As Autumn Calls Talks Upcoming New Album "Cold, Black & Everlasting"
Canadian act As Autumn Calls is currently deep in the process of crafting a new darkly atmospheric epic to see release next year through Rain Without End Records. As work progresses on the upcoming album, the band's bassist/vocalist James got in contact with us to explore the inner workings of what will come to be called "Cold, Black & Everlasting."
In the interview below, you can follow As Autumn Calls from its inception through the band's time refining its process and musical techniques to the present day as the four piece pulls forth a new album "about the constant struggle of facing the darkness and trying to find that place in your mind where you can find contentment, and perhaps even happiness."
xFiruath: Can you give me a brief history on As Autumn Calls for our readers who aren’t familiar with the band?
James: The band was started back in 2005 by Andrew and James. Over the next 3 years we wrote and recorded a version of our first full-length album "An Autumn Departure," which we never released because we were not happy with the production. We were still learning how to properly record and produce an album. With this in mind we put the album on hold indefinitely. In 2009 we simplified our approach to writing and recording and released the three song EP "Emotionless". The EP was our first real offering to the metal community and it gained the attention of a couple underground labels. Shortly after the release we were approached by the Canadian cassette label The Northern Cold Productions to do some sort of cassette release. We felt this was a good opportunity to re-record and release "An Autumn Departure." At the same time we signed a deal with Naturmacht Productions which we felt best upheld the values and approach to music as we did. In 2011 we finally released "An Autumn Departure" both as a cassette (The Northern Cold Productions) and as a CD (Naturmacht Productions). During this time we welcomed our drummer Darren to the band and for the first time were able to add real drums to our sound. So far in 2012 we have welcomed our second guitarist Brendan to the band and made the switch to Rain Without End Records (a new doom metal sub-label of Naturmacht Productions). We are currently recording a new full-length which we have been writing and working on since 2010.
xFiruath: How much is done so far on the new album and do you have any details yet like a title or firm release date?
James: We are about halfway through recording the new album. There's still a long way to go yet. We're putting everything we have into this new album so we are taking things rather slowly. The title will be "Cold, Black & Everlasting." We do not have a firm release date but it will definitely be a 2013 release.
xFiruath: Can you share what’s happening lyrically on the new album, and is there a specific theme to the songs?
James: Sure. The new album is basically an expansion of the "Emotionless” EP. It is about the journey of life from the perspective of an individual trying to come to terms with his reality and the world around him. It's about the constant struggle of facing the darkness and trying to find that place in your mind where you can find contentment and perhaps even happiness. It is a very personal album inspired by real thoughts and real connections to Mother Nature.
xFiruath: What’s different so far on this upcoming release from your previous efforts sound-wise?
James: Well I think "Cold, Black & Everlasting" shows some real growth for the band. The song writing has improved as well as our individual skills as musicians. We've played around a lot more with acoustic guitars and focused heavily on creating better melodies and atmosphere with the music. The vocals have improved dramatically for both the growls and the clean singing. The growls have taken on a more raw approach which I think portrays a lot more feeling and emotion than on previous releases. As a whole we've slowed things down slightly and songs feature more variety and more complex arrangements. I think we've found a good balance between a professional sound that retains a certain amount of rawness to it.
xFiruath: I’m interested in hearing what’s happening in your local metal scene these days and where As Autumn Calls fits in there.
James: Right now we are not doing live performances. This will hopefully change after we release the new album but for now we are not involved at all with our local scene. As far as I know there are no other doom metal bands here in Sudbury and I'd wager only a handful of people here even know who we are. There are a couple really good black metal bands but the majority of metal fans here tend to like more of the fast paced death metal or core type music.
xFiruath: Outside of your own work, what bands and albums are you spinning most often lately?
James: Well I can't speak for the rest of the band but I'm enjoying the new Evoken release "Atar Mors" and "Sorrow and Extinction" from Pallbearer. I've been rather enjoying the first album "Sigh No More" from Mumford & Sons believe it or not. It really is an exceptional album. I've also been revisiting a lot of the death metal/doom metal classics like early Anathema, Tiamat, Nile, Deicide, Hypocrisy, etc.
xFiruath: Fall is finally here and Halloween is just around the corner. What band or album for you best fits the mood of the season?
James: The first thing that comes to mind is Type O Negative. Especially "Bloody Kisses" and "October Rust."
xFiruath: Are the members of As Autumn Calls currently active with any other projects?
James: Yes indeed. Andrew and I have a black metal/acoustic folk side project we are currently working on. Once we finish the As Autumn Calls release we will be recording a full-length which will be released by Naturmacht Productions. I won't say the name only because we're thinking about changing it. Darren is actually involved with two other projects which include Wolven Ancestry and Finnr's Cane. Both really amazing projects which I recommend checking out. He is a very talented musician.
xFiruath: Anything else you’d like to discuss?
James: Look for our new album sometime in 2013. In the meantime you can stream both our current releases in full at our bandcamp page and follow our progress at our Facebook page. Other than that I just want to thank you for the opportunity to discuss our band and the upcoming album.
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