Entheos Create Calculated Progressive Chaos On New Album (Interview)
Nashville’s (by way of California) Entheos has continuously pushed the progressive extreme metal genre in creative ways since its 2015 formation. Featuring powerhouse vocalist Chaney Crabb — who possesses a dual vocal strength (able to leap from a vicious low growl to a raspy bark with ease) — and Crabb’s fiancé Navene Koperweis — a talented drummer who is equally as gifted on the guitar — Entheos has musically evolved with each subsequent release since its debut EP Primal.
Koperweis has procured a very strong musical resumé over the years by cutting his teeth in bands such as Animals As Leaders, Fleshwrought, Animosity, and Job For A Cowboy. Chaney's vocal prowess rose to prominence after her cover video of Veil of Maya's “Unbreakable” (from 2010’s id) went viral, which ultimately led to her auditioning for the band in 2014. Although she didn’t get the gig, the experience planted the seed to form Entheos.
“I did this vocal play-through; I wasn't actually auditioning for the band,” Crabb explains during a recent phone interview. “It was just me doing a cover of the song with hopes that maybe someone will see it. And we put it up on the Internet and someone happened to see it and when I woke up the next morning after posting it, Revolver had shared it and it was just being shared all over the Internet and it was kind of going viral. So their manager actually hit me up and asked me to try out for the band. They ended up going with Lukas (Magyar), and Lukas is a fantastic singer. I think he just fits with what they wanted to do more. And in the long run, that was one of the sparks that started Entheos in the first place. Looking back, I would not want to be in someone else's band. I'm so happy that it worked out for me and Navene starting our own band, because it's just a totally different sense of pride that I have. So everything worked out pretty well as far as that goes.”
Before Entheos officially formed, Koperweis was on tour in Europe with his solo project at the time called Navene K. During the tour, Koperweis heard from several acquaintances that there was a massive buzz about Chaney’s Veil of Maya cover. At that point, Koperweis was convinced that he wanted to start a band with her.
“It took him a little while to talk me into it,” Crabb begins. “I didn't really want to start a band with Navene just because he had played in a bunch of bands that were as far as I was concerned, they were super monumental bands. I wanted to earn my place in the band. I didn't want to play with people simply because I was Navene’s girlfriend. I wanted to play with people because they thought I was talented and they wanted to play with me. So it took a lot of convincing.”
With the strong duo of Koperweis and Crabb as the core members, adding bassist extraordinaire Evan Brewer (ex-The Faceless, Fleshwrought) and ex-Animosity guitarist Frank Costa, everything lined up perfectly for the band. By incorporating elements drawn from an amalgam of genres that includes death metal, groove, grunge, electronica, slam, goth, jazz, prog, and more, Entheos uniquely stood out from its peers.
Although Brewer left the band in 2018, he recently returned on a studio-only basis, while the addition of Brian James (ex-Fallujah) on lead guitar and Robert Brown (ex-Slaughter to Prevail) on rhythm guitar are part of Entheos’ 2023 live lineup. On its third full-length album, Time Will Take Us All — its first for Metal Blade Records — Entheos has crafted an uncompromising slab of technical extreme metal.
“At first, we were convinced that we wanted to release it independently,” Crabb says. “But when we sat down and thought about it after a while, we thought there was no way that we're going to take on all of this work. We love our manager very much, so we wanted to get a team going. So we shopped around, and there were a few offers. But honestly, the entire time Navene and I wanted to be signed to Metal Blade. To me, it’s the label that fits our band the most. It's the label that has put out the most records that I admire, and Metal Blade was really stoked on our band. We just liked the people; they are the perfect label for our band.”
In 2021, Crabb was involved in a traumatic scooter accident that sliced open her entire upper lip and her septum midway up through her nose, knocking the appendage to the side of her face. She’s almost completely healed and although it was a major health ordeal, one of the good things that came out of the accident is the lyrics to their first single, “Absolute Zero.” The first song written after her accident reflects on Crabb’s despair and uncertainty in life.
