Exploring the emotional hues: an interview with Sad Sir of End Of Green

Foto: Dani Vorndran / komplette Galerie

Foto: Dani Vorndran

German metallers End Of Green have been a persistent provocateur for the imagination and emotions through their impossibly anthemic sound and equally compelling releases. This has never been more potent than with their new album The Painstream, a release through Napalm Records which takes the band’s fusion of heavy and gothic rock with doom and alternative metal tendencies to stronger contagious imagination. It has a familiarity which plays like an old friend but equally uses that recognition to create a charm and virulent persuasion unique to the Stuttgart and Göppingen hailing quintet. Seizing greedily on the chance to find put more about the band, we talked about the album, pain and passion, melancholy and much more with guitarist Sad Sir .

Hi and thank you for taking time out to talk with us.

As a scene setter to readers new to End Of Green can you give us some background to the band and its beginnings?

We’re five guys from Stuttgart, Germany. We’re loud, intense and occasionally pretty dark. And we’re around since a veeeerry long time. A couple of weeks ago I’ve seen that Frank Turner writes on his setlist “show #1245”. I don’t know how many we played, we simply forgot to count.

Obviously the band’s sound has evolved over the years but has the intent and passion for forming the band has changed or evolved also?

We probably had some updates done over the past couple of years – that’s a natural thing. But one thing has always remained: End Of Green was formed being a loud and intense band. That passion is still our motor for almost anything we do. Things we learned: we don’t booze as much as we used to. I guess eight years ago we were some catastrophe on wheels (laughs) – still playing well, but constantly harming ourselves.

How do you see the difference in your music as found on your excellent new album The Painstream and your first recordings?

Actually, I have never thought about that at all. (laughs). Obviously I think it’s a good sign, that each album we did is different, but still “End Of Green”. We did all those records, there’s no need in doing it again. I guess nowadays we’re a bit more focussed, more “in your face” and a little more cynical with the lyrics. But I still get the kicks playing “Left My Way” or “Away”.

The band name is intriguing, sparking undefined ideas; please tell us its origins and meaning.

In the German language “green” symbolizes “hope”. And we basically set our homes at the end of that scale. Then again: it means, there is still some hope left (laughs). We might also have taken some huge slaps of inspiration by a great Irish rock band.

As we said The Painstream has just been released, your eighth full length release; what explorations does the album take which is End-of-Green-300x300new or distinct to the release from your previous albums?

I think we’ve been growing, especially in terms of not giving too many fucks about what other people think we should do or sound like. We’re starting to become one of these grumpy, old and stubborn men. I like that (laughs). I guess a couple of years ago we would not have done songs like “De(ad)generation” or “Death Of The Weakender”. We know our roots, we know our hearts and we’re feeling confident about that. We’ve always been in it for the songs – that’s about it. It’s not our duty to advertise some sort of lifestyle.

The release and your songwriting as since the beginning is drenched in the darkest shadows with varied hues of pain and passion, two guarantees of life which are never far apart, fuelling their explorations and cores. There is a feeling that this is a reflection of your personal experiences and emotive characters, how close are the music and lyrical narratives to all your day to day lives?

Sometimes too close (laughs). It’s not that we are some mobile suicide command or constant moaners – au contraire: we’re pretty fun guys to hang out with. But most of our music is rooted in those moments when you’re alone, alienated, pissed off, really angry or simply sad. That’s when we write down lyrics, that’s when we pick up our instruments and write a song that makes you forget what mood you’re in. We write songs about the stuff that moves us. Some days ago I had an interesting conversation about, why we’re not writing political songs; and I honestly think we’re very political. We write songs about that time of the day when crisis finally hits the coffee mug off your table.

Is this melancholic darkness to your imagination and invention musically predetermined or always an organic emergence from your inspirations and thoughts?

I think melancholy is a good feeling – i just can’t go with sensitivities like “My girlfriend left me and my friends don’t love me. Save the Whales” (laughs). What happens in our songs is most of the times very organic – one thing leads to another. There’s some melancholic melody that picks you up where you are and words or thoughts pour out instantly. But I guess we could never go like “Come on folks, let’s write and intense dark song about all the bad shit in the world.” That’s not us. Sometimes I even think we’re somehow funny.

