We are very happy to present you for the second time an interview with the Croatian epic doom metal band Elusive God on our blog. The first time we talked to them was in January 2021, followed by two more contributions from the band for our big Manilla Road Special and an obituary for Eric Wagner. We hope you enjoy reading it.
André: Hi, thanks for taking the time to talk to us again. How are you doing?
Hey guys! The pleasure is ours – thanks for promoting us on Epic Metal Blog since the beginning of the band. We’re busy as always. A lot of new material is being prepared and we’re preparing for our first show at the Satan Klaus Festival in Volyne, Czechia. So, we are doing exceptionally well!
André: Your album Trapped in a Future Unknown was released in May. How do you look back on this record half a year later?
Well, we still like it [smile]. Since the beginning of the band the idea was to create music that we would like to listen to as fans. I think that it’s a great album with a lot of varieties and new approaches to epic doom and traditional metal. The chemistry between everybody included in the creation of the record was incredible and I can hear it even more a few months after the album was released.
André: I think one of your strengths is writing great, sublime choruses that deserve the label epic. Which song do you find particularly well done in this respect?
Thank you! We have to mention that everything related to our songwriting is completely spontaneous and natural. So, choruses and solid song structures are practically our default setting. I guess this is what you get when you are a dedicated traditional metal fan for many many years [smile]. To answer your question – my favorite choruses are “Wrath from Above“ and “Dreaming of Reality“. They’re completely different in terms of atmosphere and even genre, but both of the choruses could be labeled as epic.
André: In my review in June, I highlighted your lyrics, which are sometimes very moving. How important are the lyrics to you? And does it happen that you create the lyrics first and then the music? Or is it always the other way round?
Lyrics are important because they’re personal and introspective. It’s hard to point out exactly how, but there’s like an invisible synergy between music and lyrics that can really elevate the whole creation to the next level. In this way, lyrics are like poetic stories within songs and they reach their full meaning once they’re sung atop of the music played by the band. Take for example “Secret of Steel“ by Manowar. Yep, the lyrics are good all by themselves. But words reach their true potential and meaning only once Eric Adams sings them with his unique expression over the brilliant music. On a more “technical“ and “earthly“ level – vocals can be considered as another instrument in the overall sound of the band. So, careful choice of words and the way they are pronounced are one of the key elements of the sound of this instrument. For example, I could sing the very same melodies in our native language, but the vibe would probably be different because of different language, different choice of words and pronunciation. Also, there is no rule about what happens first. Sometimes lyrics are written atop of the riffs and sometimes the riffs are built around the verses. It really doesn’t matter as long as you reach what you were looking for with the song.
André: What was the general feedback on Trapped in a Future Unknown?
Beyond our expectations. There were a lot of reviews with really good feedback, even some informal nominations for doom album of the year. This really means a lot to us. We are slowly but steadily getting recognition and building a fan base. So overall, we are very pleased with the reactions and we can assure everybody that more of good METAL is coming from Elusive God in the future.
André: On December 29th, as you said before, you will be playing at the Satan Klaus Festival. A great name – can you tell our readers a bit about this festival?
Satan Klaus is a METAL festival that takes place in Volyne, Czechia. It has a long tradition since the first edition of the festival was held back in 1998. The organizers are Czech METAL fanatics Honza Kapak and Ramus, also known as the members of Czechian dark METAL band Bohemyst. They are also responsible for the Enter The Eternal Fire festival taking place in Volyne. So, Volyne has two METAL festivals every year – ETEF is like a summer edition while Satan Klaus is a winter edition. This year’s Satan Klaus edition includes: Bohemyst, Panychida, Age of Sorrow, Taedifer, Megenlyk and Elusive God.
André: What is the general situation regarding gigs in your home country? How lively is the metal scene in Croatia?
As Anatoly Dyatlov said in Chernobyl series – Not great, not terrible [laughs]. There are still many dedicated METAL enthusiasts that keep METAL alive and well in Croatia. However, it seems to me that METAL never reached its full potential in Croatia as it could have. I can only speculate what the reasons are, but in the end it doesn’t matter. Sure, social media and streaming services sometimes give false impressions that things are better than they actually are. In reality, most of the bands are sporadically releasing new material and playing (on average) to smaller crowds than ca. 10-15 years ago. However, the most important thing is that bands are still playing/releasing new material, promoters are organizing gigs and fans are supporting the bands the best they can. Also, I would like to hear more bands trying to develop their sound in a more authentic way. I think that unique band sound (characteristic for the country band is coming from) is one of the key elements for further scene development.
André: Is there a Croatian band that you think we should definitely check out?
Here are my current favourites that you should definitely check out.
Po‘ Metra Crijeva – Band from the Istria region in Croatia known for their use of traditional Istrian instruments (like sopila) in their songs. Lyrics are in Istrian dialect with dark/grotesque themes based on ancient Istrian monsters and vampires.
Narednik Lobanja i Vod Smrti – evil and nasty thrash metal influenced by early Sepultura, Slayer and Sodom. Later they incorporated some black metal (and even doom) influences and it sounded killer. They had (nuclear) warfare themes most of the time with a special Croatian grotesque/dark humour twist.
Zlobnik – black/death metal with some serious, catchy and premium METAL riffs. Very evil sounding, cold and atmospheric.
Bands that are also worth checking out:
Infernal Tenebra, Old Night, Stimulans, Flesh, Lord Drunkalot, Frozen Forest.
André: The year is coming to an end, so you can already look back a little: Which albums from 2022 did you particularly like?
As always, there are so many albums and it’s hard to keep track of every new release. But, my personal favorites for 2022 are these:
Messa – Close – one of the most unique sounding bands today. This record completely blew me away. I actually saw them live twice this year. That’s how big of an impact they had on me. No words to describe it better.
Oathbringer – Tales of Glory – “Moria“ is one of the best heavy metal songs I’ve heard in the last few years. The whole album is amazing. Musicianship is great and the vocals sound really unique.
Ereb Altor – Vargtimmen – This band was “on hold“ for me for a few years and I started to really like them because of their latest album. It’s 100% epic metal with a lot of emotion and variety in the songs.
Sakis Tolis – Among the Fires of Hell – Greek METAL mastermind made a solo effort in the midst of the pandemic. Really positive record with incredibly relaxed vibe and catchy choruses.
Spiritus Mortis – The Great Seal – Finnish Doom metal veterans once again showed how it’s done.
Friends of Hell – s/t – Evil & Nasty DOOM METAL with occasional early Mercyful Fate/Pentagram vibes and tremendous vocal performance by almighty Albert Witchfinder.
André: Last question: What plans do you have for 2023? Is there a chance to see you on stage in Germany?
Yes, there is a chance to see us on stage in Germany. Anybody interested in seeing Elusive God live in Germany (or anywhere), please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s see what happens and what can be arranged. Our plans for 2023 are simple: Make new music, record new music and release new music. We will decide along the way what our new release is gonna be (single, EP or even full length). Hopefully, we’ll make a new music video and play some shows. Last but not least – we’ll definitely listen to a lot of good traditional METAL music – both old and new. That’s what it’s all about!
André: Puno hvala, thank you very much for your time. We are already looking forward to our next conversation – and of course new music.