Night Crowned specialise in black and death metal with a melodic edge to it, which many of the best Swedish bands from At The Gates, Dark Tranquility and Dissection do so well and the band are poised to join the ranks of those greats with their just-released debut album Impius Viam. We caught up with vocalist K. Romlin & bassist/guitarist H. Liljesand to hear all about the album and its creation, how Night Crowned got started and the influence of Swedish melodic death and black metal.
You have just released your debut album Impius Viam. How did the creation and recording of the album go?
The process of it all has taken a lot of time and hard work. Most of the songs were created a long time ago by H. Liljesand & re-edited together with the rest of the band and we could not be anymore happier with it.
What does the album’s title relate to?
In the beginning it was supposed to be self-titled but K.Romlin & H. Liljesand talked through different ideas for title and in the end we ended up with “Impius Viam”. The closest translation is Wicked Way.
What are the songs about on Impius Viam and do they follow a similar theme?
Impius Viam is about the darkness and wicked nature in the hearts of mankind, that’s the main theme, Some songs have a bit more spiritual touch and some have a more straightforward touch in the lyrics.
For example, Ira is about wrath, and its consuming power, when you let it in, it becomes a part of you and when it leaves, all you can feel is emptiness. Another example is Ego Sum Bestia, that continues the tale of Ira but its more of a dance between yourself and this creature that dwells within to finely be entwined into something much darker than before.
Does the album share the same musical path as your first EP Humanity Will Echo Out?
The tracks on Humanity Will Echo Out are actually on Impius Viam but with that extra touch to it. The whole album is our celebration to the 90s black and death metal sound which we hold close to our hearts.
Your new single and video Reborn had just been realised, can you tell us a bit about the song and it’s accompanying video?
Reborn is the opening track on Impius Viam and musically, it has everything you can expect on the whole album. One of our main visions to make music is that we want the music to feel like you dip your hand in oil, It’s disgusting but at the same time beautiful. And about the video, we wanted to do something dark and work a lot with shades to get that disgusting taste that captivates our fans. Overall, we want to let all know that we are Night Crowned and this is our brotherhood.
You also released a video for the song IRA, can you tell us about it and its themes?
Peter Tuthill who filmed, edit and directed the videos, is a dear friend of our drummer J.Jaloma and of cause to all of us, he had the idea for the video for a while. After he saw one of our shows it was clear to him to make his idea become reality. The three masked wraiths are representing the members in the band ’’J. Jaloma, H.Liljesand & J.Eskilsson’’ dragging me throughout the woods to do some kind of exorcism to convert me into their brotherhood and release the dwelling beast within me.
Do you feel that music videos are still an important format for bands and particularly metal bands?
Not necessarily, music videos are like art for me, a visual expression of the music. If you have an idea or a vision about the music you make and you can capture it with a good video then yes and also, it gives the promotion something extra.
What are some of your favourite music videos of all time?
K. Romlin: Oh, that a hard one, I must say Cabal -False Light and the video Thy made for Nothingness. Such great videos, dark & eerie that’s my taste.
H.Liljesand: My favorite is Mother North by Satyricon.
What has been the reaction to the music of Night Crowned been like so far?
Beyond words! Each song we have put out so far since December last year has been received with so many kind words. And for each release, we get even more praised words from our fans & newfound fans.
The album is being released on new imprint Noble Demon, How is life on the label?
Could not be better I feel, we’ve got so much help from Patrick & his team.
How did Night Crowned start as a band?
H.Liljesand founded the idea and vision for Night Crowned many years ago. Since many of us have grown up with the music from the early 90s scene many of us kept it close to our heart and as the music industry evolves, so does the sound he wanted to bring it back, that sound that was so unique. In the beginning some of the songs that H. Liljesand made was just for him but later on he felt the need to try to make more of it. So J. Jaloma & J. Eskilsson joined the band & later they recruited me. And now we are here.
What did you want the music of Night Crowned to sound like when you started the band?
