Brymir, a six-piece melodic metal band from Helsinki, Finland, have released their album ‘Slayer of the Gods‘ on the 3rd of June this year. Intense, fast-paced melodic metal is met with glorious orchestral arrangements and choirs. Formed in 2006, this is the first release for Brymir after their debut-album ‘Breathe Fire to the Sun‘ in 2011.
Jarkko Niemi, the bassist from Brymir, main lyricist and one of the core composers, his given us some insight to the making and recording of ‘Slayer of the Gods’.
You have a lot of reasons to celebrate! Did you enjoy your album release party on June 16th?
It was just insane… So cathartic and joyful. Bringing this album together was such a long and arduous process, so it was such a euphoric feeling to finally celebrate with everyone that “Yes, we did it! It’s DONE!”
The album cover looks amazing! Can you tell us more about what’s going on here and the ideas that are behind the image?
Thanks for the amazing cover go to our Chilean artist Claudio Bergamin. We once again, like on the first album, wanted a complex image but now we also really wanted something with that *oomph* as a centrepiece. We had this image of a huge titan looming over mortal chaos, but Claudio really outdid all of our own intuitive imaginings. The faceless giant in the center, for me at least, has something so iconic in it…
You can purchase Slayer of the Gods by clicking here.
The orchestral elements and choirs featuring in ‘Slayer of the Gods’ really make this album stand out. What was it like recording that? What do you feel that it brings to the album?
To start with honesty, most of the orchestral elements are programmed… Not many bands in the world can afford hiring a symphony orchestra. But that doesn’t mean that our singer Viktor didn’t spend months and months with the orchestrations, honing each violin-note and horn-blow to perfection. I honestly can’t believe what he managed to
create; taking notes from listening Strauss and other classics, movie soundtracks and everything with a big sound. He really put the album on a whole new level. As to the choirs… Man, those were a blast to record. We recorded around four voices at a time and then layered all the lines together. When I heard those big harmonies for the first time, it was something just epic with a capital E. One of those moments where you go in your head that “Yes, this is what I envisioned it would sound like.”
Is there a story behind the title of the album? How did you come up with it?
“Slayer of Gods” comes from the lyrics, the themes of the album. Referencing Aristotle’s quote “Outside society, only a wild beast or a god can live”, and also Nietzsche’s existential philosophies, one of the more important themes on the album deals with the constructed, learned or self-created “gods” that create cohesion and meaning into human life. Though seemingly greater than ourselves, it is us who give them meaning. Then would it be honest to deconstruct that? Would the “slaying of gods” be a liberating action to oneself, or would it then destroy the very things that makes us human?
My favourite track from ‘Slayer of the Gods’ is ‘The Rain‘. What was it about this track and also ‘For Those Who Died‘ that lead you to choose them for release as singles?
“For Those Who Died” we thought was the best summarizing song about the sound of the whole album: clear, concise and catchy, showcasing both the best hooks and the technical development we’ve gone through. It’s just a killer song. With “The Rain” we then wanted to purposefully go to the other extreme: show the album at its darkest and fastest, while still holding onto that catchiness.
It has been said that Brymir originally formed at a music summer camp, though under a different name at the time! Can you tell us more about how Brymir began?
Yeah, we met for the first time on a music summer camp, way back in 2006 when we were just 15-16 year-olds. Quite a regular thing really; you meet guys, you like playing music with them, you stay in touch and start a band. The initial name “Lai Lai Hei” was just for that camp’s little cover-song performance, thought-up for just that occasion for the camps end-concert. After the summer it went the classical way: teenage friends
play together, hone their material, find their own sound… And of course come up with a proper band name!
After about three years doodling and gradually becoming more serious about the material we released a couple of demo-songs, and were absolutely blown away when we got a record-deal. Things started really rolling after that, so I guess that’s how the road began in a nutshell…
You recently played at Tuska Open Air Metal Festival. How was it?
A dream come true. I went to Tuska for the first time in 2003, I was just a kid. We’re all from the Helsinki-area in Brymir except for the drummer, so growing up, Tuska has always been THE metal event in our lives. To finally make that stage was just something so mindblowing… I remember having dreamed of it ever since that first time in 2003, before there ever even was any band in my life.
What are your plans for the remainer of 2016?
As many shows as possible in support of the new album, and demoing new songs for the future third album. We’re all so pumped up with everything going on with the band, I don’t think we could stay still now no matter what.
Many fans have eagerly awaited the release of the this album! Do you have a message for them?
Thank you all for the unending support. It was that which kept us going through the long process of putting this thing together. Keep it up, keep it metal, and now let’s enjoy the ride together!
You can visit Brymir on facebook by clicking here.