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Abandoned Elysium
Interview with Abandoned Elysium!

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1. First of all: Hello Ank! It’s not so ordinary to listen to music from Estonia, and I guess there are not so many people around here in Germany who know about the Estonian Metal Scene. In general, how popular is Metal in your country and the entire Baltic area?

ANK. Hello. Metal music is quite popular in Estonia. Our latest album was number 7 on Estonian CD chart when it came out. Situation better than ever before. Metal bands finally get the attention they deserve. And not only in underground but even whole media write about metal music. But the situation is good because of hard work of bands, promoters, gig organizers and so on.

2. What exactly does Metal and the corresponding lifestyle mean to you? Could you agree with what Joey DeMaio from Manowar recently said that he would die for Metal?

ANK. I have been fan of metal music a bit more than 20 years for now. And I´m really addicted to this. I listen a lot of other kind of music too, but metal is my favorite. I met my wife at metal concert, most of my friends are metalheads and so on. Metal is really important thing in my life, but I would not die for metal. I appreciate Manowar and Joey for their lifework. “Kings Of Metal “ and “Triumph Of Steel” are a timeless masterpieces. But to die for metal, I guess Joey was joking.

3. Back than in the 80s there were these great bands whose names will always stay in the minds of Metal fans forever. But somehow things have changed since than. Nowadays the whole Metal scene is a wide open field with nearly every kind of subgenre you are capable of imagining. Your band Tharaphita plays a style that one could call Pagan or Folk Metal with a strong influence of Black Metal elements. But as far as I know, no musician likes to be easily labelled, so describe Tharaphitas style to those out there who never heard of you before.

ANK. Musicaly we sound like epic atmospheric Black Metal with deep feeling. But I don´t label it Black Metal because of ideology. I am pagan not Satanist.
Just visit and you will get informed. Trust your own ear.

4. After listening to MP3s on your Website I have to say that your music has developed over the years. What would you say, in which way has your style of music changed since the foundation of Tharaphita? And where will it lead to?

ANK. Each release of Tharaphita has its own feeling. And it´s different from previous and later stuff. I don´t want to do one thing twice. But every song from us sounds like Tharaphita, if You know our sound. Now we will continue the same line as our latest album but with more rawness and blackened feeling.

5. You know that I also have to ask this one: Is there any meaning behind the name “Tharaphita”?

ANK. Tharaphita (also known as Taara) is the one and only pagan god in Estonian mythology.

6. As far as I know are the Estonian and the Finnish language related. Neither I understand the one nor the other (except of a few words in Finnish I’ve learned when listening to bands like Moonsorrow or Korpiklaani ;-)). What are your lyrics about?

ANK. Yes, sometimes estonian and finnish languages sound quit similar. It´s because we are akin nation to them. Even some words has the same meaning. Some people says that we are much influenced by Moonsorrow. That´s not true, I have heard only some songs of them. I guess we have just the same influences like Bathory...

7. After a strong Christian and afterwards Soviet influence are there any writings about heathen culture in Estonia like the Edda or the Kalevala?

ANK. We have our own Kalevipoeg (Kalev´s Son) written by F. R. Kreutzwald. and also “Hõbevalge” written by Lennart Meri.

8. Beside of Metal what are you doing?

ANK. I´m running “animalshelter” for homeless cats and dogs. We save them from misery and find them new homes.

9. Now, that Estonia is member of the European Union, I think this region will gain interest for travellers. So if one travels through Estonia and the Baltic area, what shouldn’t one forget to visit or watch?

ANK. Estonia is beautiful country. There is yet a lot of forests remained in Estonia. And also the “old town of Tallinn” is worth to check out just because of the architecture.

10. Thank you for taking you time answering these questions. The last words are at least yours! (Say what ever you like to :-))

ANK. Thank you for interview, good questions.
Please visit our myspace.

Author: Stephanie Falk
Zine: Squealer Rocks

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