From San Francisco comes a new quintet of hard devoted metallions operating under the name Molten. Each of the five men behind this outfit has done his time in the underground metal scene, and each has an eclectic although refined taste in extreme metal arts to show for it—not to mention they’re all total assassins at their respective trades. And Molten’s self-titled debut EP is something of a love letter to old school metal, written with blood, sweat and guitar solos.
Across its six tracks Molten plays out like some pastiche-collage of Danish heavy metal, proto-black metal, swinging old school doom, and good ol’ West Coast death thrash. It’s like the first demo a young band writes when they’re just starting to jam in the basement, and they can’t decide whether they wanna sound like Bathory, Dream Death, Candlemass or Mercyful Fate. Except rather than being an endearing hodgepodge demonstration of eagerness and potential, because its creators are proficient players, intelligent songwriters, and excellent deniers of fucks to be given, Molten’s debut EP is a concentrated effort remarkable in its focus despite its constant shape-shifting. But more so than anything else, Molten’s demo is fun. It’s full of energy and sounds totally genuinely. Trends be damned! This demo hearkens back to a time when all that mattered was raising hell and moshing hard.
We caught up with the members of Molten to find out how such a killer demo came together, and more.
Introducing themselves, the band write: “We are Chris Corona (guitars), Gary Goudreau (guitars), Herman Bandala (bass and classical guitar), Damon Lockaby (drums) and Brandon Bristol (vocals). Chris has been in numerous bands including Floating Goat, Hazzard’s Cure, Wild Eyes all while running Goathell Records. Gary played in End-time Illusion on the East coast for 14 years/4 Records. Herman is the original and current bassist in Hellfire. Damon was the former drummer for the San Francisco heavy rock band Banquet. This is the first band vocalist Brandon Bristol has ever been a part of but he’s been a roadie for numerous bands before joining Molten.”
The band explain that Molten came together as a result of Herman and Damon meeting up at a Candlemass, where they talked about jamming on some Mercyful Fate and/or Thin Lizzy-sounding stuff.
“After a few practices it was obvious we we heading in a heavier direction,” they say. “Martin Lacour was added on guitar shortly after they asked Bristol and Corona to start jamming with them as well. Then due to musical differences we split ways with Martin and a good friend of ours introduced us all to Gary and we got along right off the bat. We all have pretty similar musical influences and tastes; we all wanted to do something heavier than what we did in our previous bands.”
As for their perfect old school name, the band says: “Herman was watching “Heavy Metal Britannia” an episode focusing on Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. The narrator said ‘that was the birth of heavy metal but it was still in its molten state.’ He mentioned it to the rest of it and we all thought it sounded rad. One word band names are easy to remember and get the point across. We felt the less syllables the better to keep our Neanderthal brethren tuned in.”
The band describe the writing for Molten as a “collaborative process.”
“The rhythm section usually starts writing the skeleton of the song together and then we add guitar riffs and vocals according to the sound of the song. It’s hard to say how long it took because we were focused on building a set of songs to play live. We left out three songs on the EP we wrote that we plan to use towards a full length LP. We had recorded different takes as far back as May 2018 but scrapped those to make better ones. When we came back and recorded this version it took about 2 months to get it all done and mixed.”
According to the band, Molten was recorded “November 2018-January 2019 by [their] guitarist Chris Corona at [their] practice space Secret Studios in San Francisco, CA.”
Check out Molten’s track-by-track breakdown of their demo . . .
“Escombro, Ceniza y Muerte”
“We’ve all been fans of ‘the calm before the storm’ on metal records. Have you ever listened to “lick my love pump” by Spinal Tap? Yes the title [translates to ‘ash, debris and death’]; we have classical guitar and flamenco backgrounds we wanted to utilize.”
“Doctrines of Hell”
“This is the first song wrote. A shameless attempt at a Mercyful Fate style song because we’re all huge fans of MF and King Diamond. We were trying to develop our style towards the beginning of Molten and we felt this was the way we’d start off.”
“This is the second song we wrote and we wanted to incorporate more of an 80’s thrash vibe with some old school death metal included. We’re all huge fans of both genres collectively. On this one we were heavily influenced by Slayer and Bolt Thrower.”
“The lyrics of this song based on the movie The Exorcist. We wanted to try a different approach and deliberately focused on doom inspired riffs. We felt it would be a good opener for side two of the record to reset the mood. The vocal style just felt more comfortable with the subject matter and we feel like it works well.”
“Master of Blades”
“We wanted to have a song with killer harmonies for the intro. That song got bagged so we used this intro on what would later become Master of Blades. We’re all into horror movies and serial killers/true crime and we really wanted to write a song with brutal lyrics and a catchy hook.”
“We wanted to make a disgusting, in your face death metal track that would get the point across without having to be too long. We worked on this one all together at practice and finished it in a day. It’s about a necrophile grave robber who gets what’s coming to him in the form of eternal sodomization by demons in hell.”
According to the band, Molten will see physical manifestation in the form 500 vinyl records.
“It’ll be available from Goathell Music (contact: goathellmusic-at-gmail.com) in about a month, we’re currently waiting on our physical copies. They’re being pressed in the Czech Republic as we speak. Our record release show will be August 3rd at Thee Parkside in San Francisco with Psychic Hit from Oakland and a new band from San Francisco called Nite that are totally worth checking out and both are good friends of ours.”
Molten have been playing live for about a year now, they tell us.
“Reception has been sick so far especially since we’ve gotten to play shows with some killer bands like Necrot, Cloven Hoof and Black Cobra. Our next show is July 7th at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco.”
Regarding what’s next, Molten say: “We’ve been working on songs for our full length LP hoping to get it done by the end of this year. We’ve already got a good amount of it written so keep your ears to the underground for that!”