The story of Slaughterhouse

Relicseed's second studio album "Slaughterhouse" is one of the turning points in the band's career as it developed new relationships, attracted attention, taught many lessons, and led to the first significant tours across the US and Europe.

Everything started with the band being picked up by a the underground rock’n’roll legend Lord Bishop Rocks. This giant, explosive, overly charismatic performer, yet unbelievably humble man rushed to the backstage of Fontaine Palace venue in Liepaja, Latvia after Relicseed’s performance on December 30, 2010 and offered a 100 gig touring deal across Europe along with the record deal. Mr. Bishop walked away leaving the jaw-dropped youngsters staring at him while living their “this happens only in movies” moment.

While negotiating the deal, the band’s frontman-manager and overall always overly excited character Edgars Rakovskis understood: if someone saw the band performing in Latvia singing in Latvian and got excited enough to strike a deal like that – it is a matter of time when someone offers a deal in America.

Edgars’ obsession with Metallica and especially James Hetfield’s riffing transformed into a different substance during 2011. This year was the biggest band’s in the world 30th anniversary year and it was no doubt that something will happen in honor of that. When San Francisco thrash icons announced the series of celebration events and limited the attendance just for the club members… Relicseed just had to become a part of that. The fanclub forum was rumbling already before the huge announcement was made, but after that it all went to another level.

Schedule looked like this: Metallica would perform on December 5, 7, 9 and 10 at the Fillmore theatre; the fan organised happenings were planned to be tucked everywhere in between. The Bay Area was about to get packed with metalheads from all over the world from December 4-10, 2011, but there was a specific event which caught attention - “Metallibash: 3 Decades of Damage”. The concert was scheduled to happen at Kimo’s – the same small club where Metallica played their “surprise gig” back in 2002. So, Edgars reached out to the event host and agreed on the following: if the band is ready to travel across the world and play a show for free – the people are willing to welcome 4 Latvians to the party.

It is still hard to comprehend what really happened back then; it was unbelievable that someone in America believed the promise Edgars gave. No one from the band had ever been to the States, no one knew how it is to play for a foreign audience… no one new nothing. But four Latvian fellers appeared on the stage of Kimo’s in at a sold-out show and every single person in the audience somehow knew exactly what Relicseed was. While the details of this event remain undisclosed, the path to the biggest music market in the world was right and clear ahead of the four boys out of Latvia (which is not a state, by the way).

"Consider it ironic or just plain heavy ass dedication and wicked chops but the best Metallica inspired band in the world may just be halfway around the world. Relicseed from Latvia have landed. Relicseed is the heaviest thing to drop in Eastern Europe since the Berlin wall. From loud and lovely Latvia, hit the lights and raise whatever flag you choose."

Inspired and motivated by this quote of the legendary Lonn Friend, the band started gearing up for the next album recording. And it was clear that the process should happen in America. While someone would ask “why?!..” or label this idea as a “complete waste of money”, the decision was made and the search for the studio was the next challenge accepted.

In early 2011 the band got introduced to the late Bryan Carlstrom who run the Tranzformer Studios at the time. Bryan came to see Relicseed performing at the Key Club in Los Angeles on December 7, 2011 – the night before the Metallibash event in San Francisco. The engineer was impressed of what he saw, asked several questions and everyone agreed to meet in May of 2012.

While recouping and digesting the first USA experience, Relicseed started the pre-production process of the record. Countless hours in the guitarist at the time Karlis’ studio polished the music, but lyrically it was a huge confusion. The initial idea of translating Latvian songs into English failed miserably, however, one song in Latvian “Slaucējs Smalkjūtīgais” made it to the “Slaughterhouse” record as “Domestic Devil”. Several ideas were in the works but eventually Edgars left Latvia without finished lyrics for almost half of the songs.