INTERVIEW: The Dissident Youth plan to make people sit up and notice with debut album
THE conveyor belt of Cumbrian metal acts keeps on rolling, with some of our bands going on to achieve national recognition and high-profile festival dates over the past couple of years.
It can only be good news for the Metal 2 the Masses competition, which, it has been announced, will return to Carlisle in the spring giving local artists a shot at playing next summer's Bloodstock festival.
One of the big revelations in 2017's contest were The Dissident Youth, who saw off some highly-experienced names to reach the semi-final.
In their biggest year so far, the Carlisle four-piece metalcore outfit are looking to step things up further still with the release of their self-titled debut album at the end of the month.
"I'm incredibly proud of what we've created, and it sounds amazing," says bassist Ky Mason.
"I haven't shown many people the album, but they think it sounds as good as we all do.
"We've played some amazing gigs with amazing bands this year, and getting to the semi finals of Metal 2 the Masses was a definite highlight for me, getting to play with the "who's who" of local metal bands.
The regional heats came to Cumbria two years ago, and has opened a door for local acts to be seen and heard by a much wider audience.
The Dissident Youth - completed by lead vocalist Rhys McCubbin, guitarist Gareth Coleman, and drummer Scott Devlin - have been putting themselves in the shop window with some big bookings of late, including a support slot on US band Lions Lions' debut European tour and the upcoming Surreal Panther show at Embers on Saturday 30, which doubles up as their album release gig.
Scott says: "We've had a blast doing live shows this year. We've been concentrating on getting the album ready and recorded around May and June, but we're packing as many shows as we can into the rest of the year and already have some planned for next year.
"Once the album is released, we'll be concentrating on getting it out there, but the main goal is to be paying it live for people - lots of gigs in the near future."
For all the live dates they've been playing, this first proper release, just over two years after forming, is likely to be what opens them up to the wider world.
Travelling to South Shields to record with Jordan Embleton at The Custom Space, what they've come home with is a frenzy of riffs and breakdowns, and technical instrumental passages displaying their prog-metal influences.
Ky continues: "This was our first time recording professionally, we were all made to feel comfortable there and Jordan fit right in - part of the team if you like.
"He was always pushing us for a tighter sound or throwing out ideas we'd never thought of. It was great.
Scott adds: "I personally love it. It showcases our abilities, but does it in a way that makes sense.
"We're all influenced by such different bands and artists that you can hear each one come through from time to time.
The ambitions, however, remain the same as most metal bands in the region; to follow in the footsteps of fellow local acts Triverse Massacre and Seek Solace In Ruin, and impress at the UK's biggest metal event.
"We'd love to play Bloodstock," says Scott. "It'smetal festival!
"The Cumbrian music scene has so many different sounding bands, some of which we've had the pleasure of working with before, seeing some of those go on to play a big festival obviously drives us for more. It's a really interesting dynamic when it comes to playing gigs in and around Carlisle."
Ky adds: "Playing a huge festival is a huge dream of mine personally. We're all very ambitious and want to play anywhere and everywhere.
"I just really want to be playing our music for people to hear, and hopefully enjoy."