For a long time, Threshold Sicks was more or less dead in the water. That has meant not hitting Hordes for five years. Now they’re back in the fold, with a big helping of what they call death-thrash-sludge. What does that tag mean, though? We grabbed vocalist, Kristian Sator, and bassist, Greg Mckenzie-Milne, to cough up some answers.
GMM: It means you can expect just about anything from us. Our influences are way more diverse than this suggests, but it summarises the main parts of our sound.
KS: I’ve always struggled placing bands in such specific genres. Especially with all of our members having such a wide influence of music. As they say you are what you eat…. god damn, between us all, we have digested a lot of music, so much so it’s made us feel sicks
The background story is an odd one, too. Growing up in and around the same small, Scottish village, one has to wonder why this line-up only now comes together.
GMM: Life and attitudes, essentially. This line-up took a long time to arrive and I would say that this is the time that it had to happen. In the past there have been many different factors that impeded on this potential union. The plain and simple thing is that that doesn’t matter anymore. The time is now!
KS: Both Threshold Sicks and Scud/Aorta have always been tight. After all, we are friends and family. Threshold sicks was the first band me and Ross ever had a gig with – over two decades ago! Finding the right mix of members for any band is a struggle. When the opportunity came for us to join TS, it was a no-brainer. Our experiences and (merging) have created something that only now is possible, through time, and experience.
Part of that merging has involved the re-writing, and re-recording of an entire album’s worth of drums and vocals. Stepping into the middle of such a project could surely prove uncomfortable.
KS: (It) was amazing to stomp my boot firmly on top of this album. (The) imprint’s left, and I feel totally grounded, mentally, and musically. This is what I’ve been craving for years!
GMM: It has been amazing to see how the new members affected the recordings. A different energy, commitment, and level of sound, that seamlessly integrated with the existing bass, and guitar tracks. Some songs have just completely changed in vibe, in a very, very positive way. Everyone in the band is giving 110%, and that is clearly audible.
All of this, and more, is something which TS have taken on as in-house responsibilities. It’s an approach which more and more musicians employ, but what are the benefits and drawbacks, pros and cons?
GMM: Pros – Total control, less financial outlay, experience that will stand us in good stead in every successive step we take. Cons – Limited network, less easy to make bigger plans, less support – all hurdles have to be tackled in house.
KS: Cons – It can sometimes be difficult financing it all yourself, and finding the right paths to network further afield, but we’ll get there. Pros – everything is at our fingertips. We shape it. It’s control. The world you create’s your own, and we have plans for a fucking universe.
The next obvious stage of shaping this world is coming back to play Hordes, a firm statement of a return to full functioning form.
KS: Hordes Year ten! Oofft! No bullshit. We are there to give raw power, adrenaline, and metal to you all. We have a stonker of a set list, with an auld tune thrown in off The Scorpion Ensemble.
GMM: We’re going to smack you in your face with our sonic boomstick of doom! Well, if you know us, you know to expect some interesting segues, etc, but I think our energy will be off the charts, playing at the festival that signifies a brotherhood of sorts. We’ve been missing for too long from this event.
As for the steps which follow…
KS: Three words THE BEAT UNMERCIFUL!!!
GMM: You can expect us to get (upcoming album) Beat Unmerciful onto your playlists in 2020. What more do you need?!?
What more, indeed. If live reception over the last year and a half is anything to go by, probably plenty of gigs..?