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Aphelian (The Eternal Suffering)

Interview with Aphelian from The Eternal Suffering
by Yiannis Dafopoulos at 15 June 2010, 6:06 PM

I got to know THE ETERNAL SUFFERING a couple of years ago, when they released their self financed EP "APOGNΩSIS". Armed with a brand new full-length album and for the first time through a label, the band is ready to deliver some high quality Black Metal. Here's what the band's drummer Assyrion had to say…

Hello there! Welcome to the temple of Metal! Let's begin with something quite typical. Tell us a few things about the band? When and by who was it formed etc?
Hello and thank you for the invitation! The band was formed back in 2001 and by Ypsailon, Assyrion and Aphelian. Back then we had different pseudonyms and a slightly different musical style. After about a year of rehearsing we went on to record our first demo, "Born Of Chaos". The demo got excellent reviews, our name started "growing" and the feedback from both the press and fans was great. After the release of "Born Of Chaos", we started working on some new songs for a possible full-length release. We entered the studio a year later and started working on "In Darkness We Shall Reign", which contained the 3 songs from the demo re-recorded along with 4 brand new compositions. We always tried to avoid the usual ROTTING CHRIST copying syndrome which most Greek bands suffered from at the time and we tried to push the envelope a little further by sending the album to Jim Morris in the notorious Morrisound Studios to handle the mastering. This time the feedback was overwhelming, we were voted "Release Of The Month" for the second time in a row in Metal Hammer (note: Greek edition), followed by a great number of webzines. We started promoting the album with some live performances all over Greece till we had to face the usual problem with the army. After almost 3 years of inactivity, we decided to start over. We recorded a brand new 4-track EP, "Apognosis", which we used as a promo in order to find a label to release our full-length. We decided not to promote "Apognosis" live, but instead to start working on a full-length release, but a great opportunity came up when we were offered the chance to support DARK FORTRESS for their first performance in Hellenic ground. After almost 6 months of recording and arguing "Miasma" was born. So, after almost 10 years we are happy to say that our first official full-length is out and available!

You had three releases before this album but from what I have seen they were all self financed. Was it because you couldn't find a label to release them or was it your own choice to do those things on your own?
Well, when we first started we had no idea how the music industry worked. We thought that all that it takes to earn a record deal was write good songs and be well accepted by the metal community. We were wrong. When "In Darkness…" was ready, we were one step away from signing a contract with Sleazy Rider Records and later with Black Lotus Records. Unfortunately, as we came to realize (and later on, even told by one of the two!), we had one major defect. We were Greek.

Now you have a contract with I For An I Records and your sophomore album has already been released. How did you come in touch with the people from the label? Did you send them your material or did they find you on their own? Are you satisfied with the effort they have put on the band until now?
When we released "Apognosis", we sent it to various labels, to check if there would be any interest for our future full-length album. One of the labels that showed interest in us was I For An I Records. We were always positive to sign a deal with a Greek label and liked the fact that we could meet the guys for a chat at any given time. Many people were surprised that we chose a new Greek label to release our debut album, but we thought it was the best option we had at the time. I mean, why choose a foreign record label that will offer you the same stuff as the one we chose? To appear more professional? No thanks.

Many bands prefer to send their material abroad to known producers to handle the mixing and mastering. You decided to work with a not so known, yet upcoming producer from Greece. What led you to this decision? Are you satisfied with the result?
We tried that back in 2003. Yes, we were satisfied with the result but let's face it, most bands don't actually use foreign producers for the sound quality alone. The name of the producer can give a huge boost to a band, sometimes much more than a band actually deserves. We decided to let our music do the talking. We decided to work with Steve Lado, who may not be as established or well known as others, it is fairly obvious that his work is 101% professional and can very easily be compared to most of the usual cliche pickings. It is actually a shame, Steve is one of the most promising producers available and affordable, but still most bands prefer to work with a "name" than a result.

Why did you decide to name the album "Miasma"? What does its title implies?
"Miasma" is about decadence. It is about hate. About hatred and disgust of what the world has become. We see it every day, the world has reached a new low and most people simply can't take any more. The problem till now was that reality hadn't hit us hard enough to react. This has changed. While not a concept album, a common lyrical theme is about the inevitable consequences that are coming our way. About the swift and absolute retribution.

Who designed the cover artwork for the album and what is its connection to the title "Miasma"?
The cover and the layout in general was designed by George "Aish" Zitis. Again we wanted to work with an extremely talented person that the only thing he has to offer is his awe-inspiring work, rather than a name and a couple of record sales. The cover of "Miasma" portraits an avatar of pestilence, a symbol of nihilism. What will be left behind when the world keels over.

What are your main influences as a band? I noticed many DIMMU BORGIR, DARK FORTRESS and NAGLFAR elements.
Our number one influence and the whole reason we started playing back in 2001 is DISSECTION. There are actually some pretty awesome Easter-eggs in the layout of "Miasma". We always try to filter our influences and create a unique, personal sound. We feel that bands like DIMMU BORGIR, EMPEROR, DARK FORTRESS or NAGLFAR actually tried to evolve the genre and take it a step further. As with every genre there will always be people that don't appreciate evolution and prefer the much loved old-school sound/songwriting but we feel that as the years go by, a band must evolve and always try to give the best to the people that support and buy their music. We think it is kinda stupid to release something that sounds like it was recorded back in 1990 for the sole purpose of passing as old-school.

What are your plans for now? Are you planning any live shows to promote "Miasma"?
We recently started rehearsing again, after a long period of studio-time. No live performances are scheduled for the near future, as we want to be 100% sure that we're ready and can support "Miasma" to its full potential.

Are you going to shoot any video clips for the new album?
We're currently thinking about it and there might be some news about it in the near future. The only certain thing is that we will not be starting something that we won't be sure about. The visual quality must be on par with the songwriting. We won't make a video, for the sake of making a video.
What are your dreams and goals about THE ETERNAL SUFFERING?
We never started off to be rock-stars. As long as there are people who enjoy our work and give us strength to go on, we will keep writing good music. We hope that "Miasma" finds its way to a greater audience cause we really believe that people will like it. As far as dreams go, some have already come true, others turned to nightmares but the best things about dreams is that you always have something more to ask and hope for.

Thank you for your time! I wish you and the band all the best! Feel free to add anything you want…
Once again, thank you for your support and this opportunity. We really hope that "Miasma" gets the attention we feel it deserves and people keep sending us their comments, both positive and negative. "Miasma" has been out for about a week now, you can find it in most of the major Heavy Metal record stores in Athens, or you can order it online through our record label's webshop: Cheers!


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Edited 31 January 2023

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