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InterviewsCryonic Temple's First Concept Album- Into The Glorious Battle!

Posted on Sunday, May 07 2017 @ 10:49:00 CDT by Pete Pardo
Heavy Metal

With Into the Glorious Battle, Sweden's power metal veterans Cryonic Temple dive head first into dramatic concept album glory, producing perhaps their finest effort to date. Sea of Tranquility Staff Writer Mark Atony Rossi recently chatted with band members Esa (lead guitars & keyboards) and Markus (lead guitars) to discuss this outstanding new release, the story behind it, and all things 'metal' in the world of Cryonic Temple!

SoT: Your nine-year absence from new music is worth noting since this project {Into the Glorious Battle} is head and shoulders above your past work.

Was this concept album a conscious choice during that period?

Cryonic Temple: After a nine- year period of silence we felt that we needed to do something special. Something that we have not done before. Also, a completely new lineup with new influences dared us to do something different. But, the idea of a concept album was something that grew during the period, so it took us a long time to find a fitting story and to build our songs around a story and mood. Once we started build the story and the songs came out of nowhere, everyone in the band felt like this is what we wanted to do.

SoT: The very notion of a concept album is a major risk in the marketplace regardless of record company support.

Did you make changes to your musical approach to increase this album's success?

Cryonic Temple: Of course, making a concept album is risky in every way. We knew from the beginning that everyone would not like it. But once again, something completely different is what we needed, even for ourselves. Yes, we made some big changes to make the album different. Examples of this is that we have never done power ballads. But on this album we have 3 of them. Not thinking of success really, just the mindset of doing something different, a new fresh start for us and the fans.

SoT: The world continues to change in terms of technology and how it relates to recording an album and how a group builds and connects with its fanbase.

What has the band done to stay on top of these changes?

Cryonic Temple: Well, you have to stay updated on how to connect and how to stay at the top. It is never easy and it changes all the time. You have to learn all the platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, among others. As a musician you cannot stay in the 80's, even if you wanted to. Time has changed in regards of how it all works. It is about being flexible, in all concerns.

SoT: The theme of "Into the Glorious Battle" is a war in a future time and place.

Did you do any research of War in general to catch a glimpse into the dilemmas soldiers and civilians must face?

Cryonic Temple: Doing a research is not what we have done. Newspapers and social media have spoken about war and conflicts for as long as we can remember. It is all over the place. This means that almost all people can relate to this theme. The dilemmas soldiers and civilians must face is very different, depending on what war/conflict you talk about. Thus, we cannot say what happens since we (thankfully) have never experienced something like this. But of course, we used the information we had and the stories we have heard about to make the mood in the album. But in reality, we can only imagine what it is like.

SoT: As stated in my review "Into the Glorious Battle" is one of the finest metal concept albums ever released. It should rank in the Top Ten Metal Concept Albums for the next twenty years. But unlike previous bands with incredible concept releases (Queensryche and Iron Maiden) Cryonic Temple have incorporated new sounds, influences and ideas to a masterful result.

Where did the "Into the Glorious Battle" story line come from?

Cryonic Temple: Thank you for the kind words. Well, the storyline in sense of lyrics and texts it was the bass player (Roland Westbom) who came up with the original idea. All other members have contributed to the storyline to make it complete. In sense of musical "structure" we really wanted to make the songs fit for the storyline, in other words, the mood in the song is fit for the story line. Hence, that is why we included ballads in this album.

The story behind why it is called "Into The Glorious Battle" has another meaning as well. Nine years of absence made us feel like we were gone, out of the game as It were. But this album is our way of saying that we are back, stronger than ever, and ready to fight the glorious battle.

SoT: I thoroughly enjoyed this album in that its tone has a noble even uplifting manner to it. Darkness and dread is not a major component even though battles and a war is taking place.

Is this unique perspective an outgrowth of the story or are you trying to make some other point?

Cryonic Temple: As you say, when you think of war you automatically think of darkness and death. But there are other aspects of war. Heroes fighting for freedom and people risking their lives to something they love. We believe that is something beautiful and worth mentioning. To hide behind darkness and despair in nothing we want to do. We want to highlight heroes and people giving up everything for what they believe in.

SoT: I understand from a purely business sense that touring, especially around the world, is necessary to support the band financially rather than to primarily promote a new album.

Is "Into the Glorious Battle" going to change how you conceive a new tour?

Cryonic Temple: The new album will not change our idea of touring or how we are on stage. Our desire is to go around the world and play our music. But, there are no differences in sense of business compared to other albums. But like you say, touring is the biggest part in a musician's economy growth.

SoT: When listening to this album I heard influences of other bands such as Pretty Maids and early Europe (a much harder edged band than "Final Countdown" singles) and I'm guessing since they are Scandinavian as well you are comfortable with blending your metal direction towards a more varied sound: part power metal, part progressive metal.

What is distinct about Scandinavian metals bands compared to other parts of the musical world?

Cryonic Temple: This is a very interesting question. Scandinavian bands tend to mix their style a bit, you could say that Scandinavians are very easily influences (jokes aside). Still, if we take In Flames as an example, they have changed their approach quite much during the past 10 years. In our world it is important to stay true to what music style you play, but also show diversity.

SoT: I've noticed over the years that the "metal life" is no longer a life time pursuit. I continue to notice musicians operating in other spheres of music or environments outside of music. You got musicians who tour with a band for a few months and then produce another band when they get back. I know a few musicians whom are studying to be professors, karate instructors, film directors, farmers, environmental inspectors, etc.

Are there members of the band equally interested in other part time career paths?

Cryonic Temple: Of course. All other members have jobs aside of Cryonic Temple. An example is the guitarist "Markus Grundström". When he is not playing, he works as a high school teacher. Without saying too much of our private lives, we have other passions also.

SoT: Finally, Cryonic Temple is not a younger band. You have been around long enough to have influenced younger bands. Which in many aspects makes you metal role models of a sort.

Are you willing and able to counsel and guide these newer bands to the next decade of metal?

Cryonic Temple: Absolutely. Being a part of the musical industry is a dream come true itself. But having the chance to influence other bands is something beyond us. We would be thrilled and so happy to guide other bands and their journey towards their dreams!

Mark Antony Rossi

(Click here to read our review of Into the Glorious Battle)

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