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Tobias Pfahl (Circle Of Silence)

Interview with Tobias Pfahl from Circle Of Silence
by Tuokso Holopainen at 10 September 2013, 11:15 AM

Fusing Thrash Metal and Power Metal elements come the boys of CIRCLE OF SILENCE, who in rebellion of their chosen moniker, recently delivered one of the year’s more impactful Power Metal albums, The Rise of Resistance. Speaking with Metal Temple’s Tuokso Holopainen, guitarist Tobias Pfahl talks about concepts, influences, and the importance of delegating songwriting tasks in a band – a secret of which has helped them deliver their newest album. 

Hello, Tobias, greetings and I welcome you to this interview. Without further ado, I will head straight to the questions. CIRCLE OF SILENCE’S fourth studio album The Rise of Resistance was just released. What can you comment about both the songwriting and production processes?

Hello Arij, first thanks a lot for giving us the possibility to do this interview. Björn and Chris did the main songwriting on our new record The Rise of Resistance. Chris composed the riffs and wrote all the basic instrument parts for most songs and Björn wrote all the lyrics and also composed a few songs or song parts. After finishing the concept of all the 12 songs we recorded them as a preproduction to become an idea of how it could sound. Then a lot of rehearsals followed where the band prepared the stuff together so that the songs will work in the studio and also of course live on stage. After about a one month stay at the Maranis Studios in Backnang (next to Stuttgart) we finished the recording for the album. Our producer Vagelis Maranis (ex SANVOISEN) did the whole production including mixing and mastering. The result is what you hear on our new release.

Compared to its predecessors, what's different about this new album?

I think the sound got a little bit clearer and more differentiated but also even more aggressive. We develop ourselves with every record, and so all in all the songs sound tighter and you can hear that they belong to the same album. They are straighter and follow the same basic idea but without being too similar to become boring.
Also as a result of the songwriting from Chris there are more Thrash Metal elements in the songs then on our old records and the lyrics of the songs fit better together because only one person (Björn) is writing them. On the old stuff where I also did some lyrics and vocal-lines the songs sounded more “stand-alone” but didn’t match each other that well.

Do you think that you tried to come up with something new and more daring this time?

No, as I said before I think we just did our kind of Power Metal but developed it further. For example listen to “Synthetic Sleep” or “Blackened Halo” on the last album – the new stuff is just a logical further development of our style in playing the music we like (and also I hope our fans).

Do you consider The Rise of Resistance a concept album? Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind lyrical themes?

No, The Rise of Resistance is not a concept album but some of the songs have a central theme. They follow and reflect critically our social environment (for example “Blood Of Enemies”, “Slave to the Greed Machine” or “An Oncoming Storm”). Other songs are inspired by stories from movies or books. Björn likes a lot the dark tower books and wrote on the album before a song called “Until the Worlds Collide”. Now on the current record there is also a song about that saga: “The Final Chapter”. The lyrics on the song “Eyes of Anarchy” for example are about the Joker from Batman and the basic idea from “Reborn from Darkness” is the Lazarus story (from the Bible).

Are there any tracks in the album that you would consider special compared to others, a favorite song perhaps?

The last track titled “Architect of Immortality” is a little bit special because of a very calm start and then ends in a groovy middle part and has a heavy fade out. You can call it the first ballad of CIRCLE OF SILENCE (okay not really a ballad – just a semi-ballad… ;-))

I think for your own songs, it’s difficult to have the necessary distance to reflect on them or at least review them, right?

Personally I like playing “An Oncoming Storm” a lot because of a real ass-kicking main riff and “Slave To The Greed Machine” because of the solo-part (sorry, but what should I do – I am also just a guitarist).

Should a new video be expected?

Yes, we are planning to make a new one for the song “Nothing Shall Remain” from The Rise of Resistance. If everything goes well the recording will take place somewhere in the end of this summer and maybe we could release the video already in late 2013. But at the moment I can give no more information on that, because we’re only doing the planning and there are too many details that are still necessary to clarify.

How has been the reception for the album thus far? Personally, I liked it a lot and I think any Power Metal fan, including yours truly, would appreciate it.

Thanks, it’s always great to hear that someone enjoys our music. The reception for the album is very good so far. We got a lot of great reviews and positive critics from our fans and friends.

The artwork is quite interesting and reflects the somewhat "futuristic" concept of the album. Who designed it? Was it your exact vision for it?

This time the artwork is done by Dibujante Nocturno from Spain.
Yes, it’s almost exactly what we expected and we are very happy with the final look of the artwork.

The band's genre is quite hard to define, even within the Power Metal bounds. There's more than that. How can you describe CIRCLE OF SILENCE’S sound and musical directive?

I would say the best way to describe our genre is to compare it with American Power Metal. Our sound is not that soft-happy-metal stuff as you can sometimes hear from other Power Metal bands. We have some Thrash Metal elements in our sound and some real heavy riffs. Also we try to never sound cheesy or have boring melodies. We try to keep it as ass-kicking Power Metal. And in fact, this would be the best description I would use for the music we make.

In your opinion, what kind of influences do you think has been an inspiration for CIRCLE OF SILENCE's music?

If you mean other Metal bands then I would say ICED EARTH, BRAINSTORM or some Thrash Metal bands. We get also get influences from many different styles of Metal whether they be Power, Thrash, Death or Old-School Metal. Even Hardcore and Metalcore are well accepted within the band.

Any tour dates announced?

This year we play some smaller festivals and club-shows near to our home town. A tour is not yet planed. But we are looking forward to 2014 to play more live shows and maybe some in the countries next to Germany.

What can be expected from CIRCLE OF SILENCE in the future? Maybe you have already started the process of writing the next album?

Besides the already mentioned forced live activities we try to keep the songwriting running to collect enough new ideas and we’ll see what 2015 will bring. ;-)

Thanks for this interview. Do you have anything to add for the fans and readers?

I would like to thank our fans for the big worldwide support and for the critics. And to the readers: Please check out our homepage or on Facebook - and we could welcome you to the COS Family. ;-)


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