Chicagoland-based Starkill was formed at the tail end of 2008 by Parker Jameson, Spencer Weidner and Charlie Federici. The band makes no qualms about wearing their influences on their sleeves. They combine what they love – melodic death metal, shredding guitars, blasting drum beats and the epic sounds of modern film scores – and make some of the most promising metal music heard this side of the Atlantic in years.
With some members barely out of their teens, it’s refreshing to have such a young US band embrace their European heroes so openly. While most of their peers were listening and playing to the more ‘core’ based US bands, the members of Starkill spent their days cutting their chops to such bands as Children of Bodom, Nightwish, Amon Amarth and Dragonforce.
“We wanted to form a band that had aspects of ALL of the above things,” states Starkill mainman, Parker Jameson. “Genre-wise, a lot of these bands and musicians are pretty far apart. The core of the band is a melodic-death sound, but we branch off or add aspects of these other influences as we go along. Because of this, a lot of our songs, and even songs within themselves, can transition all across the metal spectrum.”
These 10 songs found on the band’s debut album flow together brilliantly to create a massive opus fittingly called Fires of Life. Produced by Jameson and mastered by death metal legend, James Murphy, the album’s shrouded concept, both lyrically and musically, is overlain in medieval fantasy-themed battles, mythology and destruction. Fires of Life’s artwork, done by renowned metal artist, Joshua Belanger, captures this perfectly.
In 2010, the band self-released an EP under the moniker, Massakren, and played numerous shows across the US. It was soon after this a buzz about the band developed in the metal underground and they found themselves speaking to numerous labels, eventually signing to global powerhouse, Century Media Records.
Fires of Life is due out now.
This is our battle, this is our day.