This interview with Rein and Esther of To Elysium was done through e-mail in May 2002.

Hello, how are you doing?
Busy, but fine, thank you.

To Elysium is a new acquaintance to most people in the metal world, could you please give us a brief introduction to the band?
We started out in 2002 on project-base until we conceived a consistent line-up. Then we released our demo "Collision course" which resulted in a record-deal with CBI. At the moment we are busy with the promotional activities for our first full-lenght "Dearest Vile".

What kind of musical background do the band members have? Are you involved in any other bands or projects at the moment?
Sjoerd used to play in Altar, but they split up. Manny still plays in Black Out (LP "Evil Game" Roadrunner 1984) and I (Rein) am busy with Seraphique besides TE. Esther studies at the conservatory. The others are experienced as well.

Reviewers will most certainly refer to bands like After Forever and Tristania when telling the world about your music but how would you yourself describe it?
Melodic death/black metal, accessible with compact structures, I avoid any comparisson with other bands, we do our own thing without conscious imitation.

Your debut album "Dearest Vile" was released by Cold Blood Industries earlier this year, what has the response been like so far?
Mainly very positive, there are some exceptions, but those reviews were done by people who do not even like the genre. They mean nothing to me. Coments about our structures being not compact enough are meaningless as well. I really enjoy reading a well done review and most of them are well done... keep talking, keep writing.

Was it a natural choice for you to sign with Cold Blood?
Yes, we get enough attention and the contact is personal. They offered us a reasonable deal and welcomed us with open arms.

What have you been doing since the release of the album and what are the current future plans of the band?
We did some shows and a lot of interviews. Meanwhile we are composing new material which we want to record coming winter. Next autumn we'll do more shows and maybe already some festivals this summer.

The metal scene in the Netherlands seems to be growing stronger and stronger, what do you think of the bands that your country has to offer?
There are many bands, many good bands. Obviously I don't like them all and some of them I've never even heard, but only heard of. Symmetry is simply brilliant, furthermore I like Cromm Cruac, See My Solution, The Wounded and of course the mighty Elegy.

What is it like playing metal in the Netherlands? Do you feel that the general support is good enough?
Yeah, but it's hard labour. The crowd is spoiled by a cornucopia of good acts, so you really have to do something to sustain. If there's will, there's a way and we're willing.

What are your top five albums ever?
Nick Cave "Boatman's call", Bonnie Prince Billy "I see a darkness", The Tea Party "Triptych", Samael "Ceremony of opposites", Queensryche "Operation: Mindcrime".

If you had the chance to change three things in the world, what would they be?
I see no point in this one, it's a good thing to fantasize, but not about matters of this size.

Now to my own and brand new right or wrong section. You are just going to tell us whether you think the following acts would be right or wrong:

a) If someone killed Hitler prior to his mass murder campaigns.
Killing is wrong, the crowd gave him the oppertunity, so ther would be a lot of slaying to do. WRONG.

b) To burn down a church because it's "evil".

c) To burn down a church because it represents oppression.
wrong, it also represents a rich history and a lot more. I see more in solidifying your own 'right' than to destroy what's 'wrong' to you.

d) Sado-masochism.
Right, if you like it.

e) Death penalty.

f) To lie if it will be of benefit to yourself.

g) Censorship.
Wrong, but that depends on what's censored

h) Religion.

i) Communism.

a) Killing is always wrong.
b, c) Any action against religious freedom is wrong, you have to be very carefull with thinking something is evil or representing oppression. Religion never holds such things, people do. And when people say something it is always an opinion and never a fact.
d) People are free to do to themselves what they please.
e) Killing is always wrong
f) I shouldn't try, something must go wrong in the end. You'll always hurt someone and most probably yourself
g) Freedom of speech is a precious thing. Have you followed Dutch politics lately? Then you know what I mean.
h) In a way, this is the most important thing in the world. We excist because we have faith. With or without a churge, you may call it religion.
i) Whatever the goal, good or bad, there are always fundamentalists. And with such a narrow sight you'll never win anything. Killing is always wrong.

Any final words for the fans?

Links of interest:

To Elysium
Cold Blood Industries