Exclusive interview with Sunless Rise right before the first Japan Tour
I had a very short but exclusive interview with our beloved guys from Russia right before their first Japan Tour. (Japanese version here.)
How is the recording for a new album going?
SLR: Pretty busy days. For the last month we've been concentrating on our upcoming shows in Japan, so the new album went on a "pause" mode. We'll get back to work as soon as we return from Japan, there's still a long way to go with the arrangements and lyrics.
"Unrevealed" is still selling well in Japan but you guys announced there are few copies(digipak) left til sold out, right? Do you have any plan for reproduction?
SLR: We've been quite surprised with the feedback from the people. We'd love to thank everybody who purchases our album and merchandise on Bandcamp, downloads it via iTunes or Google Play, streams the songs via Spotify. Seriously, to have so many people willing to support our efforts, it means a world to us. And, yes, you're right, we're almost out of our digipak copies of Unrevealed. About the reproduction — we have decided to re-release Unrevealed in a jewel case version, as a lot of people have been asking for it since the very release in 2015.
Are you ready for the upcoming first Japan Tour?
SLR: Hell yeah, we can't wait for the tour to start. It's not only the first Japanese tour, it is the first Sunless Rise tour outside Russia. So these shows will be very special for us. And, of course, we want to make it special for all people who will attend our Osaka and Tokyo events, so we are bringing some exclusive merch items, Unrevealed CDs in a jewel case (it'll become available worldwide only after the tour ends), and some new material.
Can we expect something special about setlist?
SLR: Yep. We're going to play a brand new song and you guys will be the first to hear it live. Hopefully, it will appear on Bandcamp/iTunes/Spotify/Google Play before we leave for Japan, so you will have time to learn the words, haha.
You can also check my past interviews with Sunless Rise via the link below:
Interview About the Music Video "The Forgiven" (Dec.-2016)
Interview About Insight of "Unrevealed" (Dec.-2015)
Welcome Back Interview (July.- 2015)
All about Sunless Rise on kumi666com here
Sunless Rise New Music Video “The Forgiven” & Interview
It's still a vivid sensation that Sunless Rise released their first full-length "Unrevealed" last year after more than 5 years from the amazing promo EP. It was definitely the best album in 2015 and became one of the legendary metal masterpieces for me. The band has released their new music video "The Forgiven" from the album. So I asked them a couple of things about behind the scene of the video and about their upcoming new album. First of all, check the huge video "The Forgiven"!
Where did you shoot the huge scale video?
SLR: We’ve used 4 different locations in process of making this video. The main location was Kilpola island and outskirts of Tiurula - beautiful places in Karelia (which is a fantastic territory on the North). Great open spaces, majestic forests and - the main attraction for us - some moderate-sized rocks. Most of the filming happened during first two days of our staying there. You can see us roving, dying and fighting the evil Shaman (played by Igor Grabuzov, a professional actor). The process of filming was packed with all kinds of fun activities. We’ve rented a small wooden house and made it our base. The Shaman’s scary make-up was made by our friend Maya Chkonia, she is a great make-up artist. Also we’ve made the skeleton totem and the bonfire. So, day one was all about choosing the right locations and some filming (in the evening-turning-night time). Day two was dedicated to climbing rocks and sinking into snow.
Then we’ve moved back to the city; day three was chromakey day. And in the end of day four we’ve done the black and white part. It was filmed inside the city limits during night time and featured extras, the whole crowd headed by actress Ksenia Malyagina. It was very cold and no one could wear warm clothes, the actress had to spend about three hours tied to a tree. The was one moment when she had to scream - and it came out so naturally! There was another moment when the little girl (our protagonist’s “daughter”) naturally started to cry - and we were lucky to film it too! Glad everyone survived that experience, it was truly hard.
Why did you choose "The Forgiven" for a new video?
SLR: “The Forgiven” is the album’s story-line culmination and it is also a very powerful track - musically and emotionally. We’ve had to work (a lot) on the video’s scenario, rework it and add some changes from time to time - for it to became less dependent on the whole story and be more, let’s say, apprehensible.
Are you guys working on a new album?
