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Track By Tracks: UNDERKING - Amongst The Dead (2020)

1. Exordium:

The intro track was written after 'Nothing but Bone' as an introduction to that tracks soundscape. I used it as a song to build up a big introduction and to show off some guitar lines that I really wanted to include on the album. I think it sets up the tone for the record really well.

2. Nothing but Bone:

This track was one of the first to be written for either record, at a time when I was listening to a lot of Megadeth's seminal record 'Rust In Peace' and it shows! It's a catchy thrash tune that has some of my favourite moments on the LP - especially the bridge section. It's got a breakneck pace and doesn't give you a moments rest - which I really enjoy. I think it was a solid pick as first single and Dustin's voice/lyrics really lend themselves well to this track. 

3. Deadman:

'Deadman' was another track composed early on - with my main focus being the combination of black metal and hardcore on the song. I used the switching rhythms and pace to really emphasise the two influences - letting each shine. You can clearly hear the Kvelertak influence on this tune, as I've always loved how they blend genres so seamlessly in their songs. This track also features the first of two guest solos from Harvey Magher of 'Rainless', which I think adds another unique edge to the track - giving it some extra energy!

4. The Way of Man:

One of my favourites off the project, this track opens with a riff that I'm really proud of writing. It sort of walks the line between technical and catchy, ending up as one of the best riffs on the album. Dustin really shows off how diverse his vocals can be on this song as well, shifting between different vocal techniques. I think this track has turned out to be one of the best on the project with shifting rhythms and unexpected turns in the music whilst still keeping in that thrash metal label that people seem to have stuck on the LP!

5. Lowly Dog:

The song song released from 'Amongst the Dead', this track has, what I feel to be a 90's Metallica type groove with an updated modern metalcore spin. I think it's a really unique track and stands as one of the grooviest - with a catchy vocal hook from Dustin. I also feel like it has one of my best solos put to tape so far with a really sprawling solo - some shredding can never go amiss on a metal record!

6. Lost Souls:

Perhaps the grimiest song on the record, I think this track takes on a bit more of Dustin's hardcore influence and feels different to a lot of the other tunes on the record. With a doom influenced guitar riff and a ripping solo from Harvey Magher - the track was the last song finished for the whole project and perhaps represents most accurately where I am as a musician currently.

7. Gravedigger:

The only track to feature both mine and Dustin's vocals, this was the first track finished for either record and I like the duality of the last being followed by the first. This track was a natural pick as the closer to the record, being the longest. But also, I think it musically brings closure to the album with the haunting lyrical content and the church sample at the end of the track.

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