Oxford’s Desert Storm, who mix Progressive Metal and stoner doom, release their new album Death Rattle on 31 March 2023 APF Records. The album was recorded and mixed by Steve’ Geezer’ Watkins at Woodworm Studios in Oxfordshire, a studio that used to be owned by legendary folk band Fairport Convention and, in recent years, has seen the likes of Tony Iommi and Rob Halford recording there.
“Death Rattle is an album that leans to Desert Storm’s strengths in songwriting ability,” vocalist Matt Ryan said. “It is cohesive and flows with each song telling an individual tale, bound by common topics throughout.
“Genre traversing, musically progressing from the extreme and hard to softer palettes, moments of the ethereal. The light and dark shades are synonymous with the Desert Storm sound, as that which is completely light or dark is neither truly without contrast.
“This is true also for the lyrics, which span thematically. The core string section of two guitars and single bass are complemented by an array of other instruments throughout the album but act as a solid foundation for heavy grooves and riffs. Death Rattle is best served loud.”
The first single released was Cheyne Stoking, which “is about the death trip that occurs in all of us, moments before we die,” Matt says. “As the pineal gland just straight dumps what DMT remains into the body to invoke the deepest dreamlike experience, otherwise referred to as the near-death experience. Lyrics drawing partially from ingestion of synthesised DMT and some imagination as it differs to what is reported of the actual death experience.
“Thoughts and memories come to the forefront of the mind, and it is reportedly like living everything all at once before the final curtain call. The lyrics are not cryptic. They quite explicitly describe what we imagine to be the experience. Cheyne stokes breathing is also known as the death rattle. This is where the breath becomes irregular and raspy in the final moments before death. This seemed a fitting title for the track and, subsequentially, the album.”
The second single released was Bad Trip. “What happened quite naturally during the writing process for Bad Trip was something just clicked,” Matt says. “The thoughts and emotions associated just felt so familiar. It was an obvious choice at the time. This is a Eulogy about a great man who the band knew fondly. March 2023 marks the tenth year of his premature passing, and so it felt fitting to pay tribute by releasing Death Rattle this month. He was a thinker, was studying philosophy and was a self-professed psychonaut. He joined us on tour in our formative years, and we loved having him on the road.
“We admired him and cared a lot about him, has been in our thoughts and our liner notes, but it is high time we immortalised him through song. As we get older, we think about our life experiences as well as his own that he is missing out on. Not able to join us in the journey through life, to see us wed, with families, large milestones and celebrations. He is sorely missed.
“The title itself refers to a particularly hairy moment in his history where we learned that the intensity of blotter acid is far easier to regulate than that of concentrated liquid acid. It was understood that a single droplet would be sufficient for an intense hallucinogenic experience. However, to mark the final trip of the bottle, somebody decided to lick the glass pipette.”