SLR: Yes, we’ve already started working on it. We’ve came up with its concept more than a year ago. Now we’re working the details out. Got some of new tracks shaped. But we won’t say anything about release schedule yet. Probably you’ll hear a single or two before next full-length’s release.
After the first album was finished - and it took the period of 2006 to 2011 to write the whole its material - we’ve had a lot to think through and to make some things clear for ourselves. Like, what direction we would take in the future, what new elements we should add. Still thinking it through - so, it’s a lot of work to do. But we can assure you: there won’t be profound changes in our sound, we gonna keep it recognizable!
Be sure to subscribe Sunless Rise Official Youtube Channel and check more videos!
ALL ABOUT SUNLESS RISE ON KUMI666COM (including 3 interviews!)
Sunless Rise “Unrevealed” attacks Japanese CD stores!
Finally it came true! The newest metal masterpiece "Unrevealed" by Sunless Rise started attacking Japanese CD stores today. Here's some pics at one of disk union CD stores in Tokyo. This is mind-blowing, isn't it?
- at New Arrivals -
- at Melodic Death / Folk / Viking -
The text on their copy says: "The first full-length by a Russian Melodic Death Metal band, which was released in 2015. This is a super brilliant album with neo-futuristic arrangements and lyrical clean & death crossed vocals. This is the very high-quality one which is equivalent to Scar Symmetry or Disarmmonia Mundi. Digipak version."
Haven't tried Sunless Rise yet? Check their music and buy their amazing art - "Unrevealed".
Sunless Rise music & merch on Bandcamp
All about Sunless Rise on wwwkumi666com here.
Sunless Rise Interview about the ultimate concept album “Unrevealed”
Finally our long waiting time has ended. The finest Russian melodic death metal force Sunless Rise has released their first full-length “Unrevealed” after long quiet years. Guitars, drums, keyboards, basses and vocals… they are so extreme in the album and every single song is just spectacular! They drew the story of the album on a magnificent scale but it’s not like sci-fi space battle movie, it’s just like a philosophical and spiritual journey crossing between the past, present and the future. It’s about our planet earth, about creatures which lost connection with the great nature - humans. I’m absolutely excited to have an interview with the band again about the amazing concept album. And I would love to share it with all of Sunless Rise maniacs in the world. If you only lick a surface of the album, you would not touch to the true resonance of their amazing musical universe.
Hello again. I’m so excited with your new album “Unrevealed”! You guys have done an amazing job, congrats! As you told us in the previous interview, the prior release “Promo EP” was a preview of the new full-length, and finally we can see those fragmentary pieces as one massive story. How did you come up with the sophisticated concept?
SLR: Hello again - and big thanks for your compliments! We ourselves are glad as hell the album is finally out.
Talking about the album’s concept, or plot - the idea of it is as old as our band. A concept album based on some fiction story, with this cold and mysterious imaginary Siberia as it’s background - that was on our minds right from the start. And during this long and challenging period of the concept’s realization. The basic plot was a story of an immoral, corrupt man whose very fatal actions lead to Earth crisis, a global catastrophe. And he becomes the only one survivor - for he is taken to some kind of trans-dimensional spiritual journey and his worldview, his beliefs and values are to be tested big time!
During that period all the members of the band were heavily into studying some fascinating stuff - like alternative archaeology, stuff that opposes official human history trying to prove it’s manipulated. Also, into all kinds of myths, mythology in general, exploring legends and beliefs of our ancestry. That influenced the lyrics a lot - and made the story as it is known now.
The story of “Unrevealed” goes along with an icy and severe climate, and you set a location as “Siberia” into some lyrics. Did you configure places in the story from your local real world to another dimension?
SLR: Correct. Siberian nature surrounds us from birth - wide open spaces of primeval wilderness - and it has a huge impact of one’s personality. Actual Siberia is a natural Arc, with it’s plentiful supplies of environmental resources, fresh water, fresh air, with this enormously big territory. Actual Siberia is also a rough place. Imaginary Siberia in our story is a place of purgatory-level roughness, and it will reward the hero with an opportunity to cleanse his soul - by performing his mission and ending cycle of aeons.
