Tuesday, September 22, 2020

FORGOTTEN INTERVIEW





 September 2020

Forgotten's latest album “Of Past and Passion” tells a grievous story with its sorrowful melodies, variations from death grunts to whispers and glamorous heart beats. 

Once these melodies diffuse into your vein, the circle is meant to be started, then you find yourself endlessly replaying the "Of Past and Passion".

Here, FORGOTTEN is hailing from this gloomy Anatolian city called Ankara (Turkey) where you can find out various legendary sounds of heavy metal by years. 



"Sadness and melancholia are the undeniable facts of life."

Forgotten has been in the scene since 1997 but various breaks by time. The latest full-length “Of Past and Passion” is released in April 2019 from Sleaszy Rider Records. What do you want to say about the band’s evolution? Can we say that Forgotten has set up the final line-up nowadays?

 

Tolga: First of all, I want to mention that Forgotten in the scene since 1995. In my opinion in life we can never say “this if final”, we can only hope, I think. I hope this is final line up of Forgotten. We changed line up several times and our music turned into a darker direction. We were always keeping doom metal touches within our music and mixing with them with some folk and epic melodies but now we put an end to use folk melodies and left only doom side of Forgotten.

 

With the latest full-length “Of Past and Passion”, the music genre has changed to doom/death metal and the band fully delved into a heavy atmosphere where listener can even touch melancholia conveying via notes. What was the reason of this diversion? Is it a new era under the same name?

 

Tolga: As I mentioned in my first answer, we were always a band with doom metal touches, you can hear them in our demos, especially in our second demo Retreat. But as every creature in the world we also progress and change. So, I can’t explain the reason of this change, may be because of the environment around us or may be because of the age but somehow we changed. May be the best answer is that we began to feel in this way.

 

"I mostly prefer music that awakes some emotions in me."


This album distinguished with its production quality and be can be counted as one of the good works in 2019. Could you please tell about the mastering, mixing steps and production details of the album?

Tolga: Thank you for your words about the album. We recorded it at Studio Deep in Ankara. Our friend Deniz Durdağ mixed and mastered the album. I must mention that this album could not be good if our producer Ali Öztürk and Deniz Durdağ were not with us. Ali forced us to play as good as we can, we recorded our parts several times, sometimes we deleted some of the recorded parts and again we recorded. Drums are recorded twice to get the best performance and sound etc. Deniz is one of the best sound engineers in Turkey. Mixing and mastering sessions took some months. We talked to Deniz several times about the sound and at the end we understood each other very well, we understood what he can do and he understood what we want. Here, the magical word is “communication”, we are old friends and we know each other very well and we know what we want. We felt very comfortable when we work together. This is the reason behind the good production quality.

 

Album includes two instrumental songs. “Remnants of a Faint Memory” is a piano track while the last song “Lethargic” focuses on guitar. Why did you decide to put two instrumental songs? May be the album can be a lit bit longer, what do you think?

 

Tolga: First of all, I want to say that “music is music”, we do not think that there is a difference between instrumental songs and songs with lyrics. So they are all same for us, there is no difference. There will be two instrumental songs in the new album too.

Harun: About the length, we can say that it is the only negative criticism we heard about the album. That’s because we didn’t want to wait for the writing process of the new tracks, and started to record with what we have in hand. But the next album will be much longer than this one. 

 

“'The Serpent Once You Were' indicates the desperate crawling of human kind against the inevitable end."


FORGOTTEN / "Of Past and Passion" [OFFICIAL VIDEO]


“Of Past and Passion” reminds me the early Katatonia and early Lacrimas Profundere. This genre is quite unique with its style, themes, and audiences. What does doom/death music mean to you? What is the main lyrical content of the album?

Harun: Doom/death is one of the genres I used to listen since my early teenage years. I mostly prefer music that awakes some emotions in me. I see it as a tool to give yourself and the listener goose bumps. The lyrical content is mainly about what time does to the living things. It is about how life generates, evolves and ends. The phases a human being or a plant experience during its journey in this planet.

 

“The Serpent Once You Were” takes attention with is birth-death theme by starting with first beats and ends with fading heart rate signals. What is the metaphor of serpent; Lucifer, inner self or subconscious which might be interbedded in the end? 

Harun: It indicates the desperate crawling of human kind against the inevitable end. A helpless human being, resembling a reptile heading towards death, since birth.

 

Do you think if the music is a catharsis for you or a contrast/balance in life by accepting the heavy emotions as well? What do you think about creating sort of art in sadness and melancholia? What does melancholia mean for Forgotten?

Harun: Sadness and melancholia are the undeniable facts of life. There have been no adult in history, who have left this place without experiencing these feelings. So using these aspects in art or music is so normal. Of course we can say that music is a catharsis since you try to act out your feelings and your heaviest emotions as well.

