I have a love for well played Melodic Death Metal. But more so, I’m very impressed with bands that work inside the style and tweak it a little in order to capture their own ‘take’ and thus, offer a point of difference among the throng! And you would agree that in a very saturated scene like Melodid Death Metal, this is very important. As far as this style is concerned, listening to and reviewing ‘Silent Witness’ (read here), the debut album from Spanish act Aeolian has been a highlight of the year for me! So much so that I had to chat with the band to find out how a newly formed band could create something so engaging! Read on as I chat with guitarist Raúl Morán about all things Aeolian!
– Hi there Raul, great to have the opportunity to chat with you today.
Thank you so much, it’s a pleasure for us.
– Of course, we are here to chat to you about Aeolian’s new album ‘Silent Witness’ – obviously, my review indicated that I was suitably impressed – it’s only been available for a short time, but how has the response been so far?
We’ve just began our musical trip with Aeolian but we’re really impressed with the awesome acceptance the album is having.
– You band is relatively new I believe, but as musicians, you have been around for some time? Can you give us some history of how you came to form Aeolian? I believe you and Dani, your vocalists have known each other for 25 years??
We know each other from the Majorca metal scene. Some of us played together in other local bands several years ago. As you said, I know Dani for 25 years, so I cannot imagine playing in a band without him. When Alberto called me saying he would like to start in a new band, I showed him the songs sketches and he accepted to join us. Gabi is my band mate in a local Surf&Roll band called Hattori Hanzo Surf Experience where I play the trombone. After listening to the songs many times, he decided to be my guitar mate in the band. And finally Toni joined us recommended by Alberto and Dani.
– You are Melodic Death Metal band at your core – how does a Spanish band come to work with something so Scandinavian in origin? Got any major Swed/Finn/Norwegian influences there?
We began listening to the bands like Iron Maiden, Metallica, Sepultura, etc. until the Scandinavian melodic death and black metal began to grow. From that moment we were listening to this kind of metal mixed with other great bands from US and other countries. Before the digital era, we used to buy our vinyls and CDs in a small music shop here in Palma named “Disco loco”.
– There are threads of Folk and Black metal weaved throughout your sound too?
Indeed. We tried to create something different with well-known elements, among them there are folk and black metal ones.
– The other element I noticed is that there is an emphasis on the main riff, without the melodic leads becoming overbearing and there are no keyboards. Care to comment?
When I began the project, I thought about the keyboards possibility. But later I decided not to enter it. I prefer to build music in the melodic way but with aggressiveness, and in my opinion the keys makes the music softer.
– I agree 100%, and when the aggressive melodies are required – just wow! – I reckon that last minute of ‘Immensity’ is the finest piece of MDM I’ve heard this year!
Thank you so much. Glad you like it!
– And for those struggling with your band name, how the hell is it pronounced? Sounds like?
It sounds like the aeolian energy, for example. The pronunciation depends on the language. In Spanish, it sounds a bit different due to our vocal pronunciation.
– The word itself – its origin is from Aeolus, the Greek God of the wind?
– This brings us to your excellent lyrical approach – all about raising awareness re Human contribution to our current environmental issues? This is your point of difference to most other MDM bands, yeah?
Yes. We would like to talk about different issues than the most metal bands. And it’s a personal satisfaction to raise awareness about environmental issues in our music. We are not inventing histories; we are talking about the actual reality that is happening in this moment and it’s scarier than any terror movie.
– Absolutely true…I love the way you have used the album title as the conduit for your message…ie Nature being the Silent Witness to human atrocities and responding in kind. Nature has no voice, but it can certainly convey a message through physical changes. Am I on the right track?
Of course, I agree with you. Nature cannot speak but it’s complaining with physical changes as the increase in average temperatures, the ice melt or the ocean acidification.
– In my review I indicated that this album is a very pissed off record – clearly lyrically – but it’s Daniel’s vocals that drive the message home for me – so emotive! Some of his screams are delivered with pain and rage – as if its nature itself imploring us to WAKE UP and do something?? Agree?
Yes, I agree. In my opinion, Dani has the ability to sing with aggressiveness and melancholy at the same time. And this is just the feeling we want to transmit to the listener. The rage comes from the sadness we feel when we see how the world is blowing away, and we have to do something to change it.
– That sadness and pain are brilliantly captured… and that spoken word line taken from the track Immensity “Humanity sleeps behind a mask” – so true?
Yes, the most part of the humanity don’t want to see the reality which occurs in the world. Not only about environmental issues, there are many more tragedies. We always look away thinking we cannot do anything about it. I believe that if everyone changes a small detail in their everyday life and we also show and teach the new generations, we would have an opportunity to change the world.
– You tackle some very important humanity concerns on the album – not the first to do so, but you do it without preachiness…I guess using ‘nature’ to be the voice allows your lyrics to have more depth and impact?
We wanted to raise awareness to the people about these problems and we thought that it would be an interesting point of view.
– The production is simply top notch – Extremely professional!! You hooked up with Miguel A. Riutort for this – how did this come about? Did you enjoy the process?
We know Miguel A. Riutort for a long time and we listened to his work with other bands. With all the sketches of the songs done, I met him to talk about the production of the album in the psychosomatic recording studio. I told him my idea about the sound and we trust him the production and mix. When he showed us the first mix, we understood that it was the sound for Aeolian. We enjoyed a lot during the recording process, however, it’s a hard and tired process.
– And your label, Raul – Finnish label Snow Wave records – how did that happen? Are you getting the exposure you want/expected?
With the album in our hands we sent demo submissions waiting for good deal to release Silent Witness. We received several answers, but Snow Wave records offered us the best deal. Until now we are very satisfied with the treatment received and with the exposure done.
– Then there is the artwork – a stunning piece licensed from Kilian Eng. Again, its representative of your whole lyrically concept. Did you take some time to find the right piece?
We were looking for the artwork for a couple of months, but when we spotted the Kilian Eng piece we decided to ask him for the license. It was perfect to represent our music.
– Of course, the ability to purchase that on Vinyl would be a great move – but there are none as yet? Are you a vinyl manyourself?? If so, surely, as a vinyl collector you see that it’s needed?
No, we don’t have yet. The reality is that we are a new band and we wanted to know the album acceptance before to release a vinyl edition. And yes, I’m a vinyl man. Nowadays it’s easier to sell vinyl than CDs, therefore, the vinyl edition is on our mind.
– You can lock me in for one of those when it becomes available!…Raul, what are the plans moving forward re playing Live? Is it true that as a band you have not played live as yet?? Beyond Spanish borders??
Before Aeolian all of us played live shows with other bands. With Aeolian we have played a presentation concert in Majorca on 22th September and we have arranged for the Extreme Division Mallorca III next 3th November sharing stage with Crisix, Ereb Altor, Cannibal Grandpa and VxPxOxAxAxWxAxMxC.
We are really interested in playing lives outside of Spain. We are looking for bands and festivals to do so. Actually we are in contact with a couple of them already so hopefully it works well. We hope to play shows around Europe next year.
– Finally Raul, on behalf of BAZ, I want to thank you for taking time out of your schedule to answer these questions. Silent Witness is easily one of the debut albums of the year in my eyes and deserves every success. Care to add anything we may have missed?
It was a pleasure to answer the interview and thank you very much for your words about our music.
We would like to tell you that we have decided to donate 10% of the proceeds of the album Silent Witness to The Ocean Cleanup, in the spirit of the nature conservation theme of the album. You can see them on www.theoceancleanup.com. And of course if anyone is interested in buying Silent Witness, you can do it on www.snow-wave-records.com or on aeolianband.bandcamp.com
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