1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new full length?
Septev: The album was composed and recorded during one year. It was finished, I think, in June 2022. We took our time to contact some labels and we knew that summer is not the right to time to release a black metal album. So we just waited for the right moment.
2.In December you have your first full length coming out, musically how does it differ from your previous ep?
Septev: Our first ep was kind of a demo. We knew what we wanted to do but we had to experiment a bit. And it was the first time we worked the three of us together (adding Zigfrid our lyricist).
For the album I changed my vision of composition, and I wanted to express myself through longer tracks with more space for the dungeon synth part. I wanted to compose like an epic sword and sorcery story.
I also took care this time of the mixing and mastering to achieve the vision I had of our sound.
Now, our singer Erroiak plays the guitars, and our bassist Rohkrao plays acoustic and clean guitars on some tracks too. I tried to compose with lot of different instruments (like traditional medieval instruments for example) and synths.
Our music is more richer now than on our previous EP.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the new release and also how would you describe your progress as songwriteres from the previous release?
Septev: the lyrics writing process was made by Zigfrid. This time, he wrote the lyrics after the music, so he had the inspiration of it. I was telling the main idea I had in my head, and he wrote really nice and dense text.
As I told you before, the album is like a story. It takes place in a fantasy place, where people are fighting over power between castle, village, dragon, and beautiful endless landscape pierced by mountains.
Zigfrid did an amazing work. The texts are sometimes poetic sometimes raw and intense.
For the musical part, I really wanted to tell a story from beginning to end through different phase of feelings. I managed to have an evolution within each track to brings the listener in an epic journey.
That was totally different in the previous EP where the tracks had no connexion between them.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Hrad'?
Septev: Hrad is the Czech (and Slovak) word for « Castle ». Czech Republic is a country that I really like. The language is difficult to learn but I like how it sounds and especially this word.
For the name of the band, I wanted something meaningful of the image that reflect our music. I found out that Hrad was the right name.
5.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
Septev: the artwork was made by the talented German artist Johnny Doe. He works with on digital artwork and brings that special lightning that makes it unique. To be honest, it was a premade artwork, but when I saw it, I was convince that this was the perfect artwork that illustrate our music. The power of the dragon burning down the castle and the mountain reflect with perfection the story that is told in our album.
(This artist also play in the doom/black metal band Praise the Plague)
6.Has the band done any live shows or open to the idea?
Septev: We won’t perform any live shows. We are only a studio band. We live to far from each other, so it would be complicated for us to do rehearsals. And we have fulfilled life that won’t give us the time to go on the road.
7.On the new album you are working with WereGnome Records, Huard Productions and Acid Vicious on the physical copies, can you tell us a little bit more about these labels?
Septev: For our first EP, we have already worked with Weregnome and Acid vicious.
Weregnome is an American label that produces mainly tapes. They have a very large range of kind of productions and love to produce some weird stuff in the dungeon synth and black metal scene. One of the owner also have a dungeon synth project. They will release our album on tape on the 30 December.
Acid vicious and Huard productions teamed up to release the album on digipack on the 02 December.
Acid Vicious is at the beginning an old fanzine and has a long history in the underground French scene. The owner produce now a lot of stuff that he likes and brings very good albums on digipack and tape.
Huard productions is a newcomer on the French scene, but has already make the point with very good dungeon synth productions on tape and some black metal on digipack. The owner has also a one man band.
We really have good relationship with these 3 labels and we are glad that they believe in our music.
8.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black metal and dungeon synth?
Septev: I am not sure, but I think that our music has a bigger audience anywhere else than in France. Our country is well known for its black metal scene, but we are taking a step aside with our way to see the black metal. I sold some digipack of our EP on the bandcamp of the band, and it was mainly abroad.
The texts are in English may be that helps too. But I believe that people from America or Eastern Europe are more open to our mix of genres.
9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Septev: we are already slowly thinking to the next album. I want to continue the path open by this album. Bringing epic music and maybe going to a mix with the old school sound of the ep and the modern sound of the current album.
But for the moment we are all in making process with other projects and we are waiting for the release of the album to see its reception.
10.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that the singer is a part of?
Erroiak: The new Suicidal Madness album, in which I was invited to play some piano parts, will be released in December on Wolfspell Records.
There is also the new Kaldt Helvete EP, where I am bassist and pianist, which will be released in December on Daedra Art.
I am currently recording the vocals for the next Léthifère album, and I also have to write and record the vocals for the next Oppressive Light album, which is already composed and recorded.
I am also currently composing and recording the 2nd album of Enterré Vivant, with my buddy Sakrifiss, who lives in Japan.
But what excites me the most is the forthcoming release of my 1st solo album, under the name Erroiak, on a label that will be announced soon.
And also, the 1st album of Udazken, my new Dungeon Synth project, will be released soon by Huard Productions.
Septev: I take the opportunity of this question to have a little word on the band of our bass player.
He is playing guitar in a sludge band from Paris: Negative Concept. They have just released their first album (Unwelcome) which is really good!
I can also say that I will release a mini dungeon synth album with my project Eklemata on the label Weregnome Records. The tape will be out on January.
11.What are some of the bands or musical styles the band members are currently listening to nowadays?
Septev: I have to say that I listen to various stuff and not only black metal.
I really like bands like Can Bardd or Belore, that are in the same category of music like us. At the moment I have great expectation on the next album of …And Oceans, a symphonic black metal band I listen since a very longtime. I am also a huge fan of bands like Kvelertak or Turbonegro that I keep on listen to really often.
Erroiak: I listen to Black Metal every day, mainly from the French, Finnish and Ukrainian scenes, which are my favorites, and I often discover very good new things there.
But sometimes I still listen to my old classics: Iron Maiden, old-Metallica, Pantera, old-Sepultura, Motörhead, but also Queen or even the Beatles.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Septev: thanks for this interview and for giving us a chance to defend our new album. Thanks for your work for promoting little bands like us!
To conclude, I can only suggest to people who read this interview to go on our bandcamp to discover our music!