Cruz Del Sur Music is proud to announce the signing of Dublin, Ireland doom metallers Death The Leveller. The label will release the band’s first proper full-length album, “II”, in March 2020.
Originally formed in 2016 out of the ashes of long-running Irish metal ensemble MAEL MÓRDHA, DEATH THE LEVELLER released their debut “I” EP in 2017 to critical acclaim and positive fan reaction. The band’s sound — a melancholic, but strikingly epic take on doom metal — is the result of its four members taking their combined experience and working to create something entirely distinct.
“I think the big takeaway for us was the whole approach to DEATH THE LEVELLER had to be honest, about us, our lives, our losses and our passions,” says drummer Shane Achill. “Sure, we are all influenced by one thing or another, but I can’t say the bands we were in in the past influenced us in any big meaningful way. I know we are certainly influenced by the mistakes we made in the past and how not to recreate those mistakes in DEATH THE LEVELLER.”
DEATH THE LEVELLER (who are rounded out by vocalist Denis Dowling, guitarist Ger Clince and bassist Dave Murphy) fell onto Cruz Del Sur’s radar by way of fellow Irish metallers (and Cruz Del Sur act) Darkest Era. Cruz Del Sur label head Enrico Leccese was instantly a fan of “I” and started up a conversation with the band, with the two parties eventually putting pen to paper in 2019.
“The great thing about Cruz is the quality of bands writing quality music being released by a guy who is a fan of the bands and music he releases,” notes Cahill. “There are not many out there like Enrico at the moment and it was very refreshing for us to find a home for our music that cuts out all the crap that takes away from creating and writing music. Enrico is not looking for the next trend or fashion statement, which is good for us, right? Shortly after that, we demoed three tracks and we finally met at Doom Over Vienna where our relationship was cemented and Enrico got to see us live for the first time. Suddenly it looked like we had a label and that ‘II’ was starting to become a reality.”
The band is currently holed up at Trackmix Recording Studio in Dublin with engineer Michael Richards for the recording of “II”. According to Cahill, the album will comprise of four songs at 42 minutes that are more “introspective” and “reaches more emotional depths than ‘I’.”
“We’re still exploring the human relationship with death and concepts of mortality, but whereas the first release approached the idea of legacy after death, this one goes on a more soul-searching journey to some darker personal places of loss but ultimately also has its uplifting moments,” he says. “Sound-wise, this one has a more laid-back feel in places, giving the general tone of the album more space to breathe and a much more natural sound to come through. On saying that, it also has some of the heaviest sections we’ve done so far. For us, writing each song is a journey, and as we write this, we’re in the studio putting the final pieces of the jigsaw together and the landscape forms in front of us.”
The remainder of 2019 will find DEATH THE LEVELLER putting the finishing touches on “II” while preparing for a run of dates in Europe and Ireland alongside new labelmates, Argus. The band will also be appearing at the bi-annual Redemption Festival in Dublin, as well as Little Devil Doom Days in Holland.
“The main focus for 2020 is to get out there and play to as many people as possible,” wraps Cahill. “These songs mean the world to us. It was a fairly personal and at times, a very emotional journey, but now it’s time to have some fun and bring all of that to the stage and let it rip.”
Cruz Del Sur Music is proud to announce the signing of New York City’s own TOWER.
The label will release the band’s sophomore full-length in mid-2020.
Formed in 2015, TOWER plays a brand of classic, traditional metal inspired by legends such as JUDAS PRIEST and SCORPIONS, further propelled by the imitable, almost Pat Benatar-esque vocals of Sarabeth Linden. To date, TOWER has one studio album to their credit, 2016’s self-titled, as well as this year’s “Tomorrow & Yesterday” EP.
Shortly after the release of the video for “Run For My Life”, multiple record companies came calling for TOWER, including Cruz Del Sur. What sealed the deal for TOWER and Cruz Del Sur, though, was the good word put in by some of the label’s existing bands.
“We’re close friends with Nate Honor and Jim Hunter, whose bands SANHEDRIN and TWISTED TOWER DIRE are/were on Cruz Del Sur,” says guitarist James Danzo. “We heard so many good things about Cruz that it was pretty clear from the beginning which route we should take. In the few years we’ve been a band, we’ve learned not to rush into things and to be very deliberate, but we know we made the right choice!”
