Fallen Tyrant is a black metal trio from Darmstadt, that’s a bit south of Frankfurt in Germany. We’ve been around for quite a while, and we have just released our second album, “Children of a Nuclear Dawn” via Bleeding Heart Nihilist Productions from Berlin. This is Mithras answering your questions, I’m the guitarist and vocalist in Fallen Tyrant.
2. Recently you have released a new album, what are some of the things the band has done different musically with this recording that you where not able to do on previous releases?
Nothing that was planned. I think the songs and the production turned out better this time. Overall, it’s a bit faster and more aggressive than “No World To Win, A Life To Lose” I guess. There’s a lyrical concept throughout the album, but we didn’t really sit down and said hey, let’s make a concept album. It just happened. So we didn’t really do anything different, but it ended up with a very different result.
One thing that may have had an impact is that we have a different bass player than on the previous releases, and the guy is quite good… so we could go for more elaborate bass lines in some tracks.
3. This is your first release in 5 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time span?
The album had been written and recorded by early 2016. Up to that point it was songwriting, rehearsals, arrangement. From that point on, we were delayed by a multitude of different personal and organisational issues I’d rather not elaborate on. Let’s just say, we all had a bit of a rough time.
4. The lyrics on the new album cover a lot of war topics, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this subject?
That’s actually not even true. The album revolves around dystopia and societal collapse, and the different forces at play there. Of course, once something has seriously gone wrong inside a society, war is the outcome in most cases. I think it may be pointless to explain too much, as the listener’s own interpretation can be more interesting than the artist’s intention in some cases… but generally, the thread running through all things Fallen Tyrant is the question of individuality, creativity and destruction, and the balance of these, in society as well as in oneself.
I think everyone is born with curiosity and creativity, but also malice. They’re different sides of the same coin. In one of the songs I took the – admittedly slightly corny – analogy of the black flame burning inside of us. If let loose completely, destruction reigns. It needs to be harnessed, controlled and used wisely, but not suppressed – because then the outcome is inevitably complete madness as well. I think this main theme is essentially what makes Fallen Tyrant “black metal” instead of just pissed-off rock music with weird facepaint.
Get the connection to the dystopia/war theme yet? If not, pay more attention to what’s going on around you. You’re in for a rude awakening.
5. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Fallen Tyrant'?
That guy up on the pedestal? Yeah, fuck him.
6. Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
That was painted by Luciana Nedelea based on the lyrical concept of the album… or better, it is a continuation of the lyrical concept. We point out the issues, what you can see on the cover artwork is the final result. To be fair, it did end up looking more like a Morbid Angel record than a black metal album, but we found it to be a good fit anyway.
7. Originally the band started out as a solo project, what was the decision behind expanding into a full line up?
Couldn’t pull it off alone, it’s that simple. Find my solo demos somewhere on the internet and listen to them, you’ll find out why I needed a band.
8. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
I tend to remember the shit ones much more lively than the good ones. But one that I remember especially fondly was Leipzig in 2012 – not because it was all that great, but it was the first gig where I had the feeling “hey, this is working, we may be onto something here.” I think recent highlights were Metaldays 2017, which should be on both the best and worst list for a number of reasons, and our release concert here at home a few days back.
Performance wise, well, we try to get that type of dark, somewhat destructive energy over to the people that can be so uplifting at the same time… remember the black flame thing? The only way we can do that is by putting our hearts and souls into it. The facepaint, candles and military gear of course look flashy on stage, but that’s not the main purpose of all that stuff. It’s part of the transformation into a bunch of raging maniacs, which is what we need to be to deliver what we want to deliver. I can’t really describe the stage performance from the outside, although I have of course seen pictures and footage. It’s aggressive, fast, loud, energetic and hopefully well executed, that much I can say.
9. Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
We’ll see. Touring maybe not so much, but a number of good gigs would be nice. But we already see some interest from promoters, even though album promotion has just started. So you’ll see us around, I’m sure.
10. On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your newer music by fans of black metal?
Not sure, the album has only been out for a few days. But the little feedback we received so far has been very favorable.
11. What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?
So I, Mithras, am part of Wight, a progressive rock band, where I play bass. We’ve released three albums so far, but took a break in 2018 and are just kick-starting the band back to life at the moment. I also play bass in Glanville, an old school heavy metal band. We have released a first EP in 2018 and did a small tour. Great fun.
Our bass player Nihlathak plays guitar and is one of the songwriters in Angur. That’s basically a (pagan) black metal band as well, but with a much different approach. Slightly more modern, proper heavy stuff with some skill and passion. Check it out.
12. Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Good question. I see ourselves doing what we do and getting better at it. Riffs and ideas flow out of us without much control, so it comes down to what we make of them. That’s also where the band comes in… I think we’re making progress by becoming a better unit. We have some interesting new songs already written, and they’re all quite different. Maybe the challenge will be making a coherent album this time – but we’ll do it, rest assured.
13. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
That’s quite a general question. I myself am also active in other musical genres and also listen to a lot of other things besides metal – jazz, funk, world music, prog, you name it. You will not see any directly traceable influence from that in Fallen Tyrant, we have chosen to play black metal, and that it will remain. No need for “hey, let’s go for a weird funky guitar here and some technical death metal break there.” What happens is that I come across melodic or rhythmic patterns from other types of music and find a way to make a good black metal riff out of that without anyone noticing that that was ripped off blind from let’s say some funk song. Taking all that influence and cramming it into this limited style of black metal, relying on tried and true formulas while still saying something new and different – that’s the challenge, that’s what keeps it interesting to me. And I see that in my bandmates as well, everyone in the band contributes, but of course everyone has their own approach to it.
14. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
German black metal is pedestrian… in the truest sense of the word.