From the edge of the local music scene, surfing in on a black wave of mutated guitars and sore throat inducing vocals come Discarnate. Purveyors of high quality death, doom, destruction and desolation, and anything else you can think of that begins with D. Except possibly daintiness.
I asked singer and guitarist Dave Barker for a brief history of Discarnate. "Me and Rob Martland (drums) formed a band about 3 years ago, and we've been in the same one ever since, we've just had members come and go as our style's continued to develop. Chris and Matt Dudman (bass/vocals and lead guitar respectively) are brothers, so it wasn't long after Chris joined that Matt did. I've been in a few other bands around Whitby, I played bass for DraYven for a while, as well as some other failed projects. The other guys have been in other bands as well, such as Infidel and Tautology."
Their new songs Face Of Insanity and Purge The Unclean would come into my top ten most listened to tunes at the moment. I often click them on when I'm surfing the web. What I like about this music is that you think you know exactly what's going to happen next, then it changes.
In Face Of Insanity for instance, after a fierce opening salvo of fast riffing and guttural vocals, it all drops out leaving a single guitar riff in the left speaker. Then a subhuman growl hoves in from the right, and we're back in again. Then, suddenly a burst of tuneful guitar interplay takes us somewhere else entirely.
Likewise in Purge The Unclean, which is apparently an old song revamped, a slow riff suddenly appears from the maelstrom before reverting to full belt mayhem again leading to an abrupt ending.
The tracks were recorded at Wayland's Forge in Sheffield. The studio is owned by a guy out of metal band Bal-Sagoth. "We thought it would be better to go there than going to some pop studio who thinks we write songs about ponies and rainbows", Dave reckoned.
Lyrics are Dave's responsibility and the rest of the songwriting is a group effort. A gradual build up of mega-riffage and ideas that eventually coalesce into a workable whole. "In total, we have about 7 or 8 songs, and we're working on more. We also play some cover songs, by bands that no-one has heard of."
"It was great to hear songs that started as an idea in the practice room become a high quality recording that people can get and idea of our sound from". says Dave, who admits Discarnate had never ventured into a studio before. Jonny Maudling at Wayland's Forge guided them through the recording process, and the results speak for themselves. The tracks will be sent out to try and get gigs, recording opportunities and more exposure for the band.
So Dave, will Popwatchers be able to see Discarnate live anytime soon? "Nope, unfortunately not. We just played CultureShock festival a few days ago, and we got a nice response there (aside from the people wearing Burberry caps and gold chains). We managed to sell some CDs too."
They need gigs and they're working on more songs and promoting themselves, although not via the medium of photography, as you can see from the grinning band member's pictures that aren't decorating this article. In fact I've had to resort to the band's logo in different colours and a photo of the studio, and there isn't even a hairy death metaller working the controls on that bugger. Elusive bunch.
Also I've done the text in blood red so it looks a bit macabre, but if anyone leaves a comment saying its too difficult to read and it hurts their eyes, I can change it back.Support your local Death Metal band!
Since writing this article, the band have come up with a photo, which I've used twice in different ways in the hope that people won't notice and will think its really two pictures. Thanks.