Having harnessed the influences of old school rock and metal with the power of nu-metal and added their own unique atmosphere on top, Ukrainian band Chasing Embers have conjured up an intriguing, dark metal sound.
The Kyiv quintet have released three singles to date, ahead of the release of their debut album Beckoning Call on 3 October, which is available for pre-order here. And from what we’ve heard so far, it promises to be something special.
The band’s most recent single Spiritual is a fascinating introduction. It opens tantalisingly, with distant drawn-out vocals building under a growing, chugging guitar riff, then drops into a diving riff and rolling drums. A cheeky stabbing riff comes in as July’s vocals take over in a verse of drawn-out light vocals. A big riff comes in and explodes into a big singalong chorus that ends with growls in support of July’s engaging vocals.
A big bassline creeps into the second verse, which builds up to another big engaging chorus that’s driven forward by pounding drums. Big drums come in, alongside a lively bassline then shouts of “hoo-ha” intersect July’s impressive high-pitched wails, then a little bass solo gives way to a guitar solo, which drops into a final blast of the chorus. Give it a listen in the cool video below:
However, the band sent us their previous single Silent House to listen to initially. It opens up with the creepy sound of a little girl singing, then dark sounding guitars take over with crashing drums in support. Chugging guitar chords kick in as July’s vocals come in sounding much harsher and aggressive than in Spiritual. A heavy chorus follows, with almost shouted vocals ending on higher-pitched vocals that change key and drop into heavy guitars.
A second chorus drops into eerie, echoey guitars with drawn-out chords over the top, then a slow guitar lick creeps in over chugging guitar and bass support. Higher, searing guitars take over, then suddenly drop out and a low-tuned riff jumps in, then feeds into chugging chords under July’s intense vocals. Check it out in the video below:
We had a chat with the band to find out more. Read on below…
GR: You sent us Silent House to get a taste for your music. What should people be expecting from the song?
CE: “First we wrote the instrumental for this song, and it turned out to be really dark. Frankly speaking, we still call this song ‘The dark one’ within the band. Then we started to think what the lyrics should be about, so that they could complement the concept of the song.
“Eventually, a mystical legend about deep web drew our interest. It is a legend about a place to which you barely can get, and where creepy things happen. This topic seemed to be new and fresh to us. We always try to write quite abstract lyrics, so everybody can grasp it in their own way. That’s why even in this particular song, we consider Silent House to be some kind of a purgatory.”
GR: You’re the first band we’ve met from Ukraine, which is exciting! What can you tell our readers about the music scene in Ukraine? How much support is there for new rock/metal bands like yourselves?
CE: “For the last few years, the Ukrainian heavy scene has been rising. During that period we got a lot of cool bands, which tour not only in Ukraine but all over the world. I think many have heard of a band called Jinjer – it’s a Ukrainian band, who conquers the world in their infinite tours.
“Maybe you’ve heard of such bands as Stoned Jesus and Sinoptik, who had toured both Europe and North America. You have to check out Ignea, Karna, Morphine Suffering, Chumatskyi Shlyah (the last 3 sing in Ukrainian by the way) – they are really cool bands. Metalcore is also getting popular lately, for example, you can check a band called Space of Variations, they started to play in European countries recently.
“Here is the thing, we’ve got a lot of cool bands, but metal is not that really popular in Ukraine, so many of them are aiming for other countries.”
GR: How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
CE: “It’s really hard to explain which styles our music is similar to. There is an obvious influence of nu-metal, alternative metal, and even old school thrash metal and hard rock. We tend to take the best from the old and new genres, and of course, add our own atmosphere to that. We can talk a lot about it, but it’s better to check out our album, which will be released this Autumn. After that, you’ll tell us what exactly style do we play in.”
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
CE: “Lately we realized that it’s best to write about what we feel, about what we are going through in our lives. Such lyrics come out very sincere, because this is our own experience and our perception of the world. We don’t want to become yet another metal band, who just states some obvious things that happened in the past in their lyrics or just copies other’s lyrics about suffering and all those things.
“We’ve got something to tell to the world, and we will do so. Our lyrics are primarily dedicated to a person’s inner world, their experience, desires, aspirations, to something that all of us face in our life.”
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
CE: “The band members have had really different musical influences. For example, our singer July grew up on nu-metal of the 2000s, drummer Vlad has been influenced by old school thrash metal, guitarist Alex is a big fan of British rock. If you want us to give you a list of the strongest influences, it would be: SOAD, Linkin Park, Muse, Annihilator, Godsmack, Deftones, Mastodon, In Flames, Overkill, Primus, Papa Roach. Such a funny mix.
“From time to time we also listen to some pop music, there are a lot of good artists out there.”
GR: What have you got coming up through the rest of 2019?
CE: “We completely dedicated this whole year to the recording of our debut long-play album, which will be released in Autumn 2019. Besides that, a few days ago we filmed a really insane music video (which will get ’18+’ on YouTube for sure). Don’t miss this one, we worked really hard on it!
“After that, we’re going on a small Ukrainian tour with our friend’s band Esquizet. The tour is called ‘Sweet and Violent tour.’ Also, we’re going to share several interesting videos for our songs this year. So, 2019 will be the year when we declare ourselves. We hope for feedback from the listeners and dream to gig in other countries next year. We are tired of being in the studio.”
GR: Anything else you’d like people to know about you/your music?
CE: “We share Wiccan philosophy, and we trust that we must protect nature. That’s why the title song from our upcoming album is dedicated to human relations with nature. It’s important for us to bring a powerful message with our music and we believe that music can make the world a better place.”