Unbowed’s Playlist

Unbowed 2017 - J Gemnich 9 (1)

Unbowed’s incredible new album Through Endless Tides is out today (we loved it and you can check out our review of it here)! We wanted to know more about what makes the band tick, so we caught up with them to find out about their tastes and influences.

A song that influenced them
Primordial – Bloodied Yet Unbowed
Some bands shy away from discussing where they plucked their monicker from over time, however in our case I never tire of pointing out where we found ours. Our singer Ioan suggested we use the name Unbowed. He took the name from this track by the legends from the Republic of Ireland, Primordial. The sentiment displayed in the lyrics of this song have laid a solid foundation for virtually everything we’ve pursued as a band. It’s often hard to give in to the woes of the ever-unforgiving music industry when you’ve founded your band based on the principals laid out in this song. “To the bitter end” we go.

A song they wish they could have written
Behemoth – Conquer All
That riff. It’s very easy to become enthralled with the trappings of technicality in heavy music these days, however I think it’s always important to remember the immense power of an iconic and massive riff. Behemoth, the extreme metal masters from Poland, have always maintained that balance for me. Pure mastery of their instruments and the art of composition combined with a knack for knowing when to reign things in and floor their listeners with the awesome power of simplicity. Behemoth have been a huge influence on us as a band when developing our sought-after aesthetic as well as our musical stylings. I certainly wouldn’t object to the idea of having written such a song.

Their favourite Unbowed song
Bleak Ululations
The 6th track from our brand new album, Through Endless Tides. Rarely do I look back on a creation with such fondness. I began writing this song last year sitting by a window on a rainy day in Todmorden England in West Yorkshire along with our singer (an English native) and our best friend, Zack from the band Suncross. Even from the humble beginnings of clicking in MIDI notes into my computer to get the melodies in my head into the digital realm; I knew this song would be special. I also knew straight away that this song would be a bit of an homage to our influences. From prog to extreme black and death metal sections, all the way to classic Norwegian style riffing reminiscent of Isengard; this song covers a lot of ground without sounding contrived. Finally ending up in an intentionally bright and sprawling section, this part of the song really feels like where our singer and I were when I began composing it. I hate to keep name-dropping bands but it was very hard to be sitting in Yorkshire England and not be a little bit inspired by the English black metal giants in Winterfylleth here. A keen black metal fan’s ear could probably hear their influences throughout some of our music, and especially in this section of Bleak Ululations.

A song they’ve been listening to a lot recently
Plini – Electric Sunrise
This song never fails to put me in a good mood. Plini is an Australian guitarist creating beautiful instrumental music unlike anything I’ve really heard before. The absolute brilliance of articulation and vocal-like style achieved with his phrasing on the guitar is awe-inspiring. He makes technicality natural. Instrumental music is experiencing a collective resurgence, and it’s only getting better and better thanks to artists such as Plini.

Their all time favourite song
Howard Shore – Concerning Hobbits
I’m not one for favourites when it comes to songs as my tastes change so often, but if I truly pick apart my listening appetite and objectively think about what has stayed with me for the longest time, this is it. “Concerning Hobbits”, I’m sure each of you has heard at least once by now. Howard Shore, a Toronto-born Canadian composer has been scoring music for films since the late 1970s. Our singer Ioan and I founded Unbowed with a great appreciation for the spirit displayed by J.R.R. Tolkien in the Lord of the Rings, and it’s that spirit which Howard Shore uncompromisingly captured in the soundtrack for the Peter Jackson film adaptations of the books. We’ve thrown this song on at so many moments in our band’s history. At the beginning and ends of tours, at band practice, and wherever else we are together; the spirit and the determination under dire circumstances found in hobbits exists in parallel to us.

About Natalie Humphries 1857 Articles
Soundscape's editor, who is particularly fond of doom, black metal and folk (but will give anything a chance). Likes to travel to see bands abroad when she can. Contact: nathumphries@soundscapemagazine.com or @acidnat on twitter.

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