The desperate story about humanity is a reflection of your real thoughts about what is/will be happening in the world, right? Do you think there’s no hope for the human race?
SLR: With mode of existence as wasteful as current our civilization surely won’t live for long. 100-200 years max - talking about natural supplies. We also are constantly clashing with planet’s biosphere and it makes catastrophes unavoidable. You can’t reach harmony if you don’t keep your balance - valid for human, valid for planet. Why killing our kind like we do when humanity could try to live for thousands and million years without system crashes. No, we don’t think that humanity is doomed, humans can be amazingly die-hard. This current fashion of unrestrained consumerism - that’s what is definitely doomed. It leads to what disaster movies are made about. And some music albums as well, you know.
In the 7th track “Recovering The Truth”, there appears four temples which reflect from the deep past to present, and the song covers three of the four temples: Temple of Serenity, Temple of Mercy and Temple of Discord. But you didn’t mention the name of the forth temple in the following songs, right? In my personal interpretation, it would be “Temple of Depuration” – the depuration for the earth. What is the name of the forth temple actually?
SLR: The “working title” for that fourth temple was Temple Of Agony, but I guess Temple Of Depuration is even more appropriate name. The mentioned temples symbolize four eras of civilization’s development, they are described in some cultures’ myths, the four of them. And according to most of the ancient calendars this era is the last, the shortest one. It is described as an era of total moral decay that will end in total purification. And then an era of Serenity follows.
The new song - Reborn you released as a music video right before releasing the album. It made me surprised because there are no growls, no blasts but it's still brilliant. And I found all of the songs in the album sync perfect between its tunes and lyrics. Did you finish basic composition of the songs before writing lyrics?
SLR: Very glad you enjoy this song. Recording one track with clean singing only as we made to “Reborn” was our one idea; another idea was to record a track with only harsh vocals - that’s what we’ve performed in “The Burnt And The Frozen”. And “Reborn” is supposed to give listener some rest from endless blastbeats, galloping guitars and extreme singing.
We always write music before lyrics, the opposite order would make music more trivial in our case and by our experience.
The studio set for “Reborn” looks amazing for expressing the lyrical atmosphere! Where did you film it and why did you take such a long time (about two years?) to release the video?
SLR: Theatrical scenery was rented from one of local photography studios and the video was shot with their help - about two years ago. When finally the album was ready to be released we’ve felt a lot of doubts after watching “Reborn”’s final cut. Some of us even doubted it was good enough to be published, wouldn’t it marr the whole effect in some way, there were arguments among some band members. But we’ve decided to take a risk - and it turned out that the video was received very well.
I’ve been listening to “Promo 2009” many times for ages but it merges very well with the new songs and never gets old in the new album. We even can enjoy some differences between the original recordings and the new versions. Did the environment for recordings in a studio changed better after the previous release – “Promo EP”?
SLR: Generally the studio resources became much more accessible and easy-to-use these years. Our “Promo” recording was made in a big studio that felt expensive and not very comfortable, but the atmosphere of “Unrevealed” recording sessions was absolutely relaxed - thanks to the friendly Sound Way home studios.
Like in the track 2 “Ghosts of The Past”, we can hear some effective orchestrations and I love it. How did you manage those orchestration parts in the album?
SLR: It’s a track with longest history, it was written 9 years ago by our bassist Eugeny Kasitsyn and was reworked a thousand times, and if you like it - then it was worth the labor! To be serious, the main secret of orchestration in “Ghosts Of The Past” is countless keyboard parts made by Sergey Shulzhenko - synths, orchestral parts, also some up-to-date electronic touch (the track was produced with a help of Ilya Fatal of Fail Emotions).
Sound effects are awesome as well. For example, the new version of “Awakening” has additional sound effects with breaths and heartbeats from the protagonist. It helps us to get more vivid imaginations about the story. Did you come up the idea after the prior release “Promo 2009”?
SLR: All these effects were also produced by Sergey - but first we wanted to call on some FX professionals. All in all Sergey’s talent and experience appeared to be high enough for the mission.
