Portuguese Webzine (written on PT and EN)
Portuguese Webzine (written on PT)
Portuguese Webzine (written on PT and EN)
Event Metal Assombra 2004 - St Maria de Lamas - PORTUGAL
Portuguese Webzine (written on PT and EN)
Event Caos Emergente Fest I - Paredes - PORTUGAL
Portuguese Magazine (written on PT issue 2 Dec’03/Jan’04)
Caos Emergente Fest I - Paredes - PORTUGAL
Portuguese Webzine (written on EN)
Gaia Metal Fest - Vila Nova de Gaia - PORTUGAL
Swedish Webzine (written EN)
Portuguese Webzine (written EN)
Portuguese Webzine (written on PT and EN)
Portuguese Magazine (written on PT issue 2 Dec’03/Jan’04)
Portuguese Webzine (written on PT)
Portuguese Webzine (written on PT)
LIVE 12th April 2003 – Bootleg Promo CD-R
According to the note on the back of this promo CD, this is not an official release, but simply a means of making people aware of the existence of EPPING FOREST and to appease friends who’d long been waiting for some recorded material. The seven songs featured here were recorded during the final of the Metal Force battle of the bands in 2003. The very grand intro (presumably taken from a soundtrack) would suggest EPPING FOREST are a Black Metal band, and the opener The Incantations Of The Gates quickly confirms this suspicion. Oftentimes the music is reminiscent of early CRADLE OF FILTH, due in no small part to Azrael’s vocals, which vary from guttural growls to a shriek, and the keyboard interludes. Having said that, EPPING FOREST are by no means lacking in individuality.
As this isn’t an official release, I don’t want to go into too much detail, but the sound quality (the recording was actually made on video!) and the performance demonstrate a very professional young band with a bright future. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait too much longer for the first official release. [ - out of 10 ]
In Back To The Grave by David Butler
LIVE 12th April 2003 – Bootleg Promo CD-R
primeiro contacto que tive com os Epping Forest foi na 3ª edição do Gaia
Metal Fest. Devo confessar que fiquei algo confuso com a prestação da
guitarra mas desde logo muito bem impressionado com o vocalista e baterista.
Só mais tarde tive a informação que um dos guitarristas não consegui estar
presente devido a motivos pessoais, logo, uma guitarra teve de fazer o
trabalho de duas. Assim, este promo cd-r fez com que as minhas dúvidas
ficassem dissipadas e possa agora dizer que estamos perante uma das melhores
bandas de Black Metal nacional.
In Darkness Anthem webzine by Abracadaver
[For a complete and Portuguese written version visit www.grave.kom.pt]
(…) Headliners were Portuguese Scandinavian Black Metal outfit EPPING FOREST. Currently in the recording process of their forthcoming debut album, EPPING FOREST played an interesting gig – though I can not say this was their best yet. The audience kept banging, but the speed and brutality of the individual hymns is not very appropriate for hyperspeed headbanging – because not many can handle it. I could not help noticing throughout the concerts that the stage was not exactly still – improvising sometimes means you have to worry about your speakers not balancing or your drum kit not falling over. Back to the concert, EPPING FOREST played seven or eight songs and were ‘forced’ into playing a double encore with songs Incantation of the Gates and Ever(b)lasting Struggle. The audience adhered rather warmly, given the scant affluence. (…)
In Back To The Grave Webzine by Morgana
The bands that followed played approximately 45 minutes (rather good for a festival with so many bands), but they all had a lousy guitar sound. EPPING FOREST started playing at 19h00 and, despite the shittty sound (as a consequence of which the sound came across slightly emptier), the band managed to entice the audience with their fierce discharge of blood and Black Metal power. Freshly emerged from a concert on the eve of Caos Emergente, EPPING FOREST played with one guitar (instead of two) and with no bass, as with the last two concerts, which represented an additional dimension of challenge to the band. The audience were banging their heads already at the sound of the band’s sound-check, which was a constant through the evening – and, as an intro opened up the band’s performance, there was moshing around and banging of a myriad heads from the stage through to the sound table. The mosh pit was by this stage sober. The band played their usual set-list with a minimal alteration here and there and the general sound enhanced the drums, so it came as no surprise that the mosh pit was so agitated, as Menthor’s drums were fast and brutal, aggressive as aggressive they could be. The keyboardist’s discrete presence was again confirmed, and Noctis Lunaris’ melodies still fit right into the band’s aggressiveness, providing their music with a somewhat exotic touch. Azrael brings forth the apocalyptic voices of Damnation and proves with each concert what a natural born frontman he is. EPPING FOREST were, in my (not so) humble opinion, for their stage presence and great music, the band of the evening – alongside BLEEDING DISPLAY.
In Back To The Grave webzine by Morgana
Hostilities were due start at approximately 20.00, but as with every other metal event in Portugal, it did not start until 22.00. Felgueiras-based Black Metal band EPPING FOREST started playing at 22.20, after a few minutes with the sound-check and whatnot. By the time of their performance, there were not many people at the venue, but their performance was quite an achievement: starting from the end of BLEEDING DISPLAY’s performance (who followed next), people started to spread and/or disappear. As for EPPING FOREST, they were bold enough to play live without 2 band members, notably Abraxis (guitars) and Aenima Seraphitus (Bass), who were forced to be absent for different reasons. Throughout the performance, they hardly spoke, but played lots. The sound was relatively audible, but the keyboard sound was completely freaked out. I am inclined to think that the only reason why there was no moshing was because the audience was so scant. The general view of the concert is that of a well-played, coordinate and very coherent performance. The band members seemed to know what they were doing, which certainly contributed to the globally positive concert. Starting with Incantations of the Gates, playing Epping Forest, Source of Fateful Forces and Battle of Ragnarok, EPPING FOREST consolidated their sound image. I would say the audience went a bit wilder with The Sphinx’s Riddle, my absolutely favourite. Devouring Soul finished off their performance and I am certainly waiting for the next opportunity to see these guys live. The members who drew more attention were the drummer Menthor (also in the ranks of MORBIUS and WAR BLASPHEMY), who played at his best – and seemed never to grow tired of playing, presenting an exquisite double bass technique and well thought-out blast beats, and the vocalist Azrael, whose voice is ever better. The guitarist Mystic Cosmos is evil impersonated on stage and Noctis Lunaris (keyboardist) has a very discrete presence. Overall, this was perhaps the best EPPING FOREST concert I have ever been fortunate to see live.
In Back To The Grave webzine by Morgana
Interview with MysticCosmoS - July 2006
I Even though I've still only
heard some old material from a live recording I'm anxious to hear more. I'm
pretty darn sure this will turn out to be a monster of black/death metal.
Interview with MysticCosmoS - December 2003
I know your name comes from a British forest. How is that related to the concept behind the band? What are your lyrics about?
It’s in everything related to the band. The band ends up being everything of mystery and occultism that Epping Forest keeps. In the forest of Epping there used to happen (and still do) meetings in the greatest secrecy, in which all kinds of occult matters were discussed. The band ends up being precisely that: each one of us has a great fascination with the occult sciences and, by composing the Black Metal we do, it’s like the creation of imagined landscapes, sombre and devastating ambiences that we keep within our souls.