Across The Painstream there is a light, a hope spawned certainly by some of the melodic imagination you infuse into your songs. You are people who accept the darker tones of life; take the offensive before it but one senses also looks for that glimpse and warmth of happiness in all shadowed corners?

Definitely! There’s nothing wrong with being happy, even when it sometimes seems like there’s nothing scheduled like that in the near future. I guess it’s always a good choice to be aware of darkness and the good life at the same time. We basically do this in our songs as well. There is always at least some glimpse of hope there, though this might sound like a one liner from a Chinese cookie. I think it’s true. Or maybe i just want this to be true. Thinking about it: this might be the essence of melancholy.

Do your preferences in other art forms, art, film etc. also find a stronger companion with the darker hued explorations than lighter themes and joyful scenarios?

I personally like them all. I enjoy a good laugh as much as I go for some deep Arthaus stuff. For instance watching “Dexter” tells me as much about life, as “Curb Your Enthusiasm” or slapstick like “Hangover”. What I find more important is that there are drops of real life in any form of art – something to connect with. That includes a good laugh and total darkness as well – and everything in between.

EoGAs the album shows once again your music is layered and textured with an array of flavours and styles, what would you say are or have been the biggest musical inspirations which have impacted on your ideas and inventiveness most openly?

Probably the late 80s and 90s. The stuff we listened to when we grew up. Alice In Chains, Metallica, The Cure or Sisters Of Mercy. We draw a lot of inspiration from all sorts of different music, simply because we all enjoy music very much. The latest Carcass record knocked me off my boots as much as “Bish Bosch” from Scott Walker, the latest Placebo, Lucero or The Dirtbombs did. I guess we do not care about genres, because we do not have to. Who would when there’s so much good music around? There’s certainly nothing wrong with being inspired, as long as you don’t rip off your faves. It’s strange: sometimes Roky Erickson gives me a swing in a direction that absolutely does not sound like him. That’s the magic of music.

How does the writing process work generally within the band?

It’s a drag (laughs). No, someone comes up with an idea and the rest improves it. That’s about it.

Is it a democratic approach once ideas are nailed down into a basis for a song?

Yes, but one part of democracy will always be: stepping back from your own ego. Sometimes I think “that’s shite!”, but when the rest of our band goes “no, that’s great” – I might argue or even be totally pissed off at first – but I will always trust their opinion, because I know they are not idiots. That’s important, I think. Basically, it’s more about trust and taste, than about democracy.

For us we found the first half of the album was a stronger potent proposition to the remainder of what is still an impressively satisfying album. It had us wondering about song orders and if, for what is obviously a personal preference, how much of a change a different order would have achieved. How do you, taking The Painstream as the example, set about deciding the best order of tracks, how much time and debate do you take over the decision?

Honestly: I can’t. You sit there with eleven songs, all recorded and every other minute you come up with some new order that would totally make sense. There is no such thing as the best decision in discussions like that. Sometimes we’re happy when others come up with ideas like “this would make a great opening track” or “perfect last song”. If it sucks, we can blame it on them afterwards (laughs).

De(ad)generation seems to be the track, which certainly to people we have talked to, that is the pinnacle and most virulent bait for the album. Can you tell us about the song and its inspiration?

We probably never came closer to “art” before (laughs). It’s a really catchy and cheesy song that makes you sing along until you realize what you’re singing. And that was basically our motivation.  We’re not judging in that song, we’re describing – well aware of the fact, that we are all part of “the problem”. And sometimes it just creeps me out that 12 year olds seem to know better about fucking that about grammar. Everybody wants to be a celebrity – better get your four minutes of fame now, before everything falls apart.

Is there a particular moment or aspect of The Painstream which gives you that extra tingle or glow?EofG3

“Death Of The Weakender”, probably. Michelle’s vocals are outstanding in that one. He was sick during the recording and I can literally see his vocal chords snap every time I listen to the song. I asked him, if he’d prefer to take a break, and he went “no, let me do one more. My throat really hurts.”

What comes next for End Of Green now the album is out there working its seduction?

Some breathing, lots of touring, more breathing and new songs. That’s what we always do. (laughs)

Once more thank you for sharing your time and thoughts with us.

It was all my pleasure, believe me.

Anything you would like to leave the readers with?

