When a band tells you that their influences go from Hip Hop to Power Metal it is really difficult to point a finger to whatever is inspiring them or driving their creative force.
Exist Immortal are obviously open minded musicians, and the fact that they gravitate towards the most technical areas of Metal is not stopping them from finding common ground in other genres such as hip hop, especially when the band is relaxing after a practice session.
When you are saturated by the intricacies of the complex music you play and love it makes sense to push the pause button and embrace other musical styles that would allow you to breathe and also add a sense of perspective towards your own creations. But, how does that reflect on Exist Immortal's performance?
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They are evidently not slowing down or pushing the pause button anytime soon. While playing Tech Fest, one of the guitarists cut one of his fingers and that didn't interfere with the performance, but rather gave the guy more drive. Not long ago, I saw a video of Phil Anselmo playing with Down where he hit his head and bled a little bit but carried on playing with the same level of intensity, which says a lot.
Don't get me wrong. I want to go to shows and be sure that musicians and audiences alike are safe and having a good time, but the general idea of artists that overcome obstacles and keep fighting under adverse circumstances is inspiring. During the interview, after recalling the 'bloody guitar neck' incident the Exist Immortal guys went down to what's really important: The music.
They are of the opinion that being open minded is really important and I couldn't agree more. There is a high degree of diversity at Tech Fest and according to the guys in the band one fundamental similarity between the acts of the festival is a sense of understanding and acceptance each other's musical concepts. The fact that all these bands have felt like outcasts or just awkwardly 'different' at one time or another is the basis of the cozy atmosphere and environment of brotherhood that permeates the event. Now everyone is the strange band of the bill!
But being the strange band of the bill has its pros and cons. It is common knowledge that is easier to market bands that adhere to familiar concepts. Being the unclassifiable weird act could attract fans of different genres, but investors/promoters/supporters that want to play it safe would go for the bands that represent minimum risk. Exist Immortal are not the type of unusual band that would require several listens in order to digest the music.
Actually, the music is memorable and catchy, with enough melodies and licks to have you immersed in their concept quite quickly. Their points of differentiation are based on the direct and immediate approach of their songwriting.
Their latest EP 'Dream Sequence' has all the polyrhythms, palm muted intricate riffing and aggression that you would expect from the genre but the versatile delivery of the riffs and primal quality of the melodies are the main indicators of what makes their music so appealing. Check the video for the song 'Exist' and you will see a band that has something to say with their music but with a straight forward attitude.
So here's the interview. I'm a 'director's cut' kind of guy, so you can enjoy the whole thing, with all the volume drops, bad jokes and embarrassing stuff!