However, this enthrallment with the occult does not compromise us with any kind of religious fanaticism, which is something that is reaching high levels of hypocrisy in Portugal, such as, for example, the creation of religious associations opposed to Christianity… Where does this take us? To the circus of Christianity, the sole difference being the changing of the clowns.
The basic idea behind the choosing of this name is exactly getting rid of all social and musical labels. Epping Forest is a name that doesn’t commit us with any musical style, giving us freedom to wander between Black Metal, Death Metal, etc. So, we create worlds through music that somehow are representations of what each of us exposes in this “Gathering” which is our band.
The lyrics are perhaps the part that best describes Epping Forest: they focus mainly on the classical and Norse mythology, they are independent of philosophies or areas of study, giving us freedom to describe varied mythical aspects. Right now we are also considering writing about Egyptian mythology and Lusitanian tales and legends.
How would you call the style you play? What are your musical influences?
We play Black Metal and I think that the only correctly discernible influence is Scandinavian Black Metal, the coldness, the devastating force that so distinguishes Scandinavian Black Metal. However, we keep a great margin to recreate our field of action, having orchestrations and keyboard parts that (according to the reviews we get) in no way hinder the blast of icy brutality and speed with which we “refresh” the listener, allowing him not to feel monotony in the course of the “travel throughout those worlds” obscurely re-created by us. As I use to say, it’s “Black Metal in your face” (laughs), direct and devastating in every sense.
You have been playing some concerts lately. What are your live experiences being like?
Every gig has left its mark. People seem to go to the gigs for Epping Forest, which is great. Despite the obstacles we must surpass, we have managed to keep a good rate in concerts; in fact, for a band with no studio recordings released, we have actually been having good opportunities, among which the first gigs of the band at the 4Play bar. Also important was the participation in the Festival Caos Emergente. This one seems to have been the great revelation of Epping Forest to a vast quantity of public and for the press, and that shows in the many contacts we have been receiving after that gig. I have also read several reviews to it that surprised us with the conclusion that people really had liked Epping Forest, even if we were playing with half the team (the latest gigs were played without the second guitar and without the bass).
All these gigs have been a very good experience, from the performances to the hanging out with the public and some bands that have become sincere friends of ours and supported Epping Forest in the struggle to keep up. But I must also thank the organisers of the events, that have been conscientious by inviting the bands and doing everything possible so that the mood is a festive one and that the bands play with pleasure and without worries. We have worked with excellent people who, in spite of little experience, have revealed a great professionalism and an awareness of the troubles a band has to go through to keep going from one place to another.
What have the reactions to your live promo CDR been like?
Honestly, that is what surprised us the most! That recording comes from a video camera; I only changed some equalization in my computer. Initially it was meant to be a home use recording and a little divulgation on our website (www.eppingforest.web.pt), but the growing demand for the work among listeners encouraged us to release it as a Promo CD-R. Although we do not consider it an official release, it’s been very sought after by the people who have kept with the course of Epping Forest. The reviews have also been excellent and I liked to see that some of the entities from the national Metal press have regarded us as a national hope within this more extreme sound.
This Promo CD-R is being sold for a symbolic price (for more info go to www.eppingforest.web.pt) and is limited to 300 copies, because we think that only the people who have truly supported Epping Forest would wish to acquire that item while we don’t release any studio recording.
What plans are there for future releases? What's going on with the band right now? What will the near future bring?
Right now we are planning to go into studio around the end of December 2003, but, since there are always unexpected problems, this date may change. The unforeseen this time is the imminent collapse of our rehearsal place (laughs); it’s a VERY old house that has reached alarming levels of degradation. Due to this, rehearsals have been somewhat limited by the owner of the building who was notified by the authorities and shall soon close the building.
Right now the band is closed inside the rehearsal room getting ready to go into the studio and finishing the last touches in the songs. After the recordings we will begin spreading the result around some labels and then we’ll see what happens. Probably we will record 7-10 songs and I cannot disclose much more than that. Until then we’ll go on evaluating the interest from labels and producers.
We cannot make big plans (laughs), for something always happens that delays the progress of things.
What is your opinion about the Black scene in Portugal right now?
Any bands you are particularly fond of?
Hmm. That “fond of” is a little relative (laughs). To be honest there is no relationship with almost any Portuguese Black Metal band. They’re probably too busy being evil 24 hours a day or concerned in showing no interest in bands of the same style. I believe there is no big union nationwide, what there is is a few small groups that jeopardise the whole concept of true Underground; people are more interested in slagging off other bands or getting drunk than in using their ability of musical appraisal (laughs). Regardless, I have personally observed with great pleasure that Black Metal bands are beginning to take more care of the production of their recordings, making evident their good value and their own sound. I can say I enjoyed the evolution of Corpus Christii, Viingrid, Celtic Dance, Teasanna Satanna who got me really hooked up in their ‘Incertezas’, Nephtys who have shown an evolving sound and attitude, Lux Ferre with a very fast and devastating Black Metal, and a production that I really liked in their split ‘Cult Of The Black Flame’, and War Blasphemy, with a more “Raw” sound that would be greatly improved if only Abraxis would let me produce that with a better quality (laughs).
Portugal has been considerably evolving in the quality of recordings, and that is very good. A band can be even more powerful without the typical “Raw” masterization. But the truth must be told: there are bands that are like that and must keep on Raw always under risk of losing a lot of the feeling they have…
However, I am not a follower of one single style… I love all kinds of extreme sonority and I think things should be more diverse these days. Instead of the typical Black Metal gig or the typical Death Metal gig, there should be a mix of the two, or the audience can get a bit fed up. I sometimes go to gigs in which, even if the sound is good and the event goes ok, I end up getting to a point in which I had enough with listening to the same thing all the time, it’s boring to watch a 5 hours Black Metal gig or a 5 hours Death Metal gig, if there were some alternation it wouldn’t be so. The big problem in Portugal is that, organising Black or Death gigs, which makes the event monotonous and predictable, always with the same audience (and these days almost always the same bands). The people leave the gig tired of watching so much of the same in a single night. I think so even despite being a great fan of brutal Death Metal. And if such an alternation took place, it would also make the Death and Black Metal movements more united than they are. Black Metal these days has started being a little pushed over, I understand that people tell me that many of the New Wave of Black Metal bands made the style ridiculous, but didn’t that happen in the past too, when Death Metal was the big thing?? Why judge all the bands the same way just because one or two persons badmouthed a band?
And what is the scene like in the area where you live? Do you feel you have a good local support?
LAUGHS... Here there isn’t anything... and for me and Noctis to go through with this we had to wait three years and go get the other members 20 km away around Felgueiras [The Land of The Blue Bag-Private Joke] (Abraxis-Lousada; Menthor and Azrael -Amarante; Aenima Seraphitus - Guimarães).
Support in this area has always been nonexistent. We only have 4 or 5 fans of the band in Felgueiras who support the band unconditionally, and as to the remaining supporters of Epping Forest I do not know who most of them are, but I can say it was their presence in our gigs that gave us the strength we have today to go on in our path and made me proud of each drop of blood that courses in Epping Forest.
