Late nights and down-tuned grooves on new Rest album

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LIMERICK record label Out on a Limb will release the new LP from Cork band Rest this week. ‘I Hold The Wolf’ is the instrumental prog-rockers first LP since 2004’s debut album ‘Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame’. Rest was the second band to join OOAL, featuring on the split Christmas single way back in 2003 with giveamanakick. Since then the band has released all material with the Limerick label and this latest opus has been a long time coming. Graham, Steve and Colm from the band spoke to Limerick Post recently.

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The sound of Rest on record is anything but tranquil or quiet, incorporating elements of progressive rock, tech-metal, post-rock, doom, black metal and math rock that have evolved into the recording of ‘I Hold The Wolf’ which has been six years in the making. Comprising eight songs and 56 minutes of music the record was recorded at Data Studios, Kerry, mastered by James Plotkin, and will be available in both digital form as well as double heavyweight vinyl.

Limerick Post: ‘I Hold The Wolf’ took six years to make, Why so long?

Graham: “The main reason is that we’re not a full time outfit. We all have commitments outside of this band – mortgages, jobs, kids, college. But we’re also quite fussy and meticulous when it comes to writing. It’s a process of elimination. Weak riffs must be culled at all costs, and only the strong will survive! Seeing as it’s not a full time endeavour we had no deadlines to meet. Why rush things when you have the time to play around with?”

Steve: “Maybe it’s because we’re lazy Sunday hobbyists rather than driven artists, and we have a serious case of collective OCD.”

Limerick Post: ‘I Hold The Wolf’ is released on the now ‘Choice Nominated” Out On A Limb Records. What has working with OOAL Records done for the band?

Steve: “Well, we don’t have to do everything for ourselves. Given our naturally lazy disposition having OOAL there to hold our hand is obviously hugely beneficial.”

Graham: “We’ve been associated with OOAL for nearly 10 years now, long before the Choice nomination came about. It didn’t matter before the nomination, and it doesn’t matter now. It has absolutely no bearing on our output or how we work. It’s completely deserved and we’re delighted for OOAL and Windings though. In truth I think they should have gotten more than one nomination for their output last year. They’re doing great work right now and are going from strength to strength as a label.
“To achieve that in today’s climate is nothing short of amazing and testament to their work ethic and dedication. It would be disingenuous to say that the nomination for the label won’t benefit us in some way though. OOAL didn’t need the nomination to justify their existence – they’ve been putting out great records regardless of nominations for years. But it certainly gives them some much overdue mainstream publicity. And that in turn might well help our record, uncommercial as it may be, to get publicity that would otherwise be out of our reach.”

‘I Hold The Wolf’ finds the band moving their sound forward in new directions, a “mutant hybrid of intricate technical riffs, doomed out psych rock, uplifting Yes-style prog passages, analogue synth sounds and Sabbaths’ pummelling down-tuned grooves”, according to the Out on a Limb’s Ciaran Ryan.

To create the heavy dense guitar sound on the new album takes more than just having the right equipment, it has a lot more to do with how you use it, according to Steve: “It’s more about how you play it than what (equipment) you play.” The band used an Orange bass amp, Fender BandMasters and an old Italian tape echo machine from the 1970s that uses cartridge tapes to record and playback the sound in real time. “We use thick strings and tune down one whole step before tuning the low e-string down one further step. But really it’s the riffs that make a song sound heavy,” adds Graham.

‘I Hold The Wolf’ was released last week and streaming in its entirety at www.soundcloud.com/OOAL.