Greetings from Forbidden Magazine and congratulations on your new album. It is mind shattering and truly amazing!
Thank you very much!
For the fans outside of France, would you like to briefly touch upon the history of the band?
I started the band in 2005 in the south east of France where I come from, with some friends. We released the “Bloody Crown” demo a year later and played as many shows as possible in order to spread our name. The team around me completely changed for the recording of the first album “Ages of Decay” This is when Ludo, our current bass player joined the band. After this album has been released, we got a new drummer, Gaël Barthélemy, and a new guitar player, Clément Flandrois and we did two European tours. We began the recording of the second album, Witnessing the Fall in early 2010 and released it last November.
Do you think the band has matured musically from the Demo “Bloody Crown” to the second album “Witnessing the Fall” in terms of song writing and being musically tighter?
Without a doubt! We were very young when we released this demo and it was just the first step. But as soon it was released, we went on playing live as much as we could so we were way much prepared for the first album. We played a lot after the released of the first album with the tours I mentioned above. It helped us a lot to improve our skills and grow up as musicians.
Svart Crown would, in my opinion, be a a mixture of black and death metal. Where do you draw influences to write such amazing music and what bands played a role in your entry into extreme metal? Who does the songwriting within the band?
I write most of the music and the lyrics. I make demos with drum programming and give it to the other guys in order for them to add their own flavor. I have been listening to both black and death metal and it was natural for me to combine these two elements as well as other influences I have like thrash, post hardcore and so on. If I had to mention some bands that inspired me to shape the sound of the band in the beginning, it would be Immolation, Slayer, Mayhem, Marduk or Morbid Angel to name a few. We have a wide range of musical tastes within the band and it should help to go in new directions in the future.
There are a lot of lead solos in most of the tracks of “Witnessing the Fall” as well as in “Ages of Decay.” Most Death/black metal bands feel that having solos will bring down the brutality completely. Here, Svart Crown seems a bit different. Did you always feel that solos is a must in most of the tracks in all the albums what you have recorded so far? How easy is it for you to blend these solos with the fast beats and get a good flow of the song?
We don’t force things for sure. We don’t put solos because we have to but simply because it fits the atmosphere of the song. The lead guitar work is used to enhance some parts and brings some dynamics.We never use guitar solos for the sake of it.
I liked tracks like “Of Sulphur and Fire” and “Into a Dimential Sea”.Do you have any personal favorites in “Witnessing the Fall?”
I love “An Eternal Descent” for its weird structure and feeling,the groovy beginning and the two minutes final of absolute fury. It makes this song apart from the rest of the album. “Dogs of God” and “Strength, Higher that Justice” are also favorites of mine
The cover art work of “Witnessing the Fall” is fantastic. But any reason why it is kept in Black and White? Also who worked on the cover art, as it looks a right fit for this album? Also please do take us through the concept of this album and what message you are trying to deliver through this album.
Stefan Thanneur, a French artist, is the one behind this fantastic cover. He took inspiration from “The Pietà” by Michelangelo. The black and white is perfect for matching the lyrics that describe the darkest aspects of human nature. How men are able to hurt themselves and the people around them. We talk about both physical and mental suffering. The man on the cover symbolizes humanity and the enigmatic character looking at you symbolizes the idea of an higher power. He seems to tell us: “You’re the only one responsible for your pain”.
How did the collaboration with Listenable Records happen?
Listenable is one of the top labels in France and is a respected name in the worldwide metal scene. It was natural for us to contact them. We’re glad that they like the album and decided to work with us. They’re doing a great job and we couldn’t have made a better choice!
How do you see the French black metal scene at this point in time? Do you recommend any good bands of past and present to listen to? Also does Satanism or Occultism play any role in your music?
The French Black metal scene is doing very well and I think this scene has always been regarded with a lot of respect. Some bands I would recommend you: Antaeus, Aosoth, Arkhon Infaustus, Deathspell Omega, Nehemah and Otargos to name a few. Satanism and Occultism didn’t influence our lyrics but we’ve been listening to a lot of bands that deal with these kinds of concepts and we have interest for it.
I watched your video of “The End” from your Demo “Bloody Crown.” It actually reminds me of old Monstrosity and a bit of Kataklysm, with a lot of groovy guitar and drumming. Were you following any of these bands during your Demo times?
I think it’s the first time someone mentions Monstrosity after watching this video! Our drummer Gaël is really into Monstrosity but he was not in the band at this time so I don’t know. But there’s definitely a death metal feeling in this song.
Is there a tour on schedule so as to promote your new album?
We already went on tour when the album has been released. First with Shining and Enthroned in October and November, and with Melechesh in December. Both tours were in Europe. We’ll be in eastern Europe during three weeks for a tour starting in mid February. We also have a lot of shows in France as wel
l as some festivals like The Hammerfest in U.K (In March) and the Hellfest in France (in June). And some other tours are prepared for the rest of the year.
Before we end, what are your last words for readers of Forbidden Magazine?
Thank you for your interest and support. Hopefully, we will see you on tour. Cheers!