AGATHODAIMON (Eng.)

– Hello, lots of thanks for answering our interview. How is everything going into the AGATHODAIMON’s camp right now?

Quite fine, thanks! We’re currently working on a first video clip for the track “I’ve Risen”. Nothing fancy, but we’re aiming to release more than one video clip (self-produced) and need to practice 😉

– You have just released your new album, «In Darkness». How are the first reactions being?

Mixed, as I expected them to be. What just made me wonder is the different way people perceive the album. I tried to check your review for example, and although my Spanish is rather non-existent, it’s obvious that you see this album as a natural successor of “Phoenix”, and that’s quite contrary to way we see the album. We took efforts to make it sound much different than “Phoenix”, starting from the songwriting approach over to the recording process and the final mix. It was rather taking two steps back, then one to the side instead of going another one forward. But of course we’re still the same band anyway- still, I’ve read reviews where people complained that all (few) melodies are killed by the overall brutality of the songs, while others said that it’s too slow and melodic. So, what to think about such opinions? I do partly think that we demand too much of the listener sometimes- because I’ve already sometimes read that this and that is cool and sounds great, but then they add something like “but they still need to find their way” or something like that. So, I’m still waiting for someone to complain in detail, or to criticise and also tell what should be improved. That’s the only thing that nags me, I don’t have a problem with negative reviews, but we didn’t get one yet. But I’ve seen “good” reviews that praise the album somehow, but when I look at the points given in the rating, this doesn’t seem to fit. So, I’m still waiting for productive reviews when it comes to eventual negative aspects 😉

 

– Getting deeper into this new opus, its title is quite strong and spiring but, what did you want to depict with it?

The title should actually symbolize the approach that we had with this album. As mentioned, we took some steps back to our roots, to our origin. We wanted to focus more on the core aspects of our music, the underlying atmosphere. So “In Darkness” does match perfectly, as we feel that’s the element which was missing on our previous album. Great songs, but if I had to criticise something now, I’d say it lacks of the proper atmosphere. Our intention was to have a darker, more intense album that stays true to our roots, and that’s what we aimed for.

 

– After giving this effort some spins I could say, in some way, follows the same direction as «Phoenix», having a less Black Metal oriented sound and with a lot of symphony and Gothic elements. I guess this was just a natural evolution? Or maybe do you always have a clear idea of how you want each album to sound like?

Yes, as mentioned earlier, we disagree strongly 😉 Of course, it still sounds similar. It’s still the same vocalists, and we didn’t change our sound drastically. But if you look closer, you easily notice that the way we use keyboards on this album differs a lot. Also the song structures are different. This time, we tried to write the music by letting the feeling guide us, not by having in mind how a song should be structured. So there’s a lot of difference if you compare both albums, also production-wise. And about Gothic elements- I keep repeating myself in various interviews, but none of us listens to gothic music. If Gothic means clean vocals and melody, then probably yes, there’s gothic elements…

 

– It seems you are solidifying what you did on your previous record so, could you say you have now found your own sound, or is there always room for progression?

See above- there’s always room for progression. We do find our sound for every album, it’s nothing that is reached and then stays like this. I tend to use AC/DC as example- yes, they’ve got their sound, but that’s not our cup of tea, being limited to a certain style. We do have our own elements though, that stay similar through all the albums. But that doesn’t mean we couldn’t experiment if needed. Our “trademarks” are less obvious I suppose, and also it’s of importance for us to have some kind of progress in our songwriting; we don’t necessarily repeat ourselves. But on the other hand, it might be possible that we write songs that are similar to others. Still, that’s not always obvious to the listener.

 

– You started as a Black Metal band, and throughout the years you have changed your approach, but the dark atmospheres are still there. In fact it seems like the ambience is something really important for AGATHODAIMON. What do you want to convey with your atmospheres?

Well, Black Metal is and was an important aspect of our music, but even back then, we didn’t fit 100% into this category. We already had some clean vocals on our debut album, a 16-minute epos and so on, not the typical stuff. Atmosphere always is one of the main factors. The music does not need to be brutal, aggressive or whatever, but it should convey a dark atmosphere. The feelings that it invokes are important. I think they differ for everyone, but they help to detach yourself from the daily routine, and I think that’s an important aspect.

 

– And, what prompted that change of musical direction? I guess while growing older and maturing you start broading to new influences and appreciating other music styles?

It’s a step back to earlier days, there’s no real “new” element on the new album, but the way we work with them and how they were forged into songs might be partly different. Of course you’re also right, we do have other musical influences nowadays as well, the band was started in 1995..

 

– I personally think «In Darkness (we Shall be Reborn») is an epic 6 minutes track that blend all the different elements used on the album, with a really bombastic songwriting. Were you loking for an opening track that could sum up what this new CD is all about and gather its essence?

Exactly, that’s the reason we chose this song to be the opener. Initially, I had another song as favorite, but in the end we decided that the title track would be best. It does feature a lot of elements that are found on our album and kind of acts like a summary or compilation.

 

– This tune shows the versaility we can find on «In Darkness», with a lot of contrasts. Are contrasts and getting a good balance between different nuances something you strive for? I’d dare say this helps leaving a bigger impact on the listener as well as enhancing the different facets of the band.

Balance is an important aspect on this album… we do have very fast parts again on “In Darkness”, and I always wanted to have a very slow tune (“Höllenfahrt der Selbsterkenntnis”) on our albums… and then all of a sudden also Thilo came up with a slow song, which I didn’t expect at first. So, I could imagine that the overal speed of the next album might be faster… but well, too early to speculate about this already.

 

– I could also say «In Darkness» is one of your most emotional and passionate efforts yet, maybe due to the fact that it seems you have solidified your own formula. Is each album you release a reflection of the time when such CD was composed?

The albums always act as some sort of summary of the band’s essence to that particular point in time. The songs surely would sound different if we’d have recorded them at an earlier or later stage. It’s just a mirror of life, everything changes..

 

– This has been your first full-length with Thilo. How has he fitted in? What has he brought new to AGATHODAIMON?

Hm, actually he’s not a new person… he already contributed to our music since 2001! For example he had a guest guitar solo on “Angel’s Funeral” (Chapter III). Later on, he helped out for some gigs where a second guitarist wasn’t available, or he did even contribute songs to “Serpent’s Embrace”. So we know each other since quite a while. And it feels very good to have him now in the band.

 

– Anyway throughout your career you have been through several line-up changes. Has this affected the band in any way?

Of course, this is always hard to handle. You always lose something. But luckily, sometimes you also gain something in return. And in our case, I would say that we do have the strongest line-up currently. So I hope we won’t have any changes for a while 😉

 

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

As mentioned in the beginning, I want to finalize the work on our video clip, then we’ll pay attention to some gigs and possibly tours to present the new album. It would be nice to return to Spain of course- so if interested promoters read this, please get in touch. And of course we’d like to encourage everyone to check out our album, and pay a visit to our website or facebook-page.

 

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

No, all fine- thanks a lot for your support!

 

Tania Giménez

tania@queensofsteel.com

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