EMPYREAL VAULT – interview
Interview with French death metallers EMPYREAL VAULT
Emerging from the technical death metal scene of Bordeaux, France, Empyreal Vault presents a technical metal stemming from influences such as Fallujah, Whitechapel and Rivers Of Nihil. Sylvain, guitarist and main composer for Exocrine started the composing process in mid-2018, with Sylver (guitar/composition in Death Lab) rejoining the ranks. The goal was to create a strong team to write a first album and start playing live. 6 months later the band is ready to unleash the freshly composed full -length album and Sylver took the time to answer us some quesgtions about the band and the release.
1 – Who is Empyreal Vault? Tell us a bit about how the band started and what motivated the process
Hi! Empyreal Vault was formed in early 2018 by Sylvain and Jordy (also playing in the band Exocrine) and Sylver (Death Lab). At that time Sylvain and Jordy where super busy with the writing process of the 3rd Exocrine album. At the end of the writing, they felt the need for something different, to let some steam off, another live project, complementary to the technical stuff of Exocrine. So we decided to do a tech/deathcore project, less demanding performance-wise, and also for us to explore some stuff we couldn’t use in our other projects.
2 – How’s the metal scene in Bordeaux? I can’t think of many names from there…
Actually the scene here is quite proficient in tech-death formations. We’ve got the mighty ‘Gorod’, and of course our other projects ‘Exocrine’ and ‘Death Lab’. I also can name ‘The Great Old Ones’ as an ascending post-black metal group.
3 – What’s everyone’s musical background and education?
Sylvain (guitar, main composer) had a lots of bands in the past in a rich variety of genres. You name it, he did it. He was the main-composer in a black metal project in his early years, all the way up to technical death metal nowadays. He has also studied music academically in the past, but maintains a self taught approach on lots of things regarding writing music of his own.
Jordy (vocals) is also a bassist in Exocrine and plays guitar in other projects. His background is more of a X-core one but he loves all the classics. He started dedicating himself more professionally in music 5 years ago when he joined Exocrine and he’s mostly self-taught.
PJ (drums) started music at 5 on drums. With lessons at first and then as a self-taught when he stumbled upon metal music and learned some. He knows a little metal guitar and also screaming vocals.
Myself (Sylver : guitar, composition), I started playing 13 years ago and I’ve been doing metal since. I did 2 full years in a music school and I’m more of an academic guy. I’ve been main-composer in ‘Death Lab’ for 9 years now, and I also did a lot of live stuff, as full-time member but also session member in mostly death-metal formations.
4 – Your musical style is technical death metal/deathcore, what are its challenges when it comes to making music and recording it?
The main challenge when writing this kind of stuff is finding the right balance between intricate, rich, technical parts and the overall effectiveness of the song.
Additionally, there is a sound design aspect to Empyreal Vault’s music. The process of finding the right ambiences using lots of virtual instruments takes time, but was also fun to explore. Using specific effects at key moments, blended with the right synth patch in order to bring a Grand and imposing atmosphere.
In short, there is more to it than stacking guitar riffs.
5 – Tell us how the process of recording your first album went? And how did you end up working with Great Dane Records?
The first album was completely homemade, mostly from our homes. Sylvain did the majority of the tracking in his home-studio and Sylver did the same for some riffs in his own. Sylvain also did the mixing and mastering on this album. In my opinion the production is kickass and huge, but also personal with those alive-sounding guitars.
6 – What are your goals with the band at the moment? Any reactions to the album?
The first album will be out in a few weeks, and we cannot wait to ear the reactions and critiques. Right now we are damn proud of it. The first master was done in early February of this year, and listening it back today brings confidence. So far the reactions where great on the first 2 singles.
7 – What’s the biggest strength of this album?
In my opinion, this album brings two genders we love together. The articulate riffing from the tech-death world, and the groovy, slammy one from the X-core world. I find the use of both well done in the album. But for me the quality of the vocals is what brings it apart, and also the guitar leads and solos, which are not that common in the deathcore genre.
8 – I read you want to start playing live. How much do you have to re-arrange your songs for live performances?
Live, we play along a click track with some samples and sampled bass. The live performance thus resembles the album but we made sure from day 1 of the writing process that the songs were live-oriented, so we avoided many guitar layers and such.
9 – Any gigs booked so far?
Right now we have a release party booked in our home town, and other gigs are coming near us in France. This is the first album for this project, it is kinda starting from scratch but we cannot wait to bring the fire to the stage!
Thank you and good luck with getting the music out there