Iskald - 24/09/2008

Hailing from Bodø in the northern part of Norway, ISKALD is about to release their second full-length album, ‘Revelations of Reckoning Day’, through Indie Recordings this fall."Iskald represents ice cold and crystal clear black metal from the land of the midnight sun. and with this surprisingly mature album they shine like aurora borealis on the northern black metal hemnisphere. Fueled by the devotion to Norse mythology and the inspiration of arctic surroundings, founding members Simon Larsen and Aage Krekling, started up their black metal project, ISKALD in early 2005. After a demo, the first EP ‘Northern Twilight’ was completed by the end of the year. The EP was self financed and the pressing was limited to 400 copies and was soon to be a valuable collector’s item.

 

In September 2006 ISKALD entered Ballerina Audio (Vintersorg, Naglfar) to record their full length debut; ‘Shades of Misery’. In March 2007 the album was released by Indie Recordings. At its peak, ‘Shades of Misery’ hits you like a snow blizzard, and at it most melodic - the brilliant riffs send ice cold shivers down your spine. The response from both press and fans all around the world has been outstanding so far.

 

After releasing ‘Shades of Misery’, a live line-up was completed with session members Rene Zonneveld and Espen Solstad, resulting in some live gigs the rest of the year… In March 2008 Iskald played at the Inferno Festival with bands like Satyricon, Gorgoroth and Behemoth.

 

It has been almost two years since ‘Shades of Misery’ was recorded… This fall ISKALD returns with a new diabolical masterpiece. The album was recorded in Berlin, July 2008, produced by Stamos Koiousis and Vangelis Labrakis (Mencea/Stonegard). With ‘Revelations of Reckoning Day’ ISKALD will mark the start of a new era, bringing their listeners further down into the abyss. A new edge and momentum has found its way into the band. ISKALD sounds blacker than ever before. September 29th is the Day of Reckoning!

 

 

So there is much to talk about, and here you can read what Aage Krekling has to say to the readers of Metal-Experience.com

 

First of all, congratulations on your new album ‘Revelations of Reckoning Day’ which is about to be released. Could you start this interview off with a short introduction of the band for our readers?

 

Me, Aage Krekling and Arne Aalstad started Iskald in Sortland, Norway at the beginning of 2005. We recorded an EP in 2005, and then there were some lineup changes and me and Aage ended up as a two-man band in 2006, recording Shades of Misery in Ballerina Audio in Sweden, which Indie Recordings released in 2007. Since then we have done a number of concerts, one at Inferno Festival and some other shows around Norway. We went to Berlin in June 2008 and recorded “Revelations of Reckoning Day”, which was released September 15th in Norway, also by Indie Recordings.

 

Your 2006 album 'Shades of Misery' has been re-released by Indie Recordings. Was the re-release a step forward in production/sound terms or did you decide to rerelease it simply because it was out of print?

 

It’s not a rerelease, it’s just that we had recorded the album in the autumn of 2006, and since then we have been looking for a record label to release it. Everything was ready for the release, so it was just waiting until we could get a good deal with a record label. We took our time, and so in February I think, we made a deal with Indie Recordings.

 

Are you happy with the effort that Indie Recordings puts into your band?

 

We are really satisfied with the work that they are doing. They are doing an amazing job regarding the promotion, and it feels very good to work with these guys.

 

How did you launch into writing the material for ‘Revelations of Reckoning Day’ after your previous album, did ideas come easily so that you just had to write them down or was it more of a careful composing thing?

 

We started right away after returning from Ballerina Audio in 2006. It felt right to start writing new material at that point actually. Some good ideas came, but no complete songs. And so the last year has been very hard for me in terms of making this album. I am writing the songs and doing most of the arrangements, and nothing felt right until some months before entering the studio. I wrote several songs that I just had to throw away, because I didn’t like them, but slowly the songs started to sound good. So we did a pre-production in May, and at that point we understood that this material is amazing.

 

The songs contain many changes in riffs and structures, in comparison with some bands who only use a couple of riffs. Was this a conscious choice or did this just happen during the writing process?

 

It’s just how I write music. I like to add details, and make unexpected parts compared to what has happened earlier in the song. It makes an album last longer, so you can listen to it a thousand times instead of ten, before you are fed up with it. So it’s kind of a conscious choice which just happens.

 

What were the goals that you had in mind when you started to record Revelations of Reckoning Day’, any elements you definitely wanted to have on the album?

 

Well, the only goal was to make an album which was even more perfect(!) than the last album we did. We write this music only for ourselves, so the goal was sort of making another album with the music we like to listen to. We also wanted this album to be a bit blacker than the last one, so that was basically the only “element” we wanted to add.

 

Could you please describe the implications of the title Revelations of Reckoning Day’, what does it stand for and is there a special meaning behind it?

 

Many of the lyrics are about Doomsday, so that’s why we wanted a title that represented the songs on the album. “A Breath of Apocalypse”, “Journey To Hell” “Ruin of Mankind” and “Dommedag”(Doomsday) are all about the end of this world, so that’s why we felt like having this monumental title for this album. The meaning is as simple as “We’re all gonna die” I guess…

 

 

Why did you decide to record a “Warriors of Northern Twilight pt. II”?

