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Jun 18, 2014
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Arch Enemy – “War Eternal” (2014)

Label: Century Media

Review by Tony Cannella

When lead vocalist Angela Gossow decided to step down from her post fronting the extreme metal legends Arch Enemy it came as a huge shock. Who would fill her sizeable shoes? Well that turned out to be ex-The Agonist front lady Alissa White-Gluz – as it turns out it was a great choice.

The opening intro “Tempore Nihil Sanat (Prelude in F Minor)” opens the album and has a horror movie vibe to it before segueing into the relentless assault of “Never Forgive, Never Forget” and this is how the 10th Arch Enemy album begins. From the start it is obvious that the transition between vocalists is seamless and musically the band continues to mix death metal and thrash with the same technical proficiency that the band has always displayed. Continue reading »

Nov 27, 2012
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Interview : Liv Jagrell, Jimmy Hiltula & Dave Sundberg – Sister Sin (2010)

 

 

Interview by Connie Bach


Rock with attitude. This is Sister Sin’s personality. The “attitude” aspect is loud, edgy, and melodic. If you are furious with someone this is a great album for the situation. And if you are not in a rage, there is energy for entertainment, and plenty to spare.

Hi, Liv. What’s going on with the band right now?

Hi! Right now we are playing lots of shows in Scandinavia and doin’ some tours in Europe, we hope to be back in US early next year! The album is just released in Japan too so hopefully we will get the opportunity to do a tour over there next year too.

This one’s for the whole band.  How did each of you get involved in rock music? What’s your background?

Liv : Well, I started to get into rock in my early teens when I found Nirvana and Hole, and a Swedish metal band called Drain. Drain had Pantera as their favorite band and that got me into Pantera and the heavier stuff. I so wanted to become a rock star that I forced my to best girlfriends to start a band with me. After a while they got into it too ha, ha… We were called Sisters of Kali and we´re very, very dark and angry on everything.

Jimmy : I got into rock music seriously when I was around eleven years old. I loved Metallica and Pantera at that time which friends introduced me with. Then I discovered more extreme music such as Slayer, Sodom, Entombed and later on bands like Morbid Angel, Deicide, Suffocation, Gorefest and also a lot black metal. I played in many bands in those days, mostly death and black metal bands. Then I had a break from playing and one day I heard from a friend that Sister Sin was looking for a new guitarist, knew nothing about who they were. But I gave it a shot since I always had a soft spot for classic hard rock and heavy metal. It turned out to be perfect!

Dave : I stole all my brother’s heavy metal vinyls after discovering Vanessa Warvick hosting “Headbangers Ball” in the early nineties. After that I got in to a lot of punk, hardcore and eventually black metal as well. Started playing guitar back then but moved on to drums for the usual reason that there weren’t any drummers around. And here I am today, piss poor but happy with a Metal Heart, ha ha.

It’s been a few months since Benton, Sister Sin’s bassist, unfortunately had to part ways with the three of you. Liv, how is the search for a new bassist going? What challenges does a change in line-up present, even with the qualifications you have in mind?

It’s always very hard to find replacement for someone that you liked and that suited the band so well and we have been thru this before so we are pretty tired of this whole bassplayer thing. That’s why this time we really need to find someone that has the passion for music and touring that we do and that could dedicate their life to this band. Even if you do find someone who is technically qualified the most important thing is always the social aspect. When spending so much time as we do in a van you can’t have one guy you wanna choke to death every half hour. I think we´ve actually found the right man for job but he´s gonna do at least one tour before we make it official, for both parties sake.

Why does Sister Sin require that the new bassist have studio experience?

Do we? Ha ha… I didn’t know that. No, but I guess it´s more of sorting out the serious ones, like we get so many e-mails from people who think that anyone can play bass and let me tell you; just because you can play guitar and get by doesn’t mean you can play bass.

What are you expecting with the tour with Grave Digger and Grand Magus?

I think that will be a blast! We haven’t toured so much in Europe with all the focus that’s been on U.S last two years so it´s gonna be cool for sure and we are hitting some very interesting countries as well, so I’m really looking forward to that. 

What determines where a tour takes Sister Sin, or any other band? Why?

