“The future of British metal lies in safe hands with CONJURER.” It’s a line the UK band are getting used to hearing now, but are they up to the challenge? Bassist Conor Marshall thinks they are.
“It’s a tricky one,” he tells me during our Zoom conversation. “On one hand, it’s very kind and it’s kind of insane that people listen to our band and feel that way about it, especially enough to then write it down and put it on the internet. That’s kind of weird still. But then, on the other hand, there’s a little bit of we’re just four idiots in a band. Like we like the music we make and obviously, we make it first and foremost for us and we hope everyone else likes it. So we’re very happy that people do, but yeah, really? Us? We’re the future of British metal? But we appreciate the nice things that everyone has been saying about us over the last few years.”
Conjurer are ready to drop their long-awaited new album Páthos, which will be released 1st July 2022 via Nuclear Blast. It follows their world-renowned 2018 debut Mire. At the time Matt Heafy from Trivium has called Conjurer his “new favourite band” and Kerrang! named it “Metal debut of the year” Now, Páthos finds the band flexing their creative muscles, deepening their approach and thought, and expanding their sound even more.
Right now, the British metal scene is in particularly good shape with a slew of new bands pushing the genre forward. Conor agrees.
“We’ve made really good friends with bands like Employed To Serve and Palm Reader. I can see you’re wearing a Heriot shirt. They feel like the next big thing. Like if we’re talking about the actual future of British metal, they’re one of the bands that are really coming up now and taking the scene by storm. But you’re right. The British scene for the last, obviously the pandemic stunted everything, but I’d say sort of the past five to seven years, there’s just been a great crop of bands that seem to come through that we’re honoured to be like a part of, and be rubbing shoulders with.”
Páthos is not an album for the half-hearted or faint-hearted. With elements of Sumac, Gojira, old Mastodon and Oathbreaker, the new record is a multi-layered beast – sludge, death, doom, black metal and hardcore influences clash and collide throughout.
The fifty-minute runtime is not without its moments of the sublime, with post-metal nods to CONJURER and PIJN’s acclaimed Curse These Metal Hands project throughout. That a band can be at once so triumphantly beautiful and gut-punchingly heavy is testament to CONJURER’s quality and a surefire sign of their future longevity at the top of Britain’s heavy music scene.
What did the band learn from their debut album that helped them on this new record?
“Kind of everything, to be honest,” Marshall admits. “Now that we’re getting to the point where we are speaking to people like yourself and having to reflect on it a little bit, we were kind of realizing that we’ve had the last four years to develop and grow and all that, but kind of learn how all of this works cos we’ve all been in kind of crappy local bands and that’s how we knew each other before Conjurer started. But this is the first band that’s really gone anywhere. And it’s already, just off the first album, gone way further than we ever expected it to. So a lot of it has just been kind of taking it as it comes and learning how that stuff works so that we can apply it to the new album and use that as a stepping stone. So it’s just all the like boring industry side of it to like, what’s the best way to effectively tour, both from a business standpoint, but also just as people. How do we go out and do this and make this sustainable in a way that it’s still fun for us? We’ve been able to kind of learn and adapt from doing it on the first album so that now hopefully we’re in as good a place as ever to push forward on this one.”
Páthos was recorded with help of legendary metal producer Will Putney. How did that relationship come about?
“Obviously we knew who he was from the albums he had done, all that stuff, and we very much admired his work, but we did a tour in America with Rivers Of Nihil where the last show of that tour got filmed. And Kerrang! put it up on their YouTube. It’s still up there now. And he ended up mixing that, which we had no idea about. We weren’t told beforehand, oh, we’re going to film this and Will Putney’s gonna mix it. That was like a nice little cherry on top that we found out afterwards and it sounded great. So our whole thing is very like, we love being in the studio and writing songs, but we’re very much a live band. And so I think when we heard that and saw that video and we’re like, he’s really captured our sound really well, even though he wasn’t there to mic it all up himself, we weren’t using our ideal gear. It was gear that we borrowed or rented for the tour. We were just kind of blown away with how well he did considering how little he had to work with. And so that very much put it in our minds to be like, well, who do we want to go to for the next album? And we considered a few other people as well and listened to albums that have come out recently. But yeah, we just kind of kept coming back to Will as who we thought could take it in the direction we wanted to.
We were also aware that we were definitely the sort of thing that he was trying to lean into as well. Cause, I’m sure he’d hate this but he’s ended up being like the king of deathcore and all that sort of stuff, obviously through Fit For An Autopsy and all that sort of thing. But I think he’s very much trying to make a conscious effort to step out of that as well, and he’s done that with albums that have come up before us anyway, but it just seems to work out as a perfect match to be like, okay, we think you’re going to be great for what we’re trying to do. It sounds like we’re the sort of thing you want to do, like let’s do it, essentially. And then we were just trying to work out all the details of, okay, are we going to fly over to him or are we going to fly him over and get a studio? And then the pandemic hit and we couldn’t do it that way at all. So he ended up only mixing and mastering the album rather than doing a full production job, which was kind of a shame, but even that we’re super happy with, and he’s done an amazing job on it. And it just means that we can, like, we don’t know what’s going to happen for album three, but it means that’s still an option for us.”
Conjurer plan to play the festival circuit this summer and have a headline UK tour planned for the end of 2022. After that, Marshall says they hope to visit North America “at least twice”. They last played Montreal opening for Revocation and Voivod at Corona Theatre.
Watch the full interview below:
Páthos will be released 1st July 2022 via Nuclear Blast.Share this :