Interview by: Voiceless Apparition
Much like all of you, I'm really excited to see what new releases will continue to be announced for this year. Plenty of new releases from new and old bands alike are inevitable. That's where Enchantment come in.
Enchantment are a death/doom metal band that existed from 1991 until 1995, and released one album before breaking up, but then abruptly reunited in 2020 for a really special reason. I was lucky enough to have been given the opportunity to interview founding bassist Mark Tierney. Welcome to the world of Enchantment.
Voiceless Apparition: Welcome! Can you please state your role in Enchantment?
Mark Tierney: I'm Mark, I play bass and write/arrange any extra parts like keyboards, strings, choirs, etc. when required. I also was involved in the recording process on the new album, as it was mostly recorded at my house due to COVID restrictions.
VA: What was the impetus for forming Enchantment in 1991?
MT: We were all friends or friends of friends. I think we all just shared a love for the heavier side of music and were at similar early stages in our musical development. There was quite a good local band scene, although we were the only death metal band locally at the time, and it was a nice friendly environment to make loads of noise and refine our songs.
VA: How did you end up signing with Century Media Records in 1993/1994? If my sources are correct you were signed to a 6-album deal with them?
MT: We made a demo in 1993 called A Tear For Young Eloquence. Only 50 copies were made, but somehow Century Media got hold of one and offered us a 6 album deal which was a huge surprise. We did receive another offer from Tombstone Records (I think?) but Century Media were quite a well known independent label at the time so it was an easy decision. Paul (vocals) and Marc (guitar) went to Germany to meet some of the guys from the label and got a nice vibe from them and got to meet lots of other bands on the label at the time like Morgoth, etc. After we signed the deal it wasn't too long before we were in the studio recording the debut album.
VA: Tell us some fun and interesting facts about the making of Dance the Marble Naked that no one else knows.
MT: It was a very low budget affair, some accommodation had been arranged for us while we were recording but when we arrived it turned out to be one tiny room in someone's house and we would have to sleep on the floor. We weren't too happy with this and all went to the pub to drown our sorrows where we got talking to a local who was renovating some flats. He let us stay in his flat for 50 quid but there was no running water so we had to go to McDonald's every morning to use their 'facilities' haha!
I had to sell most of my vinyl collection to be able to afford food while we recorded which was a bit of a shame, I sold some good records!
The actual recording was very rushed and all our equipment was pretty crappy. Mags, the engineer, did an amazing job to get it sounding as good as he did. It was recorded and mixed in 5 days.
The last track "Meadows" was kind of an afterthought. It was an idea I'd only just written and I wanted to save it to make a full song for the next record but the rest of the band thought it would make a nice final track as just bass and drums, I got overruled and it ended up on the album. I'm glad they made me record it now!
The first time we ever saw the cover art was when the box of CDs turned up on our doorstep!
VA: How was the record received upon release?
MT: It got some really good reviews early on, but after the initial interest it seemed to fall off the radar. We didn't manage to get any support touring gigs sorted out, various things fell through so we didn't really get chance to promote it properly, and sadly the label didn't really set aside any budget for advertising so it remained a 'cult' album for quite a long time.
VA: What lead to the band disbanding in 1995?
MT: We carried on writing after Dance The Marble Naked was released and had got to the point where we were about 80% finished and wanted to go back in the studio. When we contacted Century Media they were very reluctant to front up any recording money and wanted us to send them some demos of the new material. Back then we were all broke and didn't have any way of recording our stuff other than a small portable stereo that Paul used to take to rehearsals. Obviously this wasn't good enough quality to send to them so negotiations basically broke down. We got disheartened as we were stuck for options and the band just fizzled out towards the end of 1995.
VA: What did you end up doing in the 26 years away from the music industry?
MT: Everyone kind of drifted apart gradually although there was no ill feelings. Me and Marc (guitar) did end up playing in another band for quite a while together, but it wasn't death metal or anything. I have always carried on playing and did a music degree a few years ago when I was made redundant. The rest of the guys still maintained an interest in music but I suppose family life took priority.
