Hi! Can you delve into the creative process behind “The Mysteries of Fate”, and how the concept was conceived and developed?
Styrr: Hi! The creative process of crafting the album was fantastic! We had no constraints – be it temporal, stylistic, or otherwise. A significant amount of time was spent in the studio, conceptualizing material, and recording demos. Each member brought their ideas and perspectives. The notion of creating a conceptual masterpiece emerged almost immediately, and everything else unfolded organically.
Ingvarr: Hi. Definitely, the process was super engaging and something new for both of us, I think. The key thing for me was that we totally loved what we were doing, from writing riffs to turning them into these long, epic pieces, constantly tweaking and adding stuff. I’d say with full confidence that it was a real team effort.
What historical or mythological influences played a role in shaping the narrative and themes of the album?
Styrr: First and foremost, it draws inspiration from the mythological epics of the North and Slavs. This involves pagan worldviews, the concept of infinite rebirth, and the cyclicality of natural processes and the universe presented in the album. In terms of historical elements, it likely encapsulates an entire era of resistance and confrontation by pagans against the foreign Christian faith. It also embodies the notions of warrior honor and commitment to one’s cause, prevalent among all warriors in the pre-Christian era.
How did the geographical location and cultural surroundings influence the band’s sound and thematic choices?
Styrr: Having lived in Germany for over 7 years, the wonderful and diverse nature, along with the fantastic architecture, has been a profound inspiration for me. It has significantly influenced our album, contributing its unique essence to our work.
Ingvarr: Being in Germany for 5 years, the inspiration from European nature is one of the first things I gotta mention. But I also want to point out that the history and ancient culture of Ukraine, where we were born and lived for many years, and Germany, where we’re living and making music now, have hugely contributed to the ideas behind our project.
As a project of two musicians, can you share insights into how your individual musical backgrounds and experiences contributed to Schreigarm’s style?
Ingvarr: This question is particularly intriguing, given that our musical backgrounds are closely related yet distinct. I can share that when we started, more than two decades ago, we were playing classic metal and thrash metal in our local scenes. Subsequently, Styrr was involved in death metal projects and developed his own black metal projects with various influences. As for myself, I evolved into melodic death metal and later into modern metal, eventually creating my own project. With such backgrounds, and inspired by the melodious and atmospheric allure of post-black metal, we began creating material without any constraints. The result was our first album, and since we have a lot of material written, we are now preparing to record our second album.
The album has a moderately raw sound combined with epic keyboards and a mix of clean and extreme vocals. How did you approach the production and arrangement of these elements to achieve the desired atmospheric and immersive experience for the listener?
Ingvarr: First and foremost, it’s about the synergy and collaborative effort in creating the core of a track – the guitar, bass, and drums. I really enjoy arranging the bass and guitar solos, as well as working on the vocals. Styrr, on the other hand, tends to focus on creating atmosphere, using strings, ambient keyboards, and the jaw harp, although this isn’t a fixed rule. Overall, it’s a team effort and the process is incredibly engaging and self-rewarding. That’s the most important aspect for us.
Styrr: To be honest, the arrangements were written quite swiftly and underwent minimal changes from the demo stage. Regarding the keyboards, they have an exclusively background melancholic sound, setting the atmosphere. The use of keyboards in this particular context was decided by us even before writing the first song.
The use of clean and extreme vocals is a distinctive feature of the band. How do you balance and integrate these vocal styles to convey the emotional depth of the album’s narrative?
Ingvarr: The idea was to experiment with vocals to create a wide range of emotions, and it comes out quite naturally based on our music, from aggressive to melodically epic, or even just calm, atmospheric moments. Besides growls and screams, which we both use, Styrr additionally brings in more extreme vocals like hysterical screams and shrieks. By the way, ‘shriek’ is even part of our band name “Schrei”garm, but written in German. My unique contribution is clean vocals, used to add a lyrical quality to the track.
The album covers the warrior’s journey from birth and formation to death and rebirth. How did you structure the musical progression of the album to reflect the different stages of this journey?
Styrr: We didn’t exert any particular effort into it. From the moment the album’s concept was defined, everything unfolded organically.
Can you elaborate on some of the key symbols and their significance in the album’s overarching narrative?
Ingvarr: “Undoubtedly, the main symbol in our narrative is the circle, representing the cyclicity of universal processes. And the final phrase in the album screams this message: ‘And I shall be reborn before I die…’ ”
Being a conceptual epic, did you face any challenges in maintaining cohesion and continuity throughout the album while still allowing each track to stand out on its own?
Styrr: As I mentioned earlier, we didn’t encounter any problems. We had a lot of inspiration and enthusiasm during the composition stage, everything flowed naturally, and most importantly, it turned out exactly as we wanted. All that was left for us to do was enjoy the process.
Can you share some insights into the role of atmospheric elements in your music? How do you use them to enhance the storytelling aspect of the album?
Styrr: We paid special attention to the atmosphere on this album. In fact, the atmosphere is one of the most crucial elements for us. We created the atmosphere through ambient guitars, delayed tremolo guitars, and diverse keyboards. The Jew’s harp holds a special place. We intentionally used it in the first and last songs to emphasize both the authenticity, mysticism, and esoteric nature of the atmosphere, and to underscore the concept of cyclicality – beginning spawned from the end.
How important is it for Schreigarm to create an immersive experience for the listener, and what do you hope they take away from the journey presented in ‘The Mysteries of Fate’?
Ingvarr: I’m confident that creating the right atmosphere is our top priority and what we aim to deliver to the listener. To achieve the necessary immersion, we focus on adding more atmospheric elements rather than complicating the parts of the basic instruments.
Can you shed light on the lyrical themes and the poetic elements that contribute to the storytelling?
Styrr: I pay great attention to the lyrics. My texts are quite multifaceted and have several sides of perception. Everyone will understand, hear, and feel something of their own. Much attention is given to dual images, philosophical views, metaphorical meanings, esoteric undertones…
‘The Mysteries of Fate’ has been described as an enchanting world. How do you see the relationship between the music and the listener’s imagination, and what role does that play in the overall impact of the album?
Ingvarr: “This is undoubtedly a world from the times of Paganism and before the parasitic сhristian era. Incidentally, this theme resonates quite interestingly with the name Antichrist magazine. 😉 ”
Looking ahead, do you envision continuing the conceptual approach in future albums, or are there other musical directions and themes that Schreigarm is eager to explore? Thank you for your time!
Styrr: At the moment, we have already written material for the second album and are in the pre-production stage. The material will also be conceptual but with a much darker atmosphere. I don’t want to reveal all the details – you’ll hear everything when the time comes. Thanks for the interesting questions! Goodbye!
Ingvarr: “I would like to add that some of the concepts in our lyrics are connected with real events, and in our second album, they are more relevant to our lives than ever. Thanks for such intelligent questions. See you soon.”
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