biography

Formed from the demise of seminal British industrial metal act interlock (Anticulture Records), frontman Hal Sinden and drummer Joe Butterworth completed their final US, UK & European tour and created talanas. Appearing with a 3 track debut ‘reason & abstract’ EP in August 2010, the new outfit received immediate acclaim from not only new fans but from press & peers alike:

“This is clearly one of the best-written and tightly executed releases the UK has produced
in a very long time: thinking man’s metal for the new millennium. Essential.”
ZERO TOLERANCE MAGAZINE

talanas on Chelsea street

Collecting further praise in the form of ‘Best New / Unsigned Band’ awards (Classic Rock Presents Prog, Terrorizer etc.), and personal recommendations in comments from renowned producer Russ Russell, journalist Dom Lawson, My Dying Bride‘s Hamish Glencross & Martin Curtis-Powell and Akercocke‘s Jason Mendonça, glowing reviews continued to appear:

“Interlock are dead, long live talanas. Rising from the ashes of the much-loved London industrial outfit, talanas take all that is good
about Britain’s musical legacy, Akercocke to My Dying Bride,
and build it into a mechagodzilla of homepride filth.”

TERRORIZER MAGAZINE

Following which the band immediately returned to London’s Berry Street Studio (Elton John, Barry White, Paul Young) throughout the winter of 2010/11, under the expertise of producer Jaime Gomez Arellano (Ulver, Cathedral, Ghost), to record ‘the waspkeeper’ – an album which iconic British broadsheet newspaper The Guardian in July of 2011 would come to suggest had been overlooked for a Mercury Music Award, alongside continued appreciation from recognised music press:

“The talanas ethos: by turns brutal and fast-paced and then languorous and haunting, it speaks of
untamed imagination and great creative resolve. A brave new dawn for the British underground.”

METAL HAMMER MAGAZINE

The reception for the first full-length album from talanas has since spread vastly in appreciation and sales scope on an international level, appearing in the ‘Best Of 2011′ lists for no less than 12 separate publications (including Metal Hammer, Classic Rock Presents Prog & France’s Rock Hard Magazine) and securing sales from countries as far as Brazil, Japan & Australia.

Hal - talanas

Both founding members of talanas come from performance-based backgrounds, Singer / guitarist Hal Sinden trained at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art (as also attended by his grandfather, veteran actor Sir Donald Sinden CBE), appearing as an actor in several films & theatrical performances and as a model in a number of television adverts & printed publications. Aside from his work in interlock, he has performed in and made guest appearances for acts such as Leech Woman, Dām, Worms of Sabnock and Meads of Asphodel.

Studying under the likes of Gregg Bissonette (Joe Satriani, Dave Lee Roth etc.) Keith Leblanc & Mike Sturgis, drummer Joe Butterworth was educated at the ACM (Academy of Contemporary Music) in Guildford & the Freddie Gee Drum Academy and eventually receiving qualification through Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Eastleigh College and from the ACM itself. Currently teaching drums at the GRC Music School in Winchester, Butterworth holds the status of having the single largest custom drumkit that Mapex UK have constructed for any of their endorsed artists.

The band also features Mark ‘Duff’ Duffy on bass and Ewan Parry on guitar; a qualified sound designer & Pro Tools engineer who is personally responsible for the YouTube video sensation ‘Death Metal Rooster‘, featuring music he’d penned for ‘the waspkeeper’, which has received over 7.1 million views and appeared on numerous talk shows, blogs & radio programs.

Harnessing these collective skills & qualifications to present a visceral & engaging live show, following their debut live appearance at the prestigious Elgiva Theatre, talanas toured the UK throughout the Summer of 2011 as a headline act with support from Manchester’s Spires, resulting in being handpicked to top an evening’s bill at Norway’s Rocktober Festival, several high profile support slot for international acts such Becoming The Archetype & Christ Agony, a filmed headline slot at Hitchin’s Club 85 and to play Bloodstock Open Air:

“Led by the charismatic (and it has to be said – funny as hell) frontman Hal Sinden,
progressive death metallers talanas have pulled in a large crowd.
Playing tracks from both their 2010 debut EP ‘Reason & Abstract’ and their debut album
‘The Waspkeeper’, talanas put on a screaming display of technicality
to a packed out New Blood stage. A good job, well done.”

