Interview: Vinterriket

Interview: Vinterriket – June 2003

Vinterriket – a well known band in the underground scene being appreciated for its original special music and also for its many releases. The music Its full of emotions, a mixture of ambiental style (edit: dark ambient expression was not really a defined concept at that time!) and black metal with grim guitars, mid-slow drums and shudder clean voices which leads to a depressive and beautiful atmosphere . For short the music expresses “die Zauber der Nacht”. The man behind the music and its music in the following interview.

Hi cz, as I do not know much history about the band, could you tell me some words about you and Vinterriket? How it all started?

Hails Casian! Okay, here we go: Well, the story/ history of Vinterriket is quite boring and nothing special, I think. I have started the whole project back in late 1996. In the early days the whole thing was very slow and I was not 100% behind it.
The first demotape was released in early 2000 or in the end of 1999, I think. So it took 3 years to finnish the stuff. This was mainly because of bad equipment and so on. After the release of the demo the whole thing became more serious and I totally focused on the project. Up til now many EP\’s, CD\’s Demos and so on have been published on different labels around the globe. Too many stuff to mention, actually. Vinterriket was founded because of my endless love to the dark side of mother nature. I wanted to express my feelings and the way I see nature through this kind of art in order to satisfy myself. You know, principally I make music ONLY for myself, for nobody else! If others like the music, too: Ok. If not, I do not care at all. Of course it is great to see that many others share the same feelings, that many others have the same visions/ landscapes/ feelings inside when listening to the music of Vinterriket and that many others interpret my lyrics as I’d do myself. Then I see they got the point I want to express. Others listen to the stuff and they understand simply nothing what I wanted to express. But as I said: I do not care at all.

There are other members in the band? On the \’Sturme die letzten Stille\’ a female voice is present.

No, Vinterriket is only me and I am Vinterriket. There are no other members involved. Haewwel has helped me on two tracks in the past with female vocals as a kind of session member. If I\’ll feel to use female vocals in the future again, I\’ll ask her, this is for sure. But there are absolutely no plans to include other members. Since Haewwel was doing the female vocals in the past she was responsible for some drawings, lyrics and pictures on other releases.

How many releases to date? Searching, I found about 26 releases consists of splits, 7\” pic., demos, promo material and a few CD albums actually.

Vinterriket has released a lot during the last years, yes. Too many stuff to mention at all. There are also a lot of different versions of different releases in different countries, if you understand what I mean. the whole discography (date: 30.05.2003) is here.

What is the latest release, can you tell me some words about it?

The new CD is called \”Winterschatten\” and was just released a few weeks ago on Ketzer Records (Germany) / Desolate Landscapes (Scotland).
The CD features both, dark Ambient stuff as well as songs with guitars, drums, vocals, etc. I avoid to use the term \”Black Metal\” here. 45 minutes playing – time. The CD is a conceptional album dealing with the darkness of the winter season. Layout, music and lyrics are going hand in hand. The Ambient songs on the new CD are more atmospheric and more simple than on the last CD \”…und die Nacht…\”. More cold and more desolate. Not that orchestrated and symphonic. The new CD is, of course, limited and handnumbered (1000 copies) and comes with special packing. MC version (550 copies) is out on Bloodhead/Opressor (Ukraina) and vinyl-version is also out now (Ketzer Records).
The vinyl-version is something very special this time: The album comes as 3-7\”EP Box, including three inlays, three art cards (kind of postcards). The vinyls itself are white, black and white/black marbled. The CD is a conceptional album dealing with the coming, the presence and the darkness of the winter season. The first two, more Metal related tracks, stand for the cruel and sudden arrival of winter (Track one means translated something like “snowstorm/ onset of the white darkness” . They reflect the cruelness. The other tracks stand for the cold presence of winter (for example the last track means “the eternal ice”). Layout, music and lyrics are going hand in hand.
Here are the other translations of the titles, too:
1. Schneesturm/ Einbruch der weissen Dunkelheit = snowstorm/ onset of the white darkness
2. Winterschatten = wintershadows
3. Eisige Feuer = icy fires
4. …endlos und karg… = …endless and desolate…
5. Verschneite Wälder = snowy woods
6. Das ewige Eis = the eternal ice

I know that you are a fan of Burzum and that you embrace some of the Varg\’s ideologies. What other books or writers influenced you?

