Sounds Like: Explosive hardcore with a familiar bounce and twisted edge
For Fans Of: Beartooth, Loathe, Dope
Listen To: Sick
Time and again, nostalgia gets the better of bands trying to reignite the spiky-haired, baggy-jeaned rampage that was the nu metal phenomenon of the early 00s. When you’re stuck in the past, there’s nowhere to go but backwards. If we want to see nu metal play a part in the future of our scene, a change to the formula is inevitable. Hailing from Liverpool, and packing more punches than a team-up against Thanos, are hardcore nu metallers Death Blooms (opens in new tab). Unlike the legions of wannabe nu metal messiahs out there, this four-piece aren’t trying to desperately rehash ideas of the past.
“That’s never been our mission,” says guitarist Adam Lucas. “We have nu metal influences, obviously; we grew up loving it. But anyone who’s looking for pop punk elements will find those as well. As long as people connect with our music, it doesn’t really matter what they call us.”
Their self-titled debut EP has as much to do with adrenaline-pumping hardcore as it does nu metal. Dark, sinister hooks coupled with battering riffs are giving the band something of an edge with fans from both sides of the spectrum.
“It’s cool to see those two types of fans get together at our shows,” adds vocalist – and Adam’s cousin – Paul Barrow. “We never intended to unite the tribes, but it’s grown over time. You can see it in our pits. It starts with the typical shoving and pushing, then people start to windmill and slam dance,” he laughs.
“It’s funny,” Adam continues. The hardcore guys will say, ‘Man, I love your band, you sound really brutal,’ but they won’t mention the nu metal influences. That’s fine by me. We’re a world buffet for metalheads, man. Everyone’s invited.”
Astonishingly, they managed to nab their first Download slot, as well as a support slot for Korn legend Jonathan Davis in Manchester earlier this year, all off the strength of one EP and word of mouth. But has this all come too quickly?
“Playing Download has capped off a really good 12 months for us,” says Paul. “Even though it seems like it’s all happened pretty quickly, we’ve been doing this for so long that it feels like we’re in our third year already. We’ve all been knocking around for long enough to know what we’re doing, or at least think we know what we’re doing, anyway…”
And how about that Jonathan Davis show, we wonder? “For us nu metal kids having grown up listening to Korn, that was a dream come true,” explains the guitarist, who also plays in tribute act Korn Again. “I’m convinced he’s a vampire, man. We didn’t see him backstage once; he wasn’t anywhere to be seen. When the band walked onstage, he then literally appeared out of nowhere and then disappeared entirely afterwards. Secrets of the biz, I guess!”
So, what about a debut album, then? The cousins agree that it’s on the cards, but not right now. Still in their infancy, they’re unafraid of pursuing new ideas and letting their freak flag fly.
“I’d really like to add a pop element to our music,” Paul mentions, much to our surprise. “Working with a producer like Dan Lancaster would be cool. He did the Don Broco stuff, and maybe we can bring something heavier to that sound. See what boundaries we could push…”
Death Blooms is out now