Ahráyeph is not a new band. Its origins lie way back in the early summer of 1996, in a band called Crucifire. However, due to various factors, Crucifire did not last as a band and was ultimately downsized to a one man project, of which the driving force was Raf, a self taught musician and producer, who also spends his musical time in the metal band Ancient Rites these days.
Metal is the farthest from his mind where Ahráyeph is considered, though. Read more on Last.fm
Ahráyeph is not a new band. Its origins lie way back in the early summer of 1996, in a band called Crucifire. However, due to various factors, Crucifire did not last as a band and was ultimately downsized to a one man project, of which the driving force was Raf, a self taught musician and producer, who also spends his musical time in the metal band Ancient Rites these days. Metal is the farthest from his mind where Ahráyeph is considered, though.
Although Raf did try his best to forget about Crucifire and its music for many years and attempted other musical endeavors, the flame was still burning inside to make this project come to fruition. People who had heard the Crucifire demo years ago were still asking about it; former members were nagging about it and when new acquaintances heard the demo and urged Raf to resurrect if not the band, then at least the music, he relented. He also decided on a name change. As 'Crucifire' had people thinking this was a metal project, Raf chose to continue under the moniker 'Ahráyeph'.
It would take until Autumn of 2003 until he finally managed to start writing and recording in earnest. By that time, he had written several new songs and over a period of four months, the bulk of them got recorded in his Rose Creek home studio, In the mean time, Raf reconnected with his old friends in Ancient Rites and was even asked to join Gunther Theys' Goth project Danse Macabre when Jan Yrlund, guitar player in both bands, was sacked. Unfortunately, that didn't come to pass, as Yrlund managed to officially lay claim to the band's name and in doing so, prevented Gunther and Raf from continuing the Danse Macabre. So Raf continued working on Ahráyeph until he was asked to rejoin Ancient Rites in late 2004.
This shifted his priorities somewhat, as this band was eager to start working on new songs for their new studio album, ‘Rvbicon'. So Ahráyeph was placed on the back burner until enough songs were written for Ancient Rites to start preproduction on their new album, leaving Raf with enough time to continue working on his own project. The evidence of all this work now lies before you, in the shape of ‘Heralding The Marooned', a four song demo, consisting of songs slated to appear on the full album ‘Marooned On Samsara' later in the year. Being a musical eclectic with a healthy favor for nostalgia, some of Raf's influences hearken back to the early days of what is now called Goth.
He doesn't downplay these influences, but rather thinks of them as a solid base to build on and branch out from. So while songs may seem to possess a familiar flair and in some cases be intended as a tip of the hat to Ahráyeph's predecessors – some of which are still active to this very day, there is no intention of reliving t he past to the point of imitation. Ahráyeph's strive is to play good music in its own right and push the bounds of the known in its own way. It is a continuous voyage, much like life itself.
Like Crucifire back in the day, Ahráyeph is more than merely music and lyrics put together, but attempts at relaying observations about the darker aspects in life. After all, Raf purports, these are the most interesting to observe. Having to live through them might be tougher than average, it is also the most inspiring, even when feeling out of place, feeling marooned. The observations may be interesting, they are done out of a sense of isolation and loss.
The duality of it is that there is a lot of Magick to be found in living this way. Throughout time, Shamans have lived in isolation, so as to better understand life by observing from a distance, and venturing into the Unknown at the risk of losing their own sanity, to the benefit of all that surrounds them. Music and rhythm were an integral part of these ceremonies, so it stands to reason that Ahráyeph walks this path as well. It is all about grasping the elusive parts of life.
Ahráyeph does not want to be easy on the ears of the listener or feed them the rehashed versions of old songs and lyrics. Ahráyeph wants to turn the listener inside out and question themselves as well as the world around them. Things aren't always what they seem. A cliché, but nevertheless a truth which is oft forgotten or buried under the daily grind of modern day society.
Therefore, Ahráyeph observes and relays its observations to whomever wishes to listen. After finishing the album 'Rvbicon' with Ancient Rites in 2006 and consequently touring with this band for the remainder of the year - including a slot on the Belgiang Graspop Metal Meeting for a massive crowd - Raf decided it was time to move on, or rather, to move back to doing Ahráyeph fulltime. However, there was a significant change : Ahráyeph was no longer a one man project. Throughout Autumn 2006, several musicians were interested in Ahráyeph and expressed their wish to join.
First to join was Raf's former guitar student and roadie Damien, who wanted to expand his musical horizons beyond his metal band Eject. Along with him came Eject's bass player Alex. Long time friend of Raf, the musically schooled Criss came aboard to man the keyboard and various electronics which Ahráyeph uses live. And so they were set, as they were going to work woth a drum sample player instead of a real drummer, in the fashion of The Sisters Of Mercy's Doktor Avalanche.
Or so they thought. Because only a good six weeks into 2007, the one-man-project-now-gone-band received an offer of drummer Steve, who was very enthusiastic about Ahráyeph's music. Being a drum phenomenon, the band knew they couldn't afford to pass up the chance to work with Steve so they ditched the idea of the drum sample player in favour of a live drummer. They never looked back and started rehearsing.
In the mean time, Raf finished mixing and mastering 'Marooned On Samsara', which, while still largely being the labour of one man, already features several recorded parts by the other band members. Currently, they are ready to play live and release the album, after a successful demo campaign showed there is a genuine interest in Ahráyeph's music.
Yes, 'Marooned On Samsara' will be released in a few months!Ahráyeph signed a deal with France's D-Monic Records for the release of their debut album, which is due for release in March/April. An exact release date will follow. Needless to say, the band is very pleased with this.
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