Introducing: The Spectre Beneath

Runcorn, UK-based The Spectre Beneath have just released their new mini album ‘The Ashen Child’, guitarist and founding member Pete Worrall was on hand to talk us through the background of The Spectre Beneath…

What are the origins of The Spectre Beneath, how long have you been playing together?

We began in January 2019. I’d just finished an album with my other project, Plague and the Decay in which drummer Consta plays. When I started writing the follow-up, the music seemed to be more melodic and a little less thrashy but with just the same amount of twisting riffs. It was a slight shift in tone and I thought it would be a good idea to add a female vocal to bring out the melodic side even more. Consta was onboard and then long-time collaborator, Katy Lennon, helped write and add nuance to the vocal melodies so they would suit a female voice. I then found L Lockser from an online demo she’d posted and we managed to put our debut album, The Downfall of Judith King, in September of that year.

What should people expect when they check the band out? How would you describe The Spectre Beneath?

We were coined Power/Prog metal in the first-ever review for our debut album and it’s probably a fair summing up. If you like power metal and progressive metal but don’t want to go too far in either direction, The Spectre Beneath may be for you. Definitely all clean vocals to allow the melodies to shine and to allow big harmony choruses. We certainly have fast songs and lots of melody but also longer more involved tracks. However, under the surface there is certainly an undercurrent of thrash especially with the pace and twisting riffs as I’m a big fan of bands like Overkill, Forbidden, Testament and Annihilator. I like to think it’s that element which stops The Spectre Beneath from falling too far into the tropes of Power Metal and the sometimes overindulgence of Prog. We definitely don’t have layers of keyboards either, even though drummer Consta tries to squeeze some in. Apart from some piano and a few atmospheric drones, we try and keep the music riff and vocal focussed.

The new music scene is bursting at the seams at the minute with fresh talent, in what ways do you feel that a band has to stand out to build a name for themselves?

I think touring is the key and putting in the graft. Trying to get people to listen to your music is so difficult and with so many bands emphasising an over-the-top visual style I think some people are turned off. Gigging and doing great shows is probably the best way to get your music in front of people and to build a reputation that way.

What are you working on at the minute that people can check out?

We have just released our brand new single, Time Dilation, which you can find on our Bandcamp page and all streaming services. It’s the second single to be taken from our mini album out in July. It’s a melancholic blend of crunching guitars and dark, haunting melodies, Time Dilation is a heartbreaking love story across the gravitational pull of a black hole.

In terms of a similar audience, which band out there at the minute do you feel you would be best suited to open for?

Queensryche or Helloween from a legacy band point of view, I think there’s some crossover with what we’re trying to achieve musically and those two bands. In regards to newer bands, I’d like to open up for A Sound of Thunder, what a great band they are.

Excluding yourself, which new band would you like to see break out and become a success?

I’ll go with a band who I think are worthy of a lot of attention and that’s Cellar Darling. A sumptuous blend of dark, melancholic alternative metal with proggy overtones. A gorgeous voice in Anna Murphy mixed with the guitars, drums, bass, flute and hurdy gurdy. It’s accessible without sounding commercial or corporate. It might be a little exotic for mainstream taste, but the band is brimming with talent and songs.

What are your own first musical memories? And what was the lightbulb moment that made you go “I want to do that”?

I come from a musical family in the North West of England and I had piano lessons from the age of seven until thirteen. I was playing classical music until I heard Iron Maiden. In fact, it was the song Invaders from The Number of the Beast which changed my life, that was my lightbulb moment. Things were never the same after I heard that track. I loved the Smith and Murray combination and wanted to mimic that rather than continue to tinkle waltzes on the ivories. So, much to my parent’s chagrin because they hated metal, I ditched the piano and picked up the guitar. My Nan had given me £100 a few months earlier so I decided to use that and purchase a guitar as I knew my parents would never buy me one. My first guitar cost £95 and that included a distortion pedal, a chorus pedal, and a book of chords, oh yeah, and a plectrum

What was the last gig that you attended as a fan?

I go to a lot of gigs as a fan because Manchester is not too far from me and most bands stop in Manchester when they’re touring. The last one I went to was The Diablo Swing Orchestra in Manchester. What a gig that was. I was a fan of their first three albums and then they disappeared for a while and I drifted away from them. Their next album was a bit too lightweight for me and I never bothered with their latest, but, as they don’t tour the UK very often when they announced a show not too far away, I persuaded a few friends to go not really knowing what we’ll get. It was two hours of foot-tapping genius, in fact, I could easily put the DSO in with the bands I wish would make it big, it was so good.

The album that you have in your album collection/Spotify playlist that would surprise most people?

That would have to be Ska ‘N’ B by Bad Manners. I have a soft spot for Ska. I love the energy, the DIY nature of it. It’s a shame it never really made a comeback. The song, ‘Inner London Violence’ is just great. I’d love to do a cover of that one day.

There have been some amazing new albums released this year already, what would be your album of the year so far? And, what other new music have you been enjoying this year?

The new Overkill album, ‘Scorched’, is a killer, I would say that’s my favourite album of the year so far. Other music I’ve been enjoying recently is Visions of Atlantis, their latest release is superb, Nervosa as well, their new single is great and I managed to buy some of their CDs from the merch stand when they recently played in Manchester. Also, Wucan, their 70s infused flute rock is simply brilliant, their latest release especially.

What does the remainder of 2023 hold for The Spectre Beneath?

Our mini-LP The Ashen Child is out now. We have the next album planned out as well and I would say 70% of it is written. After not releasing anything for two and a half years, we’re keen to release more music as we have quite a lot of ideas. We’d like to finish writing the new full-length and get it recorded before the end of the year.

How active are you on social media and where can people connect with you?

We’re not super active on social media, personally, I feel less is more, but if you engage with us, we’ll respond.

You can find us here:

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