Cards on the table time: I don’t know much about metal. I understand the energy and appreciate the ability of the musicians, but I’m more of a punk rock person myself. However, this I do know: metal is the sound of rock in the West Midlands. Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and half of Led Zepplin – no further questions your honour… And I’ve experienced the loyalty that metal inspires among its fans.
I remember asking one of my friends who’s a big Iron Maiden fan if he’d heard their new album after it’d been released. (It was 2015’s Book of Souls, since you’re asking.) He said he’d bought it but was waiting until he had the time to sit down, listen to it properly and give it the time and attention it deserved. I was impressed with his commitment to the music and how much it meant to him, and I’m aware that his attitude isn’t unusual round here.
Now I say all this in mitigation, because I can only approach Elkapath’s new single “Black Spiders” from the position of an intrigued layman. If you’re a long term metal fan, I’m sure I’m about to state the obvious so… please be gentle with me, it’s my first time. Elkapath are a Gloucester based band dealing in… Epic Goth Metal? Is that a thing? Well, I think they’ve made it a thing. “Black Spiders” opens with doomy piano chords as the drums roll past like a thunder storm. Power chords bring the metal, and singer Carla brings the Goth with keening singing. Speaking of Goth, the video for this song revels in it. It’s well worth a watch as live snakes coil around skulls as Carla beckons to you with her long, pointed nails that are painted… black, naturally.
In case you’ve got too comfortable, shrieks and growly Death Metal vocals chant the song’s title, before we tip into a double time section with chugging power chords and piano glissandos. By now, in the video, someone in a weird plague mask is lighting candles and dropping voodoo dolls into jars and creeping me out! “You’re my next victim!” Carla sings and her ability to switch from a swooping, pure voice to a strangled shriek and back again is truely impressive.
“Black Spiders” manages the difficult task of being doomy and gothic but simultaneously energised and epic. It’s obvious that a lot of time and effort has gone into both song and video with both being extremely polished, for which Elkapath deserve a lot of credit. If their intention was to freak out the listener they didn’t quite succeed here, but this is really well written, played and mixed and the video is a lot of fun. I’ll definitely be caning it around Hallowe’en for sure!
By: Southside Jimmy