 

Cover art resemblances a web coming from a mind binding all memories who is crushed under the bitter burden of the past. Who did the cover art and what does it depict according to you?

Tolga: The cover art is a photo that was taken by our guitarist Reha Kuldaşlı in Istanbul/Moda. Every autumn you can see that tree in the same way. I also think in the same way, a forgotten person who is crushed under the burden of the past and awaiting for the inevitable extinction.

 



"People who come to your shows are mostly expecting to hear that emotional sound and they are sensitive about it." 


Opening track “Of Past and Passion” with a raven voice brought me to Edgar Alan Poe. So, in literary or musical sense, how do Forgotten members feed themselves in their creativity? Music genres/eras you would like to mention or books/authors you would like to read?

 

Tolga: I read too much on international relations and policy because of my work and education. And they made me sick after a while; I think my creativity comes from the reality, real world and its disgusting nature. In literary sense; I love to read especially Poe, Orhan Kemal, as musical sense; I love all kind of music I do not separate genres, I listen what I love. But they do not feed me on their own, they all together feed me. I mean for example, Orhan Kemal does not feed me, the spirit of him and the real world combines together and they all together feed me.

 

Harun: Speaking for myself, I also do not distinguish between genres. Apart from metal, I listen to every type of music that evokes something in me. Besides music, almost everything we come across in daily life is feeding me in creativity. About literature, I can say that Charles Baudelaire is the most inspiring author for me. 

 

This music style carries too many emotions which are heavy in nature, so should be the most difficult one while performing, among others. What is the utmost importance for you to convey your music in live shows?

 

Harun: Yes, it is difficult indeed because you don’t usually found huge crowds in front of you when we are talking about doom metal. People who come to your shows are mostly expecting to hear that emotional sound and they are sensitive about it. You have to pick the right tunes and give the requested dark ambience to make them satisfied. For this, choosing a suitable intro to prepare the atmosphere is important I think. 

 


You are planning to release a cassette for collectors which includes your last gig in Ankara last year. At these tough days while we are missing concerts, festivals, let’s refresh these great memories. How was the gig, the atmosphere, audience? Was it a special gig for the band as you have recorded?

 

T&H: Yes, it was a special gig for us. It was the first gig after the release of the album. The audience and atmosphere was very good, we were at home, I mean in Ankara. To play at home is always special for the bands.

 

You announced that you have already started working on the new album. So far at which stage are you in? Have you planned any releasing time? What will be the concept? Will it be on the same direction with “Of Past and Passion” album?

 

T&H: Yes, as you mentioned we began to work for the new album. We still have not planned a releasing time but it will be in 2021, may be at the end of 2021, it is up to us. If we finish recording the album early then it will be released earlier. It will be almost on the same direction with “Of Past And Passion” but we have some death metal touches too. There will be very heavy and aggressive songs also we have in the second album. Bu general feeling, direction etc. are same with “Of Past And Passion”. There will be nine songs and it will be a longer album, approximately 55 minutes more or less.

 

As a musician, how do you affect from the pandemic in terms of creativity, motivation? Have you done any changes on your rehearsal routines, composition processes as Forgotten?


Tolga: Pandemic did not affect our songwriting process, because the songs were almost done but it affected our arrangement process and rehearsal routines. Because of the pandemic we cannot come together and work on the songs and lyrics and play together. Because of this, generally I wrote the riffs on the new album and with Ali Öztürk from Studio Deep we are arranging. Ali is also writing some riffs for the album when we work together. Now we are recording the demos of the songs and we will send them to other members to write their own parts and lyrics. Because of the pandemic we preferred to work in this way.

 

Trenchwar / Criminal Organizations

Tolga and Harun, your thrash metal project Trenchwar is ready to release the debut album entitled “Criminal Organizations” via Sleaszy Rider Records, right? But you came across some delay due to the pandemic. What is the last situation? Could you please tell about the motivation and the main desires of Trenchwar?

 

Tolga: Everything is ready for the album. We will send it for manufacturing to our label nowadays. Trenchwar was a one man project of me, I am a huge fan of thrash metal, especially Bay Area thrash metal. Since my childhood, I wanted to make thrash metal, Forgotten was also founded as a thrash metal band, after a while I changed the style. But the thrash metal flame was burning within me, when I decided to stop the activity of Forgotten in 2010s, I began to write thrash metal songs but not for an album, it was just for myself to express my feelings by guitar. And after a while I realized that I can make thrash metal songs and decided to record them. While recording the album other members joined the band. We are criticizing politicians, policy, religion, social decay etc.

