Founded in 1993 by composers and multi-instrumentalists Iskandar Hasnawi (France) and Renaud Tschirner (Austria), joined by keyboard player, programmer and engineer Sébastien Roland in 1997, ELEND have gathered around them various musicians in the course of their existence: violinist David Kempf (2000-present), the sopranos Eve-Gabrielle Siskind (1994-1995), Nathalie Barbary (1995-2003), Esteri Rémond (2003-present) and Laura Angelmayer (2005-present).
The completion of the "Officium Tenebrarum" (or "Office des Ténèbres", 1993-1998), ELEND's highly acclaimed, very dark and violent trilogy, was followed by a hiatus of several years, where the composers turned to other, non-public musical projects.
ELEND resurfaced with Winds Devouring Men in 2003, the first part of a new sequence of albums. This work saw them take a quieter turn, soft and delicate strings were organically intertwined with exotic tones and harsh metallic textures and sounds inspired by French musique concrète. On their next album, the furious and dark Sunwar the Dead (2004), the composers combined their talent for large and dense orchestration with the most extreme experiments of the musical avant-garde of the XXth century.
Their latest album A World in Their Screams, which completes their “Winds Cycle” trilogy, was recorded with 30 instrumentalists and vocalists. The new compositions follow the long epic prose poem which also served as the foundation for the previous two parts of the “Winds Cycle”, combining personal themes with references to ancient Greek authors. Techniques from the musical avant-garde are tied together with a massive use of electronics and experiments with the human voice; microtonality, sonorism and musique concrète are fused with the post-Romantic instrumentation that is still intrinsically linked to ELEND’s musical identity.
Difficulties in producing this unprecedented type of music led to a deferral of the initially scheduled release date. The earliest draft of the album, contemporaneous with Sunwar the Dead, was modified several times: when the recording sessions had to be postponed the album was merged with the work in progress for the abstract and violent ELEND side-project ENSEMBLE ORPHIQUE. Since techniques had to be invented and developed in order to master such an uncommon sound, ELEND’s intensive and unusually long-lasting work on this album fostered a further radicalisation in composition and production: the result surpasses even their legendary album The Umbersun (1998) in terms of oppressive darkness. A World in Their Screams pushes the limits of musical density, suffocating atmospheres and raw violence to a point of no return.