ETERNAL GRAY: Guitarist Dory Bar-Or
Interviewed by EvilG
Gray traces its roots back to the Israeli band Betrayer. Many of the
members were “fill-ins” for Betrayer and when Betrayer ended their
journey in 2001 some of them continued on in Eternal Gray. The band have
a top notch sounding debut album entitled KINDLESS. The band flew to
Sweden to record KINDLESS at renowned Abyss studios, with Tommy
Tägtgren as sound engineer. The style of metal that Eternal Gray plays
is death metal. I recently had the opportunity to interview Eternal
Gray's guitarist (also played bass and keyboards on the album) Dory
Bar-Or. I spoke to Dory about the band, their debut album, and a bit
about what it is like to be playing this kind of music in Israel, the
band's home country.
does the band name "Eternal Gray" mean?
The name Eternal Gray refers to our music. It is a combination of
both our music and our lyrics - since our life bares an ever-pale shade,
gray is the colour best describing our musical creation. Our world is
extreme and Eternal Gray is the middle. We feel Gray; we play Gray and
that is the point behind our music. As for example, "Inflicting
Pain" (4th song on Kindless) is very dark and takes you into
another world, somehow psychotic. Then again - "World of Ice"
(9th song) has a much more aggressive and uncompromising feel in it, so
that is the reason we chose the middle area.
A lot of band's use, or have used, the word 'Eternal' in their
name including Eternal Agony from Israel. So why did you pick such a
I guess "eternal" is a word that with the right connection
can be very powerful and usually makes you think of something huge,
endless, and maybe scary. A good example is Hate Eternal.
I'm very picky over death metal bands, perhaps more than other
styles. However, Eternal Gray kept my interest for most of the album.
I'm thinking this is perhaps because of your history with playing more
than one type of music and other influences creep into your style??
First, I can say that every one of us came to Eternal Gray with a
different history in metal and music in general. Of course, we
appreciate many bands and artists in the metal field and we try to
combine what we like with what we are. I can take a wild guess and say
that the situation in our region is quite helpful but then again, that
is not our main issue at all. Eternal Gray goes for the psychotic way
and twisted mind that happened to be in everyone.
"Thanks" to the demise of the band Betrayer, both Nail
Within and Eternal Gray were born. What do you think of the Nail Within
Yishai (Nail Within vocalist and Raven Music owner) is a good friend
of mine. We used to play together in Betrayer and had some wonderful
years together, as I am sure we will in the future.
I think Nail Within is Yishai's way of making the music he is more
into. As you know, Eternal Gray, that that is my favorite style...not
playing the same musical direction as Nail Within. However, when
comparing bands from the same style, I think their material is
aggressive, interesting, and "straight to the face" as we like
to call it. They are good musicians.
How would you explain to a potential fan how Eternal Gray differs
from your past work or how it fits into the international metal scene?
I guess one listen to Kindless
would solve that issue, that way or another. I would say that nothing is
too general for us. It does not matter what you do, what matters is how
you do it. I think that it is almost impossible to make completely
general music or anything. We are not trying to make something new. We
took the things that everybody already knows and combined it with our
"Gray" feel. You can find it in every composition of the songs
Eternal Gray is the corner we use to express what we think and feel,
that is the main reason its dark, mid tempo yet heavy and fast. I don't
know, I should leave it for you to decide don't you think?
Eternal Gray traveled to Sweden's Abyss studios to work with sound
engineer Tommy Tägtgren. Why did you choose to go there and how much of
the album, or for that matter songs, were ready before going there?
We needed to get away from everything and record in a
"sterile" environment, we wanted our first album to be the
very best in terms of sound, so the Abyss was not only our first pick
but our first priority as well.
It was a great and very yielding an experience for us to record Kindless
at the Abyss. We learned a lot even though we came well prepared.
Tommy is a professional in his job. He is comfortable to work with as he
is listening and open-minded. I also think that's the main reason that
our sound is not "Abyss like". Without Tommy and his attitude
it would never be like it.
As I mentioned, we came well prepared in terms of what sound we
wanted, the structure of the songs, equipment etc.. You can say we did
our homework and it is much as making an interview with a band; after
collecting all the necessary material for the questions to be
professional and interesting, reading the answers can surprise you and
tell you new and interesting directions you have not think of them
before. Same for us working in the Abyss with Tommy; we made many
types of amps, guitars, effects, etc. did you use on your guitars in the
We used a Mesa boogie amp with Marshall 12*4 cabinet, Line 6 Pod Pro
as the preamp and distortion. Eyal used Brian Moor and I used Ibanez
RG550+Dimarzio pickups. The tuning was D with six strings. As for today
we use seven strings, normal tuning.
