This morning, Friday 23rd September 2016, a huge day for Folk Metal is breaking. Devastation is about to spread as Cellar Darling are born this day, raising their clenched fists in pride. Time has come to take up arms again for the three. Do you feel the thorns? Do you see the tears? Their dawning glory will shine.
Cellar Darling is the new band of ex-Eluveitie members Anna Murphy, Merlin Sutter and Ivo Henzi and today they have released their highly anticipated first single, ‘Challenge’, and it gives us immense pride and pleasure to be the first in Britain to bring this magnificent and stirring piece of music to you. Here it is. Turn it up and get those air-hurdy-gurdies going!
A second track was written and recorded in the same sessions that produced ‘Challenge’. It’s called ‘Fire, Wind & Earth’ and you can listen to it right here.
Both songs were recorded by Cellar Darling and Marco Jencarelli & Anna Murphy @Soundfarm, mixed by Tommy Vetterli at Newsound studios, and mastered by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street studios. All strings are recorded by the one and only Shir-Ran Yinon and the artwork features photography by Merlin Sutter himself.
The unique lyric video features the talented actress Fabienne Fellmann, who is also featured on the cover artwork (below). It is based on an idea by Anna Murphy, directed by Anna and Cellar Darling, with videography and editing by Merlin Sutter and generous post-production help by Michel Frutig @Maybaum.
Anna Murphy released a solo album called ‘Cellar Darling’ in 2013 which you can listen to via the Amazon link below but the Cellar Darling band’s sound is very different to Anna’s solo offering. Anna has also toured with her solo album, supporting MetalTalk favourite Anneke Van Giersbergen in Europe and she also played two shows in Australia recently.
Cellar Darling have also confirmed their first live show and it will be with The Gentle Storm, the band headed by Anneke Van Giersbergen, at the Melkweg, Amsterdam on December 17th. We’ll be there to cover what will be a very special night.
The band said this about the songs:
“‘Challenge’ is about an inner struggle, a battle you are fighting against yourself and the world. It is you, screaming at yourself in the mirror and getting high on new found strength. It is failing, overcoming and achieving. The bipolar dance that is life.
“We have fallen. We have screamed. We have battled. We found strength. We will overcome.
“‘Challenge’ is inspired by a visual image that crept into Anna’s head during what felt like a period tainted with recurring downfall and getting back up again. The music accompanying this image is a symbiosis of dance and combat, sweet and angry.
“‘Fire, Wind & Earth’ was written and recorded in the same sweaty summer sessions. The idea for the intro riff was stuck in Ivo’s head for a long time. As soon as Cellar Darling started working together on it, the whole song just evolved naturally. The result is a very straightforward and furious song, both musically and lyrically!”
It was a massive shock when Eluveitie announced the departure of Anna, Merlin and Ivo back in early May and it’s fair to say that the fanbase was disgruntled by this unexpected and stunning turn of events.
In their decade-plus with the most successful Swiss Metal band ever (and we do include Krokus and Gotthard in that list), they recorded and released six albums and played nearly a thousand shows in more than forty-five countries on six continents and changed Folk Metal forever.
“For over twelve years we got to do what we love most in the world, and when it all fell apart one fateful day last summer, we were as stunned as the fans. Eluveitie was our life, touring the world many times over, meeting fans in all corners of the planet…
“What we are left with is the overwhelming support from the best fans in the world, as well as incredible creativity, drive, and the desire to share with our fans what we have in store for the future. Friendship and support have helped us through a very dark period filled with anguish and uncertainty, and we are thankful to both our fans and the colleagues and friends who came through for us – you know who you are.
“One thing that never ceased is the music flowing in our veins. The three of us have helped each other through this and have channeled all that energy into these two songs. We’ve stepped up to the challenge that life threw at us. We are looking forward to continuing our musical journey with you all. For your friendship, we will reward you thousandfold!”
We’ll be talking to Anna, Merlin and Ivo more early next week so look our for our Cellar Darling feature coming your way in a few days. In the meantime…
This is the sound – shout it out loud!!
Cellar Darling are:
Anna Murphy: vocals, hurdy-gurdy
Merlin Sutter: drums
Ivo Henzi: guitars and bass
As one we’ll prevail!”