UK metallers The Five Hundred are premiering their new album, Bleed Red, exclusively with Metal Hammer.
The band's debut album is released on August 17 via Long Branch Records, but you can listen to it in full now.
“We booked ourselves into the studio a few months in advance, well before a single song, riff or lyric was written," the band tell Metal Hammer of the album's conception.
"We essentially wanted to put ourselves under pressure to write an entire concept that was coherent and consistent with the personal torment that a few of us were feeling at the time, and the only way to do that was to lock ourselves away from the very things that were haunting us.”
Here, guitarist Mark Byrne takes us through the album one song at a time. You can hear the album in full below.
"Bleed Red, the title track and 3rd single from the album, relates to the voices inside one’s head, compelling the protagonist to emotionally manipulate and destroy a significant other: 'Cut you open, see what you’re made of', and actually enjoying the destructive process so much it brings 'a delight that’s almost physical.'"
Smoke & Mirrors
"The first single, released in late June 2018. Smoke & Mirrors, deals with obscuring the realities of an addict’s sense of worthlessness and depression, losing oneself in a 'snowstorm' of abuse, with the 'hourglass' of his life slowly counting down his days into a self-induced depravity."
"When an addict is in the deepest throes of his condition, he will be completely oblivious to the pain and misery that he is inflicting on those around him. The chorus of 'Buried in your misery, we will drown in your despair…' reflects the feeling of utter hopelessness experienced by his friends, family and loved ones. 'You don’t have any demons. They’re too scared too come anywhere near you…' For anyone that has ever had to live with an addict, they will relate to this. They’ll feel conflicted, and want to be there for that person, whilst at the same time will feel that they want to be as far away from him as possible. He’ll feel indestructible when he is in that state of euphoria after a 'hit', but that soon leads to despair when the high wears off: 'A fire of self-loathing washes over you… Take a deep breath, the hate fills your lungs…'"
"Oblivion was the second single to be released. It describes the drug as a 'virus without a home' and a 'cruel mistress' that 'lures you with a caress'. This song personifies the drug and substances that change us, attributing a personal nature or human characteristics to an evil demon that controls and ultimately destroys you and everything you love."
"I think you get the picture by now, right? 'The nights stretch long and black, like the tongue of a sinner, strangled by the noose…' Any intoxicant can become a crutch, which, done to excess, will ultimately become a noose that chokes you, sucking the life out of you. The lyrics to this track were actually inspired by the words of (American novelist and author of Fight Club) Chuck Palahniuk in his book Doomed – a must-read for fans of fucked up, transgressional fiction."
"These lyrics were mostly written by vocalist Woods-Eley, who regularly locks himself away for weeks and months at a time, partly to deal with his own demons, but also to get away from the bullshit and toxic outside world. Having dealt with his fair share of, shall we say, 'undesirable types' in his home town of Nottingham, he’s learnt to cope with it all by retreating into his own hole, his sanctuary."
Seduced By Shadows
"Drugs and booze have an almost 'seductive' nature about them. We all remember what it was like trying them for the first time – that feeling of excitement, curiosity, maybe even a little bit of fear. The song describes how a user built a 'kingdom of sorrow, to fill the black hollow…' a crutch that ultimately becomes your down fall. 'The venom we all swallow, Will haunt us all tomorrow...'"
"In hindsight, this track could’ve easily been a single, as it seems that the metal media have really taken to it. It explores the connection between narcissism and substance abuse, which these days is pretty well researched and documented. People who have narcissistic personality disorder, or any kind of extreme narcissism of any kind, are more likely to turn to substance abuse. Does the narcissism or the substance abuse come first? We won’t get into that here, because we haven’t got time, but there is a link."
I Am The Undead
"Another track whose lyrics were inspired by Chuck Palahniuk’s novel Doomed, and by far the heaviest song on the album. The song details a zombie-like, drug-addled individual who 'walks amongst the living', disgusted with the society he has chosen to ostracise himself from. 'Her sour bloodstream makes me wretch. Immersed in a warm bath of chemicals.' Haunting, brutal, disgusting riffs underpin the bleak chorus of 'I AM THE UNDEAD!'"
"The album’s finale is a melodic and brooding track, with doom riffs and haunting melodies. We close the record with this reflective and anthemic salvo, full of searing leads and epic choruses. Bleak lyrical content which is a fitting end for the destructive and miserable theme that runs through this album."