CLAYMOREAN The Road to Damnation

Serbian based band Claymorean is just about to release their brand new effort Sounds From a Dying Wolrd. Particulary speaking this is their best and the most mature record that they have done ever. Its a sort of combination between power metal but with obvious tradition epic doom vibe and form.

Claymorean 2017

Hail Vlad 🙂 Please, could you tell us something about your upcoming full-length Sound From a Dying World and present it to our readers?

Hail to you and to the readers of MetalSound! Well, for start, “Sounds from a Dying World” is a second full length album of Claymorean (4th if you count the 2 Claymore albums). This is the record on which we established what I think is the most stable band line up so far, since all the band members have participated on the previous album (“Unbroken”), and so I’m very fortunate to have such wonderful people and musicians in the band. Dejana is our lead vocalist (for the 3rd time) and this time she outdone herself with her majestic vocal parts; Goran is our long time bass player and he really nailed those low notes on this record; and last but not the least Urosh is our solo guitarist 2nd time in a row – a real virtuoso who recorded some of the best solos we ever had. This record consists of 8 songs of pure epic power metal, with some doomy moments as well (can’t have epic without some doom) and the tracklist also includes one cover version (again – after Manilla Road and Manowar covers), and this time it’s the song “Astral Rider” from the cult British true metal band Cloven Hoof. We’re really honored Mr. Lee Payne allowed us to do this version of his song.

It seems that a brand new record will be the best that you have done thus far and the most mature one. So, what’s your opinion do you share my thoughts?

Thank you for the kind words. You know how every musician claims for his newest record to be the best one so far? Well, in our case it’s possibly true. But that statement is also very subjective, since this record is very different from our previous work. We got rid of all those symphonic and keyboard parts. Also, we ditched the acoustic instruments. It’s a primal record, back to the roots, old school style. Is it mature? I don’t know. I’d say it’s quite the opposite, since it sounds like something I listened to when I was a kid, and that was a long time ago. So, could we say it’s the most childish album of ours, so far? Hahahaha.

Claymorean’s music has changed. It seems that you develop slower style but still gaining more energy so the final product sounds indeed powerful. How this change in style has happened? It has still links with your previous record, especially, with the previous one, but it also owns something new and fresh so to say…

I have always been a fan of music (even though I despise the term “fan”), and my personal philosophy, when it comes to writing music, is very simple: Always create something you would enjoy listening to afterwards. I guess that statement stands for each of my bandmates as well. I never did care for “what’s hot and what’s not”. I have the same personal taste in music as I had in my early youth. I still love all those bands. I really can’t understand the people who “outgrow” certain types of music or bands. It’s ridiculous. So, to answer your question, this wasn’t simply a change of style for some “commercial” or “go with the flow” reason. I felt like writing these types of songs and we did it eventually. I must say that this record was a product of collaboration between the band members, more than any of the previous ones, and I’m very proud of that fact.

Do you have some favorite tracks from a new album? Moreover, can you tell us which song is the best one to represent your latest work?

You know the saying, songs are like children, can’t choose the favorite one? Hahahaha. Actually I have some favorites, but the funny thing is that they tend to change a lot from day to day. Today my favorite song is “Blood-Red Shield”, yesterday it was “Road to Damnation”, and tomorrow it could be another song. What I’m trying to say here is that I love them all, equally, but some days certain songs prevail over others and that changes constantly, which means we have something good going on here I think. So to speak, each song is the best representative of this album.

Who has done the cover artwork for Sound From a Dying World and what do you want to express by it?

