1- Hello, thanks for answering to our questions. What are you guys currently up to?
We just finished a great support show in Athens (Gagarin Club 205) on November 14th, opening (as a sole support act) for Swedish melodic death metallers Arch Enemy, which was nearly sold-out, and which constituted a very powerful and intense experience on its own. We recently engaged in cooperation with world renowned promoting agency “Clawhammer PR”, who launched a second round of global promotion for “Beneath Abyss” (we got big expectations on that one!). There are two more Athens shows and a mini-Greek tour coming up in the beginning of 2016, whereas we are scheduling appearances at various European festivals in 2016.


2- First off, could you make some history of the band?
The band was initially formed in April 2012, by founding members Nick Palivos (bass / vocals) and Dimitra Vintsou (lead vocals).. The first band line up consisted (besides Nick and Dimitra) of Panos Varvaropoulos (guitars), Haris Kyriakopoulos (guitars) and Aggelos Kousakis (drums). A first studio album titled “Last Wish” was released in the end of 2012, under independent label IKK Productions (the band was still called “Me And Myself” then). In the summer of 2013, the band changed its name to ‘Caelestia”. The band released its second studio album “Beneath Abyss”, on February 16th, 2015 under Finnish Label “Inverse Records”. The album was recorded and mixed at “Basement Studios” (with sound engineer Michalis Meleteas) in Athens, and mastered at the renowned “Fascination Street Studios” in Sweden, by Tony Lindgren. We have undergone some line-up changes, since the band was initially formed, before we ended up in the present 6-member line-up (Nick Palivos – vocals, Dimitra Vintsou – vocals, Vassilis Thomas – guitars, Vangelis Evangelou – guitars, Stelios Varotsakis – bass and Socratis Panagouleas – drums).

3- How could you describe your sound?
In our new album, we have strived to achieve a well-balanced combination of the styles, that each of the band members favors, thus melodic death metal, symphonic / gothic metal, visible elements of progressive metal, but also black metal passages. The goal was head on to achieve a unique style of our own, and not try to sound like an impression of any other band, which is quite difficult nowadays. Our music is greatly based on diversity, large amounts of guitar riffing and phrasing (it is quite indicative that each of our songs contains at least 7-8 different guitar riffs), changing time signatures and varying tempos, that range from 130 to 210 bpm.


4- What are the band’s main musical influences?
Our band’s sound contains influences by many styles of metal, such as death, progressive, gothic, symphonic, black and thrash. One can easily distinguish such passages in our album’s songs, and this is something we cherish a lot, not to mention that it gives us a unique sound. There are many bands that we can name as influences; needless to say that each contributing band member has his/her own influences. If we were asked to name a few, we ‘d say our very own Septic Flesh, Moonspell, Death, Dimmu Borgir, Behemoth, Katatonia, Hypocrisy, Cradle Of Filth, Rotting Christ, Nightwish, Epica, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Morbid Angel…


5- How is the feedback for your new album being?
We have begun receiving feedback by metal sites as early as beginning of January 2015, which have reviewed our new record as a whole. Our album has been characterized as “haunting from start to finish”, or as “an inspiring effort that gets the balance just right between beauty and destruction”, whereas other reviews state that “the combination of metal styles into one package gives Caelestia a musical identity of their own”. Our grading in all reviews (that come by the dozen now) so far has been well above average (between 7,5/10 and 9/10), which motivates us, as well as boosts our confidence, to work harder and make our music better and better.

6- And are you personally satisfied with the final outcome?
Caelestia2We are satisfied, after all it is our debut album and we tried to make the best of our efforts. It all has to do with the sound engineer and the overall recording production, actually. “Basement Studios” in Athens employs Michalis Meleteas, who is one of the best and most competent sound engineers in Greece, and specializes in the sound of heavy metal. Apart from that, being a musician (guitar player) himself, he has the ability to give instructions and tips regarding the sound, as well as in matters of musical aesthetics. Besides that, the equipment of that studio can also be characterized as “high end”, so that adds up to the total outcome. We gained a lot of experience from the recording process, which we are going to use in the future, in order to achieve better results.

7- How could you describe this opus in just 3 words?
Haunting. Dark. Aggressive.

8- How has the production process for your new release been?
Surely the process of making “Last Wish”, and the experience that came thereof, helped us in the production of “Beneath Abyss”. However, there was a significant difference in the recording process of “Beneath Abyss”; what most bands usually do, is book a certain amount of bulk time at a studio, and then go record their album as a whole. What we did, is to break that “norm”, by recording each track, after we had already finalized its song-writing process. This meant that the tracks for “Beneath Abyss” were recorded with approx. 7-days intervals between each one of them. During these intervals, we finalized, re-considered and edited parts in each track, so that the final outcome was what exactly the band wanted (from a musical and structural point of view). In this way, the process of the whole production may have taken a little longer than usual, but it gave us the ability to control every aspect, and do changes and corrections at the same time, ensuring that the outcome was “complete” to our ears. One should not also forget, that the mastering of the album was undertaken by world famous “Fascination Street Studios” in Sweden, by mastering engineer Tony Lindgren.


9- And how do you use to work on the songwriting?
As we said before, each of the new band members brought his personal influences, playing style and energy as a musician into the band, and those elements helped transform the overall sound of the band, into a more aggressive, dark and progressive sound. Actually, this process steered the genre of the whole band into a brand new direction, thus symphonic / progressive extreme metal. On one hand, the founding members of the band found the opportunity to include musical elements in the songs that couldn’t be included in the past, and on the other hand, the new members’ ideas introduced a “forward push” to the same melodic / progressive death metal direction, so that the change of genre for the band seemed just inevitable. It is indicative that the new members contributed to the songwriting with a very significant number of riffs and ideas, which, along with the ideas of the founding members, gave the right combination of sounds for our new album. To tell you the truth, this process has already been set in motion for our future album material, with even more new members contributing…!


10 – Finally, what are you near-future plans?
As we said in the beginning, we got two Athens shows scheduled for January 10th and February 20th, 2016, and we are planning to appear in festivals across Europe in the summer and fall of 2016. At the same time, we continue working on the pre-production of new material (we already have 4 songs ready for our next album). Last but not least, we are scheduling to make our second official video in January 2016, for the track “The Rise Of The Hidden Nature”, with renowned German director Matthias Kollek (Kreator, Lacrimosa etc).

11- That’s all from our side, thanks again for taking your time to answer our questions. If you now want to add some final words; feel free to do it.
We’d like to thank you very much for this opportunity to speak our minds in public through this interview. As far as our life motto is concerned, that would be summed up in the following words: “never give up on your hopes and dreams, no matter the hardships”.
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