PALADINE War of the Lance

Well, this is not the very first time that we’ve a chance to present Paladine on our pages. I still recall first time ever when I have heard this band and it was amazing feeling. Anyway, few years have passed away and they have a brand new offering soon to be out on No remorse Records so its time to have another interview.

Hello Paladine and welcome to Metal Sound pages! Please, could you tell us something more about your upcoming CD? Could you present your forthcoming CD from your point of view?

Greetings Metal Sound! I am Christ Stergianidis from Paladine.

Our second full-length album “Entering the Abyss” is a concept album. It is based on an epic tale inspired by a specific Dragonlance story. The story is about Raistlin, the main character, who entered the Abyss to defeat the Queen of Darkness, Takhisis (the evil God), and become a God in her place. It contains 11 songs including an intro and an outro, with a total duration of 54 minutes. The mood of the album is set in a dark atmosphere featuring theatrical vocals based on epic guitar themes. All the music is written by Paladine and Nick Protonotarios. The whole production and mixing was done by Thimios Krikos (InnerWish) and the mastering was handled by George Nerantzis. The cover artwork was designed by Jimmy Ling. It will be released on March 26 via No Remorse Records.

We are very pleased with the final result. It is two steps forward compared to our previous album “Finding Solace”, both in terms of production and songwriting. We feel tighter and more mature than ever before. In my opinion, Paladine plays various kinds of heavy metal on this album with a lot of potential and I am very happy about that. I hope that our fans and heavy metal maniacs will enjoy “Entering the Abyss” as we do!

Please, could you present Paladine on our pages and could you tell us a few things about the band so that we could learn more about the band?

Paladine was founded back in 2013 by myself. All songs took inspiration from the Dragonlance saga, especially the best-selling novels by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. In fact, I grew up reading these novels. So, for these reasons, the band was formed and named after Paladine, the God of Justice and Truth from this saga.

In 2017, after collaborating for the first time with my very good friend Thimios Krikos for the production, mixing and mastering of our debut album, we released “Finding Solace” via No Remorse Records. We received great feedback from all over the world. In fact, the self-titled song “Paladine” became the hymn and the identity of the band.

After that, the band underwent many line-up changes. Nick Protonotarios and myself of course, remained in the band. We wished and tried our best to build a strong and solid line-up. Now Paladine is as strong as ever with Mpampis Tsolakis on drums, Sotiris Paraskevas and John Kats on guitars, Nick Protonotarios on vocals and myself on bass. So, our second album “Entering the Abyss” is set to be released on March 26, 2021 featuring this line-up.

As a matter of fact ”Entering the Abyss” is the title for your forthcoming CD. So, please tell us more about the songs on the particular record? Do you have any personal favorites that could represent the album?

Great! It is my pleasure to introduce the songs one by one:

Raistlin’s Ambition: A cinematic intro featuring the voice of Thomas Sykes and the main character telling his plan about becoming a God.

War of the Lance (Bringer of Fire): An epic song with a touch of prog metal. Strong harmonies and melodic themes with ethereal choruses and solos. This song is an introduction to all heroes of the lance including Raistlin Majere, the main character of the album concept.

Between Gods and Men: A more modern Paladine song featuring heavy riffing, theatrical cuts and overpowering solos. The storyline is about Kingpriest of Istar, a king who wanted to destroy all evil in the world using extreme measures. But at the same time, he also wanted to challenge the evil Gods too. As a result of defying their angry warnings, he brought cataclysm to the world.

Mighty Heart: This song shows the musical identity of the band. Double lead guitars, melodic choruses and solos. Maybe the closest song to the first album in terms of songwriting. It is about Raistlin himself and his mighty heart.

Entering the Abyss: Epicness to the bone featuring anthemic choruses and very melodic main themes. Raistlin was successful, he entered the Abyss, killed the Dragon Queen and became a God. But everything changed from that point. The timeline needed to be altered because the world was destroyed by Raistlin’s ambition. All that happened in a different timeline.