VA: And what lead to Enchantment reforming in 2020?
MT: Paul (vocals) accidentally stumbled across a vinyl reissue of Dance The Marble Naked on Amazon one day released by Cosmic Key Creations. We had no idea at the time that it was available on vinyl so this was a big surprise, and one by one we all got back in touch with each other. It was great to catch up and eventually someone brought up the subject of the unrecorded second album and suggested we reform to finally finish it. After that another label called Transcending Records in the US also reissued the album and did a limited run of the demo tape.
VA: Do you feel that after being away for so long that there’s a newfound love and appreciation for the art you created in the ‘90s?
MT: Yes, there certainly seems to be more love for our music than we thought. It's extremely humbling to see that people not only still remember us but also genuinely appreciate the music we recorded back then. Some of the comments we've received have been amazing and really inspired us to get the new album finished. The two labels, Cosmic Key Creations and Transcending Records, have been so enthusiastic as well and helped make it all possible.
VA: Can you give us a background on the upcoming album Cold Soul Embrace?
MT: When we decided to record the new album the first step was to try and track down the old rehearsal tapes from 1995. This was a very difficult task and inevitably some of them were not able to be found. We did end up finding two songs, and another song on a video, I could remember one of the songs, plus I found all my old riff tapes. It took quite a few months to go through all the raw material and re-assemble the tracks into something that we thought reflected what we did all those years ago. Some tracks needed some gaps filling with new material, and we did write one completely new song. I'd say it is about 75% old material though.
The process was very laborious because of COVID = restrictions. All the demos were sent back and forth via dropbox for months, and we discussed changes and refined them until we had something we all thought was good enough for a full-length album.
Unfortunately towards the end of the demo process our original drummer Chris decided he didn't want to continue which was a big blow but we were determined to get it finished after all the hard work we'd put in.
We asked another local drummer, Aiden Baldwin to record the final drum parts. He is an amazing drummer and currently plays for a band called Blanket who are signed to Music For Nations.
Once we had all the demos created we started the final recordings which were quite intense. I recorded all my bass parts and extra keyboards, etc. at home. Paul recorded his parts at a local studio called Rec Studios. Both Steve and Marc live quite a distance away from me and Paul so we had to record the guitars over 3 weekends. Not being able to rehearse together meant that most of the parts had to be refined at my house whilst recording which made it quite difficult but we managed it in the end.
VA: What are your hopes and expectations with the release of the album?
MT: I personally don't have any expectations. It is just great to finally get the record finished after we worked so hard on it back in 1995. Obviously it would be great if people like the record and it goes down well with our old fans. It will be really interesting to see what people think as it is very like opening a time-capsule from 1995! The feedback we've had so far from the single "As Greed As The Eye Beholds" has been amazing.
VA: Do you have any plans to play live or tour in support of the album?
MT: We don't have any plans currently. We all live quite far away from each other these days so rehearsing is not possible, but never say never! We would all love to gig again but currently it is just not practical unfortunately.
VA: Perhaps this is too far into the future, but do you plan on continuing the momentum by making more music?
MT: We do have some new riffs but not too much at the moment, it would be nice to carry on recording but I think we will do it on our own schedule and terms. We'll see how things go with the new record and take it from there I think.
VA: Lastly, I’d like to thank you very much for the amazing interview. I really hope that this will help in the promotion of Cold Soul Embrace and the return of Enchantment. Any parting words for the supporters?
MT: Thank you for your interest in our band, it is very much appreciated. I would like to say on behalf of everyone in Enchantment that we really hope you enjoy the new record and thanks for your amazing support after all these years!
Special thank you to Mark and the rest of the guys in Enchantment for being gracious enough to grant me this interview, I am truly honored. Also a huge thank you to Sleeping Village Reviews and all of my other reviewer friends. Thank you as well to all of you readers, old and new. My gratitude knows no bounds.
Enchantment - Cold Soul Embrace will be released June 24th, 2022. Preorder from Transcending Records here, or Cosmic Key Creations here.
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