 

We have this friend of ours, Sigbjørn Ellingsen, who writes awesome lyrics, and he came up with “Warriors of Northern Twilight pt.II”, and it immediately felt right to write a song for these lyrics. It wasn’t easy to write a song like that, because it had to be a long masterpiece of a song since he had like 17 verses and also because it’s a pt.II. But I think the result came out to be exactly what it had to be, and we're extremely proud to have composed a  songs with these lyrics.

 

You both do vocals, who is responsible for the lyrical aspect?

 

Aage is writing like half of the lyrics and Sigbjørn is writing the other half. I just sing the lyrics. Aage only does whispering and some talking vocals, as I do all the main vocals.

 

What is the utmost important ingredient for a song according to you and is there any typical way that an Iskald song comes into being?

 

There is no special ingredient which I can think of, but there is one really important thing I think. It is that the song makes sense, like not just playing riffs and finishing the song that way. You have to want something with your song. For example, one part from early on in the song may suddenly pop up in the end of the song, just in another arrangement, if you see what I mean. All Iskald songs have this in them. Every note has a reason.

 

On the back of the promo your influences are mentioned: Norse mythology and the inspiration you get from arctic surroundings. Could you tell us a bit more about both?

 

We like the Norse mythology because there are so many great stories from that time, all of them are really interesting. It gives us a lot of inspiration for lyrics, which sometimes end up as an inspiration for writing a song. And up here in the north of Norway it’s so cold, that sometimes even in summer we have to use gloves and a cap outside. I did so in June two years ago!! So then in the winter, when it’s really cold and dark outside, the inspiration flows and you get ideas all the time..its just how it is.

 

 

And do you have any musical influences?

 

We listen to a lot of music all the time. We also listen to a lot of bands that are not black metal or extreme metal. So that’s why I think it’s hard to place us in simply one genre, because it’s a little bit of everything and nothing.

 

Your music generates the actual feeling of walking through snow-covered landscapes. Is it then logical to compare Iskald to Immortal, as both bands have that quality?

 

When we started Iskald, we wanted to be like Immortal, but we understood that it was not possible for us, so its funny today when we get compared to them. I think it makes sense to compare us on behalf of making cold music, but musically I actually don’t think that we are so alike. But the atmosphere is in place!

 

You worked with the producing duo Stamos and Vangelis that also produced some other Indie Recordings artists. Was this the first time you worked with them, and was it a pleasant cooperation?

                                                                                                               

It was the first time we worked with these guys, but it was awesome. They were extremely experienced, and they understood immediately what we wanted as a result. It felt really good to work with them, and even if it’s a cliché, I have to admit that it felt like we had known them for years. 

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself and the kind of things that motivate you in your writing, your poetry, and your lyrics? What are you personally into?

 

Aage and Sigbjørn are really into Norse mythology and ancient history, so that’s their inspiration for a lot of lyrics. Also on the new album, as was said earlier, there a lot of lyrics about Doomsday, because it’s a great issue to write about, and it gives you many ideas, both in the lyrical and musical sense.

 

How do you feel about this album – are you satisfied with the outcome or would you have liked to changed anything in retrospective?

 

I am extremely proud to have been a part of this album. At the moment there is nothing that I would have changed if I had the chance. Maybe in a couple of months or a year there will be something I would have changed, but then we’ll just have to be aware of these “mistakes” for the next album.

 

Have you had any feedback on the album so far?

 

There has been really good feedback actually so far. There have been some really good reviews, and it seems like there’ more coming.

 

Will the album be supported by a live tour?

 

Everything was ready for an Iskald/Gorgoroth Europe tour in October, but things didn’t work out as they should have, so that tour was cancelled. But we are working on it at the moment because it’s really important to do a tour to support an album release.

 

And what are your further plans? When can we expect a new album?

 

We will rehearse a lot, and do as many live shows as we are able to do. Also we hope to do some festival playing during the next summer.

I really hope that there will be a new album. I haven’t started writing music yet, but I feel the inspiration is coming, and there are some ideas inside of my head. It’s just a question of starting to record them and arranging them. So if things go as planned, there will be a new album.

 

Any last statement?

 

Thank you for reading this interview, and I hope you will check out our albums.

 

See you in Hel!!

 

Ok, Thanks for your time.

 

Thomas van Golen

 

 

 

Current line-up:

Simon Larsen – Guitar / Bass / Vocals / Keys

Aage Krekling – Drums / Vocals

 

Session live members:

Espen Solstad – Guitars / Vocals

 

Past members:

Rene Zonneveld - Session Bass (Jan. 2007 - March 2008]

Lars Johannessen - Guitar [Jan. 2007 - Jun. 2007]

Anders Lambersøy – Bass / Vocals [Jul. 2005 - Jun. 2006]

Arne Aalstad - Bass [Jan. 2005 - Jun. 2005] R.I.P

 

Albums:

Northern Twilight (2006)

Shades of Misery (2007)

Revelations of Reckoning Day (2008)