Darkest Era Reveal Process Behind 'The Last Caress of Light' -- Video Premiere
The follow-up to the 2010's 'The Oaks Session' EP, 'The Last Caress of Light' is an epic, powerful and evocative album that explores universal themes of struggle and conflict. The title comes not from Metallica's cover of the Misfits' 'The Last Caress,' but from the closing cut of the record, 'The Last Caress of Light Before the Dark.'
"I suppose the song is microcosmic of the themes and lyrical threads running through the album," guitarist Ade Mulgrew told Noisecreep. "It's an album which explores the turning of the tides of the world in various contexts. Among other things, it's about strength battling against weakness -- about inward reflection and how we choose to deal with fate. The title conjures up a kind of imagery which is representative of this."
While Darkest Era have been inspired by Celtic mythology and folk metal since they formed in 2005, working the scenic Welsh vistas near Fielding's studio set the perfect mood for the record.
"We had a fantastic view of the valley below, and it was incredibly windswept and scenic," Mulgrew said. "The nearest village was five miles away, so we were really isolated and there was nothing to do but soak up the atmosphere and work on the music. I remember sitting on the lawn for an entire morning, trying to write lyrics without inspiration.
"I was about to give up and go back inside when a storm came rolling over the mountain and enveloped the whole valley. I found shelter as the rain fell down and wrote the words for a whole song in five minutes."
During the two weeks Darkest Era spent in Wales, they recorded multiple takes of the eight songs on the record -- many of which feature demanding musicianship and challenging vocals. Toward the end of the session, Krum started losing his voice, which caused tension, since the band worked under a strict deadline. Even so, Darkest Era found some time to goof off and even almost destroy the place.
"We almost burned the cottage down whilst trying to kill wasps with a lighter and a can of deodorant. And we did a terribly drunken acoustic Christian rock-style spoof of [Iron Maiden's] 'Number of the Beast,'" Mulgrew said. "Also, we did a whole bunch of King Diamond-style falsetto harmonies for a laugh, and one of them actually sneaked onto the album.
"There was also the realization during mixing that we had somehow forgotten to record one of the guitar solos, so we had to wake [guitarist Sarah Weighell] up at 4 AM to record it while half asleep. Another producer would've freaked out, but Chris was totally cool."