Feb 162024

(The UK doom metal band Gévaudan put out a hell of a good album in Umbra last fall, so good that Comrade Aleks felt compelled to reach out for an interview, and the results are his very engaging conversation published below with Gévaudan bassist Andy Salt.)

The “Beast of Gévaudan” was a nickname of a semi-mythical man-eating wolf from French folklore. The creature made about 250 attacks on people in the Gévaudan region from 1764 to 1767, hence its name.

Several heavy bands are named after the beast, and the Hertfordshire doom metal quartet have carried it since 2013. Gévaudan was the first band for Andy Salt (bass) and David Himbury (drums), as Bruce Hamilton (guitar) had already performed in the stoner band Burn the Yeti, and Adam Pirmonhamed (vocals) had previously sung in the progressive thrash formation Manufacture.

First, the EPs Message for the Damned (2014) and Litost (2016) were released, then the group collected enough material for the full-length album Iter (2019), after which the presence of such a promising doom metal unit could no longer be ignored in the underground. So, by the end of 2023, Gévaudan came out with their second big work – Umbra. The album consists of one track with a duration of 43 minutes, and this is not nearly as scary and depressing as it might seem. This deep, emotional doom metal with epic (as well as progressive and psychedelic) touches has its original blend with recognizable traces of some classic acts.

A few of my doom-hooked friends recommended me Umbra, and it’s something each doom-head needs to know. Andy Salt told us a lot about the band’s and album’s backgrounds, so here we go. Continue reading »

Oct 172019



(In this edition of Andy Synn‘s series on recommended releases by UK bands (presented by the letter “G”), the focus is on Geist, Gévaudan, and Godeater.)

Being a British writer for what is, primarily, a US-based (though not necessarily US-focussed) publication like NCS occasionally puts me in some odd, awkward positions.

For one thing, the level of autonomy afforded to me here is far greater than anywhere else I’ve written for, and, due to our location/reputation, there’s never any pressure on me to blindly “support the scene”, something which often forces other, UK-based, sites/zines to grit their teeth and find ways to be gratingly polite/positive even when they don’t really want to.

On occasion this “outsider” status has come back to bite me, for instance when a band (or their fans) decide I’ve not been nice enough about them, or when I’ve simply refused to cover a band because I didn’t think they were all that good, but, for the most part, it’s a very freeing position to be in, and not one I take for granted.

Hopefully it also absolves me of any accusations of bias or favouritism – I’m not covering these bands because I’m trying to ingratiate myself with them, or “the scene” in general, I’m doing it because I think our readers will want to hear them! Continue reading »