TITANS EVE – THE DIVINE EQUAL
Gotta love bands like this that come from left field and surprise one with their sound, attitude and imagery. Titans Eve hails from Vancouver, hardly a global metal hotspot, and performs traditional and true heavy metal without any of the superfluous gimmickry that has become a hallmark of metal betrayal and ineptitude. The quartet’s sound is heavy and anthemic and blatantly related to the true sounds of Priest, Maiden and Arch Enemy.
Were the sound of the band not so delightfully heavy metal, the four’s imagery, CD’s artwork, monicker and album and song titles would give it all away. This is metal done the metal way. Sorry, dimwit burger and Nightwash(edup).
Aside from a short intro and an interlude called Dusk, the band’s songs are catchy and, as said, anthemic metal numbers with titles like Becoming The Demon, Judgement (which the biography calls Judgement Day) and my favourite Nightfall. The best analogy here is early Arch Enemy with Johan Liiva on vocals. Indeed, aside from a couple of Iron Maiden-esque harmonies like the one on Judgement these boys are an extension of the early Arch Enemy albums minus the guitar solos. Brian Gamblin could be Liiva for all anyone knows and the name and photo be a ruse. Speaking of the guitars by the way, the band needs more solos fast because they are lacking and those, which exist, are of sufficiently high calibre to justify more of them. The lyrics, however, are best described as minimalist. Strange, given how they are based on the Book Of Genesis and Paradise Lost.
Titans Eve is fun, heavy and surprisingly adept at its craft. More of the same please. The band is at titanseve.bandcamp.com or can be reached through firstname.lastname@example.org. - Ali “The Metallian”
TITANS EVE – LIFE APOCALYPSE
The Canadian thrashers are back and the singer still sounds just like former Arch Enemy singer Liiva. His dry screaming is flat and limited in pitch, but not every singer needs to scream to high hell or gruff to low heaven. The music is accomplished and rather aggressive thrashing beginning with opener Destined To Die. It progresses well until the desultory instrumental A Wound That Never Heals. The band runs somehow out of gas with Hollow Gods and Divided We Fall being weaker songs. The latter song’s cliché lyrics do not help. The disc does end with another good song, The Void. Titans Eve is up there with the best Canada has to offer. Visit www.titanseve.com or e-mail the band’s email@example.com. - Ali “The Metallian”
Metal. Vancouver. Touring. These words are seldom used in one sentence. Could Vancouver-based Titans Eve break the mould following the release of its disc, The Divine Equal? Singer and guitarist Brian Gamblin calls into Metallian Towers to speak to Ali “The Metallian” about the band he shares with guitarist and brother Kyle Gamblin, bassist Jesse Hord and drummer Casey Ory.
Ali “THE METALLIAN”: Vancouver doesn’t seem like the hotbed of heavy metal. Where does the band come from and how does it fit in the context of Vancouver?
BRIAN: Vancouver doesn’t cater to live venues, especially if they’re metal they’re shunned upon here. It’s looked upon as dirty and as a place where bad things happen. That’s one reason why you don’t hear a lot about the bands here because it’s hard to start a scene when there are no places to play. There are some talented metal bands in Vancouver and hopefully over time, you’ll hear more about them, not just Three Inches Of Blood or Strapping Young Lad. Kyle and I are the founders of the band, we’re the guitar players, songwriters and vocalists. We’re not from Vancouver. We’re from Alberta, which doesn’t have a scene. We initially wanted to move to L.A. because the ability to get your music out is so much higher. But we came to Vancouver because it saved us a lot of money to get work visas.
Ali “THE METALLIAN”: When did you move from Alberta and where in Alberta did you move from?
BRIAN: We moved from a little town called Rocky Mountain House. We moved about three and a half years ago and we had some bad starts with bands where things didn’t work out. Casey, our drummer, was looking for a musical project and we found him on Craigslist and Jessie, our bass player, he’s actually the fifth bass player in Titans Eve. The reason why it worked with him is because I got sick of looking and there were different reasons as to why things didn’t work out. We needed someone who was willing to dedicate his entire being to the band. In order to make the band work, there was no other thing other than the band. You work your day job, make some money, after you get off work you go to rehearsal. When you wake up you talk about, you call and make sure there’s a rehearsal going on, everyone shows up, you dedicate yourself to that. Some people can't do that. Jessie could and he’s from my hometown of Rocky Mountain House and I’ve known him for a long time. I knew he’d be a fit and we toured across Canada last year and he handled the road just fine and now we’re doing our two-month tour of North America with him so I don’t see any problems for him there either.