Since we haven’t really sold shitloads of albums around the world we can’t exactly pick and choose where and when we wanna tour and whom with. Many people ask why we go on tour with bands like Arch Enemy or OTEP and the reason is just that we got offered those tours and we need to be on the road all the time. Got nothing against any of the bands we´ve toured but yeah, if we could choose we would definitely tour with headliners that are more close to our genre and fan base. We´ve been over totimes and the reason for that is that our label has spent more promotion over there and we need to back that up.

Liv, you are featured as “Miss November” in Revolver’s “Hottest Chicks in Metal” calendar. How do you feel about the award? Nice job. The reason I ask is that for some it is a source of pride, whereas some feel it mocks women in metal.  

For me it’s a pride!! I’m very, very glad to be one of the girls in that calendar, it’s an honor. I truly can’t believe it really, I’m just a working girl from Sweden and a big American rock magazine wants me in a calendar ? That’s so cool! And I don’t understand these people that think it’s mocking women, if you are a beautiful woman with a talent, show it! Both your talent and your beauty, that calendar is a way to celebrate both in my opinion!

“True Sound Of The Underground” did quite well on the charts. What does that mean for the band?

Of course it means a lot to know that people enjoy our work and that we hopefully can inspire others with our music. Not that you have to sell a lot of copies these days to end up on a chart but it´s a nice motivator for us that there is a growing market for the kind of music we play.

Do each of you have a personal goal that you are fulfilling through being in Sister Sin?

Jimmy : Yes absolutely. I get to play guitar just they way I dreamed of when I first picked up a guitar and all the countless hours of practice finally pays off with releasing albums and touring, it certainly is a privilege and a dream come true.

Dave : Ever since first got in to heavy metal I always wanted to tour and see the world. And now I get to travel, see new places, new people and be on stage every night doing what I love to do. I’ve never dreamed of making lots of money (although it would be nice! ) and playing big arenas, I’m just glad that 3 nobodies like ourselves who have been stuck in a rehearsal studio for 5 years never gave up and it´s paying off the way I always wanted it to do.

Liv : This is my personal goal, to be able to be in a great band and play live all over the world! One thing that would make it even better would to be able to live from the music one day, that’s very much a goal for me. To just live 100% for the band, now I have to share my time with my job as a personal trainer.

Liv, Sweden (especially Gothenburg) has a huge metal scene, with many famous acts. Why does this scene influence Sister Sin?

I really don’t think there are any Swedish bands that influences us really. There´s a lot of extreme metal coming out of here which obviously is what Sweden is mostly famous for in metal. A lot of those bands, like In Flames for example definitely inspire in another way though that you can make it if you just hang there, never quit and be true to what you love.

Liv, Dave, and Jimmy, thanks a lot for your time. Your musical energy and commitment to Sister Sin is impressive. Hopefully we’ll see you in the States again soon.

We will be back 4 sure!

 

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Oct 22, 2012
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Kirmizi – “İsyan” (2011)

Label : RedRec

Review by Tony Cannella

Metal truly is a worldwide phenomenon. That’s no humungous revelation there, but I am always blown away by the number of countries and cultures represented in the metal universe. Another example of this the Turkish all female band Kirmizi who has just released their new debut “Isyan” and it is filled with pounding, in-your-face straight-forward metal. No fooling around with this band, they get straight to the point. Lead vocalist Idil Cagatay may not be the most gifted vocalist on the planet, but she sure packs plenty of power and strength in her voice, as she goes from a more traditional metal style to a screaming her lungs out approach. The songs are sung in their native Turkish language and the while the band is straight forward there are moments of technicality that is quite impressive. The opener “Cekilin Basinden” is a huge sounding introduction. The next track “Uyan” is great as well as it gallops to the finish line. The 3rd song “Isyan” is a grand slice of mid-tempo, melodic metal. “Elveda” keeps up the power and momentum. “Azat Et”, “Kimsin Sen” are among the songs that should please metal fans. Kirmizi really impressed me big time with “Isyan”. Not much is really known about this band, except for the fact that they played (or will play?) some dates with Arch Enemy. As the CD progressed I also became a huge fan of the lead vocalist. The fact that the lyrics are sung in Turkish should not deter any metal fans. Good music is good music and “Isyan” is beyond a good album.

