We use cookies to customize content and advertising, to provide social media features, and to analyze traffic to our site. We also share information about your use of our site with our trusted social media, advertising and analytics partners. Read more.


    Become fan 0 Rate 0 Like & Share
    Genre:Industrial, Classical
    Rank: history »
    /5 from 0 users

    Most Popular Songs (more)

    1The Luciferian Revolution lyrics
    2Ares In Their Eyes lyrics
    3Under War-Broken Trees lyrics
    4Sunwar The Dead lyrics
    5The Umbersun lyrics
    6Nocturne lyrics
    7Eclipse lyrics
    8Blood And Grey Skies Entwined lyrics
    9Leçon De Ténèbres lyrics
    10The Embrace lyrics

    Most Popular Albums (more)

    1Sunwar The Dead [2004]
    2The Umbersun [1998]
    3Weeping Nights [1997]
    4Les Ténèbres Du Dehors [1996]
    5Leçons De Ténèbres [1994]
    6A World In Their Screams [2007]
    7Winds Devouring Men [2003]


    Sunwar the Dead

    Founded in 1993 by composers and multi-instrumentalists Iskandar Hasnawi (France) and Renaud Tschirner (Austria), ELEND was joined by new members in the course of its existence: the sopranos Eve-Gabrielle Siskind (1994-1995), Nathalie Barbary (1995-present) and Esteri Rémond (2003-present); keyboard player, programmer and engineer Sébastien Roland (1997-present) and violinist David Kempf (2000-present).

    The completion of the "Officium Tenebrarum" (or "Office des Ténèbres", 1993-1998), ELEND's highly acclaimed, very dark and violent trilogy, was followed by a hiatus of several years, where the composers turned to other, non-public musical projects. 2003 saw ELEND's resurgence with Winds Devouring Men, an album that saw them take a quieter turn, with soft and delicate string orchestrations combined with exotic tones and harsh metallic textures and sounds inspired by French musique concrète.

    Their new album Sunwar the Dead is the second part of the 5-album cycle started with Winds Devouring Men. Lyrically, it continues the long epic prose poem begun on the first part of the cycle, combining personal themes with references to ancient Greek authors.

    Whereas Winds Devouring Men was a slow, relatively calm and intimist album, Sunwar the Dead is a furious, dark and fast effort where the two composers combine their talent for large and dense orchestration with the most extreme experiments of XXth century serious music, thus drawing inspiration on techniques invented by Krzysztof Penderecki (sonorism), Karlheinz Stockhausen and Iannis Xenakis (serious electronic music), Pierre Henry (musique concrète), Peter Eötvös (impressionism and percussive tones work).

    Sunwar the Dead sees the core trio recording with a complete classical ensemble and female choir of 50 musicians for the first time, taking the much admired production of Winds Devouring Men to a further accomplishment and bringing the sound of the ensemble to a new dimension in terms of liveliness, clarity, complexity and power.

    The Umbersun (1998)

    Whereas Hieronymus Bosch depicted a musical Hell in his triptych "The Garden of Delights" ELEND have put to music a pictorial Hell in their "Officium Tenebrarum" trilogy.

    The Austrian/French project ELEND was formed in 1993 by composers and multi-instrumentalists Iskandar Hasnawi and Renaud Tschirner. The line-up was soon completed by female vocalist Eve-Gabrielle Siskind in 1994. As a trio, the band recorded their first album Leçons de Ténèbres, which was released in November 1994 on the French label Holy Records.
    In April 1995 ELEND gave their first and until the present day only public performance, headlining a festival in Reims, France. A second soprano, Nathalie Barbary, joined the band later that year.
    ELEND's following album Les Ténèbres du Dehors was released through Holy Records in March 1996. Eve-Gabrielle Siskind left the band the same year. The critical and commercial success of the first two parts of the "Officium" gained them esteem on the international music scene and aroused the interest of Music for Nations, which signed ELEND for four albums.
    Sébastien Roland entered the band in early 1997 as additional keyboard player, sound designer and engineer. Before the recording of the final part of the trilogy, the mini-album Weeping Nights was released by Holy Records in June 1997. Originally conceived to contain only remixes, it became an independent album when the band decided to add new songs deliberately different to those of the "Officium".
    The quartet finally recorded the last part of the "Officium" trilogy, entitled The Umbersun / Au tréfonds des Ténèbres, in Autumn 1997 at Wolf Studios, London.