We are making some plans for the beginning of 2004 around here, to see how the movement is going. Probably we will organise an event with five bands (who are already chosen) to see how feasible it is to go through with such undertakings in Felgueiras. Should it go ok, there are strong possibilities of organising future events here, in an attempt to recover some dignity for the Metal movement of the north of the country.
What bands have you been listening to lately?
The mandatory monthly Desire [every album], Gangrena “Infected Ideologies”, Immortal “At the heart of Winter”, Limbonic Art “In Abhorrence Dementia”, Obscenus “Nocturnus Exordio”, Anorexia Nervosa “New Obscurantis Order”, Dark Funeral [All of Them] and then the occasional Morbid Angel “Heretic”, Mystic Circle “Open the gates of hell”, Belphegor “Lucifer Incestus”, Agonizing Terror “Ways of existence”, Deity Of Carnification “Triumph of the Baroque”, Morbius “Morbivs”, Nokturnal Mortum “The taste of Victory”, Dimmu Borgir “Death Cult Armageddon”, Judas Iscariot “Heaven In Flames”, Marduk “Panzer division Marduk”, Burzum “Filosofem”… this just to mention the Albums I left on top of the stereo last night.
Thank you for your replies! All the best to your future!
We thank you for another chance of divulgation!
Visit our website regularly, it is often updated, so that you know what goes on with Epping Forest.
In Nekrometal by …
Interview with MysticCosmoS, Noctis Lunariis and Menthor - December 2003
[For Portuguese version visit the webzine atwww.grave.kom.pt]
A rather decrepit rehearsal room on the imminence of demolition was the setting for the occult reunion between Back to the Grave and the up-coming Portuguese Black Metal act EPPING FOREST.
Noctis Lunaris’ usual discrete presence was once again confirmed during the interview, whereas the very talkative guitarist MysticCosmos and drummer Menthor conducted most of an interview chiefly characterised by relaxation and good mood. Here is the summary of what occurred in the night of November 22nd 2003.
BTTG – Before all, would you introduce yourselves?
EF – We are MysticCosmos, Noctis Lunaris and Menthor.
BTTG – Please draw us a brief synopsis of EPPING FOREST’s history.
MysticCosmos – EPPING FOREST started out between Noctis Lunaris (who also happens to be my cousin) and me. We used to have another project with much less serious people and it inevitably ended. Later on me and Noctis decided in favour of a new band, found it and led it forwards, no matter what obstacles there might be, even if it meant solely the two of us. In fact, this situation (of the band consisting in the two of us exclusively) remained for the next 3 years. This was when the most decisive additions were made to the line-up, and we are talking about AENIMA SERAPHITUS (August 2001) and Menthor (September 2001). Azrael joined the band in September 2002. From the entry of Aenima and Menthor on, the band started working full steam…
Menthor – … and as a result you get the brutality you can hear.
MysticCosmos – In fact, we were initially very limited as regards speed, technical compositions and brutality –
Menthor – Right now, we are super fast, we have a very good technical spectrum of composition, and aggressiveness… we have it all! [laughs]
MysticCosmos – We felt limited as regards the composition process because of the programmed drums. The present line-up was complete with the addition of Abraxis (who was temporarily inactive for personal reasons) and he brought forth the filling of the empty spaces in EPPING FOREST’s music by consisting of the second guitar we so much needed.
BTTG – Now that the line-up is complete, which are each member’s functions and how far are you willing to take the band?
MysticCosmos – Azrael took over all the vocals and lyrics; we are now considering the possibility of having Abraxis do second vocals; I, MysticCosmos, play the guitar (especially the rhythms); Abraxis is also on the guitars, particularly the solos and some rhythms; Noctis Lunaris is in charge of the keyboards, Menthor kicks the hell out of the drums and Aenima Seraphitus plays the bass. The latter has rather taken a leave of absence from the band due to a car accident. Let us hope things will go right on his side. As for the band, we would like to drive it somewhere safe… to Hell! [laughs]. We want to imprint integrity to the band and simultaneously keep our feet on the ground.
BTTG – After a long silence, EF have been having quite an active lot of concerts. Which good and bad experiences are direct results of your performances?
Menthor – The sound technicians are lousy, more often than not.
MysticCosmos – Indeed the sound technicians have been ruining our shows – up until now, I only get decent guitar sound in half of the concerts. The tough part about being punished in the guitar sound is that, in the last two concerts, I had to play for the other guitarist and furthermore to fill the vacant soundscape of the bass, id est, I had to play for three.
BTTG – Yes, I can think of Caos Emergente [Paredes, 2003.11.01 - review online], where everybody stopped, trying to figure out where the guitar was - it simply appeared not to even exist. 'So, what is up with EF? Something must be missing there…’
MysticCosmos – As for that, I would say it depends on each person’s own taste. Some people liked it more the way it was, even though everybody complained about the absent guitar sound. Not even I could hear the guitar on stage, let alone the audience! (The sound was projected from the stage) The lack of the second guitar and the bass turned things harder on me and on my guitar sound, but apparently everybody liked it. Had the sound been slightly better and things might have turned out slightly more interesting and definitely more brutal.
BTTG – How about the good experiences?...
MysticCosmos – Our good experiences were… Caos Emergente for instance – and we owe it all to the amazing audience, the most brutal audience we have to this date.
Menthor – There was also the III Gaia Metalfest [2003.09.06], where despite the weak affluence of audience we managed to have a reasonable sound – then again, we had taken our own sound technician. That concert was also performed with but one guitar and no bass, but things turned out rather well. Another very good experience was the second place in the «Metal Force» contest – out of 40 bands – which comes to prove how good we are! [laughs]
MysticCosmos – That was also a very important concert for me because, down deep, I would say we have put a stop on many foul comments regarding EPPING FOREST – as regards the kind of persons we were, our attitudes and the music style we played. From then on, people started to change their attitude towards us. As for the Caos Emergente performance, several people started making social contact to us and concluded that we were not as black as the devil painteth. On the other hand, this event was also an ideal promotional platform to the band: we had this utterly different audience (different from our previous concerts), we were not ‘playing home’ anymore and the positive reviews on our promo CD are the ‘living’ proof of the positive reaction to the band.
BTTG – This interview coincides with the unofficial release of your promotional CD Live Promo CD-R 12th April 2003. What justified the release of such a CD and why is it only now possible to have something more touchable of the band?MysticCosmoS – This ‘release’ was taken from a video recording – I have only adjusted a few equalisations in my computer. The recording was initially intended for the exclusive use of band members, but since we had no other recording, the band decided to post 2 tracks on the website (www.eppingforest.web.pt). Later on we got many e-mails from people who seemed to have really liked our music. This, as well as the growing demand for an EPPING FOREST ‘release’ encouraged us to release the full concert of which the samples were taken under the Promo MCD-R format. Notwithstanding the fact that we do not consider this to be an official release, we have been receiving lots of requests for the CD. The media seem to be appreciating the live promo and they have even considered us upcoming acts practising an extremer art of music. The reason why only now it is possible to have something touchable is directly related to the fact that we have been asked to release it – we always thought we should release any material only after having managed to achieve the adequate technical and composing qualities so as to reach a more balanced sonority within the EPPING FOREST soundscape. It goes without saying that the lack of funds, problems from the past and a couple more negative aspects also contributed for the huge delay in releasing anything. Finally, we were also on a quest for a decently acceptable studio, so as to mirror the band’s sound in a more accurate way.
