Eïs Interview

Following the release of EP “Stillstand und Heimkehr” via Prophecy Productions/Lupus Lounge, we had a little chat with German atmospheric black metal band Eïs!

The Offering: Tell us a bit about the background of the band.

Eïs: Phuuu, well… we have a history of more than fifteen years, including all previous incarnations of the band. I guess it’s not the best idea to repeat all that. Basically we’re a German melodic black metal band, as you will have noticed, four guys being crazy for this music, constantly releasing albums and  playing gigs wherever we can. Probably it’s best if readers being more interested in the band’s background just read a previous interview or the wiki article.

TO: Is there a particular band or artist that inspired you to become a musician?

Eïs: Not exactly, I got into playing in bands through the second Summoning album, but didn’t write any music back then. As an active musician and composer, I’m very much influenced by the Norwegian, Swedish and partly Finnish black metal scene of pretty much the entire 90s, particularly bands like Emperor, Satyricon, Arcturus, Covenant, Troll… stuff like that.

TO: You recently released the EP “Stillstand und Heimkehr”, how did you approach the songwriting?

Eïs: Different from our normal approach – together with our drummer, I just locked into the rehearsal room, with no material being prepared upfront, and we did all you can hear in two days, including drinking of course. That’s one of the reasons why the EP sounds very direct and emotional, maybe spontaneous.

TO: What was the inspiration for the lyrics on this EP?

Eïs: Very sad personal experiences of the past year. I guess it’s best for all involved if I don’t go into detail too much. Probably everybody being a little sensitive for music and atmosphere will notice how desperate, depressed and dark this recording is. The rest is up to your imagination.

TO: Are you working on a  new full length album?

Eïs: On two actually. I’m slowly, but steadily working on a very demanding – both concerning composing and conception – album I wanted to do before the current on, “Bannstein”, but I wasn’t very inspired back then. Time for another try. The second one will be a very classical, mellow, melancholic black metal album with songs I wrote during night time when I was living in a hut in Norway last year. You’ll hear clearly where that was done.

TO: What do you enjoy most about writing music?

Eïs: Good question. The thrill of chaneling your inmost feelings and thoughts into something audible for other people, and slowly getting rid of it myself as well. It’s also kind of an orgasmatic experience to write riffs and melodies which touch me a lot, it’s like a child of yours being born, each time. Apart from that, performing songs is always such a please.

TO: If you could collaborate with any musician who would you choose?

Eïs: Only one? I guess Tony Martin. I cherish his voice so much, he’s clearly one of the best metal vocalist of all time, maybe the best one for me. Not that “cult” as Dio, Ozzy, Lemmy and the likes, but he has that really touching extra in his voice.

TO: Do you have any touring plans?

Eïs: We’re playing a lot of single gigs and festivals this year, like Metal Frenzy,  Dark Easter Metal Meeting, Barther Metal Open Air and so forth, and as there’s something new coming around the corner every few weeks it’s a good idea to look that up on our Facebook profile or so.

TO: What are your expectations for the future of the band?

Eïs: We don’t have that high expectations, just recording the music we love, play the songs we love to play, and growing constantly, a little. I’ve learned to be alright with not too much in life.

TO: Thank you for the interview!

Eïs: Thanks for the support!

Eïs – Stillstand und Heimkehr

German atmospheric black metal act Eïs returns to spread pure melancholy with the cold poetry of the new EP “Stillstand und Heimkehr”.

“An den schwarz besandeten Gestaden” begins with the soft sound of waves and distant piano melodies channeling immense melancholia and sadness but within a peaceful scenario that will soon evolve into monumental icy raw guitar riffing executed in old school black metal fashion. Growls express desperate emotions matching the profound darkness that permeates the whole instrumentation until a pale light emerges in the slow contemplative breakdown filled with ethereal melodies.

On “Stillstand und Heimkehr” guitars still dwell in a realm of darkness but provide a quite catchy yet absolutely gloomy melodic ensemble that maintains a fascinating poetic mood until a heavier blackened shroud of frost takes over to deliver more obscure tonalities with faster drumming and feverish guitar riffs.

“Stillstand und Heimkehr” definitely stands out for the sincere intimate emotional quality that Eïs fully expresses through blasts of traditional undiluted black metal anger and darkened atmospheric nuances.

The Mystery Of The Bulgarian Voices – Pora Sotunda

For six decades the choir known as The Mystery Of The Bulgarian Voices has worked with various artists and delivered an ensemble of ancient and post-modern music based on the fact that human voice is an extremely versatile instrument. On the new venture “Pora Sotunda, a single that will be followed by a full length album next year, the choir joins forces with renowned vocalist Lisa Gerrard of Dead Can Dance to lead the listeners through an enchanted sonic realm.