 

Turkey has a powerful metal scene and many extreme acts in the underground. However, as I see that Ankara has a different vibe, scene is stronger, passion is higher, and many great bands are form Ankara in the Turkish metal history. What do you want to say about the city and scene?

 

Tolga: Ankara as you mentioned is different when it is compared to other cities. I think this is because of the social life, geography just like in Great Britain. In Izmir you can go somewhere to drink beer and watch the bay, and you can spend your time there, the weather is warm, the sky is blue etc., in Istanbul you can spend your time everywhere, the weather is good, you can join in tons of activities, there is Bosporus and sea etc., but in Ankara we do not have opportunities like you, we buy a case of beer and play in the practice room, and the sky is grey may be 6 months, it is very dark, dark grey. It changes our mood personally in bad way but in good way for the creativity and in winter very cold here, nobody goes out, and we stay at home and play and play and play. This is the difference of us and Ankara. Because of this, the metal bands of Ankara are great and always will be.

 


 

Please share your last words. Thank you for the interview.

 T&H: Thank you very much for this interview and take care!



       FORGOTTEN / "Of Past And Passion" 
full album


More Info:

https://www.facebook.com/forgottenankara

https://sleaszyrider.bandcamp.com/album/forgotten-of-past-and-passion

https://www.instagram.com/forgotten_official







Tuesday, September 15, 2020

NEWS 2020

 Vrîmuot

Album: O Tempora, O Mores!
Album Release Date: 25 September 2020
Label: Prophecy Records
Dark/Neofolk
Germany






Vrîmuot from the fabled Teutoburg Forest, Germany, infuses fresh blood into the time-honored body of neofolk. This is made clear - resoundingly so - by O Tempora, O Mores! (Cicero: "Oh the times! Oh the customs!"), the project's first album.


Vrîmuot (Middle High German for "candour") was founded by composer, multi-instrumentalist and singer T.S.. While staying true to the genre's core aesthetics and stylings, his music rather equals a reinforcement and update of old neofolk values, created the DIY-way without any digital tools and unfolding in unusually long, intense narratives of crafty complexity.



O Tempora, O Mores! was mastered by Markus Stock (Empyrium) and is available as 2CD hardcover book edition (18x18cm, 36 pages with lush artwork and a 18-minutes bonus CD with two exclusive songs) and LP.






Vrîmuot is:
T.S. aka Lupus Viridis - compositions, all instruments, vocals







Saturday, September 12, 2020

LICHTBLICK INTERVIEW




June 2020

All the light is gone?*
If you once delve into Lichtblick's universe, you would face the death in the mirros, dark in the mind... This dark art is found on top of phrenesis!


*Opening track of Phrenesis album of Lichtblick







The band released debut album Phrenesis in 2018. So far how was the reaction from media, fans and are you satisfied with the outcome?


We are quite satisfied with the whole production and the release of Phrenesis. The album reflects what we wanted to create at the time. The reaction from the media and the scene was kinda minor since we make music in a specific and maybe not so popular subgenre of sort. But the feedback we got was mostly very positive.


You started as a two-man project and turned to a full band. Can you tell about the evolution of the band?
We started as a two-man project in 2013 with a certain idea on how to make music. To realize this idea, we looked for other companions with the same mindset. After some time of searching and changes of the set-up we found the final constellation. We are 4 members with the same mindset and the same devotion to what we do.



The name “Phrenesis” is coming from the 16th century poet John Skelton and the meaning is sort of madness, which quite fits your music well with infusing melodies that one can find within suffering in the dark. Could you please tell how you feel about the relation of this strong title with your music?


The Latin word “Phrenesis” translates to insanity or madness, which summarizes the feeling and emotion of the songs on this concept album. The themes cover substance abuse with recurrent depressive thoughts, loneliness, loss of control and evidently death. It is a strong word to indicate the heaviness of the themes we cover. 


“… Everything will definitely come to an end, like the light at the end of the tunnel.”


'All the Light Is Gone'
Phrenesis
LICHTBLICK



The band name “Lichtblick” is also controversial. Do you want to give a contrast by mentioning hope in the name?

Yes, we intended to use this name because of the contradiction within. “Lichtblick” can be translated to “ray of hope”. The meaning for us is that all problems, pains, worries, dreams, and hopes, basically everything will definitely come to an end, like the light at the end of the tunnel. No matter what you do, the end will always be the same.  


How was the production process? The sound came very clear and well-settled. As the production is a bit tricky for the depressive black metal bands time to time, they may miss the best tune while they are trying to sound rough and distortedly depressive. Lichtblick seems to overcome this burden and creates a melancholic atmosphere that burns from cradle to grave.