Who is responsible for the wonderful artwork design?
SLR: Our good friend and a great graphic artist Nadezhda Kopchina. First sketch was done by 2014 and then we’ve made several correction before the artwork was finished - and it’s a real drawing not digital. Nadezhda also have designed all Sunless Rise merch, our stage theatricals (like banners), our alternative logo.
As an obvious concept album, you placed various type songs in the right order and the whole music is just incredible! I really love your typical mind-blowing play style anyway. You guys are pretty technical and precise. Could you show us your main gears (guitar, effecter, drum-set, keyboard, etc…)?
SLR: Our drummer is endorsed by TRX cymbals, and he uses Axis double pedal. What else - Korg X50, ESP KH-2 guitar, Carvin LB76 bass, Line 6 UX8 sound card, Macbook Pro and some ear gear. Our specific feature is that we don’t use guitar or bass amps. Everything except for drums is plugged to and controlled by the sound card. So, the control desk receives a ready mix and everyone receives individual metronome signal.
Did you play the entire songs from “Unrevealed” at the album release show?
SLR: Yes, we’ve played the whole album, in the same track order, the live set took a bit more than one hour. We’ve also wrote and performed a new two-and-a-half minute intro - specially for the event, it’s not on the album.
Check epic photos from the album release show here !
Do you have any plans for shows outside of Russia in the near future?
SLR: Oh, we would love to! Would be amazing to visit different parts of our planet and show our art to ones who appreciate it.
You mentioned about a new EP in my previous interview, didn’t you? Did you hit a studio for the recording already?
SLR: We will hit studio in a couple of months, now the composing activities are taking place, and these activities are very intensive. The process of writing songs is a very demanding thing, the recording process doesn’t start before we are happy with composition.
Well, we have waited for the first-full length these past 5 years. Yeah 5 YEARS! I really hope we don't need to wait next 5 years for your second album. Do you think you will be able to work on it within a couple of years?
SLR: We’ll do our best not to delay our next releases. Our fans’ support - moral and financial - encourages us a lot. We are sincerely grateful and hoping to keep bringing you quality Metal!
Get the ultimate concept album "Unrevealed" via Sunless Rise bandcamp !!!
Sunless Rise New Music Video “Reborn” has been revealed!
The finest Russian melodic death metal band Sunless Rise revealed their new music video "Reborn" right before the release of their first full-length "Unrevealed"! You would be confused about the new song in the video because of the full clean vocals without their massive brutality. But no worry, its'a a part of a massive story which will be revealed entirely within a couple of hours. So enjoy!!!
Here's the latest statement from the band for the video and the album!
"No brutal singing? What?!
The protagonist wakes up from a long sleep which appears to be his meaningless life. All his struggles, hopes and fears have lost any sense after the global catastrophe that ended every living thing’s life. Is he dead? No - he is REBORN.
This is composition number six and it’s a counterpoint of the whole story. It is not a typical Sunless Rise track, but which one is typical? Be not afraid - you’ll get tons of walloping brutality on this new recording. Now check out our music’s softer side.
By the way, we’ve made this video in 2013 and then it took two more years before the album was finally finished. Some of us were even doubting - will this video be a bit... misleading? Would it scare off some of our listeners who are hungry for crazy blastbeats and insane shredding?
It’s a chapter from our story and you’ll be able to uncover it as a whole TOMORROW.
You can find their typical overwhelming style in the following video!
Order the album "Unrevealed" at Sunless Rise bandcamp!
All about Sunless Rise on kumi666com A new interview will be available, stay tuned.
The Russian Technical Melodeath force is back! Sunless Rise Interview
The time has come. Sunless Rise the technical modern melodic death metal force from Russia finally broke the silence and shouted out about their upcoming full-length. Before they reveal details of the new album, I decided to do this interview with them quickly. Actually, I can say it's a big deal for me like ‘finally one of my dreams came true’. So I’m honored to ask the band about their amazing Promo EP which was released in 2009.
Hello guys. I’m very glad to know that you guys finally became fully active in the music scene! Many fans of yours must be excited about it. How have you been since you released the promo EP in 2009? You had been almost silent for a long time, right?
