Spinning unforgettable lore through sweeping clean vocals, crushing hardcore bludgeoning, and dynamic metallic proficiency, the metallic guild of Paul Lierman, Joseph Sammuel, Codi Chambers, Tyler Eads, Nathan Kane and Thomas Barham built towards this moment on their 2015 independent debut Castle in the Clouds and its 2017 follow-up Lost City. Integrating immersive fantasy into a hybrid of metal, deathcore, and alternative, they have carved out a singular niche.
After tallying 5 million independent streams, the band brings its initial trilogy full circle in 2020 on Valley of Kings.
It’s like Journey to the Center of the Earth meets The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring with a tragic twist at the end,” explains Paul. “Our first three releases fold into each other. Castle in the Clouds took place in a sky landscape. Lost City was Atlantis-style with an ocean. Valley of Kings is underground.
It’s a triad of earth, sky, and water. This record is more adventurous. We knew what fantasy elements we wanted to incorporate and how to incorporate them. The story really speaks through the music.
Sheldon Ang speaks with clean vocalist Tyler Eads of The Wise Man’s Fear in a conversation that resembles that of writers festival session, as we need to remind our readers not to confuse the band from Indiana with the fantasy novel of the same name by Patrick Rothfuss!
Sheldon: How’s the reception of the latest album?
Tyler: Yeah, it’s been great man. We dropped the album on Friday and the reception has been crazy right now so it is encouraging despite other pandemic that’s going on now. And we weren’t sure how it would go with the release.
Sheldon: It seems like you guys have a cult-like fans.
Tyler: Absolutely (Chuckles), we do have a strong fanbase that goes all the way back to “Castle in the Clouds” (first album) that launched this trilogy which runs to the Valley of Kings (third album). I know we couldn’t really lay the groundwork with the community back in the Castle days. Obviously Facebook back then was almost a wild card… we were messaging them on Facebook, and we were holding conversation with them, and we wouldn’t just message them and bail out. As we take our time with them, and with those with have stuck with us since day one.
Sheldon: Did the band plan this Trilogy from the start at high level since 2014?
Tyler: Yes, the drummer Paul is our writer and the the concept creator since “Castle in the Clouds”. And we weren’t sure how many albums that we want to go with initially and we didn’t know if it would be a trilogy or just one or two albums and it wasn’t until The Lost City that we knew we would do the third trilogy. So it was on second album that we decided to do a third one.
Sheldon: Are you able to give us a synopsis of the trilogy?
Tyler: Yeah sure! Although this is something that Paul should be telling, so I hope I don’t mess this up. So the trilogy self is called Codex. There are five characters and there is this relic that they are aware of… containing dark power that bought famine and destruction to the land that they are living in, So much of their life quest is to find this relic and destroy it…but the relics is located in the Valley of Kings, and this location is off the grid and nobody knows where it is. So they’ve kind of headed that way and a trilogy itself has an overarching theme and pours into the overall picture of birth, life and death…and rebirth. And what this story is telling is men seeking power…and that power moves them into destruction… and then we moved into the cycles of rising and falling…. So that’s the overall theme.
So with “Castle in the Clouds” (first album) that is man versus environment, as this one is seeking out in search of power. “The Lost City” (second album) is man versus man, and this a lot of conflict. There is a lot of lyrical, self-dialogue and internal dialogue, and a lot of these nights, I can go crazy in trying to find this relic. And mentally they are losing it a bit and a lot of them are internal conflicts as well
Sheldon: So I suppose they can be listened as a stand-alone album without losing the plot.
Tyler: Well they’re in this Universe and they are meant to feed of each other. It is meant to have this perpetual cycle of life, so you are right, can go in any order although technically we released in “The Lost City” – they can be put in any order.
Sheldon: There are eleven songs in the Valley of the Kings. Does each song represent a chapter like in a book?
Tyler: Yeah definitely each song of represent a location or a struggle….
Sheldon: It feels like I am talking in a book festival here it is so awesome
Tyler: (Chuckles) It does!
Sheldon: I’d imagine that would have been a lot of research conducted to ensure that each warrior is represented correctly, given their philosophical names.
Tyler: Yes absolutely. Paul is the one they got us this trilogy, and he got us into Patrick Rothfuss and I know all of us have read them…and with that we are geeks into that sort of environment. So we were intentional (in the lyrics and music) but at the same time we want to be authentic. He’s the conductor and he definitely did the research.
Sheldon: You’re the clean vocals and Joseph does the growls. Do you guys represent specific warriors? Or intertwine?
Tyler: Yes that’s a really good question. I would say ninety nine percent of the time we are all over. But the previous album I will say, for example, if there is a love interest, it would be represented by the clean vocals. Good question.
Sheldon: So what’s next? A fourth trilogy?
Tyler: Absolutely we’ve been talking about the layout of the next trilogy and we are not sure if it will be a concept. But it would be a fantasy driven concept and although it might be a separate from this trilogy and it might be a big tie, but I don’t want to give away too much because it is still in the concept right now. But there’s gonna be referencing to the universe which Codex is in. So yeah this is where we are going conceptually…
Sheldon: Any plans to come to Australia?
Tyler: Man Thad be dream. We’d love to come to Australia.
Sheldon: And let’s have a beer when you do.
Tyler: Man, that’d would be great.