If Mire’s sound was defined by the countless shows played by Conjurer during its construction, Páthos is the result of Conjurer’s inability to play it at all. Yet despite a title that literally translates from native Greek as “suffering,” listeners shouldn’t expect a pointed reflection on the experience of the pandemic. “It was more that we couldn’t try to play these songs in any kind of live capacity – whether it was in a room together or at a concert,” Conor explains. “There were no adjustments or road tests. If you could play it sitting at home, it was on the album. Only now is the world opening up again and the concerts reoccur as we try to play songs live and it’s like “Jesus Christ!”
When Brady described the band’s new material as making their old ones sound like “silly big riffs” during our 2020 studio visit, it may have raised a few eyebrows, but it’s safe to say that the titanic riff and metamorphosed from It Dwells, the jarring passages of jangly folk and angular math-rock in These Years, Condemned, and the deadly fate of In Your Wake more than do the trick. The old influences – Gojira and YOB, Converge and Electric Wizard – are still in play, but they’re rolled out with a lot more calculation and nuance. On top of that, the frontman checks out the name of American/Canadian post-metal supremos SUMAC, but prefers to sum up the wave of “deep, advanced, muso, extreme metal” he’s trying to tap into the “Roadburn scene”, making reference to the avant-garde metal gathering of the Netherlands.
“I want to take that Roadburn sound and make it available to the Download Festival audience,” he says. “I filter stuff like Imperial Triumphant through the mind of someone who came to listen to Trivium, Bullet For My Valentine and The Black Dahlia Murder. You know when you listen to one of those [artier] bands and say, ‘This song would be 10 out of 10 if you just turned off your big old brain at the end, and gave us the riff’? We are the group that does this.
Dan shrugs: “There are a lot of great bands in this Roadburn scene, but hey, it’s not very funis not it ? »