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Posts Tagged ‘Progressive Metal

Horns Up Podcast: Episode 7

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Last week, I attended 3 shows in 4 days (Plini, Devin Townsend Acoustic and Control Alt Delete), don’t remember the last time I did that. Also managed to record 2 new episodes of the podcast, one of which is now online.

In the new episode of Horns up, our guest compared to our previous ones
is on the opposite end of the sound spectrum. We caught up with Australian guitarist Plini just before his gig in Bombay to chat with him about his journey, devoting time to the business side of things, new music, and, life.

Animesh and I discuss Devin Townsend and the experience of an intimate, acoustic gig.

Written by trendcrusher

March 18, 2019 at 11:00 am

Orchid

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Bangalore progressive act Orchid first landed on my radar in 2016 with the release of their self titled EP. I caught them live at Ctrl Alt Delete 10 soon after that and was impressed with their performance. Just over 2 years later, they are back with their debut album Miasma. The album is another juggernaut and builds on the twisted foundation of their EP.

I spoke to the band ahead of the album release about Miasma, the album inspiration and also their upcoming show this weekend in support to The Ocean Collective.

Read the interview on Unite Asia

Written by trendcrusher

January 9, 2019 at 10:39 am

Eschatos interview

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Eschatos are a progressive metal band from Latvia. The band consists of members of bands like Wagars, Protean, 9Horizon, Pulse of Nebulae and Black Earth Black Sky. Their latest EP MÆRE released in December last year and is engaging listen. It has received much acclaim and was nominated in the Rock and metal category at the Latvian awards, zelta mikrofons (Golden Music Microphone) last month.

I spoke to the band about MÆRE, their change in sound and also managing multiple bands.

Band photo by Lauris Aizupietis

Hi, you recently put out an EP MÆRE. How does it feel now that it has been released?

Kristiāna: It was a long road. We feel excited and pleased with the result and even though the recording has been around for only about a week, we have already received a lot of positive feedback from listeners in our home country Latvia and abroad.

MÆRE is engaging listen despite its lengthy tracks. Do tell us more about the EP.

Kristiāna: Lengthy tracks have always been characteristic to our music. The song, in this case the whole recording, is a story that needs an opening, tension and climax, and sometimes it can take its own course. MÆRE is in a way a very personal work for me. It revolves around different experiences related to sleep paralysis and sleep itself, the everyday death each of us encounter. Some lyrics have been written right before falling asleep or waking up. Sometimes voice recordings did not make any sense, sometimes they sounded like something from Marina Abramović ‘Freeing the memory’. The whole process was an experiment to explore how my mind wonders and where it goes when I sleep.

On Mære, you have moved away from the black metal sound on your previous releases. What has inspired this change in sound?

Edgars: It was partly unintentional, but at the same time it was also a conscious decision, and probably a result of not trying to fit in a specific genre. When a new combination of notes are being laid out on a fretboard, they make me feel something, I can try to make it sound like black metal, but it just doesn’t feel right or necessary anymore. Anyway, black metal is still a huge inspiration.

Marko: I have to add that MÆRE is the first eschatos record with full time keyboard player as part of the band, so I believe this fact alters the writing process. Keys bring in atmosphere adding experimental vibe to the composition.

Mārtiņš: It is essential to remember that the band has gone through a significant lineup change with Jānis leaving and me stepping in. Jānis was a very important member of the band, having composed a significant portion of previously released music, it is only natural that the sound of a band evolves when songwriters change.

The EP was recorded and mixed by Martinš Platais. What do you feel are the pros and con of recording yourself?

Kristiāna: I feel like there are two sides to this coin. We had control over the whole process, which, in this case, suited well for us, but at the same time Mārtiņš had an insane schedule and slept for 3 hours a night for 3 months.