Greetings to everyone who knows and appreciates our music! We are happy ourselves that we’ve managed to harness our willpower to move forward, that we’ve found time, nerve and sources to finally record our first full-length. It’s nearly finished and will be released this autumn. The work started right after “Promo 2009” was out, but we’ve met many circumstances, most notable of which was the band’s crucial decision to move from Tobolsk to Saint Petersburg in 2010. But - even in this period of moving, searching for jobs, setting up our everyday lives and lineup changes - we’ve kept working on this album, slowly but feeling that we’re on the right track. So, we were writing some new tracks, reworking the old ones, made three videos (including a play-through one), forging the album’s concept, orchestration and lyrics. Another important thing that took our toll was our personal development, we were growing up as musicians and our views of life and art were also progressing.
I know you released the brilliant play through video in 2013 but still had not believed you were active at that time. Why did you release the video at that timing?
In early autumn of 2013 after yet another lineup change we’ve started again, and to show our fans that the band is still active we’ve made two music videos (you will be able to watch them closer to the album’s release date) and one play-through video (you can find it on YouTube). The latter was made especially to introduce a new band member, Vadim Wayland who unfortunately had to leave the band later. Such a great guy but no haps.
Why did you choose “Nothing To Save” for the play through? I mean once you filmed the song in the past as official music clip, right?
“Nothing To Save” was our flagship song, fans loved it (there are even some fan cover versions on the Internet) - so we’ve never second guessed about which song to choose for a music video. It was made in support of “Promo 2009” CD, independently and in our own expense. At this point in time it doesn’t bring us any pleasant feelings, except perhaps some sweet memories. It’s quality is awful. But it was the best we could produce at the time.
“Nothing To Save” is a perfect kick-starter for your promo EP with an overwhelming intro anyway. Could you tell us details of songs from the EP?
“Nothing To Save” is truly unique for Sunless Rise for it was the first track that we’ve ever written, and it was done at a record pace - in one night (it takes at least a month for any Sunless Rise track to be finished). It is also special because it sounds so summed up and lapidary, absolutely comprehensible. I guess we’ve managed to express the very soul of our music in just three minutes.
Speaking of other tracks on “Promo 2009” I can tell you that they serve as a preview for the upcoming full-length and it’s concept. Like some kind of trailer.
And the concept of the upcoming album is a certain story, so the songs are written and put in right order to tell this story to a listener. This story is about a man of consequence, a big shot, whose actions have caused huge global climate changes, so all the living things are to be extinguished. In a state of shock of what is about to happen he drives away from the big city leaving his family and all the people he knew, without warning. Suddenly he gets into some weird reality, where he passes lots of terrible ordeals. The main point that we’re trying to make with this story (and the whole album) is that this technocratic path that mankind chose to take is a dead-end. Instead of developing our potentials given by Nature we are more and more relying on tech “crutches” of different kinds. We become some sort of civilized cripples by losing touch with our planet and failing to live in harmony with it.
The EP has a fabulous sound production! Everything sounds absolutely professional! So, I wonder if you have ever released it as physical disc before, or not?
The inputs for “Promo 2009” were quite modest but the sound turned out to be really outstanding. That recording was mixed by guys from Anthropocide Studios (Belarus) who were just starting up at that point, so we’ve had a special deal. We’re planning to mix the full-length there too.
“Promo 2009” was independently released as a limited edition of 300 CD’s. They were sold out, all inside Russia, several CD’s were sent abroad to radio stations, record labels and magazines as promo copies. There are still a couple of dozens of them left so we’ve decided to sell the rest to our foreign fans. The problem is there are many times more people willing to buy those CD’s than copies left. We’re still trying to figure out the best way to distribute them. So, in case you’re one of those willing to have “Promo 2009” CD in your collection - keep checking our Facebook page for updates.
Could you tell us about metal heroes for you? Which bands have you been affected for your music?
