After five years of silence Enthroned has finally unleashed their brand new offering ”Cold Black Suns” and the album already turned out to be well-received in black metal community. Never the less, I do remember the band from their early career when they started they journey with the debut ”Towards the Skullthrone of Satan” and some later releases as well. Glad that they have made a comeback and of course its a time for the very fist time to have them on Metal Sound pages! It was about time!
Enthroned is just about to release its brand new album ”Cold Black Suns” so please can you tell us little more about the record from your own point of view?
The intent on this new album was to offer more diversified tunes than we ever did. You will find some aggressive songs and some that are more built around ambiances, but mostly dark and cold, which are to us the two words that may qualify this album at its best. We have some epic parts, twisted ones, martial… the album is full of variations and uncomfortable at some times, but all wrapped within that somber atmosphere. Lyrically we deal with a more down to earth and anthropological approach than we have done in the past, exploring several aspects of philosophies found over the ages and different cultures as well as our own. Visually, there was also an intention to improvement and a more minimalist and conceptual approach with the title. For example, to not have a logo on the front cover, to stay in the abstraction and having no direct reference to a group of musicians, in an attempt to keep some sort of inhumanity feeling.
Can you compare ”Cold Black Suns” with Enthroned’s previous records? During the comparing and writing process were you influenced by some other particular records from Enthroned?
On this new album, there was a will to develop atmospheres further than we have previously done, and add that eerie layer of sound to the whole ambience. First of all, the tuning changed, the drumming and rhythmic approach has been thought out differently; then later, during the arrangements, work on keyboard pads and drones and few ambient guitars have been integrated within the mix. I liked plenty of elements that started to be developed in the previous album, like the intention to work on sonic details and arrangements, and a different approach to dynamics. We all agreed to stick around our traditional core of riffing, like Enthroned always did, but we left enough room to add these ambiances for our will to make a more obscure record than «Sovereigns» or «Obsidium».
The last Enthroned’s full-length was released in 2014 so why did you took so long to record and publish the next one ”Cold Black Suns” any particular reasons?
There were a few reasons for this lengthy interval. After the promotional work, touring and gigs for «Sovereigns», I spent some time with former bass player Phorgath to focus and work on our other musical project. That album with the band ‘Emptiness’ was a long writing process, and our creativity was deeply entangled there for a while. Then, Enthroned faced a line-up change: two members left the band, including Phorgath… After a while, and when it felt a bit like slipping away, Menthor (drums), who was also busy with his other bands (Lvcifyre, Nightbringer), took the initiative to gather everyone and present a vision about this new album. The band recruited two musicians, got a deal with a new record company, worked on demos for new material, had a few studio sessions at different times, mix and mastering, and then went through the waiting process of getting the album manufactured and released per the label’s schedule.
Are there some changes in the line up when it comes to latest Enthroned’s team and how these changes have influenced the band in total?
Enthroned faced many line up changes over the band’s career, and this time was no exception.
Today, our working method is different, more personal and less of a full band work in the rehearsal place. Distance, availability and conceptual vision made it this way for this last record. A line-up change will always influence a band as an entity, as everyone has their habit and their own way of perceiving the group work. Nevertheless, we always push for improvement.
I guess that Enthroned will appear already on some of extreme metal festivals during this summer but please can you name a few? Moreover, do you plan to have a bigger tour soon or later in order to promote your latest offering?
Not really, we aren’t planned to play on these festivals this summer (except Eternal Fire fest in Czech republic, end of July). We will be touring Europe in January 2020 with Schammasch and Caronte, and more news will be shared very soon.
Can you tell us now something more about the lyrical backgrounds and concept when it comes to the latest full-length ”Cold Black Suns” since the title goes well with the visual aspect…?
The lyrical concept behind “Cold Black Suns” is based on the different human approaches towards Satanism and the occult science, in its generality. May it be through the ages, or from the point of view of different civilisations and cultures. The overall topic wanders from ancient Greek philosophy, upon the darker side of spirituality, to the modern ages, the inquisitional views of the Renaissance and the traditional, blasphemous scope of Victorian Satanism amongst other sub-topics. The lyrics have an anthropological overtone that suggests that every different frame of mind is a product of the cultural evolution of one race or people; and this cultural product is further enriched by its interaction and cross-fertilization with other individuals and their cultures, in whose vicinity the former originated and evolved, yet all englobed within the one human concept of what is the Occult.
We shall now return to the past: ”what was the most important record in your opinion for Enthroned” that make the biggest break though and when the band’s name has become more popular even to those who are not so much into extreme or black metal?
I would name two: the first album and this last one. Enthroned is a mirror reflection of the beings involved therein, therefore the band matures and evolves as we do as individuals. Each album is a testimony of the era in which it was composed. «Prophecies of Pagan Fire» was the first attempt under this band’s name, and I believe it stands out for the elements that made it original: a certain type of riffs, vocals and ambiances, typical for early 90’s black metal.
The last record «Cold Black Suns» benefits of a higher distribution network, and the power of today’s internet platforms makes it more accessible to those who are not that familiar with the extreme genre. Also the fact that this album has more variations within the music is maybe a sign of a new era for the band’s evolution.
As a matter of fact ”Cold Black Suns” is your 10th full-length so how do you feel about it? To own 10 records left its indeed something that is hard even to some of the more prominent bands out there.
In the interest of accuracy, it is our 11th album and it is already quite a career. In all those years, there have been plenty of great and strange moments, some obscure ones too, opportunities to play our music in very far countries with great feedback from fans, but also choices that could have been different. A lifetime is about learning from experiences and setting challenges to overcome. So far, we’re still up for dedicating ourselves to this tenebrous vibe and get along doing what we like to do, working on albums, concepts and hitting the stage. I heard plenty of times that it is challenging to keep a band for so long, but we are passionate about what we’re doing and we have always managed to keep it going.
Do you miss somehow the early years with Enthroned when everything was still fresh? Can you recall some of the most interesting and inspiring moments when you have started to record and to publish your first albums? Can you compare it to nowadays time?
I’m not a nostalgic in this sense, so I don’t miss it. There was obviously more spontaneity and a certain sense of carelessness, getting together more often to play roughly and record. Today, at a time when it has become more of a business and the codes of the music industry changed, work has to be seen in terms of concept. Don’t misunderstand the honesty we put in there, but when you’re young in the 90’s, you don’t really think of all the aspects that we have to go through today. Personally, I became pickier in terms of sound, gear, arrangements and all the aspects that follow the whole recording process. Today’s music market seems quite saturated, and it demands more to stand out and do many things yourself. Unfortunately, on a generic scale, it feels it’s not only about music anymore, rather a branding approach.
I would like to thank you for your time and for your answers and i hope to see you somewhere around on your next shows!
Thank you too. We will deliver shows in the coming months and year; hope to see you there!
- Interview by Marko Miranovic