Tatius Wolff
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Tatius Wolff

Sydney, Australia | Established. Jan 01, 2017 | SELF

Sydney, Australia | SELF
Established on Jan, 2017
Solo Metal

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"Tatius Wolff ‘The Relapse’ Album Review"

Tatius Wolff ‘The Relapse’

Album Review By Adam McCann

Independent Release/Alternative Metal




Tatius Wolff is the project and brainchild of former Oblique Visions guitarist Stephen Borg. Following his departure from Oblique Visions, Borg stepped away from music for seventeen years before getting back in the saddle releasing the single ‘Thumbscrews’ in 2017. This single garnered enough response for the multi-instrumentalist to record and deliver his full-length debut album ‘The Relapse’ this year.

‘The Relapse’ gives Borg the ability to really expand on the ideas he placed down on ‘Thumbscrews’. Through ‘The Relapse’, Borg is able to deliver a concept album about living with a debilitating illness and many of the thoughts, challenges and emotions which unfortunately come with it. Tracks such as ‘The Tormentor’, ‘Proelium’ and ‘Trauma’ all show touches of Type O Negative, Nine Inch Nails, Tool and Deftones really show just how powerful Borg can write with their muddy baritone vocal delivery and Gothic influences. Yet, there are tracks here which push Borg’s musical boundaries, the opening instrumental ‘Auxilium’ has enough time and dynamic changes to interest fans of progressive metal and even djent. However, the track ‘False Hope’ does have a similarity to ‘The Beautiful People’ from Marilyn Manson. Furthermore, as interesting as this album is, it does have a quality about it that requires it to be consciously listened to fully appreciate rather than simply background music.

Borg has been away from the musical scene for far too long, but ‘The Relapse’ is an excellent place to begin his foray back into the world. ‘The Relapse’ may not appeal to casual listeners of the genre, but for those who enjoy a deeper meaning to their music with an understanding of song craftsmanship and construction, this album will provide endless hours of entertainment and enjoyability.

Rating : 80/100 - Metalheads Forever Magazine


"The Aussie Metalhead reviews The Relapse"

Round two ya dirty bastards! My (somewhat late) album review of Relapse by Tatius Wolff! Got one more review coming tonight, so stay tuned for the lightning round fuckers!

(Full transcript - https://tatius-wolff.blogspot.com/2019/06/press-aussie-metalhead-reviews-relapse.html) - The Aussie Metalhead


"Brandon Morningstar's Breakfast Binge with Tatius Wolff (6-14-19)"

This show featured a live interview with the man behind the Tatius Wolff project. It was a great experience for both parties involved and featured some amazing music throughout the show.

https://www.mixcloud.com/Brandon_Morningstar/breakfast-binge-6-14-19/

In case you missed my 2 hr (!!!!) live interview with Brandon Morningstar - Host of the Breakfast Binge​ ! Do me a big favour, and give this guy's FB page a like! Here is the podcast of it all. I'm amazed and really thankful that so much time was given to me and my project! Big thank you again Brandon, was a pleasure being on your show! - Brandon Morningstar's Breakfast Binge


"False Hope Single Review"

How the fuck are you greasy cancresores doing today?!?

It's been a couple of weeks since my last video, so I figured I'd smash out a single review from the Sydney based alt metal solo project "Tatius Wolff".

This hard working, DIY attitude mofo has written and recorded a full length concept album!

The full length is entitled Relapse, and is scheduled for release mid 2019!

I hope you enjoy the review, don't forget to check out the tune and it's accompanied lyric video! - The Aussie Metalhead


"Radio Interview with Sweet Sunday Sounds"

Chat with Stephan Wolff from Tatius Wolff for VALLEY FM 89.5. You can check out Stephan's music out here: https://tatius-wolff.bandcamp.com/ the full album will be available... - Sweet Sunday Sounds - VALLEY FM 89.5


"Album Review – The Relapse"

Album Review – The Relapse
May 3, 2019

Written by CORIN SHEARSTON

Ambitiously developing his prolificness after releasing three-track single Thumbscrews two June’s ago, Tatius Wolff’s second solo release The Relapse comes with a conceptual backstory deeper than a large amount of modern metal. After a sudden hospitalisation due to a bowel infection in October 2017, with a relapsing health decline five weeks later, Australian-Maltese metal musician Stephan ‘Wolff’ Borg decided to channel his vulnerability and uncertainty into producing a full-length concept album informed by the impact of illness. Formerly the lead guitarist of Maltese doom-death metal group Oblique Visions, Wolff’s solo project is inspired largely by 90s alternative and industrial metal groups like Type O Negative, Nine Inch Nails, Deftones and Tool. Channelling a love of concept albums such as Pink Floyd’s The Wall, Wolff wrote, performed, programmed and produced the nine sonically and thematically challenging tracks that constitute The Relapse.

