2011 - On the ashes of Bloody Sign (1995-2010), the guitar player Kalevi Uibo & drummer Ilmar Uibo – later joined by guitar player Etienne Testart (Children Of Doom, Evisceration) and bass player/visual artist Stefan Thanneur – found Chaos Echœs with the intent to transport their dark death metal to a black hole of improvisations, psychedelic and trance. Another distinctive feature is their will to extract the material out of its formal and acoustic envelope to generate hybrid vitality. Thus, from the Chaos Echœs entity, various shapes can emanate: solo, duo, art installation.
April 2012 - Recording of the first manifestation, "Tone Of Things To Come", during three days at Le Grillen, Colmar (France) with Guillaume Schleret. Vocals recording, editing by Sébastien Eidenschenck at Le Bon Home Studio, Le Bonhomme (France).
May 2012 - Mix and mastering by Patrick Engel at Temple Of Disharmony (Germany).
August 2012 - First ever live appearance as Chaos Echœs Duo Experience at Kill-Town Death Fest 2012 in Copenhagen, Denmark. During three days, Kalevi and Ilmar play five sets of dark, death driven improvisations, obscure and creepy soundscapes – including guitars, drums, percussion horns, vocals, effects and more –, with special guest Marcelo Aguirre on vocals... sharing the bill with bands like Sadistic Intent, Necros Christos, Master, etc.
Interview conducted by Ebby Sasi.
ST: How did you manage to introduce those refined sounds in Chaos Echoes?
Kalevi: I guess it’s like a hurricane of sound with all our influences; there’s a specific direction, a centre, and it carries, drags and rushes everything around. Darkness in music is everywhere, and obviously not limited to metal.
We recently signed with Debemur Morti Prodactions, a very good label. They’ll release “Tone…” on LP, and our first album later. About the other plans, a tape, made of improvised stuff during a rehearsal session, one year ago, will be released on Inkantator Koura Productions. We’ll also self-release a new CD, made of improvisations recorded last august, when my brother Ilmar and I were working on the sets we did at Kill-Town Death Fest. We’re only at the beginning, so I cannot see clearly our future. We all want to try different things through different sides of things, may it be as the Chaos Echoes duo experience, solo, art exhibition, movie, dance, guest musicians… Let see what opportunities will be on our road and what we’ll do with that. It’s too early to have a plan. As long as we’re focused on the darkest side of music. About the recording and writing of Tone of Things to Come, it came out quite naturally and a lot of simple ideas worked really well. And, by the way, I remember putting a lot more energy in the making of the last Bloody Sign album.
ST: ‘Tone of Things to Come’ is a journey through the void of darkness, on a related note; as far as I understand the 6 tracks are taken in charge by Patrick Engel (Katharsis, Ascension,) for both mix and mastering. How did you get the idea to let Patrick Engel do works on your debut release? Besides, what can you mention about your studio experience?
Patrick already worked on the last Bloody Sign album, and it was one of the best meetings we had, sound wise. He really drowns into it and tries to catch the essence of each band’s sound. He’s also a true metal maniac, a very open-minded guy, curious; and, like all of us, is a die-hard fan of 70’s music… and almost any kind of music. So it was quite natural to ask him to do the same for Tone of Things to Come. My studio experience with Chaos Echoes? We recorded live 2 days at Le Grillen, a concert place in my hometown, and then did all vocals and a few more stuff at le Bon Home Studio, a nice studio owned by a very good friend of us. And regarding my own studio experience, it is quite varied as I recorded a lot of different projects in the last decade!
ST: ‘Tone of Things to Come’ is an interesting, eclectic work which is difficult to categorize. Ilmar and Kalevi also play in several non-metal projects, from medieval music to contemporary music, besides psychedelic jazz rock, progressive rock, etc. What do you think makes your band unique in terms of approach music compared to other experimental acts in your country? France, the metal scene there is a hundred times stronger than anything you have in Europe.
Don’t know if we’re unique or whatsoever, I don’t give a fuck about that. It’s about spreading an amount of audio darkness full of shapes, colors emotions, elaborating ideas and stick to them to try to find the essence of it. Of course the fact that some of us also play in various non metal bands help the thing, but that’s a part of our music I don’t think about. All is natural.
