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Krum (Darkest Era)

Interview with Krum from Darkest Era
by Danny Sanderson at 14 April 2015, 2:23 PM

DARKEST ERA are a Celtic-influenced (somewhat, according to Krum) Heavy Metal band from Ireland, riding on the wave of Irish Metal coming out of the woodwork in recent years, such as PRIMORDIAL, CELTACHOR and MALTHUSIAN. With the latest album, "Severance", out in June of last year, the band have been enjoying a new era, touring the new material, recently accepting new drummer Cameron into the fold. Danny had a few words with vocalist Krum about the lyrical content of the new album and why people shouldn't immediately look to the Celtic moniker, how the band is getting along with their new drummer and his take on the Irish scene.

How are you all doing?

Drinking whiskey and listening to Dio.

First and foremost, how is Cameron settling into the band, and what has be brought to the band?

He's very well settled in. He is a very technically proficient drummer with a great understanding of metal drumming. The way he approaches writing is different to our previous drummer too; we trade ideas and he works on drum parts outside of the rehearsal room which really speeds things up.

You released your second full length album, "Severance", in June. How do you feel that the new music has been received both critically and by your fans in a live setting?

It's safe to say it has far eclipsed the critical response of the first record. It appeared in the top 5 and top 10 of numerous 'End of Year' lists for 2014 which was very encouraging, and the reviews in general were really positive. The songs from this album seem to work very well live, probably because they're a bit heavier and faster than previous stuff. I think there's still a lot of potential new fans who have yet to hear this album too, it's been a slow burn.

What was the writing and recording process like for "Severance"?

Intense, stressful, pressured, blurry… The band was falling apart at the time as we didn't have a permanent bassist and our drummer was in the process of exiting. We came back from a European tour and wrote it in about 10 weeks, before locking ourselves away on the west coast of Ireland in a little studio by the sea which was totally battered by Atlantic winds every day. The recording sessions were mostly 13 - 15 hours long each day, and we ended up doing quite a lot of writing and re-writing in the studio. We also drank a lot of whiskey and listened to Dio.

Lyrically, you deal with Celtic Mythology in your music. What themes did you choose to approach on this album?

I don't know why people seem to fixate on the Celtic mythology thing but it's only a few songs here and there. The main themes on this album are the philosophical concept of Solipsism, time as a force of destruction, stripping away physical and metaphysical borders… An exhibition of the terrible tragedy we live in to use the words of the cover artist.

What were your main influences both musically and otherwise when it came to writing this record?

Musically I guess the usual influences of proper straight up heavy metal, classic doom metal, atmospheric black metal and folk music. However on this record we tried to put those influences aside more and try and communicate our ideas with a little more purity. The result is something kind of unique sounding but still essentially heavy metal. Thematically the post-apocalyptic landscapes featured in Cormac McCarthy's 'The Road' influenced the overall aesthetic to a certain degree. I think we've only scratched the surface with this particular angle so it's one we may very well revisit.

You are an Irish band. Despite having a lot of great bands which have come from Ireland, it isn't the first place that most people think about when it comes to Rock and Metal music. What is the Irish Metal scene like, and would you recommend any smaller bands within the scene?

Yeah certainly it's not a very cool place for metal. The scene is so unpredictable, I can't really explain it. You can have huge turnouts for shows you thought would be dead and then empty halls for bands you'd expect to be doing better. Thanks to the efforts of some dedicated promoters most tours worth talking about now have Irish dates, which is fantastic. We're spoiled in that regard, but the downside is the metal underground is still very small here, so the scene has become saturated somewhat and audiences spread a little thin. In terms of worthy bands you might not have heard of yet, Terminus, Stereo Nasty, Maverick, Celtachor and Malthusian are worth a look.

Are you currently working on any new material, and if so, can you provide us with any details to what your next release will be?

Yes we've begun jamming and putting ideas together, it's early days but some of the initial ideas are even darker than ever before. We're planning a certain vinyl release of sorts to come out in a few months time but we can't reveal anything about that just yet. In terms of our next album, things will start to come into focus in the coming months and ideally we'll be hitting the studio towards the end of the year. Possibly sounding more Dio than ever before too.

What are you immediate plans for the future of the band?

We have some shows with Angel Witch coming up in Belfast and Dublin, plus we hope to make a return to England and Scotland over the summer. As I mentioned we have a limited edition vinyl release planned for the halfway point of the year but essentially the majority of our energies will now be put into writing our next record.

Do you have any messages for you fans?

Drink whiskey and listen to Dio.


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