INFOS : firstname.lastname@example.org
Webzine dedicated to the metal band fronted by girls. We also like ambient,darkwave,rock & electronic music.
Interview by Eetu Niskanen
Echoes of Eternity is an progressive metal band based in Los Angeles. Their debut album “The Forgotten Goddess”, was released in February 2007 via Nuclear Blast Records. The band’s follow up album, “As Shadows Burn”, is set to be released on September 25, 2009 via Massacre Records in Europe and Nuclear Blast in the US.
You are going to release your second album, “As Shadows Burn”, follow up to your great debut album “The Forgotten Goddess” on September, how much work did it take to get it finished?
We worked on the album over the course of 2008, writing music comes easy to us, it’s finding the time that is difficult because we have jobs and responsibilities, unless you’re established it’s hard to make enough money to survive solely as a musician.
How big is the improvement between these albums?
I’d say its like night & day, where “The Forgotten Goddess” is more ethereal and dreamy, “As Shadows Burns” is heavier, darker and more powerful. The production is more in your face.
How would you describe your voice?
I don’t know, I guess you’ll just have to listen for yourself!
Could you tell us something about your fellow bandmates?
Duane the bass player is the quiet one, but rocks the hardest on stage! Brandon, lead guitarist is mysterious, talented and very smart but he’s a hard cat to figure out sometimes. Bryan, rhythm guitars, is the one who will help you if you ever need it, and is fun to party with. Kirk, drums, is the cantankerous one, he’s a whirlwind of energy he’s also the mediator and the backbone of the band. We all get on each others nerves from time to time but overall were all like family.
How would you describe your music to people who have never head it?
It’s technical, melodic and unexpected.
Have you ever had any vocal training?
Not really, I’m shower trained. I decided to take lessons a couple years back to learn how to sing properly so as to not hurt my voice. I took a couple weeks but I found I was thinking about it too much, when I’m singing I rather just let it flow rather than analyzing it. I did get some good warm up techniques out of it though.
“Ten of Swords”, new song from the upcoming album has been posted on your MySpace page, what is it about, any concept or story behind it?
The “Ten of Swords” is the grimmest card in the tarot deck, it’s about hitting rock bottom but picking yourself back up and living your life even in the face of obstacles.
What is your favourite tune from the new album?? “Twilight Fires”, it’s a song about the night, it has great atmosphere.
“Twilight Fires”, it’s a song about the night, it has great atmosphere.
Is it hard to be the only female on band full of males?
Not really, I’m sort of a tomboy, I get along really well with guys besides at the end of the day, humans are humans regardless of gender.
What kind of music do you listen yourself and how often?
Metal, Rock, Jazz, Country, Electronica, Classical, Middle Eastern, whatever! Pretty much almost anything. I like to keep an open mind.
Who are your biggest influences?
I don’t have any in particular, I’ve been influenced by every kind of music I’ve been in contact with.
What are your plans for the future?
Become a mad scientist, invent something, live on my yacht in the mediterranean and have a party every night! You’re all invited!
Are you planning or having any side-projects?
At the moment no, I don’t have the time. Perhaps in the future.
The final question, there are tons of female fronted bands out there, how do you keep unique?
By combining elements not commonly used together and by avoiding generic sounds typically used in the genre.
Interview by Erwin Van Dijk
An Interview with Nera from Darzamat. Nera (real name Agnieszka Górecka) is the singer of Darzamat, a Polish symphonic death metal band. Darzamat will release their latest album, “Solfernus’ Path” at the 28th of August. 2009.
Did you always want to become a singer?
Yes and no, I mean I’ve been singing here and there since I can remember and I knew that music would be a part of my life this or the other way. But it wasn’t my big plan to sing in a band. I’ve always treated it as a great hobby, an escape from everyday life, a perfect way to express myself. However I am very happy I ended up doing what I do.
And to what kind of music do you listen yourself?
