WEEPING SILENCE

WEEPING SILENCE might not come from the biggest of islands in the Mediterranean but they sure pack a punch. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

Is Weeping Silence a Goth metal or a doom metal band? What are the biggest differences between the two styles?
-Weeping Silence is an atmospheric gothic/doom metal band with various influences from within the styles and other genres too. Labelling styles is tedious yet sometimes required for people out there to get an idea of what they are about to pop into the CD tray. Nowadays all styles have evolved so much that blends of music are to be expected. As a general thought, I’d say that on one hand doom metal originated from the works of Black Sabbath, with songs like Iron Man and Electric Funeral. Then pioneer bands like Saint Vitus, Trouble, Pentagram and Candlemass helped doom metal to be the style that we know today. Lyrically it is very versatile and could have many themes although the most common are death, despair and sadness. On the other hand gothic metal originated from bands like The Cure, Joy Division and Sisters of Mercy. The style was continually evolving and in the beginning of the 90s bands like The Gathering and Anathema incorporated gothic into metal; by the end of the decade bands like Tristania and Within Temptation evolved gothic metal into symphonic/gothic metal developing the style further. Musically the style is dark, usually more melodic and less heavy compared to doom metal. Lyrically it is also very vast but common themes are dark and mystic topics and their beauty.

I can only think of one other metal band from Malta, Beheaded. How big is the metal scene on Malta?
-Malta is a tiny island of around half a million people. However, this country produced big bands such as Beheaded and other closer to our roots such as Forsaken (to mention a second). For the small population we have, we can stand proud of the regular attendance to concerts and festivals in the country. So, I’d say the metal scene in Malta is big at heart!

Coming from an island must mean extra difficulties that mainland European bands don’t have to deal with. Can you name some things that make life extra hard for you as a band coming from an island?
-You can say that twice! Living on an island means that you are physically constrained. To play live outside our borders means to incur travel expenses larger than of mainland bands. This is the biggest problem.

You have two full length albums out but they are 3 years apart. How much momentum do you lose when it takes that long between albums to be released?
-Composing an album usually takes about a year for us. We are on a good spell of composition for the past few years, and Weeping Silence is riding a good wave for creating music. The biggest obstacle is attracting record labels with the financial power and willingness to invest in a band that is not already a giant. The music industry has been reduced to downloads and bankrupt record companies and bands. Of course, this is reflected in the years that it takes to publish a record. Do we loose momentum? The situation pushes one to loose hope more than momentum … it’s the endurance that is tested mostly here!

How fickle and ADD are the fans today when they can access everything instantaneously? Howe hard is it to build a following today?
-People today tend to be impatient. Everyone has the right to be as patient or impatient as he/she feels appropriate, yet sometimes it takes more than a half-hearted listen to appreciate music. I know that some of the best music I’ve listened to took me some time getting used to. Yet this helps with its appreciation. This is the famous ‘it grows on you’ addendum! Now, downloading allows people to have things instantaneously and thus reduces the need for patience, which sometimes contributes to a trend of not dedicating the time necessary to listen to an album well enough and absorb its musical content.

How long can you work on an album before it starts to get tedious and lose its charm? When is enough enough?
-Well there is no magic number I can magically chum out … However, it is true that after some time, maybe years, musicians get bored of the composition and want to move on. I get this feeling after recording an album and endlessly listening to mixes and master versions of it. I would need to take a break from the album and allow some time to adjust back to normality.

How hard is it to find the right channels for your music to reach the right kind of crowd? How much leg work do you have to do yourself for it to happen?
-The channels are in fact the promoters and the magazines like yourself. Without the right support bands tend to fade away, regardless of how good they are. It’s hard, believe me! And it seems that the more time passes the harder it gets. Yet, the feeling of accomplishment that is achieved through music can never go away!

Does the art work have to match the music or can it be something completely different than expected?
-It could be both. The artwork is normally a vision of what the artist sees in the music.

