“I decided to keep it a personal project” – Introducing: The Sullen

Formed out of the ashes of his previous band “Final Words of Sorrow“, was created by Petros “Elathan” Petalas in Athens, in the fall of 2018. Its musical path is an alloy of gothic/black metal with melodic doom elements, under the aegis of Tribulation, Paradise Lost, Primordial, and the prime Rotting Christ era.

Beginnings:

“Final Words of Sorrow was a project that did not represent what I was standing for anymore. At a certain point, I took a look into the band’s past, what its message was, what is presented to the world of music. Add to that the completely unstable lineup and inefficient promotion, and there I was trapped in an artistic dead-end. So one day I simply decided to start over with something new. Thus, ‘The Sullen’ was formed. Initially, the project would employ the entire lineup of ‘Final Words of Sorrow’ at that time, namely Petros Avlonitis and Giannis ‘Tass’, as well as a few other potential members, but after some early signs of miscommunication, I decided to keep it a personal project.”

Behind the name:

“It comes from the faces I would see on a daily basis in a city like Athens. ‘The Sullen‘ represents the defeated, the beaten, those who keep going just to keep on going. ‘The Sullen‘ is here to offer an alternative approach to life than that.”

Inspiration:

“Bands would be Tribulation, Paradise Lost, Primordial, and others of the gothic-black-doom aesthetic, but lately, I’m enjoying a lot of the early 2000s pop-punk music scene. It really breathes new life and inspires me in different ways.”

Present:

“The EP consists of tracks that I wrote for what would have been the next ‘Final Words of Sorrow’ album. Being the fruit of my own work, I decided to release them as ‘The Sullen’. The recordings took place mostly in late summer and early autumn of 2019. However, the project had to freeze after a severe jaw injury prevented me from doing intense jaw moves, such as singing – or even eating a steak for that matter. So I had to finish it later on, in the spring of 2020. During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic that is. The pandemic gave me a lot of time to get the EP done but led me to decide to keep it a digital release. People can listen to ‘Rituals of Death’ in a bunch of different platforms if they want to; moving parcels and boxes of merch around the world just does not seem like a reasonable thing to do during a pandemic. Please do not get me wrong on that last one, I am not saying anything against musicians who print physical merch in 2020, especially if they rely on music for a significant portion of their income. But I do not rely on music for my living, at least not yet, so it just did not seem responsible for me to do so.

Upcoming material:

“I am working on it indeed! What can I say, the album will implement a lot of my influences from melodic death/doom, black metal, and occult rock. Though I’m mainly paying my tribute to the English and Scandinavian Doom and Black scenes of the 90s. So if you’re into early Paradise Lost, Anathema, Sentenced, you’ll probably enjoy this record.”

The future:

“Plans include getting ready for live shows, building a team around ‘The Sullen’. At least for the live performance part. However, life does not seem to care a lot about plans lately so a lot of things remain unsure, including where I’ll live, what the financial situation is going to be, how much time I’ll be able to invest in music, and other.

The only thing I’d like to add is for a plea for people to extend their hands to those in need, as much as they can. We’re going through tough times, and people next door might be suffering. When all else is lost, let’s not lose each other.”

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"I associate heavy metal with fantasy because of the tremendous power that the music delivers." - Christopher Lee

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