I was instantly drawn to Pemphigoid and it was a simple reason; they play no nonsense Old School Death Metal. No endless guitar wankery, no “look how fast my BPM is” drumming… they remind me of Autopsy, and that is a great compliment coming from me.
So how did a band like this come to be, in an age where Death Metal is becoming ever more technical and overblown;
The name of a rare autoimmune blistering skin disease, PEMPHIGOID was chosen as the band’s moniker. And this medical theme features prominently in the bands lyrics. Songs telling stories of disease, mental illness, surgery and various clinical institutionalised horrors…
It all began in mid 2016, when Rich (Drums) and Ash (Guitar and Vocals) first met in another local Death Metal band. They soon agreed that this project had a limited future, so they set out on their own. Their mission was a simple one; both desired a return to the Old School Death Metal sound of the late 80’s and early 90’s. PEMPHIGOID aimed for an emphasis on song writing over speed, and a prominence of brutality rather than technicality. Soon Bill joined the band on Bass Guitar, he shared this Old School ethos, and so the triumvirate was complete.
Sounds good right? Well what sounds even better is the recent EP from the band. Where Compassion Comes To Die lives up to the band mission statement to capture the sound of late 80’s/early 90’s scenes, and could be a modern day manual of how to execute a true uncompromising Death Metal sound.
Pemphigoid also took some time to present to us the 10 tracks that changed their lives, and in this occasion this will be a collaborative effort from the band;
Richard Mallatratt – Drums
As a Kid in the late 80’s – before the internet spoiled us for choice… Discovering music was an adventure, effort was needed, word of mouth and tape trading were key. These four songs blew my mind and set me on a path.
Metallica – Battery
I was helping a school friend of mine with his paper round. He had a Ghetto Blaster with him, and he proceeded to pull a tape out of his pocket labelled MASTER OF PUPPETS … ‘Check this out!’ he said grinning. What I then heard forever changed me, before this point it had been Queen, Def Leppard and Iron Maiden. So I already loved loud rock music, but I had never heard such speed and precision, I had never heard lyrics quite like this or vocals spat out at this pace. Soon after, my friend introduced me to Anthrax, Kreator, Slayer, Sabbat… And I fell in love with Thrash Metal.
D.R.I. – Five Year Plan
Crossover… What a scene! This is where I am from; and this song sums it up for me. In those days if it was fast and had attitude then it was cool. It became acceptable, even expected, to listen to the Dead Kennedys one day and Slayer the next, or to have a C90 cassette with Misfits on one side and Testament on the other. This love of Punk and Thrash combined spilled over into something new called Grindcore. This would be my next revelation…
Napalm Death – Scum
The now fabled BBC Arena Documentary – ‘Heavy Metal’ was taped on VHS and watched over and over again. It was fascinating to me for one reason. It showed me four Midlanders, not much older than myself, sat in one of their bedrooms, surrounded by Horror Movie posters, watching ‘Day of the Dead’ on video. They were just like me. And when they hit the stage the sound they made was incredible! Extreme speed, filthy Bass and vocals the likes of which I had never heard. At the time people actually though this was a joke, really! They thought these ‘Death Grunts’ were just taking the piss, a parody. But to me this was a gateway, the extremity turned me on. Soon my own band, formed of school friends were jamming our own (terrible) version of ‘Scum’.
Obituary – ‘til Death
Another friend brought a tape to the Youth Club one Friday, excitedly telling me about the Florida Scene. He made me listen, and I am glad he did! I had been devouring Thrash, Punk and Grindcore for some time now, but this was my first exposure to true Death Metal. I loved how Obituary gave the riffs room to breathe and let those chords ring out. Those vocals seemed straight from hell, and the excellent drumming, serving the song instead of trying to impress with hyper-speed really taught me a lot. So much so that this song is often in my mind today when I write for Pemphigoid, nearly three decades later. Now that’s what I call a lasting impression!
Bill Richmond – Bass
Sepultura – Dead Embryonic Cells
arise was the album that got me into thrash/ death metal this was I live how heavy it is while still having a groove.
Motörhead – Overkill
At The Gates – Blinded By Fear
I still remember the first time I heard it, I love it’s speed and aggression while still having that massive hook
Ash Cotterill – Guitar and Vocals
Pantera – I’m Broken
This song needs no introduction, I remember going round to a friend’s house after school and him putting a VHS on and saying “check this out!!” Prior to this I was more iinto Heavy Metal such as Sabbath, Maiden, Thin Lizzy etc but as soon as that intro kicked in I was hooked. My first taste into the heavier side of things.
Bolt Thrower – The Killchain
For someone who is obsessed with Death Metal I was a late bloomer with it. I used to bang on about how I loved heavy stuff until someone turned round and said “Dude you’ve no idea what you’re talking about listen to this”. I couldn’t get my head round how something could be so heavy and so groovy at the same time, but I loved it. Probably my biggest influence in music.
Black Sabbath – War Pigs
One of the best songs ever written?
To me this is an all round masterpiece. Probably the only song I used to blast out my room and my Dad didn’t moan about.