Mārtiņš: It certainly was a very rough year for me. I had to combine working on several musical projects and my day job simultaneously. However, I feel very proud of MÆRE as we managed to accomplish everything we had planned with this release. The whole thing was done in the most organic and analog way. All the sounds and effects heard are from real sources, even with pedals recorded through real amps with next to no studio wizardry. We aimed to merge what eschatos sounds like live with a pristine studio recording. I prefer recording and mixing my own work, as it enables me to achieve the right focus for the music. I am exceptionally grateful to Dan Swanö who brought out the best from my mix, he’s always an absolute pleasure to work with.

You have been quite prolific, putting out 3 releases in 5 years. What is the writing process you follow?

Kristiāna: There is no particular formula. Usually a song evolves step by step. Edgars likes to write at home, same as our drummer Edvards, but working at our rehearsal studio in a live setting also plays an important part.

Edgars: When a specific set of new songs seem like they fit together and create a musical storyline, it is time to record them and put them out.

The band members are also a part of other acts like Wagars, Protean, 9Horizon, Pulse of Nebulae and Black Earth Black Sky. How you manage between multiple bands?

Kristiāna: Most of these projects are semi-active and come together before shows or recordings. eschatos is currently the main focus for most of us.

Mārtiņš: I am involved in a significant amount of musical projects, especially with international studio work, however, eschatos is my primary focus.

What have you been listening to lately (metal and non-metal)? Are there any acts that have inspired you of late?

Kristiāna: Lately there has been a lot of choir music in my playlist – Russian Orthodox choral music, works from Italian renaissance, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Gregorio Allegri next to Kevät / Värimyrsky from Oranssi Pazuzu and Hiss Spun by Chelsea Wolfe.
Edgars: Anything from Sargent House. Seeing Oranssi Pazuzu live was an otherworldly experience.

Marko: I am very excited about the latest Ulver album. Definitely, “Assassination of Julius Caesar” is one of the most noteworthy recordings of 2017 next to Roger Waters’s new masterpiece “Is This the Life We Really Want”. I would also like to mention the latest The Ruins of Beverast album “Exuvia”. All the music you listen to undeniably gives you some kind of inspiration. You collect your most vivid emotional experiences, including those you get while listening to music and unconsciously use them to create something new.

Mārtiņš: I have a very diverse taste in music, ranging from popular music to grindcore. I must point out that the latest releases from Ufomammut, Vulture Industries and Archspire have been very influential to me.

Do share with us bands from Latvia that we should check out.

Kristiāna: Look up Tesa, Soundarcade, Das Sonntags Legion, Saturn’s Husk.

What are your plans for the coming year? Do you have any shows/tour planned?

Kristiāna: We are currently focusing on playing live in Baltics and working on music video for Luminary Eye Against the Sky starring Latvian actor Juris Strenga which will be released next year. eschatos is also doing an appearance in Ghent, Belgium for Shades Of Black’n’Death event on February 17, 2018.

Marko: We are also looking to start working with a record company and we are opened to offers.

Mārtiņš: And play many live shows as possible in 2018, if anyone is interested, let us know!

Thanks for answering all our questions. Do you have any final words?

Mārtiņš: The best way to experience eschatos is to see us live, so make an effort and come to one of our shows, you will not regret it.

 

Written by trendcrusher

March 10, 2018 at 12:36 am

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Pulse of Nebulae interview

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Pulse of Nebulea are an international progressive death metal band. I first met Hisham and Martins (vocalist and guitarist of the band) when they were part of a band called Samosa Terror in Dubai close to a decade ago.

A couple years ago, Martins linked me to a single from the new band he was working on with Hisham. The track was ‘Elusive Elation’ and I was really impressed by the instrumentation as well as production. They have finally released their self-titled debut album earlier this month. The 8 track album has been described as “Progressive death metal” however you can hear hints of melodic death metal and even power metal. The catchy guitar riffs are well complemented by growled vocals. ‘Triumph of the Sun’ and ‘Drone’ are a couple of my favourite tracks from the album. An impressive debut release, Pulse of Nebulea are a band to keep an eye out for in the future.

