Heriot's Debbie Gough: 10 records that changed my life

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It says something about the sheer excitement around British newcomers Heriot that the band's debut release, 2022's Profound Morality, featured in the official Metal Hammer countdown of the best metal albums of 2022 - despite technically only being an EP. 

Mixing lurching, brutal metallic hardcore and passages of sublime ambient melody, what Profound Morality lacked in length it more than made up for in creativity, seeing the band earn praise from the likes of Lamb Of God and Machine Head. 

As the band prepare to embark on their first ever headline tour of the UK, we asked Heriot guitarist/vocalist Debbie Gough to pick out the ten records that changed her life. These are her choices... 

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Hayley Williams – Crystal Clear

Crystal Clear by Hayley Williams is one of my favourite songs ever. I never really went down the Paramore hole when they first became huge, but I got her solo album [Petals For Armor] during lockdown and it was so wicked, I could listen to that song forever. The production is amazing, and its actually the first song I ever uploaded a video of myself singing, so it’s special to me. It’s put together so perfectly, I wish I’d written it.”

Lamb Of God – Ghost Walking

"In school, one of my friends gave another a copy of Lamb Of God’s Resolution at our lockers. I saw the album cover and was like ‘that looks so cool, I wonder what it sounds like?’ so went home and searched for the album. 

Ghost Walking hooked me on thrash and heavier stuff – I can literally pinpoint it to that moment at the lockers. After that I was on the Lamb Of God train and all about the groove riffs. I’m almost mortified that I’m still so gushy about the band, knowing they like my band and that they had us side-stage for their set at Bloodstock, but I love them so much that I’ll die on the Lamb Of God hill.”

The Chariot – Evan Perks

Evan Perks by The Chariot helped me get into mathcore type stuff and noise. It was quite late I got into that stuff – 17 or 18, but there’s this incredible video of a gig they played where the venue was closed, so they just played on the roof instead. I remember thinking that was the coolest thing ever and the energy they brought is unlike anything I’ve ever seen, its pretty much how energetic I want our band to be whenever we play.”

Cancer Bats – Harem Of Scorpions

“The lyrics to Cancer BatsHarem Of Scorpions are so cool. I listen to that song whenever I feel like I’m not going anywhere or achieving anything, because the message is striking, telling you to make every moment count. Cancer Bats are a band I love and other than bands we’ve toured with, I think they’re the band I’ve seen most – 15 or 16 times. It perks me up every time.”

Tonight Alive – Amelia

Amelia by Tonight Alive is quite a depressing song, really. It’s basically about losing somebody. Over the years you lose people, and whenever it happens to me that’s the song I’ll go to. It says a lot of the things that you’d want to say to a loved one. It’s my grieving song.”

’68 – Without Any Words

“I feel similarly about Without Any Words (Only Crying And Laughter) by ’68. I was really close to my nan, I lived with her and cared for her, so when she passed away that song really helped me through. I don’t even know if the song is actually about grief, but that was how I interpreted it. I must have had it on repeat for months – it might be morbid, but that’s why it meant so much to me. You can have pissed off songs or party songs, but that one goes a lot deeper for me.”

Wand – Planet Golem

Planet Golem by Wand makes me feel like I’m floating off into a space cloud whenever I hear it. I think they’re really underrated in the realms of heavy music because they have these elements of dark shoegaze and Planet Golem is a song I really wish I’d written.”

Seal – Kiss From A Rose

“Who doesn’t love Kiss From A Rose by Seal? In one of my old bands, we used to play it relentlessly in the car journeys to and from shows – even at our farewell show, we played a really bad rendition of it that was purely for us. Any time I hear it in public I still message the guys from that band, because it still makes me laugh thinking of that band.”

Brutus – Bye Julia

“I’m so in love with Brutus – I’ve cried every single time I’ve seen them live, which is like seven times by this point. The talent in the band is so overwhelming, Bye Julia is one of their best songs even though it’s not on an album or anything.”

SOPHIE – Immaterial

Immaterial by SOPHIE is my bad bitch song, ha ha. If I have to do something important, or something that puts me outside my comfort zone, I’ll blast that in my car on the way. There’s something so happy about it and it just makes me feel like I’m that girl, even if it’s only for three minutes, those three minutes I am living.”

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Profound Morality is out now. Heriot's UK tour starts May 9.

Rich Hobson

Staff writer for Metal Hammer, Rich has never met a feature he didn't fancy, which is just as well when it comes to covering everything rock, punk and metal for both print and online, be it legendary events like Rock In Rio or Clash Of The Titans or seeking out exciting new bands like Nine Treasures, Jinjer and Sleep Token.