Sabbs riffs, tonsil ripps and Aleister Crowley love songs. I’m on a HIGHWAY TO HELL with drummer & vocalist Kat Gillham

‘The attraction to Death Metal ? It’s about being able to raise a big middle finger at mainstream society. The attitudes, trends and all the bullshit that goes with it. It’s like “fuck you, I don’t want to be part of your mainstream plastic pop culture”.

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Kat pointed me in the direction of some of her work via You Tube. With song titles like ‘Full Moon Nights’, ‘The Horrors Of Highgate’ and ‘The Arrival Of Apokalyptic Armageddon’. I had an idea what was coming. Or so I thought.
The storm clouds gather. Make one last sign of the cross and click play. What does it sound like ? The cry from nosferatu when his internet connection goes off. No, that makes light of a beastly and brutal sound. The lyrics might be ‘Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death’… I’m not sure, as the death growls, and growls. But who said hell ain’t a bad place to be ? Has Kat caught the full moon fever ? Has she danced with the devil once too often ? Am I running out of cliches ? But this is hard. This is heavy. This is feral. With Sabbath riffs, tonsil ripping vocals and Aleister Crowley love songs, surprisingly, this theatre of pain hold’s a real narrative for better things. Yes it does. Is it hope ? I asked Kat what has this music given you ?
‘Being able to channel negativity through the power of music and convert it into something positive gives me a natural high and the biggest buzz ever! That feeling and surge of adrenalin before you play a gig and get up onstage is like no other feeling in the world. When that adrenalin and raw live power is in full flow, everything is gelling and you see the crowd getting into it – that’s such an amazing feeling.
I get away from mainstream attitudes by playing niche underground music. The music has heaviness, aggression, raw energy and non-conformity. It has also given me the chance to express myself creatively. It has helped forge long lasting friendships and introduced me to so many like minded people. They have became good friends. In hard times it has gave me strength emotionally, and over the years countless hours of listening pleasure’.

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Who were your influences when you were young ? ‘It was 1990 I was a 13 year old kid and I first heard bands like Death, Morbid Angel, Metallica, Celtic Frost, Slayer, Autopsy, Obituary, Entombed and Dark Angel. That was my introduction to death metal and it fuelled a hunger to form a band and create my own music. By the summer of ’92 my first death metal band Morstice was formed. We mainly played locally and around Northern England. By ’93 we had recorded two demo’s and filmed two music videos.
The venues I’ve played with various bands over the years have been a mix from floors and stages in pubs, to bigger well known clubs with huge professional PA’s. The Doom metal band I formed in late 1993 Blessed Realm played across England and also got to mainland Europe, of Germany, Austria and France. I have played all around UK with a couple of my current bands too, but I’d love to get back over to Europe to play live. I’ve shared the stage with touring bands like Cathedral, Orange Goblin, Hooded Menace, Iron Monkey and Hellbastard’.

UNCOFF

Kat is currently writing and performing in 4 bands. 3 of them – Uncoffined, Enshroudment and Winds of Genocide… ‘They are all heavily influenced by traditional Doom metal from the 80’s and 90’s, to the Swedish Crust/Käng Punk scene’.
Her fourth band, Lucifer’s Chalice have this year released an album. ‘The Pact’ out now on Shadow Kingdom Records… ‘We play heavy metal in this band and are heavily influenced by early stuff from NWOBHM bands like Iron Maiden, Angel Witch, Mercyful Fate, Witchfynde and Metallica. The drummers from these bands were a big influence on my style of drumming. We have various members for the 4 bands that I’m in but the current line up for Lucifer’s Chalice is Myself on Drums, CW (guitar), SRM (lead guitar), DH (bass)’.


The storm clouds clear as death metal makes way for heavy metal and Eddie from Iron Maiden presses play on the Lucifer’s Chalice album. His fingerprints are all over ‘The Pact’. Was that the sound of Vincent Price, creaking doors and howling wolves ? Remind me, what is the number of the beast ? This album is a soundtrack to war in the Middle East. American soldiers with headphones and night vision goggles kicking in wooden doors and taking prisoners. Pounding. Intense. Ruthless…‘Each recording experience has been different and very special and memorable in their own ways. I’ve recorded a lot with various bands in recent years, most of those recordings from 2010 onwards with Winds Of Genocide and Uncoffined took place at Studio 1 in 12 in Bradford with Bri the guitarist from crust/punk legends Doom producing’.

WINDS

‘But a few years ago I got to travel to Stockholm, Sweden and work on Winds Of Genocide debut full length album Usurping The Throne Of Disease with a well known producer called Fred Estby. He played drums in one of my all time favourite death metal bands Dismember. To be at Gutterview the studio he co-owned with Nicke Andersson from Entombed and The Hellacopters – was an amazing experience. To get to work with someone who’s music and producing I’d admired and respected for years was awesome. It was eye opening to see how someone like him worked. I learnt some valuable things over there’.

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What are the future plans for you as an artist/musician ? ‘Just to continue creating music and playing live as regulary as possible, which actually isn’t as much as I’d like at the moment. Hoping 2018 will bring more live opportunities for my various bands. Also planning to make good progress on the writing of the 3rd Uncoffined album as well as sophomore albums of Winds of Genocide and Lucifer’s Chalice. Enshroudment will also record our debut EP in the very near future which will be titled As The Light Is Extinguished.

Discography:
Winds Of Genocide The Arrival Of Apokalyptic Armageddon EP (2010 self released)

Split CD – Winds Of Genocide/Abigail (Japan) Satanik Apokalyptic Kamikaze Kommandos (2012 Witchhammer Productions)

Uncoffined – Ritual Death And Funeral Rites (2013 Memento Mori)

Winds Of Genocide – Usurping The Throne Of Disease (2015 Pulverised Records)

Uncoffined – Ceremonies Of Morbidity (2016 Memento Mori)

Lucifer’s Chalice – The Pact (2017 Shadow Kingdom Records)

For further info contact Kat or any of the bands on Facebook.

Interview by Gary Alikivi October 2017.