If the name Brand of Sacrifice doesn’t ring a bell, you need to crawl out from under your rock and dive deep into this Canadian band’s world before you get left behind. The five-piece released their new album Lifeblood at the start of March following an intense pre-promotional campaign which saw them rise to new heights in popularity and fast become hot property in the genre. Now, the wheels are still turning and they’ve got their sights set on world domination!
As celebrations ease for the band, we were lucky to catch up with guitarist/producer Leo Valeri for a chat about their successes so far, collaborating with some of the scene’s biggest and best names and how they’re set to breathe new life into the deathcore genre, which will no doubt turn many heads in the process…
G’Day from Australia Brand of Sacrifice, how have the celebrations from the release of Lifeblood gone for you? Still partying hard or are you calming down now the album’s been out for a little bit?
The celebration was insane! We hosted an album release party live on YouTube when the record came out, and had over 8,000 fans tune in. I’ve never seen a faster chat. It was impossible to keep up, so suffice it to say it was absolutely amazing! We’ve now had a few days to relax and just enjoy the release, but we’re still full speed ahead on making 2021 a special year for BoS.
The response has been insane! You guys must have known you were on a winner with the hype that built with every single release right?
To be honest, we didn’t really know what to expect. Last year was such a seismic shift in the industry, a unique year for music due to the pandemic, so it was hard to tell what was going to happen. That said, the new tunes were met with a crazy amount of praise across the globe and we could not be more grateful! We’re SO pleased with the response, it’s truly unprecedented stuff for an independent metal band like ours.
You guys have really immersed yourselves in a new era of deathcore, and this album is obliterating from start to finish. What was the intended vision here? The most brutal shit possible?
We wanted to combine the craziest stuff we could possibly write with a more palatable approach, like more conventional song structures. Somewhat paradoxically, that ended up shocking listeners because they’re used to deathcore being more riff salad. There’s some of that, naturally, but a song like “Demon King” follows traditional structure—to the point where we didn’t just end the song with the breakdown but brought it around the chorus!
We definitely took some measures to step up our songwriting game while making sure we were emphasizing those heavy, chaotic passages people all know and love. We also drew a lot of influence from video games and movie soundtracks, so creating a cinematic “larger than life” experience was most importantly top of mind.
It shows in your album so congrats to you all for the end result. Also, you teamed up with scene god Frankie Palmeri (Emmure) for ‘Prophecy of the Falcon’. How’d this collaboration come about and did he pass on any of his wisdom in the process?
We’re long time fans of Frankie’s work, so we really wanted to include him on the record and were elated to hear he was down when we reached out. Anyone who knows Frankie is aware that he is a complete monster in the studio and he did such an amazing job with his part, absolutely perfect for the song. We were blown away at how insane his raw stems sounded, like that “flanger” on his vocals is all natural.
He truly is te best of the best! Talking about collaborations, I Prevail fans would be frothing at the mouth to hear your song with unclean vocalist Eric Vanlerberghe (‘Foe of the Inhuman’). For someone who usually fronts a melodic-metalcore band, how was his transition into the deathcore world?
It was very seamless. He’s been a fan of the band for a long time, even wearing a hoodie in a promo photo. He had a friend pick that up from Summer Slaughter because he was on tour, so he had to TRY to get that hoodie—such a compliment. We asked if he was interested and he was, joking that he’d have to step up his game to keep up with Kyle’s brutality. And honestly? He did. It simultaneously sounds like him, yet sounds more intense than his usual sound, which is as much as you could ask for in a feature!
Aussie fans are deathcore connoisseurs through and through. We have the likes of Thy Art is Murder, Aversions Crown, Gravemind and stacks of other heavy hitters, who are some of your big deathcore inspo?
We try not to take too much influence from modern day deathcore acts, but some of our favourites today are Shadow of Intent, Lorna Shore and Angelmaker. We’ve actually had the privilege of sharing the stage with all three. Best people ever, and they are all having a MASSIVE impact on moving the genre forward.
The original plan for the band was to combine slam and brutal death metal with deathcore and some other genres. The slam and brutal side of things has faded over time, but the overall combination shares ingredients with Disfiguring the Goddess. Bands like Winds of Plague and Carnifex also added cinematic soundscapes to deathcore back in the day, while Suicide Silence and Emmure flirted with nu-metal.
And of course, being Canadian, we have ultimate respect and love for legends like Despised Icon.
You truly are connoisseurs yourselves! In three years, you’ve released two albums and an EP + gone from upcomers to key players in the genre’s future cream of the crop. How are you all staying level headed with your newfound success?
The best way to stay balanced is to have a low centre of gravity, so we just keep our heads down and keep pushing. We legitimately had to have a conversation the other day to encourage us to temporarily enjoy our growth because we’re already planning what’s next. We’re just happy to be here.
With the new album out and touring/shows slowly (SLOWLY) coming back post-COVID, What’s the plans for the future of BoS to continue their world domination?
We’re going to keep producing content and staying in the world’s face virtually, while also getting in front of everyone’s face literally on tour as soon as we can.
Looking forward to that! Now, for those who have been sleeping on Lifeblood… What are (in your opinion) the three best things about the record they’re missing out on?
I think that’s something other people can better answer than us, so we’ll put three common things we hear from people:
People say they either hate deathcore or grew out of it, but they really like this for the songwriting, external elements, etc.
Speaking of, we hear a lot about our use of choirs, electronic and symphonic elements, which we try to use in different ways than our peers.
Lastly, we see a lot of comments about Kyle’s insane vocal range and personality, as well as how brutal the breakdowns are.
That’s more than enough reason to sign over the naysayers! Any final thoughts?
Thanks for supporting Lifeblood! Funnily enough, Australia represents the majority of our Shazams, which occurred after Lochlan Watt played us on Triple J’s The Racket. Thanks to him and all of Australia!
Lochlan Watt is a god amongst men! All the best Leo, can’t wait to see what you all do next!
Interview by Ricky Aarons @rickysaul90
Stream/Buy Lifeblood here
Brand Of Sacrifice – Lifeblood tracklisting
2. Demon King
4. Altered Eyes
5. Prophecy of the Falcon (ft. Frankie Palmeri)
6. Perfect World
7. Mortal Vessel (ft. Ben Duerr)
8. Foe of the Inhuman (ft. Eric Vanlerberghe)
9. Vengeance (ft. Jamie Graham
10. Ruin (ft. Tyler Shelton)
11. Corridor of Dreams