The Portuguese surf haven of Ericeira may not be the most obvious place to unearth an exciting new metal band, but that’s exactly the case with Nowhere To Be Found. The band fuse heavy instrumentals and alternative melodies to form a catchy, energetic yet hard-hitting metal, bordering on metalcore sound.
The band first started out with Tiago Duarte (vocals), Manel Gomes (bass) and Miguel Rodrigues (drums) as a trio in 2016 but reformed two years ago with João Quintais (lead guitar) on board and armed with a new, heavier sound.
On that decision to reform they told us: “We just decided to go with our feeling. With our first album we kept being pushed more to the commercial side by our producer and, being our first real experience in the industry, somehow we went along with it. With this record, we really decided to do things our way and also our new lead guitar Quintais brought a lot of that heavier feeling we were looking for in the first place.”
The latest offering of this is second single Traverse, which features a guest appearance from Memphis May Fire vocalist Matty Mullins. It opens up with light synthy sounds that continue alongside bursts of powerful diving guitars. Catchy vocals kick in supported by edgy, almost spooky instrumental backdrop then the diving guitars kick in under equally catchy chorus vocals “Traverse to me, Change, Let me be, I will be there for you.” Check it out below:
On Matty’s involvement, the band tell us: “To this day we still don’t know how Matty went along with this. We recorded the song and felt it really could use his voice so we just sent him an email. Plain cold call, we had never met him before. Two days later he replied and accepted the invitation, just showing how good of a soul he really is. There are still some great guys in the industry, and Matty is surely among the best of them. He recorded the track in a studio in the US and he really caught the song’s feeling in no time. The very first recordings he sent us were pure gold, he is a great great singer.”
That follows a cover of The Chainsmokers’ Closer featuring September Mourning vocalist Emily Lazar. It opens with stabbing guitars that build up to a heavier, atmospheric intro and drop into a laid-back opening verse that builds up to a bigger chorus. Emily’s delicious vocals come in for a second verse that suddenly intensifies with dual vocals in the second chorus.
The band’s second album, and first with their heavier sound, is currently in production with Henrik Udd (Bring Me The Horizon, Architects) and is set for release early this year. On the album, they told us: “We are super excited and yet super nervous. With this album, we took the time and worked with huge names so the pressure is there, the need to see some results to get the fans’ attention! People can expect some good alternative metal, borderline metalcore, with meaningful lyrics and a lot of layers to it, a lot of instruments to it.”
And on working with Henrik, they expand: “One could say we thought we knew how to write songs before working with Henrik but we now know we knew nothing! Henrik is such a cool, relaxed, fun, talented guy he almost makes it easy building great songs but when you look behind you see there’s a great process to what he does and you learn a lot. He brought a lot of weight to the instruments.”
Unsurprisingly, the band have a myriad of influences. Migalhas comes from a ska/punk background, Manel is more indie and alternative rock, Tiago is a grunge and nu-metal enthusiast and, perhaps most tellingly, Quintais is a classic metal hand. And the four of them find common ground in the likes of Deftones, Architects, Memphis May Fire and Pierce The Veil.
On what inpsires their music, they tell us: “Our main influence has always been our own lives, our friendship and everything around it. We write about love and hate and frustration but mostly about our own internal struggles. We kind of use music as therapy and not so much as a manifest. Sometimes you just have to put yourself out there and speak about what’s hurting you and somehow in that process, you grow.”
The band are, of course, the first Portuguese band we’ve featured on the site, which got us wondering whether we’re missing out on a hidden hotbed of metal talent. But, well, apparently not. As the band explain: “Unfortunately not. Don’t get us wrong, metal will always be a strong community with loyal fans, but Portugal is a small country with few national radios and none pointed to rock music. There’s just not enough venues or festivals for bands like ours to grow, and not enough attention span from the industry. Singing in English also doesn’t help but we keep fighting.”
The band’s first metal album will be out this year and they hope to be able to get out on tour around Europe to support it. As the band add: “We would love if people would listen to our songs and really give it chance. We know there’s not a lot of bands coming from Portugal and probably “alternative metal” is not the first thing they relate Portugal to, but that shouldn’t keep them from giving it a go. Who knows, maybe – just maybe – you’ll like it.”
On the evidence of what we’ve heard so far, we concur that you will like it. There’s a certain darkness lurking beneath their approachable metal sound, especially on the almost gothic elements of Traverse, and we’re looking forward to hearing what the album brings us.