Rating – 95/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Cekilin Basindan
  2. Uyan
  3. Isyan
  4. Elveda
  5. Azat Et
  6. Kimsin Sen
  7. Geri (Kaypack)
  8. Vazgecmem Asla

 

Line Up

  • Idil Çagatay – Vocals/Guitars/Harp
  • Saba Arat – Electro Guitar
  • Ecem Otgucuoglu – Bass Guitar
  • Asli Polat – Drums

 

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Sep 20, 2012
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Interview : Candice Clot – Eths

 

 

Interview by Roberta Ilaria Rossi

 

leftOn the wake of the most famous bands like Arch Enemy, The Agonist, In This Moment, a “newbie” French band is moving its steps in the European metal scene, with one only easy target: spreading the words on the other side of the French boundaries. We’re talking about Eths, a new French metal core/nu metal band, already known by many in their native home. Now that a few months have passed from the official release of “III”, FM had the pleasure of exchanging a short chat with Candice Clot, that has revealed us something. This is the result of our brief jaw.

Hi Candice. Welcome to our website. How are you doin’?

Fine, thanks!

Let’s start our interview. Recently, one of your first records, “Soma”, released in 2004, has been issued again by Season of Mist. What’s behind the decision of a new reissue?

It seemed to be clear for us to continue the road with SOM, we live in the same town it’s easy and we really know each members of the house. We have a great deal with them.

Talking about this new record, I think it’s a new and “fresh” one, quite strong. For a moment, please correct me if I’m wrong, my mind associated your sound to the album called “Follow The Leader” by Korn, because of the more robust sounds, which quite remind the thrash of Sepultura or the hardcore of Biohazard, embellished of course by your voice, which is the main point of the sound of the band. Do you agree with this statement?

“Soma” has been released in 2004 so it’s quite so long ago.

The first thing clearly noticeable in the listening of Eths music is surely your voice which is quite versatile, because you use a very cutting, sharp growl, showing a first-rate performance, maybe one of the best ever listened in the “female fronted” metal, going through then a use of the clean vocals which result more mellow and persuasive. How do you manage to lead these vocal passages? Do you train your voice a lot or is it a pure and natural talent?

15 years in the metal world breaking my voice but I worked a lot for my clean voice and find a way to mix both voices was with the help of a good breath and a coach. When you have the vocal technique you can afford a lot more things and it’s not just talent but only work and experiences.

Step back for a moment: we talked about your voice and maybe some fan has made some comparison with some famous growler vocalist like the German Angela Gossow or the Canadian Alissa White-Gluz. What do you think about these two women? Do you like their music, their vocals?

I know the music of Arch Enemy the singer is a real front woman, she really knows the job but I don’t know the other sorry.

Talking about “aggressive” vocalists like the ones I mentioned, is there any other person/female singer you like to listen to the most?

I don’t have any references about female voices, but I’ve always respected the work of Tarrie B from My Ruin.

Eths is a nu metalcore band from France, you are already known and famous there and you’re trying to get step by step the way to success all over Europe, but the project was mainly born in 1996 as “What’s the Fuck” and right after you changed the name in Melting Point, reaching at the end the final name: Eths. Could you please share something more about the band biography?

We played in Chile Brazil, Russia, England, etc. Done big festivals like Graspop, Szigets, Dour, Wacken etc .So we garnered a lot of good stage memories and saw many big bands, I think we’re lucky.

“III” is the latest and newest album, recently released by Season of Mist. The thing that captured my attention in this record was the choice of putting some tracks sang in French and also in English and I’ve noticed that the same has been done by your “colleagues” and friends Kells. What did cause the choice of putting these tracks in this latest record?

We made 4 songs in English it wasn’t easy to rewrite these songs because poetry in French is not the same in English, it’s the same subject but not the same words. It was a compromise to record it but the label didn’t force us to do it but they let us know it could be a big plus for the band so we made it.

The production of the record has been given to Fredrik Nordström, which has worked in the past with masters like The Haunted, Dark Tranquillity, Dimmu Borgir, Arch Enemy and more and the final result is more than excellent. Why have you chosen to trust this man to work on your material?