Well, I try not to limit myself to one and only genre. I think it is the only way to evolve and free your mind, which doesn’t mean I can force myself to listening to techno. ;) I always pick music depending on my mood, so the range of it is quite wide: different kinds of rock and metal, ambient, smooth jazz and some classical music.
And who are your favourite bands and musicians?
At the top of my list there are Peccatum, Emperor, Ulver, Opeth, Pink Floyd, Leszek Mozdzer, Satyricon and some soundtracks like from Twin Peaks, Requiem for a dream, Dracula or Bastard.
Did you have any other bands before Darzamat and/or are you active in any other bands now besides Darzamat?
Yes, I started in a doom/gothic metal band I co-founded, but that was years ago. Now I am dedicated to Darzamat, although I have to admit I’ve been preparing my own project called NeraNature, which is very feminine and private piece of music.
What does the name Darzamat mean?
The name comes from Latvian mythology and it denotes garden goddess (“darzs” - “garden”, “mate” - “mother”), which I really like as it seems to me very “organic”, close to the nature and paganism.
And how would you describe your music?
The fact is that Darzamat’s music differs a bit from album to album, but it always keeps the sound and melody characteristic of the band. I don’t like talking about music, as it should be listened to. ;) If you would like to know what we do today, check out songs from the last albums at: www.myspace.com/darzamat
Since you cannot erase more than 40 years of communism within a few decades, what are the differences between Poland and the rest of Eastern Europe and the spoiled West Europe when it comes to metal as music and life style?
Actually, when it comes to music, the differences are pretty blurred now. Luckily we’ve got the borders opened and as you know thoughts fly fast ;) The worst situation is when it comes to economy. The good quality instruments cost a fortune in terms of Polish earnings, so lots of talented people are stopped at the very beginning of their possible career. The other problem is the lack of the social approval towards metal music. We live in a Christian country and as a consequence we’ve been treated as renegats and satanists. But at least we’ve got something to fight for (laugh).
Is there any reason why you used English versions of your names on the Darzamat MySpace?
Those are our nicknames, not real names. ;)
Markus is the session bass player - will he go with you on tour or are you looking for some one else?
Marcus’s been playing with us only for a few months and he’s doing really well. We just need to get to know better one another and then the decision to have him as a permanent member will be made.
You are about to release your fifth album, “Solfernus’ Path”. This album will be released by Massacre Records and it will be your first concept album. Massacre Records is not the smallest label and they are the home of bands like Atargatis, Legion of the Damned, Crematory and King Diamond. Why did you choose for Massacre Records?
As far back as in the late 90’s the band was close to signing a deal with them; unfortunately it didn’t come through. So, after all these years we are all the more thrilled to see that the “Solfernus’ Path” ultimately led us back to Massacre Records door (laughs) and that finally we will have a chance to work together. As far as our expectations are concerned, we’d really appreciate much better promotion of our band than we experienced before. The previous companies we worked with had much, much smaller possibilities. That is why I’m positive that thanks to Massacre Records we will take a leap forward. I firmly believe that the experience which the MR staff has gained over the years will result in the chance for many more to even get a hold of Darzamat’s albums. We put a lot of hope in the promotion and distribution prospects of the “Solfernus Path” album and also we are really looking forward with great curiosity to seeing the fruit of our cooperation with Massacre Records over our future albums.
Concept albums are not the easiest pieces to write. Did you plan to write a concept album from the start or did the album evolve into one while writing the songs?
We had the idea of the concept long time before the music was composed. It just needed some time to be born, some research to be done, some ideas to be put together. This time it was Flauros to take care of the whole story. I found it impossible to take part in it, as it had to be a coherent story invented by one mind.
Speaking of song writing, is this teamwork in Darzamat or is there one mastermind who writes the lyrics and music?
It is a kind of a collective work. The instrumentalist compose pieces of music, then the vocalists write lyrics. I also invent all the melodies I sing. Then me and Flauros make vocal arrangements and in the end we all take care of the songs’ arrangement.
What is the story behind “Solfernus’ Path”?