Danzo describes the first four years of TOWER’s existence as a “real wild ride,” with the band (who is rounded out by second guitarist Zak Penley, bassist Jeff Filmer and drummer Claire Vastola) going from formation to the demo stage, to playing shows, then scoring their first record deal for the release of their self-titled album. “In this crazy world of ours not everything is ice cream sundaes and cherries on top — we’ve been through some changes with lineups and labels when it became clear we had different goals in mind. We look back with pride on our debut album and especially the new EP. It’s been a huge boost in morale and poured gasoline on the fire inside us!”
The origins of TOWER date back to when Linden and Danzo were playing in THE PSYCHO HIPPIES, a group that primarily played ’50s, ’60s and ’70s pop covers, along with some RAMONES songs to boot. Because of her experience playing such music, Linden brings a unique brand of soul and style to metal, with Danzo noting she even sang at the legendary Apollo Theater as a teenager. Fret not true metal believers: Linden’s vocal idol happens to be Ronnie James Dio, further rounding out a band who is equal in music and image.
“Metal bands love to say, ‘we hate image!’” notes Danzo, “but truth be told, we have a vision and are very protective of it. It’s important to us to come across as real, first and foremost. Everyone in the band has a unique style and persona and we aren’t about to mess with it. We try to avoid clichés when it comes to album covers, too — so far photographs have worked, they’re just classic and real. We’re just here to kick some ass and I think that comes across clear as day.”
TOWER will fill up the rest of 2019 with occasional live duty, but the priority remains to get ready for their forthcoming second studio album. Danzo says “lack of material has never been a problem” for TOWER: The band has three songs leftover from the “Tomorrow & Yesterday” session, as well as another cut that has already been aired live.
“Unlike the last two releases which took forever in spaced-out sessions from weekend to weekend, we plan on blocking out 7-10 days of studio time and doing it as a concise and complete project like a band would do in the old days. Onward and upward!”
Irish epic metallers TERMINUS have signed with Cruz Del Sur Music for the release of their second studio album, “A Single Point Of Light”. Recorded at the home studio of instrumentalist David Gillespie and mixed and mastered by Richard Whittaker (SOLSTICE), the album will see the light of day this November. The artwork was created by Anaïs Mulgrew.
The TERMINUS/Cruz Del Sur relationship stretches back to 2013 when both parties were tossing around the idea of releasing the band’s “The Reaper’s Spiral” debut. While the idea didn’t come to fruition then, there is no better time than the present — Gillespie says Cruz Del Sur is a “natural fit” for TERMINUS since their friends in RAVENSIRE, ARGUS, LETHEAN, GATEKEEPER and LUNAR SHADOW already call the label home.
TERMINUS ceased to be a live entity in late 2017 after triumphant appearances at Keep It True, Up The Hammers, Pyrennean Warriors Open Air and Ultimate Revenge in Helsinki, enabling the band (now a two-piece featuring vocalist James Beattie and Gillespie on instruments) enough time to focus on new material. According to Gillespie, the goal with “A Single Point Of Light” was to “evolve enough so that a second album was not a redundant exercise while still remaining true to our core sound.”
“As the principal songwriter, it was self-imposed pressure to prove — to myself — that I wasn’t a one-off and that I could write another record of equal or superior quality,” he continues. “Hence, we did not simply poop out an album in 18 months, but took our time.”
Like its predecessor, “A Single Point Of Light” is a deep dive into the realms of epic and progressive metal, with bountiful guitar harmonies, complex song arrangements and the controlled, but emotive delivery of Beattie. It results in an album that is a comfortable step forward for TERMINUS while not reneging on the core tenets that initially brought the band together in 2012.
“The obvious thing is that we haven’t turned into a Sisters Of Mercy tribute band or anything silly like that,” says Gillespie. “The new album is in the same vein and we have retained our ethos — which seems to have become strikingly popular of late — that the album should fit on one side of a 90-minute tape and should split evenly and sympathetically across both sides of a 12-inch LP. Some elements of the sound have been dropped, some have been focused on and there are a few new textures in there to keep things fresh.”
“A Single Point Of Light” again finds TERMINUS exploring lyrical themes off the traditional heavy metal path. Instead, the band continues their approach of interpreting classic science-fiction tales alongside stories of their own telling.
“We have always been antithetical to the
rest of the subgenre, lyrically,” wraps Gillespie. “Our songs are not
about heroes and their deeds. They’re about cowards, deviants, deceivers — the
scum of the universe, really. There are no heroics and no victories to be found
in our world.”
“A Single Point Of Light” track listing:
- To Ash, To Dust
- As Through A Child’s Eyes
- Flesh Falls From Steel
- Mhira, Tell Me The Nature Of Your Existence
- Cry Havoc
- Spinning Webs, Catching Dreams