THE CRRESCENT (Eng.)

– Hi, thanks for your time. What are you currently up to? How is everything doing right now with THE CRESCENT?

Viktor: Thank you for the interview, at the moment we are preparing for our spring club tour here in Finland. The new album was released a few weeks ago and was also a national chart entry at #23 on the official album chart and at #9 on the independent record store chart. But most importantly the album has been well received by the fans and we have gotten also new friends for our music.

– As some people may know, after releasing three albums under the ENOCHIAN CRESCENT’s name, there were some important line-up changes in the band and you then decide to take different paths and change the band’s name to THE CRESCENT so, could you please elaborate a little bit on how did this happen and why did you take this decision?

Viktor: When we founded the band in 1995 Wrath and I made a pact that should either of us quit the band the name would be put to rest also. As a man of my words I honored our agreement and so we changed name. Wrath’s voice was also a big part of the Enochian Crescent -sound, so it would not be the same with anyone else. Better to get a fresh start under a new name, but with a connection to the past as I have written most of the EC’s material and we shall continue to play old songs live.

 

– What were the reasons behind this «separation» between Viktor and Wrath?

Viktor: Differing views about pretty much everything, so Wrath was asked to leave. A sad moment, but necessary for the band to continue. The other option would have been for me to put down the guitar for good since the co-operation was not possible anymore.

 

– You have now just released THE CRESCENT’s debut album so, how are you feeling about it? What are your expectations on it?

Viktor: It is a new start in many ways. We have a new powerful and charismatic lead vocalist in Hellwind. He is also a very productive lyricist and as I prefer writing my songs based on lyrics – I always get inspired by the stories and the hidden melodies and mental images within the texts. My expectations for the album: well if a single soul outside of our band finds our music touching and inspiring then the album has filled its purpose.

 

– Anyway after giving this «Risti» some spins, the musical basis and spirit is pretty similar to ENOCHIAN CRESCENT so, what do you think are the main differences between this effort and the ones you released as ENOCHIAN CRESCENT? What differences both bands?

Vilhelm: Actually the music on “Risti” would be more or less the same, even if the album would have been released under Enochian Crescent’s name. The music was already composed, arranged and rehearsed before the separation between Wrath and the rest of the band, so the main difference is Hellwind’s more aggressive and versatile vocals. In the future albums, of course the arrangements will be done with Hellwind’s vocals in mind, so we can make more use of his unique talent and style.

Viktor: I think that the album turned out better with Hellwind than it would have been with Wrath, because the bells were tolling their song already for the death of EC and I think the band would have ended in any ase and in this atmosphere I believe the vocals and vocal arrangements, let alone playing would have not been as inspired and energetic as they are now.

 

– It seems like contrasts are really important on this effort, as it really shows your most extreme side, both with fast and aggressive parts with really atmospheric and melodic passages. Is this an important part of the band’s essence?

Vilhelm: You’re absolutely right. In my opinion the contrasts have been a vital part of the band’s music always, and on this album they’re more clearly on the frame than ever before. There are no absolute guidelines how the band’s music should sound. We do not follow the trends and guidelines concerning how black metal should sound, we forge our own path musically. Any type of passage can fit into The Crescent’s music, as long as it fits and enhances the mood required by the lyrics and the idea behind them.

 

– You have also used several samples, which I think helps enhancing the overall dark and eerie atmosphere but, what do you want to express with them?

Vilhelm: I’m not sure what you mean by samples, as far as I know there aren’t any. If you refer to choirs, piano and such, they’re done by real people with real instruments and voices. The basis of the band’s music lies in two guitars, bass and drums, but sometimes they’re not enough to express the mood present in lyrics. For example, the dream-esque feeling in the song “Risti” would have not been possible to achieve with just the basic instruments, so we asked for our friend to play the parts with piano. The use of choirs either lies within lyrics (in Kahdeksas Kuoro which translates as Eighth Choir) or the need of more grandiloquent athmosphere (in Vesper, for example). Every single instrument or vocal performance in addition to the basic instruments and vocals is well-thought, and they’re not there just because it’s cool to have this and that, they’re there because the songs absolutely need them.

