Oxfordshire newcomers Severed Tongues have honed a delicious modern metal sound that’s somehow exceedingly dark and dramatic, yet also positive and catchy. It’s also filled with powerful messages around living ethically and the environment, which sees them approach an increasingly negative situation with positive music that they describe as “progressive, modern and meaningful.”
The band formed in April 2019 out of the ashes of the former band of Patrick Standley (guitar and vocals) and Joe Bartlett (drums). Vocalist Will Hagan initially joined as a guitarist, but switched to vocals as the band tell us: “We were recording a demo for one of our tracks and he had written some lyrics for it and wanted to show what he had in mind for the track, after listening back to the demo we decided that he would become our vocalist.
They completed the lineup with guitarist Connor Rhodes, who they found through a Facebook ad and also plays in a band intriguingly named Imminent Annihilation, and Coner Stace on bass, who they found through JoinMyBand. And the quintet immediately bonded, as they tell us: “When we all got together for the first time, we all just happened to share the same views, it’s like it was meant to be. We remember Coner announcing at practice that he had something important to tell us and said: ‘I’ve got something to tell you guys, I’m vegan’ and we all just laughed and said ‘so are we.'”
Severed Tongues aim to build different sub-genres of modern metal into each track, with the ultimate aim of creating “hard hitting riffs with a catchy chorus and hooks based around something that you can sing along to.”
And our first taste of this is debut single Clean Slate, which was released exactly one week ago. It dives into a big chunky low-tuned riff that’s joined by an eerie synth sound, then the chunky riff continues under screamed vocals “We had our chance and then we blew it, Making sure we secured our own downfall, Taking from the land that’s ruined, Torching everything that’s in our way.”
That feeds into a more atmospheric pre-chorus of cleaner vocals over faster drums and an atmospheric synth sound, which leads into a catchier chorus supported by fast-paced high-pitched guitars and drops into the opening riff.
A second verse gives way to doomy guitars and cries of “We have failed as one, There’s nothing but the downfall of our sins, Life is only what you make it, We have the keys to change it all,” which feeds into an extended chorus.
The pace suddenly drops with a lingering low-tuned guitar noise and stabbing synth sound, which intensifies with booming low guitars and the repeating synth. It suddenly gets really dark with the synth intensifying and doomy guitar noise supporting final cries of “This is the end of existence, May we seek redemption from ourselves, What we had we took for granted, Let it all burn.”
It’s a huge track that gets really dark with the huge breakdown at the end and we love what we hear from this exciting new British band. Check it out in the lyric video below:
The band creates “music that’s all about speaking up and being heard,” which is reflected by the fact that the proceeds for their debut single will go to NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund & Color Of Change.
Their music is inspired by a wide range of rock and metal bands. Will is particularly into Architects, Polaris and Linkin Park, Patrick’s more into Born Of Osiris, For The Fallen Dreams and Stick To Your Guns, and Connor loves a bit of Meshuggah, Periphery and Veil of Maya. While Coner’s keen on Iron Maiden, Cannibal Corpse and Converge, and Joe cites Periphery, Alexisonfire and Protest The Hero as his main influences.
And in terms of what influences them to write music, they explain: “When it comes to the instrumental side of writing we like to take elements from our different influences. We normally stick to a minor scale and aim for the tracks to sound dramatic, emotional and also catchy.
“When writing lyrics, we pick subjects and themes that are personal to us or something that we believe strongly about. We all support living ethically and care about the Earth, environment and everything in it. We often attempt to write positive music to a negative situation.”
There’s plenty more to come from Severed Tongues, who are already in the process of two more tracks that they hope to release in the next few months. They also have gigs planned, which will hopefully still get the go-ahead despite what’s going on at the moment.
And, of course, any profits made from the current single will go to important charities. As the band explain: “We’re all about supporting others and donating to charities. If you download our track Clean Slate then you’ll be supporting the NAACP Legal Defence and Educational Fund and Color Of Change. 100% of our royalties go to both charities.”