Monday, April 15, 2024

Hiraes – Finding one’s inner strength

Following the release of Dormant, RAMzine caught up with Britta Görtz (Vocals) and Lukas Kerk (Guitars) of German melodic death metal band Hiraes. They talked about finding inner strength and resilience, sonic evolution from Solitary and playing around with different styles. 

You are a young band and not very well known yet. Despite playing in London last year, how would you introduce Hiraes to UK metalheads who would be eager to know you better?

Lukas: Hiraes is a melodic death metal band that formed in 2020. We combine many of the typical genre elements into our own mixture. If you’re into varied drums, heavy guitars with catchy melodies and hooks, and a breathtaking, emotion-loaded singer who also uses screams and cleans embedded into an awesome production or in the form of an intense live show, you should definitely give us a listen and come to see us on stage! Bands that we can be compared to are Insomnium, Dark Tranquillity, Hypocrisy, Amon Amarth or Arch Enemy.

For those who are yet to listen to Dormant, what sort of experience should they be prepared for and how does it build on your previous album Solitary?

Britta: If Solitary was the “head”, Dormant is more likely the “guts”. Our first album was released in the midst of the pandemic and due to this we were forced to do most of the work via the internet. With Dormant we had the possibility to meet, play shows together and talk about the songs. I would say that due to these circumstances, the songs got the chance to mature a bit more than on Solitary. Also, we were able to capture some of the live energy we have shared with our fans in recent years and woven it into the fabric of Dormant. It is a much denser album than its predecessor.

Who would you say are your biggest influences in general and specifically within the melodic death metal scene?

Lukas: Within our band, we have many different influences ranging from pop music to black metal. In general, I feel influenced by many kinds of music and musicians. I like Pantera a lot, I am also a fan of Gary Moore and consider Pink Floyd a great band, just to give you a very random impression. Within the melodic death metal scene, my major influences are Insomnium, Hypocrisy and In Flames.

Your new record Dormant explores the themes of resilience and the need to build your inner strength to overcome challenges. Could you comment on the background and the motivations that led you to explore this topic?

Britta: The album is an emotional snapshot of the quite short and intense period it was written in. I try to not stand in the way of what a song wants to be, so I follow what the demo track is triggering inside me. Resilience and inner strength are what is keeping me in one piece in times of crises or challenges. Coming out of the pandemic and facing all these new global crises demands a lot to stay sane. My inner world found an outlet in many of the tracks on Dormant.

Britta, you expanded your vocal repertoire by introducing cleans in Hiraes’ discography. What could have been the motivation to create such a contrast considering that the rest of Dormant is mostly screamed?

Britta: My goal when writing lyrics and vocals is to not stand in the way of what the song wants to be. Hiraes’ songs always start with the music, so I listen to the demos and start phrasing gibberish. It was clear right from the start that ‘Undercurrent’ and ‘About Lies’ literally cried out for clean vocals in some parts.

After the instrumental interlude (track 7), I noticed that the album took a sonic twist by incorporating elements of thrash in the blast beats and riffs of ‘Nightflight’, as well as sci-fi sound effects in ‘Red Soil’ before returning to its original course. Could you share your thoughts on that?

Lukas: In the songs you mentioned we indeed opened our sound for new elements. In our albums, we try to keep a real thread which does not mean that every song has to sound similar. As mentioned before, we have a lot of different influences that can find their way into our music. We’re quite happy to create songs that are open-minded and also partly cross the boundaries of the melodic death metal genre.

Are you planning for a UK/EU tour any time in the near future?

Lukas: We are in the midst of planning more live activities for 2024. There might be something very big coming up for us, but getting slots for festivals and tours can often be like Russian roulette. We’re keeping our fingers crossed so that we can announce some great news soon!

Pedro Felippe
Pedro Felippe
Metalhead since the stone age. Always bash the crap out of my drum kit and am an avid gig goer. I massively identify myself within the metal community as the sense of belonging is unrivalled.

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