KORYPHEUS: Archaic Archetypes

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Kyiv, Ukraine-based progressive metal group Korypheus launched their new album ‘Over the Rainbow‘ back in November 2020. Prog Sphere featured a song off of the album on our recent Progotronics compilation. The founder and vocalist Andrey Gushin answered our questionnaire.

Define the mission of Korypheus.

Our aim is to stay ourselves in the very tough world of commercial trends and clichés, do the kind of music that we really like and be successful at the same time.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your recent album “Over the Rainbow.”

We started recording the first track for the album in 2019 I believe. It took us two long years to finalize the album. We lost members during the process, new musicians joined the band, for example, Jullian Torse on extreme vocals. On first tracks we just did not have him or the screams. So the process was somewhat hectic and eclectic. In the end our sound engineers had to perform miracles to put the Sound together.

What is the message of “Over the Rainbow”?

Once during our presentation of the album on the Ukrainian Radio Rocks I told that the album had escapist motives, ponders on some archaic archetypes in our lives, even some philosophical mysticism. If you look at the cover of the album you’ll see the Magus or the Time Keeper. He is an enigmatic but not whatsoever evil character. He is just a personage from our band’s artistic universe.

Korypheus - Over the Rainbow

How did you document the music while it was being formulated?

We use the Cubase program, download various bits and pieces onto it and play with them till it’s done. For example, on such tracks as Came Saw Lost, Wonder and Over the Rainbow Andy Gushin came up with a short piano melodic sketch. Then the guitarist transformed it into rhythmic patterns, then put some cool riffs on it, and here we go. In the case of Goliath and Artemis the guitarist wrote the whole piece  including the vocal lines and worked with the lead vocalist later on adjusting the track.

Is the dynamic flow of the piece carefully architected?

As Max, the author of Goliath and Artemis put it: “It seems that I am rather being carefully architected by the music. I constantly stay in the flow during the writing process and let this flow take me forward. Only later once the material is born I take time to analyze and correct it.”

Describe the approach to recording the album.

Once we are happy with the demo we give it to our drummer and he takes a shot on it. Usually he changes the drumming part during the recording. After that the guitars, base and synths are recorded. The vocals’ turn comes in the very end.

How long “Over the Rainbow” was in the making?

For 2 years.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the album?

If I tell you that you can always hear MASTODON in some riffs, are you surprised?

It would be of no surprise for me as we are influenced by heavy blues music, such as early Sabbath and Mastodon. However, I do not think we bore them in mind as a reference while conceptualizing this album, not consciously at least. Gena (author of “Wonder”, “Over the Rainbow”, “Came, Saw, Lost”) is so keen on Dream Theater. Max (he wrote” Goliath” and “Artemis”) would probable mention some djent bands as influence. Dan (extreme vocalist) is a great fan of Pantera. I am inspired by BS and Gojira.

What is your view on technology in music?

It’s a good question. Many nowadays argue that the music becomes more and more technical and boring as a result. Technology is an inherent part of this development.  There has been a vehement discussion of this topic (technicality and shred vs. soul and phrasing) after Richie Blackmore’s comments on Joe Satriani’s style. But no one can stop the progress. Where rock would be without an electric guitar? It is important though to keep the balance. Otherwise let robots write and play music. Is it a good idea? Who knows? Not for the moment.

Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?

Well, another excellent question. We just listened to Gojira’s single Amazonia. It is cool. We are not such activists in our approach though. However, music certainly serves a purpose beyond music. Hence, the title of the album is “Over the Rainbow”.

What are your plans for the future?

We have already started writing our next EP. It will be produced by a famous UK producer. Shortly we’ll officially announce this collaboration. We are really excited about this opportunity. In the spring next year we are going to embark on the European tour in support of an international artist. Again, we shall make the announcement soon. There will be 10 concerts in Germany, France and Switzerland. Thank you for the questions.

Over the Rainbow is available from Bandcamp. Follow Korypheus on Facebook.

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