Please tell us a few words about the new release, about the music on it as a whole or a few words on each track in part. How are you happy with the final release?
This is our debut EP, Shade Beyond, which has quite a range of atmospheres in it across the tracks, from the more charged energy of "In Tempest Wrought" and "White Horizon", to the raw aggression of "Fathoms" and the darker intonations of "Fàilte", and to the more classic metal punch of "Overwhelm". We are really pleased with the sound of the final release, and have been delighted with the reception so far.
How would you describe/label the music on it? Does it sound like anything we might have heard before?
We’re describing it as a mixture Gaelic and Celtic overtones blended with a melo-death metal foundation. Whilst influenced by folk music, the tracks make minimal use of traditional instruments, instead lifting rhythms, time signatures and patterns from folk music and adapt them for distorted guitars. We’ve tried to do something quite different with it, so hopefully not something you’ve heard before!
Where was it recorded and how much time did it take you to record it? Any interesting stories from the recording/producing the material?
The entire track was recorded at home during lockdown in Scotland during 2020, we probably spent four months on it from start to finish, but a lot of that time was mixing and mastering; the actual writing process took just a few days for some of the tracks.
What can you tell us about the cover artwork? Is there a link between the artwork and the lyrics? What are the topics of your lyrics?
The artwork is strongly tied to the concept of the band - “Kalliach” is a play on “Cailleach”, which is the name of an ancient Scottish hag god of winter. In Scottish mythology the legend goes that she lives at the bottom of a whirlpool of the coast of Islay, where some of John’s family are from. The story goes she emerges from the whirlpool to usher in winter, but also is a creator, so the imagery and much of the atmosphere of the EP is centred around this both benevolent and malevolent entity and the history, mythology and land/seascapes of the Scottish islands.
What do you expect to gain through this release? What are the band's aims at the moment?
To be totally honest, we didn’t expect anything from this release - it was a project we had wanted to do for some time, but didn’t expect it would resonate with anyone. We have been really humbled by the great response so far from being totally unknown, but in all honesty we really get a lot of joy just from just seeing even one listener connecting with our songs. Of course, that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t love to play some shows once venues reopen now that we know we’re onto something!
Is there a special format the material is released in? Or is it released in multiple formats? How many copies were pressed?
Just digital for now, however we are looking at getting physical copies if there is demand - if you want vinyl/cassettes, drop us a line!
Where and how will you promote this new release?
Initially we were just promoting it ourselves via social media - and even then, promotion is a strong term for what we were doing! However after the initial reaction was so positive, we’ve engaged with Markus at MetalMessage PR who is doing an outstanding job at helping us reach more fans, and we are still active on Twitter/FB/IG.
Where can we order it from?
We’re on all the major streaming services now, or you can get it directly from our Bandcamp page at https://handofkalliach.bandcamp.com - new merch just in as well!