VINTERRIKET is only influenced by the dark side of nature, nothing else! Sure, you get inluenced by many things around you, you can even say by ALL things around you: Friends, books, films, landscapes, pictures, music etc. But my main source is nature. The darks side of mother nature so to speak. Of course I like BURZUM. My favourite CD of Varg is hard to tell. I do not know. I like a lot of them very much. \”Hvis..\”/ \”Filosofem\” maybe? I do not know. I also like his 2 Ambient- CD\’s. Some of his ideologies/ ideas are ok and some are pure shit. It depends. But Burzum never had a direct influence on Vinterriket….

Thanks and hails from Siebenbürgen and wish you further inspiration in future releases.

Thanx a lot for the interview. Good luck for your magazine & germaniac hails.


Interview: Oleg Novak

Oleg Novak – The Dawn Of The New Sun (dark ambient, demo CD) interview June 2003.

The new wave of ambiental (therm dark ambient not really existent at that time) yet emotional music comes into scene. The promo CD includes four tracks of fine ambiental music with folk influences. The music is composed by the promising and talented Oleg Novak from Ukraine. Ukraine…which still gives to the European metal underground culture a lot of good musicians and unique music.
Getting in touch with Oleg was very easy, being a communicative and enthusiastic interlocutor. I may address him a few questions that are meant to reveal its latest musical creation and the person behind it.

Hi Oleg, how did you start you music activity and when? Do you have some previous experience before \” The Dawn Of The New Sun \” promo?

Oleg: Hi Casian! Yes, I had some musical experience before I began individual musical activity. I played in black metal band HAVOC, but I do not think that there\’s something important to tell. We have recorded two rehearsal tapes, which weren\’t distributed. HAVOC existed from the end of 1999 to 2001. Then I began to be engaged in the isolated creativity.

How would you describe your music? What are the most influential bands of your music?

Oleg: Well, ambient strongly differs from other styles of music: here\’s no \”drive\” as in metal or rock, it is necessary to listen ambient in isolation, it is pure stream of emotions. I shall say about influences one thing: you can be under influence only if music has found echoes inside you, something close to you, when it sounds in unison with your soul. But it is not necessary to confuse it with plagiarism and imitation, it is absolutely another. Everyone should be individual, instead of someone\’s repeat. In general it concerns not only music, but art as a whole. True inspired art is something especially personal, something outside of ordinary words, orthodox definitions and empty souls. Transcendental.
Actually interests me the huge quantity of music and various directions. The list is too large and too different, well, I can allocate Kari Rueslatten, THE 3RD AND THE MORTAL (old), WITHIN TEMPTATION, THE GATHERING, THEATRE OF TRAGEDY, TRISTANIA, LAIBACH, from ambient: ELEND, ARCANA, AGHAST, BURZUM, ORDO EQUILIBRIO, old black metal: DARKTHRONE, ISENGARD, SATYRICON, folk metal: STORM and OTYG, classics (Mozart, Prokof\’iev, Wagner, Vivaldi, Bach, Grieg…), different electronics: Eric Serra, Mark Snow, Emma Shapplin, ENIGMA…. and so on… endless list…

Can you make a short description (and translation) of the each of the tracks along with their meaning (if any)?

Oleg: DNS is an album a tribute to Ukraine, my native land. OK, I can describe it with something like images, which are contained in these tracks.

The first track (Steps Of Winter) I have composed in a December fullmoon, this is admiration with a frozen nature of Ukraine, then comes winter solstice and slavic holyday Kolyada.

Further goes deep depressive track  (Stones). This track is inspired with my meditative visions (memories). You know, I think, that the man receives memory of the ancestors in blood, some pictures from the past too, really rise before my eyes. Image: dark stone dungeons, wells, funeral by centenary moss, voices of stones.

\'(The Dawn Of The New Sun). Triumph of light, symbolical renovation, vital warm for strong and cruel fire for weak. Some kind of fair (natural) court the highest judge. Final image: early spring morning, the first beams above foggy hills.