Menthor – This Promo CD-R is available for a very symbolic price (for more information please check our website) and is limited to 300 copies – we thought only Epping Forest supporters in the past, present and future would like to buy the record, at least while we do not release any official studio recording.
BTTG – More and more concerts are gradually organised in Portugal. Which comment(s) do they arouse in your experience as musicians and as listeners?
MysticCosmos – Of late there has been a lot of activity in that area, but, on the other hand, we must also bear in mind the fact that the bands seem to have become prostitutes to the scene: they play for free. You go to a festival in the South, in the Centre or in the North of Portugal and you cannot help noticing that the bands are always the same – bands that really can travel everywhere and play for half a dozen beers. Unfortunately, we cannot live like that.
Menthor – The organisation(s) behind these festivals quite often expect the bands to play for free and do not even want to cover for the transportation expenses – what is more, if someone turns down an offer on those grounds, these very same organisers might very well start spreading ill rumours about the bands because they want to be paid in order to play, and so on and so forth. The problem is those very same people do not realise the huge amount of money a band needs in order to sustain itself – and it goes for material, maintenance, as well as for other essential expenses: rehearsal rooms, travelling to concerts and whatnot – all aspects are fundamental.
MysticCosmos – People do not take all that into account and they think beers will replace the money we lose in transportation and which will later on fail to exist when we are in dire straits and have basic needs. Money lacks always, even to those who still live with their parents.
BTTG – And it does not end here: the profit of a festival (when there is such a thing) is a direct earning of the organisation, which is not very correct, bearing in mind the fact that they are profiting from other bands’ slave work.
MysticCosmos – Indeed. And cut the shit: it is always possible to pay the bands a minimum quantity. I can quote an example: at the grandiose Finale of the «Metal Force» contest there were three bands playing. The entry was 5 EURO and each band got 150 EURO for their performance. The bar still managed to collect money from the tickets, from the bar and we are talking of a maximum capacity of 150 people here, so do not tell me it is not possible to pay the bands a minimum amount. It recently came to my knowledge that EPPING FOREST were once again being depreciated for having turned down a concert in the Centre of Portugal. Cut the crap, we could not possibly take the invitation, because the base conditions were inexistent. We could not afford the transportation and all they offered was… beer, beer, beer. Man, beers do not pay the toll! Our cars do not run on beer! On top of it, we would never drink the equivalent in beer, firstly because we are moderate drinkers and secondly because some of us do not even drink been (for personal options or simply because they have to drive afterwards)!
BTTG – And right you are. Now for a change of subject: thematically and conceptually, the band name reflects some ideals. Why ‘Epping Forest’?
MysticCosmos – The Epping Forest is a forest in the United Kingdom where Occult reunions are rumoured to take place. These reunions escape the boundaries of philosophies, religions or any field of Knowledge. These very reunions were never made public, because they had a rather hermetic edge and consisted in the healthy discussion of several issues, always related to the subjects above mentioned. And the band Epping Forest is the way different people with different backgrounds and life experiences found to express themselves.
BTTG – It is the expression of the Occult in music…
Menthor – By «Occult» we mean everything that lies beyond the Knowledge of the common mortal man. Our reunions take place through music.
BTTG – Which is to say your reunions consist in your rehearsals and in your concerts.
MysticCosmos – Our concerts are so to say the expression of all the ideas –
Menthor – In search of deeper Wisdom.
BTTG – In what devious ways is the name «Epping Forest» related to the band’s philosophy and concept?
Menthor – It is rather simple really: we think exactly that way – we fight against being influenced by religions or religious fanaticisms and always try to learn more and absorb what goes on around us – and, above all, we value the thinking for ourselves.
MysticCosmos – We try not to transmit the typical image of the Black Metal band, as if we were priests preaching against the vices of religions other than their own. We stand completely aside as regards that kind of fanaticism.
BTTG – What are the main goals for EPPING FOREST in the short and in the long run?
Noctis Lunaris – In the short run, we want to record the CD.
Menthor – In the middle to long run, we will see. We will try to find a label that can make a decent work with the promotion of our CD and make EPPING FOREST reach farther corners; we will also try to evolve technically, to play more concerts and to promote our music to the maximum.
BTTG – When can we expect an official EPPING FOREST release and which activities are you planning to take on in order to promote it?
Menthor – For the moment we are saving money, because we are a bunch of broke guys [laughs] and we have to gather the necessary amount in order to hit a studio with the minimum quality required, from which we can take a good release with a characteristically «Epping Forest» sonority.
BTTG – We already know that the band’s influences vary far and wide, but will you please be more concrete and give us some practical examples (as regards music, literature, etc.)?
Menthor – The band’s influences?... EPPING FOREST have a sound of our own, each member has different influences but, when we get together, this is the sound that comes out – the direct or indirect result of everybody’s likes and dislikes.
MysticCosmos – As regards music, personally I am more into rawer BM – and I do not mean ‘raw BM’, I mean a style with more quality as regards the sound. If there is one thing I care about in a band’s release, that thing is the quality of the sound and I am sincerely bothered by the scratchy sound of the ‘raw BM’ classics – they end up being too confused and you cannot quite figure out the melody or the brutality anymore. So long as the sound is clear, the styles I listen to more often are Death, Black and Grind.
Menthor – I hear a lot of Brutal Death Metal; I like BM quite a lot, especially BM with a more aggressive nature – I am not really into the more melodious, calmer, atmospheric kind of BM. I also listen to a lot of Thrash Metal, to some Progressive Metal bands like SYMPHONY X. As regards Brutal Death Metal I have been hearing ABORTED quite a lot; as for Black Metal I am more into DARK FUNERAL (Diabolus Interium).
MysticCosmos – If you want me to name influences, I might just was well tell you what we are listening to at the moment, namely DEITY OF CARNIFICATION, MYSTIC CIRCLE, NILE, IMMORTAL, MORBIUS, and so many other bands.
Noctis Lunaris – Well, I am more into melodic BM and I also listen to a lot of Doom metal. This is probably where the band gets the melody.
BTTG – In which country/ region would you prefer to spend your nights? Does Portugal fulfil your horizons?
MysticCosmos – I should be satisfied with what I have – I am fucking broke, I have never left Portugal! [laughs] I do usually travel to Spain, but fuck it, it is on duty, so it should not count. However, there are some nice things in Portugal – I like the shore and the waterfalls in Felgueiras (my hometown).
Menthor – There are many places I would like to know and explore, I would like to travel everywhere, but I like the place where I live and I would not trade it for any other in the world.
Noctis Lunaris – I am also quite stuck to Portugal, then again I know little of the Portuguese landscapes. Anyways, I would like to know more about other countries and more…mythical places: Egypt, Norway, amongst others.