Every member of Sunless Rise is influenced by many kinds of different music, we were never limiting ourselves at all with that, through all our lives. From classical to electronic, from Dream Theater to Nile. There are no bad music genres. There are good, bad and mediocre composers and musicians. And when you’re moving in these circles being a professional yourself, you stop reckoning other musicians as heroes or idols. More like colleagues whose art you tend to love or criticize. Like, “these guys are really good at arrangements”, or “wow, these guys are so technical”, or “I wish we were that good at promoting our live shows”. Some musicians are really creative and it’s exciting to follow them. But they’re definitely not the majority.
How is the environment for the metal scene in Russia? Is there any big obstacle to keep activating as metal band?
Metal scene is alive and well in Russia, actually things start to get better these days, although it depends on what we define as Metal scene. Most of authentic Metal bands don’t pack big venues anymore and their popularity seems like fading. Youth, as always, is following the latest trends, so there’s always some cheesy, watered down bands on the rise of fame. That’s absolutely normal because metalheads are dedicated to Metal while trendies are dedicated to some latest fashion. There are too many subgenres, everything is segmented. Like metalcore, deathcore and other hyped music (that actually has little in common with neither Metal nor Hardcore). Most Russian musicians who try to jump on this bandwagon rarely even learn how to play, they are too busy being rock superstars right away. Anyway, there are also lots of fans who dig some really good Metal but mostly enjoy listening to it at home, rarely attending gigs. They know that true Metal was, is and will be sincere, and this rule is eternal.
It’s not that hard to keep your band going in case you just love playing music. What makes a much harder task is getting your music heard around the globe, and in this case you have to firmly believe in yourself and work very very hard.
Well, you guys shouted out about a new full-length lately, didn’t you? I am very excited about it. Did you already finish writing songs for the new full-length?
Vast majority of work has been done pretty long ago. All the instrumental parts are already recorded, and now we’re finishing with the vocals, and also are working on some arrangements and electronic parts. We’ll do our best to have it mixed in August, so the album would be released in late autumn.
When will you start hitting a recording studio?
We’re planning to get back in studio right after the album’s release. We’ve got to produce some new Sunless Rise material which is almost ready to be recorded. It’s gonna be a single with two additional tracks, and they will sound quite refreshing yet distinctive. You’ll be surprised.
Back in 2006, how did the band get formed? Who founded the band?
Alex Becker, Sergey Shulzhenko and Eugeny Kasitsyn were the original lineup, a couple of years later Alexey Mallovski joined the band as a drummer and another year later we’ve added Alexander Cherepanov on vocals. It’s his growl you can hear on “Promo 2009”, he also works with us on the full-length recording. Before Sunless Rise we were playing in local bands and already had 5 to 7 years of experience before graduating high school. In 2006 we were 16-18 years old but quite ambitious (still are!), we were dreaming to create something big, setting the bar high for ourselves right from the start and intending to fight for our goal tooth and nail. It was a flash of pure inspiration, it kept us going and overcoming unforeseen difficulties. We were living in a small Siberian town and it was very hard to find musicians able to answer our purpose, for example, our drummer had to travel 1000 kilometers to get to our rehearsal place.
Could you tell us about the current lineup of the band? Have you ever made any member’s replacement in these past years?
Yes, we’ve had constant but inessential lineup changes, but the core members are still the same. Some members who left were getting back - like our Eugeny. Our current singer Kirill Ershov is also from Siberia, we were neighbors and we know him for years.
Have you played concerts before?
Our first gig took place in autumn of 2008 and it happened in Tver, a small city near Moscow. To make our first appearance on stage we’ve travelled more than 2000 kilometers! We’ve played quite a lot of shows in 2009, and the last two gigs happened in the end of 2011, in our native Siberia.
This is the last question this time. Are you guys now 100% active as Sunless Rise?
During that period of hiatus we could shelve our project like most bands in this situation do - they bury their dream after moving into adulthood. There were moments we weren’t sure we were capable to continue. But despise all those hardships our motivation grew stronger. We can see clearly now that music is something our life isn’t full without. So, our music gives us that very feeling of meaningfulness of existence, it keeps educating and inspiring both us and our listeners.
We are really looking forward to listening to your new songs! See you guys again very soon with another interview about the new album. Keep up your great job. Cheers!