Nothing but good feelings. Thanks for all the support. We really can’t tell you how much we appreciate your interest in our music.

http://www.endofgreen.de/

Read the review of The Painstream @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/end-of-green-the-painstream/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Sapiency – Tomorrow

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Having already been released on CD this past march, Tomorrow the latest album from German metallers Sapiency gets a deserved digital release and distribution through Eclipse Records this month, and thankful we should all be as it is a rather flavoursome and contagious little gem which may have escaped attention otherwise. Not exactly stretching boundaries but having that little indefinable something which sets it apart from the crowd, the eleven track storm of accomplished and passion soaked invention leaves hunger for more and fat satisfaction mutually potent responses to its voracious enterprise and energy.

Hailing from Frankfurt and formed in 2008, Sapiency was soon drawing attention locally and further afield. Their acclaimed debut album Fate’s End in 2010 was just the start of a growing stature and reputation, their own tours as well as support slots to the likes of Sonic Syndicate, W.A.S.P., Dead By April, Tito & Tarantula, Deathstars, Vader, Engel, Onkel Tom (Angelripper), Power Quest, Pathfinder, and many more earning the band greater recognition as has successful performances at festivals such as 70.000 Tons Of Metal 2012 and Metalfest Open Air 2012. It is hard not to develop an eager appetite for the sextet’s sound as shown by second album Tomorrow, and with a wider network for it to spring from you suspect that Sapiency is on a rapid ascendency.

The band is tagged as melodic death metal yet that is only a fraction of the picture, or sound with the band employing a wealth of sapiency_tomorrow_cover_72dpi_rgb_900pixinspirations across the metal spectrum so that within the new album they can bring essences of In Flames or Lamb Of God to bear and at other times Bloodsimple or Livarkahil. It makes for a strikingly resourceful and thrilling encounter which from the opener Prayer For The Pain captures the imagination. From its first breath the track careers through the ear with riffs and grooves carving out their insistent presence whilst the bone splintering rhythms of drummer Kai Voss-Fels cage the tempest raging within their framework. It is a mouth-watering confrontation which never relinquishes its grip on the awoken passions right through to its final strike. The outstanding dual vocal attack of the cleaner grouchy delivery of Lars Bittner and the bestial scowls of Krsto Balic is a forceful magnetism across the whole album and strapped to the carnivorous craft of guitarists René Ritzmann and Holger Wenck, as well as the predacious bass prowl of Sebastian Fix, makes for an exhausting, riveting introduction.

Hungry Again keeps the rapacious intent and rabidity at full throttle whilst interspersing it with a seductive coaxing from the keys and a classic metal orientated temptation from the melodic casting of the guitars. The merger of bordering vindictive riffs and virulent groove metal lures to the expansive melodic adventure is impressively crafted and wholly infectious, leaving ears and emotions basking in demanding and rewarding metal at its best. Arguably there is little strikingly new on show but equally Sapiency present it in a unique and compelling way that it is as fresh and invigorating as you could wish and sets the band apart from most.

Through the likes of Free Within with its electronic tantalising seemingly fuelling an even greater aggressive fervour from band and sound as Avenged Sevenfold like sonic sculpting spears the air, and the enslaving mix of melodic enticing and strenuously robust intensity of the title track, Tomorrow continues to seize the imagination and feisty passions whilst tracks such as the crushing Weight Of The World and the slower smouldering Fight On explore deeper appealing avenues and creative corners within the songwriting and its invention.

To be honest there is not a weak moment upon the album, each track a formidable and impacting persuasion and though occasionally a surface similarity rears its attractive head it is a fleeting wrap soon punctuated and lost with keener focus. Further peaks on Tomorrow are provided by firstly the industrialised irresistible might of Turn The Tide, guitars and vocals once again weaving a rapaciously stalking narrative which is pure addiction, and by the towering presence of Torn Apart. The track is another ferocious antagonist but one just as content to let a melodic acidity and harmonic temper vein its furore.

