An Interview With Drummer Phenex Of Israeli Metal Band Nature's Elements
Israel hasn't quite become known for producing black metal bands at this point, so Nature's Elements is something of an anamoly in the worldwide metal community. The group contributed two songs to a split album titled "New Shape/Ipos" earlier this year with fellow Israeli band Undivine Essence. Nature's Elements drummer Phenex filled me in on the history of the band, the death of former vocalist Ipos, and the recording of the split tracks.
xFiruath: When did Nature’s Elements form and how do the members know each other?
Phenex: Well, we know each other from school, except our vocalist, he has befallen on us his power, music, and dark visions of life and we just followed him.
xFiruath: How would you describe your band’s sound to someone who hadn’t heard the music before?
Phenex: We have 3 different ways of sound, on the demo, on “Beyond the Dunes” and on the split. It’s strange. If we need to describe, we’d point to the arrangement, the riffs, and the vocals. So those stones make our special sound and atmosphere. So on the split it takes a psychedelic side, and it will be the dark house in our journey.
xFiruath: I read that your former vocalist Ipos passed away in 2006 – what happened there and how did the band meet up your current vocalist?
Phenex: It was a bad story of misunderstanding and loneliness. When the underground waters can't find the way to the top of the mountain, they find the abyss. And its hard to understand if it’s bad or granted. Our bassist left the band and our guitarist took his part, so another guitarist from the band 256k joined us and he and he introduced Mike from Undivine Essence.
xFiruath: You guys did a split album with Undivine Essence recently. Where did you record those songs and how do they differ from your last EP back in 2008?
Phenex: We did it in Dune city in Hebrew Holon in the studio of our friend. We did a gig in the forest near Jerusalem with one doom band Murderous wolves and that fest inspired us to record. The split was recorded live, those last songs were written by Ipos, but were not recorded with him. It’s completely different from The EP, because it’s simply stoner if you know what I mean.
xFiruath: Who handled the cover arrangements for the split?
Phenex: One guy, his name Alex Fedek nd he's living in Tel Aviv now. He has a webpage www.instincts.carbonmade.com
xFiruath: What do your lyrics generally deal with and do they tie in with the name of Nature’s Elements?
Phenex: Our lyrics are about the journey of a man in life, it’s a hard journey. We use the symbolism and metaphors from Nordic mythology. The different forms of water make a way to the deep, flat of the ocean. You can call us Drops of Ocean.
xFiruath: Are there any plans for an upcoming full-length album or other releases?
Phenex: Yes it could be interesting, because of things like a digital silence and dark house black metal. It’s a decadent way of art, after that goes a futurism, so we will see.
xFiruath: Has Nature’s Elements been playing live shows up until now?
Phenex: Yes we have had only 3 gig in Tel Aviv, in Beer Sheva, and in the forest. We have some videos on youtube and our myspace from the Tel Aviv gig.
xFiruath: What is your local metal scene like and how are metal bands received in Israel in general?
Phenex: We have a gigs here and there, but now I am in Russia and there is lot of snow, its hard to remember. I remember I was on Ozzy and Cannibal Corpse, Woven Hand, and Susan Vega.
xFiruath: What bands and albums have you been listening to lately?
Phenex: Now I listen to a lot of Soft Machine and Sons of Otis. The last album from Mastadon is a very great release, it’s a celebration.
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