Ever wanted to find out what inspired a particular song?
Was it based on personal experience or simply passive observation?
What happened in the recording studio or on stage to make one song sound different from the rest?
These are just some of the question bands and musicians attempt to answer in Line 'em Up - the newest page of The Power Of Metal.Dk.
This is where your favourite bands comment on their albums, track by track, because as someone once said, “Ideas are the building blocks of ideas”.
Spawned from Avignon, a region in the South of France, Angellore is a band whose music is probably best described as Doom Death Metal awash with Gothic moods. Some time ago the band released their debut album: “Errances” (which The Power of Metal Webzine had reviewed). Until another album is laid down, Rosarius (guitars, bass, clean & extreme vocals, keyboards), Walran (extreme & clean vocals, keyboards) and Ronnie (Drums) here give us some insight on what made “Errances” what it is.
Here’s a chance for you to tell our readers about “Errances”. But first, how did the band get its moniker?
Rosarius: The name of the band comes from the title of a Tristania song, a band that we love. “Angellore” is in the tracklist of their first album, Widow’s Weeds. This title is beautiful like a graceful feminine name. We discovered it thanks to Tristania. It’s both a desire to have this bandname and a sort of tribute to this extraordinary Norwegian gothic metal band that never ceased to please us.
Could you please describe the songwriting process that led to the album’s completion?
Walran: Most of the songs were written by Rosarius and me between August 2007 and June 2009 in my room. Back then, it was just the two of us. Ronnie joined us during Spring 2009, just a few months before we entered the studio for the first time.
Before even thinking Angellore would become a “professional band”, get a label and release an album recorded in a real studio, Rosarius and I just wanted to write songs together. This was our only goal. We were recording songs at my place. I had some really cheap and bad recording devices, but that didn’t stop us! We felt naturally inspired and we wanted, with all our heart, to play that very specific kind of atmospheric doom metal.
Actually, I live in a quiet house in the countryside, surrounded by forests, which was pretty inspiring. Sometimes, in the middle of the recordings, we took some breaks and went out for long walks. On several occasions, we saw rare or unexpected animals crossing our ways, running out of the woods, and we chose to consider these silent encounters as signs, positive omens, blessing over our music. And honestly, the composing process has always been an easy task for Angellore. Rosarius and I work really well together, and it’s always a pleasure to enter the rehearsal room to add/edit some parts with Ronnie. Back then, our songs were maybe a little bit too “fragmented” though. We had so much to say, we didn’t think about how to mix an electric and an acoustic part together in a perfectly suitable way, for example. This issue has been partly resolved when we re-crafted our songs in the studio, and I think the listeners of our next works won’t complain about it anymore.
The album’s music is quite melancholic – how much does this reflect on you as a person?
Walran: Most of the time, I’m a pretty positive person. But when it comes to expressing myself musically, I mainly compose sad songs. It just flows naturally, a feeling of melancholy almost impossible to explain, but that really is a part of me. Sometimes, the people surrounding me are surprised when they hear my music. What can I say? Angellore’s works are really honest and I think accurate representations of the emotions of the three of us.
Ronnie: Music is a shelter, a way to express myself. Without this...I have no clue how I could face every day's life. I'm using the word "me" but as you can imagine it means "us", because we really understand each other and share the same feelings.
I'm a really positive person, but as everyone I'm full of emotions. Music is the way to push this out of my head and my heart. So yes it reflects me, sad, but full of hope.
And now onto “Errances”… track-by-track, what inspired you, what topics are you dealing with, what do you want to express within the songs, etc..
01. Dans les Vallées Eternelles
Walran: Probably my favourite track on the record. I remember that when Rosarius and I were working on it, I wanted to release some kind of fusion between “The Cry Of Silence” by Draconian and “The Drowning Years” from While Heaven Wept. This is what we had in mind when working on the epic, “fast”, heavy ending of the song. Overall, I enjoy the mood of the track very much – I was really impressed by the main melody when Rosarius played it to me for the first time – and even if the lyrics are quite simple, I really enjoy them too. Together with the music, they depict an eerie, imaginary, beautiful timeless place. I can really see myself lost in the ruins of an old abbey down a valley and under a grey sky when we play this song. I know that some listeners think otherwise, but I think it was the best possible opening for that record.
