Meet the Maggots: Heriot Join The Metallic Hardcore Renaissance, Ushering A Fresh Take on the Genre

Heriot came seemingly out of nowhere and took 2022 by storm with their album Profound Morality. Very few bands can capture the metal audience and make everyone lose their minds in the way the UK metallic hardcore outfit has. Their distinguished and crushing new take on metallic hardcore, that is equal parts scortching mania and gripping melancholy set the metal world ablaze.

After dropping singles here and there starting in 2020 with “Cleansed Existence” expectations for the band’s EP were high. Heriot ended up blowing well past everyone’s preconceived notions of metallic hardcore with their unsettling and sinister mix that sets them apart and brings a freshness to an established genre.

Heriot’s current line-up and musical output has been a renaissance for the band. After the 2019 addition of Debbie Gough to the ranks, the band’s material proved to be transformative both for them and the metallic hardcore genre, which is seeing it’s own renaissance.

We sat down with Debbie to chat about their meteoric rise, their surprising pop influences and striking the balance between savage and soft. As we head toward the first ever Pulse of the Maggots Fest in Birmingham, Heriot’s performance promises to be one of the most visceral and emotional - not for the faint of heart, but us metalheads are anything but!

How does it feel to have the stratospheric rise that you have had over the past year or so? How have you been able to remain so grounded in everything you do?

Collectively, we all feel so lucky that our band has had the interest that it has so far! As lifelong fans of metal, we’re so grateful to be having an opportunity to make our mark in this music scene which means so much to us. We have to stay conscious that while people are taking a chance on Heriot, we should be as focused as possible and we don’t lose sight of that!

Your sound is so varied; how do you find that balance between when you're going to go savage vs. soft?

Although Heriot is most definitely a heavy band, we love experimenting with the dynamics in our songs and so the atmospheric softness has come into play more recently. I try to make the clean vocals as eerie as possible so the blend into screaming doesn’t seem too abrupt!

Profound Morality takes the listener on a journey of emotional intensity, but they're all very different emotions. A different kind of heavy. Where do you pull all of those intense emotions from, or who/what has influenced this the most?

We try to let the music breathe as much as possible when it is possible! We’re playing with the atmospheric and industrial sides of heavy as of late but we’re influenced by everyone from NAILS and Oathbreaker to BANKS and Billie Eilish!

Pulse of the Maggots is about diversity and discovery. What kind of value do you put on being included on this showcase?

Personally, I am very proud to be on this showcase while it’s not only Knotfest’s first ever UK show but also hosted in my hometown, Birmingham! Birmingham thrives on diversity, especially within its alternative music scene and I think this lineup is a great example of the differing styles of heavy metal the city has to offer.

For fans just discovering your band - what can they expect from your live show come August 10th?

Our live show is never for the faint hearted! We hope to warm you up nicely for the chaos that will be Sylosis!