Eyes Alive, the sophomore offering from Texas’ premiere purveyors of “Alaskan Mountain Metal” Turbid North, is essentially a master class in how to meld the best of various extreme metal subgenres in clever and effective ways without sacrificing any of the primal potency that makes great metal great.
Which is to say, it’s a complete motherfucker of a heavy music album full of twists, turns, and monster riffs. You should pick up a copy immediately.
In light of all this, we asked guitarist/vocalist Nick Forkel to give us a backgrounder on the influences that made Turbid North the band it is today. You’ll find it just below the video for the sick Eyes Alive stunner “The Pyramid Drones”…
Gotta start from the very beginning here. Saw them on their first reunion tour, not the ten that followed. I was 12 years-old and had never even heard of them. Had never been to a rock concert for that matter. It absolutely blew my mind — eyes wide open the entire show. Asked for a guitar for Christmas that year and proceeded to sell my soul to rock and roll.
Super lesser known underground band from San Fran…Ok so i know these guys are on everyone’s “top influential bands” list, but what can I say…Metallica was my gateway band to real heavy music. I bought a Ride the Lightning cassette some time after my Kiss awakening gig and couldn’t stop listening to it. Still love the band to this day. Hetfield is definitely in my top two or three guitar players list.
Another obscure choice of band here, but lets be honest, who in the hell didn’t listen to Pantera in the late 90’s?? Fact is I didn’t take guitar seriously until i heard and saw Dimebag Darrell. I remember buying guitar videos/mags and locking myself in my room to practice because I was so inspired. One of the few bands who’s albums kept getting better and better through their career.
4. Napalm Death
There’s absolutely no topping these guys when it comes to the sheer aggression in heavy music. Barney has the heaviest vocals, period. They showed me that you don’t have to be a super technical band to be heavy. Simple, yet crushing riff’s, blast beats and punishing vocals. Major influence on me.
5. Pink Floyd
Obscure psychedelic band from the 60’s that no one has ever heard of. Got into these guys kinda late, but i quickly realized what a great band they were in their prime. Roger Water’s lyrics and vision along with Dave Gilmour’s guitar playing was the perfect combination. They showed me you can write albums, not just a bunch of songs thrown together, but a full cohesive piece. Gilmour’s guitar work is untouchable. He proved you don’t have to play fast and shred a sweep arpeggio to get your point across.