Menthor, Mystic and Noctis – And we would naturally like to visit the Epping Forest, of course! [laugh]
BTTG – Now that we have mentioned Portugal, what is your opinion on the Portuguese metal scene?
Menthor – There is a number of good bands appearing lately – you can sense an evolution in the general quality of the bands. There was a time when the scene was more or less stagnant and there were not tat many concerts. Of late a decent number of festivals are being organised, some better than others, but it is really noticeable that there are people willing to do something for the scene - they only need a bit of learning. Other than that, there is nothing else really. Bands must stick to what there is. They must play in their rehearsal rooms and go to those festivals – which generally do not offer good conditions - , they have to pay it all and stick to the nothingness: there are no labels and the wider media usually dedicate their pages to mainstream or trendy bands. I am not opposed to that, it is just that they should not forget the remainder of the bands, because everything starts from the bottom. Commercial bands usually lose from being commercial – by losing quality and integrity – and these two characteristics are still to be found in smaller or less known bands, which are in this for the love of it, not for the money.
MysticCosmos – This is probably the main reason why the Portuguese Underground is so weak: firstly, there is the problem with the labels; secondly, there is another huge problem: all the difficulties the bands must go through which prevent the bands from playing live more often – and I am referring to EPPING FOREST here: we could be playing live more often if people actually considered the expenses. The most famous bands in Portugal are usually those who can afford to play in the North and in the South of Portugal. We are simply broke. [laughs] as for the «Underground» concept in Portugal, I repeat: it is very weak, because people do not give it the importance it had in the past. For instance, in the course of the (contest) «Don’t Stop le Metal», I have never seen a house so full as every session of that contest; and as for bands, I still have not found that many bands which come close to bands who are alive and kicking, but had to call it a day because there were no concerts or for any other reason.
BTTG – What image do you have of the strictly Black Metal scene?
MysticCosmos – I would say the BM scene is rather good, at least ~I know a number of good BM bands. Despite the controversy, I like CORPUS CHRISTII and I consider The Fire God an excellent album –
Menthor – I agree to that. I liked both the Fire God and Saeculum Domini quite a lot – the only flaw to the albums is the fact that they do not have a flesh-and-bone drummer. There are not that many drummers in Portugal who can actually play in their league, which is probably why they had to stick to the virtual drummer. Then again, you might find it suspicious that I should be saying this: as a drummer, it is quite natural that I am not that enthusiastic about non-human drummers.
MysticCosmos – There is also CELTIC DANCE. I have recently heard a recording from 2003 and I liked what I heard. As a matter of fact, the production was significantly better and I started looking at the band in a different, more positive, way.
Menthor – As for me: NEOPLASMAH. As regards BM, there is a very promising band out there: INFERNAL KINGDOM.
MysticCosmos – Then again, there is also VIINGRID – I liked their Into the Dark Nebula MCD.
Noctis Lunaris – I was about to mention a band that is no more: SIRIUS, a band that disappeared as swiftly as they appeared.
BTTG – Like a true shooting star [laughs]. To my awareness, some of the band members have side projects/ bands…
Menthor – Right now I am also playing in the technical Death Metal band MORBIUS, in WAR BLASPHEMY (a raw BM project composed by myself and our guitarist Abraxis); in all likelihood I will be playing in DEITY OF CARNIFICATION and I have another project for the long run with our vocalist Azrael – its name is SLAUGHTER SOARS HIGH ABOVE, it is in the Death Metal league, but the details are a little darker than what you generally hear. As for Azrael, he is also bassist in MORBIUS and vocalist in SSHA. Abraxis is the guitarist/ bassist/ vocalist in WAR BLASPHEMY.
MysticCosmos – It is all a big happy family! [laughs] Indeed MORBIUS are as if they were our own family – almost as if we were two bands melted into one.
BTTG – Seeing EF play a more melodic sort of BM –
MysticCosmos – Melodic?!
BTTG – You fell right into my trap [laughs]!
MysticCosmos – Man, EPPING FOREST do have parts that are true in-your-face explosions – it are only a few passages that are more melodic!
Menthor – EPPING FOREST means lots of aggressiveness, speed, and brutality! There might be a slight amount of melody in the middle so that it does not become too tiring – but that is Noctis’ responsibility.
MysticCosmos – EPPING FOREST is truly devastating a sound. Some parts are raw, some are icy cold, the rhythms are ultra brutal and extremely fast, but the keyboards are a permanent side to the music, as if they were a second guitar. They are not icy or dry at all times, but some (most) of the melodies are deign to be enjoyed by the fiercest of the metalheads.
Menthor – There is also a note of obscurity in the keyboards, and this is part of EF’s sound.
Noctis Lunaris – I would say the scant melody is the equilibrium for the aggressiveness and provides the music with another meaning.
BTTG – And what do you think about the ‘rivalry’ between raw and melodic BM?
MysticCosmos – Is there a rivalry between raw and melodic BM? For us it does not exist.
Menthor – I absolutely agree: and believe me, I play in bands whose styles are very different – EPPING FOREST for ‘Scandinavian BM’, MORBIUS for technical Death Metal, WAR BLASPHEMY for raw BM and DEITY OF CARNIFICATION for Brutal Death Metal – I want to play, but there has to be some brutality in it.
MysticCosmos – This is the constant sound devastation, always kicking major ass!
Noctis Lunaris – Since I am in charge of the melody, I believe I am the one who notices that difference more clearly: most people who like raw BM are not real fans of keyboards, but I have been having quite a number of positive comments on my work, so…
BTTG – Hmmm… now you decide to organise the festival/ concert of your lives. Which bands would you elect for the billboard and why?
MysticCosmos – We would probably invite bands that are also our friends: the Portuguese BLEEDING DISPLAY, who have always showed an excellent spirit of companionship with EPPING FOREST; on the international level, and even though the choice is virtually unlimited, I would invite the now extinct IMMORTAL.
Menthor – As for Portuguese bands, I would suggest BLEEDING DISPLAY, NEOPLASMAH, GROG, and INFERNAL KINGDOM. As for international bands: NECROPHAGIST, DARK FUNERAL, CANNIBAL CORPSE, the extinct CENTVRIAN, DIMMU BORGIR …
Noctis Lunaris – They have named the Portuguese bands. I would also suggest DIMMU BORGIR, ANOREXIA NERVOSA, FUNERIS NOCTURNUM, NOKTURNAL MORTUM and the extinct EMPEROR.
MysticCosmos – The problem is most bands are not active anymore!
BTTG – Is there a venue in Portugal that gathers all necessary requirements for such an event?
Menthor – Hard Club, and that is about it.
MysticCosmos – Of course, our references are from the North of Portugal, which is where we are from and we do not know that much about venues in the Centre-South of Portugal. Hail to the North.
Menthor – So long as there was a decent PA and a good venue the festival would be certain to take place.
MysticCosmos – Recently, the open air Festival at the Ermal had some surprisingly positive results and proved that Black Metal bands like DIMMU BORGIR attracted many people – probably more than in previous editions of the festival. I am favour of having them dedicate one day to the extreme sonorities: Death, Black, Grind and so on.
