Uniqueness comes in all shapes and sizes for music, in the case for Helsott, they have taken the likes of heavy, emotional, and melodic to create a style that is truly their own. Thus it would lead them to write and record for their latest and newest EP "The Healer". Frontman vocalist and lyricist Eric Dow, discusses the EP, the band's influences, writing tactics, and how the writing process is coming along for their next album, as well as plenty of touring plans ahead.
1. What role do you play in the band?
Eric: I am the lead singer and I write the lyrics for the band.
2. How did you get your band name HELSOTT?
Eric: We wanted a name that fit our pagan death metal theme, and it definitely had to fit our sound. Helsótt means "Fatal Illness" in Old-Norse so we feel like that is a perfect representation of our band.
3. What has influenced your sound and style?
Eric: We draw influences from many, many different things like... history, life experiences, classical music, modern and classic heavy metal, astrology, and philosophy to name a few.
4.What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Eric: Love, War, Religion, History, Fable's, Mythology, all wrapped up and delivered through the pagan's perspective.
5. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)
Eric: Yes we do. We will do the occasional cover song like "Unconscious Power" on "The Healer" EP but we will make it our own. We don't have a set process as to how the songs are written. Sometimes we write as a group but most of the time we write on our own. Usually the lyrics or guitar come first and then we write drums and bass then the keyboard arrangements.
6. How do you describe your music to people?
Eric: Unique, heavy, emotional, melodic... Someone once told me we sound as though you put Blind Guardian, Therion, and Amon Amarth in a blender and we spewed out. I can get on board with that description.
7. If you had to pick one song of yours, to show someone to hear, which would it be and why?
Eric: Right now I would say "The Healer". It sounds killer and definitely represents what this band is about. I usually answer that question with the song "Helsótt" off of the "Woven" album. If you listen to that song it has every element that I described earlier. But we move forward, as does everyone else, and I am very proud of how "The Healer" turned out. So, that would be the song I would push on people.
8. What's your take on "The Healer" as a whole?
Eric: Great EP! I would buy it!
9. What is the concept behind "The Healer" and how did the idea come about?
Eric: "The Healer" is the medicine man for the Vandal tribes. This song and "Epic Battle" (also, off of the EP) tie into the "Vandal's Divide" and "Cessation" story line, which is the same story just told through different perspectives. The Healer is forced to witness the civil war of his Vandal tribes the Siling's and Asding's. Feeling like he failed the God's in his task to look after the tribes wellness his heart erupts with pain and he vanishes into the astral world. Thus the "death" of the healer in this realm. The idea came about after we finished our first crowd-fund campaign back in 2014. One of the perks for the campaign was to write a song for the person who contributed to that perk. Our now great friend Michael Beaulieu, purchased the perk so we had to write a song for him. In getting to know him, we found out he was a doctor who ran a hospital in a small town in the upper-peninsula of Michigan. I drew inspiration from the fact that he was a doctor, and wrote "The Healer" as a tribute to all doctor's. We ended up liking the song so much that we worked it into the "Vandal's Divide" story-line and themed the EP around it.
10. What song would you say is your favorite off this EP?
Eric: It's a tie between "The Healer" and "Astralive".
11. What can fans expect from this new EP?
Eric: One Hel of an epic little EP. They can also expect us to be playing all of these songs live.
12. How about the rest of this year, what can we expect to see from HELSOTT?
Eric: We are working on getting a couple of tours in this year as well as finishing up the writing and recording process for the next full length album due next year via M-Theory Audio.