Eruption – Devotion to Oblivion Part IFriday, 9th June 2017
Dead Rhetoric: Your latest album Cloaks of Oblivion as the third Eruption album is quite an explosive record featuring melodic, power and thrash metal with more musically inclined aspects. How do you feel the songwriting and recording sessions went, and where do you see the main differences between this release and your previous two albums?
Andrej: Thanks for the cool words. The differences were quite major. For one, this has probably got to be the record where we ended up scrapping the most songs to date before hitting the studio, let alone riffs. Even most of the ones that did make it got tweaked or expanded quite a bit and took long to gestate. I had the main riffs for “Seven Archons” sitting around for a year before I could come up with the rest of the song in a way that made sense, and that’s just one example. We really weren’t going to settle for anything less than what we had envisioned for the record. The recording sessions were very touch and go because we had to switch studios unexpectedly right after the drums were tracked. We did the guitars and bass ourselves and the rest at Studio Evolucija here in Ljubljana, all of which ended up turning out for the best. The previous records both came together quicker and were tracked in a single studio, which is much less stressful but it doesn’t really give you the time you need to hash out certain ideas. In a sense, the melodic, heavy/power metal driven bits slowly crept into the music during the whole process and I think they’re what mark the album as special and different from the preceding two.
Ivan: I’d like to add that at the beginning we didn’t envision where the songs would take us, although we knew we didn’t want to repeat Tenses Collide. I think the song “Empty Shells” on Tenses shows where we wanted to go, but also “Unparticled Matter”, meaning melodic, aggressive, fast, technical, but also slow, heavy and dark when needed. In the mean time we lost two members and found the blessing first in an awesome guitarist, Grega. He can play fast, technical yet melodic, intriguing and unpredictable. Although he didn’t put as much input into the new songs as Andrej did, his presence really raised the bar in what we wanted to achieve. The second real blessing is our new bassist Nika. She always surprises me with the ideas and possibilities to play bass, and unlike our previous bassist, she knows how to complement the drum work and not dictate it, if you know what I mean. Nika and Grega along with the three of us made Eruption a tight unit, a real band of brothers and sisters and paved the way for a much more relaxed, although still exciting recording of the new album. Believe me, I never imagined the result would be like this! The situations were sometimes really crazy, stressful, sometimes it seemed the whole world was against us, there was tons of blood, sweat and tears, but we soldiered on and ta-daa!
Dead Rhetoric: What can you tell us about the Alex Boca artwork for Cloaks of Oblivion – do you give him free reign to develop the piece, or is it a back and forth, collaborative process between the band and artist until you get to the final product?
Klemen: I stumbled upon Alex by chance while browsing through some Warhammer 40k fan art. His work just blew me away and I e-mailed him immediately. I gave him a rough idea of what I wanted on the cover and his first sketch was just perfect. He ended up doing the final artwork in a fortnight. The image itself draws on some of the lyrics from the album and at the same time serves as a bridge to some of the lyrics from our previous releases. I’ll expand on the concept in the future and maybe draw a timeline of the lyrics that flow together. For now, just try to draw the connections yourself.
Dead Rhetoric: Klemen’s vocal style to my ears is a big difference maker for the group – conveying aspects of Jon Oliva and Warrel Dane in his phrasing and range. Do you believe his delivery allows the band to expand horizons in terms of riffing, hooks, and songwriting in general?
Andrej: Yes, majorly. The kind of music we play is very guitar-heavy and busy, sometimes too busy. This time around a conscious effort was made to let some of the riffs breathe and allow the vocals to come through and lead the song. The verses in “Drones” are one such example where you don’t really notice the riffs, they just provide a tonal backdrop for Klemen to do his thing, which he does very well.
Nika: Oh yes, definitely. I’ve always admired his vocals, they’re one of the reasons I started listening to Eruption way back in 2009, when they released their debut. The best part is that he sounds exactly the same live! I think Cloaks is his best performance yet, showing people that he’s way more than just high pitched screams and standardized thrash vocals, complementing the guitars with his insane lines. Simply brilliant!
Gregor: I just love what he did on this album. His contribution to the album’s diversity is undeniable. Klemen and I have known each other for a long time, from the start of Eruption long before I joined the band. I always knew that he had great potential and with Cloaks of Oblivion he really delivered what I always wanted to hear from him and more. I could go on and on about this…
Ivan: When I first heard his vocals on the new album – before we went into the studio I knew how the vocals would sound on only 3 of 8 songs (not counting the instrumental intro) – I was blown away. I was already totally amazed by the stellar guitar work and crazy bass, but the vocals – in my opinion, Klemen’s vocals really set us apart from other bands in this genre. His vocal abilities are incredible. He can do almost anything and the way he projects the emotions of his lyrics when he sings, it’s just mind blowing! He definitely is an instrument on his own and I’m so happy that I’m actually in a thrash band whose vocalist does not sound like a bad copy of Alexi Laiho or Phil Anselmo (in his Pantera days).
Dead Rhetoric: How did Xtreem Music come into the fold after your first album with On Parole Productions? How do you feel about the relationship with the label now over the past five years and two albums?
Klemen: Dave Sanchez of Xtreem Music contacted us after the release of our debut, offering us a deal. We didn’t have anything else in the works, his deal was good enough for us, so naturally we said yes. We’ll see what the future brings, but for now I can honestly say that Xtreem’s done good by us.
Andrej: They’ve definitely upped their promotional efforts, which is always a good thing. It’s a very relaxed relationship, requests from both sides are approached with seriousness so that’s good, I sense that a lot of indies these days can be really flaky.
Part II of Matt Coe’s talk with Eruption will post tomorrow, June 10th.
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