Serbian epic metal cohort Númenor is back with their second full length aptly titled Sword and Sorcery which represents the further development of the sound found on their debut Collosal Darkness with some unexpected twists and turns; band’s mastermind (and our editor as well) Despot Marko Miranovic is here to promote this release the best he can!
Greetings Marko, how are you doing these days? Have you caught some forgotten musical gem from the past recently?
These days (and nights) I am trying to be relaxed …just recently I caught some really fine LPs from Paradise Lost (Icon), Amorphis (Tales from a Thousand Lakes), Limbonic Art (Moon in the Scorpio)…
Here we are with the new Númenor album aptly entitled Sword and Sorcery so for the beginning could you tell us how are you satisfied with the album? The second album is always the hardest in bands’ career, do you think that you have avoided this trap?
It was not the hardest one. I think the creating, composing and recording process was quite natural and easier so to say, with less emotions comparing to debut one because I just knew that the things are in the right hands. Númenor has already established its own style and although that there were some personal changes we have kept this epic style, turned it even more bombastic this time.
I am indeed satisfied with the final product and I think that Númenor has delivered one interesting piece of work. In the very beginning we were thinking that Sword and Sorcery will be answer to our debut record, more like a sequel, but yet there were some changes in the style during the creating process.
How would you compare Sword and Sorcery to your debut album Colossal Darkness, what are the main musical differences between those two? It is very obvious that you have made some progress, what caused those changes?
Indeed, there are some obvious changed in the style. While the debut work was more done in epic black metal style, the new one could be more labeled as dark power metal release. Moreover, I’ve already noticed that many power metal lovers have already found the band. Of course, new album also have some songs based on Bal-Sagoth or old Dimmu Borgir style.
Everything turned around when during the very beginning of the creating of Sword and Sorcery Vladimir has left the band so Srdjan has taken duty to compose the songs. Of course, that has reflected on the way and style of composing.
One very important feature of Númenor is lyrical content so could you please try to explain the themes found on Sword and Sorcery?
Dark fantasy novels and books seems to best fit the songs of Númenor, be it JRR Tolkien or Michael Morcock. Also, some songs like Arcanist are based on different, more occult themes so to say, but still they’re ”dwelling” in the fields of fantasy.
If I need to compare Númenor’s lyrical base I’ll compare it with Blind Guardian more than any other band.
While we are at it, please tell us something about the cover art, who was responsible for it? It feels to me like a tribute to cult Blind Guardian release Forgotten Tales and it perfectly shows where your heart is…
Yes, you’re completely correct. While Colossal Darkness was inspired by Summoning, Sword and Sorcery cover is answer to Blind Guardian (especially that goes for t-shirt). Slobicus Doomicus has done cover artwork and I think that it perfectly goes with the style of the record. I’ve already noticed that many people adore it.
Can you please explain to our readers who were involved in recording of the album and who actually plays in Númenor nowadays?
Hard question Actually, the things turned out to be simpler at the end of the recording process. Srdjan Brankovic has written most of the songs this time while Balint Kemeny has done two of them. Also, Mladen has recorded keyboards and composed several instrumentals.
Númenor plays somewhat forgotten style of 90s epic metal with large ingredients from both power and black metal. How do you perceive the situation on this scene nowadays, do you see this style making a comeback soon?
Númenor’s style is very nostalgic so to say. Some people have noted that the band delivers style of epic power metal that bands who were innovators at their time cannot create anymore. And I have to agree that they are quite correct. Very same goes for the songs that are based on black metal style. Just take for instance closing track Sleeping Sorceress that is inspired by British bands from 90s era (Bal-Sagoth, Cradle of Filth ”Dusk” era). This track turned out to be favorite of many people because it perfectly reflects the sound of 90s. But, I do not agree that you can label Númenor as a simple mixture between power and black metal – I think that the things are more complex and, it seems, that some people are already noticed it.
Some bands try to come back to their roots and to 90s sound, but the problem is that some are doing it not from heart, but more for technical reasons. So, the final product is not always the best one.
One very important thing is that Númenor signed a contract with American label Stormspell which is doing magnificent job in promoting Sword and Sorcery. Can you tell us how did you came in contact with them and how are you satisfied with your cooperation so far?
