Ross Mckendrick

My voracious appetite for music has led me to make many decisions in my life that a lot of people might question. I’ve chosen to buy records rather than eat a dinner that wasn’t bread and butter. I’ve gone to gigs instead of going to friends’ birthday parties. I quit a steady job to fill a backpack with band t-shirts and set off around Europe going to every festival I was sick of missing year after year because of so-called ‘real life’. But to me it all makes perfect sense

Growing up I never had the usual older sibling or group of friends to help me along my musical journey, but in recent years I’ve been making up for all that lost time when I didn’t have anyone to talk to about the latest mind-blowing album I’ve heard, or to lose my mind with at gigs when the band play that song, the nerdy discussions about infinitely unimportant details of a certain label’s discography… I’m now lucky enough to share these opinions on a few sites contributed to and run by people with that same insane passion for music as I have.

I’m most at home enveloped in the abject misery of doom metal, smashing my fists into everything if I hear some particular fine grindcore, feeling sorry for myself to the soundtrack of old country and folk, welling up at poignant post-rock crescendos and trying not to let anyone find out the first album I bought was by Abba. I also illustrate and design stuff for bands, am obsessed with barbecues and their inherent condiments, and have an unparalleled wanderlust. Good sense of humour, must love dogs, etc.

I currently lurk venues and store my records in Glasgow, but can also be found gigs and festivals all over the UK and Europe, so if you see me come say hi and we’ll get a beer.

You can follow my music discoveries, entertaining exploits, misanthropic rantings, and general bafflement with everyday life on twitter @tospitasparrow.





Articles by Ross Mckendrick

Cough – Still They Pray

The clear division of songwriting styles across the album feels somewhat regressive, considering they managed to effectively weld these elements into a cohesive whole on previous LP ‘Ritual Abuse’ to stunning effect. – By Ross Mckendrick

Graves At Sea – The Curse That Is

Graves At Sea never quite got the attention they deserved the first time around, and with their long-delayed debut album ‘The Curse That Is’, hopefully said curse is finally lifted and they’re rightly acknowledged as one of doom metal’s finest bands. – By Ross Mckendrick

Hooded Menace – Darkness Drips Forth

Finland’s masters of misery Hooded Menace return with ‘Darkness Drips Forth’, which sees them indulge their penchant for longer tracks, allowing them to descend further into the depths of death-doom. – By Ross Mckendrick

Interview: Tim Bagshaw from With The Dead

Ahead of the release of their self-titled début album, Ross Mckendrick talked joining forces, endless riffs and everyday horror with guitarist/bassist Tim Bagshaw from With The Dead.

With The Dead – With The Dead

The eponymous debut from With The Dead is a masterclass in doom metal from three titans of the UK scene, which sees drummer Mark Greening, guitarist/bassist Tim Bagshaw and vocalist Lee Dorrian each meld their own instantly recognisable styles into a cohesive vision. – By Ross Mckendrick

Interview: Orion from ILSA

Ross Mckendrick asked singer Orion from Washington DC/Baltimore’s ILSA some questions about horror movies, cover songs and the new album ‘The Felon’s Claw’.

Nightslug – Loathe

‘Loathe’ is a mercilessly nasty record, which sees Nightslug dispense with doom in favour of a far more vicious approach. One of the vilest, angriest records to come out this year. – By Ross Mckendrick

Ilsa – The Felon’s Claw

‘The Felon’s Claw’ might not be a huge progression of Ilsa’s signature brand of pummelling crust-meets-sludge-meets-death, but this album sees them hone their skills to the point of deadly proficiency. A terrifying trip through the darkest depths of death and doom. – By Ross Mckendrick

Leechfeast / Meth Drinker – Split

This highly caustic split from two of the underground’s nastiest bands, Slovenia’s Leechfeast and New Zealand’s Meth Drinker, offers up a double dose of pain and misery. Some of the foulest, rawest sludge since the genre’s heyday. Horrible. – By Ross Mckendrick

Bell Witch – Four Phantoms

From the meticulously crafted music, to the lyrical concepts, to the beautiful cover artwork, Bell Witch have created an album that sits firmly in the upper echelons (or should that be darkest depths?) of not just funeral doom, but of metal in general. Four Phantoms is a masterpiece. – By Ross Mckendrick

Dorthia Cottrell – Dorthia Cottrell

On her self-titled debut Dorthia Cottrell is not merely another doomed soul moonlighting in morose country, but a fully fledged songwriter who’s outstanding solo work has genuine crossover potential, and if nurtured may even eclipse her work in Windhand. – By Ross Mckendrick

Interview: Thou

“I’m constantly shocked at how really simple ideas like “feminism” and “equality” are still lost on so many people. For a scene that should be transgressive and “extreme,” it seems overwhelmingly conservative and pedestrian to me most times—like a bunch of macho, white, frat guys wearing black and pretending at being heathens.” Ross Mckendrick had a great chat with Andy Gibbs and Bryan Funck from Thou.

Winds of Genocide – Usurping the Throne of Disease

Durham’s deadliest d-beat-meets-death-metal horde Winds of Genocide unleash their full length debut, ‘Usurping the Throne of Disease’, and it’s just as raw and vicious as you’d expect. – By Ross Mckendrick

The Body & Thou – You, Whom I Have Always Hated

‘You, Whom I Have Always Hated’, the second collaborative release from Baton Rouge’s Thou and Portland’s The Body sees these two unique bands intertwine their own individual perspectives on heaviness into one seamless and wholly horrifying entity. – By Ross Mckendrick

Jucifer – District of Dystopia

Perhaps the closest Jucifer have ever come to capturing the ear-bleeding ecstasy of their legendary live show, ‘District Of Dystopia’ is closer to an old school DIY demo tape than a polished album. Although a little rough around the edges, that’s part of the appeal; this is raw, punked-up grindcore the way they used to make it. – By Ross Mckendrick

Sterilizer – Sterilizer

Sterilizer’s dehumanised vision marries martial programmed rhythms to jagged shards of distortion. In the year 2014 AD… get yourself Sterilized! – By Ross Mckendrick

Ides Of Gemini – Old World New Wave

Ides Of Gemini’s latest collection of mysterious tracks meld elements of doom, black metal and goth, into a unique sound that doesn’t quite belong under any of those banners. – By Ross Mckendrick

Corrupt Moral Altar – Mechanical Tides

Corrupt Moral Altar bastardise elements of grind, sludge and hardcore into a potent mix on a debut album that sees them leave most other heavy bands in the dust. – By Ross Mckendrick

Open Tomb – Dead Weight

And now for something completely disgusting… – By Ross Mckendrick

Profetus – As All Seasons Die

For a genre which can drag out the misery across unbearably lengthy running times, Finnish funeral doom masters Profetus manage to pack more mourning into As All Seasons Die than most bands of their ilk can muster across a whole discography. Get sad. – By Ross Mckendrick

Nightfell – The Living Ever Mourn

Nightfell channel a simultaneously aggressive and mournful atmosphere throughout these eight tracks of terror. The Living Ever Mourn is a rare beast in modern times; not merely a collection of songs, but a fully-realised album. – By Ross Mckendrick

Pin It on Pinterest