The album’s release on June 8th signifies an advanced level of studio proficiency and artistic vision to see the project run its course, based off subject matter that resonates deeply with its creator. At it’s core, The Relapse is self-described by Wolff as an ‘emotional roller-coaster ride’. “I wanted to expose my vulnerabilities”, states the artist, speaking to online blog AEA Zine. “I guess the whole process was a bit cathartic, as I explored and unpacked my personal experience.” We hear album-defining tracks such as ‘The Shock’ and ‘The Tormentor’ undergo constant transformation, warping through layers of icy synth, pounding programmed drums, grisly distortion and ominous, reverberating vocals to instil an insidious feeling of cold dread. As far as lyrics go, they’re non-specific enough to be universally relatable. Although the album wasn’t written to be pessimistic, Wolff understands how it could be viewed as such, though for him it was “just a life experience”.

Through a symbiotic relationship between man and machine, Tatius Wolff has ultimately delivered a chilling slab of experimental metal, resonating emotionally with those who understand the full impact of debilitating medical conditions. As for the future, looking out from early May 2019, a 15 track concept project and/or a conceptual set of three EPs have already been vaguely theorised. To relate to the creative force of The Relapse, Wolff nihilistically says “as long as the music makes you move, it doesn’t matter”. Have a listen for yourself, but prepare to be shocked and inspired in equal measure. An achievement in artistic expression as personal as it is professional.

• ORIGINALLY WRITTEN FOR THE HAZE MAGAZINE, MAY 2019

http://www.thehazemag.com.au/ - CORIN'S COPY-WRITE


"Interview with Stephan Wolff of TATIUS WOLFF"

Interview with Stephan Wolff of TATIUS WOLFF

Why did you decide to found Tatius Wolff as a solo project instead of seeking musicians to form a complete band? Was it a matter of creative freedom or wanting to manage things independently, or both?
When I returned to Australia from Malta in 1998, I unsuccessfully tried to find a metal band to join. Eventually I gave up and stopped playing music for 17 years. In 2015, I wanted to learn bass and soon after, my first band from Malta, melodic doom death metal outfit Oblique Visions, asked me to start writing songs with them again. This kick started my passion but the distance made it difficult, and so eventually I found the courage to start a solo project. To this day, I am still looking for a band to join primarily to play live again.
I do like the creative freedom as a solo musician, my own creative outlet - and it means I'm a bit more relaxed style-wise if I do play in another band. Having complete control is a positive and negative. It's very easy to overdo certain aspects of your music if you are not careful and aware of your own personal flaws.
As an older 90's metal head, I do enjoy mentoring upcoming bands and solo artists, sharing my experiences and knowledge.

How many releases did you release with Oblique Visions while you were working with them? Are those releases still available? Is the band still recording and releasing new material?
We recorded a demo in our garage in 1994 called The Fallen. We played songs from this demo that never made it to our CD in a 20 year reunion gig in 2017, and they still sounded great 23 years later. That gig and the original demo songs can be found on YouTube.
In 1995 we self-financed 1000 CD's, Seas Of Serenity full length album. We spent two weeks recording and mixing it. It was well received and I still discover comments about how much people enjoy it two decades later.
We've discussed releasing the songs again on modern platforms, but I don't think we made a decision. Oblique Visions are still together, and they've found an excellent replacement for me, so they're busy writing new material - hopefully they'll release something in the near future.

