Review/Interview: Winds of Leng – Monuments of Agony
Phoenix death metallers (and Toilet favorites) Winds of Leng has teamed up with Phoenix death metallers Fluids for a split that comes out today, titled Your F****** Head Split. Today we are proud as can be to present the band’s first new material since dropping their monumental (get it?) debut album back in 2017!
But first a very quick timeline of events:
- Early 2016 I flew out to Arizona to meet the band and help* however I could in the studio. They were still working on the debut album, but shortly afterwards we premiered the demo “Audrey.”
- May 2017 the band dropped their first single, “Devourer” here on the Toilet ov Hell.
- June 2017 they released the first full-length Horrid Dominion, to near-universal critical acclaim.
- December 2017 Horrid Dominion won the TovH Community Album of the Year award.
- April 2018 I flew back to Arizona to witness their FIRST EVER live performance and help** wherever I could (hint: it heckin’ slayed).
- November 2019: present day…
Since we last spoke, Winds of Leng has experienced a few line-up changes (more on that later), but Scrimm—the primary songwriter—has consistently been working on new material for future releases, including a song for today’s split, which I am proud to premiere for you right now, with “Monuments of Agony:”
Everything that’s special about the band can be heard in the above embed, and so it would be an exercise in redundancy to dissect the material for you. But if you want my opinion, I’ll summarize all of my thoughts right here: all of the features we love about the band have been amplified to 11 (and those bass lines get me a little wet). I would rank “Monuments of Agony” right up with their best material released thus far. But it’s worth noting that every one of my expectations were exceeded upon hearing it for the first time. Simply put: I was blown away!
Primary song-writer, guitar player, and vocalist Scrimm took the time to answer a few questions…
McNulty: How has the writing process changed, if at all, since the release of that first full album?
Scrimm: The main difference in the writing process was time. We finished this song in a much shorter period. We had a lot of time to work on the album tracks while we learned the recording process, but for this one I really wanted to see how we did writing something in a much shorter timespan. I had a couple riffs I came up with working on something else and I thought they would work. Had been listening to a lot of Pyrexia and the like, and wanted to bring a touch of that heaviness into the track, primarily in the first half. I wrote the bulk of the music and the arrangement and we finished up the rest in the studio while we recorded a demo version of it.
After the writing, as some know, the band suffered some unfortunate situations and for various reasons had to part with some members. Definitely not something we wanted but the show must go on, and we felt the need to get this one done and out there so we brought in our good friends Gus from Lago on bass and Brian Miller (ex-Lago) on drums. Definitely brought a bit of a different feel to things but both did an amazing job.
McNulty: How have your producing/mixing duties changed? The first album was done by a member of the metal community we all know and love (Dan Swano). Was this new song any different?
Scrimm: The production for this track changed in a couple ways actually. For the album we recorded everything ourselves and sent it to Dan for the mix and master and he took what we did and made it actually listenable. For this track, since we had Brian doing the drums and he records as well, he tracked his drums and we did the rest. As for the mixing and mastering, make no mistake Dan is the master and we absolutely hope to use him again the future; but for this one we knew Brian would also do a great job so we let him have a crack at it and we’re pretty happy with the result.
McNulty: Having gone through the rigorous process of releasing your debut full-length, have you become any more confident in your songwriting?
Scrimm: Oh yeah, most definitely. Before that there was almost zero confidence, everything sucked. But we were green and had no concept of how the songs were going to turn out, we could only hear them in parts. Now I am very confident in our abilities. It’s like night and day. A vision has taken shape, so to speak.
McNulty: How did this EP come to fruition? Who approached whom, and all that?
Scrimm: That was all Fluids. Some of the members had been friends forever, and they asked us earlier this year and we jumped on it. I was really wanting to do a split anyways so it worked out.
Well, I for one couldn’t be happier that they joined forces for this split. Listen to and purchase the Winds of Leng / Fluids split on BandCamp here (released on November 8th, 2019). Follow Winds of Leng on Facebook right here. Fluids can be found on Facebook right here.
* Smoke weed and listen to demos.
** Smoke weed, carry gear, work the merch table, and get drunk as AF.