“Honestly, the whole record changed after I got in that accident,” she reflects. “This sounds really crazy, but the bad thing was just the surgery. But a lot of good came out of it. When a crazy thing like that happens, you learn to appreciate life and the people around you a lot more. It's very humbling.”
Lyrically, this introspection and self-realization sums up the entire album for Crabb.
“The title pretty much covers it, Time Will Take Us All,” she says. “That's the one thing that's staring at us in the face our whole lives. It doesn't matter what we gain financially in this life, we are all going to die. And that's what the entire album is about. Even though we are going to die, it's important to have a positive outlook on life and the things that we put into this world. It's about growth and healing and realization. Having that serious talk with yourself that you want to make a mark on this world and you only have a limited time to do so.”
In late November, the second single from the album, “In Purgatory,” was accompanied by a frenetic video created by David Brodsky and Alison Woest of My Good Eye.
“I’m a huge fan of My Good Eye and the videos that they have made,” Crabb admits. “I spent two years convinced that they were the only people that I wanted to make these videos. So I brought that up to Metal Blade and Metal Blade was down. They're so good and they have such a range with their videos. I just love their artistic eye. There wasn't much that we had to tell them to change about the videos. The editing, the way that the camera shakes; they just pay so much attention to the music of every video that they do. It's not just one size fits all for the stuff that they do. It was amazing to work with them.”
Plus, the third single/video “I Am the Void” premiered recently as well. However, around Christmas time, Entheos released a video that might have surprised some of its fans, but the death metal rendition of “Carol of the Bells” is absolutely awesome.
“We never would have done that video if it wasn't for Christina Pazsitzky, who is a comedian,” Crabb begins. “Her and her husband, Tom Segura, have a podcast called Your Mom's House. It's a huge podcast, and I'm a huge fan of it. Christina found my videos on Tik Tok, and a part of their podcast is that she finds crazy Tik Tok videos and puts them on the podcast. So she would just put my screaming videos on there and she would try to mimic screaming. Fast forward to Christmas, she hit me up because they were doing a live Christmas show and she asked me if I would cover a classic Christmas carol. I’m way into comedy podcasts, and I'm way into comedy, but when it comes to music, I am very serious about it. And to do something funny is just totally, usually not my style. So, Navene rewrote “Carol of the Bells” as a metal song, and I did a vocal cover and they aired it on Your Mom's House live. I didn't want to post it on the Internet at all, but Navene talked me into it. Friends were hitting me up saying that their family doesn’t listen to metal in any way, shape, or form, but they just sent me your video.”
Speaking of podcasts, Chaney and Navene have their own show called KoperCrabb Podcast. The couple has a great rapport with each other and their guests.
“We just wanted to build a community to talk to people about what it's like to be in a touring, underground metal band,” Crabb says. “We do live Twitch streams every Tuesday and we have this core group of fans, and they've become our friends who support us in everything we do. They're meeting each other and making connections and it's just been this really cool experience to be on a podcast and occasionally we'll have friends of ours who are in bands as well. I never set out to be a podcaster and neither did Navene, but we both enjoy it enough to do it as often as we can.”
As a fairly newer band, Entheos have been doing things the right way in a calculated and professional manner. With a new album, a new record label, and some great upcoming touring opportunities, Entheos’ trajectory is on the rise.
“When I was a kid and set out to do this, I didn't even ever anticipate that I would play a show in front of 300 people. That was just beyond my wildest dreams,” Crabb reflects. “With the band and where it's at now, it's beyond anything I could hope or imagine. Anything that happens from here on out is a total surreal dream come true for me. So I'm just trying to enjoy every step of the way and I'm excited about the things we have planned and I love playing with our live members. I love making music with Navene and I love everything that's going on with our band. I have no complaints and I'm just stoked to be here.”
Time Will Take Us All releases on March 3rd, 2023 via Metal Blade Records.