Album Review: William the Conqueror – Bleeding on the Soundtrack

By now you are more than likely familiar with the name William the Conqueror. Admittedly you may well be aware of it from the pages of history books but not it’s about time that you become acquainted with him in another form; that of a virulent and powerful alt-blues band with a hurricane at their fingertips.

Bleeding on the Soundtrack is the latest release from the formidable trio and it is an album that burns like white hot coals. The raw and powerful energy levels with which the band play are as contagious as they are outrageous. Even before the opening track has ended you find yourself bristling with a crackling static energy that seems to hum and pop all around you. The raucous music that they produce is complexly layered with their own unique brand of dark and moody blues but yet there is also a carefully protected vein of positivity that runs through their work and leaves you with an extra spring in your step. This is most likely due to the fact that they take their tumultuous sounds and swirl them together with decadent fusions that draw aspects from folk, rock, blues, jazz and even a dash of funk. This creates songs such as Thank Me Later, a vibrant and jubilant song with an off-kilter rock that can send you bounding around the room.

This jovial and even playful nature is all a part of a greater plan, a well-polished act that thumps and pumps like the beating of your heart in your chest. This is a fire that is fuelled by their rapid-fire, amped up blues tunes and charismatic nature. There is a boldness to William the Conqueror that is shared with its namesake – the music that is produced on Blood on the Soundtracks is something that hits hard and fast and doesn’t back down from anything. As their deep and evocative blues guitars crash together with harmonicas and bass lines that open up like fissures in the ground, they let their gravelled and burning vocals ring out above it all like smoke hanging over a battlefield.

Blood on the Soundtrack is far from a calming album, it is a terse, powerful album that will energise and invigorate your senses as it burns like a fuse. It’s an album versatile enough to suit your any mood and will see you trough the good and the bad.

2018 saw William The Conqueror play a string of triumphant performances at UK festivals, a showcase at Nashville’s AmericanaFest and more recently a headline gig at The Water Rats, London. This year the trio are set to play SXSW festival as well as UK shows including AmericanaUKFest in January, an In-Store tour in February, followed by an extensive headline UK tour in Spring.


30th January: AmericanaFestUK, London 

15th February: Drift (In-Store), Totnes (7pm)

16th February: Sound Knowledge (In-Store), Marlborough(6.30pm)

21st February: Rough Trade East (In-Store), London(1pm)

22nd February: Music’s Not Dead (In-Store), Bexhill-On-Sea (7pm)

23th February: Union Music Store (In-Store), Lewes(2pm)
+ Hundred Records (In-Store), Romsey(6pm)

24th February: Rough Trade (In-Store), Bristol(3pm)

28th February: Black Circle Records (In-Store), Leighton Buzzard(6:30pm)

13th April: Ramblin Roots Festival, High Wycombe

17th April: Thekla, Bristol

18th April: The Deaf Institute, Manchester

23rd April: Heartbreakers, Southampton

25th April: Prince Albert, Brighton

26th April: Fat Lil’s,Witney

27th April: The Cluny 2, Newcastle Upon Tyne 

1st May: The Hug and Pint, Glasgow

3rd-6th May: Kilkenny Roots Festival, Ireland 

8th May: The Lending Room, Leeds

10th May: The RAFA Club, St. David’s

15th May: The Musician Pub, Leicester

18th May: The Old Bakery Studios, Truro

21st May: The Lexington, London

23rd May: Hare & Hounds, Birmingham

24th May: The Bodega, Nottingham

30th May: Red Rooster, Suffolk 

Bleeding on the Soundtrack will be released on 15thFebruary 2019 via Loose and available on CD, vinyl and digitally.

Connect with William the Conqueror via:

Facebook and Instagram @williamtheconquerormusic | Twitter @prouddistributor

Review by Joe Knipe

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