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SIREN’S RAIN | How to find catharsis through music

A dark fantastical air and exploration of folklore emanates from Rise Forth, the new album by SIRENS RAIN. Founded in 2014 by William Beritich and Rena Hellzinger, SIRENS RAIN deliver heavy riffs, haunting vocals and ethereal melodies using a vast array of traditional folk instruments. The new record follows the EPs Nightmares from the Abyss (2019) and Beneath the Narrors (2016, re-released 2018).

Metal Digest had a chat with the band about find catharsis through music and their creative process.

Welcome to Metal Digest!

The new album delves into the themes of abandonment, betrayal, hope, despair and resilience. Why are you drawn to these subjects?

Each album has a different feel to it. Some of the songs on this album were written between 2017 and 2018. Other were written between 2019 and finished in 2021, after the loss and gain of different band members. At one point during writing last year we stopped mid song and said, “Wow, we’re depressed. This sounds so gloomy and doomy and apocalyptic”. COVID, isolation, the political turmoil and the heaviness of the world certainly impacted the creation of this album. You cannot know hope without despair, love without loss, betrayal without loyalty. In order to experience something, you must have experienced its opposite. It is an album of dichotomies.

Do you find music cathartic when it comes to strong emotions?

Absolutely. We all use the creation of music to cope with life.

Without art and music, life is pointless.

We were not made to consume and pay bills and die, we were all meant to create and put out art into the world. Sometimes music can facilitate the expression of emotions

Could you describe a real-life situation that inspired this album?

The song Keepers was inspired by the South Dakota Pipeline water protectors and the indigenous persons protecting our natural resources against the perverted corporate overlords who are ruining this planet in the name of money. The song is a call to action. The song Corporeal Chains is inspired by Rena’s difficult struggle with Lyme disease, and feeling like the body is infested with demons, who are now a part of your being.

The prologue of the album really sets the mood. I found that brilliant. Who recorded it?

Thank you! We wanted a strong start to the album that introduced the key themes. We were inspired by the prologue on Eluveitie’s Helvetios. Our good friend Rich Hurst, vocalist of Jesus Wears Armani lent us his vocal talents for the prologue and you hear him again on Rise Forth.

Your musical growth is evident through this piece of work. Do you feel differently as an artist?

Thank you. We absolutely do. We found what works best for us with our songwriting and composition process. You can hear the difference in how the songs were composed. On the first album, all 8 of us were writing at once, and the pieces were not crafted as cohesively. On the second album and on Rise Forth, we streamlined our songwriting process so that the guitars and bass sketch out the song structure, and then we add in the folk instruments, so that the placement of each instrument is specially crafted and situated within the composition.

Could you name three artists you’d like to be compared to?

Eluveitie, Korpiklaani, and Cruachan.

Rise Forth revisits the harp and mandolin and introduces the nyckelharpa to your instrumentation. Would you like to walk us through the creative process?

We have had a lot of different members over the years. Sometimes we are an 8 piece band, sometimes 6, right now we are a 5 piece. We feel strongest at 6 +.  It is much easier to find guitar players than it is to find folk instrument players. We decided that the core members of the band who have been here and are dedicated to being here would learn folk instruments, so that we could more easily bring in an additional guitar player, but then our recruitment process was interrupted by COVID.

Mike learned the mandolin, Ed learned the nyckelharpa, and Rena learned the harp.

The releasing date is here! Are you nervous? What are you focusing on right now?

We are very excited to get this release out there. We are confident with our sound and direction and feel proud and accomplished with this release. We are hoping to attract more people to our fan base and get our name out there in the folk metal world. We’re taking notes on how this release process is going and what changes we will make next time. Right now, we are booking shows and festivals and planning future tours, COVID permitting, of course.

Thank you for the wonderful interview.

Until we meet again,

Chelf | Metal Digest.

Ed Miller- Guitars, Nyckleharpa, backing vocals
Michael Heaney- Guitars, Mandolin
William Beritich- Bass, backing vocals
Scott Eugene Jones- drums, percussion
Rena Hellzinger- vocals, harp, percussion

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