Welcome to our artist-written feature on Heavy Blog, “The Anatomy Of”. Taken from the Between The Buried And Me album of the same name — in which the band pays tribute to the artists and bands that they feel have most inspired their songwriting — it’s a feature in which we hand off the metaphorical microphone to bands so they can talk about their influences.
Last year Gods of Eden released their debut record From the End of Heaven and here’s a quick excerpt outlining why it got all the way up to 16 on our Top 50 Albums of 2015 list:
“rampant technicality and mind-boggling virtuosity… [it’s] incredibly cohesive from front to back… memorable vocal hooks abound amidst the sweep picking, perfectly timed breakdowns, and occasional orchestrally-minded grandiose chord progressions…” – Ahmed Hasan
So if you haven’t yet heard of Gods of Eden, then stop what you’re doing immediately and go buy their record on bandcamp. While you’re listening to what the future of technical, progressive death metal sounds like, go ahead and check out Noyan’s review of the masterpiece here, just to make sure you don’t miss anything. Now that we’re all acquainted with Australia’s latest metal masterminds, enjoy The Anatomy Of Gods of Eden!
Danni Perez (guitar, primary songwriter)
The Gipsy Kings – Gipsy Kings (1987)
This is the album that got me into music. One of the first things that grabbed my attention was how every song has such an exotic and technical sound to it while still managing to stay catchy and fresh. I was blown away by how the guitars sounded and as an impressionable 12 year old the first thing I asked my grandmother for was an acoustic guitar. Despite my mum being totally against the idea, she went ahead and bought me one anyway! Even though the Gipsy Kings are not pure flamenco like Paco DeLucia, they still managed to capture the magic of the style and transport you to another world. I still remember hearing the tremolo chords on ‘Bamboleo’ and being so blown away by the speed. The song also has a dance groove that combined passionate vocal hooks with intricate lead guitar work.
‘Moorea’ on the other hand is an instrumental which allowed them to showcase the guitarists abilities, the mixture of flamenco, gypsy and jazz really resonating with me. After listening to this album, I knew from that point on that I wanted to become a musician and play like them.
Iron Maiden – Live After Death (1985)
This was the album that got me into music outside flamenco and classical. I still remember being at a family friend’s house when, amongst his massive CD collection, the cover with Eddy coming out of the grave caught my eye. Upon hearing the harmonised guitar leads in ‘Aces High‘ I remember thinking to myself … What instrument is that?! I had no idea what an electric guitar sounded like back then but I loved it. The catchiness of Bruce Dickinson’s vocals in the choruses blew me away, the way he carried the tune was just so powerful not only in ‘Aces High’ but in every song on that album. Hello Dad… electric guitar please?!
Fear Factory – Demanufacture (1995)
Fear Factory was the first concert I ever went to. There is something quite special about their sound. It is so spacey and mechanical that it made me feel like I was living inside their Blade Runner/Terminator obsessed world with them. Their influence was so great that I became infatuated with anything space and sci-fi related from that day onwards. This was an immense help when starting up Gods of Eden many years later and also something that became one of my biggest influences when writing music, not just musically but on an altogether deeper level. I wanted to write music that would transport people to other realities and worlds. That became my main drive as a musician and that is something that only gets stronger with every new song I write.
Mike Barillaro (bass, backing vocals)
Metallica – Master of Puppets (1986)
To this day I’m yet to hear a more consistent and brilliant metal record. While there is no doubt the self-titled Black album of ’91 is the album that put Metallica into orbit, Master of Puppets was the album that changed my life. In 1998 as a 14 year old, I had next to no interest in music and certainly had no ambitions with regards to a career in music.
I still remember where I was when my neighbour brought over a copy of a band I’d only known as “some heavy band I shouldn’t ever listen to” (thanks mum!!!!). Within 30 seconds of the opening track ‘Battery’ I was intrigued by the acoustic, multi-guitar layering. Once the initial thrash beat hammered through my speakers, I was hooked. By the end of ‘Battery’, I remember having a revelation: I wanted to be a career musician. It just hit me like a tonne of bricks.
My neighbour at the time had a guitar and I just remembered looking at him and saying “let’s do what Metallica does”. He said “don’t get a guitar, get a bass and my friend at school plays drums; we’ll start a band. My parents bought me a bass the next day (the worst piece of s#*t SAMICK bass ever, but it did the job) and all I remember was how fast I picked up how to play not only bass, but guitars as well as drums and as it turns out, I could belt out a note or two as a singer. It was as if the door was always there, I just didn’t know how to get in. Master of Puppets gave me the key and I’ve never looked back since.
Blind Guardian – Imaginations From the Other Side (1995)
By the time I heard this album, I was already well entrenched as a “wannabe metal muso” trying to play every Metallica, Pantera, Slayer, Sepultura and Fear Factory song known to man. But upon meeting Danni, one of the first bands he showed me was Blind Guardian, and in particular their absolutely brilliant album Imaginations From the Other Side.
Danni was heavily influenced by medieval culture at the time, but all I could remember hearing was some of the most amazing vocals; I’d never heard anything like it in metal. Being a singer at the time, I was left in awe of these new possibilities of amalgamating mass vocal layering and metal into a single project.
No song highlighted this more than ‘Script For My Requiem’ and I still rate the epic vocal harmony on the words “IN THE HOLY LAND” before the first chorus as the most spine-tingling moment in metal. This album is also when I decided covering metal was not satisfying. I needed to start composing and incorporating vocal harmonies and metal into one vision.
This has been my major role in every project since, including Gods of Eden. I produce the lead vocal melodies with Ian and arrange, perform and produce all the backing vocals, which is a prominent aspect of GOE’s songs and mixes.
Since Imaginations From the Other Side, every album Blind Guardian have released has taken the vocal arrangements to another level, showing how even a great record like Imaginations was only the beginning for them. My hope is that Gods of Eden’s first release From the end of Heaven will also only be the start. I’m already thinking of what I need to do to take my role in the band to the next level. It’s going to be EPIC!!!!!
Ian Dixon (lead vocals)
The Haunted – rEVOLVEr (2004)
One of the things that I enjoy with music is when all of the elements combine into a force that moves you. Regardless of the outcome, a great album is one that grabs you by the shirt and drags you to where it is, implanting you with its vision. That’s what I enjoy about rEVOLVEr from Sweden’s The Haunted. This album has some awesome hooks tied together with a raw, balls out energy that keeps your head moving from start to finish. The thing that really sets this album off for me though is the raw anger in the vocals of Peter Dolving. His unique output of spit, teeth and spite just adds that visceral element which makes the album a favourite of mine.
Candlemass – King of the Grey Islands (2007)
Candlemass have been around for years and been through many line up-changes, but I don’t think they get as much recognition as they deserve, at least not in Australia. They’re slow, heavy and all about the big riffs so you can’t help but feel the power of doom from these guys. Robert Lowe has a great tone to his voice and it lifts you along with it as it soars, especially in the chorus of ‘Embracing the Styx’. The songs leave you clawing the air with their epic intensity. These guys have definitely inspired me to aim higher with gargantuan choruses and astral vocal melodies.
A massive thank you goes out to Gods of Eden for sharing these fantastic albums with us today, and don’t forget to follow the band on Facebook to keep up-to-date with all the latest!