New York death/doom outfit Göden have recently released their sophomore offering, Vale of the Fallen, in May via Svart Records. The follow-up to their 2020 debut, Beyond Darkness, showcases an even heavier sound with added intensity. Metal Insider caught up the group to discuss the record. 

How would you compare Vale of the Fallen to your debut album Beyond Darkness?

Stephen: Vale of the Fallen is a more focused album, the songs are less doom and shorter in length. The recording is much more direct and vocals are up front.

Can you describe the creative process behind the Vale of the Fallen?

Stephen: Usually I start the song and create the structure of the song with guitar, bass, drum  machine then Jason takes my idea and humanizes the drums and we work out details of the rhythm sections. After that Tony plays key and then we send it to Vas and she writes lyrics and tracks her own vocals.

What was it like collaborating with Margaret Murphy?

Stephen: Margaret was amazing to work with, I feel she added another layer and dimension to the music.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced while creating this album?

Stephen: I would say the pandemic was the biggest challenge. Not being able to be in the same room and rehearse and record in a more traditional way. But some of the newer recording methods were worth exploring and prefer them.

What are some of the song’s meanings, such as tracks, “Black Vortex,” and “Manifestation IX?”

Vas: The meaning of songs are up to the individual’s interpretation. When I first heard the riff of this song, it felt nauseating. It felt like I was traveling in a capsule in need to vomit, like diving into a black vortex spinning around in hell. The lyrics grew one after the other depicting that hell of a ride in time space reality.
Tony: I’d envisioned a fictitious scenario based upon the ages-old conflict between good and evil—or light and darkness, if you prefer—in a quasi-utopian setting that could’ve played out sometime in the very distant past (or very distant future)—here on Earth (“Gaia” in this case),or a counterpart in some alternate existence or universe…and GODEN is a benevolent spiritual entity which presides over that world and has set forth guidelines within an established code of laws and ethics, as with any civilized and morally-centered society…but as all is not always well within any given social order, discord inevitably arises, gives way to conflict and then the eventual return to harmony—which in this narrative is achieved by the decisive intervention of the powerful and omniscient presence which is GODEN.

Can you elaborate on the significance of the album title Vale of the Fallen?

Vas: If you stand back and look at humanity right now, it looks like we’ve fallen into a valley. Since the last four or more years there has been a lot of darkness in truth, a lot of hatred, humanity going absolutely mad, and a lot of people striving to find their tribe. I personally strive for hope and seek the higher realm of positivity always, but in the meantime, we find ourselves in the Vale of the Fallen.

How do you envision performing these new songs live?

Stephen: I envision the core musicians me, Vas, Jason, Tony, Margaret will play live and it would be a few festival shows in EU. I Play Guitar and bass so I would have someone fill in but they would have to be able to play both guitar and bass so we can switch it up. I like guitar and bass equally.

Eva Petric did the album art work for both album and also is on the bonus track with a project called Conductor of Lightning and the song is Majestic Symphony, Can you tell me more about this?

Stephen: Eva was great to work with. I really liked her Shadows collection and photos of gothic churches from around the world. Vale of the Fallen is a continuation of where Beyond Darkness left off. During the making of Beyond Darkness we collaborated on the song Majestic Symphony around 2019. The song did not have a home so I felt it should be heard and put it as a bonus track on Vale of the Fallen.