Fredrik is a great producer, he’s pushing you to your limits to have the best but always let you decide what is the best cause it’s your disc, in front of him we could feel his experience in some details, he absolutely don’t want to complicate the things, so he was really efficient and we learned to go straight to the point. It was the first time we worked with of a real metal producer and we’re really happy with the sound he did, by the way I have to say that Henrik Udd (his acolyte) did also a great job and working with them learned us a lot.

Also the artwork of the record is quite curious. Would you like to talk about it? What is the concept behind it?

This is a post apocalyptic goddess who is the link between our songs. Nicolas Senegas did a real good job we are totally satisfied with the result.

‘Till now, your music has been chiefly written using the French language. Will we ever see a record totally sung in English in the future?

No, as far as I write the lyrics I can’t write an whole album in English even if it ‘s only a translation it’s a lot of work. Everything has to be changed even sometimes the meaning because of the musical with words. Everything has been simplified for an optimal hearing and I don’t like to write like this.

“Tératologie” (2008) was your last album and “III” has been released recently after 4 long years of silence. How come have you decided to wait for so long to release some new material?

After the “Tératologie” tour we were very tired, I’ve had a kidney infection at the end of the tour and Staif a hand tendinitis so we needed a break. It took a long time to Staif to be in a good shape because he couldn’t play guitar anymore. I took time to a have my daughter and time to reconnect to music. Also we realise we needed a break to tell new things, new stories to renew the music and it’s very important to create different songs.

Talking about your music career, I know that you’ve taken part in the track called “La Sphere”, by Kells. What could you tell about this cooperation and about your personal friendship with Virginie Goncalves?

I know her from quiet some time, we played on a gig with our bands and one day she asks me if I would sing on a Kells song. Yeah, it’s my friend even more today because we’ve been on tour together and we’re mothers, so we share a lot, we understand each other and the simple fact is that we scream, we sing and raise our children that’s funny.

Let’s talk about lyrics: who is the main person who do write the lyrics in the band? Where does the inspiration for the creation of your music come from?

I write the lyrics and everything could inspire me. Humanity is a great inspiration and I like to shell every part of it. Now “III” reflects a fact of life and a desire for change, a renewal for humanity. We talk a lot about 2012 in general but mostly I’m inspired about the different eras of our earth, the intelligence and the predictions of ancient civilizations disappeared which are necessarily developed the process of “III”. The planet has gone through several apocalypses and we are the fruit of it… it helps to ask many questions like birth and death.

Recently you’ve embarked on a mini-European tour with Kells. What could you tell about this experience?

It’s always cool being on tour with friends or other bands now the different thing was that I wasn’t the only girl so it was more girly but you know on tour. It’s always the same for every band known or unknown. You soundcheck, you wait, you play, you drink, your party and you sleep… with your friends.

What is the most beautiful thing in living on the road?

For sure not the road but to be on stage.

What could you tell, instead, about the relationship you have with the fans?

I’m not a fan of Facebook and I prefer talking after shows than reply to emails it’s a better way of communication. I generally do not like fanatics minds and I do not understand them but I owe them respect. We are often associated with young teenagers and I always try to remember when I was 15.

Unfortunately, I’ve noticed that Eths tours in Belgium and France only. Will you ever embark on a full European tour, setting foot on every single European country and, why not, all over the world?

And we need a good European agent or world agent ;) it’s the only way to see us the band is not so big on Europe so we need someone who believe in the band to bring it abroad.

Any future goal for the band or yourself?

The best for everyone.

Thanks so much for your interest in us and thanks for having allowed us this interview. You have carte blanche in order to speak and say something to our readers and your fans! Thanks so much again!

Thank you all!!!

 

Credit Photos

Candice Clot Photo by Nicolas Sboub Delpierre

Band Photo by Eric Canto

 

Links

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Jun 15, 2012
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Interview : Angela Gossow – Arch Enemy

 

 

Interview by Miriam “NocturnalConcerto”

Transcription and editing by Si Smith

 

After 3 times of scheduling problems, I was able to interview Miss Gossow and the first thing that come to mind listening to her voice, is her resolution and high-confidence of all the (musical) path that she has built and still continue to do. That’s for reason, I think, is considered a model for every femme metal singer, not only for her way of singing but also for her assurance that she communicates. Is simply a woman that kick’s ass, no more words to add, yeah at least I have one : enjoy the interview!

