Old Corpse Road are steeped in the history of Britain; they breathe the myths and legends that form the fabric of this island kingdom. Every note of their unique black metal is infused with the magic of spells thought long forgotten and the ghosts of ancient days haunt the spaces between those notes. Since their bewitching first album, ‘Tis Witching Hour…As Spectres We Haunt This Kingdom, released on Godreah Records in 2012, Old Corpse Road have spoken to those with a yearning for the past and a flame in their hearts that burns brighter when mists hang low over frost rimed fields. Metal Hammer hailed the band as “consummate storytellers, with timeless tales of the fecund darkness that lurks beneath the surface of England’s green and pleasant land” . With each album Old Corpse Road come forth with more truths, secrets and incantations from the moonlit meadows.
Old Corpse Road first came together in 2007 and since then they have released two full length albums and two split releases with The Infernal Sea and The Meads Of Asphodel. They have contributed a stunning take on the classic track ‘Equimanthorn’ to the well received Bathory tribute album, Voices from Valhalla and their last album – the critically acclaimed Of Campfires And Evening Mists – was released through the renowned Cacophonous Records to high praise from magazines like Terrorizer, Iron Fist and Metal Hammer. The band possess the ability to bring their fabulous stories to vivid, vibrant life on the stage as well as on record. Since their inception they have accompanied Heidevolk on a UK Tour, played with the likes of A Forest Of Stars, Alcest, Esoteric, Hecate Enthroned and Winterfylleth, completed their own successful and extensive UK headline tours and performed at festivals like Hammerfest and Warhorns. In both 2010 and 2014 they also appeared at the huge Bloodstock Open Air festival alongside Emperor, Primordial, Dimmu Borgir, Gorgoroth, Amorphis and Leaves Eyes, to name but a few; nor does their appetite for the road show signs of ceasing.
The Old Corpse Road was conceived during the autumn season of 2007 during a brief excursion to the Lake District, more specifically Haweswater. This Autumnal break, in celebration of the wondrous and powerful music that we all know as Black Metal, awoke our desire to share our musical passions with other like minded people. The band name was taken from the road of the same name which rises out of the Haweswater valley and leads to Mardale.
The music is at its heart classic British black metal. Dynamic guitar patterns flow from fierce black metal through to powerful melodic passages and onto serene yet haunting ambient moments. Through the music and lyrics the band tell British folk tales and thus the songs move through many emotions and atmospheres. In order to achieve this the band employ various musical stylings which give rise to unusual but enthralling musical structures.
In addition Old Corpse Road successfully weave folk sections played on acoustic guitars through to progressive metal moments in order to portray the tale. Vocally the band employ intense black metal screams, deathly growls, passionate narratives and medieval inspired harmony chants. Lyrically each song is our interpretation of a folktale, told from different perspectives. Each lyric has several real world factors such as location and cultural effects, these factors allow our listeners to connect to the music beyond just their imagination.
Old Corpse Road consists of five members who play under pseudonyms. This is due to our personal identities being unimportant to what the band produces as a whole. The band’s line-up has been stable since its inception in 2007 (bar a brief period of 3 guitars) and consists of 2 guitarists, bass, keyboards and drums. Vocals are taken care of by all band members. The members of the band are long time friends whcih allows us to function effectivly without the limitations of muscial egos. On a personal level the band follow the entire metal scene passionately and regularly attend gigs and rock nights whilst indulging in fine ales and beverages.
Musically the band creates and arranges the music together and has a very positive working relationship. The band take pride in all aspects of their work and self produce their art, lyrics and website from concept to completion. Dedication is at the core of the bands work ethic. The band currently has its own rehearsal space allowing us to practice and write music regularly. The band play live regularly and always look forward to being able to perform our energetic and diverse set to the masses.
- The Echoes of Tails Once Told (CD demo self released, Tape released on Darkness Shades Records)
- The Bones of This Land are Not Speechless (CD split with the meads of Asphodel on Godreah Records)
- ‘Tis Witching Hour – As Spectres We Haunt This Kingdom (CD album on Godreah Records)
- Insidious Art and Serpentine Rites (7″ split with The Infernal Sea on Three Swords Records)
- Of Campfires and Evening Mists (CD album on Cacophonous Records, Tape released on Locust Amber Records)
- On Ghastly Shores Lays the Wreckage of our Lore (Trollzorn Records)
As you will be aware the spectrum of Black Metal is as vast as the cosmos that inspires it; selecting the correct course for our creativity was a decision we did not take lightly. With the utmost contempt for religion, a total disregard for humanity, and pity for politicians and our ailing society we concluded that we would only become more bitter and spiteful following these paths. So after much discussion and introspective travel, we narrowed our focus to the single aim of playing Black Metal inspired by our true passions; Nature and British Folklore. Combining the dark beauty of British Folk Tales and the power and majesty of Nature, we hope to steal away your soul.
Old Corpse Road are not aiming to break any musical barriers, nor do we seek fame or infamy; we only seek to give back to the scene that has given so much to us. Musically we are inspired by many diverse bands; within black metal Bal-Sagoth, Primordial, Cradle of Filth, Burzum, Emperor, Abigor and Immortal. Old Corpse Road also enjoy classic early doom bands such as My Dying Bride, Celestial Season and Paradise Lost. The band find much pleasure in various other musical styles from Cold Meat Industries (Arcana, Raison D’etre) to traditional folk music, classical pieces and film scores.
The Mythology Behind The Name
Corpse Roads provided a practical means of allowing the transport of corpses to cemeteries that had burial rights. In Britain, such routes can also be known by a number of other names: bier road, burial road, coffin road, coffin line, lyke or lych way, funeral road, procession way, etc. Such “church-ways” have developed a great deal of associated folklore regarding wraiths, spirits, ghosts, and such-like. Many of the corpse roads have long disappeared, while the original purposes of those that still survive as footpaths have been largely forgotten, especially if features such as coffin stones or crosses no longer exist.