RAVENIA – Epic Film Score Music
June 6, 2016, 2 years ago
Finnish symphonic metal/film score band, Ravenia, has spun a new twist on the standard genre format on its debut album, Beyond The Walls Of Death. The nine piece band consists of female vocalist Armi Päivinen, two violinists, a cellist, a violist and a contrabassist, joined by a traditional drummer, guitarist and bassist. Formed in 2013 by Päivinen and guitarist Samuli Reinikainen, the band released the two-track EP, Wingless, which encouraged the duo to create something different than traditional symphonic metal. On its debut full-length release, Beyond The Walls Of Death, the band certainly pulls it off. Vocalist Armi Päivinen discussed the new album with Brave Words writer Kelley Simms.
BraveWords: When you formed the band with Samuli, did you discuss the elements you wanted to explore or what kind of band Ravenia would be?
Armi Päivinen: “We did, we wanted to do something a bit different since we've been doing so much of the ”basic” metal stuff. We didn't want to completely stray away from metal though, so we decided to combine the two music genres that we love and really make something emotional, epic and massive.”
BraveWords: What was your mindset during the writing process for Beyond The Walls Of Death?
Armi Päivinen: “I guess it was a bit chaotic. We really didn't know what the hell we were doing at times. It was really an uncharted territory that we were stepping in, so there was a lot of trial and error. It did take pretty long to compose a song, there are so many strings and horns and percussion in all the songs that keeping a tab on those was really difficult at times. It didn't exactly help that the studio computer wasn't always that co-operative and kept crashing.”
BraveWords: The album was mixed by Nino Laurenne (Wintersun, Battle Beast, Ensiferum) and mastered by Svante Forsbäck (Volbeat, Sonata Arctica, Apocalyptica), what were you going for sound wise?
Armi Päivinen: “We wanted the album to sound really natural and the orchestral stuff to be the main focus, so we did deliberately sacrifice a bit from the guitars and drums to really make everything else stand out. We also made sure of that by arranging the guitars and drums in a way that they wouldn't interfere with the strings, horns and percussion. It was the right decision and I feel like our sound really separates us from other metal bands.”
BraveWords: The first single/video “We All Died For Honor” is epic and dramatic, what were you going for on this track?
Armi Päivinen: “We wanted it to be very emotional and tell the story of those who are left behind when someone dies in war, for example. It's one of the more melancholic songs on the album and that's what we were going for with that track. It was extremely important to us that the music video represented that vision as well.”
BraveWords: In your opinion, which track on the album best represents the overall essence of Ravenia?
Armi Päivinen: “Wow, that's a really tough one. If I have to pick one song, it would probably be ‘Into Oblivion’, that song kind of has it all. The bridge section on that song is probably our most epic one. And who wouldn't love a good bomb blast-beat?!”
BraveWords: There’s great storytelling throughout the album on each track, what was your inspiration for the lyrics, theme and overall concept of the album?
Armi Päivinen: “Since the lyrics always come in last to the songs, they weren't really thought out in advance. The lyrics are based on the feeling of the song rather than the other way around. There wasn't a specific concept with the lyrics, but they do all have the same kind of theme; honor, hope, death. If you check the track titles, they actually make a little story that pretty much sums up the theme of the album.”
BraveWords: Opener “For Those We Forsakened” is a good start to the album. Was this the clear choice for the opener and how difficult was it picking the sequence order of the album?
Armi Päivinen: “It really wasn't a clear choice. It was an extremely tough choice to choose which song we wanted to start with. We struggled with that for quite a while. The rest of it wasn't any easier, we went back and forth quite a few times. But we're happy with what we came up with, I think the album is well balanced.”
BraveWords: Jan Yrlund (Korpiklaani, Apocalyptica, Midnight Eternal) has become an in-demand cover artist, did you have to instruct him with the design and does it tie in with the theme of the album?
Armi Päivinen: “We did at the beginning quite a bit yes. He had some difficulties understanding our vision at first, but once he did, we were very happy with the outcome. The warrior in the cover-art is sort of in an afterworld not really understanding he's dead, so yes, we feel like it ties in with the theme pretty well.”
BraveWords: What’s next for Ravenia including touring plans, and what do you hope to achieve or accomplish in the future?
Armi Päivinen: “We don't have any touring plans at the moment, but hopefully that will change in the future. We hope that people will enjoy our music and we get a chance to make a second album as well. There are already some plans about the next album, and we really hope we get a chance to bring those visions to life.”