What was considered as Orwellian fiction back in 1984 has become reality in 2013 — the surveillance society. In times of Facebook and Skype, true privacy seems to exist only where exposure through the media is consistently rejected. "There's almost a kind of hysteria when it comes to the Internet and digital pseudo-realities," POWERWORLD mastermind Ilker Ersin explains the background of the band's latest album title, "Cybersteria", a combination — you might have guessed it — of the words "cyber" and "hysteria."
"Our new songs aren't a concept album in the narrower sense, but as usual the whole album is held together by a central theme," he continues. "This time the leitmotif is emotional impoverishment which is increasingly supported by the new media. At the end of the day, social networks have the opposite effect of what they suggest: they make people grow lonely." Stirring words by a musician who has composed an album which is stirring in every respect, because "Cybersteria" presents that typical intelligent mélange of melodic heavy metal and progressive elements that we've come to expect from POWERWORLD.
The album's opener, "Children Of The Universe", a brilliant piece featuring a powerful guitar riff and an intricately complex structure, is typical of this unique combination and refers to the global effects of the actions of every single one of us, be it in a media or a technical context. "Slave To The Powerworld", with its ambiguous title, sketches in detail how powerful and at the same time merciless the world of the Internet has become.
Comments Ersin: "There have even been cases where governments were overthrown through the power of the Internet." "Cybersteria" also holds a number of stylistic surprises in store: "Black Ash" is unusually cheerful for this band, featuring consciously selected major chords which create a very individual, open atmosphere. Ersin says: "Our roots are in the blues, so we usually prefer minor atmospheres, but in this instance the major chords complement the melodic line perfectly." And all those interested in finding out which direction this band is likely to opt for in the future will be able to find out more on "Coast Of Tears", a skilful refinement of that typical POWERWORLD sound.
Ersin produced and mixed "Cybersteria" at his MusikundWeb studios in Hirschaid, near Bamberg. The CD was mastered by Tommy Newton (VICTORY, UFO), and the instruments were recorded by Ersin, guitarist Andreas Rippelmeier, keyboardist Marco Grasshoff and drummer Guido Gallus. The biggest surprise: the vocal parts were recorded by Michael Bormann (ex-JADED HEART), who stepped in on short notice after David Reece (ex-ACCEPT, BANGALORE CHOIR) exited the group. Ersin explains: "It transpired during the recordings that David and I have different approaches which cannot be combined under the moniker of POWERWORLD. As a result, we decided to end our collaboration. There were no hard feelings between David and me; it was simply a decision by two grown men who agreed to follow their gut instincts."
In Michael Bormann, POWERWORLD have found an ideal replacement, particularly since Bormann had already successfully filled in during their most recent tour for former POWERWORLD vocalist Andrew McDermott, who suffered from ill health (he died in August 2011), and had also been scheduled as a choir singer on "Cybersteria". "Michael did a brilliant job and even rewrote the lyrics with me. We're not only totally thrilled, but also very grateful for his support," says Ersin.
"Cybersteria" track listing:
01. Children Of The Universe
02. Slave To The Powerworld
03. Back On Me
04. World Knows Your Secrets - Virtuality
05. You Gotta Hold On
06. Am I Digital? (intro)
07. Coast Of Tears
08. Black Ash
09. Like A Shadow
11. You Will Find A Way
12. Not Bound To The Evil
"Cybersteria" will be released in Germany on May 24, in the rest of Europe on May 27 and in the U.S./Canada on June 4 through SPV/Steamhammer.
Michael Bormann (BONFIRE, JADED HEART) - Vocals
Ilker Ersin (FREEDOM CALL, MOON'DOC) - Bass
Marco Grashoff - Keyboards
Andreas Rippelmeier - Guitar
Guido Gallus - Drums