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Interview with

Tarren (vocals) of Tor Marrock

Wales, the land of Eisteddfod, “The Green, Green Grass of Home”, and some God awful indie bands is hiding a secret… a bustle of underground energy, currently being forged into a weapon to do battle with. Sean M. Palfrey caught up with Tarren, vocalist with TOR MARROCK - a band at the vanguard of the new Welsh Doom scene.

Reflections of Darkness (RoD): Can you explain a little about the history of the band and how you formed - is this mix of Gothic, Black, Death and Doom Metal a formula you had in mind when you started or did it evolve organically?
Tarren: The band started in 2005 within the isolation of the West Wales mountains with the intention of creating dark metal music. The name TOR MARROCK comes from the Mabinogion. Tor is a gateway to the Other World and Marrock was a Knight who was turned into a werewolf. So it represents another life or existence beyond this world where we can also change our physical form. We knew we wanted to make the music dark and make conceptual albums so the music then evolved around this.

RoD: The members of the band wear masks for all photos and performances - what is the significance of this? Also how important do you feel the music videos (Silence, A Gothic Romance) have been for the band?
Tarren: It is escapism and a defiance to conform, a refusal to accept what we are taught to believe. For me the image a band portrays is important and that crosses over to video and artwork. It is a full package. As for live performances we definitely have a limited audience I suppose. The music is intense but the performance is subdued to try to create an atmosphere and escape without the use of showmanship.

RoD: Who and what have been your biggest influences when writing the TOR MARROCK material?
Tarren: Sickness, Death, Romance, Beauty, Decay, The disgust of nature and how we are trapped by our limitation and fear in the mortal existence.

RoD: Both your early demo ‘Death of Summer’ and the promotional album ‘A Gothic Romance’ caused a bit of a stir in the music press - what was the typical reaction to the band’s music?
Tarren: The reaction was very good and also very bad, which for me is an indication that we are achieving what we set out to do.

RoD: How do you feel the band has developed between the releases of ‘A Gothic Romance’ and your debut proper ‘Heaven’s Death Lights Kindle’?
Tarren: ‘A Gothic Romance’ was very much us finding our true path. We recorded the album with electric drums and also leaned a little towards Industrial music as well on that. But as we started playing live we soon found that we wanted to drop the electronic drums and industrial leanings.

RoD: What is the concept behind the album - is there a narrative of sorts binding the songs?
Tarren: The concept is of the album revolves around a suicide pact between two lovers that goes wrong. The two characters are sick of life and feel they don’t belong. They only feel happy within the confines off their bedroom, where they can escape the world and live in their own domain. The Male of the couple survives and on the 5th of October, the night of the funeral digs up the corpse of his lover and takes her back to their room. There he relives their passionate nights until insanity finally takes hold of him.

RoD: The band is based in Wales which is a country represented in the metal world by LOST PROPHETS and BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE - what is the metal scene like on the ground these days and are there many bands you feel a kinship with?
Tarren: Even in the underground there is no real “scene” for our music. There are bands out there that we feel a kinship with such as MY SILENT WAKE, THE DROWNING, EMPIRE OF ASHES, and ATRA MORS but the Metal scene today is more media driven than ever before.

RoD: You initially were associated with Casket records but for ‘Heaven’s Death Lights Kindle’ you have chosen to form your own record label, why is that?
Tarren: With Silence Beckons Records we want complete control and we want to know exactly how we are being portrayed and marketed. Also we want to be on a label that has bands we feel a kinship with and whose music we believe in. Apart from setting up Silence Beckons Records I am also involved in the writing process with ATRA MORS and I’m also the vocalist for EMPIRE OF ASHES who will both be releasing their music through the label.

RoD: What were the concepts behind the videos for ‘Silence’ and ‘A Gothic Romance’?
Tarren: The concept for both was isolation, loneliness and a dream-like consciousness.

RoD: Where do you see the band going off the back of this album and are there plans for a new release?
Tarren: We are working on our second album now, and that will hopefully be available in October through Silence Beckons Records.

RoD: Is there anything you’d like to add?
Tarren: Your universe awaits… / /


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