- Once You Go Black, You Never Go Back!
By Kelley Simms
Montréal-based blackened symphonic metal band ERIMHA
is infatuated with Mesopotamian and Sumerian lore. In fact, the band’s name translates to “army” in Sumerian culture. Frontman Gore bases his lyrics on ancient mythological and spiritual concepts. The band’s crushing sophomore full-length effort, Reign Through Immortality (released July 9 through Victory Records), is a concept album based on, you guessed it, a Sumerian king.
“With the new album, we decided to do a concept album based on one main character, a Sumerian king obsessed by spirituality, magik and the universe,” Gore said. “I think we went more deeper into the lyrics and we decided to bring a darker sound to this album. The difference you can hear from our debut. It’s Erimha, but the keyboards gave it that different energy that we were looking for.”
This energy comes through in the band’s haunting and operatic sound, which takes on an ancient, mythical and worldly quality.
“We’re just into epic music in general. Personally we like symphonic sounds from all kinds (of music). We look up and learn a lot about Mesopotamia and read books and study this and this content is where we get the inspiration from. I don’t think we really gain it from watching horror movies or other kinds of inspiration. I think it’s just us taking the time studying, reading and talking with each other and I think we all understand where we want to go in the concept of lyrics.
The band’s sound and image has an overall black metal aesthetic, but Gore is quick to state that Erimha isn’t a black metal band and doesn’t really want to be labeled as such.
“We talk about spiritualism and inner strength. Of course we do use references of darker energies and the occult. I am anti-religion and I just believe in freedom. Everyone considers Erimha
to be a Satanic black metal band because of the image. The image is just a reflection of what the lyrics are. I have a hard time with that (black metal) label. We don’t talk exactly the same things as black metal. We have a more rich, extreme death metal sound. I would say simply that we’re a symphonic death metal band and I wouldn’t go to the point of labeling us as a black metal band.”
Gore explains that the band’s sound developed naturally. “The sound just came to us. We work really hard and it just came natural to us to write this music. We had the inspiration from the concept. How we started off was to follow what the lyrics were. It just came natural to have a sound that was heavy and a sound that had dark energy. We wanted more atmospheric parts for the lighter parts of the lyrics and for the darker parts we had to also bring in aggressiveness to deliver a more hated sound.”
Since its inception in 2010, Erimha
has achieved a lot in a short period of time. With its new record label and its new release, the band is eager to take the next step to achieve their musical dream.
“The next step is to do a lot of touring,” Gore concludes. “We just want to play music and do what we do on the road by playing the new album. We’re really excited about it coming out and it’s our first major label release. Our first album was on a smaller label and the connection wasn’t the same and we were looking to move forward. You can expect a lot of stuff in the future.”