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Thursday, 31 August 2017

The Spotlight: Interview With Embodiment (By Paul)

Interview with Embodiment

Ahead of their main support slot with the New York Death Metal Legends Suffocation at the Bristol Bierkeller we were pleased to spend some time in the company of local technical death metal outfit Embodiment. Lead singer Harry Smithson and drummer Leslie Preston did most of the talking.

We began by asking them to tell us about Embodiment.

Harry “Well, we’re from Bristol, and we won Bristol Metal To The Masses this year, played at Bloodstock on the New Blood Stage to a packed out tent earlier on in the month which was fucking amazing. We’ve been going about three years, yeah, Bristol technical death metal”

MoM: The South West and Bristol is a vibrant scene for death metal and we asked the band whether having so much competition was for keeping them on their toes.

Leslie and Harry: “Yes, MTTM helps a lot with that, it helps everyone up their game, you know, being as tight as they can and as entertaining as they can be; it’s where you really learn with your live shows definitely”

MoM: Whilst it’s clear with a death metal band that the genre has a wide range of influences, they often range wider than expected. We asked Embodiment who the major influences were for the band. Unsurprisingly it was Decapitated.

Harry and Leslie: “They have to be like, number one for us. Bands like The Faceless (extreme Death Metal band from Los Angeles) but we love all sorts, from Killswitch to Trivium, you know, Michael Jackson!” Of course, they also declared a love for 1980s pop music which was no surprise when you hear them live!

MoM: We then took a step back and asked how the band formed.

Leslie explained “Finn (Maxwell – guitarist) and I got introduced by a friend. Finn wanted to start a group and I wasn’t playing in a band at the time, and it started from that. A bit of a line-up change and then we got Harry and the bassist (Kieran Hogarty) and from there we’ve just been plugging away. We did an album, [the excellent self-titled Embodiment], and we are working on the second album now which we are hoping to release in February of next year”.

MoM: We moved on to Bloodstock. I was at Bloodstock and although I didn’t get to see the band, I wondered what caught Embodiment’s eye (apart from the obvious Decapitated show). It was ironic to find that they almost didn’t.

Harry“We were on just after Whitechapel so we managed to run over and catch the second half of their set”.

MoM: The band picked one stand out band; “Fallujah. Yeah, that was everyone’s … and then Abhorrent Decimation, they were a lot of fun”.

MoM: What about anyone that disappointed them? Interestingly it was Testament.

Harry quickly quantified that it wasn’t Chuck Billy and Co. “The sound was just crap. They had some issues. It was really disheartening as they were amazing last time I saw them”.

MoM: I noted the curse that Winterfylleth were under and Leslie noted that it was similar with Megadeth. “I’m not sure about Dave’s vocals although instrumentally they were there”. But the guys were positive about the festival “there was nothing I saw that was truly crap” added Harry. The band agreed that Skindred were awesome which resulted in us Welsh lads eulogising about Benji and co. We all agreed that Skindred are the ideal festival outfit.

Harry: “I can see them headlining in years to come”.

MoM: I noted that I was astonished at how good their reception actually was...

Harry said “The thing was that I watched Skindred and then every else was just a bit, flat in comparison”. Leslie added “It was a bit hard for Arch Enemy coming on after them, at the end of a three-year world tour … and they probably just wanted to go home and go to sleep!” he continued “Skindred had something to prove didn’t they whereas Arch Enemy was a safe choice. Loads of people were going to see them because of who they are whereas Skindred had to prove themselves which they did … and then some!”

MoM: Wrapping our short interview up I asked what we could expect from their 30 minutes?

“Brutality” promised Harry. “Three songs from our new album, we are opening with one of our new ones and closing with a new one, but then we’ve only played them 10-15 times …

MoM: (Ed) “So, no-one will notice if you fuck up?” cue much laughter!

Leslie continued“and we’re playing a few crowd favourites including The Beast (which was awesome and went down fantastically well); It’s a jam-packed set, we haven’t got a lot of time in between songs so it’s basically bang, bang, bang, bang!”

Embodiment were true to their word and their 30-minute set really was a brutal affair. Their Decapitated/Lamb of god style works brilliantly live and they put maximum effort in to their short set. Many thanks to Harry and Leslie for taking time to chat with us. You can catch Embodiment at Fuel on 30 September at Slamdozer and at the Cardiff Chaos Festival on 17 February 2018 as well as The Fleece on 25 September where they support Car Bomb.

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