I can only thank you for your words, and cannot add that much about that. Tétar and Stefan are long time friends, so when I and Ilmar were thinking about a line-up, we directly ended by asking them, and they agreed. Tétar is also playing in Children of Doom, Evisceration and few more; Stefan has been playing bass for numerous years but he’s best known as a graphic artist. "We were looking for musicians with heart and soul, not for the skilled side of things ; open-minded yet elitists in a kind of way, opened to improvisation, dirt, mud, chaos, psychedelia and ready to create death metal in another way".
ST: You are capable to write something so vehemently held close to you musically and talent wise. Luckily you are all rather like minded with what you wished to achieve as a final outcome. The lengths of the songs are perfect. It’s challenging as much as it is exiting to adapt to different genres and composing styles. Songs are from the heart besides there can be technique or formula for creativity. Since any besotted aficionados can take the technological advancement and start a band, sometime it kills the true craft. Too many bands are doing everything perfectly on the click to the point where the entire album might as well be programmed.
I think that music has to be alive. Music has to live, and has to come from the heart, the soul and the body. Bands should think a bit more and try to focus on their sound; I mean the essence of their sound. Too many of them are on the materialistic way of being, and pay too much attention to skills, mechanics, sound perfection. In the end, it’s too difficult for them to look inside, and catch the sound from the inner self instead of focusing on the mechanics of fingers and the mechanic of memory. They just play a type of music, but have nothing to say. But we don’t have time to waste, so… listen to good bands!
Thank you very much! Actually, as I already stated it, as long as you’re focused on what you do/create, you know you can only deliver the best. It’s important to elaborate ideas, but after that, it’s important not to think too much. Things are inside of you, let them flow. But as mankind is closer to mechanism than freedom, almost nobody is able to “really” create. We only “pick” things, and then organize them to end into a music piece.
ST: Earthy tones dominate on the album. Unchained the chaos as ‘Weather The Storm’ continues where Black Mantra leaves of. Its song structure works perfectly. It’s an amazing trip. I think you can confidently depict your deep-rooted philosophies and ideas through Chaos Echoes.
Definitely! Chaos Echoes is a wonderful way to express the deepest ideas and metaphysics. We’re all, in a way or another, looking for the essence of things, death, life, music/sound, magic… it’s all about one common way to explore the depths of consciousness. Almost all cosmogonies, ancient systems from ancient civilizations, shamanism, and trance rituals are surrounded by music/sounds and/or express the primeval state of sound. Art is a way to communicate, as well as a way to know about you.
ST: Your first ever live performance as Chaos Echoes was at Kill-Town Death Fest 2012 at Copenhagen in Denmark. You welcomed ‘Marcelo Aguirre’ as a special guest as vocalist. Sharing stage with mighty bands such as Necros Christos and Sadistic Intent were an unforgettable experience for you. Can you explain?
Daniel, Kill-Town organizer, asked me what was going on musically for us when I met him at a Funebrarum show. I spoke a bit about Chaos Echoes, and he was interested to make our first live appearance; but as it was too early to perform with the whole line-up. So I gave him the idea of improvising during 3 days: only guitar and drums, and creepy, eerie, psychedelia, death metal driven kind of sounds… And he was still into it! He said “Let’s do it! I like crazy ideas!” Marcello ended in the game, yeah! We know each other for few years. He’s one of the few metal-to-the-bone maniacs I know who can also deeply speak about old prog, 70’s psyché, free jazz bands, Magma, Univers Zéro, Coltrane, Zorn and a lot of free music improvisers, so… We've already spoken about making music together a couple of years ago. For our first live performance as Chaos Echoes duo, we had a quite good sound. It was quite funny to play this kind of music in a death metal oriented festival, but it seems a lot of people are way more open-minded these days than 10 years ago. Working on this duo side of the project was a great opportunity; also, because it is one of the different sides of Chaos Echoes we want to spread. Kill-Town is a fucking great festival: atmosphere, people, music, a really nice gathering! Sadistic Intent is one of my all time fave death metal bands, it was amazing! As well as Necros Christos and I particularly enjoyed Swallowed.
For the moment, it’s just the beginning. Reviews are surprisingly really good ; we have a new label ; we’ll play at this year Hell’s Pleasure – and few more gigs, I hope – ; we have a lot of new creative ideas… So, yes! I feel good. Let’s see what 2013 will bring.
Thanks a lot for this first Chaos Echoes interview, Ebby!