Born in Argentina in 2004 and now based in Sweden, Tersivel is an independent metal band evolving in a pagan/folk register, to say it simply. It’s Lian Gerbino (vocals and guitars) who introduces us to this unique project which is wisely mixing History and inner struggles on a strong atmospheric background balanced with deep and heavy riffs.

To begin simply, who are Tersivel?

We are Franco Robert on keyboards, Danny Ebenholtz on drums, and myself, Lian Gerbino, on vocals and guitars.

What does « Tersivel » mean and how did you choose this name in particular?

In short, Tersivel is a made-up word which I relate to the word “gathering”. I’ve been writing about it a lot, for years, trying to polish its meaning and significance. An in-depth exploratory explanation will be available in my book, which is planned to be out by the end of 2020.

How that name came to be the one for the band… I guess, in the early days of the band, we were a bit too much influenced by Tolkien. I personally was fascinated by the creation of languages, words, different races, places, and, for some reason, it seemed right to create a name for the band, instead of using something that already exists. In our first record, “For One Pagan Brotherhood”, I persued that trend of creating names and places, therefore characters such as Vosslat and Brënn and places such as Endera and Elveria were created.

Tersivel : a journey through History & Feelings

You’re considered as one of the first pagan/folk band from Argentina. What brought you to this particular style and what were your inspirations at that time?

It was a sort of evolution, I guess. It wasn’t like I decided to form a “pagan/folk metal band” per se, I just wanted to make some noise, you know, make music, express myself, explore. Now, 16 years later, it has a completely different meaning. Back then, I recall that I was (and, in many ways, I still am) very fragile emotionally and I didn’t know how to deal with that. A sort of emptiness devouring me from the inside. So, like every other human being, I needed to find a way to face Chaos. Music, poetry and books, especially from ancient Rome and Greece, started to fill that void and, for better or worse, to give me some answers about myself. What I like, what amuses me, etc. Music-wise, I’m addicted to music. There are so many records I love and got inspiration from, that it would be impossible to talk about all of them.

Also, how do you explain the fact that you were the pioneers of this style in your country?

I think it was a timing thing. In the 2000’s, there was a demand for new music. Thanks to globalization, movies, games, and of course, music; people, especially teenagers, had more entertainment options. Their taste was… Sophisticated, so to speak, and that opened a gap for folk metal in Argentina. I used to say: “Remove Lord Of The Rings from History and probably you remove folk metal as well”, at least in Argentina, that seems quite true.

At that time, there were only 3 bands, including us, playing this style of music in our country. The term pagan/folk metal came years later. We were simply known as the band playing in skirts (wannabe kilts) or the band in costumes.

You’re there for a while now, so is this style more popular in Argentina now? Are there other bands in the same field that you could recommend to us?

I don’t think it’s more popular than before. I dare to say that it’s less popular even. Remember that gap for folk metal I mentioned before? Well, the “gap” is really a gap, not a huge space. And in my opinion, that gap is closing in after the novelty for dressed-up bands have passed. Of course, there are diehard fans that won’t let the genre disappear into oblivion, but still, the gap is closing in. As for Argentine bands: Skiltron, Tengwar, Cernunnos, Vorgrum, Einher Skald, Triddana, Wulfshon spring to mind.

Tersivel exists since 2004 already. What are the highlights of your career?

I don’t know, I’m the kind of guy who’s always looking into the future. It’s hard for me to think of something I did as a highlight moment. I’m proud of what we did so far, of course. Our catalog has some good moments. We have some cool music videos too. We toured and met cool people. But again, I think that the best of Tersivel is yet to come.

On another hand, I read that you’re now based in Europe, what happened? Are the metal scene and the culture different here than in South America?

Just life stuff. None of us make a living off the band so when I moved to Sweden, it made sense to focus our efforts here. As for differences between South America and Europe, culturally is not that different. Especially in the cities. I don’t know how it’s in remote places, of course, but basically, the “New World” is mostly an extension of western civilization. As for specific differences, I’m inclined to think that metal music, in general, is way more popular in Europe than in South America. And that popularity helps to shape a healthier underground/middle scene. You might saw Megadeth playing in Buenos Aires for 50,000 people but 99% off that audience won’t go to see underground/middle bands ever. You get the picture…

You describe your music as « ever-changing, sometimes epic and esoteric » and it’s funny because it’s exactly what I felt while listening to your last album « Worship Of The Gods » (2017). Could you please tell me more about this album? What is it about?

Well, everything around us is changing constantly. We, as individuals, are changing constantly. I embrace that instead of fooling myself about absolutes. If the music is the language of the soul, and my soul is an immortal manifestation of indestructible energy, and that energy is flowing through the river of time eternally, then the conscious or divine creation of a piece of music is a unique act. Maybe the ever-changing aspect is just an allegory of uniqueness.

As for “Worship Of The Gods”, it’s a record with Julian The Apostate as the main character. It’s not a verbatim biography but a reflection of modern issues and personal subjects I struggle with. It has a lot of historical references but those are just one of the layers. The listener can dig deeper if he/she wants. I even included a full biography list in the physical “Worship Of The Gods” release, for those who are intrigued enough to dive there.

You also release a single last year « Satyrs Wine Part II ». What is the story behind this long song?

It’s very personal. The lyrics reflect a particular moment in my life. Some things that needed to be buried. Some others that needed to be born. It’s an inner talk.

You planned to release a new album this year. What can you tell us about it so far?

We are working on it as we speak. We are also working on a new stand-alone single that won’t be part of any record. Hopefully, it’s gonna be out really really soon.

Finally, do you have other plans for this year? Can we expect to see you on tour, for example?

Only the gods know that now. This Covid crisis is taking its toll. We are/were planning something in the near future. I hope I can be back to you soon with news about that.

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