“…technical madness…” – Metal Injection
Transatlantic extreme/progressive tech metal duo WESTON SUPER MAIM will unleash their debut EP, 180-Degree Murder, July 16th via Dark Trail Records.
WESTON SUPER MAIM has been lurking in the shadows as a one-man recording project spearheaded by UK musician Tom Stevens (All Of Space, Brown Stratos) for some time, however 180-Degree Murder marks a new level of intent, with US-based Seth Detrick of Los Angeles thrash outfit PDP uniting with Stevens to handle vocal duties. Drawing inspiration from the abstracted time signatures of Meshuggah, the groove and dissonance of Will Haven, and the riffs-above-all-else approach of Crowbar, as well as the boundary-pushing musicianship of bands like Car Bomb and Humanity’s Last Breath, the EP is a devastatingly heavy, surprisingly melodic journey through the extreme metal landscape.
Written as a single track, 180-Degree Murder traverses caveman heaviness, tech-driven grooves, and shifting melodic patterns to create an immersive experience that rewards multiple listens. The writing process for the EP began in 2019. By the time the pandemic hit, an early instrumental draft had already been recorded, but it wasn’t until Detrick joined the project in June 2020 that things really began to take shape. Making use of extra time at home in London during the first UK lockdown, Stevens retracked instruments for the EP at his home studio while Detrick developed lyrical ideas and vocal patterns from his home in Eugene, Oregon. Vocal tracking was completed in early 2021, and the mix not long thereafter.
Thematically, the EP is on one hand a disdainful take on the state of contemporary society and collective human behavior, with a healthy apocalyptic vibe. On another, it has a more complex, introspective element, with the epic sections of the music offering a counterpoint to the nihilism in the lyrics. Binding it all together is the work of UK collage artist JoyPolloi, somehow translating an intangible fifteen minutes of music into a single piece of abstract art, representing the final piece of the WESTON SUPER MAIM jigsaw.
Comments Stevens of WESTON SUPER MAIM’s output, “I approached this in the same way I always do, which is to try and write the heaviest thing possible. But invariably some element of melody finds its way in and becomes integral to the song. One of the main motifs in the track comes from a three-note melody I heard on a toy xylophone. My ethos is simply to let the music evolve in any direction and follow it as far as it needs to go. For me, odd time signatures are an angle for creating alien grooves or finding melodies that wouldn’t otherwise be there. I try to balance weirdness with just enough accessibility, so the music pulls listeners along a certain path, but then also occasionally kicks them down the stairs. From the moment Seth came on board, everything fell into place. He immediately had the same enthusiasm for the song that I did, and came up with a concept that fitted perfectly before I had even told him the title of the EP. The song is fairly daunting in terms of its scope and the changing tempos and time signatures, but Seth just nailed every bit of it. Every time he sent me a new section that he had tracked, I’d get goosebumps, hearing the song hit a new level. The aggression, range, and emotional depth in the vocal performance blows my mind, and it’s actually humbling to me how good it is.”
Adds Detrick, “The lyrical concept was fully inspired by the music itself. Tom really painted a picture for me and I actually visualized it the first time I heard it. In short, it’s a story about a man who takes on all of the ugliness in the world. Ultimately, that negative force builds, and he becomes the weapon that ends humanity, here and in the afterlife; just wipes it clean out of existence and then finishes the job by ending his own life. I feel like this could’ve been an instrumental song and you would still hear that story. I am super fucking grateful that Tom contacted me to do vocals for this song. I’m not afraid to say that it is probably my favorite song of all time. I hope people read the lyrics while listening to this for the full emotional effect.”
180-Degree Murder will be released on CD, vinyl, and digitally on all streaming platforms. For digital preorders, visit the WESTON SUPER MAIM Bandcamp page at THIS LOCATION. For CD and vinyl preorders, visit the Dark Trail Bandcamp page HERE. Find the Spotify pre-save link HERE.
WESTON SUPER MAIM:
Tom Stevens - guitar, bass, drums
Seth Detrick – vocals