When Nathaniel Hawthorne conceived Hester Prynne, the Puritan good-girl-gone-bad who serves as the protagonist of The Scarlet Letter, his 1850 romantic morality play, he cast her as a perfectly dichotomous example of humanity. Prynne was chaste yet sexual, virtuous yet lusty, liberated yet chained to cultural expectation, flawed but redeemable.
It very well could be that the Kansas City Deathcore/Doom Metal outfit that formed in 2006 and christened themselves after Hawthorne’s knocked up 17th-century heroine had the same kind of dichotomy in mind. Melodic yet noisy, technically precise yet wildly chaotic, growled and shrieked vocals from the recesses of hell … OK, that one’s pretty consistent and perhaps also flawed yet redeemable.
Two years after emerging from the KC scene, Hester Prynne released its second EP, Brothel, which earned the band a great deal of attention and wound up securing them a contract with Torque and a distribution deal with Victory, which has become one of the world’s premier Metal/Hardcore labels. In 2009, Hester Prynne unleashed its debut full-length, The Goswell Divorce, an album that was cited in the Hardcore/Metal community as one of the top releases of the year.
Hester Prynne plays The Mad Hatter Sunday with Nightshade. Go here to read Brian Baker's full Sound Advice.