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Over the course of numerous EP releases and various appearances in the UK’s underground scene, Colchester trio Jøtnarr have begun to garner quite a reputation. Where the blend of black metal and crust punk is, by now, all the rage, in the hands of Jøtnarr it becomes a whole new beast which fully incorporates it all fluidly through sludgy grooves and an intensity that makes it their own. If early EP’s were impressive, however, this full self-titled debut (SuperFi) fully realises and hones their vision.Continue reading
The host of independent labels involved in the various-format issue of Burn and Bury (React With Protest /Vetala Productions/SuperFi Records/Prismatik), the latest EP from Colchester nasty noiseniks Jøtnarr, is testament to a steadying realisation of the promise this relatively young outfit possesses in buckets.
From the start there’s an unmistakably British feel to the music: the Crust infusion lending the frosted riffs an almost Post-punk vibe. The mournful groove to opener ‘Rise By Sin’, however, is as desolate as it is infectious and memorable. Stark, cold leadwork opens into a rolling, crushing coda of Stoner-style riffs which pulse with an added energy, while Chris Moore’s harsh vocal coats the whole with brief yet highly-effective bursts of tar-gurgling. The band’s diversity is fully displayed in the ensuing ‘Sunless’: a Shoegaze jangle, doubtless anathema to many pure Blackhearts, steadily dropping into a eruption of Winterfylleth-esque violent emotion; the slower pace and wistful lead yowls maintaining the earlier touches of humanity.
The tremolo thrills of ‘Hernswolf’ zig-zag through intricate patterns and bludgeoning riffs, Moore’s horrifying rasp unifying the band’s core elements in an all-too-brief track which perfectly embodies their ethos. The medieval melancholy opening ‘Waldeinsamkeit’, meanwhile, is wonderfully dictated by Oliver Harvey’s stunning stickwork which courses subtly throughout this eye-opening set; the closing track exploding into life halfway in before cascading to another of those pensive time switches and subsequent wailing solos.
Jøtnarr’s arsenal is proving increasingly powerful, their Black undercurrent positively effervescent with the superb blend and execution of other hostilities. Burn and Bury marks them out as one of the UK’s brightest underground lights at present.
“Norfolk is nice and quiet; but it’s the quiet ones you’ve got to look out for”.
There’s not much quiet about raging Thetford five-piece William English. Exploding this year from the English county with a reputation for relaxed, idyllic life, vocalist Shane Miller states that all is not what it seems. “East Anglia has a great metal scene, with some awesome bands: Three Thrones, Telepathy, Jøtnarr, amongst many others. There’s stuff going on everywhere.”
Indeed, with three members of recently-reformed Sludge quintet A Horse Called War in the ranks, William English are steeped in that scene. “Joe (Woodbury, drums) actually started the band some years ago as a Hardcore outfit, WE. There’s about 100 copies of an album called Home sat in Joe’s flat if anyone wants one! Carter (guitars) and I from “…Horse…” got involved after we split, with Dave (Vickers, guitar) joining later, and helped take the sound in a heavier direction.”
Which is evident on debut album Basic Human Error (Grandad). Despite the edgy violence in the William English sound however, there’s a pleasing tendency for tempo-fluctuating variance. Shane is quite matter-of-fact about it: “Do you want an album where you can pre-determine what you’re going to get, or one with individual tracks all creating a different vibe? We like different things and we try to bring all of that together. I wish more bands did it. Too many albums these days aren’t holding my attention for their duration.”
2015 seems to have been a busy one for the band, with the album’s recent release succeeding WETT (Kings Park), a ‘split’ release with Colchester Stoner merchants Three Thrones, earlier in the year. It’s not all sunshine and roses though, as they are no different than many underground bands right now: “We recorded the ‘split’ around two years ago,” Shane confirms, “and due to complications it took a year to get Basic Human Error out there; so we could be more productive. When you have five lads with work commitments and money issues though, it’s hard. We are looking to get more stuff out though: we’re hoping to record another ‘split’ very soon, with a band we really love, so if there are any labels out there interested in assisting its release next year it would help a lot.”
Such pitfalls don’t prevent these guys from moving forward, despite three-fifths of them reforming their original band earlier this year, after a five-year hiatus. For the present, it’s William English in the vanguard, and that new album has met with many positive reviews. Shane’s flaying, unflinching vocal style has, however, divided opinion: “I think that will always be the case. I feel that people will get the bigger picture seeing us live but, and again this is just my personal view: do you want a 100% screamer; someone who roars and bellows all the time; or do you want a bit of variety? Most reviews do seem to like what we’re doing but if they didn’t, it wouldn’t really matter. We play random, heavy music; that’s just what we do.”
Amen to individuality and self-belief. The band’s future intent is comparatively modest, but determined: “We want to record two tracks in November to contribute to that ‘split’ next year, and hopefully get out and play some shows to back up the album. It’s unlikely there’ll be another album, however, unless a label gets involved; just small, fairly frequent releases.”
A band with this much passion, drive, and genuinely exciting, raucous sound, can’t fail to get that label attention soon. William English deserve yours, and now.
Rising metal PR company Dewar PR have released a free compilation of some of the acts they represent, in a move that underlines their approach and ethos of discovering talented new bands and getting them the coverage their underground music deserves.
With an idea grounded in the mix tape and tape trading ideologies of yesteryear, of providing exposure to lesser known bands from a variety of sub-genres to people who may not have come across them along with further promoting their acts, the PR company primarily focuses on taking bands from the underground and helping them to establish themselves.
The compilation is available for both streaming and downloading here
The tracklisting is:
1. Thunderwar — Vimana (The Chariots in Heaven)
2. SoulSteal — Allegience
3. The King Is Blind — Revelation, Apocalypse
4. Decaying — One To Conquer
5. Dismanibus — Stamp On Your Grave
6. Diskord — Elytrous Oscillations
7. Jøtnarr — Relics
8. Illness — Zaraza
9. Praesepe — Acedia
10. Arkona — Klucz Do Istnienia
11. Ctulu — Mondsucht
Contact Dewar PR at – firstname.lastname@example.org