On October 30th, 2015, a catastrophe hit Bucharest, Romania. The Colectiv club was struck by a fierce fire, killing 64 people and injuring 147 more. The shivering scenes occurred during a live act by Goodbye To Gravity, a local metalcore outfit who were celebrating the release of their second full-length record, entitled Mantras of War. 4 out of 5 members of the band were killed during the horrific scene. The fire started by the band’s live pyrotechnics display, as it greatly accelerated by polyurethane foam used in the club to dampen sound waves. Guitarists Vlad Țelea and Mihai Alexandru were instantly killed, as vocalist Andrei Galut, bassist Alex Pascu, and drummer Bogdan Enache were immediately hospitalized. Unfortunately, Pascu and Bogdan died in the hospital, as well as Galut’s girlfriend.
Romania suddenly turned blue, as locals began to understand the magnitude of the whole event. The President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, addressed the public later on by saying: “I’m deeply grieved by the tragic events that happened this evening in downtown. It is a very sad day for all of us, for our nation and for me personally. In these moments, I would like to express my complete sympathy with the families of those affected by this tragedy.” The catastrophe had an immediate impact, as many venues in the city were closed after the incident, and a smoking ban was implemented in almost all enclosed public places. You can read more about the tragedy and President Iohannis’ statement here.
The story touched many music fans around the world, which led to the birth of a beautiful gesture that was released only a while ago. 17 metal bands from around the world have collaborated to record a tribute album in memory of GTG. Each band recorded a cover version of a song from the two albums the Romanian outfit was able to release before the catastrophe occurred. This project is pure charity, as all profits are being donated to GTG members’ families, and to the other victims as well.
You can buy the album here.
We’ve had the chance to talk to Auria Sapir, guitarist of Israeli metal outfit Matricide, who participated in the touching tribute. The band recorded a cover version of “Rise From The Fallen,” the fifth song in GTG‘s second and, sadly, final release. The cover was recorded and mixed by Daniel Strosberg in Keoss Studios, Tel Aviv, Israel, and was mastered by Luculescu Alin Gabriel.
It Djents: How did you hear of the catastrophe? It wasn’t really covered by the Israeli media.
Auria: “It’s a very sensitive issue. It’s hard to comprehend the magnitude of the disaster from here in Israel, as it is considered a national mourning in Romania. I can’t really remember where or when I first heard of the news; I guess from one of the major metal magazines online, but I was shocked while reading about the catastrophe and seeing the feed on Facebook.”
ID: And how did it come to the place where you guys took place in this tribute? Did you get to meet the band during your tour in Romania?
Auria: “We didn’t really know of the band before. As a matter of fact, when we toured in Romania, our Israeli manager, Liran Zigi, made many connections with people throughout the tour and somehow we came to meet a guy named Vlad Busca who works for Universal Music in Romania. Zigi and Busca kept in touch even after we came back to Israel, and when the tragedy occurred, Vlad told Liran that we could take part in this tribute and, of course, we wanted to participate. We didn’t know much about it, like who’s going to take part in it or via what label was it going to be released. We just wanted to pay our respect to this band, to Romania and the music fans there, and to represent Israel.”
ID: How did the recording process go? And why did you pick this song out of the whole bunch – was there anything specific that helped you connect with it?
Auria: “We chose Keoss Studios in Tel Aviv to record the song. We spent our own money and time to record it. We didn’t really have much time to record it, so it was all done in 2 to 3 takes. The recordings went much smoother than I expected. We did it pretty quickly and reached a good result.
Emotionally, we felt committed to the project and wanted to represent Israel with dignity on this tribute, although we didn’t know what other bands might be in it.
Regarding the song that we picked – the intro of that song really reminds us of a new Matricide song, so it kind of felt natural to pick that one, rearrange and adapt it to a way that sounds like us. I think it took me one day to finish writing the new arrangement. In addition, our vocalist, Ran, read the lyrics of many different GTG songs and felt mostly connected to this one, so it was clear to us that this is the song that we should pick.”
ID: How do you guys feel with the final product, and overall about participating in this tribute?
Auria: “I think that the project turned out really cool. I always have my controversy about the final mix cause you can always aspire to achieve better sound. You have to take the budget that we had under consideration, but we’re overall pleased with the way that it turned out.”
We’re really happy to have participated in this very important project. We’re honored. We got some great exposure from Universal Music Romania and earned new audience, which is great. I hope that these kind of events will never happen in the metal scene, or in any other musical scene, so that we wouldn’t have to make these kind of heartfelt tributes.”
Back to Life – A Tribute to Goodbye to Gravity Track Listing:
01. Cruadalach (Czech Republic) – Waking Up
02. Outbreak (Romania) – Unusual Suspects
03. Changing Skins (Romania) – Vanishing Point
04. Nightshadows Lament (with members from My Dying Bride, Tristania, Apoptygma Berzerk, Mortiis, Hellbound Hearts and Green Carnation) – Horizons
05. Stonelight feat. Toni Dijmarescu (Romania) – I Won’t Wait
06. Anna Murphy (ex-Eluveitie – Switzerland) – Through It All
07. Bruma (Romania) – Between the Tides
08. Bedårande Barn (Sweden) – Back to Life (acoustic)
09. Days of Confusion & Vița de Vie (Romania) – The Day We Die
10. News from Nowhere (Romania) – Shadow Puppets
11. Wind Rose (Italy) – Atonement
12. Sequence (Serbia) – Four Minutes of Rage
13. Matricide (Israel) – Rise From the Fallen
14. L.O.S.T. (Romania) – Heed the Call
15. Bucium (Romania) – What If
16. Mindcage Escape (Romania) – This Life Is Running Out
17. Spaceman (Goodbye To Gravity Version) – Babylon Zoo cover
We offer our deepest condolences to the families and friends of all victims.
May you never have to experience anything like this, ever again.
Team It Djents.