If witches brewed metal music then Stevenage’s Dorylus may well be the potion they conjured up in their cauldron. The quartet describe their sound to us as “two cups of death, a teaspoon of thrash and a pinch of prog,” which sounds like the perfect formula for what they promise is “the perfect blend of face melting, bone-crushing heavy metal.”
The Hertfordshire band originally formed out of the ashes of two former bands, one of which was led by Joe Lyndon (vocals and guitar), before a few line-up changes saw them complete the current line-up of Edd Littler (bass), Ant Pinnell (guitar) and James Kelly (drums).
Latest single Sunrise was the band’s first new music in three years, when a double single followed 2016’s debut EP The Rapture. And that’ll be followed by debut album Without Sin next month, on which Joe tells us to expect: “A Lot of noise and headache… but in the best way.”
But our latest taste of the new album is Sunrise, and it’s one hell of a good introduction. Cool little guitar licks open up then drop into a mass of guitars supported by pounding drums then a low-tuned riff takes over with crashing cymbals in the background. The instrumental lasts for nearly a minute-and-a-half before Joe’s intense growling vocals make an appearance.
Huge guttural vocals dominate the chorus then big doomy guitars support big drawn-out growls. The instruments drop out for a big drum roll then an awesome guitar solo takes over with more wild drumming in support.
A darting high-pitched guitar cuts in and continues under savage vocals, then intense drums support big booming chords to take us to a heavy ending. This is seriously awesome stuff.
We’ve had a sneak preview of the album and there’s plenty to be excited about. It opens up with a bit of a couple of epics in the near-seven-minute long tracks Under My Flesh and Bite The Bullet. The former in particular features an intriguing mixture of pace and a fusion of melody and pure heaviness. While the latter opens up with big thrashy chords then a fun piercing guitar followed by crushing drums. An intriguing chorus sees drawn out guitars under screamed vocals answered by pounding bass drum, before a cheeky little bass solo gives way to another mass of metal chaos.
Lesser Evil opens up with a furious blitz of pounding drums, smashing cymbals and riffs then plough their way through into an intense opening verse. Huge screamed vocals are supported by frenetic drums as the track continues at break-neck speed then drops into chugging chords for a minor pause for breath.
And going back to the topic of witches brings us nicely to Witch Hunter, which opens up with a meandering guitar that gives way to creepy throaty vocals then a mass of chaotic goodness. Chugging guitar chords give way to a cool little riff under more creepy vocals that build up to another head-bangers’ delight in the chorus.
Another six-minute epic in Serpents begins with clean guitars that continue under a cool little guitar solo. The dirty guitar stuff returns alongside a guttural scream then launches into a mass of wild thrashy excellence. In short, if you’re up for some good old riffery and some seriously big drums and heavy vocals, then get involved.
Joe tells us his musical inspiration comes from “the music of Death and Sepultura as well as a bit of Strapping Young Lad,” but the band are influenced by the likes of Iron Maiden, Slayer, Lamb of God and Amon Amarth.
And on what inspires them to write, Joe adds: “For me personally I take a lot of inspiration from my struggles with faith and my past issues with mental health I like to write music that feels dark and tells a story musically
You can see Dorylus launch their album with a party at Club 85 in Hitchin on 7 June, then they’ll be out on tour through the month concluding at Hopfest in Northampton alongside the likes of Vader and Divine Chaos. More info on all their gigs is here.
And on what to expect, Joe says: “We take our music very seriously but we don’t take ourselves too seriously. If you come to a Dorylus show expect dildos, fart jokes and bad puns.”