You might say English metalcore heroes, This Dying Hour, are at the beginning of the third chapter of their career after releasing their latest EP, Fire and The Blind, last month. This is a band that emerged with Bury Tomorrow and Architects in 2007 but split before the 2010s. Their return in 2016 with a full-length LP should have been the start of a new era, but singer, Dave Pickup, died in a hit-and-run and founding member, Sean Crossey, succumbed to cancer. Most bands would give up after such a traumatic time, but the remaining members dusted down their instruments and decided to give it one last go.
With new singer, Gaz Ward, taking over from Pickup on the microphone, it feels like a new band that’s comfortable with their heritage. “I wouldn’t say I had any fear or nerves around being the new singer,” says Ward. “It felt good to be a part of a band with so much history and be a part of keeping the story going. The pressure came whist writing the songs and making sure each song had a story and one people would connect with, whether musically or emotionally.”
Scream Blast Repeat praised the band’s comeback EP and singled out Ward’s exquisite vocal performance as a highlight. As we said in our review of Fire and The Blind: ‘To all the budding vocalists out there, here is a person you can learn from, whether it be the way he roasts a falsetto note into a fry scream or the manner in which he delivers a fist-clenching chorus.’
We ask Ward which influences he brings to the band that were not there during Pickup’s tenure. “Dave was influenced mainly by Slipknot, American Head Charge and Chimera,” he explains. “My big influencers will always be Chris Cornell, Chester Bennington, Wayne Static and Eddie Vedder. I love mixing vocal styles into a song. These singers were and are the best at what they do.”
Fans of the band will be thrilled to learn of This Dying Hour’s future release plans now they’re back on the scene and ready to leave their mark on the new decade. “Our next releases will be a series of singles, and we hope to bring those out more frequently. A full-length album… I personally cannot wait,” enthuses Ward. “I would love to say when this will happen. I imagine we’ll begin working on this in 2022 but with a focus on releasing new content up and until that time. The important thing is to listen to which songs our fans enjoy the most and focus on building and getting that style locked in for an album.”
This Dying Hour are also excited to announce the addition of fifth member, Julia ‘Joules’ Hogan, on guitar alongside founding six-stringer, Ash Whitelock. She joined the band after the EP and can’t wait to contribute to future writing and recording sessions. “Influences like Killswitch Engage, Trivium, Shadows Fall and God Forbid are all sounds I hear on the EP and on the new material we’re working on, focusing on the contrast between strong, catchy, and singable choruses, and brutal violence and aggression, all coming together to make powerful music that really means something to us,” says Julia.
We asked the band to share some insight into the artists that influenced their latest EP. You’ll recognise many names from the golden era of metalcore…
7. Lamb of God
Julia Hogan (Guitarist): “I’m a huge death metal and black metal fan, but this record really made me want to revisit the metalcore bands that I grew up listening to. One of my biggest early influences was Lamb of God and even now, years later, tracks like ‘Black Label’, ‘Laid to Rest’, ‘Redneck’, ‘512’ etc. still get me hyped. Every song has incredibly catchy riffs, and the old drummer, Chris Adler, is one of my all-time favourite players. Their self-titled album was one of my top albums of 2020 and I can’t wait to see them live in December 2021.”
6. Exit Ten
Nat Douglas (Bass): “Exit Ten had this way of writing heavy and melodic songs that were just fluid. The musicality and production on 2008’s Remember the Day were just mind blowing to me for a band that were from down the road. When we wrote ‘Broken Scars and Silent Voices’, this was the vibe I was going for.”
Duncan Lee (Drums): “I would say my biggest influence of all time was Sikth. I fondly remember getting the train into town when I was sixteen, just to buy Death of a Dead Day. I rushed home and listened to it on repeat in front of my hi-fi. It was cranked. No screens. No distractions. It was easily one of the most influential albums for me along with The Trees are Dead & Dried Out… Since these influential moments, I was fortunate enough to be produced and recorded by Weller-Hill productions when they were together. I received drum lessons from the Lord himself, Dan Foord, and then was a support band on tour for Pin’s side project, Aliases. All these encounters strengthened my love and respect for the band.”
Gaz Ward (Vocals): “I remember being in Concepts (music store when they used to be around, haha). Alexisonfire and their album, Crisis, was playing in the shop. The verses were amazing, manic at points, but the chorus! The choruses were anthemic, and I instantly bought the album and played it on repeat for weeks.”
3. Linkin Park
Gaz: “Music that stands out to me as a big impact, why I write the way I do… Do you remember the first time an album blew your mind? I remember seeing/listening to the single, ‘One Step Closer’, by Linkin Park in 2000. That track and the mix of styles they threw into it was massive. The album kept that going. Every track was fresh and not just repeating a formula. The mix in clean and screaming has always been, since then, a big part of my writing.”
Ash Whitelock (Guitar): “For this record, the main element I focused on, and that excites me most, is the catchy and heavy groove. Bands I look up to most for this are Trivium and Bloodsimple. All their riffs you can imagine being played live and everyone going nuts to, and that’s what I love about them. I first heard Bloodsimple as support to Avenged Sevenfold at London Astoria. They had so much energy on stage and were easily the best band of the night. If you listen to ‘Dark Helmet’ by Bloodsimple, it’s impossible not to feel pumped by it!”
Ash: “Trivium are a band I’ve seen live more than any other band, back when they released Ascendancy and played Download. I remember thinking, “Who are these guys?” They were a band that me and Sean shared a love for, and the singer, Matt Heafy, actually sent a video message to Sean when he was in the hospice, which was such a great thing to do. My favourites are songs like ‘Rain’ (that have all the memories of growing up and playing in bands) and newer tracks like ‘The Defiant’ and ‘What the Dead Men Say’ (that have the best singalong choruses).”
*** This Dying Hour self-released the Fire and The Blind EP on 9 April 2021. You can read the original SBR review here.