BTTG – Does the ‘green’ in the Epping Forest also contemplate ecology? How do you prefer Nature?
Menthor – We do have a certain preoccupation towards the Environment –
MysticCosmos – We never fart without the catalytic converter! [laughs]
Menthor – Of course, there are always those miserable human beings who try to end our planet.
MysticCosmos – We prefer Nature in Her natural state, without alterations. Period.
BTTG – There is no evolution without changes… and now for a very straight question: «Underground» or «Mainstream»?
MysticCosmos – «Underground», for I think there is no such thing as «Mainstream» in Portugal and the UnderGround is very weak for that matter.
Menthor – As for me, I prefer the UG spirit, but in actual truth all bands have the Mainstream as their main goal and, a few exceptions be made, whoever says otherwise is lying. Of course, whomever plays music would not mind making a living out of music, but one thing is to play what one likes and make a living out of it and another one is making a living out of what other people like. I do not think I could play something I did not like.
Noctis Lunaris – Top priority is playing what we like. If we manage to make money from it, so much for the better.
BTTG – This is about it. Please leave a final message to the readers of Back to the Grave.
MysticCosmos – Fuck, I cannot wish you luck for Back to the Grave, because I am with the staff! I hope our rather long description has been of some use. We really must try to describe to the full a sonority that has not yet reached many people. Thank you for the interview.
Menthor – EPPING FOREST are conducting a charity petition. There is a campaign with the topic: "Help EPPING FOREST getting rich" - you may leave your donation in the band account number 666.666.666.666.666. [laughs] Oh, and that will automatically give you an EPPING FOREST sticker!
BTTG – Is that all?...
MysticCosmos – … and a pot of sweets.
Menthor – … and a bag of peaches! [laughs]
Noctis Lunaris – And I recommend the readers of Back to the Grave pay a visit at our website, which is regularly updated.
Menthor – Yeah, there are many pictures of very handsome guys – the drummer! [laughs]
In Back To The Grave webzine by Morgana
Interview with MysticCosmoS - November 2003
Para provar que o Black Metal está vivo e de boa saúde em Portugal, o Darkness Anthem falou com uma das mais talentosas bandas nacionais dentro desta sonoridade, os Epping Forest. Poucos dias depois da fantástica actuação no festival Caos Emergente e aproveitando também o "lançamento" do seu “14th April 2003” o DA quis saber um pouco mais sobre a banda numa conversa com o guitarrista MysticCosmos.
Bem, comecemos pelo nome que escolheram (tantas vezes mal escrito pela imprensa :-] ), Epping Forest é uma floresta no Reino Unido, certo? Por que escolheram tal nome?
Exactamente: é o nome de uma floresta no Reino Unido, e já foi várias vezes mal escrito pela imprensa. De qualquer das formas, apenas serviu para nos divertirmos um pouco mais à custa desses editores, que insistem em deixar o Underground de lado, porque em alguns dos casos o nome foi soletrado ou enviado por FAX – penso que não existiria qualquer tipo de possibilidade para ocorrer erros desse tipo, mas adiante...
Epping Forest, para quem não sabe, é um local onde se realizavam (e ainda se realizam) reuniões relacionadas com o Oculto. A verdade é que locais como esse não faltam no mundo nem em Portugal... A particularidade de Epping Forest está no facto de não ser um local onde os “neo-iveis” [risos] fazem rituais ditos satânicos, com o principal intuito de chocar a população, mas conseguindo apenas com isso ridicularizar cada vez mais o movimento Black Metal, Epping Forest é um local onde se crê que ocorrem ainda hoje essas ditas reuniões relacionadas com o Oculto, independentemente de filosofias, religiões, áreas de estudo ou crenças, em que a principal função dessas reuniões era a transmissão do conhecimento, o relato místico de assuntos relacionados com o Oculto.
Epping Forest como banda gira dentro disso mesmo, é como que uma reunião: os elementos que a constituem, os participantes nessa reunião, que através da música relatam e recriam ambientes estranhamente Ocultos na sua música e letras, ou seja, com este nome, libertamo-nos de qualquer tipo de ligação a actos religiosos fanáticos, sejam eles de que tipo forem e também nos deram uma liberdade sonora, pois Epping Forest acaba por não nos comprometer com nenhum dos estilos.
Assim, focamo-nos na musica, tornando-a em algo devastador, gélido e ao mesmo tempo melodiosamente arrasador, sem qualquer tipo de compromissos.
Podes falar-nos um pouco de como tem sido o percurso dos Epping Forest até aqui?
Epping Forest começou pelas mãos de Noctis Lunaris e por mim. Depois de iniciarmos um outro projecto, que acabou por ficar de lado devido à falta de músicos verdadeiramente interessados em compor musica e não que tivessem na preocupação de se afirmar dizendo que tinham uma banda, coisa que parecia estar na moda naquela altura. Depois de enterrado esse projecto, eu e a Noctis (que por acaso até somos primos), começámos do zero e durante algum tempo compusemos vários temas recorrendo a uma bateria programada. Eu e a Noctis sempre tivemos em mente a criação em conjunto de um projecto em que ambos trabalhássemos para levar em frente algo nosso. Depois de várias entradas e saídas de elementos, entraram as pessoas que poderei dizer que alteraram por completo o rumo de Epping Forest: Aenima Seraphitus, Menthor e Azrael. Com estes elementos, eu e a Noctis tínhamos todos os elementos necessários para compor os temas tal como os prevíamos. Estas eram as pessoas indicadas para levar o projecto muito a sério e fazer com que algum do material já composto duplicasse em técnica e brutalidade, e fez também com que a sonoridade de Epping Forest se tornasse na brutalidade aliada à melodia que é hoje. Mais tarde entrou Abraxis, aquele que se conota como o elemento que veio preencher algum do vazio que Epping Forest ainda deixava transmitir na sonoridade que praticava. E até hoje as coisas tem-se tornado cada vez mais sérias, ainda mais depois dos últimos concertos realizados, em virtude dos quais conseguimos cativar uma enorme quantidade de pessoas que têm gostado da banda. Pelo menos é o que tenho visto nas criticas a concertos e ao Promo CD-R.
Embora seja uma pergunta que a maior parte das bandas não gosta, como é compreensível, mas podes dar-nos uma ideia da sonoridade que praticam os Epping Forest?
Para nós não existe qualquer tipo de antipatia perante essa pergunta – a minha resposta é que pode não ser assim tão esclarecedora.
Epping Forest é Black Metal com influências escandinavas, ou seja, um Black Metal extremamente rápido, devastador e gélido, mas mantendo as passagens melódicas sem grandes exageros que tornam os temas não tão óbvios e entediantes. Uma sonoridade em que por vezes os ouvintes são fustigados com uma violenta descarga de blast beats a uma velocidade tremenda, e de repente é como se alguém pegasse o ouvinte pelo pescoço e o maravilhasse com uma passagem bem melódica e gélida, arrepiante, para a seguir ser novamente “esbofeteado” por uma devastadora descarga de sons mais graves (a fugir um pouco para o Death Metal) que o encaminham para uma nova passagem sonora que faz relançar novamente o caos através de uma devastadora parte rítmica em que predominam os sons mais agudos e gélidos que tanto caracterizam o som do Black Metal mais escandinavo, e em que as líricas não apresentam qualquer compromisso temporal, religioso ou até filosófico, dando uma variedade infinita de ambiências ao leitor/ouvinte.
