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Distorted Harmony (August 2012)

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Black Metal, Prog/AG Teams

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    Posted: 22 Apr 2015 at 12:40pm
This interview was originally conducted for my website Heavy Metal Haven and is now reproduced to MMA due to the site's closure. Some parts of the article may therefore need to be taken in context, including the date of the review, which will not be recent. 

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Distorted Harmony are a young progressive metal act from Israel. Earlier this year they released their debut album, Utopia, as a free download and then later as a CD. Heavy Metal Haven caught up with keyboardist/composer Yoav Efron and the band's manager Raya Kosovsky.

Thanks for doing this interview with us. First off allow us to congratulate you on the release of Utopia. It’s gone down very well with the progressive metal fans on Heavy Metal Haven. How’s things been going?

Yoav: Thank you so much! These last few months have been crazy for us.
We didn’t know how well the album will go so it was great to find out that people from all over the world embrace and enjoy it. The feedbacks we got were mind blowing.

As a new band on the metal scene you’re obviously only just begun to make a name for yourselves. How would you describe the sound of Distorted Harmony to those who haven’t heard you yet?

Yoav: Although we all share the love for Metal and complex music, we come from different musical backgrounds; Jazz, Folk, Funk and even Pop, so when we start arranging and playing with the songs I composed, each brings his own style and likings to what will eventually be a "Distorted Harmony song". 

Basically - Distorted Harmony is a delicate combination of the complex progressive metal, the unique harmonies of modern Jazz and Classical music and some heavy shit!

How and when did Distorted Harmony first start and what bands and artists have inspired you?

Raya: The music was first written in 2006 by Yoav and in 2008, when most of the music had been composed, he started looking for musicians. After a year of trials and errors, the former drummer quit and Yogev joined the group and a year later Misha, Guy and Iggy teamed with them and Distorted Harmony was born.

Yoav: We're inspired (present tense) by many many artists - from Jazz and Classical composers to Porcupine Tree, Opeth, Meshugga and Muse - Just to name a few. And of course, you can't be a prog-metal band without the inspiration of Symphony X and Dream Theater.

How did you decide on the name Distorted Harmony for the band?

Raya: Actually the name was there even before the band was formed, thought up by Yoav back when he was composing, but after struggling and failing to come up with a different name, the band realized they like it and that there's no real need to come up with a different name. (Yoav: Plus, we like the concept of a Distorted -> Harmony). 

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Distorted Harmony


Utopia was first released as a free download before it got its recent CD release. What made you go down this route with your music?

Raya: The most important thing for us was to get people to listen to the music in the most accessible way possible and providing them a free download of the full album in the highest quality, was the most reasonable thing to do and it turned up to be a success.

At the moment we still have the option to listen to it and download it from our SoundCloud page, but we also added the option to download it from Band Camp starting from 0.99$. The CD was released on July 30th and is available at our online shop on our website, Lazer's Edge and many other online stores. 

How did the CD release come about?

Yoav: We knew we were going to release a CD/Hard Copy version at some point, and as soon as we started getting requests from fans for a physical album we realized that it’s should be done now.

Care to tell us a little of what the songs on the album are about?

Yoav: 
Kono Yume (Japanese for 'This Dream') talks about our lust for the technology, so much that we forget that there are those who suffer, who are used and abused for us to have it (the technology) - those who make it, our planet, countries, states - it's up to you to decide. Basically it's a story about a dude and his iPhone. "You're made of sorrow, hard work no 'morrow".

In Breathe we wanted to do something different, something a little off putting and storage (that will fit the verse perfectly). Our idea was to write a "love story" between a guy and his intensions of raping a girl he works and through it, he hopes to be free from what he knows is wrong - "Inside the shame there's a world coming back for me".

Obsession (which is the only song that doesn't have an orchestra) is about a regular-confused young man that just doesn't fit, nothing is wrong with him - nobody died in his family, he wasn't abused, nothing… Yet he still can't fight the depression he's living with and he's fed up with it - eventually (the last chorus) things turn out better for him.