With the music you play does a lyrical theme follow? Can the lyrics be about anything or do they follow a scheme?
-Weeping Silence usually carries a life experience theme for the music. This has fit nicely with our styles over the years. ‘End of an Era’ was more melancholic than ‘Theatre of Life’ and this was evident from the lyrical theme too.

How are you going to make Weeping Silence even more prolific on the international metal scene?
-The band has now recorded the new third album. It features me (Joe) on backing vocals, apart from Rachel as main. It also features Anders Jacobsson of Draconian as guest vocalist. The album is heavier than any of our previous albums, and it also carries a stronger doom theme than Theatre of Life. We are in the stage of discussing deals with record labels. We are happy with our current record label – Ravenheart Music Records, yet our contract was for one album and we need to re-negotiate an agreement. Hopefully we will see this new album hit the shelves this year. We are looking forward to what you, out there, think of it. We would also like to thank you and all at Battlehelm Mag for this interview … and all our fans and friends who have followed and supported us for all these years. It is truly an honour to have your support – keep it metal!

EMPATIC GODS “Gods Of Thousand Souls”

EMPATIC GODS
“Gods Of Thousand Souls”
(Terrasound Records)
Polish metal of the 80s might have been looked at as a joke but Polish metal of the 10s is no laughing matter. Some of my greatest metal experiences of lately have been Polish. Empatic Gods might be new to me to they are old to the scene. This is to my ears thrash metal the way it sounded in Germany in the 80s without any of the retro stuff that seem to be going on today. This is Teutonic thrash the way progress wanted it to sound like. It’s a full on blast of good old thrash metal done the raw way. I like the way this album makes me feel like 16 again, discovering creator for the first time. Not the World’s most original sound but a sound that still works in 2012. Anders Ekdahl

EMPTY DREAMS “Lost Souls”

EMPTY DREAMS
“Lost Souls”
(-)
I’m not too familiar with the Romanian metal scene but one band that I have a relation with is Empty Dreams. I’ve been following them on and off for some years now. This is a new EP from the band that continues their journey on the goth metal road that they’ve set out on. What sets Empty Dreams apart from all the other goth metal bands is that there is a darkness, a depth to the music that many lacks. You don’t get the glossy exterior that many goth metal bands surrounds themselves with. I like that. It gives the music another dimension. Another angle to approach it from. That it is beautiful and emotional goes without saying but in a more dirtier way. I like Empty Dreams even though it took me a will to get accustomed to their sound. Anders Ekdahl

KARNAE “Evil Is An Necessity”

KARNAE
“Evil Is An Necessity””
(-)
It gets boring to keep mentioning that I’m not the greatest of metalcore fans. I can appreciate a good record when I hear one despite what sub-genre it might be. The problem with metalcore to my ears is that there is little variation in the sound the bands apart. It’s like they all bought the same manual on how to make it work. Italian Karnae have all the trademarks with the exception of the clean vocal interludes (oh I spoke too soon). This works so much better in my ears. I can fully appreciated the aggression this brings to me. It’s almost like I get a The Haunted with Marco Aro feeling listening to this. More of this stuff and I’ll be the biggest metalcore fan there is. I can fully get my head around this stuff without having to decipher all the trend rules that comes with metalcore these days. Anders Ekdahl

METAL SCENT “Homemade”

METAL SCENT
”Homemade”
(-)
Out of the blue I got sent this by some promo agency in Israel. As I know nothing about Metal Scent but like to explore the universe of metal it was with open arms that I took this one on. As the band name says this is metal in the more traditional way. As somebody who grew up on Saxon and Iron Maiden trad metal have a special place in my heart. So whenever an album full of all that is great with heavy metal (melodies, guitar solos etc.) lands on my desk I approach it with the greatest of anticipation. Metal Scent proved to be a nice surprise. This is metal in the same vein as Jag Panzer, Benedictum, Portrait etc. Metal that has more in common with the 80s greats than the 90s watered down version of trad metal. This surprised me more than I expected. An album that I’ll spin in my car driving to work. It gets me in a positive mood. Anders Ekdahl

