Northern American black metal outfit Eclipser have released their stunning new EP Pages, the follow up to the exceptional debut offering Pathos.
Overcoming personnel changes and COVID related complications the process that led to this epic creation may have been difficult but the finished product has made all of that pale into significance.
Guitarist Ryan Menard caught up with HEAVY for a Q&A ahead of the release which can be read below:
HEAVY: Eclipser release your latest EP Pages on May 28. Tell us about the EP musically.
Menard: Pages is a short, but cohesive EP. All the songs were written at the same time, at the same place in the
same state of mind. It’s a dark and negative record both musically and conceptually. Our sound is both melodic and dissonant.
What goals did you have going in and did you achieve them?
The goal was to just keep grinding, further refine our sound and put out some songs that get the point across. We wanted to follow up our debut Pathos with something completely different while still remaining true to what we do.
You had some member changes going into the EP. Can you introduce us to the new members and tell us what they brought to the band?
We started working with our bass player Sebastien Choquette right after we finished our last record. Seb is a hell of a musician, the presence and snarl of the bass on this EP speaks for itself I think. We also parted ways with our vocalist Francesco, he had other commitments and that’s all good, we are grateful to have had him around for Pathos.
This caused you to reinvent the sound somewhat from the previous release Pathos. Can you elaborate?
Honestly, although it was a bit of an adjustment, Pages is closer to my initial vision for Eclipser and just feels more natural to me. I was the original vocalist back when we were just doing demos. I was already writing lyrics and handling a lot of the vocals so it just made sense for me to take over vocals full time. The style is something I had been working on since the recording of Pathos, you can hear the early stages of its development in the song “Cruel is The Light to Thee”. I suppose this aspect of reinventing our sound might be off-putting for those who listened to us for having a lot of growling and screaming going on but in the end, I feel like it’s a far more original approach and a pretty natural progression. Having worked with our drummer Chris for years as well as this being our second record with Christian on guitar and bringing Seb on board also just solidified us instrumentally. There were some growing pains, but we feel like that growth and change are captured in the songs.
You only finished tracking the drums before the first wave of COVID hit in Canada. That’s pretty lucky. How did COVID impact the rest of the recording process?
Yea, we literally finished recording drums one day before the first lockdown. We were able to keep busy remotely with guitars and vocals, which we did on our own from home. Christian and I invested a lot of time, money and energy into just figuring it out, there was a lot of trial and error. In the end, it was a much more challenging but rewarding experience despite the circumstances.
Do you think all of this chaos actually helped you produce a better EP in a way?
I do, I know for me personally there was a lot of negativity and uncertainty that needed to go somewhere and I feel like I was able to channel some of that into the performances on the record.
The overall theme of Pages is life-defying philosophy. Can you explain that a bit more please?
Have you ever read something that changed you? It could be a religious scripture or the works of a great philosopher, a brilliant physicist or merely a story that moved you and resonated with you. This profound impact has shaped leaders and tyrants alike, forming and destroying entire civilizations. There is an undeniable cause and effect chain reaction that happens, the so-called law of attraction and the power of suggestion at work. This effect can make you feel in harmony with the universe or even invincible but it can also be crushing and traumatic, it can corrupt you. How mailable of creatures are we? Pages takes you on a journey through the absurd to die in obscurity. They say life is about finding meaning and happiness, Pages is an antithesis to that.
What are your plans for the remainder of 2021 or is it too soon to start planning yet?
When we recorded Pages we did 10 songs, so we’ve got some tunes in the chamber and I’ve written another album isolation so we’re looking forward to getting back out there and keeping it moving.
Stream or buy Pages here: Eclipser – Pages
Watch “To Never Wake Again” below: