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Vigilance's Gilian Adam: "Heavy Metal is something that has always been driven by passion, the excitement and the bond that it creates… We tend to romanticize the past and Heavy Metal was never something that was heavily marketable..."

Interview with Gilian Adam from Vigilance
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 19 May 2019, 10:45 PM

Always entrusting themselves in the side of darkness, the Slovenian Vigilance never tires. Actually, they kept striding through the unlit path with an incredible conviction, maintaining an ongoing legacy that is surely an enjoyment for whoever heeds. Steinmetal talked to one of the band's founders, guitarist / vocalist, Gilian Adam, regarding their new album "Enter the Endless Abyss", their place in the world of Metal and music media

Hello Gilian, wow, it has been quite a long time since we last spoke, I believe it was when you guys at Vigilance made your debut with “Queen of the Midnight Fire”. How have you been?

Hello, it's been quite some time, indeed! I think you're right, it was probably around the release of our debut album… A lot has happened since then, but we're still here so I guess I can say I'm quite fine haha!

So, let's get on to it, shall we? “Enter the Endless Abyss” is the title of your new album, once again releasing via Dying Victims Productions. How do you feel about it? Is this the game changer for you guys to head up the ladder?

We are really proud of this one for sure. We've been slowly but steadily kind of drifting towards our own personal sound all these years and I think this album is the best and most honest representation of Vigilance so far. The responses so far have been really good and the vibe within the band is better than ever, so I hope it will push us even further.

Still going strong with a morbid type of NWOBHM, oozed up by proto-Speed Metal precision, is there anything newly in store for old school Metal fans, or this is purely Vigilance as a band that sticks to its guns?

Well, I think as far as the concept and the essence go, we'll always stick to our guns. But then again, we've always stirred things up musically with every album, so you can expect some new stuff here as well. I think we are much more focused after all these years, so the songs are more compact and nuanced this time around. We've played with synths a bit, there is more chorus driven stuff, but the main difference is that we've actually recorded this one as a band and we played all the bed track together. I think this works better for us and I hope the energy and the excitement of our performances are felt throughout the record.

Let’s talk about the lovely darkened themes that you have been bringing to life in your albums. Since you have been pretty much on the Mercyful Fate meets early UK Doom Metal kind of lyrics. What can you tell regarding the lyrical concepts surrounding “Enter the Endless Abyss”?

I never want to limit myself when it comes to the lyrical side of Vigilance, but the emphasis was always on the dark side of things. We did a lot of songs that had the typical pseudo-satanic or occult themes, but this time I felt the need to look for inspiration in different things, mainly taking in consideration the vibe of the songs themselves. The references here are subtler and broad. Tine also turned out to be a great lyricist as of lately, so he's responsible for both of the lyrics in Slovene language, which are heavily inspired by local folklore and symbolical mysticism. That's great as it adds another dimension to the album.

Who made the artwork for “Enter the Endless Abyss”? It looks quite interesting, appears to be telling a kind of story, which seems common, yet it would be great to hear your side of the story as well.

All our art since “Hounds of Megiddo” has been done by our friend Karmazid. He has become a very integral part of the band and a part of the Vigilance family as well. We usually give him the music and some vague ideas, but the end result is always up to him; something I think is very crucial for the end result. It is his vision of the band/album and he has proven again and again that it fits perfectly to our concept.

Both the album title and the cover art are heavily inspired by a sculpture and an inscription that is located near the famous cave. It serves as a cryptic invitation inside the cave, and in context of Vigilance it serves as an invitation to the realm of our vision of heavy metal.

I find “Enter the Endless Abyss” as one of those albums that are more musically creative, and rather not necessarily marketable for headlining the charts. What is your standpoint on that subject? Does one have to be catchy, or marketable, to be the next thing?

I really don't think those two concepts are something that should be taken as two extremes. You can be creative and catchy, but then again it's probably a matter of one's own definition of what those terms mean. For example, Mercyful Fate could be labeled as one of those creative bands, but I personally find them extremely catchy. I mean, all the riffs have great hooks, the songs are memorable and there are some really well written melodies all over the albums.

In the end none of us are in this to become the next big thing, really. Heavy Metal is something that has always been driven by passion, the excitement and the bond that it creates. My opinion is that we tend to romanticize the past and Heavy Metal was never something that was heavily marketable, save for the upper most echelon of bands that made it “big”. I'm quite ok with that, as long as I can do my thing!

Which of the album’s songs do you believe is the major impact of the entire album? Which on the list makes resume to it every now and then? Please elaborate on your pick.

Usually I'd have no problem picking my favorites from the past albums, but I really like all the tracks from this one. I might go ahead and say “Dvoglava Kača”, as it is something we have never done before. Different guitar tuning, it's really atmospheric and I'm a sucker for bands that sing in their native language, so I'm really happy we pushed forward with that idea… Something that we'll surely expand on in the future.

You guys at Vigilance have been in the business for the past nine years straight, is there still a place for old school oriented bands to succeed in today’s vast market?

Some might disagree, but I honestly think that as long as there are bands willing to put out music and there are people picking the music up and showing up at shows, we're good. It's a niche “market” for sure, but I don't mind that.

Regretfully, though some would argue differently, the playing media the slowly dies is the CD format, while the Vinyl shows new signs of life and of course the digital forms mainly makes the rules. What is your opinion on the matter? Do you think that CDs should still be an integral part of a band’s sales?

CD's have been a bit out of game for a while, but that's a fate that befalls almost all formats eventually. It happened to cassettes and Lps and Cds are no different. It's just that there hasn't been any iconic successor after and everything moved to digital straight away, so it seems like a big deal. Lps are making a bit of a comeback, but it's still a niche market as most sales today are digital. Luckily in the world of heavy metal, collecting and physical formats have always played an integral part of the whole experience, mostly thanks to cool album art. However, times do change and I have embraced the fact that consumption of music has slightly shifted elsewhere. I personally prefer physical formats, but in the end I'm just happy to get the music to the fans, whatever way the prefer to listen to it.

I guess supporting the new album is without question, but where can folks come and see you? Will you be touring Europe on a certain scale?

We are currently in the middle of putting a tour together, but it's still all in the works so I cannot say much at the time being. Just keep an eye on us and everything will be revealed soon. However, we do have some dates confirmed outside of that and so far the fans will be able to see us in Germany, on some select dates in Croatia and at various gigs in Slovenia. I suggest following our profile on Facebook for all the dates and updates!

Gilian, I wish to thank you for the interview, it was good to have you. All the best with the new release, go ahead and amaze people.

Thank you for the pleasant conversation and all the best to you too!
 



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