Since you have 2 guitarists in the band, did you both record
rhythms for the songs? How many layered rhythm tracks are we hearing on
When experiencing the recording, you must adjust yourself to the type
of music that you play. Many styles would sound just horrible when one
guitarist plays all the rhythms. However, I think Eternal Gray music is
very precise and tight to play, so we mostly chose to record it with
one, as to make it as tight as we wanted. Of course, we both play some
parts here and there. There are four rhythm layers in each song, plus a
center guitar parts that is played twice (left and right)
What is up with the album cover? :-)
Nude is the purest and most harmless form of a human been. It's the
same person there, all three is actually one that is looking on himself
at the mirror in order to understand his frustration, and actually
seeing himself turning his back and walk away, ignoring.
"Kindless" cover artwork meant to reflect reality as it is
to every one that is looking at it. A reflection. Every time you look in
the mirror the answers will come, clear as glass. As our music and
lyrics are all about reality, there is a strong connection between the
artwork and the songs content.
By the way, when we thought about the concept and how it should be
visualized, we knew it is going to make many people wonder what the fuck
it is it.. (-: However, we chose to do it anyway.
Regarding influences…in my review of Kindless
I said: "I hear some references in the music to Death (later
day), Monstrosity, At The Gates, Sepultura (older), Morbid Angel, and
even some of the heavier aspects of Nevermore can be found." - did
I nail any of the influences, or was it just my own perception?
You nailed it man. I know that that is not the expected answer,
however, we in Eternal Gray played, are playing and will continue to
play whatever we think a good and interesting death metal should sound
like. Combining some areas of metal together can make an album sound a
bit different. As you said, you hear some references...it is not exactly
like any one of them so....
One constructive criticism I made with the album was with regard
to the track "Absent Mourn". In my review I said: "This
begins with some first-rate melodic lead guitar followed by technical
and busy riffing not far removed from some of the more technical moments
of Nevermore's POLITICS OF ECSTASY. The vocals are what hold this back a
little. If singer Eyal Glottman were able to throw in some clean singing
in places like this, the sky would be the limit. Well that's how I see
it with my own personal tastes in metal." So what is your take
on that? I know this is just MY own opinion on things, but what would
yours be? Why are there no melodic or clean vocals to mix things up a
As long as it is constructive, we are happy to receive criticism.
Regarding Kindless, we
wanted to keep it in the "old school" way of death metal and
not take it to the very much appreciated but not Eternal Gray style.
Moreover, I mean that "New breed" style. Of course, we are
very open-minded regarding developments as people and in our music, so I
can not promise you that we wont take some changes in our upcoming CD.
The album's liner notes thanks Shmier (DESTRUCTION), and Peter
(HYPOCRISY) for their contributions. Exactly what did they help with and
how did their input come to be?
Actually, Schmier and Peter's performance in the Kindless
debut album was a coincidence. While recording our album, Destruction
were recording their album at Peter's studio. One night we were invited
to party with them, we took that opportunity and invited them to come
and listen to our album. They came and liked what they heard and we
asked them to put their mark in, the rest you know...
Can you give a few words on what each of the songs on the album
are about, and perhaps point out some memorable moments in the studio
(good or painful) with regards to the recording of that song?!?
1. Sins in the process of creation
That was the first we recorded.
2. Flesh cycles
We recorded with a metronome most of the songs, and Flesh cycles was not
3. Absent mourn
Destruction's guitarist Mike entered the studio exactly when I was
recording it. I remember he liked it very much.
4. Inflicting pain
The last part of that song was an improvisation (the end of the song).
Our drummer just could not stop his double bass and just kept playing.
Originally the song supposed to end before..
5. There lays nothing
In the middle of the song there is a slow part with clean guitars.
In order to make it special we took out all of the drums microphones,
positioned two room microphones far from the drums, to make it sound
6. War of chaos
As I mentioned, we recorded with a metronome and this is our oldest
song, which we did not designed it for a click, so our drummer recorded
it first, and after the first opening riff you have that guitar alone
then the drums play again. So we had to guess, or should I say,
"shoot in the dark" the exact place when the drum starts
again. We did it after two tries and we were amazed by the unexpected
success of nailing that part.
7. The unbelievers die
We recorded the intro in Israel, at the same day we flew to Sweden.
Eyal just came to the taxi and said to me "here, I recorded
something, maybe we will use it".. Moreover, we did.
8 & 9. Intro + World of Ice
This was the last song of the vocals recordings, and if we will consider
the fact that we did not know who will sing in the CD (we were without a
vocalist), we will understand that Eyal just sang in the whole album
without being prepared and in the last song he just kept spitting blood
out of his throat.. hehehe..
