On May 15th internationally, American black metallers Highland will self-release their highly anticipated debut album, Loyal to the Nightsky. A staunchly DIY power-trio, Highland take the icy grandeur of '90s Scandinavian black metal and thaw it out in the present. At 11 songs in nearly an hour, Loyal to the Nightsky is a powerful and dynamic experience full of feverish height and desolate lows, all harnessed through the timeless craft of pure, authentic black metal. Traces of classic Immortal, Dissection, and Emperor can certainly be detected, but Highland possess a dizzying, multi-dimensional intensity all their own. Loyal to the Nightsky is both the summation of the band's hard graft to date and the beginning of a glorious new journey that'll soon have the name Highland upon the tongues of devotees worldwide.
Highland is comprised of three Armenian-Americans from Los Angeles, California. Narek and Gevork met in 2005, and shared a mutual interest in music and ideology. In 2006, they met Michael after witnessing him perform at a local venue in L.A., and later contacted him regarding forming a band. Shortly after, the three of them started a speed/thrash metal band called Raze. Raze eventually began recording a demo but never finished the process due to a change in musical style. After a two-year hiatus, the three of them decided to form a black metal band, and in 2008, Highland was born.
They immediately began working on a song, and recorded the single "A Seed Once Spread" a year later in 2009. Following the single, the band took a darker path to music and lyrics and began to work on a five-song EP. After recording their EP in 2013, Highland began performing live and building a following. Shortly after the release of the self-titled EP, Highland decided to explore further into the unknown darkness as an ultimate form of self-expression. Narek and Gevork began writing new material, breaking the boundaries of their musical and spiritual journey. During this time, the band also shared the stage with such notable acts as Absu, Vader, Bölzer, and Marduk among others, as well as headlining shows locally and overseas. After years of songwriting and rehearsing, Highland entered the studio in 2016 to record their full-length debut, Loyal to the Nightsky. The recording process was completed towards the end of 2016, and now the band has decided to self-release the album on vinyl and CD formats.