Band Biographies: Cruel Mother

Formed beneath the tolling of the Bow Bells in East London, Cruel Mother takes their lyrical inspiration from printed broadsides and the folk song corpus, particularly the rich tradition of English murder ballads. The band was first conceived in 2022 and has existed in its current form since spring 2023.

Over the past year, they’ve refined their sound, mixing heavy riffs and crunchy grooves with the melancholic lament of the fiddle, creating a doom concept band unlike any other. They combine a playful approach to creating music with a solemn respect for the real history and human lives at the heart of the ballads they revive.

Cruel Mother is made up of Becky (bass, vocals, and main composer), James (guitar and vocals), Kirstie (guitar), David (violin), and Dan (drums). The band is an opportunity for every member to explore new musical styles and influences. The five musicians bring an unusual and interesting mix of talent to the melting pot, with a wealth of combined experience spanning classical, metal, punk, and ska music.

Blending English folk horror with stoner doom, this project is most influenced by Skyland, Green Lung, and ‘70s folks bands like 70s English folk like Steeleye Span, Fairport Convention, Pentangle (and, of course, Black Sabbath, they are still a doom band).

The creative force behind the band, Becky created the project to combine her interests in the dark undercurrents of British folklore and folk ballad history with her love of heavy music, particularly the riff-driven grooves of the stoner-doom genre. With the addition of a fiddle, the band's music harks back to a traditional folk past, but adapts these old, sinister stories of murder, betrayal, and death in a modern re-interpretation as metal songs - fusing the heaviness of past and present.

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