Exclusive Interview: Crown Of Anguish talk self titled EP, keeping projects separate and artwork!

All that glitters is not gold so when it comes to Death Metal from the Northern City of Preston, England you can expect a dark and foreboding atmosphere conjoined to the razor sharp riffage, pulverising rhythmic battery and searing vocals – or as we put it – almost a dichotomy of Skeletal Remains and Carcass. We are of course talking about the debut EP of Crown Of Anguish, a band who feature in their ranks current members of Apostate, Ageless Summoning and Of Spire & Throne who have also been known for their prior convictions in Nihilism Incarnate, Dissectrophy, Deathtrip and Acatalepsy. Having reviewed the record, we got talking to guitarist Matt Gornall and the conversation went something like this…

What makes members of Apostate and Ageless Summoning decide to get together and form a new project in Crown Of Anguish? What do the members of your other projects think of this one? “When we came up with the idea for Crown of Anguish, Apostate were kind of on a break between albums. I showed some demos to my good friend Derek in Scordatura and Ageless Summoning, and he put me in touch with Ali who does vocals in Ageless. After some back and forth it was clear we were all on the same page with what we wanted to create, and I can’t overstate Ali’s input on the record enough. His lyrics take the music to the place it needs to be. A big part of making music for me is collaborating with others, otherwise you become stuck up your own ass! I can’t speak for the guys in the other bands but we get on great – the north of the UK and Scotland has a good network of DM bands”

How do you go about making each project that you’re a part of sound distinctly separate and avoid risking all of your sonic abrasions sounding like one homogeneous mass just with a different name? “That’s just down to having a clear definition and goal of your sound for each project. Reminds me of when I first started playing in metal bands as a teenager and not doing that at all – just playing “metal” And it sounded awful. A healthy knowledge of the style you play and its history goes a long way. It all come with experience I guess. Working with different musicians is always going to create new ideas that will distinguish each band from another”

We always say that even in the digital age, the first bite is with the eye, so who was behind the incredible artwork that serves as the cover for your self titled record? How did you go about choosing it and what do you feel it says about the band? “The E.P artwork was designed and created by the band as a collaborative effort – it’s a good representation of the music within – an ancient monolith still breathing after 10000 years. I like that it is memorable as well, it stands out”

If we are made up of our genes and our influences, what is in your genes and who would you consider your influences? “My favourite bands have always been ones that break the boundaries of Death Metal – bands like Cynic and Nile that bring something new to a genre that’s constantly at risk of becoming stale. I’m a bit of a DM fiend so I’m influenced by some pretty obscure old demos too. When it comes to outside DM I like virtuoso guitar players like Allan Holdsworth and Al Di Meola. I love Latin style music and the sound of the nylon string – the aim of Crown of Anguish is to mix that style with the brutality of Death Metal, somehow! “

What is it about Preston that has inspired you to write brutal Death Metal? “Well it’s no secret that the north of England is a pretty gloomy place! I think to be honest even if I was living in the most amazing place on Earth I would still be writing Death Metal, as it’s the style that inspires me the most and gives me the most creative freedom. Once you have the bug there is no going back! I’m always driven to improve as a musician as well, something there is always room for”

What’s next for Crown Of Anguish? “Recording a full length and getting our name out there. The reason the EP can be downloaded for free is so that as many people can hear our music as possible, and hopefully keep an eye out for our full length. We have a big chunk of it written already. While the E.P touches on different world music influences our new album will involve them much more as full compositions blended with blast beats and crushing riffs. That’s the plan…”

Self Titled” by Crown Of Anguish was released on 14th August 2023 and is available over at bandcamp.

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