The story told on the album takes place in a mystic scenery as provided by Countess Josephine von Küchmeister’s manor, the inspiration for which we derived from two truly fantastic places in Silesia, namely the Willa Caro in Gliwice and the palace in Plawniowice. The tale itself is set in the beginning of the 20th century. Our main hero is a young medical student who undergoes a spiritual transformation - he experiences the existence of the incorporeal world and perceives the other side. The whole story is permeated by a fairytale-like atmosphere, full of occult key concepts. Nothing is obvious, nothing is predictable. Naturally, the eponymous Solfernus is not the main hero, he’s just a gray eminence. This character is respectfully lifted from a work entitled “Playing with the Devil”, written by Czech dramatist Jan Drda. Still, this is just inspiration, an impulse which does not mean we take Drda’s story as-is. In fact, his play is grotesque and rather humorous. Our story, on the other - left! - hand (laughs) has a totally different character, closer to horror stories of a Polish classic Stefan Grabinski than to the work of the Czech playwright.
Andy LaRocque from King Diamond (and he appeared on the Death album “Individual Thought Patterns”) also has done a part for “Solfenus’ Path”. How was it to work with him again? Also Andy LaRocque was the producer of the Darzamat album “Transkarpatia” (2005)….
Yes, we did meet during the sessions for our previous album. We’ve been in touch ever since, and when another occasion for cooperation arose, we didn’t hesitate for a second. Him playing a solo on a Darzamat album was a dream come true; it was really supernatural that he agreed to participate in the sessions. This is the most important album in the history of the band, and it took us a lot of work. We poured loads of energy and emotions into it, and the presence of LaRocque on this album is the crown jewel in the whole structure.
Another familiar name is Jonas Kjellgren from Scar Symmetry. Did you look for another producer this time or was it clear from the start that Jonas would be on the job again?
We were well acquainted with Jonas’s previous production work: Katatonia, Sonic Syndicate, Centinex or Steel Attack, to name but a few. But it was our friend Marek Dobrowolski, drummer for One Man Army and the Undead Quartet, who recommended Jonas to us, as he had worked with him before and knows his skills and abilities first-hand. The preliminary talks with the Scar Symmetry guitar player made us feel very optimistic. Jonas mixed one song of ours and the effect was staggering. It only reinforced the idea that it had to be him. The cooperation was smooth; Jonas is very patient and listens carefully to any sort of suggestions from the band. In my view, he is presently one of the best young generation producers, in Europe anyway.
The main difference between “Solfernus’ Path” and it’s forerunners it the fact that “Solfernus’ Path” is a concept album. Are there other differences as well when it comes to the music on the album? I feel a completely new quality was brought in to our music. Additionally, we realized that this album was supposed to create interest in the record label circles. That’s why we took extra care not only to write and record great music, but also to achieve the best possible sound. Plus, we paid a lot of attention to the visual side of the whole endeavor, working on the photos and the cover. All details of music, arrangements and the artwork were taken into consideration. I’m positive that after getting acquainted with the album, the fans are going to say that it was really worth the wait. Getting back to the music itself, this time around we started working on everything much earlier. Before entering the studio we prepared a very good demo. That allowed us to work out all the small details well before the real thing started. I admit we worked like this for the first time and we are really satisfied with such tactics. When you listen to the practically ready piece which sounds as good as it can at the preproduction stage, you can analyze the arrangements one more time and have less of a trouble imagining its final shape. Entering the studio(s), we knew exactly what we wanted and how the songs were supposed to sound. And our guidelines were simple enough: to record the most thought-out album in the history of Darzamat, on which there would be at least a couple of truly fantastic songs. I know we did just that (laughs), but that’s also for the fans to decide. Let’s hope the best! (laugh) No, seriously- exactly because of the fact we couldn’t appear there last year, we would like to double the energy for all those who expected to see us and were disappointed. We promise to do our best and additionally it will be a chance to present some stuff from the new album. If there is, I believe we will have some more talk in the future. ;) Thank you for your interest in Darzamat! Horns up! Credit Photos Photos by Sebastian Cviq Links
