An Oxymoron? Can Death Metal really be melodic?
An Oxymoron? Can Death Metal really be melodic?
by Artem Sahaidak and Elizabeth Jarrard
Metal music cuts a wide berth, in terms of the number of genres, subgenres, and microgenres like thrash metal, alternative metal, doom metal, etc. each with its own scene, subversive culture, and accompanying group rituals. Each of these subdivisions has its own history and reasons why they claim cult followings.
Recently, we’ve welcomed onto our platform, a melodic death metal band from Gothenburg, Sweden - Nightrage. Nightrage simply enjoys what they do and connects deeply to the music they play from their hearts. Which spills over into everything they do. Over the years Nightrage elaborated on their own unique musical style with numerous influences from thrash metal, and classic heavy-metal bands, distinguishing them from other bands of the genre.
We are thrilled to present to you new ambassadors of Pindify, the melodic death metal band, Nightrage. Here we tell the story their founder and guitarist Marios Iliopoulos.
How did everything start?
Nightrage’s genesis began nearly 20 years ago when Marios’ previous band, “Exhumation” was disbanded, and he was in search of like-minded musicians who would continue on with him to realize his vision and bring to life the sound of pure melodic death metal. Then residing in Greece, Marios was recording demos and carrying on alone with his vision, but the search for bandmates continued to no avail. This is when he decided to move to Gothenburg, Sweden, where the genre of melodic death metal scene was made famous, and metal musicians abounded.
It was quite a challenge for Marios to move from sunny Greece to dark and frigid Sweden, but he never regretted his decision. As planned, he was able to attract his future bandmates with whom he would later release 8 albums, play together for two decades, and perform hundreds of practices and gigs. Nightrage has been on the road for almost 20 years, and they don’t have plans to quit any time soon.
How does Nightrage’s creative process look like?
The creative process of Nightrage can be easily characterized as a collaboration based on pure raw pleasure. It is the pleasure of not only playing, but playing something you’ve created together, and collectively share as a peak experience that is difficult to describe. Even metal bands, apparently, play in the pocket.
“Usually, the process looks like this. I meet with Magnus several times and we are composing our music together, then Ronnie comes into the picture and writes his lyrics and vocal melodies. We are all on the same page and we have great chemistry as songwriters and also as friends, we leave our egos behind the door and what we are looking for is that the material we have gathered is damn good.”
’’Nightrage’’ finds their inspiration in everyday life and even from the mundane. They tell stories about their personal hard knocks. They say it doesn’t necessarily mean people need to dig deeper and agree with the band’s perspective. But they do want people to be aware of the topics that aren’t often brought to their awareness, sometimes out of apathy, or repression. And if there is any genre of music that grates against the repression of human emotion, it is death metal. This concept has been described in their album, “Wolf to the Man.” The title is inspired by an old Latin proverb, “Homo Homini Lupus Est”
“We (humans) are our own biggest enemies, our own biggest threat and our own prey. As humanity, we are now at the end of the road and ready to jump on the chaos that we have created. There is no turning back, and we need to accept that as a fact.”
After the interview we had with Marios, we got the impression that Nightrage, as a group, are truly present in the moment, regardless of where they are or what they’re doing. No matter the stage or studio, they are always striving for excellence in their play, and they seem to cherish all they are doing together. Their synergy as a group is palpable.
“It is all about mutual collaboration and having a passion for the music you play,” says Marios.
What kind of struggles do they have as musical artists?
The great Australian hard-rock band AC/DC sings,
“It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock-roll…”
..and this is a true story for Marios Iliopoulos’ life. His “way to the top” was constantly complicated by hurdles such as changing multiple jobs and moving apartment 6 times during his first year living in Gothenburg. Let’s not forget that Marios immigrated to a totally new country and had virtually zero acquaintances when he arrived. Despite all the challenges, the hard work paid off.
In hindsight, he said,
“I had to change home 6 times the first year and I was doing shitty jobs to be able to survive like washing dishes. You have to try to follow your dreams no matter what to achieve the goals you have put from the very beginning, and never stop don't let anyone or anything stopping you from carrying on with your dreams.”
Once we heard just exactly what Marios had to overcome to get where he is now, we felt like we knew the answer to the question, “what does the word success mean to you as a musician?” “
“Being honest with yourself and knowing what you want,” are one of the major values Marios and other members of Nightrage deploy as their strategy to keep their spirits high and their momentum charging forward like a night train.
This also means that as a musician, each member of the band should have an open mind to perceive and experiment with different music vibes or sounds. They should also share and collaborate with their bandmates, transmute their angst into their songwriting and playing, utilizing the language of metal and with that fierce, ferocious, and powerful energy most other genres cannot replicate. And apparently, this formula is working well, but not without a lot of personal investment and sacrifice to make it happen. And so it seems, the expended energy that musicians make to grapple at success isn’t usually equal to the desired outcome. Sometimes it can be discouraging to not receive an equal return on the investment of your time and the life force you pour into your work, and like any true metal band, Nightrage never surrenders! As such, they are sure they’ll be producing more epic albums in the future.
“Sometimes this can be very intimidating and hard to do, like all this matter with our economy and the fact that we need to invest a lot of personal money to get the band going, that sometimes bleeding the band in the end and leaves a bad feeling, but we are always getting across with our head up high in the end because we understand that the things we are doing to get the band rolling, it's for a good cause.”
How do you think Pindify can help you?
Nightrage works hard on their digital presence on the Internet and they publish their content in all major social networks including Facebook, and Instagram, as well as their official website: https://nightrage.com/ Most recently, we are pleased to announce that Nightrage has started to actively post their material on Pindify and are excited to join our platform:
“I can see the great potential behind the idea that you guys have created, to help any sort of artists to be able to live from their own music and content. I can see that thing can be a massive tool of help for any kind of bands like us that we are still on the struggling side and also younger bands that they definitely need some push and help to develop their artistry out there. I know it sounds too good to be true in a world of social media chaos, But I feel that there's a good cause behind the whole idea to help artists first, make them work harder and gain what they deserve from what they love to do.”
We are sure that Pindify can help Nightrage gain even more exposure and attract new fans who may not yet know they are into melodic death metal! They’ll realize this was that raw sound they were missing from their life!
Check out their portfolio on Pindify.
P.S. Nightrage has just released their latest album: “Wolf to the Man.”
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