How long were you an active musician in Malta and why did you decide to move to Australia? What led you to taking up music again after your seventeen year absence?
I was born and grew up in Australia and moved to Malta in 1990. I met the drummer from Oblique Visions at school and I played with them until 1998. My father had since returned to Australia and I still considered it my home at the time, so I decided to move back. It was a real cross-roads moment for me, I've had a few moments of regret because we could have done well as Oblique Visions but I was just blinded by family and personal priorities, so I chose a different route.
In 2014 I decided I wanted to play bass, so I bought a cheap one (the one you hear on the album) and started playing again. Then Oblique Visions asked me to start writing music with them and it just snowballed from there.

What aspects of alternative and gothic metal do you mix when writing compositions for this project? How do you define alternative and gothic metal and apply that definition to your songwriting, making it melodic and progressive?
I don't do it consciously - it just happens. I've always had a melancholic streak, so bands like Type O Negative just incredibly impressed me. Before I was a fan of Tool, I listened to Pink Floyd endlessly, especially The Wall. I just hear the music in my head and work out a way to play it.
I'm not a fan of genres, although I get why they exist. To be honest, I just recycled the genres of my favourite bands and said they were the genres of my music. Alternative metal (Tool), gothic metal (Type O Negative), industrial metal (Nine Inch Nails) and progressive metal (Tool/NIN). Please don't take this seriously, but I would define them simplistically like this - alternative metal is not brutal, not extreme metal vocals, gothic metal is pretty much doom metal (I don't know the difference personally), industrial has synths and sound samples of machines. While progressive is ... well ... not like what everyone else is doing.

Are you involved in other bands at present, or is Tatius Wolff your sole project? Do you produce each of your releases independently?
I would love to play live again and have tried to join bands, but I think I'm too intense as a band member. I think about this stuff 24x7, I have my methods, my shortcuts and I'm pretty sure I come across as controlling when for me, it's just me putting it out there that I have a way I do stuff. So yes, Tatius Wolff is my only project at the moment - and I'm already working on my next 15 track concept project, so I've got plenty to do.
Yeah, to date I've done everything without any real budget. I'm an IT engineer by trade and love to do stuff DIY. Even if it isn't perfect, I'm ok with that. It would be wonderful to get a deal where I could do my stuff professionally, but the likelihood of that happening is pretty slim.

What are the advantages of producing your material DIY instead of hiring professionals to produce your work?
While I have very little experience, the only advantage is saving money. If I had the budget to sink tens of thousands of dollars to have my music produced and promoted by professionals, then I would definitely choose that path. But I'm a big believer in learning as much as I can when you first start out, especially out of necessity. Then when you finally do have the budget to hire professionals, you'll know exactly what it's like to do what they're doing. You'll appreciate the value they bring to the project. You'll be able to describe your wishes and vision with more articulation because you've done it all before.
Now that I've got a bit of experience under my belt, I have the confidence to continue doing it all myself and hopefully an opportunity to hire professionals to do aspects of my project will happen in the future.

As someone who still prefers the term brutal when it comes to death metal/extreme metal vocals, I’ve researched videos by trained professionals who demonstrate the proper technique for those vocals so a singer does not damage his (or her) vocal cords. Would you consider branching out into those vocal styles if they could be done properly and they fit a given song?
I have tried and it requires a lot of skill. I'm sure with lots of practice I could manage to do something with brutal vocals technique - but I need to have the desire to sink the amount of time it takes to become proficient. I don't do things by halves, so it would be either commit to the long term goal of becoming really good at it or don't start at all. Time will tell if I get more into that style.

After releasing four singles for TW from 2017 to 2019 you are planning to release your debut full length The Relapse this June. The Relapse is a conceptual album about being suddenly struck with a debilitating illness and the ensuing journey from initial shock to reconciliation. What was the inspiration for this concept?
In October 2017 I found myself suddenly hospitalized with a bowel infection. After years of never being sick this was a huge shock to me. I didn't take this incident seriously enough and I didn't treat this issue with the respect I should have. Five weeks later, I was back in hospital with a bowel obstruction. I was surprised how helpless I was. I thought I wasn't going to get better for a very long time and I felt absolutely terrible, depressed, insignificant and irrelevant to the universe. I had to accept this was mostly out of my control and do what I had to, to stay out of hospital.

