This week, we are going to present you an another promising metal band from Australia; BACK TO EDEN. The project of the passionate guitarist/bassist/composer; Edan Hoy, collaborated with two exceptional musicians; Aliz Bin Kasim as the vocalist/lyricist, and Enzo Almanzi as the lead guitarist. Only two single album release in February 2017, were more than enough to earn our appreciation and respect.
First of all, I want to underline the fact that Back to Eden is a one man project with two additional, brilliant musicians. As a musician myself, I can totally understand them. They have every right to be passionate about making music. They are skilled, creative and most importantly, passionate about music only. The mass media has become a platform where there’s no longer place for real musicians and artists like them. Every day, the more I go into the underground metal scene, the more I realize how many talented and passionate musicians there are. The golden tray of media presents us names who only serve their purposes. People who are ready to transform into almost anything without any boundaries, just to cover their lack of creativity and shitty music. Because of this, we have to protect what we love and support the artists that respect by every way that we can. At least, we can show them our gratitude by buying a song or sharing a video in return for their hard work and efforts.
I am a big fan of old-fashioned metal music like in the 80’s and 90’s. Those golden years of metal have changed the world and influenced millions of people. The wild, rebellious spirit has touched many souls and turned everyone into metal music fans like us. I have felt the same beautiful feeling in Back of Eden as well, which immediately built a strong connection between us. Isn’t the connection with the artist, with the band, is what makes metal music special?
I would call Back to Eden a traditional metal band with also heavy and power metal motifs. A good mixture, a combination of Judas Priest, Metallica, Pantera and Accept influences. Standard compositions, monstrous guitar riffs, solos, powerful vocals, and high potential for powerful live performances. Classic characteristic features of traditional heavy metal. I can imagine them playing with Metallica in 89 at Seattle. I don’t see why not. For me, it’s all about the energy and the attitude, which they have enough dose from both.
The recording quality is spectacular. The level that no one would expect to hear from an underground metal band such as Back to Eden, especially from a debut album. Everything sounds so pure, natural and good that, in my book, it can challenge with almost every metal giant’s recording quality (Metallica, Slayer, Iced Earth, Megadeth…). Every layer is well balanced, guitars sound bold and powerful, bass and drums are great (I am not sure If this is some kind of computer software or someone is actually playing the drums). But in both ways, it sounds great) and vocals are the perfect example of how vocals should be for this genre. The atmosphere is great in both songs; everything has a beautiful balance, unity, and harmony.
In conclusion, I really liked what Back to Eden did, and very excited about their next. You know what they say, where there’s a will, there’s a way. I wish them good fortune and strongly recommend to every metal music fan. Watch and listen to their music videos below and feel free to share your opinions with us.
1 – Who is Back to Eden? Tell us about the band.
“Back to Eden” is a solo project of mine, along with vocalist Aliz Kasim. I also have former bandmates, friends, and local musicians help me out in the studio. The name itself (Back to Eden) is an obvious play on my own name and religious connotation; but it also represents a musical return to myself. That 17yo version of me that was listening to Sabbath, Priest etc, and learning to play the guitar. It’s about the heavy riffs, the darker side. I’m not trying to “re-create” the sound of those type of bands, I’m just tapping back into my heavier style of songwriting.
2 – Having your own record should be one of your goals in life, if I am not mistaken. Have you ever imagined, doing it with only two members? How does it feel like?
Not at all. It was something that just happened. When I first met Aliz, I really wasn’t looking to do anything musically. But when I heard his voice, I knew I had to do something- and fast! Since I’m constantly writing/recording at home anyway, I just figured I would do it in a professional recording environment. It was kinda scary for me actually, as I had never recorded properly in a studio before. I had done a couple of demos when I was younger, but thats it! Anyway, Aliz went for the idea and the rest is history as they say! In a lot of ways, it’s much easier this way. When decisions need to be made, I’m dealing with fewer people. In a normal band situation, you have 3 or 4 other guys; usually with 3 or 4 different opinions.
3 – Every band has their own way of writing music, what can you tell about yours? Do you practice together? And what can you tell us about the recording process?
Firstly there is no right or wrong way of writing music. Every artist has a different way of going about it. Some write the lyrics/vocal melodies first, whilst others write the music first. With “Back to Eden” (or at least the two singles we have done so far) I wrote all the music first. When this is done, I then demo the song at home (music only). The song is as complete as it can be at this point, minus vocals and guitar solos. I will then email the demo to who ever is going to be involved in the studio recording. I don’t really get involved in the writing of the solos, aside from placement (where in the song I want them etc). I’m not a very proficient lead player myself, so I kinda leave that up to someone who is! As for lyrics, Aliz will generally come up with the melodies first. Once that’s established, we will both work on the lyrics together. When everything is written, I will then lay down everybody’s parts over the original demo, just to make sure it works. The last thing you want to do is to be in the studio then realise something isn’t right, and have to come up with something new on the clock. When all of this is done and everybody’s happy, we’re ready to belt it out in the studio! As I said before, there is no right or wrong way of doing this. Just because we’ve done it this way previously, doesn’t mean we won’t do it another way in the future.
4 – One day, someone spontaneously asked me a question that I decided to ask every band and musician. Every music fan has his/her own reason to like that particular genre. What about you guys, why metal? How did you start listening to metal? And what did you like about it?
For me, it’s always been about the guitar. There’s nothing quite like the sound of a amplified guitar, through a distortion pedal. Metal is kinda like a Harley-Davidson, or a V8 race car- it’s loud, obnoxious and powerful! My introduction to it all was through my brother when I was a kid. Although it may not be considered “Metal” these days, that band was KISS!
5 – Who are Back to Eden`s influences, Which artists, which bands and which albums?
We really don’t try to “mimic” any particular band. I’m sure our influences are present in our music, but we just write what we write. My personal tastes vary from cliche Hair Metal, right through to Pantera! Aliz’s influences are a bit more traditional- Dio, Maiden, Rainbow etc. Throw all of these bands into the mixing bowl, and you have Back to Eden. I guess if I had to describe our music to someone, I would probably say it’s a mix somewhere between Metallica and Judas Priest. The melodies are definitely rock orientated; just beefed up with nastier guitars. Its kind of a Rock/Metal hybrid. Everybody’s interpretation will be different though.
6 – How do you guys pick the subject for lyrics and songs? What `Back to Eden` is, and will be talking about, through its music?
Pretty much once the musics written, we will just sit back and listen to the song. Whatever “feeling” or “vibe” it gives us, then becomes the subject matter. From this we will generally come up with a song title, then work around that.
7 – Do you have any plans for the next Back to Eden record? Any information about When?
Yes. We will be releasing another single “Twin Flame” around September. This will be made available for digital download/streaming. Our Debut EP will be out early 2018! The EP will feature all 3 singles, plus a couple new tracks ONLY available in CD format. So if you want to hear the new songs, you need to grab a copy of the CD haha!
8 – When you look back now, How do you feel about the band`s musically progress since the first single release on February 2017? What should we expect from the upcoming Back to Eden record?
Actually, our first single “Temptation” was released mid last year (2016). It really has been a labour of love for us haha! Since then, I think Aliz and myself have become more comfortable in our songwriting partnership. We have a better understanding of each other both musically, and on a personal level. We now know how to channel that understanding into the Back to Eden sound. Think of it as like going on a blind date. The first meet is always gonna be a bit awkward, because you know nothing about the other person. But after a while you may find some stuff in common, and things will just start to flow a bit easier. Writing music with someone else is kinda the same thing. It’s personal. I imagine we will only continue to grow as songwriters in the future.
9 – Which bands would you like to tour the world with, if you were asked to choose? And why?
Any band that would have us really haha! Touring with Motley Crue back in the day would have been pretty wild! Not sure I would have survived that tour though.
10 – Tell us about your non-metal interests, and do you also listen to other genres?
Not really. I am partial to some 80’s rock/pop, but I probably wouldn’t go out and buy the album. I’m sure the other guys are a little more eclectic than me though.
11 – What are your most favorite metal albums? and why?
Now this is the bit where I will probably lose all credibility with your readers haha!
Top 5 Albums that changed my life! (in no particular order):
Kiss- Crazy Nights
Kane Roberts- Saints and Sinners
Pretty Boy Floyd- Leather Boyz with Electric Toyz
Pantera- Cowboys from Hell
Did I mention I’m a HUGE Hair Metal fan haha! It’s just got a youthful energy about it; and I am a sucker for a catchy melody! Pantera was my introduction to all things heavy. “Cowboys” in particular had that aggressiveness; yet still maintained those “Halford type” wails. Man, Phil Anselmo had a set of pipes back then!
12 – What ’s the best concert you’ve ever attended that you did not play?
My very first concert- KISS, Perth Entertainment Centre, 1995!
14 – Tell us about the band`s future plans, any concert, or side projects?
We are mainly focused on recording/releasing the EP right now. After that, we will look at putting together a “live band” to do a few shows.
15 – Lastly, what would you like to say to our readers?
If your looking for some new tunes, but you also like your metal a little bit “old school”, please check us out! Downloads available through CD Baby. Our first single “Temptation” is also 100% FREE! If you like what you hear, you can also stay up-to-date with everything Back to Eden through our Facebook and Instagram pages. Swing by and say hi- cheers!