Back to the front
Ipswich ‘War Torn’ Black Metal 4-piece EASTERN FRONT are the fifth inductees to the resurrected Cacophonous coven, releasing their much anticipated third album EMPIRE on 30th September. The record is the first to feature new vocalist Marder, and focuses on the concept of building an empire through bloodshed and devastation. ‘EmpirE’ is the first album to showcase new vocalist Marder, and follows on from 2010s debut album BLOOD ON SNOW and 2013s sophomore release DESCENT INTO GENOCIDE. The name EASTERN FRONT hails from the band’s fascination with War History, referring to the theatre of conflict between the European Powers and the Soviet Union during World War II. Retaining a traditional Black Metal sound, EASTERN FRONT encompasses elements of Doom, Death, Folk and Classical Metal, with historical subjective and personal standpoint. Fresh from headlining Mammoth Fest and unveiling latest music video The Fire Consumes, the band are pencilling in further tour dates. Live highlights to date include Bloodstock, Incineration, Dong, Chania Rock, Wotu and Chaos festivals, alongside support to the likes of Cradle of Filth, Winterfylleth, Anaal Nathrakh, Carpathian Forest and Shining to name a few.
EASTERN FRONT are an unstoppable force and EMPIRE is the soundtrack of a band pushing the boundaries in Extreme Music.
HMA: There are a substantial amount of war and armies like elements on your titles and artwork. The perfect topic for black metal?
Destroyer: It certainly is for us. In reality, the brutal level of violence committed by human beings against other human beings, in reality, will always outweigh the imaginations of fictional writers, of religious belief or political standpoint. This as a framework for extreme music was a logistical step in the beginning, and now in our 10th year remains the catalyst for all work we do.
HMA: What are your political views in relation to current world events?
Destroyer: Eastern Front is a non-political entity, something we have viciously protected and defended since our inception. We would not be comfortable discussing such politically charged events from history if there was an agenda, other than conveyance with the said historical event as a catalyst for musical expression. There is a multitude of parallels with current world events as which can be drawn however those are for the listener to discuss, not us.
HMA: What can you tell us about your new record ‘EmpirE’?
Destroyer: EmpirE represents our most conceptual release to date and follows on directly from our second album ‘Descent Into Genocide’ as part of an album trilogy… that is the plan anyway. We have in fact started the first steps towards album 4 already but ‘EmpirE’ is our clear focus at the moment.
It also represents a shift in production, the inclusion of orchestration and varying vocal textures to ensure justice was served for such an album title and the subject matter gave scale. It’s also our first release for the legendary record label Cacophonous, birthplace of UK Black Metal most notably Cradle Of Filth so what better way to complete that circle that have our hometown comrade in harm Dani Filth offer a rare guest vocal performance on what is one of the darkest tracks on the record, a performance as ferocious and unnerving as the horrific depicted.
HMA: Of course war is the main theme, is there anything specific the record focuses on?
Destroyer: EmpirE is a multi-layered commentary on the building of an empire, the colossal scale of death, depravity and sorrow experienced when attempting to do so on the grand scale. Yet from a solitary human perspective, every act in that context flows to a single vision of death… which is the album cover. In the case of the campaigns fought on The Eastern Front. this theme resonates throughout the album and yet it also represents a personal journey for us as a band to push forward and build our own empire, though that too has come at a cost.
HMA: What is “War-torn black metal” about?
Destroyer: War Torn Black Metal was the most convenient way to describe the concept of Eastern Front as a band, a show, a sound. From the band’s inception that was the vision and now 10 years on much has changed but that start point has remained, perhaps even a genre in itself also. There are very few bands who follow the same conceptual path, and it would be good to see more bands engage with this subject matter and create their own war-torn soundscapes.
HMA: Lastly where is the name ‘Eastern Front’ come from?
Destroyer: When discussing the scale of carnage, sorrow and death, the Eastern Front was the bloodiest campaign of World War 2 with over 30 million deaths. Many of which were civilians. What better start point for a band looking for extremes of conflict as subject matter? So the name fit and the rest is indeed history. Also being from Suffolk UK, our home played a vital role in WW2 coastal defence. We are surrounded by defensive ruins, all a testament to the scale and history of the region. Warfare is something that has touched our families in the past. There are very few subjects as brutal, it was a perfect place to begin.
Make sure to check out our latest video ‘The Fire Consumes’ and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. ‘EmpirE’ is out now on Cacophonous. We will see you soon.
Interview by Alex Milazzo – Copyright 2016 © Heavy Music Artwork. All rights reserved.