Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Of of Woe or: Chapter V... which the protagonists talk about a song called "Deeper", which is probably the song on the album you didn't expect would be on the album.

Otto: This song is in the album because I felt we needed a more mellow song somewhere in the middle of this album, so that the record would have more dynamics and nuances – it needn't be just full blast doom metal from the beginning to the end, like our previous effort, The Silence from Your Room. I wanted to write a song that would employ no distorted guitars nor growled vocals, yet be doomy and atmospheric enough to fit the album.
Henri: I feel the need to point out “Silence” wasn’t just full on doom through and through, since it was punctuated by the grind of “Dear Eva pt. 2” and the noise of “Beasts of Flesh and Iron.” However, Otto’s point still stands, since those two tracks didn’t relent from the oppressive feel into something mellower. So, lots more dynamics this time ‘round.

Otto: Good point, Henri. Anyhow, this is a song I pretty much wrote and played through and through. Of course, Henri rewrote a major part of the original lyrics I had written and sang half of the vocals parts while Niko of course wrote and played his drum parts, but other than that, this is pretty much just me, doing the guitar, bass and vocal parts.

Henri: While Otto is an excellent writer, he was a fledgling writer of poetry at the time he came forward with this song (Otto: I'm afraid there has been very little progress there!), composition and text and all. I had nothing to add to the music, but the words I thought I could improve upon. The result was a continuation of an ongoing narrative through “Dear Eva”, “In the Trench” and “Challenger Deep”, where we’ve now progressed to utter despair, so there’s no option left but to sink to the bottom of bottoms. The title also references “Challenger Deep” quite directly. We often try to be witty like that.

Otto: I was inspired by several songs when I wrote this one, but my major influences were "Steel That Sleeps the Eye" by Baroness, "Harvest" by Opeth, "Comfortably Numb" and "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd and "Tonight the Sky" by Sun Kil Moon. "Harvest" served as the inspiration of what I set out to achieve; the intertwining vocal harmonies were inspired by the Baroness song; the C part with the classic "Iron Maiden" chord progression (VI-VII-i) before the final solo was influenced by the powerful C part in Tonight the Sky; and the idea of using a clean guitar solo to close the song came from Comfortably Numb. And finally, overall I feel that the song is like a gloomy, dark take on "Wish You Were Here".
I think that the thick bass sound is really great here, giving the song a very colossal feel. The sound is not just Rickenbacker 4003, but it's also doubled by a guitar part that has been transposed one octave lower, just to give the bass sound a nice Fender VI Bass kind of ring to it.
I'm tremendously pleased with the vocals here. Even though Henri is not much of a clean singer (although he is getting better by the day! (Henri: Too bad the vocals were recorded in 2013.)) and I am even much less, the end result is definitely something you can listen to without cringing. Much, at least. I'm especially happy how we tackled through the intertwining vocal harmonies, which were quite challenging a task for beginner-level singers, to say in retrospect. Yet they sound pretty great and give the song nice harmonic complexity I enjoy very much.
I also love the simple counterpoint melody I used as a blending element between the C part and the final solo: the last vocal lines descend and at the same time the first notes of the guitar solo ascend.

Of Woe or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Gloom is out now on our Bandcamp page as well as Spotify, Google Play, iTunes etc.

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