Ben Baruk – What Love Is That? An interview with Rafael Rodrigues

Ben Baruk formed in 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Last month they released their debut album.

My interest was caught by the description of it being symphonic metal, but listening to the album I hear a more progressive, experimental side which I really liked and the lyrics straight from the Bible and Christian life are also something that made me to immediately put the album on my playlist.

Tracklist:

1. Messiah 2. Prelude to Kenosis 3. One With Christ 4. Lacrimis Solantia 5. Nocturnal Lament 6. Cry to Me 7. Distant Thinking 8. What Love Is That? 9. What Will I Do? 10. A World of Tears 11. Black Romance

Line up:

Maria José (aka Mazé) – Female Vocals
Rafael Rodrigues – Gutturals and Guitar
André Fernandes – Male Vocals and Guitar
Carlos Eduardo (aka Cadu) – Bass
Lais Cunha – Drums

The album also has some different vocal styles. Shifting between female vocals, clean male vocals, and growling vocals by Rodrigues to songs with spoken vocals and choirlike parts.

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Beskrivning saknas.

I reached out to Rafael Rodrigues to have a chat about the album and the background of the band.

What where your thoughts when you formed the band?

We are a metal band formed by people who share the same faith and worldview, with the aim of creating heavy and extreme music reflecting our daily lives, our convictions and our influences. We believe that Jesus is the savior of humanity and this is reflected in our songs.

What does the name refer to?

The reference to the meaning of our name is found in the book of Jeremiah 36: 4 where Baruch son of Nerias had written the words that the Lord had sent through Jeremiah; the translation of Ben means son and Baruk (or Baruch) means blessed or worshiper that is: Blessed Son, because we believe that God’s blessing is on our lives and also on this endeavor.

Have you released any demos or singles before the recent album?

Yes, we released an EP called “Vidas que Choram” independently in 2018, with some music arrangements from the metal scene  and versions of praises, there were 6 songs sung in Portuguese, but since then the band has matured a lot, we changed the lineup, the way to interpret the songs and sing in English, but without losing the essence of the band, musically speaking.

Tell me about what influences you have for your music?

OK, there are many influences, ranging from more traditional bands, like Paramaecium, Paradise Lost, to the more current ones like Periphery, Tesseract, Haken, our sound goes between the extremes of metal and progressive metal today. And of course, the experience to living in God’s grace.

What are your hopes for the band? 

The best ! We hope to reach many people, let them see the content of the lyrics, the messages we want to pass on, the love of God, through the life experience of each one, tell our daily lives living in Christ, touch a lot and make more people are attracted to our style of making music.

Would you tour if the opportunity came up? 

For sure ! We hope soon that all this moment of chaos will pass so that we can return to activities. We are preparing for this, and already creating ideas for a future album, maybe in 2022. God bless!

What fascinates me with the sound of Ben Baruk is that among the exreme metal there´s also elements of old classical rock like Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin and them that was mentioned in the interview, til more modern day influences like Evenacence and HB. Also there are guitar solos and musical parts of with some are definitely something you would hear at a Dream Theatre concert.

The debut album was released 18 of December 2020 thru Vision Of God Records Christian Metal Underground Records and also to be found on digital platforms.

Written by MetalMira in January 2021