Ross Oliver

Risen Prophecy

Mankind, on its inner conflicts and battles with itself, is not even closer to learn the magnitude of its actions until it is too late. There is a never a thought what the deeds would do the little person, an example for people that care, yet are powerless at times to act upon their wishful thinking. Risen Prophecy, hailing from the UK, made sure that the world would know the truth about mankind's self-destructive nature with their new album, "Voices from the Dust". Steinmetal talked to guitarist, Ross Oliver, about the diverseness within Traditional Metal of the new album, songwriting, philosophy, Manowar, Metal music and more…  
October 20, 2019
Risen Prophecy's Ross Oliver: "The beauty of music is that in itself
Hello Ross, it is great having you for this interview for Metal Temple online magazine. What have you been up to?

Hey Lior, thanks so much for getting in touch. It's been a busy year for me so far: I've had a European tour earlier in the year with my other band Vacivus, then I've have been in the studio with them recording for the new release coming out in October. I've recently just gotten back from a month-long tour of the US sessioning for Cruciamentum and now I'm working on new Risen Prophecy material whilst promoting the current release.

That's what I call a busy bee, and you sure are it, well done mate. I hope you had time to catch a breath
I guess there is a first time for everything, meaning with me listening to your band Risen Prophecy, focusing on your brand new album, "Voices from the Dust". I have to admit that it got me intrigued, the mixture of old school Metal, whether Epic / Doom, Thrash and US Power Metal is simply mesmerizing, and at times radical. Do you agree? Have you been trying to be adventurous or it just came out this way?

It's just the way it comes out. When writing, we aren't thinking in genres so the mixture is a just a result of not allowing any boundaries in the song-writing. We allow all of the influences from the music we like to be pooled into our song-writing rather than creating separate projects for each influence.

Do you believe that this fine mixture of old school is a fresh response to the modernized Metal scene looming throughout the world?

From a writer's point of view, it's just what we write and it has no correlation to what's going on but from a listener's point of view it may bring a "freshness" or alternative path to where metal is now. I write the music I want to hear in the world and it's great when other people are into that same music too.

It is rather obvious that you guys are fans of myths and legends, however, there are artists that hide secret messages of present times within their fantasy lyrics. Are you one of them?

A lot of the lyrics can very easily relate to the present since a lot of the themes are, in a sense, timeless. For example, one of the big themes throughout "Voices…" is the corruption of mankind which is pretty easy to relate to today in many ways but my point in the lyrics isn't so much the specific examples that people could point to presently but the bigger picture itself. So, continuing the example: if mankind is corrupt, what does that mean? Why it is corrupt? How does that affect me? If there are messages of present times they still relate to the bigger thought, they are still examples of something more than what they present on the surface.

After listening to a few cuts from your previous releases, it is apparent that your vocalist, Dan Tyrens, had outdone himself with his vocal effort. Such a display of theatrics is not that common, and in that quality. What is your perspective on that?

Dan is an incredible vocalist and I feel it a privilege to hear him sing every time we play together. He has an amazing ability not only from a technical point of view but from his personality and individuality as a vocalist. It's his heart and passion that brings the lyrics to light. The reason I think the quality is so high in delivery is because he means it, feels it and there's a real honesty to his singing- which is rare. As theatrical as the performances can be, it's clear he isn't faking or pretending to be someone he's not.

Similarly to your previous albums, your songs remained lengthy, entailing a range of details, various types of approaches, which as mentioned is dazzling. Did anything change in your songwriting style on this new album?

I think the songwriting has developed yet from the same roots as the previous albums. The songs didn't take much effort at all and they just seemed to write themselves. As time has gone on, we have become more and more comfortable with our own writing process and everything feels very natural between us all.

Listening to the sheer heaviness and victorious nature of "Vengeance from Above" made me headbang myself silly. It is clear how Bay Area Thrash Metal made a round on you, and for the better of course. What do you make of this particular song?

Yeah "Vengeance from Above" is a thrasher one for sure! I love playing it live because it has such a great force behind it. It's a good one for the rhythm playing too!

Speaking of which, is there a track that you can deem as the album's best in your view? That one track that made an impact on you, especially after listening to its final master.

I think "Voices from the Dust" is the track is a stand out to me just because of the vastness of it. I was really happy about how the mid-section and outro came out too.

To which Metal bands have you been listening to lately? Any bands that you can pick as maybe the next Metal gods?

I still cycle my old favourites and try to listen check out new albums/bands too. Lately I've been playing catch-up because I've been away so much. It's great being away with other people because you get exposed to loads of "new" music but it also means you don't have as much time to invest in the music as you would if you were alone at home. As an example, I'm planning on checking out Crypt Sermon properly this week and I also have the new Atlantean Kodex album to listen to- I'm not going to be too late to the party on that one since I'm a big fan already. As far as bands who might become the next "bigger" metal bands, I guess it's hard to say, it'll be those who persevere.

Recently, you probably heard of it, there was that case with Manowar and Hellfest Festival. When I thought about it, there is a possibility that it is the beginning of the end for the giants, and not mainly because Black Sabbath are out of the way. What is your view on all that ruckus?

As far as Manowar and Hellfest are concerned I wouldn't want to comment because I don't know enough about the details. I try not to judge situations without knowing the truth or at least hearing both sides. Anytime someone cancels it's a horrible thing for fans, bands and promoters. It's sad that the older bands are stopping to perform but it's just the way life is. The beauty of music is that in itself, it extends past and present so these incredible albums / songs will remain even though the writers go like the way of all flesh. We still hear Handel, Bach, Beethoven and yet we've never seen them perform their works so maybe we should be just thankful we have had the privilege to witness these bands while they were/are alive and performing.

Metal music is supposed to give us Metalheads strength, it helps us come through life's obstacles. However, studies show that it can actually calm the nerves. What do you think of that?

I think it makes complete sense because to find strength by relating to music will give someone the sense of not being alone in their struggle. The relatability to someone else's expression is incredibly satisfying to us especially when life is difficult. So, I don't think calmness and strength are two opposing things rather they work together.

What is your next move regarding supporting the new album? Will there be a UK tour? European tour with festivals perhaps?

We would like to do more dates in Europe whether that be festivals, stand-alone shows or a combination within a tour. We are very keen to play more live, so will pursuing this as much as possible.

Ross, I wish to thank you for the interview. You exploded me with your new album and it is a pleasure being your fan. Cheers mate.

Thank you very much Lior, we really appreciate your support and it's been a pleasure to talk with you.

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