From: Birmingham, UK
Lazy Equation: Death Metal + Folk + Costumes + Beard
Thrash Hits verdict: Fully committed to bringing us metal from the middle ages, Brummie Death/Folksters, Hærken don’t just dress like they’ve escaped from the Renaissance Fair, they bring alive Chaucer’s word in their interviews too. But far from being a one-note joke band, they back up their antics with some of the most solid and catchy riffing British Death Metal has to offer. So, brave pilgrim, will’st though take up thy sword and do battle with these heathens from the Mid Lands?
Prithee, thrice describest thy sound in a word…
Metal, Mirth & Merriment!
How did’st thou meet?
Our tale is, in sooth, a protracted one stretching over many centuries, but we will make attempt to be brief… The Reverend met the Baron and the late Sir Austin during the Third Crusade (also known as the Kings’ Crusade) where all most nobly fought, yet fell both Baron and Knight during the siege of Acre – the latter slain and the Baron mortally wounded. While Baron John was successfully resurrected by the arcane and dangerous power of alchemy, alas it was too late for Sir Austin and his soul passed into the next world. Laird Logan Gunn comes to light somewhat later, and from the land of the Scots. It is hard to discern his age, for the evil Laird hath sought many an unsavoury method for extending his own life. When darkness at last consumed him as he finally tore the veil itself to find immortality, in doing so – and witnessed again by the Reverend – he gave passage back into the living world for many a dæmon and hitherto vagrant soul; including the very ghost of Sir Austin to be reunited with his former brethren.
What captured thy desire to combine thy musical interest?
I’faith, since there are few who would understand our plight, this tawdry lot are bound by oath that predates modern notions of such, and collecteth they tales from around this fair isle with which to excite, entertain and educate. To take far and wide our British fables and folkore of our once overtly ornate yet brutally barbaric mediæval world. Afar thou shalt hear our cries!
From whence camest thy name?
An thou would’st listen, we would to take thee back to the time before time where our lives were at their fiercest and our memories glisten. As we hearken back to these times, so it was unveiled to ourselves, the banner under which we would march!
Hærken – King Herla
To whom dost thou turn to influence thy musical direction?
At present, we are sincere and avid fans of such young souls as Amon Amarth, Carcass, Opeth, Bolt Thrower, Nevermore, Bloodbath and Becoming The Archetype. This must not take away from the works we enjoyed in times past, such as the likes of Dunstable or Palestrina and many other Renaissance artists.
To date, what hast brought the best from thy endeavour as musical brethren?
Community. There is little more invigorating than being in the company of like-minded minstrels and bards, united by a common goal of sharing the universal language of song.
With which comrades would’st thou covet a crusade?
No doubt each of us would answer this question differently, since among us are dedicated followers of many but our current incarnation owes much to our Scandinavian cousins Amon Amarth, upon whom we would most humbly bestow the greatest of gratitudes, were we to share their stage.
Which is thy most memorable battle?
Undoubtedly Bloodstock Open Air 2011. There were many stout and worthy yeomen present at the New Blood stage, and finely fought they. Forsooth, this battle will go down in history for all parties present.
Which fellow minstrels would’st thou consider as part of thy horde of good comrades?
We would be remiss to go further without making mention of immensely talented trouvères – the mighty Rannoch, Amongst The Survivors and Beholder. Ah, but the scene is in such fine health e’en locally! Also we must include Kataleptic, Under Blackened Skies, Malacite, Pathosis, Sarpanitum – who are all worthy of mention, as well as many we may have missed. True and trusted comrades in arms, each.
Which other would’st thou recommend yeomen discover?
An thou would’st, allow us to make mention more than just the one! Rannoch, Amongst The Survivors, Beholder, Imperial Vengeance, Diementia, Evil Scarecrow, Achren, L Sol tace, Ancient Ascendant, Engraved Disillusion and Hellsworn are all bands for whom Hærken hath a special respect.
Which is the most wayward deed thou hast set about?
If the clash of steel and the cries of the dying are not enough to incite thy soul, perhaps thou would’st tread as we have, the paths of the Ærworld? In sooth, dear brethren, heark unto the tales we hath to share with thee, for as they are thy heritage, so they are our story.
Prithee, recite a joke.
A traveling bard walketh up to a inn named “The Dragon and the Knight”, hoping to sing to make some coin. Before he can open his mouth, the shrewish innkeeper’s wife snapeth “What dost thou want here, thou wretched tramp?” The bard eye’th her a moment and glance’th at the sign. “Is the knight in?”
Hærken’s debut album …Of Warriors And Kings will be out some time in 2012