It’s been a crazy year, we’ve had to cancel album launches, Psychoberrie and the Doktor’s wedding and we didn’t get to tour the new album with the new ambitious show we had planned but on the plus side we’ve had some amazing feedback for the album, amazing support from our inmates old and new and the end of year awards were really the icing on the cake.
Thank you everyone that’s supported us!
Thank you Uber Rock, Moshville Times, Hard Rock Hell, Hard Rock Hell Radio, Fluid Mastering, Devolution Magazine, Burning Metal Irl ,Black diamond’s Metal Mayhem, Ever Metal, Metallum Sub Terra, TotalRock
Metalplanetmusic, Mayhem Radio ,Powerplay Rock and Metal Magazine for the New Year Honours
Isolated from toilet roll hoarders, and other pandemic related mischief, the inmates of Ward XVI were blissfully unaware of the chaos ensuring outside Whittingham…that was until they planned to escape and bring Psychoberrie’s latest confessional to the masses, where they found out that everyone else was isolating like they had been too. This vexed the inmates greatly as their bloodlust and hunger for new inmates had reached boiling point. To ward off further insanity, a couple of the inmates decided to break ranks and serenade you with 5 stripped down tracks to hypnotise and allure the unsuspected public, to ensure that they were lulled into a false sense of security believing that there was a new sensitive side to the inmate’s demeanour before all hell is unleashed and the Corridors of Whittingham Asylum’s Ward XVI is emptied.
“This over the top album ends with the mind blowing ‘Shadows’. It has the pomp and majesty of A Night At The Proms performance. It’s an all consuming black hole to finish off a faultless piece of work. It ebbs and flows like a heavier ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ beginning with gentle vocals, strings and laid back snare work as it builds to a crescendo of almost operatic majesty with guest vocals by Russ Custard from Footprints In The Custard. The final minute is a cathartic wall of noise that eases to a shimmering calm.”
I want to tell the story of how the lyrics to this song came about. This was one of the songs that had sat there there longest without me putting any lyrics to it. I’d tried on several occasions and I just couldn’t do it justice. I had an intro, nothing more.
My great Nana fell ill with Pneumonia and I went with my sister to see her in hospital. Unfortunately she died whilst we were both at her bedside and I came out of there kind of not knowing how to feel. What I’d witnessed was both beautiful and horrible at the same time, everything seemed very still and calm following her death but there was also a huge part of me that was angry at the way she’d been treated.
At some point in the week that followed I played the demo and recorded the vocals in one take, a lot of it I made up on the spot. I then went back later and recorded another vocal layer. I must stress that these lyrics are completely fictional, in no way relevant to the events that happened a few days prior but the emotion that was present I knew I could never capture that again, which worried me because I had to re-record this in the studio.
We got the first set of mixes back for the album and I listened through what I’d recorded in the studio for this track and I immediately said I didn’t like the vocals, the demo was just perfect. There were imperfections on the demo, I had a cold for one, my home recording mic isn’t very good, but there was no way I could capture that emotion again and I hadn’t, so we took the new vocals out and dropped the demo vocals in so what you hear on this track are the actual vocals I recorded that day alone, at home.
These lyrics genuinely disturb me. If there’s one song that makes you understand why Psychoberrie became so evil it’s this one.
Mister Babadook is the second single to be taken from Ward XVI’s forthcoming second album, ‘Metamorphosis’, which is released on the 25th September on Metal Rocka.
“The song centres around a young girl who is fighting to make rational the shadows that grow within the safety of her room. Each clap of thunder, creak of a floorboard or casting of a silhouette seems to develop its own sinister personality that threatens to engulf the sanctity and protection of an environment that should provide her with safety and peace. Could this be an ominous sign of darker things to come?
The video will have you checking under your bed at night and is as dark and every bit as scary as the monsters that lurk beneath.”
Ward XVI are proud to announce their signing to Metal Rocka Recordings, a sister label to Off Yer Rocka Records by Hard Rock Hell, releasing the first album on the label that was revealed earlier this year.
“We’ve been talking with the Label for several months about the next album and our vision, which we are very passionate about and absolutely want to surround ourselves with people who not only feel the same, but also how we can work together to push each other to another level. From early on we were encouraged by the passion and enthusiasm that John brought to the conversation, and his vision for where he wants to take Ward XVI.”
John Ellis, Director of Media, label, Chic Festival and Off Yer Rocka Recordings:
“It is with great pleasure that we can announce our first signing to Metal Rocka Recordings are the incredible Ward XVI. For the uninitiated, Ward XVI are a superb hard ’n’ heavy band from the north-west of England that expertly balance a perfect blend of rock with the theatrical beauty and intensity of your favourite classic metal bands.
The band have a stellar reputation as one of the UK’s best live acts and their shows are a sensual and frightening treat for the eyes and ears. Ward XVI’s first release for Metal Rocka Recordings is the follow up to the eagerly awaited and critically acclaimed to 2017’s “The Art Of Manipulation’,
Metal Rocka Recordings and Ward XVI cannot wait for you to hear the next chapter of Psychoberrie’s strange and terrifying tale, the album will be available on September 25th 2020!”
