American doom legends ORODRUIN return with their first studio album in 16 years, the masterful Ruins of Eternity. One of the most highly-regarded names in American doom metal picks up where they left off from their classic Epicurean Mass debut, they keep true to their legend and legacy, Ruins of Eternity is a killer album.
Hello guys, Ruins Of Eternity is your new album 16 years after your debut. How do you explain that gap?
Mike: Orodruin had kept on writing and playing live for many years after Epicurean Mass. Mostly playing doom festivals and some touring. It was always our intention to record another album. After 16 years we are ready for our return!
And great to find you in such a good shape. If I’m not mistaken, the lineup is still the same than in Epicurean Mass, right? What is by the way quite a success in itself after so many years
Mike: Thank you! Our debut was definitely well received by the underground doom metal community. The three founding members of the band remain. John, Nick, and myself have been writing music together for most of our lives.
Epicurean Mass was a great debut and the years, like the good wine, just have improved its taste
Mike: Those songs will always be meaningful to me. When that album came out I never thought that I would get to travel the US and Europe playing music and meeting so many amazing people. I don’t listen to our early recordings very often, but I appreciate what we did at the time.
With that in mind I imagine the expectations for the new album were very high?
Mike: That’s true, our expectations were high for Ruins Of Eternity. Like any band, we wanted to make the best record that we could. We were lucky to find a recording engineer that understood our creative process and was able to capture our true sound.
In what moment did you get the idea of recording a new album and how you developed it?
Mike: Most of the songs on this record were written over the past three years. I really wanted to make new music for this record. In fact, the opening track was written just a week before entering the recording studio.
How was the recording process after so many years? Same feeling as in your debut or it was like when you start doing sport after a long time growing fats in front of the tv 🙂 ?
Mike: It was a better feeling making this record. Our identity as a band has solidified over the years and we all are more confident as musicians. There were many great moments in the studio when we felt like we were tapping into something bigger than us.
After listening to Ruins Of Eternity we can say that you have accomplished another great album. Did you have the same feeling once you finished and packaged it? Satisfied in every sense?
Mike: We are totally satisfied with the new album. As we speak, Ruins Of Eternity hasn’t officially been released. So, it still seems kind of surreal to me. We’re really excited to see the finished product.
Soon to hit the streets Ruins Of Eternity is faithful to a classic doom sound between Black Sabbath and Saint Vitus but also with a heavy and epic edge on it
John: Yeah, I totally agree with this. I think we often approach music with classic 70’s Sabbath/Priest influence but I think there is a Candlemass, Solstice, Trouble, Maiden thing going on. I don’t think we’re really plotting that when we’re writing we just sort of go off a good riff and then try to write a better one and then another and see where it goes. Some parts are added later like harmonies or certain solos that make the song even more epic!
It’s not usual to listen to a drummer singing at the same time, but Mike Puleo is able to do it and seems comfortable with the task, what do you think?
Mike: Well, although I played drums on the record, I will be playing bass and singing live. Kevin Latchaw (Argus) is filing in on the drums for our upcoming live shows.
Big moment! In J. R. R. Tolkien’s universe Orodruin is a volcano located in the heart of Mordor, are the lyrics that epic? Something similar to a concept album?
Mike: Yeah, I think the lyrics are pretty epic. There are some nods to Tolkien, but every song has it’s own theme. Ruins Of Eternity isn’t a concept album, but I do like the flow of the record.
All the songs are brand new or you have rescued any track from the past?
Mike: Most of the songs were written recently. But, Letter Of Life’s Regret and Voice In The Dark are two songs that we decided to rework for this album.
One of your trademarks is the heavy riffing and the guitar harmonies, they are simply so addictive…
John: Yes, writing and playing harmonies with the band is a highlight for me.
We can talk about old or classic doom metal or you don’t feel that difference with other current bands?
John: I think a lot of our influences lie in older doom metal as well as 70’s heavy rock, prog and classic heavy metal.
The cover art is a great composition that reflects perfectly the album’s mood, how did you get it?
John: The cover was a recreation I did with pieces from the “Lighthouse” by Karl Blechen and “Expulsion from the Garden of Eden“ by Thomas Cole as well as a few other sources. At first I blatantly took the Thomas Cole image and had already worked some changes in it. The reason why I wanted to use this is because this is a sort of a theme for the fact that we used a similar painting from “Expulsion from the Garden….” for the cover of Epicurean Mass which was also manipulated “beyond recourse”. So when I found this this second one it was like this is perfect. I brought some serious changes and added the “Lighthouse” image from the Karl Blechen print and then this became the new art. I added some other stone borders and some space stuff in the sky.
After this great come back with another killer album the all time fans are expecting a tour, will they have the chance to listen to these songs played live?
Mike: We’re playing in November at the Hammer Of Doom Festival in Germany!
Thank you very much for you attention and congratulations for the nice work. If you wish to add something…