Hailing from Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Mezzanine Floor are a progressive metal project with hard rock influences. The band’s sophisticated arrangements and great musicianship come through in their recent work, Architecture of Aeons.
This album is chockfull of songs that are all about building intricate layers and textures, as the instruments within the mix blend in with the rhythm section to create stunning melodic patterns and powerful walls of sound that are at the core of the project’s vision. The progressive contamination element is a big part of the meal ticket, and songs such as “Behold! The Temple of Light” or “Trading Gallows For The Sun” do a great job conveying the spirt of the band into a new, personal musicality. There is a spark within every single song, a blend of energy that glues it all together and that could be described as an aggressive edge that is deceptively hidden by the beauty of the arrangements and their sophistication.
Find out more and let the music tell you the story:
I’ve been listening to the Vederkast‘s debut album “Northern Gothic” quite a lot recently (thanks to Annie from Prog Sphere Promotions who hooked me up with this band), and I even wrote about the album here.
Drummer Magnus Tornensis and guitarist Sindre Bakland answered my questions about the band and their work, so make sure to read the interview below.
What does the band’s name represent?
“Vederkast” is an old word from Northern Norwegian myth used to describe a curse or sickness that was believed to come from the underworld.
Where did the idea of Vederkast come from?
Magnus: Sindre and I first started jamming on some ideas to see if we could do a project together. We started to see the potential and asked Paul and Finn if they wanted to give it a shot. We started writing songs together and hit the studio at a very early stage. Waiting for things to happen is not for us, I guess.
Sindre: It’s cool to think about that we have come this far after just one year, and it really makes us want to take it to the next level!
Vederkast is a young band, but your sound feels very mature. Where did you gain your experiences?
Magnus: Thanks for the age compliment! I just turned 30, so that helps with my crisis, haha!
The sound just evolved as we played together I think. We have played a lot of different styles of music for many years within our respective bands and projects, yet with Vederkast it sort of felt like starting from scratch, at least for me. It is a lot more heavy and technically challenging than what I’ve done before, so I have definitely developed my playing a lot in the process, having to do things that I usually wouldn’t think about doing. I personally thank my diverse background as a musician and a music listener for being able to contribute to the Vederkast sound.
Let’s talk about your new album “Northern Gothic.” Describe your music.
Sindre: It is a complex record with lots of variation and dynamics, which is also what many listeners and reviewers seem to think. It is not a purebred hard rock, metal or prog album, but it certainly has influences from all those areas. The songs go from hard and somewhat chaotic to atmospheric and mellow, and we really wanted it like that. There are no screams or growling vocals, but Paul’s voice can still be aggressive as hell when he needs it to be. You could say that it challenges the listener, and I think that there are new elements to be discovered when listening to it a second or third time.
Is there a certain concept that “Northern Gothic” follows?
Regarding the music, I think the previous question pretty much sums it up. When it comes to lyrics, they are not exactly stories of sunshine and happiness, but rather exploring different states of darkness and sometimes mourning.
You just finished a European tour. How was it?
Magnus: It was great to be able to see new places and play for new people. We played some cool clubs and got nice feedback along the way, and definitely gained some new friends!
Sindre: Playing concerts is the thing we really love, so we want to be touring a lot more.
How does a Vederkast gig look like? Are you satisfied with the feedback of audiences?
Magnus: We always give it all we got and do our best to bring all the energy of the songs out to the crowd. We’re not really a crazy moshpit kind of band, although we have experienced that as well. I sometimes look at people trying to headbang to riffs in strange time signatures, and that’s so cool! The best crowds we have played for are the ones that react to the songs and sections and really look like they’re listening. These are also the people that talk to us most after the show. I guess we draw a lot of musicians and music geeks (in a good way) to our shows, and that’s wonderful. However, there’s also a side to us that’s more rock n’ roll and dare I say somewhat catchy, so you don’t have to own 2000 vinyl records and win every music quiz you’re in to enjoy a Vederkast show!
How do you see rock music today?
Magnus: I could definitely be better at checking out new music, but I know that there’s a lot going on. We live in a very culturally vibrant town considering its size, and there are a lot of cool up and coming acts in our region. Thinking in a more global perspective, I’m confident that the big trends right now, especially the whole EDM thing, is not going to last. And even if it does, or something new takes over, true rock/metal/prog fans will not be deceived into leaving their passion. We believe in rock!
This next question doesn’t have much to do with music. It’s about Tromso. Do you guys freeze over there?
Magnus: No way, we’re Northerners!
Okay, it can get a little cold and dark here, but maybe that’s what inspires the music?
Sindre: The nature in the north of Norway is so amazing it makes up for the darkness and the cold.
Any final words?
Please listen to the album, let us know what you think, and hopefully we’ll see you in your home town soon!
Orymus is a hard rock/heavy metal band from Switzerland influenced largely by progressive rock. These experienced musicians from Bern play together for over ten years and they released two full-length albums so far. Their debut “Escape to Reality” was released in 2013, and this year they returned with “Miracles.”
Comparing these two releases, it’s evident that the band grew up and became more cohesive. With “Miracles” they are going more than thirty years back, where the roots of rock and metal are. “Miracles” is a tribute to the best of that era, the band stay truthful to their sound wrapped up in new attire and are ready to rock more than ever.
The album that was released this past March is quite a short for today’s standards with its approximately 40 minutes and ten tracks. Its sound is something that our ears are accustomed to. Every person who has interest in rock and metal music has come into this kind of sound at least once. Singer Daniel Brönnimman is a perfect fit for singing Orymus’ songs. His vocals for Orymus is like a chocolate cake that accompanies coffee. From the very fist moments of the album until the finishing melody guitar solos are striking, and accompanied with stunning vocals by Brönnimann they make “Miracles” an enjoyable experience. It’s been a long since I heard such a refreshing release coming from this genre, and though vintage in its nature “Miracles” does bring a lot of refreshment.
All of us started listening to music with likes such as Led Zeppelin, Whitesnake, Rainbow or Deep Purple. Orymus is influenced by these greats but with lots of elements developed by themselves. If you are a nostalgic person, it is the right time for you to give a try to this underrated Swiss band.
You can buy “Miracles” from Bandcamp. It would be good if you follow Orymus on Facebook too.
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