ROX Radio


Saturday, June 20, 2020

Incoming: Scrollkeeper

Scrollkeeper finished its full length album, titled “Auto da Fe” in May 2020. The LP was engineered by Alexander K., with drums sessions taking place at Francisco’s Studios and the rest of recording at Nocturnal Sound. The LP was again mixed by Ricardo Camargo (TidalWAV Studios, Queens, NY) and mastered by Alexander K. (Nocturnal Sound, Houston). Cover artwork is by Last Light Designs.



Music: Alexander Kamburov
COVID-19 social isolation brought Alex back to the classical guitar, and thus this intro was born. The ending was written to merge into Lady Death.

Lyrics: Justin McKittrick
Music: Alexander Kamburov
Alex draws inspiration from foreign films, thus Lady Death began as a concept after he watched “Battle for Sevastopol”, a 2015 Ukrainian/Russian movie about the female sniper Lyudmila Pavlichenko, credited with 309 kills during WWII. Most of the arrangement and music came quickly after he wrote the “Russian patriotic” lick, which is a recurrent motif throughout the song. Justin’s lyrics present a first- person account of a sniper’s actions and thoughts, as she stalks her prey in the Eastern theater of WWII. The song is also unique, as it is the sole track in which Justin is explicitly taking the role of a female character. Recording for this tune happened quite fast and Lady Death became the first single off the upcoming LP, released in the Summer of 2019.

Lyrics: Alexander Kamburov, Justin McKittrick, Andrew Sutton
Music: Alexander Kamburov
This track really came together after Simon and Alex went to see Amon Amarth. The band was kicking around some ideas, but seeing the show gave impetus to this song’s Viking theme. The lyrics to Valhalla’s Gate became a joint effort between Alex, Justin and Andrew. The themes of the song are valor and martial bravery in Viking age culture. For the second and third verses, the band decided to turn attention to later military heroes of Swedish history. The second verse focuses upon King Gustavus Adolphus who had a string of stunning victories in the 30 Years War, before falling in battle at Lützen. The third verse concerns Swedish forces that are currently serving on peace keeping missions in Northern Mali.

Lyrics: Simon Marfleet
Music: Alexander Kamburov
This is the band’s namesake song and one of the first tracks written by the band back in 2016! It is a bit of an anomaly as it is currently the only fantasy/sci-fi themed song in the band’s repertoire. The lyrics provide the backstory and origin of the Scrollkeeper, who was meant to be a shadowy (possibly female) figure, shaping events throughout time in order to influence the course of human civilization.

Lyrics and music: Alexander Kamburov
This song originally started as a concept based on the TV series “El capitán Alatriste”and it is about the Spanish Inquisition. The title, “Auto da Fe” (“Test of Faith”) was a ritual of public penance carried out in the fifteenth to nineteenth centuries, where condemned heretics and apostates were publicly punished by the authorities. It’s most extreme form was death by burning. The riffs came together rather fast. This is also the first Scrollkeeper song to feature an extended bass solo.

Lyrics: Justin McKittrick
Music: Alexander Kamburov
This slower and doomier piece is Alex’s nod to Black Sabbath. Justin obliged with equally dark lyrics about Baron Gilles De Rais, a French knight and military leader who served alongside Joan of Arc during the 100 Years War. After the termination of English occupation and the end of the war, Giles devolved into life dissipation. He squandered his family’s wealth and reveled in excess and eccentricity, eventually even turning to the occult. He was accused, tried and sentenced for abducting local peasant children in order to torture and kill them in attempts to summon demons.

Lyrics: Justin McKittrick
Music: Alexander Kamburov
The music for this song originally came out from a long standing practice joke of “stump the drummer”. Alex reached deep into his Bulgarian ethnic roots and played some 7/8 odd rhythms. It was only fitting to tag on some faster speed metal riffs on to this. Despite his name being invoked in the title, this one has nothing to do with good Ol’ Scratch. Considering the jagged odd rhythm theme, Justin felt that mathematics was a fitting theme. The lyrics are about the feud between Sir Isaac Newton and Leibniz over which of the two should be credited with the development of calculus. The lyrics present a first- person perspective, but leave the door open to speculation as to which of the two luminaries in question is providing the narrative.

