Our pack will grow and thrive

Orpheus Blade

Hello, and thank you for taking the time to participate in an interview with Metal On Loud Magazine. How are you today?

Hi! I can’t be better. Very busy with lots of stuff on my mind and it’s a good thing for me. I’m very excited and proud to see Wolf’s Cry ranking some “best of 2015” lists and receiving very positive feedback on our music and previous shows, and we’re already preparing for our next show in February where we’ll be opening for Leave’s Eyes. Aside from that, there’s a huge change in my life now as a little wolf cub is going to join our family soon - I’m excited and frightened at the same time!

Please present yourself and your band members.

Myself – Adi Bitran (vocals), Or Benozio (drums), Max Mann (bass), Gil David (guitars), Yoram Allouche (guitars), Omer Furman (keyboards).

Let's discuss the band, Orpheus Blade, Where you got the idea to start it?

After participating in many bands and realizing nothing came out of it, I just had the urge to do something of my own. Since I’m a teenager I like to write, and I’ve been playing the piano and the guitar before I started singing seriously. So in that point I already had my vision, lyrics and some sketches and I wanted to work on it, but it took some time (years actually) to find the right way for me. After meeting with the producer Erez Yohanan (from the band Amaseffer) I felt he’s the right person to forge my dreams into reality. So Wolf’s Cry was conceived in the studio, with my drafts and the magic hand of Erez, we’ve rearranged and added and changed until we felt it’s complete. Jacob Hansen did the mix and master to add a fat, cruel sound to it all. The lineup was also different, as it started out as a studio project, but now Orpheus Blade is a fully functional band and I’m very happy for it as this is what I’ve wanted from the beginning.

Your most recent release is Wolf's Cry, what will we find inside of it?

Film music, progressive metal, classic 80s heavy metal, musicals. Craziness, fearless eruptions, dark poetry, unclaimed adventures. Unleashed urges, exposed fangs, glowing eyes, fire - lots of it. An inner journey, an emotional ride, a circus for the damned. Hopefully – yourself. It would be whatever you, the listener, allow it to be. It would dig as deep as you let it and burn you as strong as you dare it to.

Do you dare to burn with us?

What are your future plans? Where are you planning to head with your music?

Lately we were very busy with some shows for the local crowd but we can’t wait to break the borders and perform in Europe as well. Looking for opportunities and I really hope for good news pretty soon. Aside from that, there are lots of new ideas gathering in my head for a while now, so I guess I’ll take some time to sort them out (maternity leave might be a good time!) and then rearrange them together with everyone, aiming for new live songs and tracks. For the world Wolf’s Cry is brand new, but it has been with me for so long I’m so eager for new materials… We’ve also printed some t-shirts recently which is the first item in our merchandise line. But the “grand plan” is mainly to reach out and touch as many hearts as we can, this is what music is all about after all, so that’s the main goal behind everything we do.

Your name refers to Orpheus, from the Greek Mythology, who was a great musician - just like you - why did you choose that name? Where you got the idea of it?

Thanks for the compliment! I was always fascinated with myths and Orpheus, being a god of music, is indeed one of the main reasons I like his character so much – one who can play the lyre so convincingly and touch people’s, animals’ and even gods’ hearts: the true mission of the storyteller. But I’m even more fascinated by his fate, being so close to releasing his wife from hell and losing it all in a second just because of a tiny moment of doubt. This is an interesting twist in the plot, isn’t it? The contradictions! The pain! Now his music is made of destruction, anger! So let’s taste this anger, let’s throw this perfect protagonist far from his comfort zone, put a blade in his hand and see what happens. Let’s talk emotions, and not sweet ones… This is where I’d like to be as a musician and performer: deep inside the storm, always pushing the limits and dealing with the crazy. This is the Orpheus I personally fancy, the one who was pushed over the edge to confront his darkest fears.
 
Let's discuss the concept of the album, and the idea behind your work. What is the concept? Why you chose it?

Wolf’s Cry is supposed to be some sort of a dark fantasy or roleplay. It started out as a one-on-one roleplay really… The characters are werewolves and the dilemma which stains their relationship is mainly the differences between man and beast. What it means, to be a wolf or to be human? The answer to this question is an inner journey for each of them when searching for their essence, their true selves. This is a bigger idea - an allegory to the journey each of us has to pass when travelling through humanity, facing our everyday encounters and troubles. It may be a concept album but the main story is not about the plot (which stays intentionally pretty “thin”) but more about describing the emotions arising in the process - love, passion, anger, fear, frustration.

You work together with Henning Basse. What can you tell us about it?

Henning was so great to work with! He’s not only an inspiring professional but also a really nice person and we became friends after that mutual journey. We’re really looking forward to share the same stage, hopefully soon enough, or join forces for other projects. I thought it would be extremely hard to find that specific voice I was imagining for the male role, as decent clean-metal singers are so hard to find nowadays (most of them do growls or high-pitched vocals) but when I first listened to him in Epysode’s “Fantasmagoria” I fell in love, I knew this is exactly what I was looking for! And he’s done such a good job, gives me the shivers every time I listen to him sing. Even though I gave the lyrics and guidelines, I asked him to express himself as he chose to, bring himself into it and the result is way above my expectations.

Please recommend some music for the readers.

Ureas – The Black Heart is my album of the year, I think it’s the best thing that came out since Beyond Twilight and it’s a shame they’re not known as they should be! Israeli bands are also on the rise, Scardust and OMB are two to try out – one is insanely technical with a crazy lady on the front, and the other is completely emotional/experimental extravaganza with an amazing singer. Subterranean Masquerade is also a brilliant Israeli choice. I already mentioned Epysode, they’re going to release a new album this year and I can’t wait for it! As for the obvious choices, Pain of Salvation – Remedy Lane and Symphony X – The Odyssey are two albums that are persistent in my hall of fame for over a decade now, and of course – 80s classics are always fun (Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, WASP, the list is endless).

Anything you might want to add up , some last words for the fans?

As you all know, the music industry is not in a good shape. It is very hard for metal bands to keep their heads above water, not only in the financial aspect but also in getting recognition for their hard work. So if you like us, all I ask you is to tell a friend. Expose one person to our music, and ask them to do the same if they like what they hear. It’s not a lot to ask but it will make a huge difference for us in the long run – one by one our pack will grow and thrive!

Thank you for your time, and best wishers for you!

Thanks for doing this interview, it’s my pleasure!

Zohar Belkin