DARKENHÖLD – interview pour Occultblackmetalzine – reçu le 8/01/015
1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
Cervantes : “Castellum” has been released on september 2014, and then we try now to defend it on stage. Hopefully people will raise our banner high aside us, and help us to reach new horizons. These times are hard, but we try to give listeners the desire to discover us on stage. Futhermore, Aldébaran began to compose new song for the fourth album to come, but the next opus is in its early stages.
2.In September you had released a new album, how would you describe the musicla sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
Cervantes : From my point of view, “Castellum” paints more epic and glorious landscapes than “Echoes from the stone keepers”, which seemed to prefer the underground galleries, dark forests and wild creatures or characters roaming through black tales and thundering skies. It's about mighty castles, stories within old ruins, furious battles and, yes, also some caverns... and the wyvern, of course !
3.Your lyrics over the years have covered castles, medieval and fantasy themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?
Aldébaran : As for myself, this inspiration comes from two sources, from walking in castles, ruins, towers that are located near my home and the other source is reading (classic fantasy authors, history, old-school video games/RPG).
Cervantes : On our two previous albums, I only wrote about theses themes with fantasmagorical intentions : it was our way to take the listeners with us through oniric travels and evocative images... with “Castellum”, I present a more historical approach, as every song deals with one or many french castles. But I do like to present things on the fantastic side, following still my will to let the imagination get the upper hand. We're not historians... but yes, the medieval times and the way people were living inspires us a lot. It's a deep part of our secret mind.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Darkenhold'?
Aldébaran : A name that can be understand at the same time as “dark'n'old”, or close to the “stronghold” sonority.
Cervantes : The word Darkenhöld comes also from a song from Bal Sagoth, the great Barbarian Metal kings ! I'm a big fan of their early opus, and I loved this word... The band just asked us to make a little alteration to it, so the “o” turned to “ö”.
5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Cervantes : I loved the live we did at the end of 2010, with Taake, Vulture Industries and other bands like Aorlhac, an excellent french Black Metal band. I was invited to go on stage with them to howl “Le miroir des péchés” with their singer Spellboud ! A great souvenir for me ! We also had good times during our 2013 “french crusade” with Fhoi Myore and Angmar, even if it was very difficult to do all things, from driving to stage roadies work and, sometimes, sound engineering. An exhausting travel, but good memories. The Villeurbanne live we did at the end of 2014 was great too, some people did'nt even know us and were leaving the place with our three albums in their bag, so we think they appreciated !
6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Cervantes : At the moment, we have four dates planned for 2015, one in Switzerland, three in France, and we expect more to come. But our target is clear : we would like to be a part of festivals, and hope 2015 will be the year to fulfill this quest... hopefully !
7.Over the years you have been a part of compilations where you did some 'Emperor' and 'Enslaved' covers, what was the decision behind doing your own versions of these days?
Aldébaran : It was an opportunity to pay tribute to these bands and to be grateful for a special period when these songs were created. We keep in mind this glorious era full of great atmospheres but we are not passeistic and look forward, I think we have our own sound that is not intended to be compared to other.
8.Over the years how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
Aldébaran : We see more and more people involved in our music through the years, even if our music still stays very underground and is confined in a small subgenre, it seems there are loyal fans that keep informed about our production, and we appreciate it.
9.Are any of the band members currently involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?
Cervantes : I only sing in Darkenhöld.
Aldébaran : I used to be part of bands such as Ysengrin or Artefact, but now I focus only on Darkenhöld.
10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Aldébaran : My main goal is still to compose the best music I can, two albums are in project, I hope there will be the more wonderful possible. An album with a wooden atmosphere, a romantic and a solitary essence , a second album in a more warlike sword and sorcery/medieval fantasy mood. In the two cases there will always be melodic black metal parts, choirs, some guitar solos, emphasizes in the atmospheres, and acoustic parts.
11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Aldébaran : Lots of music in different genres, the only criteria for me is the sincerity and a minimum of musicality, no matters which genre it is.
Obviously we have that background, influences composed of old Dimmu Borgir/Emperor/Satyricon's albums etc that will still be part of our heritage, but personally I can listen in parallel to classical music, new-wave, a bit of jazz, french songs etc... Nowadays in metal, I have listened to Satanic Warmaster (even if I'm not close to their political views), Empyrium, Goatmoon and Evilfeast !
Cervantes : Speaking about Black Metal, my clear (I would even say “only”) influence is the 90's ! I'm an absolute fan of this period, especially the 1993-1998 years... too many bands to quote ! But I'm also a big fan of 1980's Heavy Metal, 1980's Thrash, Speed Melodic and Symphonic Metal, also some Metal prog and old Death Metal monsters, not really the new school... I read the metal press every month and take care of the topicality releases, but I can't say that the modern trends influence me a lot... Moreover, I listen to Classical music, some Soundtracks...
12.Does Paganism or Occultism play any role in your music?
Aldébaran : In a way yes, but only in an allegorical manner, as it is more an musical inspiration than a real way of life. The imagination plays an important role in our sound but in the other hand the music comes deep from my souls and is very true to ourselves.
13.What are some of your non musical interests?
Aldébaran : History, news, hiking in the forest.
Cervantes : I love to write and read, and I am interested in psychology, mythology, animals, arts... and Formula 1 !
14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Cervantes : Thanks for your interest and the review you did on “Castellum”. Salutes to the readers who dedicated some time to glance at these words. We hope to see you live one day, it would be great. Support the undergrournd webzines and travel through old ruins to feel the winds of ancient time blowing your mind !