Ali “THE METALLIAN”: Did you drag him out or he just happened to be from your hometown and living in Vancouver?
BRIAN: He gave up everything, his family. to join our band and we brought him here to do that.
Ali “THE METALLIAN”: Where in Vancouver are you exactly? Are you in the city or in the suburbs?
BRIAN: I live right downtown and the other members all live in a house close to downtown.
Ali “THE METALLIAN”: I always wonder how anyone can afford to live in Vancouver as it’s so expensive?
BRIAN: Yes, it’s very hard. My girlfriend and I found ourselves a really affordable spot where we can make things happen and keep it in the budget.
Ali “THE METALLIAN”: Where does the band rehearse?
BRIAN: We rehearse in a place by Victoria Powell by the water in the East Hastings area.
Ali “THE METALLIAN”: What keeps you guys going as you left your hometown and you wanted to go to the US and the scene is not that big and the music industry is not doing that well, so I’m curious, what’s the motivation here?
BRIAN: When I was 18, I came to the realization that if I’m going to go into this, it’s obviously not money. I tried to quit and find something stable when I was 18 and I could only last two weeks. I went insane, not being able to play and write music. I love to perform, I love empowering people. I love getting energy from people and when I can do that and it's a positive outlet, it works for everyone and creates magic, it’s like a drug – a good drug. And that’s why I want to do it, because I’m addicted to it.
Ali “THE METALLIAN”: Were you guys in any other band back in Alberta?
BRIAN: Yeah, I was in a rock band in Alberta. I had to play rock music because I hadn’t taken up vocals or anything of that sort. The singer we had there was a rock vocalist and was really good at it. It was heavy rock and I had three albums with that band and we had one that was circulating all around Alberta. The band was called Marie. It was a very minor rock band but it was a lot of fun.
Ali “THE METALLIAN”: Was your brother in any bands?
BRIAN: I found it was very difficult to find a dedicated lead guitarist, so I got my brother into guitar trained him up. I knew I could trust him and he wouldn’t have stupid excuses. He wasn’t in any bands, but now he is 100%.
Ali “THE METALLIAN”: The band, from what I’ve heard, is somewhat thrash metal. I’ve compared you to Arch Enemy, without the soloing. What do you think of that description? Is it on or is it off? Is Arch Enemy any kind of inspiration?
BRIAN: I like Arch Enemy and what they do. When I write music, whatever comes out is an interpretation to any music I’ve listened to in my life. I don’t try to sound like anybody. I really respect that comment, because for metal bands, they’re one of the best.
Ali “THE METALLIAN”: I don’t know if you read the review of your band on Metallian, but I was amazed at how close your vocals are to the first Arch Enemy singer. The vocal, the pitch, the tone is exactly the same as Johan Liiva. Has anyone told you that before and what do you think of that comment?
BRIAN: I did read that, yeah (chuckles). I was interested in that comparison and I had to look him up because he sounded so much like me in a lot of areas when I heard him. I’ve actually been compared to Orange Goblin in the past and some people say Machine Head and Testament as well. I’ve had a lot of vocalists try out for our band and I would get so fed up with their excuses and not wanting this and being pri ma donnas, and I said if any band is going to work, I had to jump on the vocals myself. It is essentially powering my aggression through my voice. I really don’t have any regard for where it’s going, I just throw it.
Ali “THE METALLIAN”: I’m glad you found some similarities between yourself and Johan Liiva when you looked him up. As far as the bands music is going, is there a conscious decision to do what you’re doing? Do you guys go into rehearsal thinking you have to maintain this style? When you say you pour your heart into it, is it an accident or is there a boss who gives the band direction?
BRIAN: When it comes to lighter stuff, I like tampering with lots of atmospheric music, but I write that in my own time. If you listen to the album, two of those songs made it. They’re the instrumentals on that album. When I go in, I think ‘powerful and epic.’ And the only form of music I can perform is music that sounds that way. And if I don’t have a 40-piece orchestra, which I would like to have, because I’m a huge fan of classical scores and that to me is just as powerful as metal. But for what I do, it will always be powerful and epic and it will always be metal, because that’s the best music in the world.
