martes, 12 de marzo de 2013

DARKENHÖLD - ENTREVISTA


1. How was the process of composition Echoes from the Stone Keeper? You wear a lot of time preparing it?
Aldébaran : The process of composition takes approximately two years, i was very focused on all details concerning this album, as for the composition, to keep spontaneity but also regarding the rhythmic patterns, the atmospheres behind, the organic textures etc… It often begins with guitar's riffs like almost all traditional metal bands but sometimes keyboards give the guideline too. We have rehearsed quite often with Aboth (drums) to bring a coherent and solid album, then Cervantes puts the lyrics and vocals on it. Arrangements and bass come later in general. It took some times because i've mixed the album all by myself so i've tried different combinations to approach the vision of the sound i like, even if i think it will be better for the next album.

2. How did the idea to form the group? How were your beginnings?
Aldébaran : Before being in Darkenhöld i was part of a band called Artefact which was more in a Heavy Progressive Black Metal genre, but after quitting the band in 2008 i felt the need to come back to a more primitive and atmospheric Black Metal that i used to listen in the 90's. So Cervantes and myself decided to create the band in order to express the music we liked.
The beginnings were spontaneous and relatively fast as we have now 2 albums, 3 split-cds and 2 participations for tribute albums in just 5 years.

3. How was the group's sound evolved over your career?
Cervantes : In my own opinion, the Darkenhöld sound follows a logic evolution. The two split-cds were a calling card. We wanted to present the first songs we created asides covers of bands we wanted to pay tribute to… so the people who discovered us at that time could not be deceived on our musical heritage ! Our first album, which included some new versions of these songs and some new ones, laid the foundations of our universe and allowed us to define more precisely the kind of Black Metal we love… an ancient vision which may not correspond to modern Black Metal productions and tastes, in terms of inspiration, musical research, sound and studio production… what does it matter ! It talks to our heart and this is the way we want to play Black Metal. The second album, which is characterized by a more raw and crude sound, a deeper work on the keyboards and the weaving of cavernous and dark melodies and atmospheres, show we’re stubborn. For the third opus to come… well, it will be for a next interview !    


  
4. How would you define your sound? What do you want to convey with your music?
Cervantes : The will of Darkenhöld is to develop a 90’s Black Metal sound, in the tradition of the bands which contributed to associate the aggressiveness of the guitars, drums and vocals with the arrangements and atmospheres provided by the keyboards and a more elaborated playing of riffs and leads. Yes, keyboards is not a rough word for us ! But we really manage to make an efficient use of it, in order to go deeper into the development of musical landscapes, epic feelings and oniric emotions. Anyway, the guitar is not destined to erect a simple and limited wall of sound, and the keyboards should not be considered as the totalitarian lead instrument. On some tracks, it can dominate and guide the melody but it will remain in the back ground on other one… we use the keyboards and the arrangements to put a song higher and give substance to our universe and to the stories we tell, not to fire easy listening tunes !

5. Emperor, Satyricon, Taake first it will be bands where your sound is reflected, Do you feel comfortable with this comparison or we could talk about a sound?
Cervantes : Taake is pretty unexpected, but that’s ok for me, and we had the opportunity to share a live with them, morever ! Emperor and Satyricon, of course, but the first productions of these bands to say the truth. In fact, we can say that we are often inspired by the early releases of essential bands like Emperor, Satyricon, Dimmu Borgir, Gehenna, Burzum, Abigor, Ancient, Arcturus, Wallachia, Diabolical Masquerade, Obtained Enslavement, Godkiller, Mortiis or Bal Sagoth ! Unfortunately the musical evolution of these bands leaves us cold for the most part. As I said, we assume our 90’s heritage and there’s no trouble with these comparisons, on the contrary !

6. What aspects and facts of the Middle Ages would you highlight as influential in your music?
Aldébaran : Personnally, i am fascinated by the Middle Ages and by history in general, we are in a some way the consequences of those ages, the medieval man is still in us. I'd like the mystery, the obscurantism of this period, the austerity, the barbarism as well as refinement, chivalry codes, profound devotion, mysticism, l'amour courtois, alchemy, gothic architecture… We do not pretend to respect literally and musically the rules of this era, we invokes the medieval art through personal feelings and fantasy visions. For example, i appreciate to listen to "La Messe De Nostre Dame" from Guillaume De Machaut or Guillaume IX d'Aquitaine, their music can be seen as strange today but they were from that time very modern (and still are for me)!

7. How referred album cover? What is your relationship with music?
Aldébaran : The cover of the album is a real painting made by Claudine Vrac, we can see the touch of the artist that can not be replaced by any photoshop work. She have also painted the cover of the first album "A Passage The Towers", so there's a link between the two. This depicts a subterranean corridor that could exist between a castle and a tower that exist near where we live, it is an imagery scene that reflects well the mood of the album that intended to be cavernous but with a clair-obscur aspect.

8. Tell us a little type of equipment that you use in the recording sessions and live performances.
Aldébaran : This is a very interesting question and the first time that we have been asked this kind of subjects.
I'm concerned by these questions as a musician because i think it's important to have our own sonority, we want to avoid plastic sound, linear, modern sounds that pollute the mainstream metal today, so we are focusing more on authenticity, natural vibes, dynamic analogic gears rather than performances and too clean production.
As for guitars and synth, i use mainly Gibson guitars, vintage distortion pedals, an old Marshall JCM amp, Roland vintage synths and amplifier (for clean guitars), Takamine acoustic guitars…
Cervantes : Speaking about the stage, we pay attention to offer more than a band playing in every-day life dressing. So we wear medieval oriented clothes, use fire torchs and fog machine, and spread our two backdrops to help the crowd to immerse itself in our world. Of course we’re still limited by the financial aspect of things, and we should love to do more… but with the time, we’ll continue to develop the surrounding and our stage presence.



9. 'Five fundamental cds in black history?
Cervantes : Five ? That’s a wager ! Well, if I think about the History of Black Metal, I would say : Bathory “Under the sign of the black mark” – Mayhem “Live in leipzig” – Darkthrone “A blaze in the northern sky” – Burzum “Hvis lyset tar oss” – Emperor “In the nightside eclipse”. I won’t say all these five albums belong to my absolute favorites, which should be more collected among the bands I quoted on question 5, but you can’t miss these five albums, in my own opinion, if you want to improve your Black Metal culture. 

10. Thank you very much for your time, if you want to add something for people who like Darkenhold, this place, thanks. I hope the questions are to your liking.
Cervantes : You’re welcome ! It’s great to think that Darkenhöld cleared a way to the spanish ground ! We’re very pleased with this very interesting interview and we hope that your readers felt the same. Many thanks for paying attention to Darkenhöld and long live to you ! One more thing : In may, we will walk the French roads for a week with our comrades of Fhoi Myore and Angmar… the first date will take place in Bordeaux, on may the 4th… so, if there’s some Spanish maniacs around here at his moment, come to us and join the live celebration of the Wyvern cult ! Saludos épicos y medievales

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