Well, I just recently (like a few weeks ago) have noticed this newcomer band, Witchlords, a group that arrives from Belgium. Witchlords has just released their debut offering –Demons in the Dark” and I think its already one of the most impressive and original works in 2019. Their music owns traditional heavy metal elements, but also there are many aggressive moments that makes their music more aggressive and intensive. However, Witchlords has become already a newcomer of the year to me, since I don’t think that there will be so many innovative bands during a year anyway…
Hi there! First we would like to talk about Witchlords’ debut album “Demons in the Dark”. Could you present forthcoming record to our readers?
“Demons in the dark” is a speed/power metal album about dungeons and tabletop wargames. It came to light by combining all our interest and favorite music into one big mash. We love Death, Trash, power and speed metal. The result is something that is not too far from early European Power Metal like Blind guardians and Helloweens early records. Trashy, Melodic, Epic.
Well, second it will be welcome if you could to present the band to our readers since this is the first interview with Witchlords that we have opportunity to have so far?
Witchlords currently consists of Thomas Lambeir and Kristof Dedene as main songwriters. We are longtime friends and have played in and out of bands in the past. We basically just decided, let’s make music we would love to listen to ourselves and about the things we like. Necromancers, witches, demons wizards and dungeons. What is not to like?
Since there are our readers who are unfamiliar with the band Witchlords could you compare your music and style with some other groups on scene and describe your style more for those who are uncommon with the group yet?
We make epic speed/power metal that is probably a lot more raw and trashy then a lot of the bigger or popular power metal bands out there. I think that has to do because we also love more extreme metal. Still I think we fit in with the current new wave of traditional metal. Lots of excellent music is coming out of the underground. For a lot of bands it is not always about reliving the past but trying out new things with old recipes. You end up with a lot of new music that sounds like old metal, but with new and interesting twists. Visigoth, Gatekeeper, Traveler and Eternal champion are some really interesting bands in this underground traditional metal scene.
The band comes from Belgium so what could you tell us about your metal scene? Do you have any shows out there from time to time?
We have played a lot of shows in Belgium before in other bands. Belgium is a rather small country and the heavy metal scene is dominated by extreme/alternative metal bands. I think it is best for Belgian bands to focus on both the local and the bigger European scene. To get recognition in Belgium you usually need some kind of recognition abroad as well. But we are at the heart of Europe surrounded by a bigger European scene with insanely good metal. So we are in good company. Also Big festivals like Graspop Metal Festival still attract 150.000 people each year, so Metal still has an audience in Belgium.
Witchlords owns quite unique style of playing: your music is very aggressive, intensive with short and yet brutal sounds, but still your style is closer to what we called traditional heavy metal…any thought about it?
This comes from our love for Trash and Death metal. We don’t limit our inspirations to strictly Heavy metal or Power metal. At the gates, Slayer, Destroyer666, Toxic Holocaust, Amon Amarth, Exodus, Slugdge , Rivers of nihil, to name a few. Extreme metal still has a patent on pure aggression and intensity and there are so many inspiring bands out there right now. We feel metal differentiates itself often by this aggressive edge. If you combine this inspiration with more traditional elements from something like Judas Priest, Maiden or stratovarius, you end up with “Demons in the dark”.
As a matter of fact Demons in the Dark is yet your debut record and you are still not on any label, so are there any offers around there for a physical copy of your debut offering since it sounds much better and more original comparing to many, many bands nowadays…
We are starting up album sales trough bandcamp. But it would be cool if we can work together with a label in our scene for future releases. We feel often labels want bands to be polished and safe to be able to sell it to as many people as possible. I kind of get it, it works and they need to earn a living. But a lot of the best original music comes from trying something new and allowing yourself to be able to fail. It is a bit of a paradox. But also so many labels still support unique projects. As long as the music is good, there will be an audience and support.
Definitely, there are lots of nice reviews and comments out there concerning your debut-full-length Demons in the Dark so how do you feel about that?
We got a lot of encouraging words and it is just so cool people are listening and enjoying the album. It gives us a lot of satisfaction that people who enjoy fantasy themed heavy music have been able to find us and let us know they appreciate it. People don’t owe you support or anything. So when small underground radi’s, websites and fans poke you and support you because they like your music, it is really humbling. I also feel this is a good baseline to start working on for future releases.
Are there any offering or proposals for the possible live playing here and there in Belgium or across Europe on any of traditional heavy metal festivals?
We are not playing live yet, although we are working on bringing Demons in the dark Live by next year with an extra guitarist and bassist. Making the album was our first big milestone and playing live is our next challenge as well as making a follow up to Demons. We haven’t announced shows yet, but will first start doing local gigs and start supporting other bands in our scene. We have daytime jobs and busy lives so it is a challenge, but we feel blessed that it doesn’t stop us from making music that we love.
Since Witchlords is complete wrapped in fractional heavy metal, with lots of aggressive elements, how do you now look upon present metal scene where there are on one side standing more traditional bands and on the other bands like Nightwish or Sabaton and a like…it seems that everything now is separated in one way or another…
Having separation between different genres allows bands to find their own audience. You can target groups and forums in your separate niche and build a fanbase from there. For us it is Fantasy themed speed/power metal or traditional metal. But at the end of the day, labels don’t mean anything. With Witchlords, we actually don’t know if we are a heavy metal, Power metal or Speed Metal band you know? Some of the best bands have been crossover bands that try to mix all kind of metal into something new. I don’t even feel the separation between extreme and traditional metal that much, because we love both and if it can add to our music we welcome it with open arms. Even bands like Amon Amarth admit they love the influence they get fromtraditional bands like Iron Maiden. I bet it’s the same for Nightwish or Sabaton.
I would like to thank you for the interview and I wish you all the best! Thank you for having us!
- Interview by Marko Miranovic