Viktor: Vilhelm is absolutely correct, everything you hear on the album has been specifically composed for this album and performed by real breathing humans and not machines.

 

– It also caught my attention the overall guitar work, as it is really diverse and really well-thought, with a great musical skills. How did you approach the guitar work?

Vilhelm: Great to hear that, achieving that was definitely our intention. After all we are a two-guitar band, so in my opinion there’s no point in playing the same riff on both guitars almost all the time. Viktor usually comes up with a couple of guitar riffs composed based on feelings the lyrics create, and I add my own spice by creating harmonies, leads and such. I have been in this band for only four years, but my co-operation with Viktor with the guitar parts is already very powerful in my opinion. We usually have the same vision concerning the end result, our ideas match and add to each other much more than contradict. The result is of course powered by a lot of work; we have been rehearsing and thinking about the arrangements a way lot more than on previous albums.

 

– The production is also superb, keeping and old school and raw vibe yet with a pretty clear and powerful sound, mixing the «old school spirit» but taking advantage of the new technologies. Would you mind to tell us how did you work on it and if you got the result you were looking for?

Vilhelm: Thank you for this notice also, it was our intention too. We don’t want to sound like Dimmu Borgir, but there’s no point in burying the vast details of our music in low-end production. We want the instruments to sound as natural as possible and work well together. The birthing of the album and its soundscape wasn’t painless, but the end result was pretty much what we were looking for.

 

– Your lyrics have always been firmly rooted on occultism and some other aspects so, what are some of the main lyrical ideas hidden behind the lyrics on «Risti»?

Viktor: As Risti translates to Cross in English I suppose that gives you an idea about the general theme of the album. All the Finnish lyrics are more or less about

different views about faith, based on mental images and visions of certain events. For non-Finns we have provided translations of the lyrics to these songs which can be found on our website www.thecrescent.fi – for example the song Vesper was inspired by the old Finnish psalms and the bleak worldview in those songs. The English lyrics revolve around a Crowleyan take on some «demonic» archetypes: Lilith, Lucifer, and Choronzon.

 

– And where do you draw inspiration from to create them? Literature? Movies? Or just your thoughts and beliefs?

Viktor: Hard to pinpoint just a single source. Sometimes it is just a vision that comes through in a single fevered writing session (like Sielunsyöjä for example) or sometimes it takes time and research like «Kahdeksas kuoro» that is a story from a viewpoint of a fallen angel referring to biblical events of the Grigori and Nephilim and the great deluge.

 

– Moreover it seems like everything on this album works as a whole, it seems like everything fits the overall concept and emotion on the album so, is everything as important as the music itself?

Vilhelm: Yes, yes it is. The music is just one part of the concept which make The Crescent what it is. The lyrics, the visuals and the overall emotions are just as important as the music itself.

 

– All this about «Risti» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?

Vilhelm: Fucking great album.

 

– And finally; what are your near-future plans?

Vilhelm: Weʼre going to prepare for the release of our album and rehearse for the forthcoming gigs. As we have a great flow going, much due to the energy and lyrical talent Hellwind has brought to the band, our intention is to begin the writing and composing of new material as soon as possible. Our goal is to release the next album within two years, and no more than three in any case.

 

– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.

Viktor: Thank you for this interview. Despite the fact that your reviewer mr. Sevillano did not find value in our work we were pleasantly surprised that you still did this interview. I can assure you that all we do comes from our hearts and souls and we live and breathe this music. There is much interesting things both musically and emotionally within the new record, but it might take more than one or two casual spins for the album to really open. If you have the time, please take a chance with is, it just might prove to be more rewarding than you would ever have guessed. In LVX et NOX

 

Sergio Fernández

sergio@queensofsteel.com

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