THULCANDRA Cold Breeze of Death

Steffen Kummerer (Obscura, Thulcandra) is surely one talented artist and very active guy. Aside of the great job that he is doing with Obscura, he always finds some time to record some new songs with his own project Thulcandra. As a matter of fact Thulcandra is more based on ancient cult influences from Swedish Black Metal scene from 90s. ”Under a Frozen Sun” is Thulcandra’s latest issue, the 2nd ful-length which is much more complex comparing to previous one, debut effort ”Fallen Angel’s Dominion”.

Hi Steffen! How are you doing? Is everything ok?
Right now I am working on a few new recordings, clips and movies so it doesn’t get boring over the next months. Thulcandra’s second album just got released by this week and the reviews are very positive so far.

You have just unleashed your latest record of Thulcandra though Napalm records so please can you present to metal Sound readers your latest piece of work?
‘Under A Frozen Sun’ is a tribute to all the old Swedish black and death band from the early 90ies. The Moaning, Unanimated, Dissection, Mörk Gryning and numerous others to mention. If you are a fan of those bands or this certain style feel free to listen to our newest effort and I am pretty sure you will find something interesting.

It is more than obvious that there are some strong links between your debut and your newest record, but also it seems that musically you have developed. Definitely ”Under a Frozen Sun” is more mature release comparing to previous one. Can you agree with my point of view?
Well, most of the ideas you find on “Fallen Angel’s Dominion” where a bit dated and a few are even taken from our early demo material where Juergen Zintz was still in the band. Only a few new songs where written together with Tobias and Sebastian Ludwig back then. Now, more than a year later we were able to combine all of our ideas to “Under A Frozen Sun”. I think the arrangements but especially the guitar work is way better than the previous one. Also the production is top notch and I guess the whole sound is more massive than the previous album. The lyrics, except the title track, where written by Sebastian Ludwig, so I am not able to tell you his personal story behind them. It was an honor to stay in the studio with all the involved musicians and produce this release.

Also, since I have already observed the first reviews written and published here and there for the new material, I noticed that they are very positive, surly more positive then ones written for ”Fallen Angel’s Dominion”. Any comments about this?
We got many positive reviews and also live offers as well as a bunch of mails where people mentioned they were looking for ages for a new band that hold the flame of old school death black metal the Swedish way. I am glad to hear that, and the fact people are interested in Thulcandra pushed us immensely to write this new album.

Where did you record new album and who was the producer? Was it the same studio that you have already used for the debut full-length?
The album was recorded at Germany’s Woodshed Studios alongside Producers V.Santura and myself. We co produced this album as we did with our debut album and I am glad we could find some time to record here again. Also all Obscura albums are recorded here. I enjoy visiting this studio and working with V.Santura in the past, and also the next sessions will be held over here.

It seems that this time some songs are longer, few tracks are indeed long. Just for instance: ”Gates of Eden” has running time of 9:24 minutes. Almost the same goes for the opening title. Was there any aim to create such a long songs or this has just happened during the composing process?
In general we wanted to create something more epic and support the massive guitar work we also used in the past. Now, layer over layer it became a very huge album and the compositions just turned out naturally to be that long. We did not force it in any way; this is just the usual way we compose. On ”Fallen Angel’s Dominion” you did a cover version of one of Dissection’s tracks, but now, for the second issue you did a cover version of ”Life Demise” (Unanimated cover). It seems that it has become something like a trademark for Thulcandra to do cover version from Sweden Black Metal hordes.
We are a band that plays exactly this style, if somebody compares us with the mentioned groups we just completed our mission to bring this style back to life. Both, Dissection as well as Unanimated, are huge influences to our sound and to our group in general so it felt just natural to cover those songs. The songs are from fans for fans, nothing else. So I guess those recordings will move a few people back to the beginning of their metal life, to their first contact of the scene and the early days in general. This is what I want to achieve, not to be the most innovative band on the planet.

It is not a secret at all that you are a lover of Swedish Black Metal scene. So, could you give us your Top 5 bands and album when it comes to Swedish BM scene from 90s?
Dissection – Storm of the Light’s Bane
Unanimated – Ancient God of Evil
The Moaning – Blood from Stone
Dawn – Slaughtersun
Mörk Gryning – Tuse ar harr gatt

You did one tour during the spring of this year alongside with Norwegian Black Metal act Iskald. Also, I was able to see you in Budapest at Metal Camp where you delivered one really fine show, full of dark energy. So, what can you say us about this tour? Are you satisfied by it at the end?
The tour was a real underground trip with barely visited shows in the UK. But central Europe was a great experience. Especially Hungary, Austria & Germany where highlights of the tour and worth the effort. We hope we can play more shows in the future and play the one or other festival next year. It just depends on an invitation.

It clearly seems, since you have now released your latest output with Thulcandra that this band could become very important at present Black Metal scene. Even some of fans and journalists as well named Thulcandra as successor of bands like Dissection, Sacramentum and those alike. What can you say about this? Do you ”feel” the same?
I won’t do half-hearted things in general. So even with a buzz of 50000 sold records I would not release an album year by year just because we have to. Obscura will be the main band, but if more and more people are interested in Thulcandra I am satisfied as well. So far it seems that especially in the US & Canada our name is spread more than with the previous release. We want to keep our work flow and release more quality music in the near future so just keep an eye on our social media pages for news and upcoming releases. Right now we are working on a release of our early demo material due to the many mails we get for those songs and also a new album is getting shape.

What can you say us about the cover artwork done for the new album? Once again it seems that it is more mature comparing to previous one done for ”Fallen Angel’s Dominion”…
We still work with Kristian Wahlin, the Necrolord to bring this old school note to our releases and I will keep on working with him also for the upcoming releases. He is a great guy to work with and a extremely talented artist. It is necessary to follow a way you once took, so we are going on with the blue and white tradition of our covers.

Well, I would like to thank you for your answers, friendship and time. Hope to see you soon!
Thank you very much for your interest and the interview. See you on tour quite soon.

  • Answers by Steffen Kummerer
    Interview was done by Marko Miranovic