Mostly Yelling #11: World Eaters Begin a “Grinding Advance” Into Hallowed Death Metal
Like any metal head, I too am a big fan of Bolt Thrower. However, the amount of bands that have since carried that torch beyond the end of Bolt Thrower, and done it well, have not been many. Thankfully, we've now got the one-man project World Eaters headed up by Ontario-based David Gupta, who is here with his debut EP Grinding Advance to show everyone else how it's done.
That being said, World Eaters is a far cry from simply being a Bolt Thrower worship band. Flourishes of experimentation surface throughout the EP, as do quite a few forays into more d-beat/Swedish death metal areas. Essentially, this isn't your run of the mill X-worship band that just makes you want to go and listen to whoever they're worshipping. This is something new, something to get excited about.
We sat down with Gupta to discuss the EP, its origins, and what's next for the band.
Tell me a little about Grinding Advance. How long was that in the works?
David Gupta: The songs for Grinding Advance were written from around late December 2020 to mid January 2021. Once I start writing I typically wrap up the songs relatively quickly. I then spent some time working with my friend Adam Ujhelyi to flesh out the art while reaching out for collaborators to record parts to be featured in the songs. Since I don't have any deadlines to meet, I like giving everyone as much time as they need to get their parts done. Once I got everyone’s parts I spent some time mixing and re-mixing and re-re-mixing the EP until I was happy. Afterall of the music and art was finished by early May, things moved pretty quick to get the physical copies made up and ready for June. Shoutout to Jesse and Brent of Glue Gun Records for helping with the tape duplication!
Is there a concept behind Grinding Advance? The narration makes it seem like there's a theme.
It's definitely not that cerebral, there's no intentional major themes. I knew I wanted to build some atmosphere before the first song really gets going, so I found a great quote from Warhammer 40,000, tweaked it slightly, and had Brock Boonstra from Guelph post-punk band Habit record it since he's got that sweet, sweet, gravelly voice.
Most of my songs are based in the sci-fi universe of Warhammer 40,000, but beyond that there isn't a specific narrative or lyrical theme that runs through the songs. I suppose this EP is even less thematic than previous ones since the third track "Escape From The Underdark" is about Dungeons and Dragons adventures. Everything I write about is fictional, so I just pick stuff I think is sick and roll with it. Not too much more goes into planning any themes.
How does the artwork of Grinding Advance tie into the music?
The opening track "Armoured Spearhead" is about big tanks blasting their way through no-man's-land into enemy territory, and I had already decided the EP's title (also tank themed) before the artwork began, so when I reached out to my pal Adam Ujhelyi to do the artwork he brought those ideas to life with the cover.
I could try to put on my promotional copy voice and say how "the ironclad steamrolling sound of the riffs is reflected by the aggressive, charging vanguard of armour in the artwork" or some shit like that, but honestly it goes no further than "hell yeah, big tanks are sick". Adam included a sorcerer casting spells and summoning demons against the main tank on the cover, because, well, sorcerers and demons are also sick.
To quote legendary horror author Garth Marenghi: "I know writers who use subtext, and they're all cowards".
Who were your main influences while you were writing Grinding Advance?
An obvious one is Bolt Thrower, I wear that influence pretty clearly on my sleeve. Compared to my previous releases I think Grinding Advance is more varied and blends in more influences than before, which is exciting to me. I'm a big fan of some pop music so the good old fashioned verse-chorus-verse-chorus structure is at play, particularly on the songs "Armoured Spearhead" and "Expedition / Tomb World". That's not even including the cover at the end of the EP, either.
"Expedition / Tomb World" brings in some Asphyx-inspired death/doom elements in its second half, and Escape From The Underdark has some melodic black metal influence in it— something I never thought would creep in. I was listening to a lot of Windir and Dissection at the time, and the switcharoo that happens about halfway through the tune is probably the most experimental (if you want to call it that) I've ever been with my songwriting and composition.
What's your favorite song (most fun to play, most proud of, etc.) off Grinding Advance EP?
The most fun to play has to be "Escape From the Underdark". I love the snaking, slinky riffs in the first half— and the tremolo picked melodic theme in the second half is a blast to play too. I suppose I'm most proud of it as well since I got to stretch my songwriting chops beyond what I expected I could do.
My least favourite one to play is definitely "Armoured Spearhead". It's fast enough that I need to keep my chops up if I want to be able to play the whole thing cleanly in one go, and while the chorus is easy on a technical level, somehow I can never remember the order of the chords!
What's your plan for the remainder of 2021?
I've got more music in the works for a split! Unfortunately I don't think I can spoil it without permission from the other party, but I'm very excited to work with them.
I'd like to start canvassing my local scene for other musicians to put together a proper band at some point too, but I can't guarantee that will happen any time soon. COVID-19 is still preventing shows in my neck of the woods and I want to make sure things are 100% safe before I start moving on that aspect of the project.
Physical copies of Grinding Advance are available on Bandcamp. All proceeds from June 2021 will be matched and donated to Guelph Pride, an LGBTQ+ organization.
World Eaters can be found on Instagram and Twitter at @worldeaters666.