Article By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker ‡ Edited By: Leanne Ridgeway
The iconic, legendary North Carolina-based metallic doom unit Confessor seems to be on the verge of a long-awaited return.
According to recent updates from drummer Steve Shelton, the band has written half of the material needed for a new full-length. A new release of such material would be Confessor‘s first new album since the 2005 release, ‘Unraveled’.
Confessor originally formed in Raleigh, N.C. back in 1986, but underwent some shaky beginnings for the first year or two of their existence. Once somewhat settled, the band began creating uniquely heavy music with a flair for intriguing time changes. Their music was complex and quite forward-thinking, really more akin to what we call ‘progressive’ metal these days. However, their lyrical themes centered on despair and desolation, which led most fans and journalists to label them as a doom band.
After a handful of demo efforts, Confessor released their game-changing full-length début ‘Condemned’ for Earache Records in 1991. The release propelled the band on to many prestigious tours (like a European run for Gods Of Grind with Entombed, Carcass, and Cathedral), as well as MTV video airplay. Confessor recorded a self-titled, three-song EP in 1992, containing two Trouble covers.
After another European tour, unfortunately, things began to fall apart for Confessor. Earache foolishly overlooked the potential and uniqueness of the band and began to neglect properly promoting them. The first to exit was guitarist Ivan Colon (who later passed away in 2002), and singer Scott Jeffreys soon followed suit. Confessor officially disbanded in January 1994.
The band would reunite for a tribute show around the time of Ivan’s passing in 2002, which lead to a decision to reform Confessor. This reactivation lasted for several years, during which the guys released a pair of EPs prior to their eventual sophomore full-length record release in 2005. “Unraveled” was issued through Season Of Mist.
After subsequent compilation and video releases, 2009 brought the announcement that vocalist Scott Jeffreys was again leaving. This time, his departure was due to a required relocation related to his employment (outside of playing music). Confessor never replaced him. In late 2011, it was announced that Scott would be working with the band again, albeit with an uncertain future, as he was living and working in China.
As I said at the beginning, things do not seem so uncertain anymore, with Confessor launching an official website and the recent activity on their Facebook page. Not to mention they’ve reported that they’re well on the way in working on a new record. All of which is fantastic news.