Some people would read your description of The Relapse and assume it’s pessimistic. How do you personally see it, having lived the experiences you write about?
Having a health issue relapse (return) will always be a significant experience to that person, and even if you've never had that happen to you, I'd hope you can relate to the themes anyway. I'm guessing that a lot of people have been suddenly hit with health issues at some point in their life, whether it's physical or mental illness. And I think we all go through a similar cycle of emotions with such an experience, telling ourselves we're fine and then finding out that's not the case.
I certainly didn't set out to make it pessimistic although I can see why someone could view it that way. For me it was just a life experience. A challenge that I had to face as much mental as physical, that in the end, I had to accept making changes to my lifestyle to get it under control.

Was it a difficult experience for you to capture those experiences in your lyrics? Looking back on the writing process, would you consider it cathartic?
For me at least, rather than trying to get the lyrics perfect the first time, the first thing I write is usually pretty crap. I try not to be critical about the lyrics initially knowing I will continue to shape them into something better every time I play the song.
So when I decided to write this album, I wanted to do something personal and expose my vulnerabilities. This is actually quite a scary thing to do. Sometimes I'd write a lyric and wonder if I'd went too far, if I'd given out too much information and what would people think of me. I guess the whole process was a bit cathartic, as I explored and unpacked my personal experience.

Having made it through your personal experiences, can you discuss how the lyrics on The Relapse reflect them?
Yeah, so the lyrics are meant to be vague and open to interpretation. Most of the songs contain two different characters of the same story. I didn't it to be specific to my experience, but rather anyone who has been in something similar would be able to relate to the emotions I was trying to convey. Each track in order takes you through an emotional roller-coaster ride, which reflects my own personal development as a musician as well as the real experience.

How much has readjusting your life spilled over into your recording career? In what ways will it affect your song and lyric writing, compared to the singles you released previously?
None really. The singles of 2017 were political in nature, which I do feel strongly about. But I wanted this concept album to be something much more vulnerable, hence the topic I chose. For the next album, I am still trying to land on another concept, which could be anything from a dark local tragedy to a film score. I will adjust my lyrics accordingly based on the concept. The music will be very similar, but may be less industrial, more blues or more death metal.

In what ways were your first singles political? What issues did you address in each of them? Were there any specific incidents that made you want to write about them?
Thumbscrews is about our western society being driven politically by fear, and the parallel to our former enemies who found themselves in a similar position. While Green was about the military industrial complex. I don't think there were any specific incidents that drove me to write these songs. They were primarily experiments as my first singles as a solo musician, to understand what was involved in releasing music. And I didn't have the courage to do vocals yet, so the vocals are all sampled.

What do you consider the most intense songs you recorded for The Relapse? How much feeling did you channel into them?
The Tormentor carries a lot of emotion. It describes bullying from the bully's point of view and is reflective of being bullied by a sickness. I think it's the heaviest and most intense song on the album. It goes back and forth between dark brooding song and intensely manic drums and guitars. It's the only song on the album with a blast beat. But I really enjoyed writing it, especially the Type O Negative inspired gothic metal breakdown in the middle.

How often have you had to adjust your lyrics while putting a song together? When you were writing The Relapse, were there any lyrics you ended up scrapping because they were too personal?
I'll continue to modify lyrics as the song gets more mature, taking more artistic license to the truth, etc. "Never let the truth ruin a good story" they say! If a phrase doesn't sit well, I'll do what I have to do to make it work in the song. Saying that though, I can't think of anything in particular that I scrapped from the original lyrics that didn't make the final song. As I said above, I write anything on the first pass expecting to cull it later on if it's crap anyway - so even if I did cull something, it would have been simply part of my own process of writing.

Do you plan to release more singles with political themes, or will you solely concentrate on longer conceptual albums?
Very possibly both! I have an idea for a concept three EP set which I only came up with this week. If the idea continues to have legs, then I will pursue it and it will definitely have political and societal themes in it.

Is there anything you want to tell the readers about the ideas you have in mind for this three EP set? What political and societal themes are you going to write about for it?
It's still very early days yet, but the backstory is based on three characters with very different political and social views. I am still working out the details, if they meet face to face, etc. But that's the jist of it.

Are you basing those characters on today’s political climate? Will you be touching on sensitive news topics to develop these characters?
I think the characters I am working with have been around for millennia. These characters are faceless and are not based on a specific person, but many different people with similar character traits. I'll give you one example - I have a character that has a violent streak. But I'm sure to everyone's surprise I'm basing him on two very unlikely people - Nelson Mandela and Jose Mujica. Both these "terrorists" (I use this term very loosely as I have great respect for both of them) end up becoming presidents, even though they had violent beginnings as freedom fighters.