Ali “THE METALLIAN”: I need to ask you guys; I noticed your lyrics and some of the themes, what your views are on Christianity, because I know that Satan is a theme.
BRIAN: The whole concept of the divine equal wasn’t meant to endorse Satan or Christianity. Anyone’s point of view is their own point of view on whatever gets them through the day, if it can help the person then all the power to you. If it’s religion, then great. I’m not going to point my finger and say “You’re believing in Jesus. You’re this and that.” The album was just a story. I really liked what John did with Paradise Lost and I really liked the book of Genesis and Revelations and the story of the Apocalypse. I wanted to create a story and a soundtrack. I wanted to relate that to people as well. I wanted to bring that down to earth. It’s really human and very mythical.
Ali “THE METALLIAN”: So, what is the theme?
BRIAN: The theme is self-realization. Satan was the first rebel. The divine equal is his, it’s his view on God, if I were to speak on his character. So, the divine equal is God and that's what that means. The whole theme of self-realization - he’s rebelling and he does not like what’s going on. He’s angry at the beginning and finds himself becoming the demon and finds himself alienated by that. He wants to make his mark and goes over the bridge in chaos and goes to influence Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. At the end of the track, Divine Equal, every step forward seems in vain and he finds himself unable to live without God and at the same time, hating and loving Him.
He realized who he is and who God is as the divine equal. The album is self-realization of who you are and being determined to make yourself that.
Ali “THE METALLIAN”: Interesting. So obvious question I was going to ask – where does the band name come from?
BRIAN: We wanted a powerful, simple name. My brother and I were having a few drinks and we kept thinking of Titan. Why not Titans Eve? So, we just went with that. Each album is going to be cantered on some kind of theme and some kind of story that relates to the current climate. We just want to tell stories that help empower people. The next album is the same deal. It’s almost done. It’s much more powerful than the last album. You’re going to see a lot more solos. I never want to overdo the solos. I can solo well however.
Ali “THE METALLIAN”: So are you saying something is going to come out or be released from the band soon?
BRIAN: Yes, we’ve got the North American tour that ends July 15th and then we’re going to finish writing the album. We’re going to focus on that, and do a couple mini-tours. And then we’re going to do a South America tour from December 4th to January 8th. When South America is done, we’re going to come back, work and pay off our debt and write our album. We want to do the UK.
Ali “THE METALLIAN”: Wow! That’s big news! How are you guys affording to go to South America?
BRIAN: Long story short, my brother and I had a trailer in Alberta. We lived in it when we wrote music. We renovated it, sold it and made a lot of money from the sale, $40,000. We essentially used that as a reserve for us. We’ve been able to maintain costs up until these tours. In order to achieve the South America tour, we found people who liked our band. One of them told us it would cost about $3,000 for each member including flight, transportation and the two interpreters who will be coming with us and we need shots which we need to take because there’s different illnesses and diseases there that we’re not accustomed to in North America. We’ll rent equipment when we get there, they’re all going to be bigger shows. We’ve already launched our campaign there – we’ve got CDs and shirts that are being made. We have radio stations starting to like us there. We’re building the buzz before we hit it so people will at least know us if they’re interested in metal.
Ali “THE METALLIAN”: Which countries are we talking about?
BRIAN: We’re going to be doing Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Bolivia.
Ali “THE METALLIAN”: Is there any label interest?
BRIAN: Yeah, I think we’re going to be playing with Krisiun. I think that's the plan for that, its not confirmed yet, but that’s what I’ve been told. One of the founders of Century Media Records, who’s no longer there, will be helping us down there in South America with a few things, but as far as a label record, we don’t have any label interest right now. That whole world of record labels - I think they’re trying to think of ways to sustain themselves, because unless you’re a big hardcore touring band, it's a very hard market.
Ali “THE METALLIAN”: So immediately speaking, is there any news or anything we can share or something I didn’t know to ask that we can put into the interview?
BRIAN: No, not really. Other than the tours, and the albums we got everything covered.
Ali “THE METALLIAN”: Last question, why is Metallian the very best website for heavy metal?
BRIAN: Well, you guys are definitely one of the best. I can tell you straight up from this interview with you, that you ask great questions and you really have a great ear. You pick up a lot of stuff that a lot of people don’t pick up. I think that’s one of the reasons why you guys kick ass.
Titans Eve can be found on the web at http://www.myspace.com/titanseveofficial.