Till Oberboßel - Elvenpath
I have been planning my interview with: Till Oberboßel - of the Frankfurt Epic Power Metal act - Elvenpath, for over a year now. Thankfully, I wrote a promising review for the 'Spyrol' album in the last ever print issue of Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles.
For some reason or another, and due to my ill health, the interview was delayed until June, Father's Day, to be exact. Then, more mishap occurred, and parts of the interview were lost, once re-written. Finally, I've been able to fill in the missing fragments, and present you with our inspirational discussion. Join us on the eternal quest, as we explore new gateways to the ever moving and evolving realm of Elvenpath.
MettleAngel: Hello Brother, at last the moment is at hand when we get to converse. I apologize for all the delays. God knows this interview has been pending for months. I do sincerely believe that timing is everything. All good things come to those who wait, it seems.
MettleAngel: I first heard about you when I read my fellow writer - Thomas' review in July of 2008. After that, I checked out your My Space songs. I felt that he had not fairly represented the music, in either of his reviews, as he attended to 'Gateways', too. I contacted you about writing a review for BW&BK, as then I was writing for them, as well.
MettleAngel: I did just that. The CD review appeared in issue #113 with Metallica on the cover. How was I to know that it would mark the demise of the print issue of that magazine, as well as Metal Maniacs, and several others?
MettleAngel: Apparently, several popular Metal 'zines lost all their advertising benefits, when most labels switched to a digital format. This is why when you now visit www.bravewords.com you will see advertisements for Jergen's soap!
MettleAngel: Yeah, many labels are suffering the ill effects of illegal downloading. Rumour has it that SPV is in the red. Anyway, I don't want to begin on a down note. I'll assert with a positive intention. Let me first state that I feel your spoken English is excellent, I was expecting a stronger German accent, given that you are from Frankfurt, like my brothers in Tankard.
MettleAngel: It almost seems like you have an Australian proclivity, like Lord Tim, Steve Rowe of Mortification, or Jason Hodges of Ilium. As I was saying earlier, timing is a factor in this discussion; because, now you can comment on your "Keep it True" experience, and I on the Slaughter show, which I recently attended. I sent you an E-mail about this. Who would have thunk the opening act" Lorenzo, who played upbeat and straight hard rock like: F5, Disturbed, The Offspring and even newer Green Day, would consist of ex-thrashers like Jason Viebrooks, Steve Jacobs, and Ira Black? Jason and Steve live right here in Cincinnati! Lorenzo does the theme music for the new season of MMA wrestling: here.
MettleAngel: Definitely, look at the current line-up of Foreigner with Kelly Hansen formerly of Hurricane, and Jeff Pilson of Dokken. What about the fact that Michael Sweet is fronting Boston. I hear that Stryper will cover "Peace Of Mind" on their new album - 'Murder By Pride' due out soon. They will be touring this fall with all original members in full Yellow & Black attire, playing all the classics. I'm super stoked; because they will be coming here in October!
MettleAngel: I really love the music of these bands, and acts like Lorenzo. Perhaps, I'm showing my age, but this '80s vibe really resonates more with me, than the newer material by more championed acts. They are all quality musicians showing their talent, just doing what they love to do. So tell me, now that we have clearly broken the ice, what is new with Elvenpath?
MettleAngel: The new Cage is killer! I'll be reviewing that for www.metalcdratings.com. They are so talented, and almost borderline classic Speed Metal. I'm originally from San Diego. I know their drummer: Norm Leggio real well. He is the owner of an awesome CD & vinyl shop called Blue Meannie Records. Wow, I would think more metalheads would attend a show of that caliber!
MettleAngel: Explain to me about the foundation for the name Elvenpath. There has been some controversy concerning this. Is it taken from the Nightwish song?
MettleAngel: I am aware of this, but I assumed the name had a more Tolkien based background. Elvenpath is essentially a band beyond description - pure Teutonic Steel! I clearly hear influences from Stormwitch, Gamma Ray, early Hammerfall, Running Wild, etc.
MettleAngel: (laughing) I can see that. However, Dragonsfire is another awesome German act, who remind me of classic Twisted Sister. I reviewed their new album for the same site where Cage will be published. I can see your point though. I realize that you are a dedicated fan of Tolkein, so I assume the name serves the band well.
