Winterhorde storm the seas with an excellent concept

Winterhorde are one of those bands that when one hears them has to be impressed. This Israel based band offers fans a second album, and an exciting concept album that is stand alone impressive with the lyrics/ story just as much as it is with the music at hand… which is some very decent melodic black metal that stands out from the usual cookie-cutter bands that are a dime a dozen. Like their previous effort, ‘Nebula,’ the Winterhorde takes ‘Underwatermoon’ and weaves multiple tracks around a base theme while drenching it in heavy riffs and exquisite melodies. I got a chance to discuss the album concept, and the influences of Winterhorde’s inspirations, with guitarist Lex L.F.C, who was kind enough to go into detail on the information that should certainly appease the back story hungry fans, as well as our usual BRUTALISM horde!

Hello and congrats on the new album from BRUTALISM. It was a great listen and I’m grateful your label chose our webzine to review it!
Hello to you to guys and thank you very much I'm glad that you have enjoyed it.

So it is understood that ‘Underwatermoon’ is a concept album written by your bass player. Care to elaborate on the story?
The tale takes us back to XIX century Spain, when some young transit officer gets enchanted by beauty of a local gypsy girl. But this feeling wasn't shared and it ends tragically for all involved .There are ghosts and hunts with shootings as well, not quite the midnight story you would want to tell your kids before bedtime :)

Did the group find it harder to write music and lyrics to a more linear concept album than just putting together more seamless tracks surrounding a single theme like your debut, ‘Nebula,’ or was that a concept album as well?
‘Nebula’ wasn't a conceptual album per say, but it was and you have put it correctly: individual stories surrounding a main theme, so the work done on ‘Underwatermoon’  was not so much different because we had a centerline concept with a script written as the main plot on top of which later  were "dressed"  songs elaborating and completing the story however, it took  from time to time more concentration and visualizing than it would on a non-conceptual album because you really need to have all the members attuned to the story and its characteristics.

Do you think ‘Underwatermoon’ will continue in the future with other albums, or does the story end here?
Well the story has been told and served its purpose so to speak and as every other good story ends so does this one.

Do you believe that the message behind ‘Underwatermoon’ will be understood clearly by the fans, or is the message really up for individual interpretation?
The message , is definitely  up for individual interpretation  there are no subliminal messages  in our lyrics on this record, although  don't do evil deeds and think there will not be any retribution may be hinted in there somewhere …

What does Winterhorde take pride in their music specifically to make themselves recognizable compared to most other melodic black metal bands?
Well we do not pursue a specific pattern when it comes to composing we just combine pieces , like a puzzle if u want , we do not gather and say let's do a black metal record we say let's do music and see where our individual tastes take us when they are combined.

What are some of the inspirations for your style? What got you into metal in the first place?
There are too many to mention but I guess in my case it would be the "northern European" musical touch, and as for the band, it’s the way I've mentioned earlier a culmination of our mutual inspiration and musical background.
What drove me into metal was its powerful effect  it had on me, the rhythms the solos the drum beats and the whole atmosphere it creates  it made me just want to " bang my had", more than anything it just felt right. But as a musician I appreciate all music and know that people listen to different styles and genres probably "taken" into them for similar reasons, to each his own I'd say I guess.

Do you find metal music in today’s world much more different than when you first got involved with it, or do you still feel it is basically Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath still at the heart of the musical structures?
He he,  judging by your question you yourself consider  these bands as the main attraction metal has to offer but let's return to the subject. When we got involved with the scene it was already on changing tides,  everybody were raising the bar  trying to pull away from the basics at least in the coloring and the surrounding elements, I mean old school is great and all but you just have to evolve eventually.

How did Winterhorde start out? Did many of you know each other before the band or was it kind of an audition/ jam session that brought the members together?
Winterhorde started as a doom metal band and was called "Autumn Palace" and only later on changed the name to what it is today. it happened about ten years ago when Winterhorde finally had chosen the musical path they are pursuing, afterwards there were a lot of changes in the line-up people came and left or just didn't fit(didn't share the same vision). The only two people left from the original line up are the bass player(founder) and the drummer.
There is something funny about this whole story actually most of us knew each other from way before Winterhorde and some of us were in other bands together, eventually I guess it's only natural that we found ourselves in the same band, although the two "new" members (Horeph on vocals and Barakk on guitars) joined after a whole lot of audition sessions because these were just way too big shoes to fill, and that’s basically it .

Considering you guys are from Israel, it is understood that within that culture metal, particularly black metal, is frowned upon. There have been bands like Melechesh and Ayat who have had to relocate to other areas that are more ‘music tolerable’ and smuggle material out of the country. Have you ever run into such hostility/ issues or are things a bit more relaxed over there when you put yourself out there?
As far as I know this type of music has always been frowned upon wherever and however you look at it and I will not state the obvious reasons although misguided as they may be, since the beginning of this particular genre it was criticized prejudiced and fired upon from numerous organizations and here it isn't different. However I personally am not aware of musical material being "smuggled" out of the country by bands that you have mentioned, it sound too much like something taken from a spy novel that is happening in the USSR during  world war II, but then again we were prohibited and deleted from Wikipedia; believe me I know it sounds funny.

Do you ever believe that one day the world will finally be united by music, metal or otherwise? What kind of power do you believe it has that other things do not? How does the band’s attitude reflect that?
Whether the world unites or not will not be because of music or despite it, don’t get me wrong music is great it is what we do and what we breathe and it is also a power full instrument that brings different people from different places with different lifestyles and perspectives together, people react to it on an emotional level (which is in common with every kind of art) and it doesn’t' judge people by race gender or social status. Call me naïve but this is just how I look at it, and Winterhorde is all about it, we are not a political band and we do not preach or propagate any kind of faith or religion nor do we deny it!

So now that ‘Underwatermoon’ is out in the world, any tours planned or ongoing?
Sure we do have a tour in mind and it is being organized  as we speak although no tours at the moment only local shows,  too much work to be done since we are about to begin working on a new album thumbs up.

Do you consider the touring life even more of a release compared to just performing in a booth in the studio?
Ha ha no doubt about it, there is nothing like going on tour, new faces places, women, booze…  it’s a very invigorating and refreshing sensation you just leave all your worries and problems behind and hit the road everything is new and fun. Being stuck in a booth, studio or performing in the same local places all the time sometimes makes you want to scream.

In past tours, any favorite haunts you’d like to return to and why?
Each and every one of them and keep ‘em coming, every place was just different in its own special way it was fun and fun is something that you never want to stop.

The fans must be really excited over the new album. Do you believe that expectations of fans today are different and perhaps more demanding of that when some of you guys were younger and just fans before being performers?
Metal as music is constantly evolving  and so do people, they always need that new something,  that edge or that something that triggers what they are considering refined and if to remember myself as a fan which by the way wasn't that long ago  I was always waiting with anticipation when I heard that a new album of a band that I like was about to be released, waiting to hear that which was already familiar and hoping for a new treat, and it didn't change much on my part so from where I stand, I believe it didn't change much for anybody else either.

Last question: What’s the nicest/ craziest thing a fan has done for you that has really impacted the band?
There was a dude in Romania that drove across the whole country because he didn’t have the chance to catch us for an interview in his hometown it just blew me away, when we found out that he came to the venue for us we were shocked I mean this is not something that you see in your every-day life and definitely not something that we were used to, we were just full of appreciation.

Thanks again for your time guys; looking forward to album number three!
Interviewer: devilmetal747
Jan 15, 2011

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