Many of us grew up with the sound from the 90s black & death metal sound. So what we wanted the music to sound like is simple, we wanted to have the roots from the 90s sound but give it a little modern touch. It’s like taking a really old rusted knife and grind away the rust and polish it a bit.
The members of the band have a strong musical history, having served in Nightrage, Dark Funeral and Cipher System amongst many others, do you feel that your experience in those bands gives you a different outlook with the music of Night Crowned?
I think so because we all what to do what we love to do. To make the music we appreciate & reach people from the other side of the world with a sound that has almost been forgotten. When we got together at the Gefle Metal festival last year it was 8 months since we all saw each other and we played our set flawlessly in front of so many people so it felt like it was yesterday we did a show together. I feel says it all about us and our experience.
Who are some of the influences on the music of Night Crowned?
Dissection, Emperor, Hypocrisy, Dimmu Borgir and Satyricon are some of our main influences
What metal bands are you impressed by at the moment and who are some of your favourites of all time?
Our Swedish brothers in Avslut just put out there new record Tyranni that just blew me away last year along with Wormwood that put out Nattarvet that I’ve listened to a lot since it was released but some of our all timers must be Dissection -Storm Of The Light’s Bane, Dimmu Borgir – Stormblåst to mention some.
How did you get into metal in the first place?
I don’t know about the others in the band but for me was the first time I heard Metallica Ride The Lightning. I was at my friends and he put it on I must have been around 7 or 9 at that time I can’t remember but at first I felt that this is something that kind should not listen too so I got afraid. Later on, I think it must have been a year or two later I watched ZTV when they showed music videos & I Saw Rammstein Sonne & Pain On And On and then my taste in music changed.
What was the Swedish metal scene like when you first started out and what are your main memories from that time?
Oh, I don’t know, When I first started to sing in bands must have been in 2006 or 2007 and I remember it was hard for unknown bands to get to play shows. I did not pay much attention at that time my main focus was writing lyrics learning new songs & rehearse a lot.
Why do you think that the melodic death and black metal sound that originated from Sweden grew so big?
We have that melody in our speaking language, we have strong roots of folk music, sad melodies that have been there for as long as we can remember. So to make a metal version of it probably just came natural. Then again, one band influences another local band, that influences another local band. So the sound grew bigger. Then, the reason becomes big was probably because the melodies are easy to remember and like.
What is the biggest influence on you as a musician?
I would say the 90’s, as I grew up then, With the whole mindset of that era from age ten to twenty, it was and still is influential on me, but musically, death and black metal from that time as well
What are your favourite metal albums of all time?
Edge Of Sanity – Crimson
Dissection – Storm Of The Light’s Bane
Allegiance – Hymn Till Hangagud
Dimmu Borgir – Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia
Cradle Of Filth – Cruelty And The Beast
Testament – The Gathering
Wormwood – Nattarvet
Mörk Gryning – Mörk Gryning
Grá – Ending
Eldrimner – Inom Förloppet av Ett Liv
Aktiv Dödshjälp – Men Allting Har Ett Slut
Behemoth – Demigod
Watain – Sworn To The Dark
Will the band be touring at all once the album is released?
We are working on it can’t say much more.
Who would Night Crowned love to go on tour with in the future?
Personally I would love to do a tour with Avslut and Wormwood that would be sick but also it would be really nice to do a tour with bigger bands like Behemoth, Dimmu Borgir or SepticFlesh.
What have been some of the most memorable moments of your career so far?
Hands down when we did our show at Gefle Metal Festival last year, I remember we all was so focused when we did our line check/soundcheck that when we felt that yeah we are ready now to play. During the soundcheck I had my back turned to the crowd so I didn’t saw how many there was and when I turned around to get ready, a see a sea of people getting ready to witness us my first thought was ’’shit there is a lot of people we need to impress here’’ but it all went so good & as I wrote before it had been 8 months since we all were together and we played flawlessly.
You can order Impius Viam here – https://amzn.to/2uOcV1q
Read album review HERE.
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