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Blind The Eye's Ramiur Sekh: "…we should be proud to be Europeans, both in the mistakes of the past and in the right decisions that changed and shaped the world for the better, it is part of the of the evolution process..."

Interview with Ramiur Sekh from Blind The Eye
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 25 November 2022, 10:39 AM

Imperialism in the sign of the times. The Roman Empire might have always been represented as a totem to what defines imperialism, its iconic nature and vision has been serving as a statement and a learning foundation. Today, things are different, democracy is there, yet at times fragile. The Portuguese Metallers, Blind The Eye, have been circling around the idea within their new album, “The Lion Of Lions”, exploring and referring to the present. Steinmetal had a good talk with Ramiur Sekh about his side of the story and more…

Hello Ramiur, it is good to have you for this talk with Metal Temple online Magazine, how have you been doing?  Returning to the fold with new material after four years, and it is understandable why, it must be a tremendous feeling letting a new thing out there. Looking back at the last couple of years, was there any doubt in your mind that Blind The Eye might not survive this pandemic as a band, a unit?

There was and always are doubts that Blind the Eye can hold together. Rui Rocha and I have been the pillars that support this project, during the pandemic we were put to the test, with a new album to be made and without a rehearsal room, and with the members living far from each other, it was a difficult process… However, we had in mind what we wanted to achieve, and we fought for it.

Other than ceasing the activity of many aspects in our society, which some of them we took for granted, such as culture and even simpler, just being out there without restrictions, that pandemic also damaged the mentality of many individuals worldwide. When it comes to you personally, how were you able to cope with everything that went on around you?

The pandemic didn’t affect me much, at the time I was in a difficult time on a personal and professional level, so the pandemic even brought me something good. With the restrictions I let go of bad habits, I took more care of my health and things that were really important, and it gave me time to work on the album. In my opinion, the way in which governments and the media dealt with the pandemic was a little ridiculous, there was a positioning at the extremes and the logic and common sense were exchanged for greed and fuss. There was a lack of honesty and true seriousness in approaching the situation.

Forward to the future, Blind The Eye went through a change by finding a new home to host its future releases, signing with the German El Puerto Records. After issuing your debut album independently, how did you know that you were ready to sign with a label, and become a roster band? What were your expectations by signing with a label in the first place?

When we released "Arise to Theta State" there wasn't much expectation, we had good themes but at that time we were just three musicians, me, Rui Rocha and Dário, there was no idea of a "band" but just doing that, proving to ourselves that we managed to make the music we like. Without much publicity we had good reviews and it was an album that guaranteed us almost twenty concerts between Portugal and Spain. We started to believe and Nuno Rodrigues and Ruben Oliveira also believed and joined the band. We wanted more, we even received some proposals from publishers, but they didn't have the slightest bit of credibility, we know how the market works today, nobody gives anything to anyone, but there has to be a minimum of logic in this type of partnership.

The Tripolarity EP was the first work I did with the full band and Bruno Silva (producer and manager) believed that we would stand out more, and looked for potential partners to help us promote the future album. El Puerto has shown interest and credibility, having proven that it is not in this just to use and abuse the bands. So far we are happy with the work that has been done.

As the follower of your debut album, you unleashed a piece of mayhem with the next in line, your sophomore, “The Lion Of Lions”, surely a powerful name to accompany such a powerful piece of music. Let’s observe the chosen title, other than sheer bravery and might than anyone else, what do you make with such a title, other than it sounding iconic? How does this title represent Blind The Eye?

"The Lion of Lions" is a conceptual album that approaches the supremacy and western imperialist vision in a romanticized way, so to speak, seeking nostalgia for the times of the Roman Empire using passages and characters from that magnificent empire. The title of the album represents exactly everything that the album encompasses, and Blind the Eye being a band that is attentive to what is happening in the world, through the attacks and challenges that Europe has faced, this work tries to symbolize its heyday.

It was a little challenging for me to find fine lines between the songs featured on “The Lion Of Lions”. With the music suggesting a brute force, the lyrics stand for something more. What can you tell about the nature of the songs, what are the leading themes that guide the album into the listeners’ ears and hearts?

I won't explain as it is obvious, what each theme represents, since that would make this text extremely long, but I can point out two themes that I really like "The Roses Of Heliogabalus" that uses the scenario of the homonymous painting by Lawrence Alma- Tadema to describe the opulence, arrogance and god syndrome that we find in current leaders and "Imperial Thunder" that addresses everything that the Europeans conquered, dominated and taught over the millennia, having been the reference at a world level.

When it comes to morality, and I trust that there is even a slightest shred of that in every album, in your opinion, what does “The Lion Of Lions” try to tell the listeners? What can be learned from its texts about reality, or about anything that is socially bound?

Easy… we should be proud to be Europeans, both in the mistakes of the past and in the right decisions that changed and shaped the world for the better, it is part of the of the evolution process… We should have a more united identity. The European nations should unite to face the challenges of the new times. Europe’s cultural beauty and grandeur must be taken seriously and I believe that together we would be “The Lion of Lions”. This is not because I think we are superior to other cultures, but I think that Europe has been neglecting its ancestral interests…democracy, philosophy… philanthropy….