I spoke to Hisham and Martins about the album, and their future plans.

Pulse of Nebulea band

 

You have been working on your album for some time now. How does it feel to have it finally released?

MP: It feels absolutely fantastic! So much time and effort was put into writing, producing and recording it, I really thought it was never going to end.

HC: We poured a lot of ourselves into this album. Listening to the final product reminds us why it was done in the first place. Hearing this album is like listening to our thoughts. That, in itself, fills me with immense pride.

Hisham and Martins were part of a band in Dubai. How did Dirk Verbeuren become a part of Pulse of Nebulea?

HC: Yes, we first met and formed a band when we were in high-school in Dubai. Noticing our similar interests we immediately clicked and knew we were going to be working together for a long, long time. Both of us being huge fans of melodic death metal, especially the old school Swedish kind, we naturally have always loved Soilwork. When Martins started looking for potential drummers, Dirk was obviously our first choice.

MP: I got in touch with Dirk through my friend and co-producer Matt Wicklund (Ghost Ship Octavius, ex-Warrel Dane). At first when I reached out to Dirk, I did not get a response for several months, because he was on tour. I also spoke to several other drummers, received many demo recordings, but didn’t quite find the right musical fit. Eventually Dirk replied back and said he really liked the two demos I sent him, which later became the singles we released in 2014, and decided to take part in our project. After we had done the first two demos, we absolutely loved the collaboration and asked Dirk if he would be interested in becoming a member of the band, to which he agreed. As a result, Dirk did more than just record drums for the album, he also took part in arranging the songs and breathing life into them. As a result the whole collaboration turned out far better than expected, I honestly can’t imagine having worked with any other drummer.

Your self-titled album is a killer mix of death metal and progressive metal. Tell us about the album.

MP: Hisham and I have always been fans of progressive metal. For me, personally, Edge of Sanity and Opeth have been huge influences. Musically the album is a mix of all the different kinds of music we like, there is death metal, black metal, groove, orchestral elements, and even power metal, for example, before I added the guitar and keyboard melodies, Triumph of the Sun sounded just like a Manowar song.

HC: Vocally, the aim was to diversify, mixing different genres and vocal styles to create a unique and versatile sound. Also, we aimed to take the listener on a journey to try to experience events and themes which occur constantly around us, but are only subconsciously perceived. With astronomical themes, like Triumph of the Sun, the sun turning into a red giant, and hardships of suffering a man goes through without questioning the reason, like Elusive Elation.

With Hisham in Germany and Martins in Latvia, how did you manage to write and record the album?

MP: Since we already keep in touch on a daily basis, it really wasn’t all that difficult, thanks to modern technology that permits it. We already make an effort to see each other in person two times a year, which gives us time to also work on the songs in person. Hisham and I both have home recording capabilities, so we record on our own, exchange ideas and spend long hours fine-tuning them over Skype.

HC: I record vocals in my basement with a cheap mic and interface, Martins is the one with an actual studio. I took two trips last year, in March and September, to fly to Latvia to do the final vocal recordings for the album. Dirk did all of his parts in LA and sent them to us, as we proceeded with the recording process. Martins handled everything else on his own.

Pulse of Nebulea cover

The album has been mastered by Dan Swanö (Unisound). How did that happen?

MP: Mixing this album was quite a serious ordeal for me. Even though I do have a reasonable amount of experience, mixing my own music is always the worst, it never feels done and there is infinite room for improvement. I spent an absolutely insane amount of time mixing this album and was never really quite satisfied with the result. Eventually, I made the decision to take a vacation, an entire month off from the project, when I got back, I sat down and finished it. Turns out that stepping away from something that had become an obsessive habit and clearing my mind, was all I needed. I knew right from the beginning that I wanted the album to be mastered by a name engineer, to give it that extra sparkle on top, so I had contacted three different engineers. Dan replied quite quickly and said that he’s extremely busy and will probably be unavailable until late autumn, but told me to send the mix over anyway, and he will have a look. It didn’t really work out with the other guys, but Dan got back to me in 4 days time with a finished master and the response: “Sounds fucking great I must say. Great mixwork!” That was single best response I could have ever gotten as an up and coming engineer and artist, especially, since Dan is one of our musical idols.

