Performing a style of metallic post-hardcore that falls somewhere between the angular technicality of Botch and the dark, brooding intensity of Twelve Tribes, Salt Lake City, UT trio Sorrowset have been busy prepping the release of their nine-song, 55-minute debut, All Ends, Begin With Ease. Available on CD/digital next month and 2xLP in October (pre-order now on any format), I could tell they were onto something right away, but once I sat down with All Ends, Begin With Ease through headphones, it really took on a new life. Let's just say that it's an impressively ambitious outing that's sure to please fans of high-quality musicianship. As but one fine example, check out "Heart Beats Disaster" below, followed by a chat with the group's guitarist/vocalist Adam Harmon:
Sorrowset issued a three-song demo in late-2015, and it seems like you've been working on All Ends, Begin With Ease ever since. I'm sure a ton of work has gone into everything, so what has that overall process looked like over the past year-and-a-half?
It was definitely a lot of work getting the album out. We took our time with the writing process and also encountered several roadblocks along the way. Our drummer had an injury that put us out of commission for a while last summer. The album was recorded and mixed by Andy Patterson (Subrosa), and our sessions started just prior to their latest album release and tour. He's a busy guy and scheduling time around his touring schedule also prolonged things.
Tackling a long-running double-LP (and CD) release is one hell of an undertaking for a debut album. How did you settle on this move, and was there any hesitation toward diving in on such an ambitious outing for your first proper release?
After releasing our demo, we considered putting out an EP with those tracks plus two others. The manufacturing cost is expensive and we aren't with a label, so we decided to hold off until we had enough material for a full-length.
The track we're premiering, "Heart Beats Disaster," is an eight-plus-minute epic that provides a great example of the band's blend of melody and aggression, as well as its subtle technicality and rhythmic complexities.
This was the last song written for the album. We had the opening riff sitting around for quite a while, and the song went through several variations. I was listening to those first two Bossk EPs quite a bit at the time that the structure was finalized for this one.
I'm always a big fan of trios that really make the most of the breathing room and interaction between instruments that a "stripped down" lineup allows. In what ways does that type of instrumental interplay specifically factor into your songwriting?
Our bassist is also a very good guitarist, and I think playing as a three-piece allows for that to come through in the writing. You're really able to focus on the subtleties in a song and play off of each other to fill up the space and keep things interesting. Jimi, our drummer, really likes to play off of what the vocal patterns are doing.
I haven't seen any of the lyrics for the album, so I'm really curious to get some perspective on that aspect of your work. Something tells me that the lyrical ideas are another key component of what Sorrowset has to offer. What can you share about the lyrical direction of the album—perhaps specifically relating to "Heart Beats Disaster" as an initial impression?
I've always used my writing as an outlet for frustration and to deal with negative things going on in my life. I know it sounds cliché, but it really does help to work through and move on with things. The lyrical content of the album overall reflects that. "Heart Beats Disaster" in particular was written about trading life for life—starting a new family and the fears that go along with all that.
This is kind of a stupid question, but Sorrowset is a relatively new band and All Ends, Begin With Ease is your first album, so if you were "selling yourself" to your intended audience—musically and conceptually—what would you say? Who should check this out, and why?
That's a tough one. All three of us have very different influences, and I think that shows throughout the album. I would say our sound lies somewhere in between Eyehategod and Botch.