Going by how much of the storyline you presently have to work with, how do you think people will respond to the finished project?
I have no idea. I hope some people will dig deep into the details and see the story for what it is. But I suspect, the majority of listeners won't be interested in the themes, and may not even recognize the characters that I'm am trying to connect them with. As long as the music makes you move, it doesn't matter. And as long as I'm enjoying the creation of these works, it shouldn't be a problem.

Provided that you continue to develop Tatius Wolff, how much of a chance does this project have of helping redefine underground music?
Haha - none that I am aware of. I might be helping bring back a revival of 90's metal. It's all very cyclical and a fellow solo metal artist I know, Ben Bernard of Blood Stained Glass, calls it the "20 Year Resonance". Kids grow up listening to their parents’ music and then rebel against the previous decade. If that is the case, then I might have a chance to be heard with my 90's inspired metal!
Thank you for your time - it was a pleasure to be interviewed with such depth and curiosity. Keep up the great work!

-Dave Wolff - AEA zine


"The Relapse Album"

Man, Tatius Wolff…
What a bizarre, yet interesting little record we have here. I for the life of me, have no idea what to make of this thing. It’s so far out of my normal comfort zone, but it’s definitely cool. Bringing together elements of bands like Deftones and Nine Inch Nails, Tatius Wolff is a really interesting take on alternative metal. I almost want to call it atmospheric alt-metal to be honest. It’s such a different sounding record. Definitely check it out, but expect something very different than I’d normally be plugging. - Ross Rubin, Metal Public Radio


"The Relapse Album"

TATIUS WOLFF (Australia)
"The Relapse" (Digital album)
(Independent)
Release date: June 8th 2019
BANDCAMP: https://tatius-wolff.bandcamp.com/
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/tatiuswolff/

TATIUS WOLFF is the brainchild of Sydney based multi instrumentalist Stephan "Wolff" Borg, who was first introduced to the metal genre when he joined the Maltese doom/death metal band Oblique Visions as a lead guitarist back in the early nineties. They released the "The Fallen" demo in 1994, and then their self financed full length CD "Seas of Serenity" the following year. Borg stayed with the band until he moved back to Australia in 1998.
After his departure from Oblique Visions, Borg had little luck finding a band that lived up to his musical ideologies, and went into a musical hiatus, one that would go on for 17 years.

He formed TATIUS WOLFF in March 2017, and released "Thumbscrews", a three track single which clearly indicated influences by acts like Type O Negative, Deftones and Tool, but with a more 90's type of sound and production.

"The Relapse" is TATIUS WOLFF's first full length, due for release on June 8th, and is a concept album that tells the story of being suddenly stuck by a debilitating illness, and the journey through the trials, tribulations, hope and despair.

"Auxilium" is the instrumental opening track, and already during the first few seconds is becomes apparent that Mr. Borg has dared to explore more djent and progressive oriented realms after "Thumbscrews". And quite successfully so, might I add. The bass and guitars are perfectly mixed, and form a deliciously massive wall of sound, but still leaving room for all the other elements that appear in the soundscapes that make TATIUS WOLFF sound as unique as it does, as well as adding that extra layer to the atmosphere that depicts the story throughout the eight tracks featured on "The Relapse".

"The Shock" is with its seven minutes the longest track on the album, and continues where the opener left off, though I am tempted to draw parallells back to 2017's single release. Whereas said opener functioned splendidly as a dramatic overture, "The Shock" is initially more melody based. There are tasty sections with piano, and even some odd time signatures. Borg's vocals are not at all polished, but they bring an authentic intensity and honest emotion that leaves no doubt that he is putting his heart into telling his story.

The third track "Recovery", as well as the title track, has themes and melodies that wouldn't sound misplaced on a Paradise Lost or a Tiamat record; thus again confirming the composer's fascination for music from the time when said bands were at the top of their game. "Proelium" is a nice little instrumental that incorporates what seems to be a late 80's Running Wild inspired melody line. "Trauma" is delightfully brutal, before progressing into a clean section with a dark, yet soothing atmosphere. However, I feel these tracks suffer a bit from the drum patterns that make them appear somewhat less consistent.

