Photos By Frank Ralph
FANS OF THE YORKSHIRE DOOM SOUND of early Paradise Lost and of course My Dying Bride should without a doubt check out Godthrymm, a three-piece band which comprises two long-term former MDB members: drummer Shaun Taylor-Steels and guitarist/backing vocalist Hamish Glencross. And more so, perhaps, because it appeared for a while that Glencross had moved on from playing doom metal, having joined Vallenfyre—a band with far more of a death metal sound.
It was upon touring with Pallbearer (huge fans of Glencross’ doom-driven past work), however, that he began to seriously reconsider moving back in the doom direction—and so, the idea for Godthrymm was born. “As far as Vallenfyre was concerned, I only contributed a handful of riffs over a couple of songs, and helped with some arrangement in the process, but it was Greg’s [Gregor Mackintosh’s] brainchild and passion,” says Glencross. “It was a very special time and offered some incredible experiences with dear friends, but I needed to return to writing, and to also steer the ship in my own direction.”
It’s turned out to be a wealth of positives so far—a welcome return to familiar terrain. “It’s simply what comes most naturally to me,” Glencross, now guitarist and lead vocalist, adds. “It’s very liberating to just write, record and perform what I am currently enjoying the most, without worrying about trying to do something different, like trying to create new styles or caring if it sounds straight from the early nineties.”
Seeing as Glencross and Taylor-Steels have worked together over a period of around twenty years, bringing that wealth of shared experience and musical tastes has been a huge benefit for Godthrymm. “It’s been incredibly important,” says Glencross. “Shaun has a style of drumming that suits what I want to write perfectly, and as such the writing process is so much easier. If I have some new musical ideas in the rehearsal room, I can just count on him to play and match what I’m doing perfectly. Our shared experience makes that flow so seamlessly.”
Recently joined by Sasquatch Bob Crolla on bass, the line-up is now exactly what Glencross always hoped it would be. “It’s so great he’s a part of it now. I just wish I could’ve had him on at least one song on the album, but hey, timing can sometimes work against you…”
And speaking of which: Godthrymm’s first studio album, Reflections, was released by Profound Lore in February 2020... right ahead of what turned out to be the first U.K. lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic. Reflections is a superb album with a perfect balance of familiar doom elements and an almost overwhelming quality of sound; a record like this, with what Glencross describes as its “connections to strong, emotive feelings” could be the perfect soundtrack for these interesting times. But given COVID-19’s impact on the music scene, does this now feel like bad timing, or good fortune?
“Well, it was certainly very frustrating to not be able to play live and promote the album as much as we’d like—but I’m incredibly glad that we got to record and release it before the world went into lockdown,” Glencross says. “Reflections is such an important album to me. It’s the tenth studio album I’ve been a part of, yet it felt like my first because it was so important. It took work and effort to make it happen, and I’m glad it did.”
Perhaps now more than ever, getting music made and out there is vital. “This past year has really driven home the point of not putting off what you want to achieve today, as you don’t know what may lie round the corner,” Glencross muses. So, let’s hope a Reflections tour is something we can look forward to soon. —KERI O'SHEA