On “Pora Sotunda” exotic and archaic flavors evoke distant magical soundscapes with the addition of subtle tribal percussions and soft arpeggios while Lisa Gerrard as lead vocalist delivers an inspired performance adding darker yet absolutely warm tonalities.

“Ganka” impresses with the minimalist yet empowering sounds that the choir seem to achieve effortlessly with mystical arcane chants.

Those looking for a unique sonic experience and willing to keep an open mind will certainly benefit from the uniquely fascinating music journey that is “Pora Sotunda”.

Katla – Móðurástin

Named after a majestic active volcano Icelandic duo Katla, featuring ex-Sólstafir drummer and visual artist Guðmundur Óli Pálmason and singer/multi-instrumentalist Einar Thorberg Guðmundsson, has released the stunning debut album “Móðurástin” packed with a remarkable taste for poetry and fascinating darkly atmospheric soundscapes.

Starting with delicate arpeggios “Hyldýpi” belongs to a realm of enchanting darkness as the whole instrumentation gradually acquires heavier dynamics with thick guitars and drums yet maintains a surreal atmospheric quality smoothly entwined with somber passionate vocals.

With significant instrumental clarity “Hvila” features a refined blend of cathartic guitar melodies and classical atmospheric arrangements yet some sophisticated dark metal nuances tend to dominate the song’s structure with vibrant distortions and sharp rhythmic patterns without sacrificing the ethereal inner poetry.

In the beginning “Hreggur” feels rather contemplative with a minimalist sonic approach reminiscent of modern post-rock dynamics that favors slow paced melodies while impeccable poignant vocals gently flow through bewitching atmospheric layers but guitars will eventually acquire a primordial obscure energy with absolutely fierce heavier & faster rhythms.

The title track evokes subtle majestic winter flavors and gains a noticeable primal monolithic force delivering a fair dosage of blackened intensity with tight frenetic rhythmic dynamics skillfully built by obscure guitar riffs and borderline enraged vocals but also features kaleidoscopic glimpses of an immensely darkened scenario.

With understated creative sparks “Dulsmál” is the darkest opus on this album featuring intricate sonic diversity as the band eagerly explores multifaceted music territories.  The dramatic tonalities and the enigmatic solemn beginning introduce a particularly epic series of complex guitar driven rhythmic sections with enticing experimental accents while cinematic dense atmospheric layers contribute to the creation of a gloomy sonic palette further enriched by exquisitely darkened melancholic guitar passages.

It could be because of the long dark winters or the summer’s midnight sun, nevertheless the marvelous bands hailing from Iceland are a force to be reckoned with and listening to “Móðurástin” it becomes clear that Katla is on the right pathway to earn a solid status in the current metal scene.

Camerata Mediolanense – Le Vergini Folli

When poetry and music embrace usually something unexpectedly beautiful comes to life. In the case of the extremely talented Italian neofolk/neoclassical ensemble Camerata Mediolanense the magical beauty characterizing the newest release “Le Vergini Folli” is actually expected and easily appreciated.

As all the songs on “Le Vergini Folli” “Lacrime Di Gioia” focuses mainly on the creation of darkened atmospheres through layered classical tonalities that allow graceful vocals to take the center stage. The stunning dreamlike composition is further enhanced by minimalist piano melodies, intensely theatrical narratives and elegant strings.

On “Scrissi Con Stile Amaro” the impeccable performance of piano and voice acquires a deserved dominant role with a crescendo of melancholic classical textures while violins deliver additional refined poetic vibes.

“Mi Vuoi” might be one of the most charismatic tracks featuring an intoxicating ensemble of lavish piano and strings melodies while vocals continue to display a delightfully dramatic delivery through an irresistible emotional and rhythmic climax.

On “Pace Non Trovo” the addition of baritone vocals amplifies the theatrical neoclassical mood and delicate piano flawlessly provides understated melodic tapestries.

Like an operetta “Quando ‘L Sol” showcases a symphonic approach with genuinely sophisticated soprano vocals accompanied by an exquisitely fascinating piano composition in proper classical style but also maintains a subtle darkened mood.

Simply enchanting is what comes to mind listening to “Le Vergini Folli” which, far from being an average collection of songs, feels more like an arcane dream fueled by forgotten poems and fragile emotions and carefully crafted by the impressive group of chamber musicians behind Camerata Mediolanense.