I feel a completely new quality was brought in to our music. Additionally, we realized that this album was supposed to create interest in the record label circles. That’s why we took extra care not only to write and record great music, but also to achieve the best possible sound. Plus, we paid a lot of attention to the visual side of the whole endeavor, working on the photos and the cover. All details of music, arrangements and the artwork were taken into consideration. I’m positive that after getting acquainted with the album, the fans are going to say that it was really worth the wait. Getting back to the music itself, this time around we started working on everything much earlier. Before entering the studio we prepared a very good demo. That allowed us to work out all the small details well before the real thing started. I admit we worked like this for the first time and we are really satisfied with such tactics. When you listen to the practically ready piece which sounds as good as it can at the preproduction stage, you can analyze the arrangements one more time and have less of a trouble imagining its final shape. Entering the studio(s), we knew exactly what we wanted and how the songs were supposed to sound. And our guidelines were simple enough: to record the most thought-out album in the history of Darzamat, on which there would be at least a couple of truly fantastic songs. I know we did just that (laughs), but that’s also for the fans to decide.Darzamat is will appear on the Metal Female Voices Fest this year. Darzamat was supposed to do a gig at this festival in 2007 but had to cancel it sadly. What can we expect?
Let’s hope the best! (laugh) No, seriously- exactly because of the fact we couldn’t appear there last year, we would like to double the energy for all those who expected to see us and were disappointed. We promise to do our best and additionally it will be a chance to present some stuff from the new album.And the last question: is there anything the reader should know that I have not asked?
If there is, I believe we will have some more talk in the future. ;)Thank you for your time!
Thank you for your interest in Darzamat! Horns up!
Photos by Sebastian Cviq
Interview by Erwin Van Dijk
An interview with Carie from AnsoticcA. AnsoticcA is a new female fronted band from Germany and The Netherlands. You can describe their music as a cross between gothic and progressive metal. This interview is with Carie van Heden who joined the band at the beginning of 2009.
Did you always want to become a singer?
I can’t remember a time before I wanted to become a singer. One of the first things I can remember is that one day my parents bought a cd player. I don’t know why exactly, but my father also got one of those real cheap microphones, which made it possible to sing along with the music. Quite fast I found out how to plug this thing in, so that I could listen to myself via headphones. Whenever I was alone at home and no one could hear me, I sang all of my favourite songs - guess I really got addicted to it. That’s how everything started.
And how did you end up in the music business?
Music was always my passion. After I finished my economic apprenticeship I felt that it was time to live my dream and study music with all the consequences. By means giving up a well-paid job and moving to a new city. I thought if I’d fail I still could go back to work in my old business, but if I wouldn’t try to make my dream come true I would probably regret it for the rest of my life.
Who are your favourite singers and musicians?
It’s not easy just to name a few cause there are so many… Singers: P!nk, Skin, Sharon den Adel, Melissa Etheridge, Adam Levine, Anouk, Nelly Furtado, Beth Hart, Eric Martin, Christina Aguliera, Stefanie Kloss, Sandra Nasic, Marta Jandova and more! Songwriters: Alanis Morissette, Michael McDonald, Elton John, Bruce Hornsby, Ingrid Michaelson, Jack Johnson and more!
And to what kind of music do you listen yourself?
Bearing my last answer in mind you will notice that I don’t have a classical background as many singers of the gothic genre have. When I got in touch with music I listened to pop and rock music. Since I started studying at the Rockacadmie I found it interesting to learn more about music of other genres and I also started to listen to various musical genres as soul, gothic, hard rock & metal, funk, RnB or blues. On my iPod playlists you can find a lot of female fronted bands but in the end I like music that touches me - the genre or whether it is sung by a man or a woman doesn’t really matter to me.
You study at the “Rockacademie” in the city of Tilburg. For the people who do not live in The Netherlands, what is the “Rockacademie”?