Lyrics: Simon Marfleet, Justin McKittrick
Music: Alexander Kamburov
This track is a lyrical collaboration between Simon and Justin. It’s another tale of bloodshed and battle, but this time taking place in modern times. The song is essentially about terrorist groups and the difficulty faced in attempting to eradicate them. This is one of the first songs written by the band, somewhere in early 2017.

Lyrics and music: Alexander Kamburov
This song essentially became the band’s first “ballad”. The lyrics are in majority inspired by the German movie “Wir Sind Die Nacht”. It tells the story from the eye of a serial killer prowling the streets of Berlin, and the internal struggle between their dark desires and the hunger to kill.

Lyrics and music: Alexander Kamburov
The idea for this song came during a band hang at one of the band’s favorite pubs, Neil’s. While enjoying some local brews, the topic of discussion focused on “most metal moments in European History”. Alex offered the story of “the Battle of Varbitsa Pass” (811), where the superior army of Nicephorous is ambushed and cornered in Vrbitsa Pass. In the early morning hours, the up to then triumphant Byzantine army is brutally slaughtered by the avenging Bulgarian forces. Khan Krum, the Bulgarian ruler at the time, had Nicephorous decapitated and his head made into a goblet from which he drank during State dinners. Maybe not the most “metal” moment in European history, but definitely up there!

Lyrics: Justin McKittrick
Music: Alexander Kamburov
This song provides a first-person historical perspective, this time through the eyes of William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings. It’s no coincidence that Justin’s lyrics deal with historical themes, as he has a degree in History and is a teacher by day. His focus in college was on medieval history and the Normans in particular, hence a triumphant song about William the Conqueror. On this song the band successfully merges several different metal subgenres, thrash metal verses flow into a traditional metal chorus; death metal break turns into fast guitar harmonies in homage to the best of NWOBHM.

Music and lyrics: Blackie Lawless (Steven Duren)
W.A.S.P. is one of the “hair” bands that Scrollkeeper happened to be all fans of. This is one of the band’s
favorite songs, and it has been a staple in live repertoire since the formation of the band.

Check out this video!



Scrollkeeper are a Traditional Heavy Metal band from Houston , Texas that specializes in high energy, anthemic original material that is reminiscent of Metal's halcyon days. After a revolving door of guitarists, the core of the band, consisting of Simon Marfleet on drums, Justin McKittrick on vocals, and Alexander Kamburov on guitar solidified in November 2016. Soon after, in early 2017 Scrollkeeper recorded its first EP “Fortune Favors the Bold. The song “ Surrender ” was selected for the “ Doomed and Stoned in Texas ” compilation, featuring Solitude Aeturnus , deadhorse and other Texas bands with proceeds going towards hurricane relief. Check it out HERE .
The band’s EP secured them a spot as support act for Delain and Hammerfall in June 2017. The rest of the year, Scrollkeeper shared the stage with Manilla Road and continued to play local shows and festivals. In 2018 Scrollkeeper opened up for Dirkschneider , Cloven Hoof , Angra and played a myriad of local shows, including benefit concert for Bruce Corbitt (Rigor Mortis, Warbeast) . The band recorded their second EP, " Path to Glory " at Sound Arts Studios and Nocturnal Sound Studios (Houston, TX) in September 2018, engineered by Brian Baker and the band's guitarist, Alexander K . The EP was mixed and mastered by Ricardo Camargo @ Tidalwav Studios , Queens, New York. German illustrator Helge C. Balzer provided the artwork. With “Path to Glory” Scrollkeeper made headway into select US music markets, their music currently being sold in Oregon, California, Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. The EP is also sold in the EU by German indie label Underground Power Records . "Path to Glory" is available on most streaming platforms ( Bandcamp , Amazon , iTunes , Google Play , etc.). 2019 started in support of British heavy metal veterans Saxon , Canadian thrash legends Voivod , Enforcer , Warbringer and B.T.R . on their tour stops in Houston, TX. The band also played a second benefit show for the family of Bruce Corbitt , alongside Houston metal luminaries, such as James Rivera (Helstar) . After fulfilling their show obligations for 2019, the band decided to continue recording as a trio, with Alex also recording bass for the majority of the record. Andrew Sutton ( Descent Into Madness, MercenaryX ) joined on bass in January 2020, and is featured on “Gilles de Rais” and “Valhalla’s Gates”.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi and thanks for your input!


God Is An Astronaut release new album Embers

  GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT  has mesmerized audiences worldwide with their distinctive sonic tapestry both in dynamic live performances and throug...