New album Marking The Day is out now.
It makes sense that the universe and its immensity is something that intrigues sludgy Belfast based doom metal outfit Nomadic Rituals. Their ferocious, imposing, expansive sounds seems to mirror that fascination. Their latest album, Marking The Day, showcases this with deft aplomb. Over the course of six tracks, the shortest of which clocks in at nearly eight minutes, the trio create a highly controlled blast that incorporates dark ambient passages, noise rock influenced feedback, black metal vocals, and a lumbering pace that is both intimidating and hypnotic.
We had a sit down with Craig Carson (bass/vocals/synth) and ended up discussing the universe, Carl Sagan, and intricate album artwork.
Overblown: Your new album Marking The Day is a concept album “envisioning the birth and death of the cosmos”. What interests you about this topic?
Nomadic Rituals: The universe and its sheer immensity utterly fascinates me. Its incomprehensible scale and the ideas we have to explain it also just make me want to know more. It’s that idea that we collectively we sit on a rock being hurtled through the universe. It’s a perspective I think we can all do with from time to time.
O: As a child I used to watch Carl Sagan’s Cosmos with my Dad. Is that something that had an influence on you?
NR: Absolutely. The man is utterly profound in his thinking and communication. We even went as far as using a sample from Cosmos on the previous track ‘Burning Planets’. His influence sums up our sentiment very well. I suppose it continues through to Marking the Day.
O: The album is extremely measured and controlled adventure pushing the boundaries of what constitutes metal music with long quiet passages and unusual use of feedback. Was this an intention while writing and recording the album?
NR: In the sense that we purposefully wrote to convey a story then yes. In general there is some form of thought or intention behind what has been recorded. It is simply the representation of the journey we chose to write.
O: I wonder have you ever thought about taking a more concise and condensed approach in the future?
NR: It’s not outside the realms of possibility. I think that every time we return to write something we want to move in different directions and try new approaches. Ultimately it is going to be what it is when it comes out.
O: How did the recent album launch go? You played in Belfast with Soothsayer, Maw, & War Iron.
NR: It went really well. Got a great crowd down from the start, everything ran smoothly and the sound was spot on. First on was War Iron and they hit the stage like a hoof in the face. MAW then stepped on to give us their awesome heavy duel vocal dirt rock. After that Soothsayer plugged in to beat the living tar out of the crowd with their black atmosphere. And then finally we hit the stage for an indulgent hour to play out the entire album. Could not have asked for a better evening to finally give this album a good send off.
O: Artwork and unique packaging seems to be quite important to the band (The CD pack of Nomadic Rituals’ new album Marking the Day “contains 8 ‘larger format’ art cards with CD and wallet held within a 7×7-inch clear poly sleeve. The entire package features a mixture of hand screen printed and modern digital printed artwork”). Why is that?
NR: We just enjoy doing it like that. We like making the music and want to see it in a finished format. The whole package as they say. Plus we just like the freedom to create things the way we want.
O: Do you think that this impacts sales?
NR: Hard to say if I’m honest. I think uniqueness can be appealing but I’d be hard pushed to say if that translates to a noticeable impact. People do buy our stuff but we aren’t making a killing.
O: What does the rest of 2017 hold for Nomadic Rituals?
NR: Well first we are going to get back to the practice room to throw some ideas and riffs at each other. Then hopefully we should be organising some tour dates beyond the edges of Ireland.
Purchase Marking the Day via Bandcamp.
Find Nomadic Rituals on Facebook.