THULCANDRA – Under A Frozen Sun
Eternal Terror’s Peter Loftus catches up with Teutonic terrors Thulcandra:
What news from Thulcandra?
"Under A Frozen Sun" will be released in a couple of days and we are looking forward to holding the final product in our own hands. Right now we are preparing for the upcoming festivals in Germany, such as the Metal Invasion Fest in South Germany alongside Amon Amarth, Arch Enemy and many others. We will play a couple of new tunes and work hard on our stage presence to show that we are able to transform the feeling from the recordings directly to the stage. Besides that I am working on a final release of our demo "Perishness Around Us" from 2005. Since the last album entered the light many interested souls where asking for those recordings.
Tell us about the new album? Are you happy with the way it turned out?
We are very glad with the final result. Artwork, production, photography and the songs merge exactly into the vision we had when we started to compose "Under a Frozen Sun". We figured out how to write longer tunes and introduce an epic touch while including more and more different layers of lead guitars. The final result is a wall of sound, created by up to 10 different guitar lines. The feedback is very positive up to this point and the reviews and interviews we got were enthusiastic.
How does the song writing and recording process work in the band?
The songs are classically based on a few guitar riffs that are created during various sessions. We work and work on those roots adding drum lines, lead guitars, melody layers and the bass guitar. Finally everything gets arranged by the band and the vocals are written. Music-wise I am the main composer while Sebastian & Tobias Ludwig contribute with their ideas and bring in whatever they have in mind. This time the lyrics were written in their entirely by Sebastian Ludwig, except for the title track, "Under A Frozen Sun", which is a written guest appearance by Morean of Dark Fortress.
Do you all have day jobs or is music your full time occupation?
Seraph is a professional full-time drummer from Rotterdam while the twins are working in a regular day by day job to survive. I am a student in a university in South Germany and take care of the management duties of Obscura, Thulcandra and a few other projects.
You’ve been compared to Dissection – even in publicity from your own label (Napalm Records). How do you feel about these comparisons?
Well, every label needs some way to describe the music of an unknown band. The similarities and influences are obvious and the fact that we are raising the flag of old school black/death metal from the early 90’s is a matter of fact. To be compared with such a fantastic band as Dissection is completely fine for me, but if the label promotes an album with sentences like "the true heirs of the throne of Dissection" it seems to be too much. Even if we write material in a certain style we work on our own sound. Like every other band on the planet we are on the way to creating our own niche and I guess "Under a Frozen Sun" is a step in the right direction.
What news of your other projects Helfahrt and Obscura?
Obscura tour within South East Asia right now and prepare the first headline run in North America for the end of this year. Also a couple of releases have to get prepared well. Another tab-book is on the way and we are working something out for our 10 year anniversary which will be held in 2012.
Helfahrt have split up and the remaining members have founded Wraithcult, a very heavy based black metal outfit. Up to this point their debut album will be recorded at the well known Woodshed studios, Germany. The material sounds very promising so far, groove, melody and drive shines through every tune.
How is the German extreme metal scene these days? Are there any acts that you think our readers should check out?
There are a couple of fantastic bands out there. Noneuclid is a progressive death metal band from Germany featuring members of Tryptikon, Dark Fortress, Revamp & Obscura. The band play most of their shows with a full orchestra in huge halls, very unique material. Also Defeated Sanity from Berlin are worth to a listen if you are into extreme death metal sounds.
What has been your favourite gig of the past year?
As artist, a show with Obscura alongside Children of Bodom & Devin Townsend at the sold out Best Buy Theatre in New York. Great crowd, great vibes and a never-ending meet & greet with our friends & fans after the show. As fan I had the chance to see Absu this year for the very first time. Great performance and fantastic sound.
What are your plans for touring the new album?
We will play as many festivals as possible and maybe add a short tour of selected dates by the end of the year. Thulcandra is not a touring band, we just play the shows we want to play.
Who would you count as your top three musical influences and why?
Emperor, the evolution from a rehearsal black metal band to a respected and known progressive and dark metal act is one of a kind. Also the last three albums are unique and still worth a listen to every day. Cynic, the combination of well structured death metal with prog and jazz influences was something new in the early 90’s and still seems to be a reference for the whole genre. Death, the mix of progressive music and great arrangements and song-writing on the albums Human & Symbolic are the top notch aims in everyone’s musical life. To write music for the music and not to show off is fantastic.
What are you listening to at the moment?
I just discovered Nader Sadek, a collective project with former members of Morbid Angel & Mayhem. Very artistic and organic. Seems to be a promising group.
What next for Thulcandra?
The upcoming festivals in Germany will be prepared and we are always collecting ideas for the next record. There are many albums to be recorded in the future.