Heytesburg
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Heytesburg

Perth, Western Australia, Australia | SELF

Perth, Western Australia, Australia | SELF
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It was then time for Heytesburg to take the stage, the first time since gaining a new drummer. They immediately launched into a great rocking track from their forthcoming EP. You’d be forgiven for thinking that the new drummer had been playing with them for a while, given the ease with which he slotted seamlessly into the mix. The band peppered their set with a mixture of new tracks from the forthcoming EP and tracks from their debut From the River I Come, To the Desert I Go. Whilst the new tracks have a slightly more straightforward rock feel to them, they still have the same epic cinematic quality that the debut boasted. Those new tracks that were given an airing were promising and were received well by the crowd. Likewise “The Watcher” and “Once Were Kings” sounded great live, and gave singer Nick Gardiner a chance to show off his impressive vocal range.

Given the intimate nature of The Bird, there was an obvious intensity to the performance, which even a few minor technical difficulties couldn’t dampen. All in all it was a fantastic performance from the band, though a little too brief for my liking, I could happily have listened to more. Ultimately though the sheer quality of the performance made up for short set; and I suppose its better to have the audience wanting more, rather than wishing you stopped five or six tracks earlier. Overall it was a enjoyable set with some solid and skilful individual performances from the band, and has certainly left me eager to hear the new EP once it’s been released. - The AU Review


March 5th will see ambitious Perth band Heytesburg release their debut EP “From The River I Come, To The Desert I Go.” Not doing anything by halves, the approach they have taken to production values, artwork, and promotion all speak volumes about the lofty motivation driving the young four-piece.

Bookended by the title tracks From The River I Come and To The Desert I Go, the EP gives the immediate sense of being composed as a single united work to be consumed from start to finish, rather than merely a collection of songs from their live set. While the music does tread some fairly familiar territory with its use of chorus-laden guitars, Eastern scales, and sampled Tibetan throat-singing, they are used tastefully, and borne on the backs of some exciting songwriting and beautiful use of atmosphere. That atmosphere is also paired with a magnificent use of the band’s rhythm section, ranging from the melodic ethnic percussion sounds of To Walk Where David Walks to the appropriately heavy-handed assault of Once Were Kings.

Over the EP’s 5 tracks, Heytesburg invoke an ominous sense of depth, scale, and history as they build their narrative to an exhilarating crescendo, before letting it wander off into the proverbial desert, presumably to seek inspiration for the next offering.

Don’t wander too long, gentlemen. - Guanxi Music


Ambitious releases can be good or bad news - the band can either have the talent to pull off their vision, or it can all go spectacularly wrong. Thankfully, Heytesburg fall in the former category with their release, From The River I Come, To The Desert I Go, which is not merely just a mouthful of a title, but is also a complex, multi-layered EP.

Heytesburg utilises a variety of instruments on the EP, from Tuvan throat singers to the duduk, giving a tribal twist to their brand of psychedelica. Songs like the lead single The Watcher starts off gently, like sedate waves in the ocean before crashing loudly. From grooving bass lines to moments of contemplative quietness, the EP carries the listener on a tumultuous journey through an ever-changing soundscape. Another highlight is Once Were Kings, where the band almost leaps through the speakers at one point.

From The River... is a great EP to chill to on those dark nights where the wild things are. This is a mature and well-realised release. - Perthbands.com


Beginning with the deep guttural growling of Tuvan throat singers throws you into the deep end of the eastern influences of Heytesburg’s debut. The EP is a story and very conceptual, so much so that it could easily be accompanied with interpretive dance. If you ever find yourself marching into battle, then From The River I Come is the track to put on. Following the throat singing is an anthropological adventure of instruments including a Chinese gong, rain stick and a rocking solo on the sitar. Heytesburg have done a high-quality job of harnessing very unconventional sounds and keeping them within conventional song structures, but overall it’s overdramatic and brooding, taking itself a little too seriously for my liking. On the upside though, I now know what a duduk is. - Rave Magazine


See URL - Drum Media


See URL - RTRFM 92.1


HEYTESBURG are a band unlike anything you’ve ever heard before, and their debut EP From ‘The River I Come To The Desert I Go’ is conclusive proof of this. Their music is atmospheric and ethereal with nary a distorted guitar to be found. There’s also a considerable Eastern touch with simulations of sitars and other non-Western instruments used throughout which gives an interesting extra dimension.

Although there are only three songs on this EP, all of them are worth the price of entry. ‘The Watcher’ is a good showcase for singer/guitarist, Nicholas Gardiner’s falsetto vocals. It moves along quickly with Benn Palmer’s pounding drum beats and Gardiner’s spiky guitars licks. ‘To Walk Where David Walks’ continues with the use of Eastern instrumentation – as well as more intricate and technically driven guitar work from Gardiner. Finally, track ‘Once Were Kings’ displays a darker side to the band showing off the haunting sounds of the bands Keyboardist, Patrick McGinty. It starts off quiet, then builds up and accelerates to full throttle with Gardiner’s ferocious guitar playing. Not to mention featuring some truly incredible drumming from Palmer.

