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Interview

Undivine Essence Discusses Split Album With Nature's Elements

Fresh off the release of a split album with Nature's Elements, Israeli black metal act Undivine Essence is currently in the process of putting together a debut full-length album. Explaining the meaning behind the band's name, guitarist Shay commented "The name Undivine Essence basically refers to the human itself. It’s about the impurity and foulness of the human way of life. It’s a reminder that people are still basically animals, and are still slaves to their drives and needs." Shay and vocalist Mike also went on to explain the recording of the split album and the band's development.

xFiruath: Tell me about the history of the band and where the name “Undivine Essence” comes from.

Shay: Undivine Essence actually began in 2009. For the 3 years before that me, and later on Mike, played with our first drummer, but things didn’t go along with him in the end and we went our separate ways. So after that me and Mike changed our name to Undivine Essence. Since then Mike and I worked with several drummers and recorded a split album with another Israeli BM band Nature’s Elements. Also in this time we’ve managed to almost complete the recording of our first album. Shortly after the split was released Ronnie joined and took the bass duties, Alex (Phenex) of Nature’s Elements took on the drums, and very recently, Dave (256k / Nature’s Elements) also joined on second guitar. The name Undivine Essence basically refers to the human itself. It’s about the impurity and foulness of the human way of life. It’s a reminder that people are still basically animals, and are still slaves to their drives and needs.

xFiruath: What bands have influenced how you play metal as a musician, and what bands do you personally listen to in your spare time?

Shay: I guess I can say that the main influences for me as a musician, guitar and bass, are Bathory, Summoning, Abigor, Darkthrone, Lunar Aurora, Mayhem, Enslaved, Rotting Christ, Blut Aus Nord, Emperor, Celtic Frost and Morbid Ange. Besides those I can name here many more, but you got the point. These days I listen a lot to The Meads of Asphodel, Lyrinx, Orcivus, Lifelover, Terrorama, De Silence et d’Ombre, Lost Life, Perversor, Hell Darkness and many more.

Mike: I listen to a lot of different bands as you’ll see. The musicians that influenced me as an artist are Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, Venom, KISS, Queen and Misfits. As for black metal, Satyricon and Cradle of Filth mainly. Currently I’m listening to Alice in Chains “Facelift” and Motorhead “Another Perfect Day.”

xFiruath: How did the Nature’s Elements split come together?

Shay: Me and Dave were old friends, and he knew about me and Mike working on the Undivine Essence project. By that time Dave joined Nature’s Elements as a second guitarist, and they didn’t have a vocalist, so he asked Mike to join NE, and that’s how the two bands became to work and jam together. We even used NE’s drummer to record the split album, and after that he became our permanent drummer.

xFiruath: When did you guys write the songs for the split with Nature’s Elements and where were they recorded?

Shay: The two songs on the split were assembled about four years ago out of riffs I had written and then shaped to fit Mike’s lyrics, and vice versa. “Crimson Sky” was recorded in Eshel Studios, which is located Tel Aviv (Thanks Ronen!), and “New Shape” was recorded in The Gem studios, in Holon (thanks “post-apocalyptic-day-dweller-with-fog-of-the-desert” Tim!)

xFiruath: What do the lyrics deal with?

Shay: Basically we both write lyrics, but as for the two songs on the split, they are Mike’s creation, so he better explain this.

Mike: “Crimson Sky” is just my vision of a world that reached his logical conclusion and wiped itself out. “New Shape” is about becoming something more than a pathetic human being, living in the ordinary world.

xFiruath: What’s going on with Undivine Essence as far as a full-length or any other upcoming releases?

Shay: We have plans for a full length on 2011. It’ll be composed of eight songs, out of which six are all recorded. So mainly now we do recording sessions and are trying to finish it all up, so we could finally send the tracks to get mixed and released. Also now we have a full line up so we’re rehearsing and getting ready to do a show sometime soon.

xFiruath: Have you guys played live, and what’s your live scene like?

Shay: We have never played live, due to a lack of drummer or other players. The Israeli metal scene is actually very alive. It’s not a very big scene like Germany or whatever, but still we got our share of various bands, local shows and shows from abroad. We even hosted the Ozzfest a couple of months ago here. On a more personal note I can say that most of the metal-heads here like modern death metal, symphonic black, or shit-core of some sorts, and for people who enjoy the more underground metal sound there is not very much to look for. But still some bands like Tangorodrim / Hell Darkness, Tsorer, Infernal Nature, Animus, and Mucous Scrotum, still produce good ol’ anti-human black metal.

xFiruath: Is Undivine Essence currently signed to a label or actively seeking label support at this time?

Shay: We are not actively seeking for a label right now. We’ll finish producing the full length on our own, and after that we’ll see if there are any takers.

xFiruath: What other projects are you guys working with right now?

Shay: Well, as I mentioned above, Alex is still drummer for Nature’s elements and a side project called Earthworm. Mike is also the current vocalist for Natures Elements. Dave got his band called 256k which is a fucked up combination of alternative and brutal/epic death metal, and also plays in various local bands like Nature’s Elements and Milfist Kadawa among others. Ronnie was involved in various punk and grunge bands in the past. And as for me, I never gave a fuck about other bands than my own!

xFiruath's avatar

Ty Arthur is a freelance writer who writes for both entertainment and technical instruction sites. An avid fan of many different forms of metal, he has been involved in reviewing music for several years and is currently a contributing editor for Metalunderground.com

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