Background information
Origin Nottingham, England
Genres Drone Doom, Sludge Metal, Doom Metal
Years active 2012 - Present
Labels Tartarus, At War With False Noise
Associated acts Megalodoom, Monoliths, Nadir, Vile Creature, Diet Pills, Spore
Website Bismuth Facebook
Current members Tanya

Bismuth are a sludge/doom duo from Nottingham, active since 2012. They are best known for having a massive bass tone complimented by thundering drums and harrowing vocals. The band's themes delve into the human condition, misanthropy and ecological/environmental awareness, notably 2018's The Slow Dying of The Great Barrier Reef expanding on these themes to critical praise. The band has cited Asva and Khanate, along with other slow and loud influences.

Since their inception they have released two full-length records and a host of other releases, managing to tour Europe on several occasions and performing at several marquee festivals such as Incubate, Roadburn Festival and DesertFest London among others.

Bismuth's name stems from a chemical element with the symbol Bi and atomic number 83. It is a pentavalent post-transition metal and one of the pnictogens with chemical properties resembling its lighter homologs arsenic and antimony. Bismuth as an element is also notable as it decays via alpha decay with a half-life more than a billion times the estimated age of the universe.

History[edit | edit source]

Bismuth formed in early 2012 as a duo when both Tanya Byrne and Joe Rawlings were both looking for a new band to play in after their respective bands broke up, as explained in an interview with Scapegoat:

“(Tanya) I was in a band called Diet Pills and we finished. And I just put an ad up in a practice space saying "looking for drummer who plays really slowly" and that was it.

(Joe) And I replied to it. The band I was in previously, Spore, they just finished as well. So you could say it was a good time. Around 2011.

(Tanya, on meeting) I don't want anyone else in the band. Like, I just wanted two people because it's much easier. I think the advert was just "SLOW".

(Joe) And when we met up we were both wearing the same Om t-shirt so I guess we were both on the same wavelength.”

— Bismuth, Scapegoat [1]

Bismuth's debut show would take place on 27 April at The Sumac Centre in Nottingham.[2] On 8 July the band released their first EP/Single The Eternal Marshes with a cassette release following that October. The band would spend 2013 playing around at various gigs and sharing the stage with the likes of Purson, Conan, Moss and Windhand among others. The same year the band would release a split with the band Undersmile.

Bismuth would start 2014 with an appearance at Doom For The Doomed Festival along with a tour entitled Dutch Collapse 2014, notably with a fill-in drummer named Henry for the Dutch shows.[3]. Along with more frequent shows the band began work on their first full-length album. Unavailing would be released on 25 November 2016 with later issues on vinyl and cassette along with a tour of Europe in April.

In November 2016 the band began recording new material[4] and performing gigs into 2017, debuting new songs such as "Ceres".[5] In early 2018 the duo would announce a tour with Primitive Man (Including an appearance at DesertFest London) and a second album in the works.

On 27 September 2018, it would be announced that Bismuth's second studio album would be entitled The Slow Dying of The Great Barrier Reef and be released on 2 November via different labels. The Slow Dying of The Great Barrier Reef is conceptualized on climate change and the drastic effects on The Great Barrier Reef in recent years.[6][7] The theme of this second album is in climate change and humanity's inaction as indicated by an interview via Distorted Sound Magazine:

“(On the album title and it's themes) It’s more of an allegory really, because obviously climate change is a massive issue that loads of governments seem to be ignoring and are actively just trying to blame each other rather than working together. People need to work together to tackle this issue and they’re not. The collapse of ecosystems is a massive marker that something is going wrong. This ecosystem that’s been around for millions of years is now dying off in very large sections and it’s terrifying.

(On direct influence) One main things was that I study at Lancaster University and one of my colleagues wrote a very sad paper about the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef, and she’s got a good quote; because David Attenborough was trying to be really hopeful about it and trying to convince people that “if we work together it will all be okay” but she’s got a more nihilistic view that’s “dead coral don’t spawn”. So that was quite an intense influence for me.”

— Tanya Byrne, Distorted Sound Magazine [8]

Bismuth would follow up with two performances at Roadburn Festival and a host of other shows in support of the new album. On 20 August 2019 it would be announced that Bismuth would be returning to Roadburn in April 2020 for a one-time collaborative set with Vile Creature entitled A Hymn of Loss and Hope.[9] On 10 December 2019 the band would announce a 2020 UK tour alongside Body Void. The band would also announce that they had signed with Prosthetic Records for a forthcoming third album.[10] The band's Roadburn appearance would be canceled once the festival re-scheduled to 2021 amid the CO-VID19 pandemic.

Discography[edit | edit source]

Studio Albums[edit | edit source]

  • Unavailing (2015, Tartarus)
  • The Slow Dying of The Great Barrier Reef (2018, Tartarus; Dry Cough; Medusa Crush; Rope or Guillotine)
  • TBA (TBA, Prosthetic Records)

Live Albums[edit | edit source]

  • Live at SOAN 25​/​07​/​2014 (2014, Independent)
  • Live at SOAN 18/12​/​2015 (2015, Independent)
  • Live at the Meatlocker / Leeds 260617 (2017, Independent)

Misc. Releases[edit | edit source]

  • The Eternal Marshes (EP) (2012, Tartarus)
  • Undersmile/Bismuth (Split with Undersmile) (2013, Tartarus)
  • Gnaw Their Tongues & Bismuth (Split with Gnaw Their Tongues) (2017, Tartarus)
  • Legion of Andromeda / Bismuth (Split with Legion of Andromeda) (2018, At War With False Noise)
  • In Tenebris Lux (Collaboration with Vile Creature) (2020, Independent)

Members[edit | edit source]

  • Tanya Byrne - Bass, Vocals (2012 - Present)
  • Joe Rawlings - Drums (2012 - Present)

Tours[edit | edit source]

  • Bismuth & Ghold Weekend Tour (With Ghold) (2013)[11]
  • Dutch Collapse 2014 (2014)
  • Ommadon / Bismuth (2016)
  • End Times: Summer XXVII (With Ommadon) (2017)[12]
  • Primitive Man & Bismuth Tour 2018 (With Primitive Man) (2018)[13]
  • Vile Creature & Bismuth UK Tour (With Vile Creature) (2018)
  • Body Void & Bismuth UK/Ireland Tour (With Body Void) (2020)[14]

External Links[edit | edit source]

Official Links[edit | edit source]

Archival Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Scapegoat via YouTube Scapegoat Interview - Bismuth - Dreadfest, accessed 22 October 2019
  2. Bismuth's FacebookAccessed 6 March 2017
  3. Merchants of Air
  4. Bismuth FacebookAccessed 6 March 2017
  5. YouTubeAccessed 6 March 2017
  6. The Obelisk
  7. CVLT Nation
  8. Distorted Sound Magazine INTERVIEW: Bismuth, accessed 22 October 2019
  9. Roadburn Facebook
  10. Bismuth Facebook
  11. Bismuth Facebook
  12. FacebookAccessed 27 May 2017
  13. Bismuth FacebookAccessed 21 February 2018
  14. Prosthetic Records Facebook


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