Barren Earth’s Democratic Songwriting Process Dominates ‘Our Twilight’
While the name Barren Earth might suggest desolation and destruction, this Finnish band is growing like a finely watered metallic plant. And their name doesn’t have any super deep meaning about the future of man and the planet he calls home. It’s just a line they borrowed from a Van der Graaf Generator song and think sounds and looks good!
“The primary mover behind Barren Earth has been our bass player, Olli-Pekka ‘Oppu’ Laine,” keyboardist Kasper Mårtenson told Noisecreep. “He put the band together about two years ago. But already before that, most of the members had been working with each other at one point or another during the past 18-odd years, so playing together felt kind of familiar from the start.”
There is an abundance of writers in Barren Earth and on ‘Our Twilight,’ so that’s why the band’s sound and scope of influence is so large yet it surprisingly remains a democracy. “There are at least four, maybe five writers. That is to say, Olli-Pekka, Marko, Janne and myself all contribute complete songs, whereas Sami brings in bits of melodies here and there. I know Olli-Pekka is a big fan of Autopsy and Death, as well as Paradise Lost, obviously, so those would probably be his main influences.
“As for myself, my biggest influences come from the so-called ‘prog rock’ era of the ’70s, with Yes, Genesis, ELP, Van der Graaf Generator, hence the Mini-Moog synthesizer! Olli-Pekka’s melodies have always had very distinctive characteristics about them. However, on the playing side of things, Sami brings in a guitar prowess unmatched in its technical brilliance! So, fans of Kreator‘s axe wizardry are most likely to enjoy Sami’s playing here, too. We’re not as strong on the ‘thrash’ element, though,” Mårtenson also said.
Despite having nearly half-a-dozen strong personalities as writers, the band wasn’t deterred by having so many opinions influencing the music that was made. Mårtenson said, “So far, the songs have been composed as individual efforts. The writer usually bring in a more or less complete song, and the others then help out in arranging it. Things have worked very smoothly. Although each writer has his own style, I think we all complement each other, and the songs form a very coherent whole on the album. It has happened, though, that certain songs have been deemed stylistically unsuitable, and because of this, have fallen by the wayside. But usually that doesn’t happen often.”
‘Our Twilight’ is out Nov.17.