The production process was very exciting for us, but it took some time. We had a certain idea and sound in mind for our album. Our producer, who is a good friend of ours, was able to even surpass our expectations. It was tricky, since we never wanted this lo-fi sound typical for “classic” black metal. We wanted to mix clean passages and clear sounds with rough distortions to create overwhelming soundscapes and walls. It was important to us to get a good and quality tone that delivers the feelings and emotions we intended to the listener. 


Phrenesis is a great dark work from the depressive subgenre which sharpens suicidal thoughts and includes rich texture, various vocal types, and different emotions from melancholy to ecstasy. I sense some Carl McCoy like gothic vocals as well from time to time. How do you define your music for someone who has not listened to it yet? What is the core point that differs you from other DSBM bands? What are your influences in metal and in other music genres?

Thanks for the nice words! It’s pretty difficult to define oneself. Probably a mix of classy DSBM-sounds like Regnum or Austere mixed with some Post Rock-elements regarding the effects we use for our guitars and vocals. We try not to label our music. Each band has its own and unique sound and we try to find ours.
Bands that influenced us the most are Alcest, Forgotten Tomb, Totalselfhatred, Psychonaut 4, Lantlos, Make a Change…Kill Yourself and so on… 


You are feeding from melancholia, suicide and even death, I guess, as you do not publish your lyrics. Can you please talk about this album’s perspective and your reasons to focus on these topics? Why don’t you publish the lyrics?

The perspective of our album is to reveal the deepest emotions and affects a human being can feel. Our lyrics are meant to be open for interpretation, so we decided to not write them down. The listener should find him/herself in our music and feel the same as we felt making the album. Of course, the content relates to genre-specific topics and to our own experiences with them.


“We chose black and white to simplify the videos and to shine a light on the topics themselves.”





You released an official video for 10 Cent Pistol which is about substance abuse which reminds me of a Shining video in similar sense. What do you want to say about this video? You have two other videos for “All the Light Is Gone” and “Cycle of Despair” as well. Why do you want to choose black and white shooting for the videos?

The Video to “10 Cent Pistol” indicates what the song is about, namely drug abuse. We took different short scenes and clips that contain very graphic material on this topic. On one hand its very provocative, on the other it’s the reality. We chose black and white to simplify the videos and to shine a light on the topics themselves. 


'10 Cent Pistol'
Phrenesis
LICHTBLICK


I am always curious of the crossroad of arts that makes this journey deeper and darker. So, how is your relationship with literature? Do you have any literary influences? I remember Georg Trakl as an Austrian poet who is known for his very dark art. Pavese or Cicero are also known to carry a similar suicidal vein in their philosophy like you have in your music.

Yes, in fact we take some inspiration in literature. Currently we are working on a track influenced by Johann Wolfgang v. Goethes “Zauberlehrling”. Some of us enjoy “dark romantic” poets like Edgar Allan Poe or Stefan Zweig, but we take inspiration rather from our personal experiences with life situations and how we coped with them.



The cover art fits with the suicidal idea and it is a bit mystical with the black and white pop art like style. Who did it and what do you want to say about it?

We did the whole artwork by ourselves and the concept was to create a dedicated picture for every single song. Each image is related to the theme of the song it represents. Instead of lyrics, we wanted to indicate with graphic images what the songs are about. We chose black and white pictures for the same reasons we kept our videos in black and white. 


Your music carries very intense moments that can perish oneself in full cold-hearted suffering. How do you deal with this very strong negativity in your lives? Is music your therapy? Or you are the ones who are in melancholic temperament hence taking pleasure from negativity?

To be honest, it's different at times. Sometimes, it's a kind of therapy or cure for negative feelings and depressive episodes we have. Other times it's a way to release anger and aggression. Anyways, we benefit mentally from making this music together.



Are there any plans for the new album? You released the EP and the album independently, so next time do you think to make a deal with any record label?

We´re currently working on material for the new album. We received a few requests to release our music via some small labels, but we declined since we were not satisfied with the proposals they offered us. So far we stay independent.


How were the shows of the band? Which show was the unforgettable one for Lichtblick? What are you thinking for the shows after the pandemic? What kind of effect has the pandemic to you as musicians?

Lichtblick is meant to be a live-band, but sometimes it's difficult to find the matching audience for our music. Our live shows are always very intense for all of us. Especially our singer needs a recovery time after performing live.
We hope that the current situation with the pandemic gets back to normal as soon as possible. The current lockdown might be necessary, but it’s not the definite answer. We had to cancel a small European tour in March and some local events before summer due to the lockdown. We don't know how the music/concert scene will be after all this, but we hope it will recover quickly.    


Phrenesis
LICHTBLICK


Please share your last words and wishes for Black metal chronicles readers.
Feel free to lose your life!


More Info: