Since 2003 Thulcandra has delivered a specially aged brew of death metal, a style that was lost in time, and now has return to brings us back to where everything started. Thulcandra‘s music was molded with the style that made Dissection ruled the 90’s, and that forged the traditional Swedish death metal sound.
With only three albums out, Thulcandra has polished their sound so much, that now they are starting to shape that Dissection-kind of sound into their very own. With Under The Frozen Sun (2011) they delivered a gloom and dark tribute to their roots on Swedish death metal (even though they are from Germany), But with Ascension Lost, they have not only leveled up their game, but that same darkness and gloominess has reached a point of not comparison.
Not only Thulcandra is one of those few bands that is keeping the original sound of Swedish death metal alive, but it’s one of those that you could easily spot live at festivals across Europe this summer. To capitalized on how Ascension Lost was made, Steffen Kummerer founder & guitar player of Thulcandra talked to us about the album, the band’s sound, and where is Thulcandra right now as a band.
Feb 07 Skullcrusher Club Dresden, Germany
Apr 11 Ragnarök Festival Lichtenfels, Germany
Aug 22 Kaltenbach Open Air Spital Am Semmering, Austria
The Age Of Metal: Musically speaking, how do you describe Ascension Lost?
Steffen Kummerer: “Ascension Lost” is an album that pleases everyone who listens to early 90ies death and black metal. If you enjoy bands such as Dissection, Unanimated, Mörk Gyning, Dawn, Sacramentum or Gates of Ishtar this album should rotate in your player. With a dynamic and not over produced natural sound on the production and Kristian, “Necrolord”, Wahlin’s oil painted artwork this is real heavy metal feeling.
TAOM: What happened on Ascension Lost that didn’t happen on Under A Frozen Sun?
SK: “Under A Frozen Sun” was based on several layers to form a wall of sound instead of writing songs along heavy and memorable riffs. “Ascension Lost” was written the old school way, with a guitar in my hands, jamming riffs until the feel right. The whole arrangements and use of acoustic guitars, choirs and here and there even orchestral parts let the harmonic twin guitars shine through even better.
TAOM: In the lyrical aspect, what inspired you at the time to write the songs for Ascension Lost, what are the concepts or structured stories behind the lyrics?
SK: The album is based as a whole on John Milton’s “Paradise Lost”, and can be named a concept album. Sebastian Ludwig wrote all lyrics, while I wrote the music parallel to it. In the end the music had to fit the lyrics which were pretty interesting and somehow new to me. Also the track list was based on the stringent concept, but it felt right that way.
TAOM: The music of Thulcandra has a heavy influence of Dissection, but somehow on this album has less than the previous two albums, would you say that the band is pulling away from the Dissection’s type of sound?
SK: We are developing our own sound with each album, but we stay loyal to our roots and where we come from. The band was founded in 2003 as a tribute to the scene of our beloved early 90ies death and black metal bands. There is more to discover than only one band, and of course we write our own songs. The artwork may lead you in the Dissection direction, which is alright to me. In the end the music counts, and here we are on our own page since “Ascension Lost”.
TAOM: There are some Obscura elements through the album that make the sound of Thulcandra richer and structured. At what point this elements were brought into the album? Or its something that comes natural?
SK: This comes naturally during the songwriting process. Although both bands play in different genres it is the same person writing the music. Within Thulcandra my musical handwriting shines through more clear since this new record. I separate both groups the best way possible, but there are some vibes and harmonic structures I use in both bands. Songs such as Septuagint, Velocity, Ocean Gateways or Prismal Dawn contain a strong black metal influence which could also be a Thulcandra vibe to Obscura.
TAOM: There are some dates following the release of the album, but are there plans for a full tour in the near future?
SK: So far we confirmed a few festival shows such as Kaltenbach Open Air in Austria and Ragnarök Festival, Germany among other pending shows. Right now we are looking for the right tour and touring partner at all. It is quite difficult to find a fitting package. In general we would love to play more often and share our musical vision with our fans.
TAOM: How possible could be a visit of Thulcandra to the United States, lets say perhaps Maryland Deathfest for a start?
SK: We would love to play in the United States for the very first time. Maryland Deathfest is famous for bringing European underground acts to the States, so that could be a nice idea. Again, if there is the right tour, Europe or North America, we are interested.
TAOM: What is next for Thulcandra after the release of Ascension Lost?
SK: We play the mentioned festivals and hopefully a tour before we start writing the next album.
Thank you very much for the interview & supporting Thulcandra,