. Conclave’s tunes are equal parts death metal and doom metal, with a healthy splash of old school Black Sabbath, and a sprinkle of hardcore. Don’t be surprised if you catch some familiar sounds in the mix as well. With a musical resume consisting of Desolate, WarHorse, and Grief, they’ve got a groove, some melody, and a heaviness that will put a grimace of approval on your face.
“It started a while back,” reminisces Jerry Orne (Desolate, ex-WarHorse). “Terry (Savastano: ex-Grief/Disrupt, current Come to Grief) and I wrote a couple songs but never really did anything with them. I had them in my back pocket for years. I asked Dan (Blomquist) and Jeremy (Kibort: Desolate) to help me finish them up and record them for a 7-inch.” The release mentioned is Conclave’s 2014 EP Breaking Ground; a solid release that showcases their capabilities, but also hints that much more is certainly capable given the right amount of time to write material. “It’s weird I’m like a founding member but I didn’t join until later,” Savastano quips. “My side of the story is that Jerry and I were in Warhorse 2002-2003 and we had written some songs that never got recorded. We always talked about finishing them. It took this long for that to happen!”
As of this writing, the band is happy to announce that their forthcoming full length album, Sins of the Elders will be released on 10 June courtesy of Lost Apparitions Records, as well as cassette version courtesy of PATAC Records. The songs featured on this full-length, recorded at Raven’s Head Studio by Eric Braunschweiger, show the progression of the band in terms of their music but showcases what the four of them individually contributed to the songs, given that they’ve had time to write and perfect their craft as a complete four-piece. The songs are brutally heavy and leave a punchdrunk feeling afterwards; all the while centering on a colossal riff. As a teaser for the album, the track “Black Lines,” is currently available for streaming here.
“Sins of the Elders is a much better representation of our writing style” explains drummer Dan Blomquist in comparing their latest effort with their previous one. “There was definite growth on this album with four of us writing. The diverse backgrounds make it possible. It doesn’t matter if it’s fast, slow, uplifting or punishing so long as it feels right.” One of the more noticeable attributes of Conclave is the play of forces at work with the riffs, feeling, and volumes of their songs, bringing back memories of Orne and Savastano’s previous band together, WarHorse. “Terry coming on full time definitely enabled us to write with more dynamics,” says Jeremy Kibort. Currently, he and Orne perform in old-school Massachusetts death act Desolate, whose sound and vibe is very noticeable in many aspects of Sins of the Elders. Kibort himself joined the band in what he thought was a “fill-in position” that wound up being permanent. The guitarist further explains that “personally I try to concentrate on the melodic doom. Stuff I’ve never had the outlet to play in any of the bands I’ve been in before. It just seems to work really well with the other guys.”
The latter half of the year is going to be a busy time for Conclave. They have a strong release that is about to hit the streets, and a number of live appearances at both intimate and festival shows, all the while continuing to write for future releases. The future looks bright for these guys, and once “Sins of the Elders” hits the streets, their aural misery will only grow stronger.
Live photo courtesy of Hillarie Jason.
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