DoomSword is back with The Eternal Battle, time to learn more about the new album - and other stuff. Thanks to Deathmaster for answering my questions.
My Name Will Live On was released in 2007, now it's 2011 and you are back with The Eternal Battle. The new album sounds more simple but still epic in its structure. Why this change?
Hi, thank you for the interview! I think the album is deceptively complex, but the fact that it sounds simpler than MNWLO is an achievement for us, because strictly from a musical point of view it is far more complicated, however we didn't want this growth in complexity to sound more apparently technical in a progressive fashion so to speak we wanted it to be subtle, and so it was I think. The result is an album with a considerable depth much more than MNWLO, I think but more accessible. The focus of the album was the tragic and introspective atmosphere of the songs, that's why it's so firmly epic.
Your new bass player is Christian 'Nidhoggr' Grilli, a logical choice it seems... Ever thought about looking for someone else? DoomSword is now a quartet, what happened to the second guitarist?
As for our bass player, that's how it went. The previous bass player, who happens to be my brother, called me and explained that he's focusing more on his main band, Midryasi, and on his other artistic passion, which is painting. He confessed that he found DoomSword slipping down in his list of priorities, and I totally understand that and I obviously wish him the best. After the call I then picked up the phone and called Christian and the conversation was more or less like this: "Hi Chris, how's things? Listen, you're in DoomSword so ... yeah, catch you later." That's how much I thought about a new bass player. Chris has been my close friend for years, we already worked together on the Gjallarhorn album and I recently collaborated with Chris' main band Fury'n'Grace, what's better is that Chris and Geilt are friends, so it was really a friendly switch of roles, the best possible situation.
As for the second guitarist, thing is... I am a guitarist more than I am a singer. I write music and I put a strong guitaring stamp on the band's music so effectively DoomSword had 3 guitarists, and therefore we really needed a second guitarist more for the live aspect of things than the studio and the songwriting aspect. But we are happy with our friend Gianluca of Battle Ram who kindly offered to step in as a second guitarist in our shows.
When did you start writing The Eternal Battle? Deathmaster, you live in Ireland, the others in Italy. Any complications during the writing process?
The song writing process started back in and around 2008, and as for MNWLO it was a case of exchanging ideas through the internet, thank the heavy metal gods for such technology. So in this respect there were no news, we already tried this methodology of work for our previous album and it worked out perfectly again.
With Varusschlacht you have a track with a German title and which deals with a battle the Romans lost and which was called 'clades Variana' by Roman writers. Why the German title? And what makes this battle so interesting for you?
Varus Battle is a very important song for DoomSword as the historical consequences of the battle have their effect on the present day still: DoomSword hail from Lombardy which takes its name from the Northern Germany tribe of the Longobards who were a part of the confederation of tribes which fought the Romans in the Varus Battle. Had the Romans won the battle, the North of Italy would not have been in all probability invaded and dominated by the Longobards (and other Germanic tribes beforehand such as the Goths) and our culture and language would probably be different. The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest is widely known as the Varus Battle, but as the battle took place in what is nowadays Germany you could argue that the most fitting name is its native form, Varusschlacht.
Please tell us a bit about the other songs of The Eternal Battle!
The album is not a concept in the sense that there is a story, but more that all the songs are somehow related to the central theme of the Eternal Battle. The Eternal Battle we are talking about is what in our opinion is the natural condition of Man. If you think about it, everybody has their own personal idea of happiness, and we all strive to achieve this longed happiness. Getting there is a constant struggle. You have to overcome physical and psychological obstacles, you have to make decisions, always being in two minds about what to do and how to do it. The reality is you're always battling some inner demon or the external world. And if you are so lucky that you achieve your goals, what happens to you? You realize the whole point was never the goal, but it was the 'getting there', because before you can even realize it, you have new goals, new dreams. So there you are starting from scratch, or already engaged into some other journey. More psychological conflicts, more demons to defeat, more people to confront yourself with. And what is on an individual basis a confrontation between two people, translates into rivalry between communities, political parties or social classes, and actual wars between nations. Man is always battling something. The 'Eternal Battle' is this condition, which we can never escape. Well, not until humanity grows into something spiritually and intellectually different, not necessarily better or superior. So in the album we explore this theme through different perspectives: two songs in particular, Warlife and Soldier of Fortune, are dedicated to those who gave their lives to fight battles they probably didn't even believe in, living a life which is practically marching to death. The song Eternal Battle takes inspiration from Norse mythology and shows how ancient cultures had the idea that they should fight all their life, they would wish to die fighting and what would the reward be? To get to fight eternally in the sky!
Varus Battle is a very important song for DoomSword as the historical consequences have their effect on the present day still: DoomSword hail from Lombardy which takes its name from the Northern Germany tribe of the Longobards who were a part of the confederation of tribes which fought the Romans in the Varus Battle. Had the Romans won the battle the North of Italy would not have been in all probability invaded and dominated by the Longobards (and other Germanic tribes beforehand such as the Goths) and our culture and language would probably be different.
As you can see in every song the theme of 'battling' is very strong.
Which song(s) would you like to do a video for?
For some inexplicable reason I always thought the song Sword Of Light would make a perfect base for a video.
Any plans for a tour? Or festivals this summer?
At the moment the only gig we have planned is the Hammer of Doom in October.
And do you plan to hire a guitarist for gigs?
At the moment our dear friend Gianluca (from the band Battle Ram) has offered to step in and play with us live and we really like this set up. I am a guitarist more than I am a singer so we don't need a stable second guitarist in the band, the second guitarist was always for live purposes and for proper solos. But since Sacred Heart joined DoomSword in 2003 his role became more and more important and evolved from simple lead guitar into a vital member of the band in the songwriting / arrangements process so we don't really need another guitar player except for live shows.
And what's the status of Gjallarhorn? Is the band on hiatus? Or can fans expect to hear soon from Gjallarhorn?
Christian, our new bass player, is the bass player in Gjallarhorn, and we decided not so long ago to resume the project. We're currently writing new material although there are problems with the name of the band as there is already a Finnish folk band with the same name who will not let us use the name Gjallarhorn. It's possible we'll try some alternative spelling of the same word or a similar name for the project, but it will be effectively the same band.
Anything you want to add? Something we should have asked?
I would say it was a very exhaustive interview, pretty much everything was covered! Thank you very much for your support, stay metal!