Last track (In The Mist Of Ancient Forest) is immersing in a sleep in calmness of the woods.

Any writer or book that deeply influenced your way of thinking and of composing music?

Oleg: From childhood I like Slavic and German fairy tales, I think it has affected me. Also Andersen, Tolkien… documentary literature about lycanthropy and vampirism (if to take into account your location, I think you know about it not by hearsay hehe…), ancient witchcraft, legends and myths… Philosophy: Friedrich Nietzsche. Modern Russian philosopher Alexander Dugin its also interesting for me. Music: Richard Wagner and his perfect articles about art. Some historical books, etc. Here are difficult to listed all literature interesting me in full, but I can\’t say that something from it has made total influence on my outlook. Everyone sincere artist makes a start from his own heartbeat, and about influences I have said already, of course it\’s inevitable, but it\’s natural and here\’s nothing to be ashamed. External is factor too, but without internal creative (Divine!) power it will not give anything. The sincere creativity is a necessity of self-expressions, just you cannot differently.

Can you tell me some words about the current scene, both black and ambiental? Do you see some important \”evolution\” in the scene in the last few years? Which are the most valuable bands for you at the moment?

Oleg: No, I don\’t see any principal changes last years. It just became a little silent and apathetic. Most valuable bands… hmmm… it\’s hard to say, I am not interested strongly in a today\’s scene, I have a lot of old invaluable music. Though certainly, interesting new artists appears and now (and will be always as the history shows), I am just rather statically treat this. Last new stuff, which has really liked me is \’Pilot\’ by Kari.

What about future projects? I know you are already preparing a new material.

Oleg: Yes, now I am \”pregnant\” with a new album. It is the work inspired by witches sabbaths and ancient magic. Why christians burnt witches in times of \”holy\” inquisition? They were too vital for them. Too natural. Too life-asserting. Inquisitors could burn out the woman only because she is too beautiful, \”\’cause it is from Devil\”… damn it…. Music? It will be night mystical ambient, now I can\’t say more about it, besides that tracknames will be in english, and it will contain also vocal.

Thanks and I wish you good luck in future artistic projects.

Oleg: Thanks to you too for your support and interview. Hails Transylvanian lands!


Interview: Gloria Morti

Gloria Morti – Ephemeral Life Span CD was a great discovery back in 2003!

Finland has a lot of young bands waiting to be discovered and many of them are ready to release very interesting material in near future. The extreme metal underground is in good hands here. About the glorification of death speaks Gloria Morti itself. The Finnish band released a very promising promo. Observe here the Extreme word, more general term instead of Black. Black Metal tends to evolve in many forms. Nowadays it is hard somehow to draw a border of styles. And maybe it is not necessary, we like the music or not, that\’s all. Gloria Morti points that out.

Hi GM, at last I do it. What is doing GM at the moment?

Algos: We are writing new material and rehearsing for future shows. Nothing much…

What was the feeling that gave birth to Gloria Morti?

Catharsis: Boredom… No seriously. It’s been over four years since we started this band and I can\’t really recall just what the hell were we thinking back then. I guess it was the same desire that we have today. The desire to create something very dear to us and have fun in the process. Algos: I would say friendship and interest to music. It was cool to hang out with friends and play Heavy Metal.

How would you describe your music? What is all about? Is Death your main ideology?

Catharsis: We prefer to call our music melodic extreme-metal. It\’s somewhat hard to label us into one specific genre, because we kind of manage to fall somewhere in between. Our music could be described as a mixture of death and trash metal combined with melancholic atmosphere and dark ambience. As for Death being our main ideology, we really don\’t have any ideologies involved in our music. Our lyrics deal with sadness and other forms of spiritual suffering and these emotions are often associated Death or loss of something precious, so Death is very closely related to our lyrics. This is also one of the reasons we picked Gloria Morti as our name.

Havoc: Yup, Cat has a point here. Anyone who knows his (or her\’s) black metal from the rest, can tell that Gloria Morti has very little to do with black metal. BM is more of an ideology than just a genre of music.Our band does not represent the black metal ideology, so we tend to avoid calling our music black metal. I’d call it thrash metal with keyboards, hah.