The album’s artwork features none other than a lion, which is logical enough due to the title, but there is also a warrior and an eagle, all mounting a pile of skulls. What do you make of it? What was the initial vision of the artist that made it?

The theme of the album cover was designed by me and drawn by the talented bharaduur’s hand. It represents Mars accompanied by Phobos (fear) and Deimos (terror) stepping on the skulls of defeated enemies. we can look at this conjuncture as the predator - supreme warrior, the supreme ideal, the supreme will with all its voracity "The Lion of Lions"

If there was one evolutionary stage in Death Metal that it took me time to settle with was with the Scandi driven Melodic Death Metal. However, it grew on me eventually. With “The Lion Of Lions”, Blind The Eye is featured with a strong stance over the late 90s era of subgenre, mastering the fine art with plenty of energies, groove and melodic sense. In contrast to your debut, how can you describe the musical progress of the band?

We are technically more advanced, and more experienced, we feel capable of surpassing ourselves and of raising the bar in future work. This album is the most melodeath work of BTE… as the compositions basically came from me and Rui Rocha and with the deadlines getting short, my melodeath vein was very evident. Fortunately, in the few times we were able to be together, both Ruben and Nuno contributed to the process. But there's no guarantee that the next album will be like this or the other way around… let's see.

Even if the riff writing technique for Melodic Death Metal has been made countlessly for almost three decades, it never ceases to amaze. What you did on “The Lion Of Lions” provides that style of writing that you integrated within yourselves and came out victorious. What can you tell about writing those guitar riffs for “The Lion Of Lions”? Have you also tried to stand out a bit from the regular formula of how to come with a riff for the subgenre?

Already in the eighties bands used riffs influenced by bands from previous decades, this album sounds like melodeath is a fact, it's a style very rooted in me and which I like a lot. the album was being built song by song and it seemed good to take this line in this work. with the theme fits like a glove in our opinion. However, in the future we will be able to approach the riffs in another way if we want… on this album it happened this way.

When it comes to the songs, and their structures, you made sure that those will actually be fulfilled as hooking, emotive in a sense and gripping. What can you tell about how you came up with hooks for the tunes of the album?

We like choruses… I think going to a concert and even without knowing the band going out with a chorus in your ear is the way to go. However, I’m aware that it’s not the only way to make music, not the only one I like. On this album it sounded good to us to do it this way. There are some structures that if it were now maybe we would do different, I don’t know if it would be better or worse but time was short and we can’t work in a band and experiment with time in different ways. In the future we will certainly have other conditions

While “The Lion Of Lions” was being made, your vocalist Dário Rosa quit the band while the recording sessions were still on. As if from out of nowhere, you brought in the highly talented singer of Moonshade, Ricardo Pereira. First things first, why did Rosa leave the band, and why at that bad timing?

Dario had just become a father at that time, and unfortunately he couldn’t be present in the studio to record his voice in the timing necessary to meet the deadlines. The pressure rose and eventually there was a rupture. The option was to record the voice myself, which I didn’t want, since I felt that I was already exhausted enough to seriously dedicate myself to the voice or get someone to do a good job. I already liked Ricardo’s voice in Moonshade and it was the most logical option for the job. He was invited and accepted. For the time he had, I think he did a good job.

Ricardo Pereira, accompanied by the strong musical sense of the record, and the utter brutality, is a powerhouse within your songs, and spreads life through the riffs and rhythms. How do you find his contribution to the Blind The Eye musical perception and the album’s spirituality?

It was an important contribution, since Ricardo was one of the vocalists with the timbre for this work. And most importantly he is perfectly in this style. It was a natural choice to voice the album. And he realized what we asked for, that was important.

The album’s strongest tune, “As Vesta's Fire”, displays the past heritage but with a look towards the future. It conveys the great riffery of old, but it's quite atmospheric chorus takes it forward in time. What can you share about making this song? How do you find its impact on the entire record?

The way I see and hear the album is different for those who are not aware of its conception. vesta's fire was something that came naturally, it was my most basic influences and tastes that led to its creation. the producer gave some ideas in structural terms and that's how it came about. the impact it has on the album… I really don't know what to say….

Punishing through the wall, as a Melodic Death Metal opener should, is easily done with the selftitled, “The Lion Of Lions”. Its music reflects the power of its title and that things to come might be a rough ride, the joyful part of course. What is your appreciation of the track?

I like it a lot, short direct and musical. I think it symbolizes strength, brutality with subtlety and class…as a true leader should be. It is an ode to absolute power both physically and culturally.

With “The Lion Of Lions” out for everyone to digest, where and when will you be supporting it live?

We are organizing to present the album, this year is ending, and there are an absurd number of concerts happening. Three, four months are needed for people to listen and internalize the album and for us to analyse the best way to present it.

Ramiur, I wish to thank you for your time for this interview. It was great for me to get to know the band, and of course the new record. All the best

Lior Stein it was a pleasure. Obrigado!🍷


 



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