While the North of England has long held reverence for its association with doom metal (it was the spawning ground of Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride and Anathema, after all) its contributions to sludge have been slim at best. Until Nomasta, that is. Formed on a diet of heavy riffs and experimental tendencies, Nomasta draw on the very best metal has to offer to create a unique cacophony.
“When we started Nomasta we really wanted to write and record stuff that we were fans of, that moved us and that we wanted to play live,” says drummer Andy Richards. “We’re massive Sabbath and Maiden fans, but also Big 4 fans, plus Sepultura, Meshuggah, Opeth… We bounce around all over the place with our influences and I think that’s quite telling.”
Nomasta’s sound is certainly eclectic, the band creating a unique fusion of sludge, thrash and prog for something very special.
Much of this choice – especially in the UK – comes thanks to local scenes, each major city burgeoning with a host of homegrown talent. Nomasta are no strangers to this phenomenon; before forming, the individual members played in various bands around Leeds. “Leeds has always had one of the best music scenes in the country,” says Owen. “There’s a lot of choice and it pushes all the bands to be better. I just absolutely love it – the more productive you are the more amazing people you meet.”
Of course, it’s not just musicians that make up a scene. Ahead of the release of their debut album, the band struck up a partnership with Steve Myles, owner of ethical alternative clothing label Pyre Climber. “Being into metal is being part of a tribe, it’s something that’s very welcoming and all-encompassing,” explains Andy. “Part of that is the merch – its like wearing the colours of your football team.”
Owen nods, “We’ve come from bands like Metallica and Anthrax and their branding is brilliant – you’ll remember their logo forever. When Metallica release an album, it was like they’re unveiling a masterpiece. That’s what I want working with Pyre Climber – I want somebody to be excited every time we unveil something new.” This excitement is the fuel for Nomasta’s output, the band still very much in love with the rock’n’roll world. “I remember my first trip to Donington, seeing a sea of people and thinking ‘I feel at home, I’m a part of this’,” muses Andy. “I feel the same way about metal now as I did when I was a kid and I first got Number Of The Beast on tape – it’ll never lose the appeal.”
House Of The Tiger King is out now via Hyde & Seek
Nomasta UK tour dates
15 Feb: The Parish, Huddersfield
17 Feb: Temple Of Boom, Leeds
21 Feb: 27 Club, Liverpool
23 Feb: Mulberry Tavern, Sheffield
24 Feb: Wheatsheaf, Banbury
25 Feb: Black Mass, Wakefield
03 Mar: Temple Of Boom, Leeds
14 Apr: Church, Leeds