Photo: Alex Cameron

Hailing from London, UK, Pupil Slicer are preparing to release their debut album, Mirrors, via Prosthetic Records. Combining all the sharp edges of angular mathcore with the bonecrushing intensity of grindcore, Pupil Slicer are guaranteed to leave their mark on 2021.

Having spent two years honing their craft and refining their sound, Pupil Slicer set out to record new material in 2019, with Pedram Valiani of Frontierer / Sectioned overseeing production, and mastering taken care of by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege. In late 2020 they released the single, ‘L’appel Du Vide’ featuring Carson Pace of the Callous Daoboys, paving the way for this full-length to follow. Mirrors captures the frenetic energy that propels Pupil Slicer forward, making their snarling blend of mathcore, grindcore, death metal and more a truly essential listen.

Mirrors will be released by Prosthetic Records on March 12.

We asked the band about 3 albums that have influenced them the most, check them out below!

 

Deafheaven – Sunbather

My entry into heavy music was more unconventional than most, having not really grown up listening to the genre, my first exposure to anything that could really be considered metal was Deafheaven’s sophomore full length, Sunbather. I came in from a background of being more into shoegaze and post-rock and the interludes and progressions featured on this album really hooked me in instantly. The low level of the vocals also helped to acclimatise me to the idea of harsh vox in general.

Acting as a foundation for my musical journey into more extreme genres, Sunbather also was a pillar in inspiring my guitar playing. I had an acoustic guitar for years prior to this point and had never really gotten on with it but after hearing this album I was enthusiastic to pick up an electric guitar and give that a try, with ‘Dream House’ being the first song I ever learned on guitar all the way through.

I think there are a lot of elements I picked up starting here with my guitar and musical journey that still show themselves in our music, with some of the quieter interludes and more post-metal sections of our songs being rooted in this starting point, as well as a shared love of the band with Josh leading to us trying to capture something akin to the journey a Deafheaven song would take you on with the closing track of our album, ‘Collective Unconscious’.

– Kate Davies (guitar / vocals)

Metallica – …And Justice For All

My first true metal experience I can remember that opened my mind to the genre was Metallica’s fourth album, …And Justice For All. After scraping the surface of heavy music with my old man’s favourites like Zeppelin and Floyd, it was my first true solo dive into a full metal project that I can remember, I was around 14 at the time.

…And Justice For All is a progressive, lengthy and ambitious step, sandwiched between two of the bands most acclaimed and talked about albums, it sometimes gets lost in the band’s rich and lengthy catalog. The album is very dark thematically and can be best summarised musically in the critically acclaimed song ‘One’, which features odd time signatures, fast riffs, shredding solos and pummelling double kick drumming. James Hetfield’s extremely conscientious and gloomy vocals stand out on this track and was an eye opening listening experience as a young teen.

Not only did the album resonate with me as a music fan but also as a young drummer. The album inspired me to pick up some double pedals and delve into the fast and technical drumming of Lars Ulrich, I still enjoy playing along to Blackened to this day as a drum warm up. Unlike other Metallica albums it features many odd time signatures and advanced fills. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone looking to have some fun when first picking up the sticks and attempting some extreme metal.

– Josh Andrews (drums)

Iron Maiden – Powerslave 

At the tender age of 10, in 2000, I became aware of metal with the millennial nu-metal classics Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavoured Water and Hybrid Theory, which both were both huge albums at the time, and I loved them, but more so the Bizkit. I’m sorry. Anyway, the album that really got me into metal, and really made me want to play bass guitar was Powerslave by Iron Maiden.

I was 13 in 2002 around the time Maiden released Rock in Rio, shoutout to my nan for buying a triple LP of this for me at Xmas, and this was also the first ever vinyl record I ever owned. I shortly after then bought Number of the Beast and Powerslave on the same day with my paper-round money from Cruisin Records in Welling, South East London. Powerslave stood out for me and I played it excessively, especially the epic 15 minute ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ and the LP title track. The cover, even by Maiden standards was, and still is, pretty epic. Powerslave also has two of the biggest Maiden anthems on it. There are songs about sword-fighting, it was pretty cool. I used to listen to it, and watch my Live After Death VHS, which is essentially a visual companion piece to Powerslave, and think ‘I want to do that’! Especially, ‘I want to play the bass, this guy is running the show!’

Like many metal bassists, Steve Harris inspired me to pick up bass and want to play metal. When I was learning bass, I studied Powerslave – it was pretty much my bootcamp for a load of bass techniques like power chords, the metal gallop, melodic runs, arpeggios etc. In terms of metal, this album pretty much set the bar, in my mind, for what a great metal album should be. And importantly, acted as springboard for me onto other canonical metal and then eventually into extreme metal and hardcore.

From the age of 15 when I started playing, up until now (31) I have learnt and played along with tracks from Powerslave – to differing levels of competence though it must be said. Repeatedly, I come back to this album. Even during the lockdown, when I have not felt inspired to play, I came re-/learned the instrumental Losfer Words (Big ‘Orra)’. But this time I was equipped with the chops to do so, it was really inspiring. I also jammed the epic tracks from the records, which was so fun. After doing this and remembering that being able to play the tracks on a bass would have blown my 15 year old mind. This was a powerful reminder to keep playing! Up the Irons!

– Luke Fabian (bass / additional vocals

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