Blue was written by Guy with the help of Misha and Yoav (and was our first single to be released) and it talks about Guy's emotions, reactions and understandings through his sister's death. Though it might be our most listener-friendly song, it's probably our most depressing one - lyrics wise.

Unfair is a weird song, both lyrics and music/structure wise. It's has a very unconventional structure, and that made the lyrics very unique. It talks about Misha's experiences with his mother and his perception on kids and their emotional development through his adult eyes.

Utpoia, which of course carries the album's title is our strongest number, both musically and lyrically and it might be considered a political, anti-war song. It's a 12:30 mins piece and as such, covers a wide range of emotions and thoughts talking about a soldier questioning his actions, his friends and government's actions. Our and society's view on war and the motives and emotions attached to it. We believe the chorus is extremely powerful due to it's one repeating line (which appears on the physical album's art - to be released this month) - "And All Into Nothing". 



Are you able to pick any favourite out of the album’s six songs?

Yoav: Each has his own favourite song for his own selfish-musical reasons.. :) Speaking for myself, Utopia is definitely my favorite number. The most complex, heavy (not just "Metal-wise") and deep.

Is there any particular meaning behind the album’s artwork?

Yoav: The cover basically represents the difference in our daily lives, may it be a rich boss succeeding on the backs of his hardworking employees, rich countries and corporations flourishing by using cheap laborers. 

When we sat down to talk about the cover for the album we had a lot of ideas but we wanted it had to connect with the album's title as well as the band's name. We tried to think of an image that contains a reflection of something that is perfect, whole (Utopia), but has a defect, a darker side to it (distorted). 

The water takes the image you're used to see and naturally twists it, distorts it. That's how the idea of placing the face half in the water came up. Obviously we played with the distorted, underwater side a bit to make the difference darker and more "Metal" oriented. As for the upper part, we decided to place the most relaxing and calm background we can think off, which was the blue cloudy sky.

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Utopia


Utopia was a self-released affair, have you had any interest from record labels since the release?

Raya: Currently, no. But there is a record label (without naming anybody) we are aiming at...

Do you have any live shows planned at the moment?

Yoav: We had a great show few weeks ago in Haifa (Israel) and have a few shows in Tel Aviv (including a unique Progressive-Oriented Festival - ProgFest here in Israel) coming up in the following months so it’s going to be a lot of hard work and we plan on keeping it that way - the more the better! – The energies, both us and audience have when we perform are so intense, it's like an addiction - we love it!

(You can find all our LIVE footage on our Youtube channel and videos tab on our website).

What are the current plans for the band?

Yoav: We already started working on a new song and a few more are waiting for us to play with. We also plan on rocking the stages outside of Israel.

We’re hearing about more and more bands from Israel these days. Orphaned Land is I think the most well known but you also have acts like Ekho, Winterhorde and now, of course, Distorted Harmony. What are the metal and prog scenes like in Israel at the moment?

Raya: To be honest, we don't really know much about the Metal scene here in Israel. But the prog scene is flourishing! We have a fast growing community. New bands are forming and old bands are getting back in business. So a lot of good music will be coming out of Israel in the following years. Just to name a few: Sussita, Pie Q, Key of the Moment, Project RnL, Systema Teleion and much much more...

Any recent albums you’d like to recommended to our readers? It’s always interesting to know what other artists the bands are listening to.

Yoav: Absolution by Muse, Invisible Cinema by Aaron Parks, What goes around by Dave Holland, De-Loused In The Comatorium by The Mars Volta, Chaosphere by Meshugga, Fear Of A Blank Planet by Porcupine Tree and A Day At the Races by Queen (We have to stop otherwise the list will never end ;))...

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer our questions. Heavy Metal Haven wishes you much success with Utopia and on your future endeavours. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Yoav: Thank you so much for this interview! We are happy to be part of the Heavy Metal Haven forums.

Distorted Harmony on MMA: http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/artist/distorted-harmony

Distorted Harmony may be found online at:

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