INTERVIEW: Kym, Adrian and Grant – Executus

Interview by Dan Catania


Dan talked to Kym, Adrian and Grant from Adelaide-based metal band, Executus about their latest release “The Black Throne Of Chaos Abandoned”,  future plans and more…

Metal-Roos: Thank you for dropping for a chat with Metal-Roos. How are you doing? Congratulations on the release of the debut album “The Black Throne of Chaos Abandoned”. How exciting is it to finally get the material out there?

Adrian: We are doing well thank you. A little busy given the holiday season, but well nonetheless. We are extremely excited to have our album “The Black Throne of Chaos” out there. It has been in the works for several years now, and it was great to see all our efforts come together in the way that it did.

Metal-Roos: How was the feeling to also hear the reaction/feedback once it was released? Knowing all the efforts to go through to put this record out there?

Adrian:  It is exciting to see such positivity from the listeners so far. We are blown away with all the great comments and love people are giving for not just individual tracks, but the album overall.

From a musician’s perspective, just having people listen to our album is all we could have asked for. To see people writing comments like “OMG guys, the whole album was awesome! I’ve already started recommending it all over.” and “this is fu*king unbelievable, this has brutality, melodies, maiden-like twin guitars, wow, I`m speechless, luv it”, is icing on the cake.

Despite its late release on December 4, it has also managed to work its way into the Top 10 album released of 2023 for several podcasters, YouTubers, and Radio Stations. Which is absolutely incredible and more than what we could have hoped for.

Metal-Roos: I had a chance to listen to “The Black Throne of Chaos Abandoned”. I was blown away by the songwriting arrangements. The dynamics of the music is thought out. My favourite tracks were “Executus Rising” “The Haunter of the Dark” and “The World’s Grave” Were there any particular song(s) that stood out to you that turned out great in this record?

Kym: This is a tough question to answer, as each song has its own unique quality that makes it stand out for individual reasons. We do love the ones you mention. There are however three songs which in our minds stand out due to this.

Firstly, our single release entitled ‘Invocation of the Abyss’ we love due to its raw energy and guitar riffs, providing what is probably the closest mix to the blackened-thrash genre on the album. Personally, it is also one of my favourite solos on the album – Adrian.

Secondly, we love ‘Provoke not your Children to Wrath’. Overall, it has a great flow and a very catchy vocal chorus hook, thanks to Kym and Grant. We also feel the lead guitar with several harmonies, along with great vocals combine to create an emotional rise fitting for the conclusion of an epic battle.

Lastly, we also love ‘The World’s Grave’. It has that classic 80s-style rock n roll guitar drive mixed with some lead guitar licks which just leaves you banging your head.

But, as I mentioned previously, we love them all.

Metal-Roos: What are the musical influences for Executus with the band’s songwriting creativity?

Kym:  Musical influences for Executus are a bit varied. Lead guitarist Adrian grew up listening to the classic Metallica, Iron Maiden and Megadeth trio which is why you can probably hear a lot of those influences in the solos. Rhythm guitarist and vocalist Grant with bassist Kym are both heavily influenced by Sepultura, Immortal, and other black metal bands. For drummer Francis, this is power metal.

So our music we feel is a real mix of all these various styles and for this album, naturally converged into the blackened-thrash style you hear.

Metal-Roos: Can you extend the meaning and the concept of the idea of the debut album?

Grant: Growing up, Kym and I both loved playing games such as World of Warcraft and Dungeons and Dragons. This coupled with a captivation of science fiction, earlier typified by the writing of a demo track ‘Omnipotent’ (re-recorded as a bonus track on this album), provided inspiration to create our own lore for this album.

Without giving away too much information, as we want each listener to explore and experience the journey at hand, the album explores the rise and potential fall of two extra-dimensional and omnipotent beings. We portray ourselves ‘Executus’ as a band of space fairing mercenary Vikings who take it upon themselves to save the universe and humanity along with it.

Metal-Roos: The album cover work is beautiful by the way mate. From looking at the cover for me it’s clear this album is gonna be a battle against this demon. Which is reflective of the album. How was your reaction when you saw the artwork for it?

Kym: Thanks! We wanted the artwork to depict the moment Azathoth emerges from the astral gateway, which happens around track 5, for those playing along at home. We got in touch with an Aussie artist named Scotty Bates who has done work for bands like Slaughter To Prevail and Aborted and seemed to have a healthy appreciation for sci-fi. At the time we only had a handful of songs, and this was intended to be an EP. But we were so blown away by the artwork he sent us, it inspired us to make it a full album.

Metal-Roos: I want to drive in with the fun part of the record. I personally love the guitar tones in that record. From rhythm to the leads. The solos also stand out. What tools did the band use to create the tones in this record?

Adrian: For the guitars, we wanted to create a very natural tone, driven mostly by the capabilities of the amplifiers we play live with. The tone created on the lead guitar is the output of an MI Audio Megalith Gamma head running through a 2×12 orange cab. We also have a small amount of reverb provided by an old Zoom G2.1u pedal. Grant runs his rhythm guitar output from his Orange Duel Dark Terror head also through the same cab. A Tube Screamer pedal also tightens up the tone.

But, without a good sound engineer, you can still produce an awful recorded tone. So a quick shout out to Andy Kite at Against the Grain Studio for working with us to create the great sound you hear. Not to mention Ryan from Emmisary Studios on his great mastering.

Metal-Roos: Executus is based in Adelaide. Can you describe how the metal scene vibes in your neck of the woods?

Adrian: The metal scene in Adelaide is fantastic. Regarding bands, the level of quality and musicianship down here is absolutely unbelievable, especially given the small population of roughly 1 million people. I strongly encourage anyone around the world looking to listen to Australian heavy metal bands, to explore those from South Australia.

Metal-Roos: We will be moving in 2024 real soon. What plans does Executus have in store? Are there any gigs in store or will the band be looking at writing new material?

Grant: In 2024 we hope to start writing more tunes for our next concept album. It is still early days, however.

One exciting piece of news is that our drummer Francis will be welcoming a little girl roughly by April. As a result, no gigs have been scheduled for the first few months of the year. But who knows, we love to play live and would like nothing more than to play this album in its entirety for everyone out there.

Metal-Roos: Finally congratulations on the debut album “The Black Throne of Chaos Abandoned” I highly recommend listening to it. Was a joy to listen to the music. Is there anything you want to say to the fans and supporters out there?

Kym: We’d say just give it a spin. We are proud of this album and the songs within it and do think there is a bit of something for everyone who loves rock through to metal.

Thanks, Dan for putting together this interview, we appreciate it. To everyone else reading this…. happy holidays and have a happy new year. Stay metal \m/