Hi Angela, first of all thanks for accept this inteview. It’s an honour to speak with you. Let’s talk about your upcoming album “Khaos Legion” : the cover album is very robotic, what do you want to represent? And who’s the creator of the cover?

The cover is influenced by a French painting called “Liberty Leading the People”. It is a very famous painting of a woman holding up the French flag from the French Revolution. Basically we wwomananted our cover based on that idea because it’s a very iconic picture for revolution; it is a woman leading the revolution, and when you look at our cover it is a female in the middle leading the pack. We like using this is in Arch Enemy because I am leading the band as well. These people on the album cover have just survived an apocalyptic ending of the world; the world is burning down in the background. That’s why they are wearing all these masks and look a bit like zombies. They are a little bit representing Arch Enemy, but we didn’t want it to look like us on the cover, we wanted it to look a little bit more alien. Its been done by an artist called Brent Emmet White from America. He’s very famous for this kind of digital artwork, it took him actually three months: it was hand painted first, then he rendered it in 3D on a computer. It’s all hand painted, I think its pretty awesome!

“Khaos Legions” is totally straight-in-your-face title, in your opinion what you want to express this title?

The Khaos Legion is an army that basically brings anarchy and atheism to the world, but in a positive way. It’s an army that frees people of governments, of religion, oppression in the social surrounding we live in, whether its people or relationships. These are the Khaos Legions. It’s us in our metal town.

How was the recording process and when you nailed down the first note/lyric?

We’ve basically been writing this album for four years, since the release of “Rise of the Tyrant” musically, but I started with the lyrics in Summer 2010, because I knew we were going into the studio in December and we already had some demo songs. I wrote the first lyrics, but when I get the music that’s when they change a lot, because I find it very difficult to fit words to the music: I find it a lot easier to have the music and then fit the words on it. Otherwise you might go against the rhythm of the music – for me its very important to have the music first, that’s when my assortment of words and phrases determines the lyrics. One of the first songs I did was “No Gods or Masters” and “Through the Eyes of a Raven”, which I wrote in a van while doing the UK tour in November. I write my lyrics everywhere, on trains…we do lots of travel because we tour so much, so I write them in trains, in planes, in cars, or waiting around somewhere backstage. So I get the demo songs and listen to them and whatever comes to mind.

Fredrik Nordström produced the previous album “Rise of the Tyrant” and this time you have chosen to work with Rickard Bengtsson (already in Armageddon with Christopher Amott). How was work with him and what do you think that Rickard have added to Arch Enemy musi?

Rickard is a local guy, he lives where we live, he has a studio out here which is pretty cool, and we have all our gear out here in Sweden, and its easier to record locally – because, we have a lot of equipment, a lot of vintage equipment for example, echo tapes, old amps, and we wanted to use them all on the album, so for us its a lot easier to get our stuff there – so that’s one big advantage to recording locally. And the other one is that he has known our sound for many years, he worked with us on “…Machine”, and what he’s done is engineered the album, which means he sets the sound for the drums and then he starts to record….we don’t work on our own. It just makes it easier to work locally. He sings on one album…whats good about him is that he understands vocals. I have recorded most of my vocal lines with him, because he is a singer himself, that helps a bit. 

“Khaos Legions” comes out also in a Ltd. Edition 2CD in Mediabook packaging incl. 4 cover songs. Why choose this to cover this songs from Europe and Kiss for ex.? Are you connect to them for some your private facts or simply you are fan of this bands?

I am a huge fan of Europe. Michael and Chris grew up in Sweden with Europe of course. And they’ve met them many times, they are genuine Europe fans, we’ve played together on festivals. So there’s a mutual friendship. I don’t think anyone’s friends with Kiss. Kiss are such a big influence on Michael and Chris and pretty much everybody, when we were like 13 and 14, Kiss albums dominated the rock world – and they had the pretty cool make up and everything. So most people are inflluenced a little by Kiss. We do have some Kiss elements in our sound and thought it would be cool to do a Kiss song. But we are not friends with Kiss unfortunately.