WARD XVI can also reveal details for their next album…
“We’re very excited to bring you the sequel to our debut with our second album, ‘Metamorphosis’, which continues the story from ‘The Art of Manipulation’, following a central character.
Our first album was released three years ago and we’ve been performing those songs for over five years, so we were desperate to get the next chapter written. We faced some challenges as a band due to touring and line-up changes and it became too difficult to sit and write and took longer than anticipated, so we removed ourselves from the normal gigging scene which felt a gamble at the time as it is easy to be forgotten, but it was a step that had to be taken to complete the writing.
We are a lot more confident about who we are with our sound and as a performing band compared to the first album, and as the line-up had changed somewhat, the decision-making process was much more straightforward, less forced and less stressful. The concept for a whole series of albums has been planned way before the release of our debut, and so writing and recording at home we were able to compose tracks that fit into the concept, and we were free to progress sonically without pressure – other than what we put on ourselves. We faced challenges head on and as a result we’re very excited to offer our inmates and new fans the next chapter.
Once the demos were complete, we again booked our time at Edge Recording Studios in Macclesfield to work with our producer-Mark Winterburn. This man is a genius and very much one of the band. He gets us, he’s not worried about challenging each of us or developing tangents to songs that we had not thought of. We were far more prepared for the studio this time around so it was more controlled and less stressful. The ‘Metamorphosis’ sessions took ten continual days of recording from around twelve hours a day to get wrapped up. It all seemed very natural and didn’t feel like 4 years had passed since we were last there. Unlike the ‘Art of Manipulation’ sessions, we had the bonus of not having to camp in beer gardens and car park floors for two weeks, as we had the baby with us.”
‘Metamorphosis’ will be the darkest but probably the most important piece of the jigsaw detailing the making of the serial killer we came to both love and fear during the first album. We’ve challenged ourselves musically and theatrically with this next release
Psychoberrie, Lead vocals.
Deep inside the walls of Whittingham Asylum, a new inmate is tortured mercilessly at the hands of those who keep her. Consumed by a ferocious rage, she succumbs to the comfort of insanity. What emerges from the shadows is more evil and profane than any of her tormentors could have imagined…
A mother’s love, formed in a haze of dolls and daisies, is blackened by merciless addiction. A little girl seeks protection from the broken and abandoned, anything to quell the monster that comes at night.
Corrupted by unspeakable cruelty, pious innocence undergoes a malevolent transformation. Experience the elation of a first kill and the debauchery that ensues, culminating in a desperate run from the law.
‘Metamorphosis’ challenges everything you think you know about the notorious fiend, Psychoberrie. Travel back to the very beginning and ask yourself: is evil born, or made?
Continuing our ethos of a close family, we invited some very special guests to perform on the album from our celebrity phone book:
John Badger (ex Impavidus) provided full drums for the album.
Martin Crawley – keys and accordion, also contributed to the first album.
Anabelle Iratni – We are lucky to have Anabelle from Devilment provide amazing vocals to a couple of songs. She’s been a friend and fellow inmate since Bloodstock 2017, it was insane to finally have her perform with us.
Russ Custard – Our great friend from Footprints in the Custard also provided some insane vocals on this album. He and his band have been great friends of ours and again it was fantastic to share something special to us with people who are special to us.
There are also other special guests but we have to keep that a secret for the time being. We have an amazing following of inmates who are as desperate to hear the next chapter, as are we to release and perform live on stage. The time is coming!
PRE-ORDER release info:
We have spent a considerable amount of time thinking about our pre-orders and the merchandise for ‘Metamorphosis’. We have a commitment and responsibility for the production to be the best product possible, not just as a physical music release but also live, so along with funding the costs of making the album further proceeds will be re-invested into developing our new stage show.
We are most excited with the bundles which offer inmates the option of new merchandise lines that not only match our show and theme. With another sneak peak at the concept of ‘Metamorphosis’, there will be tiered bundle options:
The painted lady
Bundle for the criminally insane
Within each there is an increase of the goodies included, of course, everyone will want the bundle for the criminally insane!
We also have on offer one (or two) off commissions of memorabilia that will be unique to the buyer. One such limited edition product is the opportunity to have your name scrawled onto the asylum wall within the booklet of the album, you’ll be officially labelled and accepted as an official Ward XVI inmate! This will only be available from until 1st August as a pre-order only, so don’t delay!
Preorders of the album and merchandise will be available from www.wardxvi.com.
Inmates new and old, you are to thank for this release. You spurred us on to continue at a time when we could’ve given up so we dedicate this release to you and the immense support you have given and continue to give and when this lockdown is finally over we promise to bring a new and exciting show to accompany a new album which we’re incredibly proud of.
All images please credit: Topher O’Meagher, Watchmaker Studios.
Ward XVI‘s second album ‘Metamorphosis‘ will be the first album released on Metal Rocka Recordings on 25th September 2020.