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Over het algemeen ben ik geen voorstander van het mengen van verschillende muzikale stijlen. Als een band verschillende en ver uiteenlopende stijlen zo overtuigend met elkaar samen kan brengen zoals Ecthirion dat op hun debuut 'Apocalypitic Vision' doen, maak ik graag een uitzondering. Deze Britten behoren dan ook tot een van de meest unieke bands van de afgelopen jaren en hebben de potentie om – met het juiste support – tot de top van de huidige metal scène behoren. De Lords waren behoorlijk nieuwsgierig naar het brein achter deze band en hoewel het even heeft geduurd, werd gitarist/bassist/programmeur Gabriel Neale bereid gevonden om ons van de nodige informatie te voorzien.

Door: Nima | Archiveer onder different metal

You are a rather new band, so I would like to use this opportunity to let you introduce the band and a bit of its background to our readers…
Hey guys!! We are a new orchestral band from the UK, we have been around for a while trying to get a release out, though it has only been this year that we have finally got something to our name. The EP contains a broad range of styles that we appreciate, as of yet we have no lead singer so I decided it would be fun to have three guest singers on the EP, I did this in an attempt to make the release stand out as well as give each track its own identity. There isn't a great deal of history worth delving into, though it must be said that the band was started by myself as a kind of project with Simon also helping out a lot at the recording and editing stage, I hope to get together a live line-up which can emulate our music well. Our aim is to be unique and interesting as well as producing music that is enjoyable to listen to which takes the audience on a journey. We all strive to be the best musicians we can possibly be and produce what is our best. Currently I'm studying music technology at Huddersfield University, which is incredible! Simon (our second guitarist) is busy becoming a session drummer at ACM! No jokes, he plays the drums as his main instrument. Domanic (drummer) is also at ACM becoming an ever more experienced drummer.

I must say that I was pretty much blown away with what I heard on 'Apocalyptic Vision'. With the intro I thought to be dealing with a symphonic power metal band. But after a few minutes I was proven wrong. Of course the music has influences from that genre, but Ecthirion is absolutely a unique experience. From what I understood the band started with the idea to go in the direction of power metal with Viking elements, but is turned out quite differently, didn't it?
Thanks, I'm really glad you liked it, I saw your review! I am somebody who bores of a style of music quickly especially if all the bands sound the same! I love power metal but the genre has no scope, Viking metal is great and has a good future but I didn't want to get only Viking metal fans if Simon was going to throw in some blues and jazzy solos like he did. 'Apocalyptic Visions' was nearly going to be a viking / black metal release with nothing more to it, it was going to consist of an old version of 'Warmageddon' and a few others but as things went along I made some better compositions such as 'Immortality' and 'Veritas Vos Liberabit' which replaced other works. Ecthirion changed as my own tastes have evolved, as you say, at the beginning we where going to be a power metal band, but then when I eventually got the gear to record the tunes, I had written better ones along different lines.

Listening to 'Apocalyptic Vision' it is very clear that you don't have any musical limits and use influences from wherever you please! Of course the main ingredients are black, Viking and symphonic power metal, but also classical, folk and film music! Can you tell us more about your influences?
Yep I decided that we would have no limits, I actually said that to Simon a couple of times, we agreed that all on the release would have to flow and that all styles must work together and have a reason. My influences are by no means limited to metal, I listen to folk, ambient, soundtrack, country, blues, rock, classical, electronica, and more or less anything else that has got some good chords and a catchy melody. I am always honest with myself about if I like or dislike music. I am not afraid to say that I like Enya, Vangelis and Cascada! If you can't be honest about your music you could end up making music to suit others tastes instead of your own. I also have some styles I hate, for instance, britrock, pop, R n B, these genres are manufactured by record producers who want a lot of money, diluting the musicians input by employing people to do nearly everything for them. With Ecthirion I can express myself much more than a band with a label that does everything, I don't just do the music, I do the art, MySpace design and as of the album we are working on, the production and mixing.

