Interview: Eternal Storm, “Come The Tide” on Transcending Obscurity Records (Melodic Death Metal)

With this style of metal, the lyrics aren’t always obvious to the listener, what are the core themes behind ‘Come the Tide’?

Jaime: For ‘Come the Tide’ we mainly dealt with issues of personal identity, attachment to ideas and behaviours which are counterproductive to our own growth, acceptance and even a bit of politics and the use of nationalism as a means to control population in ‘Of Winter and Treason’, which is loosely based in Ursula K. LeGuin’s novel ‘The Left Hand of Darkness’.

Artwork by Leoncio Harmr

Can you tell me a bit about the beautiful cover art?

Jaime: The cover art was made by French artist Leoncio Harmr. We put together the ideas we wanted for the artwork, we definitely wanted a maritime landscape, with some human figure standing on a beach facing the waves and a lighthouse in the distance as it fits nicely with the imagery in the lyrics. In a few days Leoncio sent us an almost finished version of it and we instantly fell in love with it. Not only did he get all of our ideas straight away, but the tones and colours he used couldn’t have been better to convey the atmosphere of the record.

Please check the guy’s website to see more of his art, dude is immensely talented.

Daniel: I found Leoncio’s art on No Clean Singing, one of my favourite metal websites and from the very moment I saw it, I knew he was the right guy for the job! He has a very distinct and atmospheric style which I think suits the album perfectly. It was amazing to work with him and I really hope we will collaborate with him again in the near future, we are super happy with his output!

On facebook recently you announced lineup changes such as the departure of vocalist/bassist Kheryon. Could you elaborate on his departure and what developments have occurred regarding new additions to the band?

Jaime: Well, as adulthood increased the level of complexity in our lives our lovely muscular singer needed to spend more time in the gym to be able to handle it. Nah, he just realized he was not able to give his whole to the band due to his other commitments and therefore the best thing for all of us was for him to step aside. It was sad cause we had been playing together for a lifetime, and we shared lots of fun moments, but it was for the best. There was nothing wrong, no bad blood or bullshit, we love the man and would love to hear more of his beautiful manly growls in the future.

Daniel: It was just that we had different priorities. He wanted to focus his time and effort on non-musical endeavours, so even though it is a bit unfortunate that the split happened one month after the album came out (which we had been anticipating for many years), we are happy it all happened in good terms. I spent almost half of my life playing with this guy, so I’m sure we will continue to share laughs and shitty jokes in one way or another. Actually, we are about to have dinner together tonight as soon as I finish this interview!

You are also planning to release a new album on the same label in 2020, what can you tell me about this release in terms of format and themes?

Jaime: Initially we were going to to record the new album in January 2020, but we realised we needed some extra time to work on the album, so at the moment we don’t really know when we’ll be recording the album. The core of the record is almost finished by now, but we want to use this extra time to work on the arrangements, sounds, vocal lines and polishing the structures. We are aiming for a more conceptual record than ‘Come the Tide’ this time, with all the songs flowing into the next one in a smoother and more natural way, as if forming one big track in a way, although they can function as separate tracks at the same time.

Daniel: We have decided to spend more time on the new album. It took us pretty much 10 years to release ‘Come the Tide’, so I think we can allow ourselves to spend 6 extra months working on completing the follow-up in order to come up with the best album we can do right now, hahaha. The album expands both extremes of our sound: it is more melodic, but also definitely more aggressive and extreme and at times, a bit more experimental. We are going to try more vocal styles (there are still a lot of growls, don’t panic!) and have the bass a bit more present. Other than that, people can expect to hear many of the elements found on ‘Come the Tide’ again. We can’t wait to share it with all of you!    

Photo by Fernando Crego

I see Eternal Storm have toured in the past as well as some live shows in support of ‘Come The Tide’. What are some of your most memorable live performances?

Jaime: We did a small tour in Portugal and Spain back in March 2017 with the guys from Wolfheart which was quite a nice experience. It was the first time for us to do more than 2 gigs in a row and travelling with another band as well. I have really nice memories of the gig we played in Murcia during that tour; after a not so great gig in Madrid we made amends in Murcia and it helped us a lot to realize that no matter if you fuck up on stage, just laugh at your mistake and keep enjoying the energy of the show. We’re quite grateful to Mika from Wolfheart who gave us some good tips on the way to the gig!

Daniel: A couple of months ago we did our first European tour with our friends in Totengott and played in France, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and Switzerland for our first time, so that one and the Wolfheart tour are definitely the funniest moments we have had so far. We also supported some bands we really enjoy like Septicflesh, The Black Dahlia Murder, Leprous, Nightrage, Stormlord or Ash Borer. I think that Murcia gig, together with our first time in Galicia and our show in Castellón last night are probably the craziest gigs we have played! 

You have a slot on an upcoming 2020 festival, what’s the details for that one?

Daniel: Rock The Night will be, for now, the biggest line-up we have played in. We still don’t know which day we are playing but the line-up is pretty amazing! Plenty of bands we love on the bill: Devin Townsend, At The Gates (playing ‘Slaughter of the Soul’), Omnium Gatherum, Skid Row, Leprous, Dying Fetus, Napalm Death, Wormed, Heilung, Mercyful Fate, Avantasia, Angelus Apatrida, Stravaganzza, Foreigner, Haken…it’s quite nice, isn’t it? 🙂

We hope many people will discover us there…fingers crossed!

Is the live setup much different from the studio set up?

Daniel: Some of us (mostly, me) are using different gear live than on studio. Around two years ago I started using Fender Telecasters in order to get more dynamic and versatile sounds, so that’s the main change. I got a bit tired of active pickups, so I moved to passive pickups and now I finally have a decent clean tone. We are still looking for ways to improve our live sound, so I think there will be more adjustments soon.

Photo by Nuno Santos

Most bands come up in a local scene, what was the metal environment surrounding Eternal Storm like in the formative years? Care to mention any peers?

Daniel: I don’t think we could say there is a scene of any sorts in our city, but there has always been very good bands around. I often find more inspiration from local bands than from well established acts, you know? When we started playing, we looked up to local peers like As My World Burns, Human Mincer, Autumnal, Wormed or As Light Dies, but also bands from other cities like Vidres A La Sang, Foscor, Unreal Overflows, Asgaroth, the first Kathaarsys albums, Numen, Nahemah…just too many to mention. It’s a shame many of those bands aren’t around anymore nor got the recognition they deserved.

Luckily, we still have Wormed and Adrift around, who have been around for more than 20 years and still get even better with each new release, just like fine wine. We would also recommend other bands like Thirteen Bled Promises, Aathma, Jardín de la Croix or Teething who have definitely been around for a while and are amazing, as well as younger bands from our city like Tromort, Le Temps Du Loup, Sun of the Dying, Velo Misere, Aversio Humanitatis, Underwater Lights, Back to R’lyeh or Last Forest Rain. 

Is there anything you would like to add before concluding this interview?

Jaime: Thanks for giving us the chance to say some clumsy words and spread our noise. If we ever find ourselves stranded in Aussie shores we’d love to make some noise for you guys! Cheers!

Daniel: Thanks again for your time and support, we are very thankful for that and hope we didn’t sound too boring, haha. Hope we will play in Australia some time in the future, have a great start of the year!

Merch via Bandcamp

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