02. Tears of Snow
Walran: We had to work a lot on that special song. The demo version was quite “messy”, and we didn’t really like the sound of the guitars. But once again, the melodic ideas were there since the very beginning. Although there’s nothing really “folk” here, this song is really tied to nature. I think the addition of the violin also works well. Our producer Florent Krist composed and recorded some of the keyboard part in the second verse. I just love the arrangements in the verses and the main melody of the chorus. I also love the way growls and clean vocals, both by Rosarius and me, meltin different ways. In the end, “Tears Of Snow” is a very emotional doom metal song.
03. I Am The Agony
Rosarius: It was obvious for us that we would write Draconian-like tunes with a catchy chorus. It’s a very natural way to create songs for us. Gothic and atmospheric tunes with this sort of violet and tearful feeling, very flowing and nocturnal, are perfect to invoke the images that we love. Angellore is all about images. Like Baudelaire said, it is “our primitive passion”. “I Am the Agony” had to draw a certain kind of visual obsessions. Something very classical, yes; that’s what we love. It’s like dancing in the snow, in front of an old, old abbey.
04. Weeping Ghost
Walran: The first song ever written by Angellore! Actually, there are three versions of this peculiar song: the first one is appearing on our first demo, “Ambrosia”. The second one is a re-worked version, with a better crafting and a few differences in the solo. Then, there is the album version. We decided to remove the piano ending to add this “heavy/dark metal” part instead, completed by Rosarius’ awesome growls. Although it may sound a bit naïve, it’s a song that is very dear to us.
Walran: The basis of the song was written very spontaneously by Rosarius and me during the evening, after we spent an entire afternoon working on “Shades Of Sorrow”. I wrote the lyrics, that Rosarius sang, and then I took more time to work on the arranging process. Somehow, it could have been a Betray-Ed song (my other personal project, closer to folk music). Funny story: the part that is played by the violin on the album version was originally written and recorded with an harmonica (you can still hear it in the demo version). In one word, it was quite different!
06. ...Where Roses Never Dies...
Rosarius: I wrote “… Where Roses never dies…” very easily. I’m fond of eighties goth rock and gothic metal classics, and bass vocal lines are always perfect to impose specific atmospheres. This song is incredibly romantic. You know, it’s a rain of roses, a realm of night. A Hammer-like atmosphere; the romantic, dangerous and desperate side of vampiric modern myth. I don’t know how to describe it more lightly. Anyway, this song is not light. It’s gothic doom and romantic song, long and sorrowful. Maybe one of the most flowing and direct of the album.
07. Shades of Sorrow
Walran: We started to work on this song in June 2009 and it instantly became one of our favourites. The epic metal ending wasn’t there in the original demo version, we composed it in the rehearsal room. We wanted to add more metal parts to the album, so we really worked on this together. Ronnie had some nice patterns for the drums, I had the idea for the chord progressions, and Rosarius provided all the lead guitars. Team-work for the win! I can also say that the clean part in the middle of the song demanded a lot of work in the studio. It was really tough! In the end, I’m glad with the result, even if the guitar/piano part at the beginning of the song should have been slower in my opinion.
What is the symbolic meaning of the album’s artwork?
Ronnie: Errances means
wandering in French. Do I need to say more?
How do the new compositions compare to the music and themes of “Errances”?
Walran: We haven’t released anything since the release of “Errances”, but our second album is already entirely composed. Lyrically, there is not much to say, we definitely stay in the same vein. But, I have to say that we worked a bit harder on the lyrics and also that there are two songs that are very personal for us – One especially for Rosarius, and one for me, based on some childhood’s memories and impressions. And musically, I think we grew up and opened ourselves to many new influences. Another vision of our own atmospheric doom metal, if I can say so! Also, I think the new compositions are taking a step away from our influences and the bands we love. We did our best to forge a sound that belongs to us and us only!
Chris Galea, February 2014