Completed by the absorbing Dying Illusions, a final raging skilled and esurient assault, Tomorrow is a richly satisfying and exciting confrontation which does not carve out new ventures to contemplate but employs existing invention in its own unique and wholly exhilarating way. Sapiency is a band we are destined to hear much more of ahead and undoubtedly enjoy at even greater heights as the promise also burning brightly across the album suggests.

www.facebook.com/sapiency

8/10

RingMaster 26/11/2013

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Eye Of Solitude – Canto III

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Taking every degree and level of pain they can find and unleashing it through an emotional turmoil which smothers light and hope, Eye Of Solitude has created one of the most impressive and devastating doom clad death metal violations in a long time. New album Canto III is an insidious sonic vampire, a tsunami of emotional suffocation which permeates every thought, ignites every shadow, and casts negatively bred emotions in the psyche and heart of the listener. Certainly not an album poised to be added to the Samaritans recommended playlist, the six track album is an hour plus of torrential torment which works its way deeper through each subsequent fall through its exhausting Gehenna.

Formed in 2010 and based in London, Eye Of Solitude has made a strong impact from day one through their previous albums, debut The Ghost and its acclaimed successor Sui Caedere of 2011 and ’12 respectively, as well as a couple of EPs. The Kaotoxin Records released Canto III though is another beast and level from those previous impressive releases, an album which stretches boundaries with grievous exploration whilst still suggesting there is much more to come from the band. Consisting of vocalist Daniel Neagoe (also Unfathomable Ruination), guitarists Indee Rehal-Sagoo and Mark Antoniades (also Sidious), bassist Chris Davies (also Sidious), drummer Adriano Ferraro, and Pedro Caballero-Clemente on keys, Eye Of Solitude have lyrically based Canto III on Dante’s Inferno and musically uncaged a tortuous provocation which preys on thoughts and emotions with an expansive suffocation.

A predation upon the soul cast in a sextet of Acts, the album opens with Between Two Worlds (Occularis Infernum). A 760137611622_TOX029_Eye-Of-Solitude_Artwork_1400x1400-300dawning melodic grandeur within an ominous atmosphere expands around the senses as an oncoming storm of thunderous rhythmic persuasion lends its menace to the initial embrace. It is a gentle persuasion but one cloaked in thick shadows within a sonic beauty, guitars and keys a glorious and skilled narrative to ignite the imagination. Confronting vocals eventually scar the surface of the elegance, their toxicity the fissure for the emotional hordes of hell to unleash a ravenous intensity upon the sonic tempest. The guttural growls of Neagoe take demonic aggravation down numerous corrosive levels whilst the sonic rabidity parading its ferocious and fearsome sinews is as drenched in despair and agony as the lyrical consumption. It is not an easy listen, nor one which can be appreciated and fully understood in a few flights through the chaos, but one which is persistently magnificent.

Both Where the Descent Began and He Who Willingly Suffers stake their intensive slice of the passions with ease, the first a bestial vocal scavenging upon a scorched soundscape of guitar sculpted torment and rhythmic hunting which evolves into a quite stunning respite of clean vocals over a solitude soaked ambience before being stalked and dragged into the quagmire of bedlamic despair and vicious incitement once again. Its successor is equally as emotionally dramatic and rigorously exploratory, the opening haunted embrace of keys from Caballero-Clemente irresistibly melancholic as it tempts the listener into a hellacious pit borne torture combining unbridled sonic rampage and elegance kissed reflection. Like its predecessor the track is an evocative triumph as beautiful as it is destructive, and impossibly captivating.

The Pathway Had Been Lost is the next stage of the slip into dark insanity, the enlightened breath of the previous track sucked into the merciless vocal throat of this. The guitars and keys provide a new canvas out of the malevolence for thoughts to craft their distress and regrets upon whilst also offering an ever shifting provocation for the emotions. As mentioned there is never a moment where the album or tracks make a simple, easily accessible passage to immerse within but for the listener’s endeavour and determination undoubtedly rewards with an increasingly breath-taking and scintillating dark rapacious adventure.

     I Sat In Silence and In the Desert Vast conclude the maelstrom of unfettered black emotions; from sadness to despair, desperation through to anger, a wave of the rawest emotions explored, stoked, and inflamed across the fervour driven emotional terrorism of both tracks, as the whole album. They complete a real triumph in Canto III which marks Eye Of Solitude as having the means to take the future of doom/death metal to new experimental heights and the craft to ignite extreme metal as a whole, which they have begun with this exceptional artistically intensive and demanding album.

www.facebook.com/eyeofsolitudeband

9/10

RingMaster 26/11/2013

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