Sunday, 25 June 2017

INTERVIEW: Belfast's soul crushing sludge doom trio Nomadic Rituals discuss "Marking the Day"

Nomadic Rituals is a three piece band from Belfast, Northern Ireland. “Marking the Day” the band’s second full length was our introduction to them and like many of the band submissions we receive they can often go overlooked by the sheer quantity and lack of time to check them, however I am glad we did not allow this band to pass us by, because fans of slow punishing doom couldn’t fail to be impressed by this three piece. The new record "Marking the Day," released on February 17th, 2017 is for people who are into the dirtiest and raunchiest purveyors of sludgy, death-doom. Fans of Noothgrush, Indian, Serpentine Path, and Morbid Evils should definitely check them out immediately.

The overall tone of the recording is massive and thunderous. The vocals range from being predominantly harsh and scornful to clean and ethereal in a couple of small doses. Indeed this is the heaviest thing we’ve heard in a while. Hopeless, ugly, vicious, and pissed off slabs of soul destroying death-doom is what Nomadic Rituals deliver and today I pleased to welcome Craig Carson, front man for this soul crushing trio to talk us through the history of the band, their influences and the recording of their latest record.  Check it out below. 

Can you give us an insight into how you started playing music, leading up to the formation of Nomadic Rituals?

I guess it began in secondary school. I was discovering music and that eventually made me attempt to learn the guitar. I soon wanted to really play the bass as I enjoyed the heavy rhythm and grounding that the instrument provided. Years later, a friend who studied music in the same college invited me to play bass in his prog rock band. The learning curve was steep and I was essentially the least qualified, however it did not last past college and over later years my interest in playing music fluctuated. Then throughout my later teens/20’s I attempted to construct my own bands to reflect my current musical tastes but none of these ever left the practice room.  Again my music taste kept widening more until I encountered bands like Iron Monkey, Rabies Caste, and EyeHateGod. This really satisfied my need for heavy music. This was the direction I wanted my next band to go in. Again I spent time searching for the right people before I eventually found two who seemed to get it. Through different friends I met Frodo and Mark. Frodo says that I had forced him to play guitar, but I don’t recall this level of coercion. Mark on the other hand turned out to be a drummer without a band. From my experience this was unheard of as most drummers seemed to have multiple bands and absolutely no time. He thankfully needed little persuasion. After much discussion we hit the practice room, began on some ideas and things just started to come together.

For folks unfamiliar with your band, is there any bands on the scene past and present that you would use as a reference point bands to describe your band, and who or what continues to inspire you and push you to try new things?

If I had to name a few that really began as a starting point for the band, I would probably pick Conan for the sheer weight and Yob for unbelievable songs that convey great emotion. From a live perspective I wanted it to feel like Sunn O))), a challenge for sure. As for a maybe more realistic reference, someone once said we were like Winter. I’d say we possibly have similarities to bands like IRN, Ramesses or maybe even Warhorse.

As for my current interests, bands like Usnea, Buried at Sea, Fange, Love Sex Machine, and Herscher all come to mind. We all can agree on bands like Amebix, Hawkwind, High on Fire and Mastodon as being somewhat inspiring to us. Even Genesis’Foxtrot” had some subtle form of influence on the most recent album if you’d believe it.

What can you tell us about “Marking the Day” and where do you feel it sits within the context of current metal scene

‘Marking the Day’ in its simplest form follows a timeline through our universe. Each part narrates from a different perspective. As a whole, it is a journey through time and space, yet it is ultimately a loose reflection of our own reality.  I suppose it will sit over on the Doom/ Sludge side of things. Possibly for people who like heavy, sprawling albums and a bit of narrative.

Does anything spring to mind when you think about the completion of your upcoming record?

The mood I’d say is one of relief and elation at seeing this album come to fruition. Nothing makes me happier than having something solid to show for it and people willing to listen to it. I also perhaps think we are just glad that it went a lot smoother this time round.

What stands out as your overarching memory from the recording sessions?

Honestly I’d say the whole thing. We again recorded with Niall Doran at Start Together in Belfast, and we all just really look forward to taking the time out to enter the studio, it’s all fun. Niall is great to work with. He brings good ideas and seems to understand what we want to achieve.

Finally, do you have any final comments/word of wisdom you’d like to bestow upon us?

As a final note, I would like to comment on what I personally see as the underside of ‘Marking the Day’. Ultimately, it is a message of warning to anyone in the present as to what may lie ahead in the future if we blindly proceed in certain actions today. In terms of this album, humanity as we know it is currently playing out the fifth track, only minutes away from entering the sixth and final track. My own view is one of discontent at a planet ruled by a short term, profit orientated mentality. We seem blindsided to other possibilities. In the context of this album I like to think that ‘Marking the Day’ does not dictate a specific world, but rather presents one to enter and reflect upon.

Band info: bandcamp || facebook