"The Tormentor" on the other hand is a really strong track that leads no way out of the darkness, but also makes it colder. A bone chilling, almost disturbing introduction grabs a hold of you and doesn't let go until it completely crushes you in what is sure to be one of the most fierce and intense sections to appear during the album's 37 short minutes. The track as a whole has a lot of different variations in textures and intensity; shifting between gloomy and dark moods to fast, infernal passages that punch the air out of your lungs if you try to keep up. With such contrasts within one track you would think it would be difficult to make the song flow naturally, but Borg does it really well on this one.

"Despair" is the last track on the album, and judging from the title it doesn't mark much of a bright ending to the story, but musically it is a worthy conclusion to the album. Concept albums like "The Relapse" are often very personal, and I sincerely hope Mr. Borg has a great feel of accomplishment after creating and releasing his debut. He sure is entitled to.

Download free singles and preorder the album at https://tatius-wolff.bandcamp.com/

7/10

Håvard Lunde

TRACKLIST:
1. Auxilium
2. The Shock
3. Recovery
4. The Relapse
5. Proelium
6. Trauma
7. The Tormentor
8. Despair

TATIUS WOLFF:
- Stephan "Wolff" Borg: all instruments, recording, mixing, mastering - Subterranean Noise - Underground Rock and Metal


"The Relapse Album"

Now, there’s a lot, a tonne to say about each song, so, giving a statement of the highlights and a small description so not to spoil the journey is fair. Tatius Wolff is loyal to the music, himself and having of gone through so much to give you a major accomplishment, is worth the effort. You’ll be taken through each step and breath of this cycle, and come out stronger by the inspirational feat Tatius Wolf lived to give new life. The Relapse lifts you up, knocks down with energy and is an awesome listen. - Scared Wolf Reviews


"Interview: Tatius Wolff"

A few days ago I had the pleasure of reviewing "The Relapse", the conceptual debut of Australian one man band Tatius Wolff, and founder and sole member Stephan Wolff was more than willing to satisfy my little curiosities. - Subterranean Noise - Underground Rock and Metal


"The Relapse Album"

" The Tormentor " is quite different from all the rest is possibly the one that pleased me so far to contain a more consistent fit at all points, starting winding and developing more creatively within the styles mentioned. Extra point on the vocals that finally gain a most remarkable place. So far the best track on the album.
We finished the album in " Despair " with the metal in a more stimulating presence.
I must say that this is a rather curious album and a really good example for those who are familiar with the lines of the alternative metal. This is an album for more selective tastes in style but overall Stephan can take you to very distressing feelings and reflective with a taste trip to the '90s. - Roadie Metal


Discography

The Relapse (album) [2019]

  1. Auxilium
  2. The Shock
  3. Recovery
  4. False Hope
  5. The Relapse
  6. Proelium
  7. Trauma
  8. The Tormentor
  9. Despair

Thumbscrews (single) [2017]

  1. Thumbscrews
  2. Green (Money To Be Made)

Photos

Bio

Tatius Wolff is the alternative metal solo project of Stephan ‘Wolff’ Borg inspired by Type O Negative, Tool, Nine Inch Nails and Deftones. Tatius Wolff strives to create a metal soundscape that results in a unique blend of dynamic metal music, switching between quiet gothic interludes, angry heavy riffs and thick bass lines. A journey of an old metal guitarist as he enters the arena of modern metal.

Tatius Wolff is an active supporter of the local metal scene located west of Sydney, Australia covering the Blue Mountains, Lithgow, the Hawkesbury and Nepean districts.

The debut release Thumbscrews single was in May 2017! The debut full length 9 track solo album was released June 2019!

History:

After moving from Australia to Malta in the 1990's, Wolff joined the Doom Death Metal band ‘Oblique Visions’ as a lead guitarist. Inspired by Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, melody was an integral part of their music. The Fallen demo was released in 1994 and a self-funded CD, Seas of Serenity in 1995.

In 1998, Wolff returned to Australia and after a 17 year hiatus from anything musical, started writing music again. In March 2017, a decision to go solo and so Tatius Wolff began.

Band Members