Ultimately, Heytesburg have broken out of the mould to become something fresh all on they’re own. They’ve proven that you can play menacing music without having to pound nails into listener’s skulls. Their unique use of Eastern instrumentation creates a sound that is not particularly common. And that makes for some very enticing tunes. Anyone looking for a band with something different to offer look no further.
- Spaceship News


Heytesburg perform music which my iTunes wonderfully characterises as Darkwave. Which is clearly one of the best genre names I have come across; it to some extent also serves as a great definition of the band's sound. Their music is dark, brooding and multi-layered. There are elements of psychedelia and industrial rock drifting through their collective sound. Though by incorporating sounds not typically found in rock music or indeed western music, in From the River I Come, To the Desert I Go the band have managed to create an EP which is both sophisticated and a joy to listen to. Not too bad for a debut release.

'From The River I Come' is a pitch perfect opener; immediately creating this palpable ambience. Though less than two minutes long, it has a lasting impact on the listener, with the repetitive tribal drum beat becoming engrained in the mind.

'The Watcher' is a song which is both brooding and beautiful. What stands out for me on this particular track is the vocal work which is superb. There is the understated main vocal and then working alongside that is an almost choral vocal which embues the track with an almost mystic quality. These two vocals also contribute to the overall atmosphere of the work, adding a subtle hint of light to the brooding darkness. Instrumentally it is also incredibly strong, with the band showing their virtuosity, melding Eastern instruments with intricate guitar work - creating a song which builds and builds before reaching a satisfying peak.

'To Where David Walks' also highlights the band's ability to integrate other musical styles into their work. The sitar is featured heavily throughout the track, reiterating the Eastern and mystical theme of the collection, but also ensuring that the collection does not come across as overly similar, bringing a touch of lightness and delicateness.

Penultimate track 'Once Were Kings' brings a heavier sound to the occasion, but never feels totally overpowering. Rather, it seems perfectly natural, and really serves to highlight the dexterity of drummer Palmer. It also highlights the range of vocalist Nicholas Gardiner who moves from whisper to roar with apparent ease.

And then too soon we come to the end. 'To The Desert I Go' closes the album in much the same way it opened. It's atmospheric and brooding, with the instrumentation and the throat singing signalling an end to the musical journey.

Overall I found this to be a truly magnificent collection of songs, which whilst working incredibly well as a cohesive piece, would not suffer too greatly if they were heard separately. That being said you would miss out on the experience and the atmosphere. The EP does what any good EP should do, it leaves you hungering for more; so here's hoping the wait's not too long.

8.5/10
- The AU Review


Discography

PÝR - EP (2012)
From The River I Come, To The Desert I Go - EP (2011)

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Bio

Emerging from the shadows of the Perth music scene, HEYTESBURG deliver their atmospheric concoction of psych industrial rock with both purpose and ambition. At times abrasive and discordant yet often reflective and mysterious, they weave their subtle strains of ambient post-punk melodies and militaristic power beats into something that can only be described with one word – unique.

RELEASES

*** PÝR (2012) ***

Drum Media - EP OF THE WEEK
Fasterlouder.com - ALBUM OF THE WEEK
Perth Sound And Found - SONG OF THE WEEK (One Below The Pyre)

"...hauntingly unique...a solid all round package."
Drum Media

" ...a gutsy independent recording, highly recommended to those that enjoy prog/experimental rock with a bit more meat on the bones."
Fasterlouder.com

"...a solid and impressive release, one which shows a band not afraid to experiment with sounds and styles." - 8.6/10
The AU Review

"One Below the Pyre is an amazing track; it will capture you, embrace you and leave you wanting more. These boys are on the fast track to take over town with only huge things ahead of them."
Perth Sound And Found

"The more conventional tracks show a band both confident and capable, but it’s the experimentation – and its genuinely different and interesting nature – that is really worth getting excited about."
Rave Magazine

*** From The River I Come, To The Desert I Go (2011) ***

RTRFM 92.1 - Featured LOCAL RELEASE OF THE WEEK
Drum Media - EP OF THE WEEK
WAM - KISS MY WAMi 2011 Inclusion (Once Were Kings)

'...a truly magnificent collection of songs...' - 8.5/10
The AU Review

'...a band unlike anything you've ever heard before...'
Spaceship News

'...an epic offering...'
RTRFM 92.1

'...intriguingly delightful and leaves me hoping there's lengthier recordings of this visionary ensemble to come.'
Drum Media

'...borne on the backs of some exciting songwriting and beautiful use of atmosphere...as they build their narrative to an exhilarating crescendo.'
Guanxi Music

'...this is a mature and well-realised release.' - 4/5 stars
Perthbands.com

LIVE REVIEWS

'...it was a fantastic performance from the band...with some solid and skilful individual performances...'
The AU Review

'...each track really allowed for some great band dynamics on stage. The ethereal ‘Tomb’ proved an early highlight and will no doubt garner the band some new fans...'
Spaceship News

'Their control over volume and individual emphasis of each instrument gave their music a polished and mature feel. They played as a band, relaxed and confident, leaving very little room for criticism.'
Drum Media

Band Members