-Interview- Darkest Horizon (7/22/21)

Darkest Horizon talks about their formation, upcoming plans and much more.


From: Germany
Sounds like: Melodic Death Metal

1. How did you get started with music and how did you develop your sound? Who thought of the name “Darkest Horizon" and is there any meaning behind it?

“Darkest Horizon” started as a teen project by our former lead-guitarist Olli Sattler and a close friend of his in 2010. Step by step everyone joined within half a year. I (Enis) joined the band in 2018 after the former singer Aurelius Lie had to leave the band for personal reasons. As far as I know Olli have had the name “Darkest Horizon” in his mind for a very long time before the band even started to form. For him it represented the epic infinity as well as melancholy that would later on define the starting point for the band. As every band, it took quite some time to figure out where all of it would go musically. But with the introduction of Chris (Keys) the musical framework formed quickly. Nowadays Chris writes the overall structure of the songs. He is laying out the path and destination of each story and then the rest of us join in to work out how we want to get there.

2. What do you want people to take away from your music?

We want you to be inspired – as we have been inspired by other artists. We want to tell stories that reach far beyond the short-lived noise of contemporary art. Since art is highly subjective and situational, we hope that we are able to inspire all kinds of artistry – from music over paintings to even theatre. Art is infinite, as is the darkest horizon.

3. How would you describe your sound to the average listener?

Our style is best described as “a Tolkien adventure with WAY too many orcs”. Our epic orchestrations set the scene and take you into a fantastical universe, but before you know it you are being steam-rolled by a bombastic death-metal track.

4. Who are three bands you’d like to tour with?

Well, there is of course Wintersun, then Rammstein would be awesome, and we all would like to support Dark Tranquillity. Then again, a reading/poetry tour with Blind guardian, Markus Heitz and Stephen King would also be an interesting idea.

5. How has Covid affected what you do as a band?

Of course obviously it has prevented us from being on stage for a very long time now. But bottom line, the current situation has been actually very beneficial for us. It has forced us to focus on reworking our work-plan. Due to the pressure set by covid we were highly motivated to adjust and were able to switch to budget recordings with single releases every two months. It was difficult at first, but we managed pretty good I’d say.

6. What’s your take on the current state of Death Metal?

Nowadays death metal is split roughly into two groups: The traditionalists, who don’t want any other influences, and the progressives, who see death metal as a great foundation to stack various kinds of other elements on top. While the labels I have used are heavily charged (especially politically) I want to make clear that I’m using these terminologies purely descriptively and without any judgement. With that out of the way, I can understand both parties (though obviously I’m in the second). I would like for both parties to be generally open minded and understand what the individual artist is trying to achieve and if he succeeds. After that we can still discuss the merits of traditional and/or progressive death metal.

7. What’s the current music scene like there in Germany?

It depends on where you go. Even though the wall has been gone for over three decades now, you can still see its effects everywhere. In West-Germany (like in the rest of western Europe) there has been an over-saturation of highly talented musicians who were able to reach far beyond. Not only has this affected the album sales – and later downloads and streams – but also the live-sector has been saturated. Naturally, the uniqueness of live-music has deteriorated quite a lot and the demands on live-acts have risen evermore. In our experience these developments haven’t been that significant in East-Germany – and eastern Europe for that matter – and the energy as well as artist-appreciation of the audience are just so much more significant. When we played in Bucharest for example, we constantly received the feeling that “if we don’t rock down the stage, the audience most definitely will do”.

8. What’s your take on the royalties that streaming services pay out to artists?

It is a double-edged sword... Bottom line, I think the artists are not getting paid enough, at least not the vast majority. But this is not in total the fault of the streaming services. A system has established itself, where every listener can get more high-quality music without paying a dime – also largely because artists just blast their music into the world free of charge. Consequently, market price of songs has dropped significantly so much that an artist has to resort to other means of income (like patreon for example). If artists and listeners alike would restart to treat music with the value that it deserves this issue could be averted, but that is highly unlikely.

9. What’s next for Darkest Horizon?

We will finish this year’s single-release-plan. All in all, there will be six singles released. In parallel will plan out the next year. We have some very special ideas, so stay tuned ;)

10. Any shoutouts?

We would like to acknowledge our producer Matze for “unleash the sound studios”. The best place for any young band to start working on recordings. With high ambition and huge amounts of patience you will find your style when the recording is finished. And in the digital era you can collaborate from anywhere in the world.