Posted by Nick Skog on Thursday, May 15, 2014 Under: Interviews
Epitimia Interview with Black Phoenix Rising
Published: May 11, 2014
1. For the benefit of any of our members who might not be familiar with Epitimia, can you briefly introduce yourselves and describe your sound?
Hello there! We are Epitimia, a band from Saint-Petersburg, Russia. We are playing atmospheric/post-black metal with influences from many other music styles.
2. How did the band members first meet and what made you decide to form Epitimia?
A. and K. know each other from school times, when we first started to make music. At first it was a kind of joke, because we had not any instrument playing skills. Our first “serious” project was melodic black metal band “Autarchy”, where M. played on drums. (Later she became the third Epitimia member) But soon, after the first demo “Autarchy” disbanded and we decided to play something more atmospheric. So in early 2008 we formed Epitimia.
After more than 6 years, four full-lengths and a couple of splits we became a four piece band (I. joined the band in 2013). The music changed from depressive/atmospheric black metal into post-black metal with many influences and experiments.
3. What is the significance of the name 'Epitimia' and why did you decide on this to name your band?
Epitimia is a Greek word with the meaning “penance”. I just can’t say, why we chose this word for the band name, we just thought it was good and original. So there was not any big reason for this choice. But after that we understood that it also suits the music conceptually, it reflects perfectly what we want to say in our music. It is covering many themes connected with the inner experiences and struggles of a man. And that is the main lyrical concept of our project.
4. It's clear that Epitimia has a vast range of musical influences, which artists in particular would you say have been
the biggest inspiration for you?
Despite the fact that we are listening to lots of music, we can’t pick out a couple of bands that we are inspired with. There are hundreds of brilliant bands and projects we are excited with, but the true inspiration for us is our thoughts and emotions.
5. You've recently released '(Un)reality' through Hypnotic Dirge Records, described as your 'magnum opus' and certainly an immense and epic undertaking. How was the vision for this album first conceived and is the finished album as you'd expected it would be when you first started?
When we first started working on the album we could not imagine that it will be divided into two parts. We just started to compose very different songs, the conception was born a bit later. And that happens really often – we just start with the single riff and develop it into a thought-out work.
6. Can you briefly describe some of the lyrical themes explored on (Un)reality?
“(Un)reality” is a continuation of our previous album’s conception. We turn to the idea of person’s loneliness, but we examine it from a different angle. We pay more attention to a memories and their role in human life. We think that the album’s conception was perfectly described in the press release from the Hypnotic Dirge records:
“(Un)reality is like limbo, the world where the hero lingers. His day life here is infinite and artificial, but his dreams fill his mind with bright new images, odd flashbacks, and the reminiscence of his other lives. These visions are the keys to understanding what is happening to him, and may be the only chance to escape. “Delusion” contains the dark images of objective reality while “Illusions” is a moment in which all his dreams merge: hope, love and most importantly – the desire for truth, by which he will be free forever.”
7. How did you find the recording process for the album?
All the work on the album was done at home. The music was made by A. with the help of I., that helped with some acoustic parts. After that K. made the lyrics and recorded vocals. On “(Un)reality” you can hear the work of a session musician D’Arcy Molan, saxophonist, that performed great sax solos on “Delusion” part.
8. Thinking back to your previous albums, what similarities would you say there are between (Un)reality and those earlier albums, and what are the significant differences?
Every our new album is a result of a bands’ progress. We always try to develop the sound quality of our music and conception, we try to grow as musicians, training our playing skills. We try to make something fresh, so we often do experiments, what is a quite risky in such a conservative style as black metal.
But there are lots of similarities in all our works. We always are interested in the inner human problems, his mentality, isolation from society – all this themes we examine in every our album.
9. The album hasn't been out long, but are you happy with the reception it has received so far?
We really like the reception “(Un)reality has. We receive really good feedback from the listeners and critics. And we think that is it our most successful release by far.
10. Over the six years or so Epitimia has been around are there any particular high or low points from your career?
Yes, six years have passed. In 2008 we hardly could imagine that it will last for so long period. Talking about “highs” and “lows”, the biggest our hit is the beginning of the cooperation with “Hypnotic dirge records”, the biggest disappointment – is the working with the “Beneath the fog productions”.
11. Do you have much interaction with the metal scene or other metal bands in Russia, and if so how would you describe your
relationship with them?
We have relations only with the bands, that we collaborated with. They are Windbruch, Gmork from Russia. We also have some connections with St-Petersburg’s underground black metal scene, but these connections are not that close to announce.
12. What do you see and hope for in the future for Epitimia, and what's next for the band after (Un)reality?
Now we are working on the compilation of our old songs, that will be re-recorded exclusively for this work. The songs will be performed in more “blackgazish” sound. We hope to finish all the works this summer.
I'll finish with a few questions on a lighter note...
13. What is your favourite album of all time?
The favorite album of K. is “The Pearl” from Harold Budd & Brian Eno.
The favorite album of A. is “Wish you were here” by Pink Floyd.
14. Worst album you've ever bought?
We try to buy only the albums we like. We try to pre-listen the recording before spending money on it, so in our collection we have no bad items.
15. Which other bands have impressed you most recently?
This year we are impressed with new releases from Walk Through Fire, Aenaon, Animals As Leaders and Woods of Desolation.
16. If you could have written any one song by any other band which would it be any why?
Oh, so much songs fit this description!) Let it be "Empyrium – Wassergeister: Die Schwane im Schilf" as an example of a great song.
17. Finally do you have anything else you'd like to add or say to the members of Black Phoenix Rising?
Thank you for your questions! Wish your readers new great music experiences!
In : Interviews
Tags: epitimia (un)reality black metal post black metal experimental post-rock blackgaze jazz