is the first single proper to be taken from the debut album Gate Of Grief
by WHITE RING
. Dark, brooding, abrasive and ethereal all at once, the track draws from a varied and challenging palette, steeped in existential dread. It was the first song they wrote for the album, as Bryan Kurkimilis
explains; “This song was the first time we really wanted to start exploring aggression in our music.”
WHITE RING were originally formed by Bryan Kurkimilis
and Kendra Malia
, before they were joined by Adina Viarengo
, with Bryan and Adina currently touring as a duo. One of the most acclaimed proponents of the “Witch House” movement, WHITE RING blend heavy, distorted electronics with eerie, unsettling vocals. However, their new material, created over the course of seven years, pushes the boundaries further, subverting genre ideas and mashing them all together, with industrial, metal, rave, chopped and screwed, rap, grunge, neo folk, post punk and new wave all in the mix. As Bryan explains; “We treat our influences like tools to create a certain feeling. We are interested in covering more ground than sticking to a certain formula.”
They started recording Gate Of Grief in 2010, with the hope of exploring new musical territory, however they took a while to find their path. Bryan and Kendra had some tough personal battles to fight, a sense that pervades the whole album. Thematically it delves in to some pretty dark places whilst exploring the concept of time and what it does to people, relationships and society. As Bryan explains; “There is a lot of tragedy in this album but there is also hope at the end of it.”
By 2016 pressure was building to finish recording, however due to Kendra’s ill health, they needed to bring in someone new to assist with vocals.
Fortunately they found Adina Viarengo, who had played in various bands and gave them the impetus needed to complete the album. Shortly after meeting in Brooklyn, Bryan and Adina moved to Joshua Tree, California to finish recording the album, before settling in Massachusetts. Her vocal style fitted in seamlessly with what Kendra had been doing, and although she sang on half the songs, it’s almost impossible to tell who is singing on which track, thus making her the perfect addition to the band.
Gate of Grief can be considered the second part of Black Earth That Made Me, or rather, they are the first two chapters in an overarching trilogy about evolution. As Bryan explains; “First you are born but then you realize what you are and what is against you and it’s a flood of emotion that you can only hope to hold on for and let it pass.”
Dwelling on the outskirts of pop music, WHITE RING grew up in the age of the internet and were exposed to a huge range of music. They have developed a unique style while pushing the boundaries of accessibility and musical genre. They have created a piece of art that is brimming with symbolism and underlying tensions, that seduces and scares in equal measure.