Entering The Underground #1: Eurynomos Erupts “From the Valleys of Hades”
Entering the Underground is a new column that explores the underground metal scene, featuring interviews with bands making their mark just under the radar.
For the first edition of this column, I thought it’d be fitting to talk about the brilliant Eurynomos, a black/thrash band from Germany that demands your attention. This devastating, archaic beast was formed a few years ago pretty much entirely to convince Desaster’s classic vocalist, Okkulto, to come back to metal. After three excellent 7" releases on cult underground label Iron Pegasus Records (best known for releasing music from bands like Mortem, Sadistic Intent, and Pentacle) Eurynomos finally dropped their debut album, From the Valleys of Hades, on the same label in 2020.
From the Valleys of Hades is pretty much everything you’d hope it is—furious, uncompromising and ancient black/thrash of the highest order, evocative of the proper echelon of raging classic material from bands like Sodom, Bathory, Venom, and, yes, Desaster. If you’re coming in expecting some melodic Dissection worship or even something as melodic as Desaster sometimes gets, you’re looking in the wrong place. This is for people who want something that’ll scorch their face off, and that energy is what Eurynomos provides in spades via a devastating onslaught of evil riffs from band leader Aethon and horrendous sorcery by way of Okkulto's killer vocals.
Grab a beer, pull up a seat, and blast the most vile album you’ve been missing out on while you read an interview with Aethon below.
Hails Aethon! Thank you for doing this interview with Invisible Oranges. To begin with, your debut album From the Valleys of Hades came out on Iron Pegasus Records last year. How has the reception been?
Hails Brandon, thanks for your invitation. "From the Valleys of Hades“ came out late August and the response has been really great, especially from the headbangers and Metal maniacs. If the magazines think it is good, that’s nice, but when a real metalhead is digging it, that’s the best compliment. They seem to like the production and noticed that the songs were well arranged and not just a quick shot.
The album isn’t available digitally anywhere. Is this because of a particular opposition to digital media, or something else?
Well, I have to admit that physical formats are still holy to me. Digital is ok, but you need to see and hold a release as well, it should be more than just a bunch of files. You know, the cover artwork, the photos, the lyrics… you should hold it in your hands and look at it while playing the album. We play a Vintage style, therefore we also value the traditional formats. It will be available as a digital album one day, but first the die hards should have the privilege to get their hands on the physical copies and celebrate it… it should be like a ritual, hehe.
There were two bonus tracks from the CD version that didn’t make it to the LP. Was this always the intention when you were writing the album, or were they just extra material that didn’t fit on a single record?
There was lots of discussions about it within the band. I personally had to fight hard for these songs, cause originally the rest of the band didn’t want them on the album but it would have been a pity to let them rot in the shelf. So the "compromise“ was to put them on the CD as bonus tracks. And you guessed right, the song order would have been difficult for the LP version with these extra tracks.
Do you have a preference for any particular physical format, or is it all the same to you? Similarly, do you write and arrange specifically for any one format, or do you pick song order after everything has already come together?
Well, I think it is great that people still want physical formats, no matter if it is a MC, CD, LP or PicDisc, etc… that’s the best way of showing your appreciation to the band. My personal fave format is Vinyl, cause I grew up with LPs, it has a special magic. I even continued to buy LPs when the Compact disc conquered the market in the 90s. CDs are great as well, but Vinyl has always been King to me. The true format to worship a band!
As for song order and also playing time… yes, for the Vinyl it is important… just take the "Trilogy“ Ep serie… some songs were composed with a playing time limit. Not only because of the Side A and Side B break, but also because we said we wanted to do 13 minutes for each EP, 13 minutes for 3 songs for each EP. That’s a big challenge. The song "Spell of Necromancy“ on the last EP ("Fierce Alliance“) is a good example for this…. this song had to be as compact as possible, no room for extra stuff. And with the intro we could adjust the playing time in a perfect way.
And then we ended the B with "Ferropolis“, using the intro theme of the first EP again to end this last track of the last EP. And there was a playing time limit again. This means for the EPs we had to keep the format in mind while composing and arranging the songs.
You mentioned in old interviews that a key impetus for starting the band was wanting to hear Okkulto do metal again after he left Desaster in 2001. How does it feel to have worked with such a legend for your debut full length? Has the rush worn off yet or do you still think about it sometimes?
Okkulto and I are old buddies since the early 90s, and yeah, after he left DESASTER it was a real pity that his voice wasn’t heard anymore, cause he has a real unique and raw vocal style. So we always had the idea to do something together one day. It was more like a fiction but then after some years passed by, we finally pushed it to make it happen. It was great to release the first EP and finally saw that this fiction has turned into reality after all these years. And I think Okkulto has not lost a bit of his power and rawness, the voice is still going strong, maybe even stronger than before which is a real rare thing these days. Cause most vocalists who return after a long break are only a shadow of their past. Okkulto did really put a lot of work and hours into the vocal recordings for the album, he wanted the best result and think he did a great job! So ultimately, even after all these years, I think it is a privilege to do EURYNOMOS together.
How early on did you decide to do three EPs prior to the album?
The three EP’s idea was there from the start. Our singer Okkulto thought it was cool to have sort of a triptychon concept for a three EP release… like you have three Eps and when you put them together, it would be like a united artwork. I told him it only would look ok if the artworks wouldn’t come with a logo, but for me it sucks to have releases without a logo on it. So alternatively I came up with that devil idea. One looking to the right, one to the left and the last one to both sides. You still see right away that these Eps belong together like a "set“. The 3 songs at a total playing time of 13 minutes for each EP came later. That was "extra“ to really come up with something that nobody has done before.
Now that your debut album has dropped, what are your plans for the future?
New songwriting has begun, including songs in the band’s typical style and one monumental song that will show the epic side of EURYNOMOS. But of course, "FROM THE VALLEYS OF HADES“ is still warm and fresh and needs to be fully celebrated before we blow the trumpets again for a new attack.
Do you have anything else to talk about or promote?
Cheers Brandon for giving me the opportunity to speak about EURYNOMOS through your channel, thanks for the support. I am here to promote the thing that unites us all: loud, heavy, dark and powerful traditional Metal mayhem. And that’s what EURYNOMOS stands for!
From the Valleys of Hades released August 31st, 2020 via Iron Pegasus Records.