Returning after six years in the wilderness, Symphonic Metal act Anzeria from Istanbul Turkey unveiled a new album in “Holy Defy” earlier this week. An impressive piece of work that not only showcases the bands talents but that also has a bit more bite that some more traditional acts in the genre, it has plenty to offer any self respecting Metal Head. We had the pleasure of an audience with vocalist Damla Kayıhan and so took the opportunity to ask her a few burning questions the bands World in 2021.
After five years, taking a six year break, what was it that brought you back together? Did you feel like there was unfinished business or that you had more to offer? “Back then, the life forced us to take this long break. We all had our own flows in life. Marriage, business life, health issues, etc. all combined, and we took that break, but just in terms of live performances. In the background, we kept composing and recording for our album, and also working on our other music projects. After these years, we knew that there was something unfinished; we didn’t have any closure and we didn’t want to have this closure. At that time, we had five members; although we all went to different ways, we always kept in touch, and we really wanted to complete this album in order to leave a mark. We wanted to materialize our songs as they are a part of our souls. After this album is out, we still have many more unrevealed songs, and we will keep producing as long as we can“
How did you find recording at your home studio? Did it ease the pressure as you could take your time over things or did it make you more perfectionists? What was behind the decision to record the vocals at a professional studio? “At first, the plan was to record the entire album at a professional studio. But we felt the time pressure on us really much. And even during the recording process, we realized that we kept adding little beautiful details to our songs to improve them. So, we switched to the home studio process to feed our creativity in a much freer environment. But for the vocals, we knew that we had to record them at a professional studio since they required much more technicality. Also, the owner of the studio directed the process in a perfect way with his conscious instructions. We really benefitted from the process.“
You recorded “Holy Defy” as a trio with some session musicians collaborating with you in Mert Gezgin (drums), Esra Gezgin (keyboards) and Koray Onur Alarslan (orchestrations). How did you find those musicians to collaborate with and how did you find the process of working with them? “Actually, Mert and Esra were one of our oldest members (and friends of course). They were with us all along the way. We played together, performed together, drank together, and laughed together. They got married and went to a different path by moving to Canada some time ago. But they took part in every step of the album process. We collaborated with Koray only for the orchestrations. He is a talented musician, and we knew that he would make a great contribution to the album with his fantastic work, and he did so.“
One of the stand out tracks is “The Worlds Rising” which has more male vocal parts that the other songs on “Holy Defy”. How important was it to find the right balance for the sound of Anzeria? “As in all of our compositions, in this one too, first we really felt the song inside, and we acted in accordance with the sense of the tunes and lyrics. Actually, it all happens naturally without any extra effort. The song itself opened the path for us. As you noticed, all the songs in the album have different sounds. We did what we felt like to do“
What does the future hold for Anzeria? Are you looking forward to performing live once more? “Our aim was to continue the band with new members (in addition to the three root members), and to start performing again, and to go back to the stages with this album. But Covid happened. After the pandemic is over, and after the music gets free in the world, we want to go back to the stages. We really miss performing live. At the moment, we don’t know what the future holds for Anzeria, but we know that music is always there.“