PHENOMENA “Awakening”

PHENOMENA
“Awakening”
(Escape Music)
I never cared for Phenomena in the 80s when they first appeared on the scene. A metal opera concept album wasn’t exactly my cup of java back then. Not really my cup of java today either and with so many different musical projects that involves different musicians these days Phenomena ain’t that special anymore. Having said that if you only concentrate on the music and leave all the other stuff aside this is a really good hardrock album. Strong melodies and a cast that really know what they are doing make this a winner in my ears. And for that reason alone this album deserves your attention. If you like good old hardrock as it was done in the 80s and without any special eye to the latest trends, just good music, then you’d be stupid to miss out on this one. Anders Ekdahl

SEVEN ENDS “To The Worms”

SEVEN ENDS
“To The Worms”
(Massacre)
With an intro that made me think Terminator this could not be anything but an aggressive album. And aggressive it is. This is what I’d like to describe as deathrash. I get a distinct Morgoth/Lemming Project (that band again) feeling listening to this. There is that heavy feel to it. I also get a Napalm Death feeling, a grindcore nod in my side listening to “To The Worm”. A combo that actually works very well. That this is a full on blast of metal is just an added bonus to my ears. No fancy lettering here. No, just full on blast from start to finish in the best possible manner imaginable. This is the kind of album that I need coming my way every now and then to just cleanse me from all the other stuff I listen to. This is music that requires very little thought. This is guts music. This is so damn fun listening to, headbanging away like a maniac. Anders Ekdahl

SILENT OPERA “Immortal Beauty”

SILENT OPERA
“Immortal Beauty”
(Ravenheart Records)
Italian Silent Opera you might know from the interview I did with them. This is their debut album. You might think Lacuna Coil every time a goth metal band from Italy appears on the scene but where LC are more traditional metal Silent Opera have more in common with Tarja-Nightwish. You get the very operatic female vocals and the over the top metal that is often associated with this style of goth metal. And I like it. I leap up every drop of it like a milk starved kitten. This is music for my very romantic heart. I can’t seem to get enough of this kind of gothic metal. I crave more and more and Silent Opera see to it that I will not go starving for long. With their Italian heritage comes an automatic symphonic metal touch. A touch that just adds to my already burning infatuation for Silent Opera. This is my new favourite at the moment. Anders Ekdahl

SPHERE “Homo Hereticus”

SPHERE
“Homo Hereticus’”
(Masterful Records)
I like Polish death metal. Have done so even before it got on everybody’s lips. I don’t know what they have put in the water down in Poland but they are sure good at creating some of the most explosive death metal the world has seen. Sphere are no exception. This is death metal the more brutal way. It’s like stepping in front of a bulldozer, or ending up between a brick wall and a dumpster truck. You can’t escape the inevitable. You will be flattened like a pancake at the mercy of Sphere. Think Hate, think Behemoth, think any other Polish death metal act and you can add Sphere to that list of great death metal acts. “Homo Hereticus” is a fine slice of death metal. I will keep an eye on Sphere in the future. Anders Ekdahl

STILLBORN “Asesino”

STILLBORN
“Los Asesinos Del Sur”
(Ataman Productions)
This Stillborn is not the good old Swedish doomish metal act that had their 15 minutes of fame in the late 90s. No, this is a Polish one with the same name but different music style, death metal. I’m a huge sucker for death metal done the well. Poland has a history of great death metal acts. Stillborn turned out to be another one. This is death metal in its most primitive and brutal form. Think Impiety and you get a pretty good idea of where to find Stillborn stylistically. There is something special to being hit by a ton of bricks. You just have to accept your fate and then deal with it. Stillborn leaves you no leeway. You just gotta accept that they are here to turn you into a total pulp of human flesh. Anders Ekdahl