Tudo bem que Epping Forest não seja visto como algo revolucionário, pois nem sequer o tentamos ser, mas queremos impor algo que seja de bom gosto sentimental aliado à perfeição técnica, sem termos que nos limitar a apregoar como padres sobre este ou aquele assunto.
Epping Forest cria ambiências que nos transportam a tempos e locais bem obscuros e ocultos através de descargas de brutalidade e melodias com um fluxo bem controlado, para não cair na estagnação, o que nos possibilita uma enorme margem de composição a nível lírico e instrumental, dando-nos até a possibilidade de criar uma ambiência apropriada para esta ou aquela passagem lírica, sem nos preocuparmos se foge ou não ao estilo Black Metal. Penso que até já defini demais, mas penso que Epping Forest ainda passa despercebido e se calhar estou a tentar mostrar ao máximo o que é, para NÓS Epping Forest, e não aquilo que queremos que seja para os outros.
Em termos líricos, do que falam as vossas letras?
As líricas giram em torno da mitologia clássica e nórdica nos temas até hoje compostos, mas estão já em vista a abordagem da mitologia Egípcia e até contos e lendas lusitanas.
Podes falar-nos um pouco sobre “Live 12th April 2003”?
Antes de mais quero esclarecer aqui uma coisa: esse Live Promo CD-R é uma edição não oficial (sem qualquer tipo de compromisso) limitada a 300 cópias. Isto era uma gravação para uso “interno” da banda. Mas como ainda não tínhamos qualquer tipo de registo sonoro, decidimos disponibilizar uma parte de dois dos temas dessa mesma gravação no nosso site oficial ( www.eppingforest.web.pt ). Mais tarde, várias pessoas entravam em contacto com a banda a pedir esse registo. De início não queríamos que essa gravação passasse para o “exterior”, pois trata-se de uma gravação ao vivo pela qual não tivemos qualquer tipo de cuidados na execução da musica. De qualquer maneira, os pedidos sucediam-se e as criticas sobre esse registo atingiam níveis que nos deixavam cada vez mais surpresos. Mais tarde, com o “feedback” extremamente positivo que a gravação “14th April 2003” obteve com essas criticas, decidimos voltar a produzir (apenas a nível de equalizações) a gravação original da câmara de vídeo, de modo a tornar a gravação mais “suave” a nível sonoro. Lançámos esse Promo CD-R no dia em que fomos tocar ao Caos Emergente, e as cópias foram poucas para as pessoas que a nós acorriam, o que foi espantoso visto sairmos do nada.
Resumindo essa gravação, trata-se de algo que disponibilizamos a todas aquelas pessoas que anseiam por algo de estúdio de Epping Forest a um preço simbólico e que nos contribuirá parcialmente para a entrada em estúdio – que poderá realizar-se muito brevemente – bem como alguma divulgação junto de quem desconhece o nosso som, possíveis interessados em actuações ao vivo ou mesmo futuros lançamentos.
E como têm sido as criticas a esse cd-r?
As criticas têm sido do melhor possível, desde as pessoas que nos enviam mails, até às reviews (inclusive a que se encontra aqui na Darkness Anthem) que nos têm dado uma visão diferente daquilo que julgávamos ser Epping Forest neste momento no movimento Metálico nacional.
Aquilo que, ao principio, parecia algo nosso e em que as pessoas pareciam recusar-se a sentir ou ouvir, começa a ser algo inconscientemente bem mais dirigido ao público do que era no início, em que éramos apenas mais uma banda nas composições de garagem, a compor música que tanto nos agradava, independentemente de todas as criticas, criando algo nosso, para nós que parece estar a tornar-se algo que agrada grande parte do público. Parece que Epping Forest está a agradar a Portugal e além fronteiras, e reparo que muitas pessoas comentam a possibilidade de Epping Forest vir a ser uma das bandas a afirmar-se (conscientemente) em Portugal, coisa que nos dá enorme orgulho.
Recentemente tocaram no festival Caos Emergente e, pelos vistos, correu muito bem, não é verdade?
Sim foi o concerto em que sentimos que Epping Forest deu um enorme salto a nível de divulgação sonora e de receptividade por parte do público. Foi um concerto em que o público foi de tal forma acolhedor que nós acabámos por nos desinibirmos de tudo o que até à data nos perturbava – a partir daí, desapareceram os receios que sempre há em palco e sentimos que tudo mudou daquele momento para a frente, pois estávamos a tocar para uma plateia exigente e em que Epping Forest era uma das bandas de abertura e tocava ao lado de alguns dos nomes mais reconhecidos nacionalmente. Pelo que vi pela critica, Epping Forest tornou-se num dos pontos altos da noite. Eu posso apenas comentar a parte de Epping Forest: nesse concerto, Epping Forest e o público estavam em tal sintonia que eu conseguia ver toda a sala em movimento. Foi o maior mosh pit que tive oportunidade de ver ao som de Epping Forest. Foi uma prestação excelente quase a todos os níveis, com uma organização bem à altura em que não deixaram que faltasse fosse o que fosse às bandas. Apenas lamentamos a incrível falta de profissionalismo dos técnicos de som que nos prejudicou muito no som, e á medida que ia aumentando o nível de álcool na cabeça do gajo do som o som ia piorando - sim, porque de técnico não tinha nada).
Infelizmente, muitas das bandas com qualidade ou sem ela são criticados por público e outros músicos e afins no nosso underground. O que pensas destas “polémicas”?
Sim, estivemos envolvidos em grandes polémicas, eu poderei responder por grande parte delas, devido a alguma controvérsia nas minhas sinceras opiniões acerca do Underground Nacional. Infelizmente, as pessoas não sabem respeitar as opiniões dos outros, e pronto acham que toda a gente tem de pensar como elas. A partir daí gera-se uma total difamação a Epping Forest, mas parece que não resultou, pois as pessoas em Portugal começam a não se deixar levar pelos rumores e agora ouvem antes de criticar. Resumindo, apenas aquelas pessoas que nenhuma falta fazem como pessoas que rodeiam EF. Tudo seguiu em frente em força e prova disso é o que fomos conseguindo até aqui, mesmo rodeados de falsos “profetas”.
Mas nem vale a pena estar a referir essas polémicas, porque foi através delas que muitas pessoas se deixaram levar... e hoje dizem-nos que o que Epping Forest são, como pessoas e como músicos, nada têm a ver com a imagem que outras pessoas lhes tentaram passar – coisa que nos dá grande orgulho, pois sabemos que as pessoas agora avaliam os factos com os seus próprios meios...
E agora, o que esperar dos Epping Forest no futuro? Já há planos para um álbum?
