One of the more recent demos to get a ton of play at No Echo HQ, aka my house, has been Balmora's With Thorns of Glass and Petals of Grief.
Formed in April of 2022, Balmora hails from Connecticut, but there's a strong '90s European metalcore and melodic black metal feel to what the quintet is doing, at least to my ears. The speedy twin-guitar parts and breaks especially conjure that sonic spirit. H8000 also comes to mind when I listen to the demo.
Since I was curious about the group, I spoke with Balmora vocalist Senti about their sound and local scene in Connecticut.
When I listen to With Thorns of Glass and Petals of Grief, I hear elements of everything from H8000 to modern metalcore to classic Euro metal within the songwriting DNA.
We pull influence from all over the place, to be honest. A lot of Connecticut bands are to thank for our sound, including Laid 2 Rest, Nientara, and Invocation of Nehek. Outside of Connecticut, we're directly inspired by bands like It Dies Today, Atreyu, Dissection, The Black Dahlia Murder, Prayer for Cleansing, and From Here On.
Some lyricists I'm personally influenced by are Matt Skiba (Alkaline Trio), J.R. Hayes (Pig Destroyer), David Anthem (Prayer for Cleansing), and Aaron Stainthorpe (My Dying Bride).
What are some of the lyrical themes you tackle on the EP? How does the band’s straight edge stance inform the songwriting?
The lyrics deal with the classic themes of depression, suicide, love, death, grief, and things like that. The songs have a much more personal meaning and we're written about my experiences, but those are the general topics.
The demo's lyrics don't really touch on straight edge themes, but the new songs will.
How have the live shows been so far? I’m seeing that you’re playing on mixed bills alongside hardcore bands of various styles. How have those crowds reacted to Balmora’s style?
The shows have been insane. Our first show was at the Ephyra Showcase, and we played to 150 people packed inside of a 75 cap VFW hall (RIP Wamleg). It was so sick to see people dancing and spinkicking to the piano intro. That really set the tone for all sets that came after.
Despite Balmora playing metalcore music, we are at heart a hardcore band. Does that make sense? We come from hardcore, and will always be about hardcore. I've said it before and will continue saying it: Balmora supports and encourages violent dancing.
How is your local scene doing right now? From what I've been seeing on social media, it seems like Connecticut is killing it right now.
The scene in Connecticut is thriving again. So many kids started coming to shows again, and I'm starting to see more returning faces than not. Especially on the dance floor. Next step is these kids need to start bands. If any kids from Connecticut are reading this, now's the time to start that band you've been thinking about.
Some bands from New England to keep an eye on, in my opinion would be: Wreckage, Adrienne, Broken Vow, A Thief's Blade, Farewell Sarathael, Opposition, Ultimatum, Centralya, Montclair, and Catalyst.
What are some of your immediate future plans for Balmora going into the fall and winter?
We have three new songs that we'll be releasing in the fall. We're going down to Florida for Equinox Fest before doing a small northeast tour. Then, to start off 2024, we're playing FYA Fest.
With Thorns of Glass and Petals of Grief is available now digitally via Ephyra.
Balmora on social media: Instagram