SOUNDSHOCK

In the early Summer of 2012, the quartet were personally selected by UK doom legends My Dying Bride as main support for their UK & European tour in December. Once again returning to Berry Street Studio, the quartet are now penning material for their sophomore album ‘daylight’, advancing on their formative musical backgrounds in the darker climes of 80s music and contemporary extreme metal to combine tense & haunting moments of melodic introspection with nightmarish & frenetic passages of ferocious precision.

Bridging stylistic gaps as wide as Suffocation to Scott Walker and presenting their creativity in their unmistakable & classically British visual approach for which they’ve come to be known as “death metal’s gentlemen”, talanas proffer a more refined slant on the alternative music landscape.

talanas onstage at Bloodstock Open Air Festival 2011

COMMENTARY

“a forceful slab of progressive extremity”

METAL HAMMER MAGAZINE (October 2010 issue)

“Interlock are dead… long live talanas. Rising from the ashes of the much-loved
London industrial outfit, talanas take all that is good about Britain’s musical legacy, Akercocke to My Dying Bride, and build it into a mechagodzilla of homepride filth.”

TERRORIZER MAGAZINE (issue #200)

“It’s metal meets the avante-garde meets prog. They also bring a pedigree in performance art and sound design. The result could have been a horrible mess. But in reality it’s truly fascinating, in a modern way.
Leaving behind the industrial style of their old band, Sinden and drummer Joe Butterworth keep up the momentum with a much more dark and progressive flavour akin to My Dying Bride, Gojira and Opeth. The result is an EP blending death-metal style growls, layered gothic vocals, pummelling drums and intricate guitar work and unlike a full-length release there are no gratuitous moments, just Talanas distilled into three exemplary tracks. A melodic vocal section quickly tempers the furious onslaught of Diaphora’s opening section before chaos is resumed with Pray Speed The Fever – a monstrous stomping beast which again offers moments of relief in its lush vocal refrain. Final song Aorta plods along with doomy atmospherics before they go for one more upper cut with an extreme metal attack dipping and diving between progressive ambient flourishes. Altogether a promising precursor to an album slated for release next year.”

CLASSIC ROCK PRESENTS PROG MAGAZINE

“Every so often, a band comes along that have the ability to reaffirm one’s faith in extreme metal, proving there’s life in the old dog yet and that it is still possibly to be extreme yet thoroughly original and brave with astounding results. After Interlock disbanded, mainman Hal Sinden and drummer Joe Butterworth have clearly been very busy putting a new vision into practice and finding worthy musicians to join them on their quest – and boy, have they managed to do that and then some!

This three-track EP is 20 minutes of absolutely blistering progressive extremity, Opeth meets Akercocke meets Meshuggah, yet steeped in Talanas’ own style and ideology. This is clearly one of the best-written and tightly executed releases the UK has produced in a very long time: thinking man’s metal for the new millennium. I simply cannot recommend Reason & Abstract enough, and I wait eagerly with baited breath the appearance of a full-length album. Essential.”

ZERO TOLERANCE MAGAZINE (issue #37)

“this is fucking awesome …officially “much better than interlock” (copyright D. Lawson 2010)
it’s the splendid talanas! Sharp, brutal and box fresh, talanas are one of
the most exciting new UK bands I’ve heard in ages…”

DOM LAWSON (independent)

“EP is stunning. talanas is born. Self defining, original monstrous slabs of songs perfectly married with technicality. A genuinely exciting listen.”

JASON MENDONÇA (Akercocke)

“I’m enjoying it immensely. It showcases great musicianship across the board and is engaging and memorable. Now, when’s the album coming?”

MARTIN CURTIS-POWELL (ex-My Dying Bride / Anathema / Cradle of Filth)

“talanas offer brutality with brains. If you demand art to be inspired, intelligent and intense; then you need to seek out “reason & abstract” immediately.”

HAMISH GLENCROSS (My Dying Bride)

“Been listening to the EP and absorbing it and i think it’s fantastic, i can tell there’s a gargantuan amount of work gone into it …i’m seriously impressed with what you’ve done.”

RUSS RUSSELL (producer)

“If you love progressive death metal in the vain of Akercocke and Opeth, you might well be in luck with this promising first release from the London-based five-piece.”

THE QUIETUS (Jenn Selby)

“Rising pheonix-like from the ashes of hardworking UK industrial metal outfit Interlock, frontman Hal Sinden and drummer Joe Butterworth have finally unleashed the long-awaited debut release of Talanas. Eschewing the dancefloor stomp of their former outfit, the core duo (aided in no small part by bassist Mark Duffy, fretboard pyromaniac Ewan Parry and now departed keyboardist Josiah Lutton) have instead embraced a far darker, progressive and generally more extreme approach to metal on this three track CD.

They’ve taken their time with this release for sure but the spacious, powerful production and bewitchingly labyrinthine song structures are a testament to their patience. Switching from Messugah-esque ‘lurch ‘n’ groove’ riffs to reflective ambience and brutal blasting with almost contemptuous ease, it’s clear that Sinden et al have been rehearsing. Hard. Opener ‘Diaphora’ is a true statement of intent, all cavernous vocal roars and juddering riffs draped in Parry’s modal lead stylings before moving into a clean refrain that acts as a perfect counterbalance to the aggression.
‘Pray Speed the Fever’ continues in a similar vein, seething with considered technicality whilst taking great care to maintain the balance in dynamics before Talanas close the EP with the lush soundscapes of ‘Aorta’. At eight minutes or so in length, the slow-burn, evolving textures, bring to mind the works of Devin Townsend at his most pastoral. At this stage of the band’s development, the influences are still quite clear – the Gojira vibe is most prominent and the proggier side of fellow brits Akercocke certainly rears it’s head on occasion. The clean moments also have a hefty dose of Opeth about them – perhaps more to do with Sinden’s remarkable vocal similarities to Mikael Akerfelft than anything else. Given this, it is a relatively unique mix and Talanas have managed to achieve the remarkable feat of synthesizing these influences into a coherent soundscape that is very much recognizable as their own. An assured, professional and characterful debut that points to potential greatness in the not-too-distant future.”

MetalTeamUK (Frank Allain)

“Once again, I am pleased to say, this is an EP that left me salivating and wanting more! Drawing on a lot of influences from the metal genre, this blend is as intoxicating as intriguing. There are some well performed vocals that are diverse and ripping, but also have an encapsulating beauty when the mood changes for the melodic edge of this diverse band, for me its one of the major assets to this band.

How Hal Sinden can play and sing this music at the same time is an amazing feat in itself. Doubled up by Ewan Parry, the guitars are tight and crushing. Lacing rhythm and twisting guitar lines that take you on a musical journey along with some great appreciated distorted lines and clean melodies.
With soft and haunting keys applying a layer of sinister calm, the production on this EP is of an immensely high standard. The drums on here are quite well produced, you can hear all the nuances, they are none more spectacular for me than on Aorta, where the drums are at their peak and keep an incredibly tight beat, hats off to Joe Butterworth. Locking this all in, is the man Mark Duffy. Bass for me is integral to a band, without it, the other two rhythm’s can sound lost. The bass lines on this recording are well composed and well played, providing low and some high lines that join all areas of the music together.

This EP is again, proving that London is doing quite well in the music and Metal community. The songs are well produced and well crafted. For me a favourite track posses me a problem of picking one from three great songs. But at the moment, I have to go with “Aorta”, for me it’s a complete work, lengthy, but not at all out staying its welcome or becoming repetitive. It also features an amazing solo towards the end which glides across the sound waves immensely. I am eagerly awaiting their debut album “The Waspkeeper” due around the spring of 2011. Progressive, Dark and Amazing, my words to describe this EP and this band, Keep your ears and your eyes peeled for more!”

METAL-RULES (Danny Draper)

“Every so often there’s a band that surprises me with how powerful they can be, and it’s also quite fascinating how that can start with a primal scream. The scream belongs to Hal Sinden, a name that most of the underground scene will recognise from his time in Interlock and appearances for Leech Woman and Meads Of Asphodel, but for those that do not, you have witnessed one of the best ‘new’ voices to come out of the British doom/prog scene.
This is backed up by a team of musicians that have qualifications of a quite amazing level of craftsmanship: Joe on drums has been taught at the Academy of Contemporary Music, studied under the likes of Keith Leblanc and is an academic himself; Ewan on guitar created Death Metal rooster that has gained cult acclaim on Youtube, along with Mark Duffy on bass and Josiah from The Furious Horde.

