GATE TO OBLIVION BY AGE OF ATHENA
Age of Athena is made up of Helen Illumina (Vocals), Zachary Sabean (Guitar & Vocals), Nathan Gross (Keyboards), and Michael Johnson (Drums). Together they blend their influences of American metalcore and European symphonic metal, combining the best that both genres offer.
Nathan and I wrote most of the songs while attending University together. Our writing sessions felt very easy and organic. When we connected with Helen and Michael, we polished the tunes off and got to throw in their flairs and flavours into the mix as well. We all have such a diverse music taste, and that comes through in our music.
To be honest, there aren’t any outrageous or over the top lyrics in our music. Our content is more serious – our lyrics are a lot about a ‘darkness’, representing the struggles and bad times we (and everyone really) may find ourselves in. Most of the songs are about being in the darkness without any means of finding a way out back to the light / normal state of being. At the end of the album, it’s up to the listener to determine if we made it out.
When Nathan and I got together, we just started writing songs because it was fun, and we enjoyed it. We were putting countless hours into our music, and it was when we had the “Hey, this is pretty good, I think people will like this!” moment. In the beginning, we were thinking of doing an EP, but after some thought, we decided an album would be a better decision for us. We’re not a newly formed band, but this is our first time in terms of releasing original music, and we’re very excited! It’s going to be nice to see years of hard work finally getting out there to metal fans like us!
My life goals are to be happy, feel fulfilled, and surround myself with amazing people. Music is great because it does bring me a lot of joy and fulfilment, and through music, I’ve made a lot of friends that I’m proud to have. There is an element of escapism when in writing and performing realms. When I get into a song I am writing, I can think about it. I eat, sleep, and breathe potential melodies and guitar riffs. This is one of the best feelings in the world, like finally putting together pieces of a huge puzzle. This has been an escape for me when dealing with other hardships in my life – and this I am truly grateful for.
I played a lot of ‘Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock’ in middle school. That got me obsessed with electric guitar. As I got better at the game, I enjoyed playing the more complex songs Number of the Beast, One, Raining Blood, and Through the Fire and Flames were some of my favourites. From there, a lot of my high school friends were into the ‘Warped Tour’ scene – a lot of side-parted, long black hair in our friend group. These friends got me moving from old school metal to the new modern metalcore with lots of screaming and breakdowns. After that, you couldn’t keep me out of a good mosh pit. Metalcore to this day is still my go-to subgenre of metal, and I haven’t looked back since.
Music is different for everyone and serves an endless amount of purpose. Music was the first thing that I connected within my life and is still one of the only things that drive me. Not only just me – music connects everyone globally, and borders like language, race, and sexuality don’t matter. It’s also an outlet for pure entertainment – music makes us sing and dance, and it stirs emotion in us other mediums do not. When you listen to a song that describes a situation you’re going through, and the lyrics and melodies resonate so deeply with you, it can feel a lot like a spiritual experience. Someone is connecting with you and relating to you so strongly, and at that moment, it seems they know you better than you know yourself. Moments like that make music so important.