Metal Wani editor in chief Owais "Vitek" Nabi recently conducted an interview with vocalist Shagrath and guitarist Silenoz of Norwegian black metallers DIMMU BORGIR about the band's forthcoming "Eonian" studio album. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the anticipation of releasing "Eonian" after a nearly eight-year break between studio albums:
Shagrath: "Yeah, we can't wait to share this with our fans. I think it's an album that sums up the whole history of the band, a lot of areas from the band's history. We're very chuffed with it ourselves. Yeah, we can't wait to hear to people's reactions."
Silenoz: "The real countdown has begun now until May 4 and we feel really strongly about this new record as everybody should when you release a new record, but in particular, this one."
On what the band wants their fans to take away from listening to "Eonian":
Silenoz: "I think when we make a new album, we always try to challenge ourselves and also with that, we also challenge the listener and the fan. That can be quite daring because we are the artist, the fan is the fan and then we have different ways of looking at music. As artists, it's very important for us to look forward and not try to be repetitive over what you have done before. We've never been afraid of exploring. As you said, we move forward in carving our own territory. Making our own path instead of following other paths."
On the fact "Eonian" may take several listeners for fans to digest:
Silenoz: "I guess we didn't do that intentionally, but we did take our time to make each song and each part very complete. Therefore, there are also a lot of layers in our music. Just as you described, yes, I think it's kind of a grower in a way there are bands who make more complex music than we do, but still, there's just so much information to take in that it requires attention to be able to enjoy it fully, so to speak. So, hopefully people will take their time to dig into this."
Shagrath: "It will still require patience from fans even if they've been waiting for it for so many years because we require it for them to listen to the album and get under their skin."
On working on an album that took several years to complete:
Silenoz: "For us, we haven't spent eight years writing the album. For the two, three last years, we've been writing the album. For us, it doesn't feel like an eight-year gap because we've been quite busy behind the scenes. We played a lot of live shows up until 2014 and we also had a little break in between and stuff happening."
Shagrath: "We had the DVD ['Forces Of The Northern Night'] as well. We spent a lot of time finalizing it. From the outside, it looks like we haven't been doing much, but as I said, we deliberately kept a low profile, too. It's a combination of things."
On the variety of orchestral and symphonic sounds found on "Eonian", many of which were programmed by the band themselves:
Shagrath: "It's a very ambient feeling, especially, of course, if you listen to it on headphones. But, it has this feeling to me, at least, that it grabs you and surrounds you with all different sounds. This time, we still wanted to have orchestral parts, but we decided after the release of 'Forces Of The Northern Night', we found kind of a closure in using a full orchestra. This time, we ended up using a lot of sampling libraries and keyboards to make it ourselves. I think the result of that came out quite good. Then, we make these orchestral arrangements, we tried to combine them with other types of guitar riffs and transitions. We're making it quite difficult for ourselves because it's actually a bit of a challenge to do all this work. But, the result came out very satisfying."
On the band's definition of extreme metal:
Shagrath: "What we try and do with the band is the recreation of the atmosphere we grew up with in the '80s and '90s. We try to put that back into our own music. For us as artists, it's hard to say what the difference really is or if there is any difference apart from there is a lot more bands now. But, identity is extremely important when you work with any type of art and I think we have carved our own identity."
Due on May 4 via Nuclear Blast, "Eonian" contains 10 new tracks produced by the band itself and engineered by Jens Bogren. Emerging from the dark minds of the group's songwriting core of Shagrath, Silenoz and Galder, the album follows a philosophical concept, dealing with the illusion of time.