Also the thing that hits me so much is : why have you called the second CD “Kovered in Chaos”?

Because the first album is “Khaos Legions” and the second album contains cover songs, it’s a cool little play on words.

Angela, you entered Arch Enemy already 12 (twelve) years ago, what is your personal balance between the touring activity and recording material?

Well first, we always work, we never take time off. I manage Arch Enemy and we plan ahead. So I have planned all tours up to the year 2013. I know exactly what we are going to be in 2013, where we are going to be touring, what shows we are going to play. It’s like a little company, it’s all carefully planned. I know that we will be touring, we’ll be doing all the festivals now, then we go the US, then we are going to tour Asia, then we are going to do European shows in the winter, then we are going to do Australia, South East Asia and South America in the spring of 2012. Then we do all the festivals again. We’ll be releasing a new live DVD at the end of 2012, then we will tour a little bit more, than release a new album in Spring 2013. We’ll go back to the studio, probably start recording December 2012. That’s how we do it. You just have plans and you stick to them, and we are like a machine, we work and stick to our plans. We plan carefully, and thats how we keep the balance. And there is no time for any private life!

Have you ever thought about managing or producing any other bands, young bands for example?

I’m very busy with Arch Enemy right now, obviously we have a lot of requests from other bands. I have my own management company called Khaos Management and I do all the business for Arch Enemy now, all the merchandise and stuff, but I don’t have any time for anything else! Later on maybe when Arch Enemy slows down a bit I can start working more in management. I also manage Spiritual Beggars, and all of Chris’s projects.

You do so much, I don’t know where you find the strength to do all that you do!

Well I worked in marketing for a while and I have got a degree in Business, so I have had training. That was my job before I joined Arch Enemy, I was a marketing manager. I’ve also always been creative and always had a sewing machine. That I got from my mum – I can cook and I can sew and I can clean and I can organise. I’ve got three younger siblings, so I was the one leading the pack – and I think that’s where I learned that from. I’m kind of smart as well, it helps! I’m a very busy woman and I’m happy when it’s all working out.

What is the big dream that you want to fulfill with Arch Enemy in the future?

Just to keep going a little bit every year, getting a little bigger every year, we can now tour the world and play shows everywhere. We earn enough money with it to support ourselves, which is awesome as a lot of bands can’t do that. We just want to have another 10 years or so – just keep on doing what we do and enjoying it, it’s a lot of fun, because we are our own masters, no-one can tell us anything, we do only what we want to do, and we want to just keep doing that. We are living our dream. And the other thing we want is to keep that, that’s all we want for the next 10 years.

And now talking about present what are next the band plans? Is on working a videoclip?

Well as I already said we are going to do lots of festivals now in Europe, then USA and Canada in September and October, we’re going to play Japan and Korea and a whole bunch of Asian states. Then we do the headline tour of Europe in December. I think the next video we are going to release in maybe August, but we’re not sure which song yet.

A curiosity now : have some funny/interesting facts about touring in the Maldives Islands?

Yeah, I think we were the first international metal band to play there. It is a Muslim country and had a very conservative government up to last year. They were trying to forbid metal and rock shows and anything like that. Last year the government changed, and they have quite a young president now and he’s trying to encourage foreign artists to come over. He actually set that up, together with a company – so we stayed in a beautiful luxury resort for one week, it was a wonderful holiday! That was cool. We had to have a military and police escort from him because there were fundamentalist extreme Muslims demonstrating against the show, around the concert site, and they were a little bit afraid that something might happen – but it didn’t. It was awesome, we had about 3000 people there (the Maldives is very small). It was a very exciting and strange and positive experience to play there.

Thanks so much for speak with us Angela. Greet your fans as you want.

To all the ladies reading your webzine, go and kick some balls. To all the guys reading it, thanks for all your support and united we stand. Gender doesnt matter anyway, we are all metal at the end of the day, so stay true fucking metal!

Photo Credit

Photos by Patric Ullaeus

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