    In Christian liturgy the "officium tenebrarum" was a group of three masses held on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of the Holy Week preceding Easter Sunday. Originally, the texts of Jeremiah used therein were psalms on the destruction of Jerusalem appearing in the New Testament. Practised in Roman Catholic liturgy since the 8th century they became quite popular as masses in 17th century France under the name of "leçons de ténèbres" (lectures or lessons of darkness) or simply "tenebrae", and can be considered as an independent genre of French Baroque music.
    The whole sequence was called "office des ténèbres" ("officium tenebrarum"). Its ceremony involved the extinguishing of all lights, with the exception of a single candle left alight and concealed behind the altar. At the end of the office the silence of the officiant was answered by the audience with screams and tumult, thus representing the disorder and confusion that appeared at the death of Christ. The last candle was then shown as evidence of the saviour's resurrection.
    This welcoming of light was inverted in ELEND's own "Officium" by being reshaped as a descent into utter darkness. The decision to transform their own "Officium" into a dramatic and epic unfurling was completed by referring to the Christian theme of the first archangel's rebellion and fall and to the symbolic process of denomination in Catholic theology.

    The Umbersun was produced by ELEND and Dominique Brethes (The Beloved, Morcheeba, The Levellers,...) at Wolf Studios in September and October 1997. Thirty vocalists of the Joyful Company of Singers, an internationally prized professional British choir specialized in the interpretation of contemporary and classical 20th century composers (such as Gustav Holst, Johnathan Harvey, Percy Grainger, Samuel Barber) participated in the recording.
    The choir was divided into an "angelic choir" (Latin and Hebrew verses sung by the sopranos), and an "infernal choir" (English verses sung by the altos and basses) commenting on the action like the Choruses of ancient Greek tragedy. In addition to being a gradual movement from turmoil and fury to silence (and thus starting like an immediate continuation of Les Ténèbres du Dehors) the album is structured like an original "leçon de ténèbres" by its division into three "leçons", each of which is followed by a "répons"; and a "nocturne" introduces or concludes each of the three movements. Musical themes referring to each other and reappearing at regular intervals have been woven together in a unity of symbolic significance: the last piece of music closing both the album concept and the "Officium Tenebrarum" cycle refers to the first one not only by name, but also by its key which is identical to the dominant key of the first track; the three "leçons" have a structural leitmotif which appears in the form of a Byzantine choir (basso continuo sung by the basses and extended melismas interpreted by the solo soprano) in the middle of these songs; the second movement of the album (the three central tracks) is based on the "Revelation to John". A dodecaphonic choir symbolizing the invocation of God before his appearance in the title track is its recurrent motive. As the name of God was not to be pronounced, only the consonants of the sacred name were allowed to be used ("tetragrammaton"). By singing the name of the Hebrew consonants Y H V H (Yod, Hé, Vaw, Hé) the angelic choir calls upon his Lord .

    ELEND's work can best be described as very dark and oppressing symphonic music. Although similar to classical composers they have adopted a different approach to composition. Their method of structuring pieces of music does not follow any dogmatic rules and their use of arrangements reaches peaks in terms of orchestral density and vocal diversity. They have kept the traditional instrumentation of post-romantic orchestras but taken the limits much further by multiplying the number of instruments in each section and extending it by integrating modern elements such as ambient and industrial sounds and percussion instruments. Moreover, the vocal quality of the work can be heard in the various choir parts (ranging from classical contrapuntal choruses to dodecaphonic scores and atonal clusters), in the narrative voices, Gregorian chants, and evocative screams or solo vocals.
    Whereas the first mass of the "Officium" was marked by despair and the second one by rebellion and violence, the last one is placed under the sign of death. As always stated by the band since the beginning of their career, the last part of the trilogy had to be, like in the Catholic "officium", the darkest mass of the cycle. The Umbersun remains ELEND's darkest album up-to-date; the "Officium Tenebrarum" is now complete.