Unlike universities or musical high schools where you can study Jazz or classical music, at the Rockacademie it is possible to perform in several musical genres such as Rock, Funk, Pop, Metal, Punk, Soul or Hiphop. When you successfully absolve the Rockacademie you get the Bachelor degree of Arts (Music). In the first year you gain some basic skills which you need if you want to go on with the study. After that you have to choose a specialization such as sound engineering, session musician, management or education. Even a combination of several specialization is possible - as long as it is realizable. Usually the study takes 4 years. Probably I will finish my study in February after 3,5 years.
AnsoticcA is not the only band you sing in. You are also quite busy with Jigger Skin? Is it difficult to combine your study and singing for bands with your personal life?
If you’d take a look at my time schedule you could get the idea that this girl is quite busy. Yes, it is difficult to have a personal life beside “all that music”. I tour around South Germany with Jigger Skin and travel back to the Netherlands every weekend. Whenever there’s a time slot I join Maarten and Adrian in the studio in the near of Berlin. Still I write my own music and I am busy with finishing my songwriting study at the Rockacademie. There is not much time left for spending evenings with my friends, playing handball or visiting my family. But for me music belongs to my personal life. I found a way to make everything work and wouldn’t want it any other way. If I should give someone an advice how to handle such a life I would say: buy an organizer and schedule all the things you have to do, but also all the things you love to do. Enjoy life. That’s what gives you energy even for the things you have no choice but to do.
And do you have any other bands or projects besides AnsoticcA and Jigger Skin?
My main band is AnsoticcA but as long as it’s possible I’m still involved with some other bands and projects. I’m the female singer of Jigger Skin, I have my own project which I sometimes play gigs unplugged with and I’m a member of the Popchor TF a pop choir in Germany.
And since Jigger Skin is more pop and rock oriented, do you use your voice in a different way than with the gothic AnsoticcA songs?
When you sing in a cover band as Jigger Skin you have to sing songs from various genres. That requires the use of different vocal techniques. Imagine I would sing “Open Your Eyes” of Guano Apes in the same way Nena sings her “99 Luftballons”. It wouldn’t work… But what makes the Gothic songs in comparison to the pop/rock repertoire of Jigger Skin so special is that you have to use a lot of vocal techniques in one song. In the studio Maarten really tries to get the best out of me. That challenges and pushes me.
How did you get in contact with the boys from AnsoticcA?
I’ve know Maarten from the popchoir I sing in. I heard that he was starting a new project and that he was looking for a female singer but I didn’t expect that to affect me one day. After auditioning some singers, Adrian and Maarten called me asking, if I wanted to join the band. They looked for someone with a more powerful voice who at the same time would also be able to sing the softer parts of their songs. First I thought they were joking. My voice couldn’t fit that kind of music. But I was completely wrong!
What is the idea behind the band name?
Actually the name came from a friend of ours - while listening to some of our first recordings he said “this sounds like Ansotica” - and so the name was born - with one more “c”. It is the name of a goddess that has been worshipped around the area of Croatia. It is comparable to the Latin “Venus”.
How would you describe AnsoticcA’s music? Because Gothic & Progressive covers about everything with a guitar, bass and drums and female vocals these days.
Our music is very epically arranged with a truly guitar oriented approach - extremely powerful and rough but at the same time deeply melodic and emotional. The songs are catchy and our sound is unique. You will easily recognize it any time.
And what makes AnsoticcA different compared to all the other female fronted bands in the world (especially in Holland)?
Sure! I definitely belong on stage and I can’t wait till we get ready to bring our music to the people. We are planning to start the tour in spring 2010 after the release of our album. Our management is already in contact with a booking agency for the Benelux, but we also want to tour in Germany and the rest of Europe.
And, if so, are you looking for additional members to complete the line up?
We are currently looking for a drummer and a bass player - so feel free to write us if you are interested in doing live performances with AnsoticcA…
Is song writing teamwork in AnsoticcA or is there a mastermind behind the music?