Hourglass in the Sky: Bay Area thrash from Paladine? YES, of course! Lyric-wise, in the first timeline Raisltlin succeeded in killing the Queen and became a God, so his hourglass constellation was up in the sky of Krynn.

Darkness and Light: A song featuring neoclassical touches, an orchestral intro and two very long solos. It is about a question/answer between Raistlin and Crysania. To open the portal of the Abyss, one evil mage and one of pure goodness are required to combine their forces willingly. So, Crysania is manipulated by Raisltlin in order to fall in love with him and do her work for his own benefit.

Brother Against Brother: This song has a little bit of everything. Heavy riffing, bridge with classical instruments and very lyrical vocals. A very special song in the album. Once Raistlin became a God, his brother was able to see the future and the resulting destruction of Krynn. Then he went back to the past and tried to convince Raistlin to change his plans. Raistlin reacted and for the first time ever, he made an attempt to kill him. So, a battle of the two brothers ensued in front of the portal.

Sacrifice of a Hero: Opens with a solo, anthemic chorus and very emotional! Raistlin was convinced by his brother not to kill the Queen. So, he opened the gate, shut it behind him and became a prisoner of her by not letting her out. This way the world was saved and he became a hero.

The Return: Epic choruses set in an epic dark atmosphere featuring heavy keys and guitars. Raistlin died, but his soul returned to Krynn for his final mission. One mission was left until his soul was finally rested.

The River of Souls: A very emotional and wailing outro featuring only electrical guitars and keys. Raistlin’s soul was travelling to the river of souls, where it was finally rested eternally.

I have tried very hard to find the best song for me in this album and I didn’t make it. I would have to say that my three personal best are the same-titled “Entering the Abyss”, “Mighty Heart” and “Sacrifice of a Hero”.

What did you want to express by the cover artwork for a brand new record ”Entering the Abyss”?

I wanted it to be epic and a continuation of the first one. So, I told Jimmy Ling, the artist, to draw our main character from the first album inside the Abyss facing the Dragon Queen. I am very pleased with the final result.

Which bands would you like to name as a reference to Paladine? There are some references to Rhapsody of Fire but also so many other bands like Helloween or Gamma ray or Blind Guardian…

Definitely, the European power metal scene is in our veins, but we’ve got many touches from US power metal in this album as well. Also, we’ve got many references from Heaven’s Gate since it is my favorite heavy metal band. However, we try not to be a band which sounds exactly like another band. We try to keep our identity, but of course we do not reinvent the wheel. So certainly, bands like Heaven’s Gate, Manowar, Virgin Steele, Helloween and Gamma Ray are very inspirational to us.

There has been a pause around 4 years between your debut album and a new one so please could you tell us something about it?

Nothing bad happened in those 4 years. We had been supporting our first album “Finding Solace”. We had been playing some live shows while doing the songwriting for the new one. I think that 4 years is not a very long period of time for an album release. We wanted “Entering the Abyss” to be solid and exactly as we wanted it to be, so these things take time. We also did not want to do the production in a rush. In fact, as a result of that, we had to do two masterings and pick the most appropriate in order to be completely happy with the final result.

As a matter of fact you have signed a great deal for No Remorse Records. Many would love to be at this legendary label. Any comments about it?

No Remorse Records, especially Chris Papadatos and Andreas Andreou, are very nice persons, very good professionals and I knew them personally before I founded Paladine. Of course, this is not the reason we signed with No Remorse. First, they listened to our album, liked it, and then finally the deal was signed. I am very happy for this cooperation, which started from the release of our first album. I hope we will make No Remorse proud for having us in their arsenal and we will do our best to become competitive!

I wish all the best to the Metal Sound readers and all of the metal maniacs. Be safe and we shall rise again soon! Keep the flame burning…

Interview by Marko Miranovic

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