You have a cool website, but it doesn't seem to be updated too
often with the news section mentioning "Eternal Gray's next
performance will take place at the "City Hall" club, Haifa, on
the 21.12.02." hehehe….so how did that gig go anyway?
we are currently working on a new design for the website, something that
takes more time then we thought. We took a new designer and the process
is close to be finished.
That gig was great as all the bands that took part there playing a
different style so it was interesting.
Has the band been offered any gigs outside of Israel?
Yes, we have been offered to play outside of Israel (in Greece,
Germany, Holland..). Nevertheless, we were busy at that time with
writing material for the next Eternal Gray episode, though we are free
now and will be happy to perform outside of Israel.
Does Raven music have a North American or European distribution
deal (with The End Records perhaps?)
Our American distribution is The End Records and the European is
Listenable Records. Both are doing a great job and this is my
opportunity to thank them for that!
How does the current political climate in Israel affect the
activities of the band, if at all?
It does not at all.
If we watch news, we see the continued division along religious
lines in Israel. Does this division carry into your metal scene, or does
metal appeal to a broader cross-cultural/religious group?
We have no problem with the religious people here. We never had to
cancel a gig, event, or whatever because of religious reasons. The
problems appear to be rising in many upper levels yet not inflicting the
Why does Israel have such a hot metal scene right now?
The main reason is that many people concluded that metal music is not
something that they should have fear of, that leads to the birth of many
bands here, some of them are really good. Israel has a lot to offer to
the worldwide metal scene and I think people just need to open ears and
minds in order to get it right. I can take a wild guess and say that the
political climate is taking part in it and makes you want to loose
yourself in that way or another. Music is the best way to do it, and
aggressive music is the right one! (-:
you think it's any different to be a metal head in Israel as opposed to
any other country?
As every place in the world has a different culture, I think yes, it
may be not the same. The scene in Europe is different from the scene in
the states, as well as Israel. Again, it is harder to be a metalhead
here because of the lack of events (from abroad) that is understood
completely, under the circumstances. Then again, the situation here is
NOT so bad as people used to think and the proof is that we are keeping
our scene alive and breathing.
Does Metal Hammer Israel still exist?
Yes, it is, but I am not familiar with its distribution and
According to your bio your first band was, in style, black metal.
Was black metal the first style of heavy metal that you got into? If
not, what was and either way what were some of the early albums that
hooked you on metal?
My first death metal album was Deicide (Deicide). Before came Iron
Maiden and Slayer. I was always into dark things and Black Metal caught
my attention all the time. Bands like Mayhem (old school Mayhem) and
Emperor (old school…) were my favorites. It has always been that, and
death metal such as Morbid Angel Etc. That is the place to express my
appreciation to the band Root, that in my opinion "The temple in
the underworld" CD is some of the best metal ever made.
You online bio also briefly mentions your time spent in the army:
"The years passed by and I joined the army. I decided to
volunteer to the paratroopers and fought terrorists (even got myself a
nice present, a bullet in my leg)."
What was it like to serve your country? Is it something you wanted to do
and how has the experience shaped your worldview? Did you get to put out
the lights of any terrorist scumbags?
First, in Israel you MUST do your service. On the age of 18, you are
called for duty and they put you in exams in order to define what are
your qualifications and where you will fit the best. I served in the
paratroopers unit, which you volunteer to, and do some tests before you
are accepted. When serving your country, while knowing that when you do
that your family can live peacefully without that fear of being killed,
you actually start to like it, even love it. I just know I was a fucking
war machine when serving in Lebanon and fighting those Satan damned
terrorists. Let me just add, that unlike some people I love to think the
Israeli army is humanitarian. I ran into many battles and situations
that it was so easy to loose your mind and kill, but the education,
training, and professionalism that we learned in the army and back home,
helped me to control myself there. When seeing your best friend take a
bullet, then a terrorist get to him and just shoot him in the head, then
kick him to make sure he is dead, that kind of thing makes you think. Of
course, it has changed my worldview, and more than that, it has changed
my life. I will never be the same again.
Any closing comments for the Metal-Rules.com readers?
Let me just thank you for taking that time and read the above, hope
to know that my words will contribute to somebody somehow. As long as we
live, we will do our best to keep our way of life, continue playing
Death metal and provide the best for you all! Keep supporting the scene,
enjoy as much as you can, we are currently preparing the material for
our upcoming CD and looking for a record label as we are free from any
contract and management.
Keep it Gray.
Dory, on behalf of Eternal Gray.
CD Review: Kindless