Bearers of the sonic legacy of Dissection, Thulcandra, burst onto an unsuspecting world in 2010 with their fine debut Fallen Angel's Dominion. More recently, the band released sophomore album Under A Frozen Sun to yet more acclaim. Time to find out a bit more about them!
What does Thulcandra mean and why did you choose this name for the band?
Thulcandra was the second demo tape of Darkthrone, Norway. While the music was really underground and the production lacked almost everything this demo still has some charm that keeps you listening the whole tracks. Very interesting music in general, and I also really enjoy the sounding of the word Thulcandra. Besides that it is also the name in a famous novel for our planet, the silent planet. And which planet is more silent than one that is freezing under a frozen sun?
When did you start writing songs for Under A Frozen Sun? How long did the album take to record?
I started writing the album shortly after the release of our debut album which consisted mostly old ideas that are partwise taken from our early demo material. Where Fallen Angel's Dominion is a collection of those old ideas our new lineup just barley was able to get involved with the songwriting back then. So everybody was into writing a new release and quite shortly we had all the songs done we want to release on this second effort. The recordings took a few weeks at Woodshed Studios, Germany. V. Santura and me where co producing once again and the whole process was very successful in my opinion.
Did the success of Fallen Angel's Dominion increase the pressure when writing the new album?
No, there was no pressure for the songwriting nor the felt short release after our debut. We received very positive feedback on the debut and where in a position that allowed us to realize a second album we want to compose. No matter what somebody will await from our band. We just have our own intention to write an album that is even better than the first one, with more guitar layers, different arrangements and a more diverse dynamic for each part. I guess that worked out very well.
Every member of Thulcandra is also part of another fairly high profile band in Obscura and Helfahrt. Do you ever find it difficult to juggle time between projects?
While Obscura is definitely the main band where most of the energy is went for, Thulcandra will always be a band of friends writing the music we want to listen to by our self. Tunes in the vein of Dissection, Unanimated, the music we grew up with back in the days is the aim, not to become one of the most innovative groups of the genre. We keep on writing and releasing new albums, we play live whenever it is possible and make sense but we will never become one of the touring bands playing more than hundred shows a year. We prefer just to play those festivals and shows we want to do, where real fans and supporters of the scene are involved, not a promoter that needs to make money with a concert.
You obviously draw a lot of lyrical inspiration from Dissection, Unanimated etc but what other things inspired you during the writing process?
Almost every band that released something in the era of the 90ies such as Sacramentum, Emperor, Vinterland, Mörk Gryning, Eucharist, early Dark Tranquillity, Marduk, Immortal and thousand more to mention. Also the lack of other bands performing or recording new songs in this particular style was inspiring due to the fact we feel we are more or less the only remaining band holding high the flame of this traditional music.
Dissection is one of the most respected black metal bands of all time. In your opinion, what was it about Dissection's music that made them so popular and highly regarded?
The difference to the other bands was mainly the high harmony work, the great arrangements and the combination of old heavy metal, twin guitars, black metal with long and well written song structures. Compositions with the same intense feeling, with the same innovative ideas are lacking nowadays in my opinion. Dissection where also able to tour massively in Europe and once in the USA while other groups that where on the same level, for example Unanimated, just played here and there a few single shows.
You covered Unanimated's Life Demise on the new album. Why this song?
We just established a tradition to show our tribute to one of the main influences of our band, so we started with The Somberlain of Dissection on the debut album, took Life Demise on the second and just discuss what we may record on the upcoming release. Besides that, Life Demise is a fantastic song with a fluid flow and great vibes. It is almost a Rock'n'Roll vibe within the original recordings combined with the black / death metal they play. Very unique in my opinion and worth for a tribute.
Which are your favorite albums by Dissection and Unanimated and why?
For Unanimated it is clearly Ancient God of Evil. Production, songwriting & performance is just perfect. Now, 15 years later I still listen to the album very often and it proved to be timeless. With Dissection I have no favorite. From the early demos up to their latest effort Reinkaos I enjoy all of them and still collect old material I can find.
Will you make a video or release any live clips in support of this album? Whether you do a video or not, which song do you think would lend itself best to the visual medium?
That would be a fantastic idea, but I fear we are not able to get a real budget for a clip from Napalm Records. Maybe Aeon Of Darkness or Black Flags Of Hate would make sense to perform in a clip as they are catchy, memorable and well written from my point of view.
I guess you already got some feedback... Are you satisfied so far?
The feedback for our newest album Under A Frozen Sun is even better than for the previous release. I also recognized that we get more attention from the international press, not only in Germany. The reviews show that we are on the right way to our own identity and ride on our own nice of the genre. Also the amount of interviews increased massively, so we can be honored by so manifold interest.
What about playing live? Anything on the way?
Right now we have confirmed two major festivals in Germany and working on a European tour for next year. We are always interested for reasonable offers and are open minded for live shows if it makes sense.
What next on your schedule? Anything you want to add?
Right now we are preparing the release of our first demo material for next year. Many mails and questions about those songs lead us to the decision to finally release this material in the near future. So watch out and give Under A Frozen Sun a listen.
So there you have it! A taster of what to expect next year in the form of Thulcandra's demos and a European tour to look forward to! Let the world freeze!