Crowley backstory

The rise of Newcastle’s magical retro rockers continues at pace and funereal third single Pyre is already a doom-laden fan favourite.

And it’s the second time this year that the unstoppable Crowley have bagged our Red Hot Track Of The Week.

We described summer smash Something Wicked This Way Comes as ‘honed, beautifully crafted classic rock wrapped in Gothic lace’.

And that brooding banger followed hot on the heels of darkly affecting debut single The Witching Hour.

Formed in 2022 by former Sing Again Siren shredder Eliza Lee and ex-Thieves Of Liberty singer Lydia Balaban, Crowley fuse occult themes with punishing riffs in a glorious reprise of 70s heavy rock.

Ruth Cranston (guitars), Kimberly Waugh (bass) and Matthew Graham (drums) complete a five-piece that laid waste to the summer festival scene.

Planet Rock have picked up on all three Crowley singles to date — booking the band for next year’s Winter’s End festival in Trecco Bay.

In Crowley’s own words

“Lyrically this is a song that was very cathartic to write.

“In a world where you’re told to ‘forgive and forget’ it’s always therapeutic to write about vengeance.

“It’s a track for anyone who’s ever had someone f**k up their life to a point where you physically cannot forget or forgive.” (Lydia Balaban)

“Pyre was a bit of a dark horse of a track, writing the riff initially I didn’t feel it was going to be particularly strong. 

“And then it began to just build and grow into this track we all love.

“It’s just totally unapologetic hard rock fun — it’s very informed by Rainbow, Dio and Zeppelin.

“Playing the duelling solos with Ruth live is one of my highlights of the set.

“Of course, Nick Jennison’s production also did wonders for shaping the final sound.

“I like the notion of the witches burning people at the stake for once. It’s about time!” (Eliza Lee)

The verdict on Pyre

As flaming hot frontwoman Balaban screams ‘burn’ above the incendiary axe work of duelling six-stringers Lee and Cranston, it would be easy to cower in fear.

For a band in their infancy, Crowley are scarily good and Pyre is punishing proof that Tyneside has finally spawned Venom’s bastard child.

Doom-laden and inspired by the occult, this a five-piece unafraid to push the lyrical boundaries against the backdrop of Waugh and Graham’s Sabbath-esque rhythm.

Pyre is another explosive statement of intent from one of the UK’s fastest-rising heavy rock throwbacks.

And in Balaban the band boasts a whirling dervish of devilish abandon who must be seen — and heard — to be believed. 

Pyre is a revenge anthem par excellence: cross Crowley at your peril.

What’s next for Crowley

Tuesday’s Halloween headliner at Newcastle’s Cluny features fellow North East metallers Tanith.

And the band has festival spots booked at Hard Rock Hell and Sunderland’s Waves next month.

Closing out the year alongside Fury and Loz Campbell, Crowley looks set to take 2024 by storm.