Let's face it, almost all Black Metal albums being released today are crap! The only few albums worth listening to are in most cases released by old bands who still have the spirit inside them. But then and then new bands actually manage to put out a great debut album and one such band is Canadian Frozen Shadows which quite recently had its album "Dans Les Bras Des Immortels" released. We decided to take a closer look into the band, which we did with the help of Myrkhaal.

Interview by Tony


"Dans Les Bras Des Immortels" is your debut album and it is out on your own label Sepulchral Productions. Why did you decide to realease it on your own label? Weren't any other labels interested in your music?
It was simply the natural thing to do for me! I started Sepulchral Productions as a small mailorder compagny in early 1999, and I simply decided to broaden it's horizons by turning it into a record label. Since Frozen Shadows was about to record it's first CD, I figured it would be logical for me to have my band sign on it. I'm sure that if you'd ask Satyr about Moonfog he would probably tell you the same thing! It wasn't that we didn't receive any offers from labels, because we did, but most of them understandably wanted to hear some new songs before offering us a deal, as it had been two years since our demo. We just didn't want to lose more time by sending promos for labels, waiting for a record deal and finally recording the album! It had been too long already since we had released anything. And to be honest, I like having absolute control over what we do with this album music-wise and all. We have a precise idea of what we want Frozen Shadows to be, and we don't need a label o tell us what to do!!!


Frozen Shadow's debut album

Is Sepulchral Productions a label for Frozen Shadows releases only or will you be signing other bands also?

Sepulchral Productions IS a label in the truest of sense, so we will be signing other bands. We just have to wait a bit, because I put all of my money into the Frozen Shadows CD, but since the sales are good we should be able to start looking around early next year. Bands can send us promos, but be warned that we will be extremely selective! The world doesn't need another label putting out third rate bands...


You have included lyrics in both English and French. Do you think that certain feelings and emotions can only be written in one special language? That for example some of your lyrics that are written in French would sound wrong in English or vice versa? What language do you prefer?
As I am from Quebec, french is my native language, and the one I prefer. In my opinion, nothing can compare to it in terms of poetry, as it is one of the richest and most emotionnal languages in the world.The main reason for using english as well is pretty obvious actually: It is simply so that non french speaking individuals can understand a part of my poems, as I am very proud of them. All of our albums will bear french titles, though, that has been decided since the first days of Frozen Shadows...

As you said you are from Quebec. I would like to know your opinion about the rest of Canada. I know many people want Quebec to be independent...
Canada... means nothing to us. What most people from the outside don't know is that we used to be a country of our own called Nouvelle-France until 1763, when the english invaded it and annexed us into Canada against our own will. We are the beacon of French and European Heritage on this new continent, and we want to get our country back so that we can protect this culture, which is very important to us. Without us, Canada is but a shadow of the US, and that is why they do not want to let us go, but this country just doesn't work. Tell me, do you think that a country made up by 75% of England and 25% of France would be viable? I think not!

What do you think about Canadian bands like Blasphemy and Conqueror? Their style was/is very different from yours. What style of extreme music is dominating in your country?
Then again you can see the difference... The remainder of Canada adhere to this Blasphemy-type Black/Death Metal while the Black Metal "scene" in Quebec is a lot more European/Scandinavian and clearly separated from the US type Death Metal scene that we also have here. Our weather, landscapes and especially culture is a lot closer to yours than from the rest of Canada, so it's quite natural to see this contrast.

Do you think there is something like a Canadian scene that should get some worldwide attention or do you preffer to look upon each band separately?
I don't think there is much of a Canadian "scene" to speak of, as the people are quite simply too spread apart on such a vast country. In Quebec for example, we have about 2 millions less people than in your native Sweden, but our land is thrice as big! There is a Death Metal scene here, and it's quite big, but the Black Metal one is just a joke! Most of the few bands are incredibly lame, and they represent what I hate the most in this music: trendies! We are really not on good terms with the remainder of our "scene", so I won't comment further on the situation. I just get too damn angry...

