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Ephel Duath – The New Disorder

By: David E. Gehlke

Blistering.com: Do the two of you share similar visions toward music? I would think as such since you’re both on the forward-thinking, almost avant-garde side of the fence…

We are both big fan of each other and we really clicked artistically. I'm totally in love with her voice, I find it perfect for the kind of music and lyrics I write and I trust her gut blindly. If Karyn has the feeling that something doesn't work or will not work out in the near future, she said it loud and clear and we go for it. The goal we are setting for both our lives and our individual artistic expressions are getting higher and higher and I love to be around all day with such a driven person as Karyn.

Blistering.com: On Death and Cosmos has more black metal elements than your previous releases. Your riffing is more angular and obtuse as well. What made you go in this direction?

I got the input to restart writing for ED from a personal tragedy, the EP's mood is very obscure because of this and this is probably what is giving to the whole work that black metal feeling you are talking about. When I felt it was time to return composing for ED, I noticed pretty soon that the material was going to be very dark and cryptic, longer songs with riffs upon riffs melting on each other, everything in order to create as many intense moods as possible. I let my inspiration go, without questioning too much were I was supposed to bring the band this time, and the songs came out effortless, the whole process was extremely liberating.

In 2005, with the album Pain Necessary to Know I started working with open song structures and more dissonant riffs, that mindset was probably the only pre-defined direction I hold onto while composing On Death and Cosmos.

Blistering.com: Was there anything you threw at Marco and Steve that they couldn’t handle? Furthermore, what’s it like working with two world-class players?

Respecting my music so much I try to set the bar pretty high for what concern the other musicians I involve with Ephel Duath. When I approach other musicians, the songs structures and all the guitars parts are usually already composed. Considering the challenging nature of Ephel Duath's music, and considering we are usually dealing with distant collaborations based on emails and phone calls, it is much more productive to work with pre-defined song's skeletons. To balance the fact that working this way I always finish to be the one leading the game, I try to give as much artistic freedom possible to each musician, and instead of being the one giving directions I let the music speak to them. Just when their creative flows don't naturally click with mine, I try to help sharing how I was picturing the other instruments while composing my guitars.

In On Death and Cosmos I'm lucky enough to be joined by my first choices in terms of drumming, bass playing, singing, producing and mastering. Thanks to the big support offered by Agonia Records and with a big dose of stubbornness, this time around I was able to make the album I wanted with the team I wanted. Planning things right and way ahead of time we made the collaboration with Marco and Steve possible. Both these musicians have a pretty tight schedule, but their enthusiasm, professionalism and commitment to the project made the difference. They found the time and the energy to learn my songs, compose and record their part, and they both did a wonderful job.

Blistering.com: I understand you’ve started work on the next album. How is it shaping up?

We are way into the new album recordings at the moment, guitars and structures are done, so are drums, we are half way with the bass and we are taking four or five months to deal exclusively with the vocals. I believe the new album will be out in the first 2013 quarter.

Blistering.com: Will you tie in any concepts ala Through My Dog’s Eyes?

The new album's lyrics have a strong metaphysical direction and all the songs touch very specific super natural experiences I've read, heard or dealt with in my life so far. The words are poetic but crude at the same time and I simply love how the album is growing day after day: it will be the most ambitious piece of music I have ever worked on.

Blistering.com: What do you have planned for live shows? Will you be careful in selecting the dates you play out based on everyone’s schedule?

I want the recording line-up to come on stage, and to do so, considering the name involved, I need to plan everything in the best way possible so that this kind of even will become a reality. We are probably going to return to play once the album will be released, but just if we will receive the necessary conditions to do some good shows. For me to compose music is a very intimate process, vital I would say: I don't do it for passion, I do it because I have to. To bring Ephel Duath live, most of the time meant to sacrifice a lot of the artistic side of things to deal with the lowest and most practical aspects of music: promoters that don't pay, shows lacking promotion, bad planned tours and tones and tons of expenses. I'm not interested in repeating that kind of experience once again. Once I got back working on Ephel Duath full-time, I promised myself to not deal with compromises anymore and to take just decisions for the exclusive benefit of the band and its future.

Blistering.com: Finally, what’s on the agenda for the rest of 2012?

More promotion for the EP, shooting a video for the song "Stardust Rain" and prepare to re-enter in studio in few months to record the new album!

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