INTERVIEW: LN | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Newcastle-based pagan Viking metal band LN are set to release the final stage of their epic musical trilogy this month in advance of their debut EP, The Hangman’s Tales. The Slaughter reveals more of the character of LN, a demonic witch, who melds Nordic folk with intense metal.

It’s a bit of an odd one,” chuckles Ellen, the singer behind the character and the band’s brooding frontwoman. “I’ve always been this way, I’ve always had that obsession for crystals and signs and all those oddities. I’m a bit of a spiritual satanist, which I promise isn’t as evil as it sounds, it’s more an outlook to life!” With band members donning chainmail for historical re-enactments and longsword fighting, the same penchant for theatrics and the aesthetic which consume the band have been there from the beginning.

When we discussed making a band, there was no doubt it would be metal. But when we started looking at the songs we had each written, this melding of folklore was creeping in. I’ve always loved metal that is textured with those quieter traditions, it leant itself perfectly to the pagan folklore of witches and ghouls. It all came together for our weird little marriage of loveliness and chaos!”

Where The Slaughter begins with a Nordic-inspired melody, clean and pure, these lilting vocals grow until they are engulfed in a wave of intense sound. With growled vocals beating against grappling guitars and pounding drums, the dissonant changes in tonality make LN a captivating live experience and make The Slaughter a frightening show opener!

Most people are outcasts, angry and confused. Metal gives people an opportunity to express it safely

There’s nothing worse than a boring show,” confess the band, who make it extremely clear that their gigs will be anything but boring. “The live experience is always something special, undergoing that transformation each night, getting into character, applying the makeup and turning into something new; it’s a ritual that brings us closer together. Going out on stage and no longer being the blonde woman who works her boring nine to five; we go out and do what we want. It’s so freeing, you never know what to expect!”

The liberation and expressionism that metal allows is utilised beautifully within LN’s sound. “Most people are outcasts, angry and confused. Metal gives people an opportunity to express it safely. It’s an outlet.”

The tale the band weave on the EP, which follows the journey of pure-hearted soul LN to “a demon witch in love with vengeance and yearning for blood shed” fuses themes of female empowerment with a brutal strength and poetic energy. The band have received widespread praise for their ability to fuse genres while demonstrating a redemptive and positive outlook. Whether it’s unpacking the story of LN the titular witch, or being hit by the force of their live shows, the band are making music for people to resonate with, touching on themes of connection, self-love and rebuilding power.

LN release The Hangman’s Tales on 24th July, they play Anarchy Brewery, Newcastle Sunday 23rd July.


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