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After reviewing their third effort, "Örvény", we contacted Hungarian band Perhelion to ask them some curiosities and details about their album and their musical coordinates. Enjoy!
Hi guys, I'm Giuseppe from Italian webzine Aristocrazia, thank you for your time! Would you care to introduce yourselves for our readers?
Hi Giuseppe. We're a four-piece band from Hungary, playing honest and heartfelt music which is mostly labelled as psychedelic post-metal with a wide range of influences.
We've already written about you, back in 2012 when you were still under the monicker Neokhrome. What was the reason for the name change?
Neokhrome was an entirely different story. That band was established in 2001 and we played black-death metal. However, by the time of the third album (which you reviewed I guess), we got totally tired of this genre, that is why that particular album (titled "Perihelion") was already significantly different from what we had been previously doing. But the musical transformation was so huge even after releasing that album that we simply felt it would be a great opportunity to start everything with a clean slate and go on with a name which better suits our direction and represents our musical endeavours much better. Even though the album titled "Perihelion" originally came out under the name "Neokhrome", we still consider it part of Perihelion's discography, as it was even re-released in 2014 under our new bandname.
I had the pleasure to listen and review your latest album, "Örvény". It's definitely different from the previous albums ("Perihelion" and "Zeng"), but it's clearly some sort of progression that happened gradually. Would you describe your evolution in terms of style and the driving forces behind it?
All this change and constant evolution is a natural process which stems from our ever-present desire to uncover new musical territories which we haven't been to before. It is absolutely essential for us not to do the exact same thing over and over again, but to try to renew our formula from one release to the other. Fortunately, we are constantly inspired by a wide range of influences that we experience in life and I'm not talking only about music. I would also go as far as to say that it really feels as if we were only a mere vessel for an indescribable higher will, an inspiration which materialises itself in the form of music and we as a band are the tools to present this music. It may sound weird, but I often have this feeling.
I'd describe "Örvény" as a post rock album with some metal hints, some names that came up to my mind were Alcest, Anathema and Sólstafir. Were those bands among your actual influences when writing the album?
To a very little extent, probably. I mean it's really not possible to pinpoint any specific bands which had influences on us on the way as it is a very complex and indecipherable system of inspirations.
I understand the album is more like a concept regarding the subconscious, as you say, a single journey through the seven songs that compose it. Can you tell us more about the theme? What was the inspiration for it?
The album has a definite mood curve which has its deepest point at the title track "Örvény". The lyrics for the album were inspired by spiritual and emotional experiences that I had during and prior to composing these songs. For this reason, it is not an easy task to describe what they are about and it would probably defeat the purpose.
The lyrics are all in Hungarian, your native tongue. This definitely gives some sort of exotic, so to say, element to the whole thing and adds to the musicality, especially for someone like me who is not at all used to it. How do you think this works with foreign audiences? Do you think it might be some sort of restriction for, like, reviews and response in general?
We constantly receive feedback from people in countries saying how much they love the sound of the language, even though they don't understand a word. Our decision to switch to Hungarian lyrics only had to do with the fact that I grew tired of formulating my thoughts in a different language and my mother tongue offered a much more versatile and more refined range of opportunities to express myself. Also, any other option for me was a dishonest approach to making music by that time. As per your question, some might consider the use of Hungarian to be a barrier to "accessing" the music the way they wish, but I'm certain that those who give enough time to our music and dig deeper will soon find it a value, rather than a negative aspect.
In the liner notes, you specify that no keyboards or synthetic sounds were used, something that surprised me because there are some strong atmospheric parts on the album, for example in the titletrack. Would you tell us something more about this aspect?
As one of my friends put it, this statement sounds like some old school death metal band from the Eighties! [laughs] But actually, we wanted to indicate this among the notes because it really is the case, even though, as you also pinpointed it, some people would think what they hear is keyboards. In reality, I'm totally crazy about guitar pedals which totally alter the sound of the instrument to the point that no longer sounds like a guitar at all. This is what you can hear in the titletrack and several other songs, too, but especially in the interludes between songs.
What about live activity? Checking your Facebook page, I see all visible events took/will take place in Hungary. Do you have any plans to tour abroad? Maybe something here in Italy as well?
At this point, our chances for live performance mostly cover our own country but we are absolutely eager to play elsewhere, too. We already played in France, Switzerland, Austria and Romania and now we are actively working on joining a European tour as a support band. Hopefully we'll get to Italy as well.
I think we're finished now, thank you again for your time and good luck for everything!
Thank you very much!