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In God's silence, is the tale of heavenly hell and the sudden demise of Sabine Dunser. Indeed, in the innocent heart of a dead child, barely 30 years old, was contained the heartwrenching saga of Griefshire. Just as the story of two brothers were to unfold upon the masses, the black angel of death would show Sabine the way to heaven, causing sheer grief across a shocked and stunned mettle milieu. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Elis endured, welcoming Sandra Schleret to wake from her Dreams Of Sanity, and embrace the burning passion and spirit of Sabine's songwriting art, as Elis always remembers the promise of perfect love and magic. Join Pete Streit and I as we reflect on this lost soul's legacy, and discuss the new decade of Griefshire.

MettleAngel: Greetings there Mr. Pete Streit, I'm sorry for the tragic loss of your previous vocalist, I'm sure it was difficult replacing Sabine after her untimely death, has the band received lots of condolences on her behalf?

  • Pete: Yes indeed, that was one of the main reasons to go on with Elis. We have received condolences from bands, friends, even peoples we've never met; all of this was just great, and it inspired us all.

MettleAngel: Obviously, you had to find yourself a suitable new vocalist to continue the Elis legacy and tradition; I'm sure you've found someone who has done just that, so please tell me a little bit about her and how she will fit in to the band.

  • Pete: Sandra Schleret is awesome! She's got a strong voice and she fits perfectly into the band. We did some rehearsals already and it feels like we have been together for years.

MettleAngel: That is so good to hear. I'm sure the spirit of Sabine is blessing the band, and its honest endeavours to carry on without her. What factors resulted in you selecting Sandra? I know she sang for the band Dreams Of Sanity.

  • Pete: Sandra is pefect because we have German lyrics. She`s from Austria and has her own car. It's only two hours to drive and that`s one more reason, we want to keep this "band feeling", we want to rehearse live, and not just contact one another by E-mail.

MettleAngel: I agree, proximity is a major factor for keeping a band's sound tight and consistent. I've met so many artists who have recoded on a CD, without ever meeting the other band members. I must say that The Griefshire is an amazing concept album. I'm aware that Sabine created and wrote all the lryics herself; for those unfamiliar with the gist of the story, could you please comment on the story line and the subject matter.

  • Pete: The story is about two brothers who lived in a city called "Griefshire". The younger one is physically handicapped and the older one is a born leader. But the older brother turns into a (religious) sect leader who destroys everything. The wife of the older brother is the secret love of the younger brother and discerns the truth of her husband, but she doesn't leave him. And that`s the solution, the girl who found the diary, is the daughter of the younger. Her mother, the wife of the sect-leader, survived the fire and was rescued by the younger.

MettleAngel: That is a fascinating story. Is there any historical basis to the storyline or is it pure fiction?

  • Pete: The story is pure fiction, probably there`s some personal stuff in between the lines, but overall it`s fiction.

MettleAngel: That's what I assumed, but the story does provoke food for thought. I love when religion is explored through detailed personification. It makes me reflect on Sabbat's Dreamweaver which is based on the book Way Of The Wyrd" by Brian Bates. It is such a shame that Sabine is no longer physically present to extrapolate her intriguing story, and what deeply motivated her to pen this tale. Her sudden death just must have taken everyone by complete surprise. I too have suffered grievous loss in the past few months, so every time I listen to this CD I become extremely emotional, it's almost as if her spirit is speaking through the music. Have other fans suggested this as well?

  • Pete: Yes, I heard this a few times. Sabine did her best singing performance ever. The whole album is very emotional and totally honest.

I agree, it just evokes such a contemplative tone. Griefshire has received critical acclaim, do you think that it's by far your best CD, or because of the notoriety of Sabine's tragedy, do you feel that it has received the most recognition?

  • Pete: I think that it is the best album by Elis. The songs are much better. The whole album is more mature. We worked with natural instruments like harps, strings and a choir. Griefshire is a big step forward.

MettleAngel: I agree with this. I can definitely hear the orchestration and ornamentations. Sabine had a unique vocal style, whether she sang in native German, or English. Essentially, how do you view the band Elis in 2007 fitting in with so many other female fronted bands saturating the market today?

  • Pete: That was also a very important criterion for choosing a new singer. That's the big different compared with other female fronted bands. Sandra also possesses a big range of vocal character, and is in the position to sing different styles. To answer your basic question, I really feel that we got a good chance in the competition.

MettleAngel: I wish you the best of success. Do you think your musical pursuits serve to distinguish you from the more commercial outfits such as Within Temptation, Echoes Of Eternity, and other bands of their ilk?

  • Pete: I originally played in several thrash metal bands before dedicating my heart to Elis, and that's what I want to do. I like the combination between heavy guitar riffs and the female voice.

MettleAngel: I agree, and the female presence has become much more beautiful in quality and pronouncement over the years, compared to the thrashier Acid, Holy Moses, and even Warlock style. It as if the gothic bands have found their balance between the commercial female rock bands like Fleetwood Mac, Vixen, Phantom Blue, and Heart; and blended them with the more classical stylings of artists like Sarah Brightman and Annie Lennox to create the heavier female fronted presence. Let's switch gears for a minute. Are you currently happy and pleased with Napalm Records? They obviously have some very Gothic bands on their roster, and Elis is so much more that a typical Gothic metal act. Do you think being on Napalm "pigeon holes" your potential?

  • Pete: I`m satisfied with Napalm Records. All in all we can do what we want. We have the chance for touring and they do provide us good promotion for every album. About the gothic and the metal thing, all I can say is that we all like metal festivals, because the metal scene is where we come from.

So it all boils down to the fact that you are metal heads at heart. Are their any plans to record a new video now with Sandra on vocals? If this is the case what song have you selected?

  • Pete: No, unfortunately, nothing is planned at the moment. I think the first thing which we have to do is to put out a new record with Sandra on vocals, before we bother with that.

MettleAngel: I guess that makes sense and also honors Sabine's memory. I live in America, and until Sabine's death, I was virtually unfamiliar with Elis. Do you find that you are having a strong fan base in the US? Are their any plans to tour America?

  • Pete: I hope our fan base in the US grows, over time. It would be important to tour in the states. I talked with other bands and they told me, it`s fucking great there.

MettleAngel: Yes, they are right! Americans love to see our favourite European artists tour America and meet them. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions! Hopefully, next time I'll catch you in person for our next interview, under less morose conditions.

  • Pete: That would be great!

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