To compose a certain style of music one must be in a mood, must have an inspiration. Do you try to dig inside and to find the really dark force that inspires? What inspires you?

Algos: My main source of inspiration is my love for playing guitar. I don\’t have to walk in cemetery at night to write music. The music I write is just something that comes out of me. It\’s that simple.

I was impressed by your Promo 2003, modern black metal at its best, could you give me some details about it? How the press received it?

Havoc: We recorded it in three days at Sundi Coop Studios in Savonlinna, Finland with kind assistance from engineer Tuomo Valtonen. He has worked with most of the important metal bands in Finland and he is one of the best guys in the business. We are very pleased with the result. The press have received it as we expected. Some like it, some hate it. Isn\’t it the same way with every band?

An artist is an arist. Material advantage is excluded. Evil wana be posseurs are everywhere. What do you think about this? Did you have this in mind?

Catharsis: I don\’t really care. I mean, some might say that we are posers as we are often refered to bands like Dimmu Borgir, but then again, we don\’t claim to be evil, we don\’t claim to be black metal. We stay true to ourselves and ONLY to ourselves, not to some scene or ideology. So if someone thinks we\’re posers, it\’s really not my problem. And about the wannabes, If someone really thinks that standing on a pile of snow in a dark forest with their faces painted and inverted crosses hanging around their necks is even remotely evil, then I have a news-flash: It\’s not! But I shouldn\’t criticize what other people are doing, no one is criticizing our work.

Havoc: As far as I\’m concerned, I will just stay true to myself and do things the way I see fit. The rest can just fuck off, you know. I just really couldn\’t care less what other people have to say. You can\’t always please everyone, but that\’s part of the business. And usually these people who always complain about something should take a look in the mirror. This is not the early 90\’s anymore, you know. Things progress.

So, what bands is most valuable for you?

Catharsis: I listen to countless of extreme metal bands, but Nile, The Berzerker, Dark Funeral and Anaal Nathrakh are the most important ones for me. I owe a lot to their music.

Algos: Mayhem, Dissection and Emperor are the most important bands to me.

Havoc: There are so many. Iron Maiden is maybe the most important for me. Morbid Angel, Slayer, My Dying Bride, various thrash and death metal bands, both old and new. I\’m also a big fan of the swedish melodic death metal scene. Dark Tranquillity, Opeth, At The Gates, In Flames, Hypocrisy and so on. I don\’t listen to black metal at all. I prefer my music more…i don\’t know…real?

The Hecate Enthrones\’s like screaming vocals pleased me. They fit very well giving the listener a stormy feeling, grandiose. Hecate Enthroned influenced you?

Algos: We all like the band and it has influenced us especially at the beginning of our bands career.

When do you expect a full album? Did you find a label? Do you expect a contract soon?

Havoc: Very difficult to say, actually. We recieved some offers from different labels, but decided not to sign a deal with any of them. we\’ll continue to promote ourselves and see what happens. But the general feedback has been positive.

Catharsis: We have been talking about going into a studio to record a mini-album in the near future. But I will say no more, as nothing is confirmed yet. I suggest that people who are interested keep checking our website ( every now and then for more info.

How do you see the Finnish scene in particular and the whole black metal scene in general?

Algos: I like the finnish metal scene. We have good death and black metal bands (Deepred, Thyrane, Funeris Nocturnum to name a few) and lots of extremely talented musicians here (Alexi Laiho and Roope Latvala for example). I don\’t think that the black metal scene really exists any more. There are only a few Black Metal bands that have been from the beginning of the black metal era and I think its good that the scene goes forward. No one can bring back the early years of the scene and no one has to. It\’s nice that good musicians don\’t waste their time in prison.

What do you know about Romania? Do you consider coming and visiting Transilvania some day?

Havoc: Well, I think everybody is familiar with the stories of Dracula and Vlad The Impaler. But I hear it is a beautiful country and visiting Romania would surely be interesting.

Thanks for the interview. Keep on with the good work and storms of inspiration. Transilvanian hails!

Havoc: Thanks for your support and stay metal!