    Winds Devouring Men (2003)

    ELEND, which was founded in 1993 by composers and multi-instrumentalists Iskandar Hasnawi (France) and Renaud Tschirner (Austria), was joined by new members in the course of its existence: the sopranos Eve-Gabrielle Siskind (1994-1995) and Nathalie Barbary (1995-present); keyboard player, programmer and engineer Sébastien Roland (1997-present).

    Discography: the "Officium Tenebrarum" cycle:

    * Leçons de Ténèbres (Holy Records, 1994)
    * Les Ténèbres du Dehors (Holy Records, 1996)
    * The Umbersun / Au tréfonds des Ténèbres (Music for Nations, 1998)


    * Weeping Nights (Holy Records, 1997)

    2002 saw the reformation of the project:

    «Having put ELEND to sleep after the release of The Umbersun in 1998 in order to clear our heads from the concept we had been dealing with for five years, we turned to other, mostly private musical activities. We have since then been enjoying the creative liberty offered by our own recording structure The Fall.»

    Both co-founders never ceased to compose, whether for their solo projects or their common work, ranging from avant-garde orchestral (Ensemble Orphique) to dark industrial (Statues) and electronic music (A Poison Tree).
    These new musical horizons did not keep them from writing the music «that naturally flows from [them]», however. Without much difficulty they found themselves with enough new compositions in store to fill several of what might be called ELEND albums. Although these pieces were merely intended as a private enjoyment, the composers finally decided to shape them into a definitive form and to revive the project. The current personnel consists of the recording line-up that participated in the recording of The Umbersun as well as of additional instrumentalists (violins, violas, trumpets, horns, trombones).

    Winds Devouring Men recording personnel:

    * Klaus Amann: trumpet, horn, trombone
    * Nathalie Barbary: soprano
    * Shinji Chihara: violin, viola
    * David Kempf: violin, solo violin
    * Esteri Rémond: soprano

    All other instruments and vocals, sound-design and programming by Iskandar Hasnawi, Sébastien Roland and Renaud Tschirner.

    The production of Winds Devouring Men took place at The Fall, the band's private recording studios. Being liberated at last from the constraints of external studios made possible a major leap forward in terms of production quality.
    As to the music, it is extremely dark and melancholic, and though much of it is calmer than that of the preceding album, which was hailed by the critics as one of the darkest and most violent albums ever recorded, it still has its dramatic outbursts of violence.
    The elements that made up the personality and originality of the band are still there: a dense and varied orchestral instrumentation and the interplay of male and female voices. The screams, however, have disappeared; the band explains this as follows:

    «The use of screams seemed totally justified by our project and was legitimate at the time of the "Officium Tenebrarum" cycle; but today it would not make sense anymore. We want to avoid to reduce them to a mere artificial element. The audience and the critics have always acknowledged that the screams of ELEND were something unique, and we force ourselves to believe that this is derived from an internal necessity of our music. We have never understood bands that use screams in order to belong to a particular scene or to conform to a certain fashion, although they are not justified by their music. We believe that any further use of this device, or its abuse, would deprive all we have achieved until now of its credibility and originality.
    Violence and savagery are an integral part of ELEND - if these aspects did not interest us any longer, we would use another name; but screams do not appear to us as an adequate mode of expression of this violence anymore. Our music still screams, but in another way.»

    Musical violence, which has always been one of the central constituents of the project, is thus expressed elsewhere, such as through the inclusion of industrial and percussive elements, which build up menacing sonic monuments.

    Pictures (2)


    Fans (0)

    no fans

    Similar Artists

    Andrea BocelliIl DivoBeethovenJackie EvanchoEscalaKatherine JenkinsDavid GarrettJose Mari ChanCarl OrffGeorge GershwinLata MangeshkarE.S. PosthumusEmma ShapplinÓlafur ArnaldsThe Piano Guys show more (16-31 of 50)

    More artists

    • popular on LSI
    • new on LSI


    Facebook (0) LetsSingIt (0)