Detritus: Bristol-based thrash metal band make headway

Saturday 1st September 1990

Chambers Dictionary defines DETRITUS as 'an aggregate of loosened fragments, especially of rock'. It's also the name of one of Britain's brightest metal teams. Tony Cummings spoke to them.


Unless you've been part of a mosh you can't understand. It's not anger inside a mosh; it's a lot of fun, people having a good time. OK, so occasionally someone gets a bleeding nose. But when we play and a mosh gets up, I jump in there with em."

So says Mark Broomhead, lead singer and bassist with British metallers Detritus. Whether the whole of Christendom is ready for the crashing and bumping mawl of the mosh pit is possibly open to question. What isn't, is that Detritus, a crashing and thrashing four-piece have enough metal gig nouce to hold their own in pubs and clubs throughout the Bristol area.

Now having signed to Kingsway/ Edge Records and an appearance lined up at this year's Greenbelt, the band seem set to fulfil their ambition for fulltime music careers. Despite signing for a Christian record company they can't see themselves as a white metal band. Says Mark, "We've not really heard much US White Metal. It's just that three of the four of us are Christians and we write songs from a Christian viewpoint through not necessarily about God. We also steer clear of the 'dungeons and dragons, doom and gloom" type of thing. We concentrate on topical and social issues such as abortion, the state of the world, rape. But we also do songs about the Lord's second coming."

The band's career started in a small club under a Bristol pub in March 1989. In less than a year the group - Mark Broomhead (18), lead vocals and bass: Andrew Neal (18), guitar; Paul Newington Wise (18), guitar and Andy Bright (17), drums - had won a 'Battle Of The Bands' at the Bristol Bierkeller,

Bristol's biggest rock club and had been described by Andy Fox. Manager of the Beirkeller as "the best metal band to come out of Bristol in the last two and a half years." Plenty of hard gigging followed, playing support to current metal bands like Acid Reign, Slammer. Celtic Frost and Death Angel.

Daring to go where most Christians fear to tread has brought its share of misunderstanding among Christians as Andrew Neal comments: "I met a street evangelist the other day who was trying to convert me. He thought I was full of demons. When I told him I played in a metal band he said "why am I doing the Devil a service by using his music?'

"I tried to tell him that it wasn't his music and that the Devil only stole it but the bloke wouldn't listen. Our songs are influenced by God's word instead of satanic metal."

The band's five-track demo shows a wide range of influences taking in strait ahead metal to, in their own words, "thrash with melodic influences".

There's even a hilarious Napalm Death parody called "Banana Riotz". Whether that makes it on to their Kingsway/Edge album which they start recording in October remains to be seen. What is clear is that the band have the versatility to play a youth mission - they recently shared a platform with some far from heavy heads like Martyn Joseph and Lovelight - as well as a booze'n' mosh pit pub. No mean feat. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
About Tony Cummings
Tony CummingsTony Cummings is the music editor for Cross Rhythms website and attends Grace Church in Stoke-on-Trent.


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