Vladimir from Claymorean has actually made a first contact with Danny from Stormspell. Already things are working very fast with the new label. Through some YouTube channels (Unknown power metal) we received a lot of support. Also, for the first time we have quite good Internet promotion which is very important. CDs are also really great! I’m already very satisfied with the cooperation with Danny and Stormspell Records and I have to say that i really like many bands from SSR like Breintenhold, Starborn etc. I am really proud to be among these bands…
Númenor has just released its first video for the track Dragonheart. Can you tell us something about the recording process for it and how are you satisfied with its final outcome?
Well, that was the goal for the new album, to film one video. This was a plan from long time ago and we just took the opportunity and filmed one video pilot, studio video.
I like how the video has turned. Somehow it reminds me on Mirror Mirror (Blind Guardian). I think it suits better to our style than to run through the woods…
Let’s return back in time a little bit: please tell us how do you feel about the debut album Colossal Darkness from this perspective, did you enjoy the reactions of fans and critics?
When Colossal Darkness was released two years ago I’ve already noted that this album will tunr out one day to be very important issue and that the time of this record will come one day. But, since the band was very new at the scene at that time few people were not able to found it (not few, it was more like hundreds, but the band was not known as today).
Just a day ago I’ve noticed that people were downloading Colossal Darkness like crazy. Moreover, I have sold all copies of CDs. Fortunately, new copies have just arrived so people could get it once again though us. I still like our debut today and I think that the time for this album is yet to come!
Beside Númenor you are very active on various other fields, most notably the Fantasy festival in Belgrade that is now even traditional. What can you tell us about those other segments of your work?
Yes, for a short time this fantasy festival/convection has become tradition. I’m very proud of what we have achieved so far and it seems that the entire event is going bigger and bigger. I never thought that this event will become huge gathering, but now there are chances that the event could become even something like trademark for the city. We’ll see what the future will bring…
What lies in the near future for Númenor, are some new releases already planned? Perhaps you are preparing your inevitable live activities finally?
Actually I am right now just relaxing and observing how the album is doing. I have to say that I am very satisfied. And since I never paid so much attention on merchandise I am now focusing on t-shirts. Just a day ago I have released new Numenor’s shirt, but in the next few months there will be more, like 2-3 new t- shirt’s series.
Also, we are planning to film at least one more video somewhere during this autumn. We will choose this time song with different style. But, the most interesting thing is that we already have an offer to re-release new album. This will surely happen in 2016. I am just thinking about that since this will be not a regular re-release. We’ll compose and record at least one or even two songs. Than we make some changes in some other tracks and there will be complete new cover artwork created and booklet. So, it will be like a new record than re-release. It will be interesting to see how the thinks will develop when it comes to this matter…
I think that the time for live shows has already come. We have some songs that are already popular right now. Two full-lengths behind us. I could imagine our debut show somewhere in 2016…
You are known as man who has seen numerous concerts and festivals all over Europe, but can you try and point out some of the best gigs you have ever seen and the reasons why you chose them?
There were many interesting shows so its indeed hard just to pick out few of them. But, I could recall some very interesting ones like Blind Guardian’s concert at Out and Loud Fest in Bavaria: it was literary in the forest, crowd was amazing, they’ve played some of their greatest hits…also, at that night Moonspell have performed one of their best shows ever! It was definitely an evening to remember!
That would be all for this chat, I would like to thank you for your time and wish you all the best! For the end, give us your final message and recommend to our readers your favorite 2015 albums…
I have to say that 2015 has turned to be indeed interesting year. There are some truly interesting offerings. Blind Guardian’s Beyond the Red Mirror turned out to be indeed weird but also marvelous work at the end. Also, new album from Moonspell is really perfect Gothic metal issue. Cradle of Filth has returned with their best record since Midian. Carach Angren’s latest material is also amazing, their most complex work thus far. But, Tribulation from Sweden has surprised me the most. Although the band has already issued three offerings, they are quite new discovery for me. Their new opus Children of the Night is truly refreshing piece of work!
- Questions by Slobodan Trifunovic
- Answers by Despot Marko Miranovic