Heaven Grey: Gothic Dark Metal from Latvia
Written by Shannon Reardon
Latvia 1993, two bands, Disgorged and Scaffold, breakup and members from both projects collaborate and create gothic dark metal band Heaven Grey.
“It’s really hard to choose [a genre], because the music differs from song to song,” said Vyacheslav Nikitin, one of the band’s guitarists. “Some tracks sound more like heavy or even power metal, where some others are more melodic or gothic.”
As a whole, the band draws inspiration from Paradise Lost, Tiamat, My Dying Bride, and Sentenced during mid the 90s, but individually each member draw inspiration from a vast majority of different artists.
While it is important for each musician have their influences, Heaven Grey have kept the band influences fixed to a particular sound due to the musician turnover rate they’ve experienced.
“Since playing metal music is not a profitable activity here in Latvia, people must think about their jobs and families first and often leave just because of personal reasons,” said Nikitin . “And usually each such change costs at least a couple of months until a new member fully integrates into the band and is able to play at least basic live set.”
But even with the changes in lineup that have occurred, the band says they are happy to still be alive, and they continue to release music.
“We also can mention 4 full-length albums that gained some international recognition, in at least Eastern Europe,” said Nikitin. “[We also have] regular participation in notable metal events in Europe such as Metalcamp/Metaldays in Slovenia, Metalfest in Austria, and Metal Crowd in Belarus. Of course, we don’t sell out stadium shows and our albums don’t go platinum like Metallica or Iron Maiden do, but we still have more albums and festival shows in our history than 90% of underground bands nowadays.”
Adding to their catalog of tours and festivals, Heaven Grey are planning a small European tour for the end of 2016 through to the beginning of 2017, which will feature songs from their new album, “Manuscriptum.”
“We’ve just released our latest album on a Polish label ‘Via Nocturna’ this May,” said Nikitin. “The main [theme] in our album was a story of a person who passes through different dark emotions in his lifetime – anger, egoism, lost love, revenge, fear, etc. – and describes his feelings in a manuscript diary.”
The tour will take place not only throughout Eastern Europe, but also Baltics, Russia, Belarus, and the band’s home country of Latvia.
For those that are able to see Heaven Grey during their tour, the audience can expect to see a traditional metal set mixed with sorrowful feelings.
“A blend of melancholy, somber dreams and pain-filled fury [are what the audience can expect to see],” said Nikitin. “Our music is enjoyable not only for head banging, but also for listening.”
Off the road, the band has plans to make a music video for one of their singles off the new album, as well as record new material for an album that is scheduled to be released in 2018.