UPON SHADOWS AND THEIR “Seven Stages Of Grief” Interview by Ramon Martos

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MBA is very pleased to welcome Ramon Martos…He run writes a great column for  Pure Grain Audio called And Justice For Art. Please check out his killer facebook page with tons of updates on Metal art.  Here is his interview with Upon Shadows.

With the release of their brand new album, “Seven Stages Of Grief” Uruguayan female Dark Metal/Ambient duo, Upon Shadows, are looking deeper into the human soul. The recordings’s cover art, created by singer/multi-instrumentalist Tamara Picardo, reflects that in a quasi-surreal kind of way. Let’s see what she had to say about the creative process behind it.

-Musically, how important is this album for your career as a band?
This is our album number 6 and as happened on each of our albums, it represents a stage of our life. Our music is very personal and emotional. On “7 Stages Of Grief ” Natalia and I are in a moment of profound changes and loss … but also growing. And the album describes the transition of these feelings. This is a Dark Ambient album, very cinematic where layers of textures are mixed with keyboards, voices and bass lines. Upon Shadows is based on the mix between Dark Metal and Ambient music so you will find that in our discography, albums that are pure Dark Metal and others mostly keyboards and textures.

-Who came up with the cover concept for this artwork and what inspired it?
Well the idea appeared like a consequence of the music,  and is inspired in the 7 stages of grief.

 -Why did you decide to design the cover yourself?
I do all the artworks for my band, and since not long ago I started to do artworks for other bands, too. In this moment for example I´m working on the album artwork for the Finnish band, Myon.

-Is there a specific meaning behind this image. Can you explain how it relates with the album’s title and lyrical themes?
Yes, it’s actually full of symbolism. It’s a female image who´s bleeding heart drops a flower that is losing its leafs. The flower represents goodness. What is good and dies without letting us no more option than acceptance. The dramatic and fragile sense of life.

The head instead of having a face, what appears is like some kind of ‘cosmic twister,’ evoking the chaotic way in which thoughts are presents in our mind, in the moments of extreme pain and confusion. The eye in the hand is the consciousness on the things we make, in other words, the confirmation of knowing what we are doing. The hairs, are inspired by Medusa  and the idea that seems to have own life , showing some kind of rebellion against that what can`t be change. And the background is Helix Nebula. This last represents cosmic order, the natural process of life… and that particular Nebula looks like a giant eye, just something to make us to remember our place in the All.

-Do you think the artwork completely represents, visually, the album’s overall material?
Yes, at least on my personal vision. When you compose the music by yourself and also do the artworks, of course is easier to have a graphic idea of what is in your mind.

-Since you designed this artwork and also do artwork for other bands… Are the any significant differences in the way you approach a design for your band in comparison with an artwork for other artists?
When I work for another artist I ask for every detail they can give me to try to have the vision of what they want to express through the artwork. And music and lyrics are equally important. I think that the artwork has to be a reflection of the total work on the album.

-What technique (Medium) you used to create this artwork. Was it digitally or hand painted?
This artwork was half hand painted and half digitally. The main picture was made just with pencils and then digitally colored.

-Who currently has the original art?
I have the original art.

-How do you feel towards the finished artwork? Are you satisfied with the result?
Actually, it was a bit surprising because when you start to draw, you never know in what is going to end, and my band partner, Natalia, was very pleased the result as well.

-Are you planning to keep producing your own artworks?
Well yes, I will continue doing all my albums artworks because is a very important part of the expression for me. Is part of the need of creation.

-Any Final thoughts?
I want to give you the thanks for this interview. Really means lots to me. And to all of those who have been buying, downloading and sharing the news related to this last album, Thank you so much! To those who can be interested in listening to our music this is our youtube channel

Links to the new album :
And this is the free download option link for the whole album on mp3
Physical CDs can be ordered at Reverbnation

About rmartos

Verteran journalist, Ramon Oscuro Martos, has been writing for several Rock/Metal publications for almost 20 years. He currently writes for Metal Underground.com, PureGrainAudio.com, MetalBandArt.com, HeavyMetalArtwork.com, etc. He also runs the facebook community about album covers, And Justice for Art https://www.facebook.com/pages/And-Justice-For-Art/123376774515018 (book coming soon) and the independent record label, Dark Canvas Records (www.darkcanvasrecords.com).