SINISTER REALM (Eng.)
– Thank you so much for answering our interview. I didn’t have the chance of knowing about you or listening to your music before talking about your new album. Tell us a bit how and when was the band formed.
The band was formed in the summer of 2009 when I left my previous band Pale Divine. Drummer Darin McCloskey wanted to work on some song ideas that I had that never got used for Pale Divine. We wanted to do something in a traditional metal vibe like the Dio era Sabbath or the early Ozzy albums. We found vocalist Alex Kristof and recorded a four song demo that got the attention of Shadow Kingdom Records and since then we’ve released three albums.
– Before releasing this latest record, entitled «World of Evil», I had done some research and found out you have two other albums, «Sinister Realm» and «The Crystal Eye». For all those who don’t know about these releases, tell us a little bit what do they mean to you and how were the first years with these CDs released.
The first album was the begining of course and at the time we only knew that we wanted to record an album that felt like some of the classic metal albums that we loved like «Heaven and Hell» or the early Ozzy albums. A bunch of the songs we had on that album were ideas that were floating around for a while for me so it was nice to get those out there. The first album to me has a bit more of a doom influence on it then the second one. The album seemed to be received very well and we began work on the next record. Right after the first album was released Darin McCloskey had to leave because he had moved and was to far to make rehearsals and gigs and our first guitar player Keith Patrick left due to other commitments. Chris Metzger came in on drums and John Risko entered on guitar. «The Crystal Eye» took on a bit more of a traditional metal direction where as the first record had more of a doom influence. I think the new album «World of Evil» is a nice mixture of the first two albums.
– Now let’s go to the album which this interview’s about. As I said, is entitled «World of Evil». Tell us about the title, the cover artwork and how was the recording process.
The title came from the idea that there is a lot of evil in the world and at times it can seem overwhelming. Evil seems to be something that just runs through the history of the human race. Sometimes trying to be the good guy can make you feel like your standing alone inside a world of evil. The cover artword was done by an artist named Augusto Peixoto who has a company called Iron Doom Design. We are both memember of the official Candlemass forum and one day I checked out a link at the bottom of one of his posts that took me to some of his work. I really liked it and contacted him and began to talk about ideas. The cover has a twist to it, the grim reaper character who most people would consider to be «evil» is looking out over a graveyard and burning city, so who is really evil? the grim reaper or mankind? The recording process went really smoothly. We had prepared well and had played a lot of the songs live already before we recorded. We used the same studio that we recorded the first two album, Brian J. Anthony Studios, so Brian knew us well and what we were going for. In the end I’m really happy with the way things turned out.
– Honestly, after listening to the opus I’m really looking forward to listen to the previous ones. Between my favourite bands there are things such as SABBATH, DIO, MAIDEN, JUDAS, CANDLEMASS or MERCYFUL FATE, and I think there’s anything of all this into this full-length. Did you have clear since the beginning how did you want to sound like? Are these your biggest influences?
You pretty much hit the nail on the head, those are some of my biggest influences and yes, since the band was started I had a pretty clear idea that I wanted it to feel like a classic metal album from say 1980-1984. I’m a fan of songs that are really catchy, have good playing and good melodies with heavy riffs, so that’s what I was shooting for.
– Are you satisfied with the final outcome in terms of production and sound?
Yeah, definelty! I’m sure a few years from now I may find some things that I would do differently but in the end I know that we did the best we could at the time. I’m pretty invloved in the whole process as I produce it and watch over everything, Brian and I have a good working relationship and in the end I’m really pleased with how everything turned out.
– About the songs, without any doubt there are a couple of songs that I liked a lot, and are the lengthiest ones. «The Ghosts of Nevermore» is a really epic track, reminds me to the DIO-era mid tempos, and then «Four Black Witches», a pretty well-structured that is a really good definition of what the whole record is all about, and there are all your influences there, from the CANDLEMASS-style riffs to the passages similar to IRON MAIDEN at the «Ancient Mariner» vibe. Tell us a bit about these songs.
«The Ghosts of Nevermore» was inspired by Dio era Rainbow, I wanted something that had an epic feel to it. The song is about a bunch of sailors who are searching for a spot in the ocean that will unleash ghosts from the past and will give them power. I wanted the slow ending of the song to have the feel of a ship floating endlessley lost at sea. For «Four Black Witches» I wanted an epic song that had some cool changed and a chance for our guitar players to stretch out a bit. I also had a chance to sneak a short little bass solo in there! The song is basically about a guy who is kinda’ going crazy, he runs into the forest and runs into four black witches who show him the future and the future is filled with misery and things that he doesn’t want to see. The short instrumental «The Forest of Souls» is meant as a prequel, the guy just entering the forest and starting to loose it a bit.
– In «Dark Angel of Fate» and «Cyber Villain» there are several touches of JUDAS PRIEST as well, blended with a heaviness at the CANDLEMASS style, specially on «Cyber Villain», and nuances to MAIDEN in «Dark Angel of Fate». Sometimes there are new bands that strive to sound like so many bands in just one song that everything sounds chaotic, but you have managed to get a really good mix. Do you plan this that much or, on the contrary, does it just come out like this?
It kind of just comes out like this. I don’t conciously try to sound like a particular band or song but since those bands like Priest and Maiden are so ingrained in my mind I’m sure those influences naturally come through. I always think of the big picture when I’m writing and what the album needs, maybe a slow one or a fast album opener. I try to do different things so that if the person listens to the whole album it feels like it is a journey.
– What could you say are the main differences between this records and the two previous ones?
I think this record is kind of a mixture between the first two. The first one is a bit doomier and the second is faster with a more traditional metal feel, this album combines both I think. «World of Evil» and «The Crystal Eye» both have the same line up so I think this helped create a better sound as we had a chance to play together and become a better band,
– And on a view to the future, how will the next step be like? As it seems like Doom Metal is an essential part in your tracks. Do you dig it or have you thought about heading into the more extreme than Doom, something more into Black or Death?
I like Black and Death metal but Sinister Realm is not about that, if anything I think we will go in a more epic direction with the next record, longer songs with more changes, maybe an acoustic number. The doom element will always be in our sound as I’m a big doom metal fan but I don’t really consider Sinister Realm to be a straight up doom band. To me were more a traditonal metal band. It’s like albums like «Diary of a Madman» and «Heaven and Hell» both have some slow «doomy» songs on them but I wouldn’t consider them to be «doom metal» albums. I think it’s like that with Sinister Realm. I do have another project in the works called Majesty in Ruin that is going to be a straight up Epic Doom Metal band, I’m working with a great singer named Rich McCoy who has an awesome Robert Lowe style voice, I think people are going to like it. We’re still only in the writing stages now so that’s a bit of a ways off.
– And about tours, how is the live situation to support the new album like? Have you ever played in Europe? It would be interesting to see you at Keep it True, for instance.
We played at the Metal Assault Festival in Germany a few years ago and that was awesome. Playing Keep it True would be a dream come true so maybe that will happen some day. Here in the states were going to be doing a lot of touring this summer to support the album. Keep an eye on our facebook page for updates as nothing is concrete at the moment.
– That’s all from our side, it has been a pleasure listening to your new album, and I still have to listen to the previous ones. Thank you so much for the interview, hope to see you someday.
Thank you so much for the interview and review of our album and thank you for supporting heavy metal!! For more info on the page visit and like us on facebook at www.facebook.com/sinisterrealm look for our album soon in all the amazon stores and through your local fine metal distributor. Long live heavy metal!!!