It’s time for some filthy rock ‘n’ roll, and when I say filthy, I mean trawled through the blackened murky waters of Austin, TX. Black ‘n’rollers Death Motif have their second EP underway, and The Water drags the listener to further depths than their début A Filthy Crown

Death Motif Album


The trio claim influences from High On Fire, Immortal and Rush, and the resulting concoction speaks to varying degrees of each of these influences. There’s the undeniable dissonance of the famed Norwegian black metal scene, seen through a disjointed and progressive prism like Rush’s finest hour. Meanwhile, there’s the riff factor: second track “His And Hers” has dirty, potent riffs and solos not unlike those which have escaped Matt Pike’s fingers. “Our process is heavily collaborative, and we focus primarily on performance in the classical sense; we don’t strive for clinical cleanliness but try to rip our guts out and show them to everybody every time we play.”

Meanwhile, the vocals are in a world of their own: snarling and beastly, they weave a dark poetry of storytelling. “We’ve come to balance our vocals a lot so that there is not necessarily a lead vocalist.” The lyrics are a mystery, slightly unfolded by this revealing quote: “We focus on narratives about death, sadness, and darkness, often pulled from real life examples.” For example, “His and Hers” is based loosely on the murder of a high school friend of of Andy’s that happened last year.

The new EP was recorded by Paul White, whose credits include the live Nautkicker release, at The Fathom Tree in their hometown of Austin. “I want to make sure that we mention The Fathom Tree, because Paul really bent over backwards to help us get the record finished. Paul rules.”

RIYL: Glorior Belli, High On Fire, Regarde Les Hommes Tomber


Death Motif are a dirty black ‘n’ roll band from Austin, Texas, who formed in the tail end of 2012 with Ryan Chamberlain from Lions Of Tsavo, who recorded and mixed their début EP. Since then they’ve been on a steady rise through the scene, playing shows with Primitive Man and an upcoming show with Today Is The Day and Abigail Williams. Their second EP, The Water, is just around the corner, recorded at Studio 57 and with Paul White of The Fathom Tree at the mixing helm, and Donner Maldonado engineering it. Things are looking bright for Death Motif, despite the murky half-light in which their music revels.

All songs performed by Death Motif.

Recorded in December 2014-January 2015 at Studio 57 in Austin, TX.
Engineered by Donner Maldonado, Paul White, Evan Wynn, and Chris Patmon
Mixed by Paul White at The Fathom Tree
Mastered by Jack Control at Enormous Door
Album artwork by Victoria Bonney

Death Motif are: 

Andy Bonney, guitar and vocals
Donner Maldonado, bass and vocals
Nikos Riekstins, drums

Death Motif online: