No Remorse Records präsentiert stolz das zweite Full-Length von Russlands Heavy/Power Kapelle Blacksword! Wer die Jungs nicht kennt, dem sei gesagt, dass sie sich für Fans von „March in Arms“ oder „HammerFall“ orientieren. Auch „Majesty“ kann man in diesem Zusammenhang nennen. Gegründet haben sich die Russen im Jahr 2005 als Thrash/Death Metal-Act durch Ivan Viking. Doch nach einiger Zeit und einigen Besetzungswechseln wandte sich die Band aus Russland dem ursprünglich geplanten Heavy Metal zu und nahm 2010 unter dem Namen „Blacksword“ das Debütalbum “The Sword Accurst” auf. Ich habe ein Interview mit der Band, genauer gesagt mit Basser Ivan, geführt und wünsche euch viel Spaß beim lesen dieses Artikels.
Tobi – Metal and Me
Ivan – Blacksword
Hello Ivan from „Blacksword“. My name is Tobi. I run a Facebook page and a webblog. On this page I post reviews of current albums, interviews, band presentations and reports about concerts that I visit with my wheelchair. On the one hand, to tell other wheelchair users how the venue is equipped in terms of accessibility and on the other hand, how to best proceed to get tickets, which is usually not possible with conventional ticket portals. In the future I will also write about hygiene measures, as this is important for me as a high-risk patient and for my readers too. Of course, I also write about the bands‘ performance.
Today I have a few questions for you about your new Album „Alive Again“.
Hi Toby! Glad to meet you, I think you are doing a very useful job, and I will be happy to answer your questions!
First of all, I want to ask you, how are you and your Bandmates doing at the moment?
Everything is fine with us, everyone is still alive!
If you meet someone who did not now what kind of Band „Blacksword“ is and what kind of Music you make – what do you tell him?
I will tell them that if you have a lack of epic, heroic and beautiful harmonies in your blood, then you urgently need to listen to the Blackword!!
Why didn’t you play the Metal you wanted straight away, but instead Death or Thrash Metal first?
This is a personnel issue! At first we didn’t have a vocalist who could sing heavy metal! In general, in small towns in our country, this is the first problem to gather like-minded musicians who are good at playing the instrument! We have to sculpt from what we have, and people who are very distant in their musical preferences can gather in one band! And only with the passage of time it turned out to collect like-minded people and good musicians in one bottle.
What has motivated you to keep going over the years and not to part?
This is a sore point)) we have had a lot of problems with the line-up and musicians all these years! But, the other side, all these years I was motivated by my own songs, it was my main goal, to record them, and let people listen to them, because I really think that the album came out very powerful! Actually, the chorus from the song Iron Will was my anthem!
What are the differences between “Alive Again” and your debut album? There were also some internal changes in the band. How is “Blacksword” in 2021?
The difference is huge, both in the line-up and in the approach to songwriting and recording! The compositions are more mature and hit, if I may say so, the musicians are more professional, and the recording budget was several times higher! I am sure that these 10 years have not been in vain for us, and you will feel the difference!
Where did you get your inspiration for the songs from?
In general, I like the heroic theme, fantasy, Vikings, the Middle Ages, for example, there was certainly a lot of all sorts of bullshit, like inqusition, but this heroism, nobility, now in modern society this is greatly lacking! My favorite movie is Braveheart, if you compare our album with something, then with this movie! The album probably won’t win an Oscar, but for me it’s just as epic 🙂
What themes do you sing about on “Alive Again”? Do you have a certain concept or are the songs unrelated?
This is not a concept album in the sense that all the songs there are linked into one story, like “Radical Piece” by Mob Rules, for example. In “Alive Again’ each song has its own story, but they are all connected by a common mood, and the final instrumental kind of sums up the whole album, and if you noticed, there are leitmotifs from some of the songs in it, this adds to the conceptuality to some extent, I think!
Especially Alive Again stands out for me. At eight minutes it is the longest song on the album. Do you want to tell my readers more about the song?
Yes, this is my favorite song on the album, I can listen to it 10 times a day, and the neighbors through the wall have already learned the lyrics and are singing along 🙂 The song is very old, I wrote it right after the release of the first album, our former guitarist Alex Avdeev wrote lyrics on it based on the “The Charnel God” book by Clark Ahton Smith, and we recorded it in its original form back in 2010 as a demo, you can find it on the Internet, if you want to compare.
But when we began to prepare it for recording, I changed a lot in it, it became more collected and understandable, I had to change something in the lyrics, and you hear the result on the album! Hope it got much better 🙂 For me, this is the best song on the album, that’s why we named it that way, and there is also a second meaning that the BlackSword is “alive again”, after ten long years of silence!
„Iron Will“ was your first single including a video. Why did you choose this song and will there be more singles with video to follow?
It’s simple, it is the most understandable for the listener, and at the same time reflects the mood of the album, from the very first notes we give you a war horse and a battle axe in your hands to crush enemies! I also have plans to record a couple of playthrough videos for Darkest Heart and Barbarian Born!
My fav Song is „Barbarian Born“. Can you tell me more about this Song?
Yes, this is my wife’s favorite song too 🙂 She loves bass chords a lot, towards the end! A song about the life of Conan the Barbarian, from birth to ascension to the throne. The song is quite complex technically, it has a lot of rhythm and beat changes, and the bass tapping part made me sweat during the recording 🙂
How excited are you when you think about playing “Alive Again” in front of an audience?
Quite 🙂 When I imagine the crowd singing along with us, I think it could be some of the best moments of my life! I hope someday this epidemic will end and we will get together to perform at European festivals!
What where your thoughts after seeing the Cover Art for the first time and who made the Artwork? How is it to you to stay in contact with your fans via social media in these pandemic times and to find out what the mood is like in the fans‘ camp? How did you deal with the restrictions in the meantime? How much does it restricted you in your working life?
The cover artwork was done by Kiriakos Balanos, a companion of our vocalist Mike, and when he sent me the sketches I was in a pleasant shock, I loved it so much! In the process of improvements, what you see turned out, and I think it is gorgeous! I would ike to take this opportunity to thank Kiriakos again!
Regarding restrictions, we in Russia now have no strong restrictions, only a ban on mass events and rallies that are not beneficial to the government, they use this to imprison the unwanted. 😢
And of course, you can’t go abroad, which affects me most of all, I moved to Kaliningrad to travel to Europe, and everything was closed, I didn’t even have time to go to Poland 😢
How have you spent your free time under Covid 19 so far? Have you any restrictions in Russia at the Moment?
Yes, as I said, we have canceled most of the public events, but in general, life is going in a more or less usual way!
Which Music do you prefer to relax?
90 percent of the time I listen to metal, which may seem one-sided, but I love it, what can I do? 🙂 During rare meditations, I listen to appropriate music, for example Origen – Dance of The Clouds, try it, it’s a very cool thing for relaxation!
Which Band or Musician has inspired you the most?
When I first started listening to this kind of music, I started with bands like Manowar, Iron Maiden, Helloween, Gamma Ray, which is probably unoriginal 🙂 However, Steve Harris, Joey DeMaio, Markus Grosskopf greatly influenced my writing style, with a focus on good bass line, which gave me good practice in the end! I don’t really like it when guitarists play solo for several minutes against the background of a monotonous rhythm section, and then the vocalist sings to the same thing, it’s not interesting for me!
And which Album, if you have to chose one?
Oh, this is a difficult question! If I choose according to the criterion of the usefulness of the album, so that all the songs are strong, Crimson Glory – Astronomica comes to my mind. It’s really good, the guys did their best by recording it!
Get away from the music a little. What about hobbies of you?
I used to literally lift “heavy metal” until my spine told me “enough” 🙂 Now I am engaged in a less traumatic sport, I play table tennis, quite well, yesterday I won first place in club competitions! I still want to buy a bike, but I still don’t get my hands on it.
Do you do „a normal Job“ beside making awesome Music?
I am doing something like business, renting accommodation for tourists and have an extreme attraction near the sea, it brings a good income in the season! Earlier, before moving from Siberia, I worked in the field of plastic windows, there it is in demand, because it is very cold, brrr 🙂
If yout got one wish…?
Hah..ok, let it “sell one hundred thousand copies of the album” 🙂
A few words to your Fans out there in Germany and all the Others in the World?
Thanks to everyone who remembers us from the first album and has so much patience to wait for the second one! I promise it will not disappoint you, and that the third one will not have to wait so long 🙂
Thanks for the interview Ivan. Many greetings to all of you. Something that is important to me: Stay healthy and good luck for the Release of your new Album!
Thank you Toby for your interest and for your questions! I was glad to answer them, and hail to your readers! Health to you, and good luck!
Tracks “Alive Again”:
01. Iron Will || 04:56 Minuten
02. Cave of the Witch || 05:04 Minuten
03. Immortal Hero || 05:46 Minuten
04. Barbarian Born || 05:51 Minuten
05. Long Lost Days || 05:58 Minuten
06. Darkest Heart || 04:17 Minuten
07. The Last Viking || 06:27 Minuten
08. Alive Again || 08:00 Minuten
09. The Crown of All || 03:08 Minuten
Mike Livas | Vocals
Artem Omelenchuk | Guitars
Denis Grebenkin | Guitars
Ivan Viking | Bass Guitar
Stanislav Volkov | Drums
The Sword Accurst (2010)
Alive Again (2021)
Danke an Blacksword für das Interview und an euch, fürs lesen des Interviews! Das Album “Alive Again” kommt am 30.07.2021 über No Remorse Records und meine Review gibt’s auch bald! Bleibt gesund und munter, euer Tobi! Heavy Metal never dies!