ANTIQUUS - An Exotic Realm Of Rarified Power
by Martin Popoff

Very cool indeed seeing this unique consortium from Western Canada wind up with a label deal of considerable prestige, rising up from a spot on Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles' Knuckletracks sampler, through an attention-codifying debut called Ramayana, all in the space of a little more than a year. The new album is called Eleutheria, perpetuating this band's obstinate obscurism, although the music enclosed is anything but impossible to assimilate, Antiquus (a Latin word meaning ancient) creating a swirling, "antiquey," proggy form of power metal that references favourites from the '80s in direct, pint-lifting ways today's shiny, too-fast, ProTools bands can only dream toward...

Hardradio got the whole band together (OK, less one, Geoff Way) for a chat about their new album, Eleutheria, which, oddly, stands proud alongside the new Verbal Deception "pirate metal" record Aurum Aetus Piraticus, as two from Western Canada that form a charmed little movement, this idea of old timey and ergo timeless metal from a slightly ironic district of old schools.

"There is a long poetic tradition behind the word Eleutheria," begins vocalist Jesse White, asked about the record's strange title. "It is arguably the most Greek of all Greek words because it is the personification of the word liberty. Greek nationalists have cried this word in the face of oppression from ancient times right to today. Many of the nationalists that were executed during the occupation of Greece in the Second World War died with the cry on their lips. But - for us at least - it also represents freedom generally. It seems others have taken this more open slant on the word, as there is a Bahamian Island that was named Eluthera (sic) in the early modern period. The island has been the home of Bermudan separatists for 400 years, men and women that wanted to be free of the established British yoke of control."

"We wanted to describe not just an idyllic place, but also a state of mind," adds drummer Andrew Bak. "It's quite an important aspect of the story."

Continues Jesse, "I think that the themes are generally ideas that try to question human pride, whether it's historic or modern. The titular concept piece is an investigation of Imperialism, and the unswerving national pride that goes along with it. The remaining non-concept tracks also try to question human pride, though in less direct ways. Mechanismo and KT Event both ponder what could happen if humanity was not the dominant life-form on the planet. Mechanismo considers the question from a mechanical perspective, and KT Event considers the same question from the point of view of birds. Both ideas are fanciful, but we think worthy to ponder. We should take our dominance of the planet seriously, and point our efforts towards ennobling ourselves, rather than destroying ourselves."

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