They wanted their seventh full-length album to be different. “They” being Australia’s hope in dark days, heavy metal band TEMTRIS. So they got together and thanks to the inspiration of a certain Iron Maiden album they wrote their own sci-fi story. You can hear the result on March 17th, when TEMTRIS release their new album “Khaos Divine” via WormHoleDeath Records. But before that, we had the pleasure to chat with TEMTRIS’ front woman Genevieve Rodda and she explained in details what the concept album is all about.
INTERVIEW BY: HENK VAN NIEUWENHOVEN
Hello Genevieve, it’s been a while since we last spoke, except for on Messenger. I have interviewed you when TEMTRIS released “Ritual Warfare”, remember?
Yes I do and I am so glad we chat again. Things have definitely improved now Covid is over and live shows are back in full force.
In the meantime it has been two years since “Ritual Warfare” was released, so you guys must have thought it was time for a new album. Who’s shooting the starting gun in TEMTRIS and calls everyone together to make plans for a new album?
It was actually my idea to start the talking process regarding the new album. I was listening to “Somewhere In Time” by Iron Maiden when I said to (guitarist) Anthony Fox: “We should do a concept, futuristic and more modern style album”. We had not attempted that before and thought it would be fun. I contacted the TEMTRIS crew and spoke to them about my idea. Everyone was very keen and things started moving forward straight away.
Most bands release a couple of singles and official videos before the new album is finally launched, but not TEMTRIS. For “Ritual Warfare” you had “Forever” and the title track and for the new album “Khaos Divine” you released again the title track and recently “Eternal Death Machine”. Any particular reason for that?
This latest album has a story that goes with it since it is a concept album. So it made sense to release singles in order of the tracks on the album. This way the story is being told in the right order and we are not giving anything away to spoil it.
Why is ‘chaos’ spelled as ‘khaos’ in the album title?
We chose that spelling and the word Khaos, as it is “A GOD”. The God Khaos does not care about its people or their existence. Bound by a contract this is the price they pay for freedom. This is Khaos Divine.
“Khaos Divine” is your second album for Italian label Wormholedeath. Did they change everything for you, giving you more freedom to do certain things?
We have always had control with our music on Wormholedeath and their support has been amazing. Carlo (Bellotti – CEO) believes in our music and was extremely excited for this release. Wormholedeath has put extra promotion into this album in areas such as Youtube and Spotify to get our music the best reach possible.
On the cover art we see a woman named Ember standing on a building looking at two planets in the sky and somebody’s decapitated head in her hand. The concept of the album “plunges the listener into a tale of a dark and troubled dystopian city where a new world order has taken hold of its population with the offer of a chance to live an almost eternal life, but at the cost of freedom”. Whose head is she holding?
Ember is the main character of our story and she has someone very close to her taken away. Ember decides to take Revenge for this by destroying the central complex of Khaos Divine and her trail of death leads her to her enemy, the CEO of the company, Eden Blaise who she worked for and now despises. Ember takes a blade to Eden’s neck and the head falls to the floor!
The album opens with the instrumental “The Grand Design” followed by “Khaos Divine”. Most notable are your high pitch voice and the crystal clear mix. Did you pay special attention to that and who’s responsible for the mix?
Anthony Fox wrote the song “Khaos Divine”. When he first showed me the music and vocal lines he was unsure if I would be able to hit those high notes as it jumps quite quickly. It did not take me too long to work out how to sing the track. The vocals are clear and forward in this album which was a whole band decision. We all spent a lot of time listening to the music so we would get the best mix possible and we are all very happy with it.
There are a lot of powerful people making terrible decisions for the world we live in today. But you cannot live worrying about that, we must focus on the things that make us smile and people that bring the best out of us.“
– GENEVIEVE RODDA –
Can you fill us in on how the concept proceeds on “Khaos Divine”? What is the “Eternal Death Machine” and when have “The Lies Become The Truth”? Is anything of this already happening on Earth?
Khaos Divine is a world bound by a contract and run by Eden Blaise. All the city and its inhabitants belong to her. She looks down upon her city and believes it is not yet perfect. “Eternal Death Machine” is a song about being offered an almost eternal life, but for this to happen you must become almost machine like and work constantly while giving away your freedoms. “The Lies Become The Truth” is a song about how we are sold a promise of something better. But the betrayal is deeper than they realise. They decide to break their contract and disengage from the technology that enslaves them, but this is at a loss of life. It does at times feel like we are controlled and our freedoms are given with a cost to our lives. This was definitely how people felt through Covid when governments enforced vaccinations and people’s freedoms were taken away in lockdowns.
“The Path” is a slower song and beautifully sung by yourself. Is it the turnaround in the concept story where Ember starts to fight back, also alluding to the next track “Revenge”?
Thank you ! This track was written by Nicholas Bolin (our drummer), Anthony Fox and myself. This song is about Ember realising her loss after her partner is killed and thinking about everything they had and could have had together. The “Revenge” track is about Ember deciding to take revenge for the loss in her life and fight back against the world she is stuck in. Ember has a final cybernetic transformation and is now a powerful weapon but an emotionless machine.
If you decide to release a third song as a single and video, may I suggest “Evolution Of Hate”? It’s a very catchy song that will do good live and the title is still very accurate, unfortunately. Hate will never stop!
We have actually discussed the possibility of releasing another single. We all were in agreement that if that happens we’d like to do a single of “The Lies Become The Truth”. We believe that song is extremely powerful when played live. But we did originally look at “Evolution Of Hate” as a single. Due to the fact it is very catchy and yes sadly, hate will never stop!
The intro on closer “Ground Zero” is very ominous and rightly so, as the story doesn’t end well. You sing: “Ground Zero / Devastation Day / Ground Zero / Death Is On Its Way / Ground Zero / Never Again / Ground Zero / This Is The End”. Are we doomed?
The piano piece is very ominous and written that way deliberately. That music is Ember’s thoughts on making the final decision to end it all as she cannot imagine the world moving forward with any hope. I think the world seems to feel doomed sometimes sadly. There are a lot of powerful people making terrible decisions for the world we live in today. But you cannot live worrying about that, we must focus on the things that make us smile and people that bring the best out of us.
It must be frustrating for Australian bands to not be able to leave the continent and tour in Europe and the US. But since you’re on Wormholedeath there must be some bright spots. You told me about a UK tour and maybe some dates across the North Sea as well?
It has been extremely frustrating for us over our 20 year career. The cost is huge and Europe is so far away for us. When we released “Rapture” in 2018 we looked into touring the UK but we could not get shows organised. With the release of “Ritual Warfare” in 2021 we had Covid put a stop to any overseas touring plans. But now that things are almost back to normal we have booked a 9 date tour of Australia and we are heading over to the UK to play a small run of dates in September and we are currently booking shows in Europe as we speak. We cannot wait to bring our “Khaos Divine” show to you all. Hoping to have dates announced very soon !