NUMENOR Where the Battle Rages On

Hello Marko, thank you for your time taking this interview. You must be busy this
days regarding Numenor and it’s release of the new record – Draconian Age. Firstly I must ask how are you? I’m hoping you’re doing good regarding the Covid situation. Are this hard times or easier when it comes to releasing new album at the time of the virus?

It was more or less the same I think expect we were little faster with the final song Numenor but anyway it turned out to be cool.
Since we are studio band it was completely ok for us to work from home, so I think it was a little easier in a way, but on the other side, there were some effects so there was a little delay of the album.

Could you tell us about the main inspiration to the album, lyrically, musically, artistically, naming the album and songs, and so on?
I already have the name for the album for some time in my mind. Draconian Age sounded quite cool, in the very style of Numenor I would say. As for the songs they are as usual inspired by some classical writers like Tolkien or Moorcock (since I really don’t have any passion to discover anymore fantasy authors, its too same, everything’s going in circles, I’ve tried with some authors but failed after few pages), but few songs like A Robe of Stars/Mirror Mirror are inspired by DND stuff.

Twilight of the Gods, on the other hand, was inspired by Viking series since when I was listening to this song I always have Ragnar and battles on my mind, so its a sort of a tribute (anyway I only liked first two-three seasons). In fact, it was always my dream to die in the battle although it could sound a bit strange. So, the song is about the death in the battle. I never liked idea to get old.

As a first thing people can hear on the album is the guest singer, Hansi Kursch, from Blind Guardian. Can you tell us more how did it comes to this collaboration, and is the legend himself, Hansi, satisfied with this song?
Uh, I have to say that this questions needs a longer answer and I will keep it short. Hansi and I are friends for a longer time and I am just writing the stuff for their upcoming biography/book so it was a natural think to ask him if he could done some lead vocals for me and at the end of a day the dream has come true. I mean, that’s the entire tale. I think that the song sounds very cool and originally this was black metal song. And, yes, of course Hansi is quite satisficed by the song, he putted so much efforts in recorded it since he has done layers and layers of vocals. Sometimes I only listen his vocals without any music behind, it sounds so marvelous and epic.

Speaking of the band style, what was the main focus for this album, in terms of genre? Focusing on power metal, or more symphonic black metal? As we could hear, the album has pretty much both genres, as those are already type of music Numenor gave us with the past records.
It depends from song to song, since when we are writing songs we are writing them in pairs so to say, two by two.
I think that the most typical songs for Draconian Age are Make the Stand (in its original the song’s title was At the Gates of Moria), Where the Battle Rages On, Twilight of the Gods and Hall of the Mountain King.
As for the other tracks we have already worked with this style before like Arkenstone, Numenor, Feanor or Mirror Mirror. When we have started to create the songs for a new record we’ve started with
Feanor and Mirror Mirror and than we have developed more and more ideas so yes, the original idea was to make some songs more in heavy or power style, while others would be in black metal style, but the things are not so constant.

We could see that you released EP called Make the Stand, before the new album. What was your main goal of it? Did you wanted to have an accent to the song Make the Stand and it’s guest vocals, or did you targeted more for this EP as let’s say a trailer/teaster for the upcoming album?
Well, it was both target and teaster I would say since we were quite aware that we are going to have a strong song.
Moreover, we wanted to introduce the people with our music since we were aware that many people will listen single who were never before into our style and music.

Regarding the album cover artwork, as much as I know initially that artwork is used in Serbian edition for the very first Lord of the Ring book, made by Bob Zivkovic. Can you tell us how it came for you to getting it on this brand new Numenor record?
It was the same as it was with the previous record Chronicles from the Realms Beyond I just asked him if I could have the cover artwork and Bob has given me the rights to use it for CDs or LPs. I’ve grown with his artworks and books when I was very young so its like a full circle is complete right now since I have his covers on CDs and Hansi is singing for me.

In terms of vocals, aside from your greatly done harsh metal vocals, we can hear some power/heavy
metal clean vocals, that are greatly lined and in synergy with your vocals. Could you please tell
us does this new record have in plan to have people listening to it have more accent on hearing those
clean vocals, or are your vocals what is primary thing on the album all about?

Well, I think it depends from a song to song. Some songs are really great as they are, with black metal vocals like Mirror Mirror or Where the Battle Rages On while other like Make the Stand or Arkenstone are perfect when it comes to trading of vocals.

Songs in their longevity aren’t passing 4 minutes, that’s very interesting. Is that something that is targeted while you were making the album, or did the length of the songs just lined as such?
No, we have never targeted these things, it just happens when Srdjan is writing songs. I have to ask him next time to make a longer song(s), and its a bit of tricky to him to make a longer songs but anyway Sleeping Sorceress was very cool. Its simply his way of composing since the very beginnings I think. And this album is like 10 songs-10 strong tracks so its quite dynamic piece of work.

Some of the later songs on the album has some pretty hard hitting death/black/thrash metal sounding
to it. Which has a lot to do as a contrast to some of the songs in the first half of the album, that
are mostly oriented to heavy/power/speed/folk metal feeling. Please, explain us a bit about the
songs nature, in their feel and vibe, mostly regarding the genre those represents.

Well, it was a natural development of the album with usually composed the songs in pairs (as I have stated above), one power and one black or death so to say, but for this time it was a little different. We’ve started in this matter but than the things have started to change and some new ideas have started to rise here and there. I think that at some point I’ve listen lots of black metal stuff like Emperor, Aeternus, Covenant, Immortal. This could explain some titles and it has also reflected on my vocals as well.

One of the last question would be regarding the new album, what was your expectations and are you
satisfied with the outcome of the new album?

So far we could only speak for single Make the Stand which turned out to be very popular actually the song with Hansi is very popular to be more precise. As for the album I cannot tell anything right now since I have seen only first few reviews, but I think that this is gonna be our major release. But, anyway already a lot of people have learned about the band just because of Make the Stand and it seems that this song will be one of the most important tracks of the band in our history. There’s no questions about it.

And the last question to you I must ask, is there any plan for Numenor to have live performances
in the future, and where/when we could see such thing happens? Aside from the situation being as it is
by having the virus dictates the time and place for most concerts, but please give us your rough estimation.

The problem with live performances is that I think it will be easier for us if we record a whole album than to perform live.
I have learned when I was having other bands and projects that the biggest problem is to play live. Perhaps I could make/have more records by now if I haven’t wanted to play live when I was trying to have a band with some other people like 15 or even more years ago. But, anyway when we have started Numenor back than my idea was only to record one CD and that was really all, so now its a really challenge to have a show. But, on the other hand, the band has already several songs which are really popular so the show could be really interesting. I would really like to see how people will reacted.

Thank you very much for your time. I must say that I love Numenor since the first album, and the band
never ceased to amase me. All the best, and hope to hear and see you more in the future regarding Numenor!

Thank you very much Nikola for your time and devotion to Numenor!

Interview by Nikola Obradovic

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