Since 2003 I had a collaboration with the artist Dushan Markovic who designed all of our previous artworks and since we’re very good friends too, that collaboration seemed to be perfect. But, nowadays Dushan is super-busy artist and I wish him all the best in his future work. While writing the songs for this album I felt the artwork artist should be a different person. While Dushan’s work might stand for some people as too flamboyant and colorful, I thought that we need a different artistic and visual concept, since the music is a lot darker and heavier. The first person that came to mind was Tanya DeVries a.k.a. Satanya, who contributed the artwork for my side-project Sorrow’s Grave. She has a completely different technique than Dushan. Much darker tones and overall feel. And that’s what this record needed. A centerpiece of the artwork is a lonely valkyrie or a shield maiden, either way. She stands on the battlefield, victorious, while the tiny ray of light shines upon her behind the dark clouds. It’s symbolic in a way. We had many problems with the constant line up changes and our last record had some mixed reviews, are we female fronted band or not, do we have two singers, who the fuck is the lead vocalist, are we power or symphonic metal or both…? So much confusion because we had a somewhat inconsistent material (yeah, there are 2 or 3 songs I’d gladly get rid of from that record). So, the artwork represents our victory over all those obstacles and shit. It’s dark alright, but it also provides hope. I think Tanya nailed it perfectly. I hope she will continue to work with us. She’s such a talented person.

Once more you’ll release record for USA based label Stormspell Records. What can you tell us when the new album will be out and what can you tell us about the cooperation with Stormspell? Do you listen some other bands from Stormspell as well?

Yeah, Stormspell became our second home, hahahaha. It’s great to be working with Danny again, because he’s such a great and honest guy. When will the album be released? Jeez, I honestly don’t know. Maybe it will be out before this interview is published, or maybe not. The date was supposed to be March 31st, but due to some vis maior reasons, that had to be rescheduled. We will let everyone know the exact date on our facebook and bandcamp pages. Stormspell is a cool label with lots of good bands. Personally I’m a sucker for such acts as Rocka Rollas, Breitenhold, Blazon Stone (yep, everything that has Ced in it, hahaha), I also enjoyed listening to Terminus and Stereo Nasty, and last but definitely not the least – the mighty Numenor! Yeah, many would think I’m just being polite to you as the journalist and a fellow musician and countryman, but I really love what you guys are doing, ever since the Collossal Darkness record. I can’t wait to hear the new album of yours!

Live shows are always an issue for the bands as Claymorean. I guees that you would like to have some one day. So, could we hope in a future to see Claymorean somewhere live?

When we were Claymore we had quite the number of shows. When we changed the name to Claymorean (June 18th 2014) we still haven’t played live. While it’s a shame for the band and the audience alike, I’m not so eager to have gigs as I did before. We still don’t have a permanent drummer, or any drummer. They are very hard to find, especially in Serbia. Also, I find the lack of true metal audience in Serbia disturbing. Also, the good venues and equipment are very expensive. Hey, it’s not like we’re making any money out of this. Like 99% of metal bands we have to work on regular jobs, because we had to eat, sleep, live, but also buy new guitar strings, picks, anything remotely connected to the equipment, and the salaries are at all-time low. And also, I’m not in my prime years. So, anyone who thinks it’s just hop on the stage and do the damn show, is either a kid who has no other obligations in life or a very stupid person. Playing metal in Serbia is a masochistic type of work. Everyone who deals with it knows it. You won’t see us playing live anytime soon. If you find us a drummer (because we tried everything), a proper venue and a solid on stage equipment, maybe I’ll think about it, hahahaha.

Can you tell us something about the major influences when it comes to a new album? I can feel various influences from traditional HM acts from 80s and some good old doom vibes but I will leave answer to you

Of course. I’m addicted to the 80’s metal music. Everything I compose must be something I ripped-off from something I heard before, hahaha. Well, not on purpose anyways. My influences will always be the same, Manilla Road, Manowar, Virgin Steele, Running Wild, Accept, Iron Maiden, WASP, KISS, Cloven Hoof, Yngwie Malmsteen, Riot, King Diamond, Dokken, Candlemass, Judas Priest, Omen, Saxon, Venom, Thor, Warlock, etc, but a lot of newer things too and also some of the non-metal stuff, from classical and filmscore music to progressive rock of the 70’s and 80’s to new wave pop of the 80’s. I always listen to good ol’ Basil Poledouris’ soundtrack for Conan the Barbarian, then some Rush and The Beatles, and then a turn of Duran Duran and Ultravox, etc. All of this creates our music, there are influences everywhere, one just needs to listen carefully.

Vlad, I would like to thank you for the interview and I wish you all the best until next time J Give us some links where people can check out your music.

Thank you for this glorious interview and the opportunity to say few things. You can listen to our music here:

  • Interview by Marko Miranovic