Have you ever played live? Any good concerts you have been at lately? What makes a band interesting when playing live (appart from their good music of course)?
We have yet to play live, and it is not our top priority. For now, being a trio simply prevents us to do so, but we are looking around for session members for hypothetic future live performances. Good concerts here (as far as my tastes are concerned) are a pretty rare thing, we mostly get american Death Metal bands, and the 2-3 Black Metal bands from Europe that came here are the most commercial, hence not those I want to see! Enslaved actually came here back in 1995, and they just ripped the place apart. The best recent show I saw was without a doubt the Maiden reunion. It was great to see Dickinson back in the group in such a splendid shape! I think a good visual performance always enhance a live performance, as long as it is not overdone, and I guess if we ever hit the stage people can expect a bit of visuals...

Are you satisfied with the way your album turned out? Anything you would like to change?
We are extremely satisfied with our album. We had very good studio conditions, and the engineer, even tough he knew next to nothing in terms of Black Metal, was very open minded about the way we wanted to record this. We told him that we wanted a raw yet powerfull sound, and that's exactly what he gave us. Some engineers are always pushing you to go for a crystal clear sound, and that can get quite annoying when it's not what you want!!! I think all the songs are very solid, and there is not a thing I would change music-wise. The only downside is the last song on the Cd, on which the mix is clearly not as good as the remainder of the album. We were growing a bit bored, and we just mixed it a bit too quick. We all learn from our mistakes, so we won't do this again!

Which is the main difference between you demo and the album? How do you look upon this demo nowdays? Do you think it still represents your style and sound?
Looking back at the demo, I am still very proud of what we achieved on it. It was the best representation of what we were at that moment. We haven't changed that much, we have just polished our style. The songs are faster and a bit more technical, but I'd say that the overall dark atmosphere is about the same. On the demo, our influences were probably more obvious that now, but that is normal evolution. All bands start off influenced by others, the good ones are those that are able to transform those influences into a style of it's own and I think we did that with our CD...

Do you have any new material ready for a realease?
Yes, as a matter of fact "Dans les Bras des Immortels" was first supposed to be an 8 song CD... Our drummer Namtar had tendinitis in the elbows while we were recording the album, and after recording 7 songs he just wasn't able to cope with the pain anymore. We figured that since we had for nearly 50 minutes of music already, it was not worth risking his health! We will record that song for our next album, and we also already have new ones as well. If all goes well, we might record our second album in the spring of2000.

Anything special you hope the new millenium will bring? By the way, what are you going to do on New Year's Eve?
I don't see anything special happening in 2000. More human cattle will be born everyday to make my life miserable. 2000 is just a year out of the christian calendar, so I really don't see why people make such a big deal about it. I guess I will spending new years eve with my familly like everyone does...

I remember you having a conflict with Nordic Vision some years ago. Have you ever heard from the guy again? What do you think about his reviews in general?
Melanchol X (what a terrible name!) is a jerk, period. If he is incapable of being objective about something else than Norwegian Black Metal or the Death Metal bands he just discovered then he should stop bothering doing this rag he calls Nordic Vision!!! We sent him a copy of our demo, and he simply thrashed it like I've never seen him do. The main difference with what he usually does was that he was attacking us personnaly, saying that we were idiots, young kids (I was 25 at that time...) etc, even tough we had never spoken! He actually never said anything about the music, just us! Of course, I wrote him a letter asking him who the hell he thought he was to pass judgement on us in that fashion, and he actually printed it in his next issue and then threw every insult he could think of at us for a full page. The funny thing is that he looked like quite a fool, since ALL of the other reviews we had for the demo ranged from good to great. Even other mags from Norway like Oskorei were giving us extremely positive reviews, and when I told him this he simply discarded it and said in his zine that "every label and zine supporting Frozen Shadows shows how stupid they are". Pretty pathetic... I heard he made a lot of people angry with this! We haven't received a single letter supporting him on that matter, so he's looking like quite an ass right now. I never figured out why he had such a personnal issue with us nor have I ever heard from him again, but I REALLY would like to meet the guy and twist his little neck!

Wich is the ultimate black metal realease of all times?
Humm, that's a pretty hard one... I think I have to go with Bathory's "Blood, Fire, Death" for the overall impact it had on me, but "In the Nightside Eclipse" is not far behind. Black Metal was so much more back then then it is is now, and I must say that I miss those days!