MettleAngel: Wow, that is dedication, that reminds me of Blind Guardian, as 'Nightfall On Middle Earth' is a synopsis of the Simarillion. Kindly tell me the meaning of the title track for 'Spyrol'. I looked it up, to no avail.
MettleAngel: Now it is starting to make sense to me. Martin is my favorite lyricist too. I interviewed him last year, Have you heard his Clan Destined material? I'm sure he would appreciate Elvenpath.
MettleAngel: I agree totally. I'm considering reviewing the new album, which is really laconic, and not too engaging. Don't get me wrong, it is good music, but not landmark. Kevin is trying way too hard to emulate Martin, a fiasco which began on the: 'No Daylights Nor Heeltaps' tribute to the past. I feel that a five years gap since: 'Semblance Of Normality', with only the: 'Jig-A-Gig (EP)' in between is far too long to wait.
MettleAngel: Tell me about the song - "Northern Son" - as I commented in my review for the last issue of BWBK, now a collectors item, You truly honor Quorthon of Bathory. The song style and lyrics are all great.
MettleAngel: This is how I feel about Martin of Skyclad, and I told him so. Have you ever contacted Black Mark Records, or the Bathory Fan Club about this song?
MettleAngel: I remember back in the day buying the three 'Jubileum' albums, just to get the rare songs. I had a few CDs, but some were difficult to track down. I prefer the Viking albums, to his earlier blackened thrash. 'Blood On The Ice' was an angry comeback. I'm amazed how many new kids into metal don't even make the association with Amon Amarth's latest album title! It is a shame Gerrit's wife never responded. Right before Quorthon passed, I read and interview with him, where he acted like a Gene Simmons type figure, claiming it was all a gimmick just to get himself laid.
MettleAngel: Let us briefly discuss your debut album: 'Gateways', was this self produced?
MettleAngel: Does this include the song "Eternal Quest", which you did for the 'Dark Music For The New Millenium' compilation by Nebula Records?
MettleAngel: What ever happened to Anastasia Schmidt? I know that she played guitar on 'Spyrol'?
MettleAngel: I have sampled some songs of Arven at their My Space, and it sounds promising. Your new line up is now: Dragutin Kremenovic on vocals, Oliver Rossow on guitars, and Boldie von Herbolder on drums, right? Did you play any new songs?
MettleAngel: I agree. Tell me about your Angel Witch Cover of "Loser" which can be heard on your MySpace.
MettleAngel: Being from Frankfurt, you mentioned your familiarity with Tankard. Gerre is another great lyricist who combines words, like the song "Ice-olation". He is very witty. I always enjoy interviewing him, too.
MettleAngel: Tell me about your experience watching all those American acts play Keep It True. Ira Black is no longer with Lizzy Borden, he now plays in Lorenzo, whom we saw open for Slaughter, as aforementioned.
MettleAngel: I know many of those metalheads who attend and wear obscure shirts. It's similar to the Cleveland scene. A local '80s era Cincy Classic act - Thruster - almost sold out of the very first vinyl pressing of their '87 debut, which was then only released on cassette format. Tell me about the new songs which you are now writing.
MettleAngel: I will look forward to reviewing that. Elvenpath, like so many great independent US bands such as: Eternal Legacy, Lunarium, Zephaniah, Widow, Viper, Shadows Entwined, etc. all deserve better recognition. This is why we do what we do. This is precisely why Wendy and I are creating our own site called: "Mettle Milieu" with no letter or number ratings present in the review. The content is the key. We hope to be going full speed by 2010.
MettleAngel: This is sad, because your music is awesome! The internet has made people lethargic. The joy of reading has waned, and the knowledge of speaking eloquent proper English, as you do so well, is now a fading legacy.
MettleAngel: Now every Tom, Harry, Dick, have a metal site. Wendy and I are striving for something so dramatically different. We want to go against the grain, and upset the applecart! In our hearts, we strive for excellence. We have 'hired' quality and knowledgeable writers who volunteer their passions to honour all things Metal. hopefully, when your new album comes out, we can review it for "Mettle Milieu"!
MettleAngel: Your welcome! I'm grateful that we finally were able to do this! We wish you all the best, and keep it true!