What have you been listening to lately (metal and non-metal)? Are there any acts that have inspired you of late?

HC: During the album writing process artists like Dark Fortress, Cattle Decapitation, Be’lakor, Opeth, Insomnium and Sikth made a serious impact on the different vocal techniques I implemented and experimented with. And lately I’ve been really enjoying the new albums by C.B. Murdoc, Black Crown Initiate, In Mourning and Ihshan.

MP: Well, Hisham already mentioned a lot of artists that I also really enjoyed, but I suppose musically, a lot of the compositions were heavily inspired by orchestral music and scores from films and video games. The longer and more atmospheric songs heavily rely on slow buildups and extensive layering, which is something I learned from composers like John Williams and more contemporary artists like Leprous. Atmosphere is something I believe many artists these days overlook when recording and producing albums, which is something the Black metal artists usually aim for as the single most important element, as opposed to technical proficiency that most modern bands focus on. One of the most life-changing musical experiences that I’ve had in recent years, that made me re-think the importance of composition and structured chaos is Gorguts – Colored Sands, an absolute must listen album to any metal fan who is looking for something out of the ordinary.

What are your interests/hobbies outside music?

HC: I am a full time architecture student, which takes up nearly all of my free time outside of music. As architecture is a creative output, it gives me inspiration for developing new ideas in music and vice versa. When I do get free time, I either spend it watching TV shows, informing myself about history, geography and politics, or I just go outdoors.

MP: Since I work full time in software development, I don’t have a lot of free time either, which is probably why it took three years to get this album done. But I really enjoy drinking craft beers, watching and reading science fiction, space operas, and fantasy.

Is the band going to be a studio project or a live band also? Do you have any plans to perform live soon?

MP: We are currently putting together a line-up for live shows and we will be embarking on a short Baltic regional tour this September. With this we aim to gain experience and build on the momentum in order to play festivals next summer.

HC: The main difficulty is finding a suitable drummer, as Dirk is unable to join us due to his obligations with Megadeth.

Thanks for answering our questions. Do you have any final words?

HC: Thanks for having us! Please, check out our album and videos on YouTube.

MP: Hopefully our fans won’t have to wait 3 more years for the next album.

Both: Jus drein jus daun!

Listen to Pulse of Nebulea below

Written by trendcrusher

August 24, 2016 at 6:04 pm

Eccentric Pendulum

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Eccentric Pendulum

Eccentric Pendulum are a progressive metal band from Bangalore, India. They released the EP ‘Sculptor of Negative Emotions’ in 2009 and the album ‘Winding The Optics’ in 2011. Winners of the Indian leg of the Wacken Metal Battle, the band were the first to represent India at the global metal battle at Wacken Open Air 2011.

I spoke to the band about their new single ‘Resisting Another Equation’ and also their future plans for Transcending Obscurity here

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December 25, 2015 at 12:30 am

Drowning Melancholy

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Drowning Melancholy are a goth/progressive metal band from Jaipur. are a goth/progressive metal band from Jaipur. I met singer Komal and drummer Alvin at the Battle of the bands at IIT Jodhpur in 2013 where they were performing with their sister band Fragile Silence. They put a good show and came 2nd. Since then Fragile Silence has been dormant due to few lineup changes. Komal and Alvin have been working on new material for Drowning Melancholy and have released a video for their track “Defenceless”.

Fragile Silence

I spoke to frontwoman Komal about the video, being a metal band in Jaipur and also their plans for the coming year for Transcending Obscurity. Read the interview here

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December 20, 2015 at 2:08 am