Cape Town, South Africa: late night shadows are again stirring against the walls at Burning Tone Studios. This gives us cause for excitement, since the Burning Tone brand is already famous for delivering three out of the four South African Wacken Metal Battle finalists so far; we know by now that the people here are worth keeping an eye on.
The Final Bastion might be the most ambitious project to come out of the den yet! We explored a little into why that may be, following the release of the band’s first single on Sunday with: ‘Till Life Do Us Part (Miss Conceptions)’.
Till Life Do Us Part (Miss Conceptions)
In some ways we think of the Burning Tone clan as a sort of Cape Town metal conglomerate; where much of the cream of the local musical crop gelled together into one able-bodied creative powerhouse. This powerhouse delivered a magnificent thrash band with Infanteria, a frighteningly good dose of progressive djent with Megalodon and, last but not least, 2016 Wacken Metal Battle international winning Zombies Ate My Girlfriend. Metal for a varying palette indeed. The Final Bastion presents another completely unexpected angle with some scintillating symphonic Melodic Death Metal!
The ensuing barrage is described to us by the man at the mixing desk himself:
“We literally want the instruments to sit flush. A wall of sound. Nothing takes preference unless scored to stand out for a brief moment. The dynamics of the orchestra must breathe behind an onslaught of melodic death metal. This is no easy task and a lot of fine tuning will still be done mix-wise in the coming months.” ~ Louis Henn (composer/instrumentalist/vocalist, The Final Bastion)
Powerful audio, complimented with powerful context
The lyrics, penned by the double-edged blade of lyricists Gavin Marchbank and Michael Gill, reflect the drama of the music and life experience in grim words; allowing little room for doubt about an overwhelming encounter with pain:
“She was my absolute everything; and I was as sure I was going to spend the rest of my life with her as I was that the sun would rise each day. An entire life planned, and lived in my mind’s eye and in my heart. Then suddenly it’s just taken away without explanation. And you’re left to reach the sickening realizations that this person you thought was exceptional, actually never existed and is the same as all the other people who have no idea what they’re doing with people’s hopes, dreams, and hearts.” ~ Gavin Marchbank (The Final Bastion)
“I was in very much the same boat. As it was put to me; whether it’s six months or six years, you know in six seconds. And then you’re left with the next 60 years…” ~ Michael Gill (The Final Bastion)
Till Life Do Us Part (Miss Conceptions); behind the mask
Behind lyrics and physical instruments, another artist lurks. Louis, apart from writing, recording and mixing the songs, performs yet another vital role. Composition and arrangement of the orchestration. A facet of the writing which he feels brings further emphasis to the greater whole, and tended with his usual care for detail.
“We migrated from built-in Presonus instrument samples to a subscription-based library to get access to much higher quality and compelling virtual instruments. These libraries are phenomenal but is costing us a monthly fee during the composing process. Having this makes the worlds’ difference though, and allows us to really portray the emotional and ‘feels’ aspect, as they cover various articulations for every instrument. You can really dig into your compositions instead of just blasting everything at max volume.” ~ Louis Henn
This first dose of a completed song from The Final Bastion sets a stage for the magnitude of what will follow. Listeners can expect volumes of experience in musical writing, audio production and, simply put, years lived. Yet… through it all, a few souls stand to fight another day. The Final Bastion remains!
To hasten the release of an album, The Final Bastion offers this single for free; however, includes a request for financial backing in exchange for a hard copy album once completed. More information on this via The Final Bastion‘s bandcamp page.