Mercelel's Elel Talks being Born from Chaos

Australian epic black metal act, Mercelel have taken their symphonic black metal style to unleash their debut efforts, "Born from Chaos". The band have got plans to release more music and other surprises in-store! Elel discusses this release and plans for the new music.

1. What type of band are you?

Elel: Mercelel is a one man symphonic epic black metal band with multiple guests. Throughout the album it the album is very atmospheric but that's where my experimental touches occur. It's not good to have one sound only, it's great to have variation of different sounds so the fans don't get bored.

2. Tell us the brief history of your band.

Elel: Mercelel was formed at early 2014, while I was listening to one of my favorite bands Norther, and I thought to myself that I should start a band. I've always thought about forming a band ever since I was young, and I couldn't care less how bad my band sucked, At the end of day, you're doing what you love, and there's no-one that's going to stop you from living the dream. I met Magister of Symphonies at one of our local metal shops here in Melbourne and he told me about his past experiences with symphonic black metal bands. I thought to myself, this is perfect timing and it can't get any better than that. We switched numbers and I gave him a call asking him if would like to help me release my album for Mercelel. He was more than happy to to help out so we finally met up on multiple occasions and recorded the songs at DoomDain Studios. I want to thank him a lot, because his involvement of helping me release this album means a lot to me and I owe him a lot.

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

Elel: The band is based out of Melbourne, Victoria in Australia. The main music scene we have is symphonic black/death metal scene but there isn't many bands sadly. Ah Yeah, there's multiple bands that I can recommend. There's Advent Sorrow, Orpheus Omega, Ne Obliviscaris, Obsidieth, Stormtide and  Lament. All these bands have the potential to carry the symphonic black/death metal scene to a different level.

4. What is the story behind the name, Mercelel, if there is one to tell?

Elel: Mercelel is the combination of the words Mercenary and Elel which means night in Arabic. Since my lyrics are mainly about war and destruction, I thought it would be pretty cool to use the word Mercenary. Then I thought to myself, I might as well add the word night, because that's very black metal. Ha. So originally I was going to go with Mercenight, but then it got to me and thought what night meant in Arabic, It was Elel, so I added the words again and I got Mercelel. The name was unique and I was happy with it  and decided to proceed with it.

5. Who are your musical influences?

Elel: I am a person who listens to all music genres. I don't hate any band nor hate any genre. My main influences have to be Tyrant (Japan), Art Inferno, Followbane, Ninnghizhidda, Ethereal Sin and Throne of Chaos. There's many more phenomenal albums that I absolutely love listening too, but these bands I can just  never get bored of.

6. What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)

Elel: They mainly cover war, destruction and chaos. To be more specific about war, I aim at the Lebanese war. The situation has been bad and still is in in Lebanon. My background is Lebanese/Turkish, but I'm born in Australia. I went and lived in Lebanon for about 7 years and  made lifetime friends. Sadly, two years ago I lost two of my mates from Lebanon who got shot innocently walking down in the neighborhood trying to protect their families from any harm or violence. They got shot because there's heat between the two suburbs. This happens all the time down there, but this is what influenced me mainly to release a black metal album. If there was a way to show your anger and sadness; it had to be through black metal. This is why I mention in my album : '' This album is dedicated to the unknown soldiers and the dead of war. May history never repeat. ''
7. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)

Elel: Yes I have written all the songs. Having Magister of Symphonies on my side was  a big advantage for me, he has been in previous notable symphonic black metal bands from Australia and knows what the fans want. He informed very well that choruses are very important and that there be must variation of sounds. I have a huge metal collection, I love many bands from different genres, I try my best to combine genres together into one song. It's very hard to do so, but I tried my best. If you listen to ''Born From Chaos'', you'd realize that drums are rarely listenable. I had trouble finding suitable drummer for the genre, but I couldn't find anyone. I learnt drums when I was 9 back in Lebanon but I eventually got over it and stopped it after a year since the lessons started to become very expensive with my parent's financial situation not being great. So i had to play drums with the knowledge that I've learnt almost 12 years ago. Yet again, black metal is all about blast beats, but I did not want blast beats in my music. I guess the drums was the only let down in my album.

8. You have your new release "Born From Chaos", what can people expect from it?

Elel: I want people to love the genre I play - symphonic black metal-. I wish I can take it to a whole new level. The genre is slowly dying as its main years were 1996-1999. It's only the bands who got picked up by label back then survived and made it through. With all respect to all those bands like Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth etc. they have released amazing stuff throughout the years. I have to say though that now their time is almost up, and there's many more bands climbing the ladder up to carry the genre into a better phase and I just hope Mercelel is one of those bands one day.
10. How does it feel to have this release under your belt?

Elel: It feels amazing, Me being a huge metal fan, now I know how it feels to be in a band. The support that I've been getting from some fans is amazing. I've made already so many new friends. It feels very good and I'm proud of myself and the rest of the crew who helped me release the album.

11. Are you signed to a label? Do you hope to get signed to one or prefer the DIY approach?

Elel: I actually am signed to a Japanese label who do not want me to announce their name at the moment as part of our contract , They are a new Japanese metal label who is releasing very rare metal albums with bonus tracks. Since this label is only set out to be for special releases only, I would still love to get into Bigger labels for the sake of the band having better promotion, only time will tell. The DIY approach is a good idea but I feel its too hard nowadays. There's many bands that never make it through and are always stuck in the underground scene because they chose too.

12. Did you guys have any leftovers from this release that will be used for future releases or have you gone forth and already written material for future purposes?

Elel: Yes, there is one more track which will be the bonus track on the official Japanese CD release that is yet to be released hopefully in next month or so. Yes I also have written future material, and we're not far form finishing the album off, it's looking very good and I can't wait till I release it too.

13. How about shows and touring, what do you have in-store?

Elel: At this stage its very hard. I have a full time job and my guest musicians are very busy with their own personal things. I am looking for live musicians at the moment, when I find a crew that's ready to do it, I hope we can go out there, play live and give what the fans want.

14. What do you guys have planned for the unforseen future?

Elel: As I mentioned before, I am currently in the process of finishing off the next album. No rush though, but this release for sure, is going to stand out. I can tell everyone now, that this album is not only symphonic black, not only that it is Epic, but It's very orchestral too in the vein of Dimmu Borgir, Hollenthon, Haggard. I am also working to get well known musicians in black metal scene as special guests in my next album. Many surprises yet to come.

15. Anything else you'd like to add or would want to say?

Elel: I want to thank all my family, friends and fans for their support, it means a lot to me. I also would like like thank you for interviewing Mercelel! I would like to tell every person who wants to form a band, do it. You have nothing to lose. Dream Big, Live Happy.

You can download the album for free from Mercelel's Bandcamp Page:

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Until next time, stay safe and metal. \m/

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