ERIMHA – interview at Inferno + IMC conference
Our colleague, Karina, has attended the very successful edition of Inferno Metal Festival 2018. Below you have some of her impressions on the IMC conference and a chat with the Canadian Black/death Metal Erimha
This year’s Inferno had a lot to offer. Apart from the obvious highlights: the legendary Emperor concert, Satyricon, Carpathian Forest, Tsjuder, Obituary, Grave, Origin and all other shows at night, the festival offers the Inferno Music Conference which is a pretty interesting meeting place for those interested in the inner workings of metal promotion, production, festival management and clinics for all those devoted fans that appreciate to learn about all technical and detailed information about their favorite norwegian artists. These year Ihsahn and Cato (Enslaved) delighted everyone, in their own particular styles. A report about the clinics will come later. For now, in this first part, I’ll talk about the Canadian scene that was a particular focus of the conference and it will also include an interview with the Canadian band Erimha. Personally I have not devoted as much time and efforts, as I would like to, to get to know the Canadian scene in-depth. I guess my passion for extreme Death Metal has opened the doors for many Canadian acts that are regularly on my playlist. But properly delving into scenes can be time consuming that is why it is interesting if you get to hear what some knowledgeable people has to say from time to time.
JJ Tartaglia, who is the drummer in Skull Fist. He hosted a pretty informative conference about the canadian metal scene gave us among other things a short list of labels and websites worth checking out: Galy Records, Napalm Metal, Profound Lore, Sonic Unyon, Sepulchral Productions, New Damage Records. Besides the labels, one will probably find reviews and news about releases and upcoming canadian bands in these websites: Bravewords, Metal Rules, Canadian Assault and Hellbound.
I think Death Metal as a genre is perhaps better established than other genres of the country in the international scene, but some of their Grindcore acts are worth checking out as well. When it comes to Black Metal, I think the canadian labels Profound Lore and Sepulchral Productions have a pretty good roster. There are many bands worth checking here are a few that I like: Abuse, Adversarial, Annihilator, Archspire, Augury, Beneath the Massacre, Beyond Creation, Blasphemy, Strapping Young Lad, Kataklysm, Ex Deo, Forteresse, Fuck the Facts, Gorguts, Kataplexis, Mitochondrion, Necroholocaust, Orchidectomy, The Unconscious Mind, Cryptopsy, Despise the Icon, Sombres Forêts, Gris.
The canadian act Erimha was formed in 2010. They played at this year’s Inferno and I took the opportunity to interview Gore and Ksaos. They will further introduce their scene, their band and how it feels to have the opportunity to play in Norway. Erimha’s first album Irkalla is melodious and pretty scandinavian influenced. Their second effort Reign Through Immortality led them to a symphonic path and it’s definitely something for Dimmu Borgir, Fleshgod Apocalypse and Dark Funeral fans. Their latest album tho it is perhaps more difficult to define than previous efforts. In Thesis ov Warfare there is a lot more of progression and a wide variation in tempos. There has been an effort in experimentation rather than to conform to Black Metal standards. All in all a more mature album with the symphonic elements being less ominous than before. It reflects influences from outside metal as well, but the Black and Death Metal sound are still the backbone for the whole.
Photo by Stig Pallesen
Tell us about the band, what does it sound like?
Gore: our sound is a mixture of things. I find it hard to pinpoint down what we sound like or that sort of thing, like we are a black metal band, or very specific. We are a mixture of many things. I think it is coming from everybody in the band individually that has lots of influences from all kinds of genres, so I think that just kind of molds into one, so I think we represent very well the symphonic side as well and the extreme side of metal. I think we are more of a symphonic extreme metal band.
Canada is most known for its Tech Death scene so how is the BM scene like there?
G: We are from Quebec and if there is any scene that is representing Black Metal in Canada it will be Quebec. It’s quite larger than you would think. We have quite huge festivals. We have one Messe des Morts that has been running for 10 years. It’s the only Black Metal festival
In Canada itself as a whole I’d agree with you that is more of a tech death, that kind of Death Metal crowd.
Ksaos: Let’s agree for the recognition, but there are so much bands of every genre in Canada. Tech death is just one. If you go in Montreal, you have two Black Metal shows at the same time. And another metal show, there are plenty of show. Mostly we talk about Tech Death since a couple of years but I don’t think that there is the main thing in Canada.
Did you let the tech scene influence you?
K: hell no!
G: I’d say is more. At least coming from my background more European metal. For us is mainly an European sound that we listen to. I’m not really into the tech death scene, so no.
