Fridays always bring another round of notable music, and today we encourage you not to miss one of the most interesting offerings this month, the newest album from Berlin based progressive metal/hardcore band KORA WINTER! Grappling with issues of escapism and finding yourself going in circles over and over again, “BITTER” is also an attempt at reaching out to people who are potentially suffering from that, trying to help them find the first steps out of the vicious cycle. We’re pleased to give you a proper presentation of the entire release, along with a special commentary and track by track breakdown from the band!
The album was written during a period of our lives where we were increasingly seeing ourselves growing stronger in what we were doing, both as a band and individually. At the same time we faced a lot of challenges that put some one of us through a lot and still does to this day. It is a truly wondrous and beautiful thing that the only constant during that time was this band, and even if we sound pissed off on this album, for us BITTER is a reflection of all the good things this band has done to us until now.
Lyrically and as the song title suggests this song is a follow-up to “STICHE” off of our previous release ‘WELK’. It sets the tone for the initial mood of the album, which is anger, disgust and hatred upon the world around yourself, before finding out that in the process of the album the main villain is actually found within yourself. (Hakan – vocals)
DEINE FREUNDE (KOMMEN ALLE IN DIE HÖLLE)
I remember being super afraid of recording the singing vocals for this chorus since I have never before reached up to such a high range. In the studio I struggled a lot with that part, until there was a magical half an hour where it felt like my throat was made of steel. I wrote this part with the intention of people singing their throats out at our shows so it doesn’t fuck up mine, haha. (Hakan – vocals)
One of the first songs that was written for BITTER, created as a bastard child of the ‘Coriolis’ songwriting process. This song always went fucking HARD when we played it live, even way before we dropped the album and people had no chance of knowing this song. I always kind of felt like this song is a product of all the shows we’ve played with our first two EPs. We started to figure out what works on stage and what doesn’t. Also shouts out to our Friend Robin Deutschbein, who shot the amazing music video! (Hakan – vocals)
This song might suggest that it revolves around drug abuse, though that doesn’t exclusively mean chemical substances per se but basically everything that makes you show addictive behaviour, be it attention, fame, sex, money. Anything that controls you when you think you’re in control all the time. Anything that suggests comfort in times where things might go downhill, even though that particular thing is only a short-term distraction from your problems piling up to eventually bury you underneath them. (Hakan – vocals)
This song builds the foundation for the second part of the album, depicting your own absolute lowest, but also the moment where you start to build up the strength to catch up with what is really wrong with you. It is about not blaming others for your own failure any more – it’s the moment where you ask yourself for the first time: What did I do to make all this worse? At what point could I have been a better person? (Hakan – vocals)
I visited a course on climatology and meteorology around the time we wrote the song where I learned about the Coriolis force, which is an fictitious force created by the earth’s rotation and also a factor in the formation of tropical cyclones. The song structure is based on an actual cross-section of a tropical cyclone that passes over you with the first spiral band, the eye of the storm and the second spiral band. For me the Coriolis force is a beautiful metaphor for how something fictitious or in a way “fake” can keep you from reaching your goals and lets you stay in your vicious circles. (Karsten – bass)
This was the last song we wrote for BITTER – and it almost didn’t make the cut. Us guitar players had to convince the rest of the band of this song and it needed almost 20 renditions we pumped out in countless late night sessions to finally make it onto the album. So in a sense this song represents the continuous, arduous effort we have to make as humans every day in order to achieve a better version of ourselves. (Yuki, Ferhan – guitars)
DAS WAS DICH NICHT FRISST
One of the lowest moments during the writing process caused by creative differences in the approach of writing music. Small scale technical details vs. large scale intuitive structures combined with the difficulties of translating ideas into actual sounds that need to be mastered and played. We had a real “kill your darlings”-moment with this song, where we cut an entire part of the ending AFTER we already recorded and sent everything to Nikita Kamprad (Ghost City Recordings, DER WEG EINER FREIHEIT), our mixing engineer. Only concert goers will ever get to hear the original ending of this song.
The song originates from a couple of sessions with our singer Hakan on drums when our original drummer Max was on vacation for a month. Its first draft was more of a fast groovy stoner song that evolved over time and many many many more drafts into the epic last song of the album. During the process of refining Hagel, the albums first song ‘STICHE II’ emerged as a side product and helped tie together the beginning and end of the record.
Also shoutouts to Adrian (GRAFI / ÄRA KR ) who put down some killer guest vocals for this song. (Karsten – bass)