Adrian and Maarten are the two minds behind the songs - but you can truly say they function as one mastermind. Their creative potential is tremendous and they both claim that they have never had so much fun writing music also thanks to Rockfeld Records, the studio that makes everything possible for this project.
Can you tell us something about the songs AnsoticcA has posted on Myspace?
“Our Time” - A very epic and also slightly progressive piece, the lyrics can also be seen as a metaphor for what we expect from the future
“I’m Alive” - A song about staying strong when everything around you seems to fall apart
“Silent Tears” - A song that turned out to have a quite noticeable pop influence but hell we like it
“Rise” - A ballad but also not a ballad; listen to it - crank the volume up and listen to the whole song … you will know why
And what is your favourite song?
Hard to tell because every song is like our own child. But if our life would depend on that decision - it would be “Rise” - the song embodies nearly everything that makes the sound of AnsoticcA - but all the other songs do that too.
You are also working on an album. What can we expect?
You can expect 13 pieces of epic gothic metal that will shatter the scene. But seriously, the album is the essence of what we have always been dreaming of - doing powerful epic metal that touches the listeners - hopefully this is what we will achieve.
What are AnsoticcA’s plans for the future?
Next year we would like to bring the whole thing onto the stage, feeling the energy of the audience and getting more intense with every note we play - we really can’t await to play live after the release of the album
Label : Black Listed Records
Review By Tony Cannella
The third – and latest – album from the Japanese Metal Maestros AREA51 is titled “Goddess” and it continues using the same approach as their previous work while still progressing. Many of the same qualities are at work here that was featured on their previous release. AREA51 continues to provide great, emotive vocalizing from Kate Cain and the guitar virtuosity of Yoichiro Ishina but besides that the band seems to have grown as musicians and songwriters. The 45-minute CD opens with the movie soundtrack-like intro “Naissance” which lead us into the blood pumping Yngwie-esque track “Nightmare”. The next track is the heavy “Regret et Larme”, which quickly became among my favorites. “Begins of Dissolution” is a huge sounding track that mixes different tempos with huge effectiveness. “Marionnette” opens with a great guitar riff which really highlights the track, which is an up-tempo blazing number. Other highlights include: “Miss You”, “VANITAS” and “Sincerity”. Overall, “Goddess” is more stripped down and raw sounding than their previous work. AREA51 are a band that seems to be firing on all cylinders now and “Goddess” is this talented band from Japan at their very best.
Rating - 92/100
Review By Tony Cannella
The Los Angeles based metal band Echoes of Eternity released their debut effort in 2007 titled “The Forgotten Goddess” - that was one heck of a debut that really forced metal fans to sit up and take notice. Now, 2-years later the band returns with their sophomore opus “As Shadows Burn” and with all due respect to that impressive debut, this release totally leaves that one in the dust. For this CD the band have hooked up with former Machine Head and Soulfly member Logan Mader to produce and judging by the overall quality of the material, it appears to be a wise move. With the opening track “Ten of Swords” the first thing you’ll notice is that the band have definitely taken it up a notch in the heaviness department, yet the angelic vocals of Francine Boucher still remain. While the band have definitely gotten heavier this time around they still maintain the melodic aspects that made “The Forgotten Goddess” such an enjoyable and memorable piece of work. “Veiled Horizon” is next and has a great opening riff and the vocals of Francine really make this one of the highlights. “Memories of Blood and Gold” is up next and it is just a pounding straight-forward metal track and it keeps the momentum going. Other highlights include “The Scarlet Embrace”, “Descent of a Blackened Soul”, “Letalius Deus” and the 7-minute instrumental “Funeral in the Sky”, which closes the album. All-in-all “As Shadows Burn” is the work of a band that have all the confidence and ability in the world. Echoes of Eternity seem to be a band that have really hit their stride and hopefully “As Shadows Burn” will gain them the worldwide fan base they so richly deserve. If you liked “The Forgotten Goddess”, than I see no reason why you shouldn’t LOVE “As Shadows Burn”.Rating - 95/100 Tracklist