K: I don’t even listen to metal, so personally when it comes to composing music I don’t even think that we think about other bands or whatever. We are just trying to pick up a feeling and work around what it gives. So it can a smooth song without any blast beats or again just be a blast beats song. but it doesn’t matter bands or anything is more feelings and most of the times.
Erimha – Thesis of Warfare – album cover
How do guys try to give an unique touch to your sound, what do you do?
K: I think it kinda turned out easy, we are from a small town and we are pretty much always together. We hang out like pretty much every day we talk together and stuff. We keep things on the same page. Basically, all we do is this band, in many levels of our lives. When it comes to composing music it is easy to be us because we are always in that motion of getting new music out. It has been going on for ten years.
G: It’s pretty natural to us. It’s kind of letting out, like that, there’s always, it’s organic for us, it’s natural for us. What we do. Not think about what’s going on on the outside and closing on the inside. We have been working together for maybe 15 years now.
K: So we just work on music. What we did Erimha is basically out there, like I mean just for me and Gore, we have plenty of other material already ready. So it’s always a constant flow of new music getting out for us so it’s kind of easy to be us.
G:Also as the time goes you kind of mature more with yourself and as a human being as well. I think it’s just naturally in a way. I think more and more find our sound in that way as well by experimenting in three different albums and the things that we go through in life.
How was the process to get to play here in Norway?
G: A friend of mine saw us at a show with a Canadian band that played here last year, Panzerfaust, and he just wrote to me and asked me if I was interested in playing. We got no official confirmation if we were going to do it or not. But surely after it was a quick response and it seemed like they wanted to have us, and we made everything else happen from there.
Have you done the blackpacker sightseeing yet?
K: We did not, we actually went to the old fortress downtown in Oslo. We haven’t had that much time yet
G: We came here on the 27th, but we came here pretty late so everything was pretty closed so we didn’t get time to do much sightseeing, but since we wanted to focus on today since we are playing tonight, the relaxation come for today. Tomorrow I want to see the Viking Museum. There’s a couple of things that I’d like to do.
Does it mean something to you?
G: It definitely means something. It’s an experience. For us just to see things is a new experience. Just to be in Oslo, period. For us is something meaningful.
-And you get to see Emperor…
G: I was pretty stoked to hear that they were actually doing a reunion show. I know they did a reunion for In the Nightside Eclipse. To hear that they were doing it with Anthems which is more my preference of an album. To know that they are doing it entirely sounds nice.
K: They are from the first wave of Black Metal, so we have a respect for those bands that started all of this back then, you know. It’s cool to be here I have to reckon. There are lots of bands that I personally do not listen that much, but just to have the experience of sharing the stage with all of them it’s cool. It has been a long time that they do that. If it wasn’t for what they did, I mean we wouldn’t exist today.
Do you keep up with new bands from Norway?
G: Maybe we are not many the new and upcoming bands. I think it’s more other kind of genres and stuff that we listen to. It’s something that, just naturally don’t really pay much attention to. I’m getting older, and I do not want to listen to metal so much. I kind of find that it kills what we are doing here. Since you perform and do metal all the time, you kind of want to escape away from it sometimes.
K: There are still some classic albums that you listen like Reinkaos from Dissection or a couple of albums more. Sometimes I hear stuff and I like it, but it is not something that I try to see what’s going on. I can listen to anything, sometimes I can even listen to Adele or whatever. I can hear a song of dubstep and be like that’s interesting.
G: Classical music, I would say is something that I listen to a lot.
-I guess that influences you when it comes to writing music…
G: Probably when it comes to structures and stuff. It does.
K:I think it does in an organic way without putting thought into that. It’s just classical music.
Are you working on new stuff?
K: There’s another album coming. But we won’t say much about that. We have been working for a long time. We got stuff already ready, but we take out time. We have no deadline right now. Basically we are just working it out and trying to see and test stuff for the new album. We don’t want to do what we did. We are just trying to take our time and see what’s going on. I would say that maybe in a year or something we will try to talk more about it and probably get something out. We are going slowly into that process.
So do you work together to compose?
K: Mainly it’s me and him now. He would write stuff
G: I like to write a lot and I record my ideas and send them to him. We just see what we like and talk about what we want and the sound we are aiming for and then everything just starts unfolding. We kind of do it just me and him. We have at least half an album of material that I can say is good to be on an album because I have like a hundred riffs, but it’s not everything that I would like to put on an album.
Something else you would like to say?
G: Thank you to Inferno for having us do this amazing opportunity. It’s not everyday that we wake up and say we go to Oslo to perform so this is a complete honour for us to be here and to share stage with lots of acts that we do respect.