For Fans Of : Employed to Serve, Bodysnatcher, Gideon
WORDS : JACK MOBLEY
SCOLDS have been practicing their brand of brutal hardcore for several years, but with their debut record they are looking to punch a hole through the wall whilst conveying the story of witchcraft. The debut album LIFETAKER takes various inspirations from the sludgier side of hardcore, marrying it with an intriguing and unique concept of the scheming witchcraft trials from the 17th century. Toeing the line between telling a story in music whilst also maintaining creative control for the musician, SCOLDS have unleashed this malevolent-sounding record into the world.
We wanted to try and capture the pure evil that was portrayed in that era, and translate this in our music
LIFETAKER is a milestone for Scolds and has been a long time in the making. Revealing that the album was originally supposed to be a 4-5 track EP, they say “ It was “completed” a long time before its release. We had already started on a second EP, but we were definitely starting to find our groove and style by time the second EP had started being written, so we was creating tracks a lot faster and more efficiently than the first. As a band, we decided to merge both EP’s into one album. It would take us a bit longer than we expected to release, but in hindsight now, we are glad we made the decision to make it into an album!”
Driven by experimentation and collective creativity, it took some time and effort to transform LIFETAKER to the album SCOLDS had envisioned but they admit that having a concept in mind made it a lot easier to write the album. Speaking of the writing process behind the album, they say “The idea of putting ourselves inside the shoes of different characters and looking at life in their perspective, the thoughts behind the issues that they faced, made it much easier to convey the themes that we were looking to present in this new release.”
The concept in question is of course, witchcraft. Delving into the elements of pseudoscience and blind faith, the record blends the gruesome and destructive reactions of people to whoever the perceived as a witch in an era of misguided beliefs with a soundscape radiating heavy, evil vibes. They say, “A lot of the tracks on the album are taken from the point of view of the executioner. It also has a lot to do with people’s accusations of who was a witch and then the criteria to be met to be proved that the person was NOT a witch was just fuelled by misguided beliefs and a distinct lack of understanding. The methods used thereafter to prove or disprove were hideous and barbaric, on top of that the punishments for being found “guilty” of being a witch or practicing witchcraft. We wanted to try and capture the pure evil that was portrayed in that era, and translate this in our music, and this flowed through the first single (‘Witch Hunt’) into the new album.”
the eerie nature and the brutal characteristics of witchcraft go hand-in-hand with hardcore, prompting various queries of intrigue and wonder
Many of the band’s tracks draw from fiction andstories from the Salem Witch Trials and Pendle Witch Trail, “It focuses on the punishment inflicted by the supposed “good guys” on those they deemed to be evil and not worthy of living. A lot of which was just born out of misunderstanding and ignorance. Some inspiration is taken from the Salem Witch Trials – on the third track “HEX, from the fact that during that time one of the accusers of witchcraft was a young girl named Abigail Williams who was one of the main players in inciting the Trials by accusing her neighbour of practicing witchcraft. Which again stemmed purely from misunderstanding from a child’s point of view of a man probably just practicing “science” but history states it was because he was trying to protect his wife because she has been accused of the practice of magic.” Aside from these very specific inspirations, SCOLDS is influenced by different artists that they listen ranging from Pendulum to Loathe, Lotus Eater, Deftones, Dealer and much more.
Despite their varied influences, and penchant for experimentation, band admit that hardcore is a saturated sub-genre where staying relevant is a challenge. However, SCOLDS seem ready to take on any challenge, “We our future projects to push us into a more emotionally driven sound, as well as being even heavier than LIFETAKER”. “ We also try to focus on our live performances as much as possible and try to go above and beyond for our explosive and fierce stage presence,” they add.
SCOLDS sit snugly in the intersection of gritty soundscapes and stories crafted with finesse, the eerie nature and the brutal characteristics of witchcraft go hand-in-hand with hardcore, prompting various queries of intrigue and wonder within the listener.
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