Instrumental Dissonant Death Metal band Thoren is releasing their full length Gwarth 1. I talked with the guys about the album, music and well themselves….duh. Check it out!
Anthony Lipari – Guitars (Evilyn, Vihaan)
Joseph Paquette – Bass (Evilyn)
Alex Cohen (Live for Malignancy, ex-Pyrrhon, Epistasis, Involuntary Convulsion)
Session Drums (Tracks 1, 2, 4, & 6-8)
Kenny Grohowski (Imperial Triumphant, Secret Chiefs3) – Session Drums (Tracks 3, 5, & 9)
Maggie Cocco – Session vocals (Track 8: “Kos”)
TMR: How do you think you have evolved with your upcoming release Gwarth I in comparison to Brennenburg?
Anthony – Gwarth I is a much more in-your-face album than Brennenburg which was a slower, more atmospheric experience. The song structures, technicality, and ideas expressed are a leap forward compared to our previous outing.
Joe – I feel we have become more technical and different with our rhythms, phrasing, and overall melodic ideas. Having both Alex Cohen and Kenny Grohowski have creative freedom to write their parts, helped bring new energy, ideas, and musical phrases to each song.
TMR: Any plans on doing shows for Thoren?
There are no future plans for live shows.
TMR: Is Gwarth I a separate concept from Brennenburg? What are the meanings behind the album title and songs?
Anthony – Brennenburg was a statement about fear and the existence of the darkness within each of us. Gwarth I and II are more about confronting those aspects of the world. It’s less about fear and more about malevolence and confronting it. The word Gwarth itself means “betrayer” in Sindarin (the elvish language made up by Tolkien). When working with most instrumental music it is difficult for me to capture what emotion is being expressed through in the song with a title. I will often find a word from one of Tolkien’s works or some game I’m playing. The origins of the titles are as follows.
Firith – Season of Fading
Agarwaen – Bloodstain
Galvorn – Black Metal
Scatha – Legendary Dragon
Daleb Dath – Loathsome Abyss
Angos – Horror
Ebrietas – Daughter of the Cosmos (Bloodborne reference)
Kos – Son of Kosm, the Great One (Bloodborne reference)
Tyranny – This one is English
TMR: What was it like working with Kenny from Imperial Triumphant and Alex Cohen?
You have two great drummers that have some serious talent right there.
Anthony and Joe – We have been very fortunate and grateful to have both Alex and Kenny perform on both Gwarth I and II. Their talents really enhanced the albums overall feel and quality. We’re very excited for everyone to hear them!
TMR: Any plans for physical copies?
There are no plans for physical copies for the time being. If there is enough demand that could change.
TMR: How can you describe Gwarth I in comparison to your previous releases? Any different recording techniques or anything new you tried musically?
Anthony – On this release there is a section of 12-string guitar played backwards and a section where I detuned all the strings on my electric until they were completely loose and pressed them against the pickups. I got a lot of really strange sounds out of that. There is also a tune on this record with slow jazzy drums, upright bass, acoustic guitar and a female soprano (Maggie Cocco) that is unlike anything we’ve done before.
Joe – I finally picked up a recording interface so that I could record at home on my own. Wish I’d picked one up sooner!
TMR: What influenced you making Thoren an instrumental band? There’s a lot of great instrumental bands with a vast variety of sounds, and great virtuosos too….I hear these Satriani and Vai guys are pretty good too.
Joe – I think the biggest influence to having Thoren as an instrumental band is creative freedom and not be limited to musical ideas due to vocals.
Anthony – Joe is right on the money here. When I was younger and diving into music theory, I always found myself attracted to the composers that stepped outside of the box and had a unique voice. I admired how they seemed to say so much without using words. That is something we always strive for in Thoren.
“If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music.” – Gustav Mahler
TMR: What are Thoren’s biggest influences musically?
Anthony – There are so many it’s hard to list them all, but here’s a few. Some metal influences are Meshuggah, Putridity, Defeated Sanity, anything with Colin Marston, Martyr, Capharnaum, Suffocation, Coma Cluster Void, Ehnahre, Aosoth, Gorguts, Dillinger Escape Plan, Cannibal Corpse, Deathspell Omega, Gorguts, Ulcerate, Nile and Portal. As far as other influences, I’d say Xenakis, Penderecki, Boulez, Feldman, Rebecca Saunders, Bartok, Stravinsky, Ligeti, and Scott Walker.
TMR: What’s your favorite piece of gear?
Anthony – My Axe FX II and my Stephen Carpenter signature 7 string ESP LTD.
Joe – My Fender Highway One Jazz Bass
TMR: What are your interests outside of music and Thoren?
Anthony – Exercise, video games, movies, reading, and visual art.
Joe – Camping, hunting, exercise, video games, shooting guns, fixing stuff, and yard work.
TMR: Favorite releases from 2018? And what ones are you looking forward to?
Anthony – My favorite releases so far are from Portal, Ehnahre and Hadean, Exlimitir, Kevin Hufnagel, Obscura, Soreption, Alkaloid, and Imperial Triumphant. I’m looking forward to Revocation, Bloodbath, Voivod, Evilyn, Infinite Nomad, and (if they release something this year) I’d love to hear new Disentomb or Dimesland!
Joe – My favorite releases so far are The Absence’s “A Gift for the Obsessed”, Tesseract’s “Sonder”, and Soreption’s “Monument of the End”. I’m really looking forward to the releases from Aborted, Bloodbath, and Revocation! It’s been a great year so far for metal!