May 1994 – Late 1995
Throughout 1993 and 1994, I had broadened my horizons somewhat, both musically and socially. I had put the negative experiences of the early Dawnraiser days behind me and had made many new friends along the way.
One drunken Friday night in spring 1994, I happened upon three guys in the Mannville Arms, Bradford, namely Tony Wildwood (then Turton), Daryl Parson and Craig Daynes. They said they had started a band and were looking for a bass player. I owned a bass, so said I’d come along and see what it was all about. They were influenced by the underground metal styles of the time, particularly the doom/death metal aspects. I was getting into those sounds myself so it sounded like a cool idea. I did one rehearsal playing the bass and was then asked if I wanted to swap instruments with Daryl (the existing guitarist). I duly accepted and Dark Embrace was born. Added to this mix later were Simon Thorley (guitar) and Emma Pearson (keyboards). We were quite a mis-matched bunch looking back, with influences coming from far and wide but what we had worked for a while.
We played various gigs around the Bradford and West Yorkshire area (mainly at Bradford Rios) and supported some well-known bands such as Napalm Death, Anathema and Cradle of Filth. I recorded my first proper studio demo with this band, called “Tears of Pain”.
In 1995, I left to concentrate on the newly reformed Dawnraiser. If I’m honest looking back, leaving Dark Embrace was one of my few regrets as I really loved the music. I could have continued in both bands and to this day, I’m still at a loss to remember why I didn’t. Oh well, some things slip through the net I guess.
The band continued with a fantastic guitarist called Rohan and had a slightly more progressive sound for a time before folding sometime in the middle of 1997. Daryl and Tony later went on to form a band called The Enchanted, who enjoyed great success on the UK underground metal circuit.