I’m not sure things could be higher for Ireland’s up and rising “Celtic Metal” five-piece heavy metal band, “Darkest Era“. Recently signed to Cruz Del Sur Music and releasing a brand new album titled “Severance” on June 5th, I’m thinking the only thing that could be better for the band is announcing a headline tour. Oh yes that is covered too, and as a matter of fact the tour starts in September 2014 for a great run through the UK with support bands yet to be announced. Darkest Era featuring members – Krum, Ade Mulgrew, Sarah Wieghell, Cameron ├àhslund-Glass, and Daniel ‘Baldy’ O’Toole combine for a powerful and emotional journey of resolution and musicianship. We at 420Radio.org recently received a digital copy of “Severance” from Clawhammer PR and have not been able to put this one away, so I thought we would dig deeper in the garden and find out a little more by asking Ade Mulgrew of Darkest Era a few questions. (Below)
“Severance”, recorded at Data Recording Studios in Ballyheigue, Ireland and produced by Chris Fielding along side Darkest Era, is a perfectly blended 8 tune LP with a somewhat dark and melancholy impression. The album bleeds of dueling – harmonic guitars that penetrate your deepest inner soul, crushing and adept drumming with every hit, and precise vocals challenging your every inner emotions. The artwork was created by Costin Chioreanu and flows with a desired purpose signaling a undeniable chemistry between the band that could carry Darkest Era into the next phase of Metal success. With tunes such as “Sorrow’s Boundless Realm“, Trapped In the Hourglass”, and “The Scavenger”, you get a sense when writing and constructing the tunes, each note, tone, and lyric mattered with principle. Does the guitar work of Ade and Samantha set the overall tone? What’s the Chemistry with the band and how does the Darkest Era musical sound seem so balanced? Whiskey or weed?
Guitarist Ade Mulgrew was kind enough to answer a few questions:
UTFH: Congratulations on the release of your new album ’Severance’, it’s brilliant.The songs have an undeniable calm – harmonious flow of blends and intricacies to them, please explain if the guitars set the overall tone for this album or it could be traced to the vocals and more?
AG: I think killer guitars are the backbone of heavy metal in general, but then being a guitarist I would say that! Myself and Sarah have a songwriting partnership and most of the songs do start with a riff or guitar part, so in a sense they do lead where the songs go. The overall tone for the album though I think is more driven by where we were as a band when this album was written; our mindset, circumstances and the general atmosphere. When we write songs we don’t really break them down into component parts, there is an overall vibe which we try to achieve and the vocals, guitars, bass and drums all have an important part to play in achieving this.
Tasteful melodic balance doesn’t grow on a tree! Some bands have to work at it and for some bands it comes natural. Talk about the importance of musical balance and chemistry of the band?
It’s a tough thing to balance, it can make or break a band I think. Everyone has to feel creatively fulfilled in a band but at the same time if you had 5 visionaries in one group I don’t think things would last very long. Normally one or two of us will take the reins on guiding a particular song. It’s taken a few years but we know how to trust each others instinct on songwriting and it isn’t a case of each member posturing just to make their voice heard for egotistical reasons. Myself and Sarah have been writing together since the band started, our playing and writing styles sync up very well and we almost have an unspoken understanding of writing music these days. But I have seen other bands, full of very talented musicians, where the chemistry just isn’t right and it doesn’t work.
In an industry so tough to get support, yall were formally signed to Metalblade Records and now Cruz Del Sur Music, how does Darkest Era benefit from being signed in a social media driven world?
It can be difficult to get your voice heard as there are just so many bands these days. You could literally form a band in an afternoon, record a home demo and have it on a Facebook pages and get all your friends to like it before the sun goes down! There are just so many bands. The myspace ‘bubble’ gave some artists a fast track to stardom but as we seen from that example, a big social media presence doesn’t necessarily mean the band is any use. It’s important to make the most of social media as best you can and you can see buzz building about particular bands just through Facebook sharing. So I guess these days, well you can shout a lot louder but there are also more people in the room shouting over you 🙂
Your music can be transcribed as dark and melodic. What is your ’Celtic Heavy Metal’ formula and if it’s a secret, who and what has helped more than anything? Influences?
I hate genre tags, I would just say we’re a heavy metal band but people struggle to pin us down and they like labels on things so we reckon Celtic Heavy Metal is a decent description. But really all that means is we play heavy metal in a way that feels instinctive to us. Our music is melancholic and emotional, with a folk aesthetic here and there. When you take bands like Iron Maiden, Priest, Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, filter it through about 25 years of the extreme metal underground and drag it back out through our own native context.. I guess we are what you end up with.
For many, Prohibition has been one of the Darkest Era’s of our time, how has Prohibition affected Ireland and has cannabis ever played a part in the band’s existence?
There has never been prohibition in Ireland, except some of the licensing laws around Easter time restrict the times that booze can be bought, which is a but grim. I’m more of a whiskey man myself, but I couldn’t possible lift the lid on the bands recreational activities, you’ll have to read it in our book when we eventually burn ourselves into the ground on a world tour supporting Iron Maiden 😉
This shots for you. Thanks so much to Ade and the Darkest Era family for answering our questions. We wish you guys all the luck in the world with “Severance” and look forward to a US tour (supporting Iron Maiden 😉 – kidding folks don’t email us) one day in the future, fingers crossed. Keep up the great work! Huge shout-out to ClawhammerPR!
The track listing for Severance is:
- Sorrow’s Boundless Realm
- Songs Of Gods And Men
- The Serpent And The Shadow
- Beyond The Grey Veil
- Trapped In The Hourglass
- The Scavenger
- A Thousand Screaming Souls
- Blood, Sand And Stone