Talanas manage to bring a dark quality while mixing the styles of bands such as Opeth, Enslaved and Ihsahn, to create an EP that is a comfort to the ears, as in an era where the –core stylings are prominent, in the new breed coming through in the UK there are bands willing to take a risk. From the aforementioned scream to the sustained guitar at the end of Aorta, Talanas have compelled me in, and I await their album with much anticipation. If there’s a place in your list for breakouts in 2010 add them.”

SONIC SHOCKS (Cygnus)

“I’m not a fan of cut and paste music by numbers or tick-box. Just because something has scorching vocals, powerful songwriting, great musicianship etc. etc. doesn’t automatically mean it’s great. However, with the debut EP from Talanas, I’m going to make an exception. Not because this is cut and paste music by numbers but because I need a damn tick list to keep up with the sheer volume of ideas, thoughts and creative processes that they’ve crammed into their 18 minutes of aural delight.

Whilst listening to their superlative three track EP it would be easy, if just a bit lazy, to list all the bands that they sound like. The influences are numerous and varied but there’s a fierce intelligence at work here that should not go unnoted. The three songs here, as an aperitif to a more substantial main course album due in early 2011, are simply excellent. Opening track ‘Diaphora’ has an opening death growl to end all death growls before bounding into a Meshuggah-like riff that sets a relentless pace before an unexpectedly harmonious bridge that echoes Opeth at their very best invades your ear drums. I don’t know how you classify this stuff- I just know I like it. A lot.

‘Pray Speed the Fever’ is six minutes of brutal death metal with a ton of structured melody and reflection; it’s pretty exceptional. Final track ‘Aorta’ is hugely atmospheric, setting layer upon layer of brutal riffing, guttural death roars and unflinching guitar work lined up with phenomenal rhythms and fabulous harmonies.

EPs should be a showcase for a band that, ideally, flits across all their talents. If the forthcoming album is anything like this then we have a significant treat in store. Talanas have delivered a striking debut: It’s dense, complicated and needs patience. Don’t get me wrong: this is not a straightforward, happy go lucky EP to listen but, by God, it’s a splendid one.”

THIS IS NOT A SCENE (Mat Davies)

“Three Reasons Not To Look Away.
Talanas is a progressive death metal outfit from the UK. This is their debut release and only just recently caught my eye with its cover art, something a bit different. The band has recently been changed to a four-piece, keyboardist Josiah Lutton apparently left recently.
There are three songs on this EP, of varying degrees of success within the genre of progressive metal. There’s everything from technical Spawn of Possession-like blasts to more Ihsahn-esque clean moments, as well as a vocalist that is clearly trying to get that Opeth style of singing down. You can clearly tell that this is a band that is still flirting with a bunch of influences that include all those above as well as other groups but luckily this band is also able to meld these influences tastefully without sounding like exact clones of their influences.
Each person listening to this will have their own opinions as to where the band’s sound should go, as the technical death metal influence is a focal point on here, the Spawns of Possession, The Faceless, Necrophagist oriented stylings, while personally, I thought that the band’s take on more progressive metal, that Opeth or Ihsahn kind of stuff to be just a bit more fulfilling. Each track kind of moves from style to style on here, so every fan kind get at least a little bit of what they want from this EP, but hopefully a full-length will show a bit more of harnessed sound.”

DON’T COUNT ON IT REVIEWS (maskofgojira)

“Another interesting UK metal band who are actually striking off in directions that others aren’t. Thank christ for that.”

A MODEL OF CONTROL (Adam Williams)

“Et parce que le metal « Scarve se met au French modern death » de Talanas, avec ses petites salves de lead mathcore, est très convainquant.”

CORE AND CO (Cglaume)

“…sie können sich durchaus etwas auf ihre musikalischen Fähigkeiten einbilden – diese EP zeigt großes Potenzial”

LEGACY (Bjoern Thorsten Jaschinski)

“…they might be the most awesome band in history.”

COMEDY CENTRAL (Mike Pomranz)

For additional information about this biography (or for a press release / CD), contact Stewart Campbell (stewart@eulogymedia.com / 07971 951 530) at Eulogy Media Ltd.

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