God Alone’s New EP Is An Exciting Dose Of Shimmery Sonic Venom
What can be said about God Alone that hasn’t been said about the rainbow atop a puddle of toxic waste? The Cork, Ireland-based post-metal quintet have a sound that’s inherently pretty, with proggy interludes and folkish twanging throughout that makes one think of honest smiles and clean tears. But all of this is couched in the kind of roiling, tattered-edge black metal and sludge that would normally evoke thoughts of painkillers and water damage. It’s a duality that’s instantly moving, and sets God Alone apart from plenty of other bands whose proggy blackgaze feels overly intellectual or par for the course.
The band’s new self-titled EP hits that sweet spot in a way that makes God Alone memorable from the get-go. Though opener Feeling On Tic — a tribute to, of all things, Milhouse’s pathetic dad Kirk from The Simpsons — kicks off with a barrage of militant fuzz, it also breaks into a swaying, melancholy breakdown. Each of the four songs moves effortlessly between genres and atmospheres, all while retaining the band’s sense of volatile savagery.
We reached out to guitarist/vocalist Jake O’Driscoll and bassist/vocalist Cian Mullane about what the rhythm behind their toxic waltz.
God Alone’s sound pulls from a lot of different subgenres and niches — how’d you find your own sound among those many influences?
We just tend to get mad into one band or movie at a time and write things that sound like them. For this EP, Foals’ first album Antidotes was a massive inspiration. Our main musical influences as a band would be Altar Of Plagues, Fugazi and Converge, and we just mix all of these together without much force to make tunes.
Is there a concept/running theme across the record?
There’s not really one concise concept running through the EP but I would say all the songs tie into the general theme of living in a small Irish city, as weird and broad as our influences are we try to make music that sounds like where we come from, whether it sounds like Basshunter or Björk or Burzum.
You have some very beautiful proggy moments in between some really ugly heaviness. Do you have one side of the sound that you prefer more than the other?
At the moment we’re definitely exploring cleaner and mathier sounds — as much as we like fuzz and screaming, it falls flat if it’s not contrasted by softer more ambient sounds. When writing in our practice space we like to focus on the more chill side of ourselves but live we like to focus on throwing shapes and screaming.
Do you feel being from Cork, or Ireland in general, has informed God Alone’s music and lyrics?
Being from Cork is the biggest influence on our music, really — it’s a fairly small, grey city, but the music scene is one of the best in the country. There’s no one ‘metal’ scene but rather just a massive music scene where everyone collaborates and are really sound about going to gigs. At any given gig in Cork, you could find rappers, DJs and hardcore lads, and they all get on and influence each other. The majority of us live in the Northside of Cork City, which can be considered a disadvantaged and dangerous area, the sights and sounds of our homes affect our music more than anything really.
Looking at your promo photos, those are some shirts. Did you intentionally want to inject color into music often filled with stark black-and-white aesthetics, or do we just need to get on your wardrobe level?
All of the shirts belong to our singer Jake who has quite the spicy wardrobe. Pictures and videos of metal lads in black and white in warehouses looking sad have been done a million times before and any sort of ‘mystique’ or ‘evil-ness’ they might have had before has been watered down and laughed at, really. We just want to write sad dancey metal and wear spicy shirts, to be honest.
Check out our exclusive advance stream of God Alone’s new self-titled EP below:
God Alone’s self-titled EP comes out Friday, November 8, via Cosmonaut, and is available for pre-order.
Catch the band one one of their upcoming UK shows listed below:
07 - The Warehouse - GALWAY (EP Launch tour)
08 - The Hut - DUBLIN (EP Launch tour)
09 - Zool Warehouse - BELFAST (EP launch tour)
10 - Secret venue - CORK (EP launch tour)
21 - The Gryphon - BRISTOL (EP launch tour)
22 - The Devonshire Arms - LONDON (EP launch tour)
23 - Bar 42 - WORTHING (EP launch tour)
13 - Crypt Of The Riff Festival - BELFAST (w/ Tuskar + Elder Druid + Hornets)
14 - Fred Zeppelin’s - CORK (w/ Yurt)
Biffy Clyro will (hopefully) be playing six intimate shows across the UK in April next year.
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