As I mentioned in my review, Ecthirion really manages to take the listener to a post-apocalyptic journey. When I look at the cover and listen to the music at the same time I get the feeling of solitude and the “vision” that I have ended up in a dark and empty world, uncertain of what is about to happen. What were your “visions” and thoughts while composing the music for 'Apocalyptic Vision'?
The whole CD is written to take the listener on a journey, it is inspired by the last chapter in the bible 'Revelation' which is my favourite as it talks of the end times and some really epic things. I have woven into the theme some things I would have liked some of my friends to hear, though none of them bought my CD, but these things could apply to anybody struggling, there's a simple warning about slipping away from salvation as you could end up in a terrible place, we made the EP end on a light note, 'Veritas Vos Liberabit' to contrast the darkness of the other tracks. I am a Christian so I would be a fool not to express that in my music, I have tried as hard as possible not to be preachy or offend people, not many will agree with this stance of the lyrics but then I still listen to Dimmu even though I don't agree with their vision. I would like my music to encourage people not to mess with occult things as they only lead people down. That is what 'Immortality' is all about.

band image

Ok, now this may sound as a strange question, but where you under influence of any kind of drugs or 'magic' mushrooms? Because it's a bit hard to imagine that one can create such music with a clear mind and with both feet on the ground, haha!
Nope, haha, were not The Mars Volta, though we all like their music. I hate drugs! I have seen what they do to people and it's something Ecthirion would like to discourage. The other day I saw a guy stumbling around town, he was obviously completely on drugs, he was temporarily living in a phone-booth with his few possessions, he kept talking to himself and walking back and forth. That guy is probably one of the loneliest guys in the world with nothing else on his mind apart from getting his next fix, that's a trap that I will never fall into! Ecthirion is a band that encourages reform, I hate drugs, self-harm and overuse of alcohol; these are all things that can ruin lives and give people so much grief.

I must say that I'm also impressed (and admirable) that young guys like you provide such excellent musicianship! Did you guys have any kind of education in classical music?
Haha, cheers dude, I wouldn't call myself a great musician, I just try so hard! Every day of my life involves music in a major way. I work on an Ecthirion song every day! I could name many musicians I know who are better than me but are very lazy! When I was about nine I tried learning trumpet, I was so rubbish and uninspired that I quit. But at fourteen or fifteen I started guitar and loved it, the only musical education I had was two years of guitar lessons. I don't have any classical education but I work on orchestrating a lot as well. Simon first learned cello but then gave up in favour of guitar and is now onto drums. He used to get guitar lessons, now he actually studies drums, as does Dom. Simon is a very talented guy who can pick things up very quickly.

How did you come up with the idea to use opera singer Josh Edwards for the songs?
He once sang at church about a year before he sang for us, He sang all on his own while playing a piano as well, I was extremely impressed. This lead me to think of trying to include his voice on our CD, I was inspired to do this by bands such as Nightwish, tough I liked the idea because most symphonic bands have female lead singers, for some reason!

Alongside Edwards, Eugen Dodenhoeft and Azahel Frost are responsible for the vocals on the EP. But as far as I can see Ecthirion doesn't have a definite vocalist yet. Are you planning to recruit a singer to be a full member?
Yes, I am always on the lookout for talented people in the UK who could potentially be in Ecthirion, but the hunt is hard.

You are currently working on your first full-length album. Of course 'Apocalyptic Vision' already gives us an idea of what we can expect, but I'm wondering if you have more secrets and tricks up your sleeve…
Hmmm, I can't reveal anything to you yet, but things get a bunch weirder, Dave's (the new guest singer) voice is very very very heavy, the new CD will tread into a slightly new territory, there aren't really any parallel tracks that are copies of tracks on the EP. The sample that is up on MySpace doesn't represent the release fully at all, I will soon put up more teasers. I have experimented a bit with eastern sounds as well as a bit of subtle electronic noises. The new release will have at least three singers on it, one death metal singer, and three girls of whom one is and outstanding opera singer!

I think live shows are a bit out of the question in the current line-up! Looking at the peculiar character of the music, one may wonder if you are even planning to play live with Ecthirion.
Definitely, though I dream of playing live, I have recently worked out a few things which will help with the live shows a lot. I have worked out how to use my mixer to control volumes of up to ten different orchestral sounds (all with their own effects) that are getting their signal through a keyboard and getting their timbre from a computer. With this set-up we could have a good keys player and maybe a few techies, and of course, we still need a vocalist or two and a bass player. I have also thought about getting a temporary line-up to do a few small festival gigs, this might mean gathering guest performers from our releases.

Well, I guess we can wrap it up for this time. I just want to say that I can't wait to hear the full album, so hopefully we will chat again at the time it's released. Until then, if there is anything you'd like to mention, please don't hesitate…
Awesome, thank you, it has been an honour doing this interview for you. I was inspired by your review, I hope I can still please you with the new stuff!! Yep, I'd like to mention that if you are in a cool metal band, I am now doing artwork for free to get as many contacts as I can. If you or anybody you know wants art, I will do at least the first thing (CD / T-shirt / MySpace) for free!!! Metal On!!!

Thank you very much and all the best for you and Ecthirion. Cheers!
Thank you for the great interview! Hail Lords Of Metal!!

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