Existem apenas planos para a gravação do trabalho de estúdio. Procuramos sim algumas entidades que poderiam vir a apostar em Epping Forest, mas tudo jogou – compreensivelmente – à defesa. Agora pensamos entrar em estúdio brevemente, até lá pode ser que surja algum contacto da parte de alguma identidade interessada no nosso trabalho. Por enquanto, continuaremos a espalhar o nome da banda através dos concertos que nos é possível dar e também através deste promo cd-r, que está a ter uma surpreendente procura e critica.
Ficam então os agradecimentos pela a entrevista e pelo óptimo trabalho que os Epping Forest têm realizado. Algumas ultimas palavras para quem nos lê?
Quem agradece somos nós à Darkness Anthem, pela oportunidade de revelar um pouco mais Epping Forest. Espero que tenha sido esclarecedor acerca do que Epping Forest é e do que representa. Fiquem atentos ao nosso website pois surgirão várias noticias que poderão interessar às pessoas que neste momento já tem uma opinião formada acerca da nossa sonoridade.
In Darkness Anthem webzine by Abracadaver
Interview with MysticCosmoS - September 2003
Como surgiu a ideia de criarem uma banda?
Isso é como a maior parte das bandas, penso que surgiu mesmo pela vontade de criar algo nosso que gostávamos e com que nos identificássemos musicalmente a partir da junção das várias influencias que cada um de nós possuía (MysticCosmoS & Noctis Lunaris).
Como surgiu o nome epping forest?
Gostaríamos que a banda tivesse um nome que identificasse a sonoridade que praticávamos e engloba-se a própria filosofia da banda. Então depois de alguma pesquisa Epping Forest surgiu como nome da banda por ser uma local (embora fora do nosso país) aonde se realizavam reuniões relacionadas com o oculto, independentemente de ideologia, religião ou área de estudo. E resolvemos mesmo adoptar esse nome porque não nos identifica com qualquer tipo de fanatismo religioso e não nos remetendo “obrigatoriamente” para nenhum dos géneros dentro do Metal.
É possível dar uma ideia da vossa sonoridade a quem nos lê?
Não sei... A catalogar (coisa que não gosto) poderemos dizer apenas que se encontra dentro do género Black Metal podendo ter numa passagem ou outra, partes mais Death Metal. Mas a base de tudo é um Black Metal de influencias escandinavas não propriamente o Black Metal tradicional (mais “Cru” ou “Raw”) mas sim com uma vertente mais melódica, porem não entrando em exageros. Em suma e a usar as palavras das pessoas que gostam de Epping Forest, é um black metal "duro" e rápido.
Nunca vos passou pela cabeça fazer uma letra em português?
Por acaso não. Mas não é uma hipótese posta de lado.
Quais os assuntos que tratam nas vossas letras?
A abranger na totalidade foca sobretudo aspectos mitológicos mais virados para o Oculto, desde Mitologia Nórdica e também Grega mas não nos limitando apenas a estas actualmente.
É difícil encontrar espaços para tocar ao vivo?
Não é propriamente difícil... o problema é mesmo arranjar quem compense os concertos ao vivo, pois hoje em dia parece que todos se esqueceram dos custos que envolve a deslocação da banda, bem como os gastos para manter a própria banda no activo... Já para nem referir a compensação ou gratificação pelo trabalho desenvolvido pela banda a nível de ensaios para que seja possível uma boa prestação ao vivo do trabalho por nós realizado. Actualmente o que mais se vê é pessoas a tentar tirar o seu lucro do trabalho das bandas... E como se costuma dizer “Quem corre por gosto não cansa...” pelo menos nós tentamos escolher os caminhos por onde corremos para um dia não cair... e não dar nosso esforço a quem não o merece.
E mais não digo...
Qual a reacção do publico quando vocês estão a tocar?
Até hoje tivemos aparentemente boas reacções, pelo menos no que se refere a aderência do publico aos concertos (e até no “Mosh-Pit”) como a nível critico. Para ser sincero nos primeiros concertos os quais teríamos mais receio da reacção do publico foi algo que nos surpreendeu e muito, tivemos uma plateia digna do nosso respeito como músicos. ( Para mais informações ver www.eppingforest.web.pt )
Que outros grupos musicais vocês gostam de ouvir?
Digamos que seriam precisas muitas linhas para referir tantas bandas... Podemos simplificar isto dizendo por exemplo o que estamos a ouvir hoje:
Dissection, Immortal, Emperor, Funeris Nocturnum, Limbonic Art, Anorexia Nervosa, Dying Fetus, Filli Nigrantium Infernalium, Desire, Dimmu Borgir, Judas Iscariot, Deity of Carnification, DimensionF3H, Necrophagist, etc... e é apenas o que ouvimos no dia de hoje, porem variamos, daí a dificuldade de referir apenas algumas bandas. Mas em relação a influencias não temos qualquer banda a referir, porque apenas compomos o que sai de nós, talvez por isso, por incrível que pareça até hoje nunca tentamos sequer fazer uma versão. Talvez num futuro próximo isso possa acontecer, pois estão a surgir algumas ideias em relação a isso.
Concertos marcados ainda para este ano?
Esperamos apenas confirmações, mas tudo ainda falado por alto... (Portugal: Guarda, Viseu, Braga, Paredes e em Espanha muito recentemente em Vigo).
Sei que já a algum tempo que têm projectos para a gravação de um Cd. Qual o motivo do atraso?
Devido a problemas pessoais de alguns dos elementos (e muito recentemente o baixista que sofreu um acidente de viação o qual o deixou incapacitado de tocar por uns dias), marcação de estúdio, resposta por parte de algumas Produtoras que mostraram algum interesse pelo trabalho desenvolvido por Epping Forest. Mas principalmente devido ao aperfeiçoamento dos temas por forma a irmos bem preparados para estúdio.
Qual o nome do álbum e quantas musicas vai ter?
Em principio terá 7 temas... e não sei se poderemos chamar um álbum ou um Promo-CD, tudo isso depende do interesse por parte das produtoras. Quanto ao nome, será revelado a seu tempo.
Se podessem dar um murro na cara de um membro de uma banda, tipo daquelas bandas que estão sempre a passar na MTV e outros canais de musica, quem seria o escolhido para levar um valente murro? e porquê?
Liberdade de expressão... ou sejam, tal como nós, também são artistas e tem direito a fazer o que quiserem e de divulgarem a sua forma de arte da forma que quiserem, desde que não interfiram connosco.
Obrigado desde já pela oportunidade que nos foi dada de divulgar a banda.
E espero que as pessoas tomem consciência de que as bandas tem mais gastos do que qualquer outra pessoa envolvida num concerto, por isso quando estiverem indecisos em ir ver um concerto só porque o preço não vos agrada, pensem apenas que o dinheiro que vocês estão a pagar por vezes nem ¼ é do que a banda que vocês vão ver vai receber pelo trabalho que está a desenvolver durante meses para que a actuação seja do vosso agrado e para que vocês assistam a um bom espectáculo (já para não referir no trabalho envolvido na preparação do concerto). Por isso se não vão ao concerto pelo preço do bilhete (quando tem possibilidades para o pagar é claro!!) pensem primeiro no que eu referi....
Obrigado pelo enorme apoio que temos tido nos últimos tempos por parte de toma a comunidade metálica.
In Devoured by Darkness webzine by David Natha