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Interview - SHROUDED IN DARKNESS - Darkness of the soul, darkness of the mind, an immersive doom death metal experience from the other world!

Interview with death doom metal band from Sweden - SHROUDED IN DARKNESS.

Answered Mike (Guitars, Bass, Drums) and Daniel T. (Vocals, Keyboards), thank you!

Translated Duzl, thank you!

Questions prepared Jakub Asphyx.

Recenze/review - SHROUDED IN DARKNESS - Be None of You (2023):

Ave SHROUDED IN DARKNESS! Greetings to the Swedish underground. I hope everything is fine with you. It should be because this year you have released a second long-play full-length album in your band's career. I have to admit it has literally blown my mind. It is dark, energic and as if it cuts by the sharp edge of the knife. I can hear from the record you did a really good job and you added a big portion of the talent, too. How do you perceive the new album in comparison to the previous one? Where did you want to move and in what are these two records different?

Mike: Greetings to you too. I’m glad to hear you found it good. Yes, we wanted this album to be better sounding — darker, heavier, and more atmospheric. And to add some new ideas here and there, but without changing what has been working too much. The guitars—riffs and sound—are on another level on this one. As I said, this album is a notch or two above the first. The debut still has good songs, but it’s lacking in production.

„Be None of You“ includes all attributes of good death and doom metal. For me personally, it represents the record, which I really like to listen to. How did you produce it? How look the writing process of new material in the case of SHROUDED IN DARKNESS?

Mike: Thanks for your kind words. We live in different parts of Sweden, so we don’t meet up to rehearse or record. The writing starts with me having done all of the instrumentals. I then send everything to Daniel T. We keep the drums and bass from my recordings. Then Reese adds his guitars and solos and also some new riffs here and there. And Daniel T then adds keyboards and records the vocals. Daniel T also handles the mixing. So this is like a home studio project.

I found out that Dan Swanö signed under the sound of the new record. I have to confirm that the sound is literally killing. It still makes me add volume to the player. Dan has created a sound that is cruel, raw and at the same time dark and organic. How went the work with him and why did you choose him? In which studio did you record it? How did the recording process look like?

Daniel T: Everything was recorded in our own studios and the final mixes were delivered to Dan. Dan is a master when it comes to this kind of music, and we couldn’t think of a better man for the job.

An important part and a kind of extra bonus for fans today is the physical CD. You issue it at Kvlt und Kaos Productions, and it has a mystic cover art. Who is the author? How did you choose the motif and how does it relate to the music at the record?

Daniel T: It is a work of art by the 19th century artist Gustavo Doré which we think serves to portray the music well. You have this dark, mysterious mood, and the opposites of the world - light and dark, cold and warm, good and evil… It fits right in..

I have been wandering the underground for over thirty years and I still go to Sweden for music with certainty. I think we have a similar nature and taste when it comes to metal. I like your bands a lot and I monitor your scene carefully. Maybe I envy you a little, because we only have a few death/doom metal bands that are worth it. How do you explain that death metal are doing so well in your country? How do you perceive your scene, fans, labels?

Daniel T: We have a long tradition of heavy metal in this country. Sweden is actually, per capita, one of the most band-dense countries in the world! In a way, we get breastfed with metal. When it comes to death metal in particular, Swedish bands were pioneers in helping to shape the genre. So, bands we have a-plenty, and we aren’t starving for fans, either. Could do with a couple more labels, though.

You play doom death metal influenced by, among other things, the old school. Today, the band can't avoid comparisons, but I would like to know how the idea to start SHROUDED IN DARKNESS was born, who was and is your metal idol? Where do you want to move your band? Are you attracted to large foreign festivals, for example, are you willing to go on tour with a more famous band?

Mike: Yes, our influences are mostly old school death and doom bands. We are also influenced by goth and black metal. Some bands to mention are Paradise Lost, Anathema, My Dying Bride, and The Gathering. The idea to start SID came from me in 2021. I wrote the songs and then asked Daniel T if he was interested in collaborating. He then recruited Reese and we gathered under the name Shrouded in Darkness. I don’t have any metal idols. I listen to quite a few different bands and genres. We have started to work on the third album — so far it’s like a mix of the two previous ones. But this can change as we’ve only just started, and we’ll inevitably want to make copious changes as we go along. If we were asked to play a big festival, we’d probably add session members to the line-up. Same if offered to go on a bigger tour. But this isn’t something we aim to do. We want to make new music and spread the dark sounds of the band around.

When I started my blog six years ago, I had a vision that I would try to support bands that are not so popular, or are lost in underground. To let the world know about them. I think I'm doing quite well, at least according to the responses. How do you approach the promotion of your music? Do you rely upon the label or do you send the CDs for various reviews by yourself? For example, I buy albums that I really enjoy. What about you? Are you also fans who often support your colleagues? Do you go to concerts?

Daniel T: I agree, Deadly Storm Zine is an interesting place to hang out in! Regarding the issue of promotion, we—the record company and the band—help each other to the best of our abilities. I love teamwork. With the right people. As someone interested in music, you sometimes will have to venture out on your own and bargain, buy records and so on…

On the one hand, today the new band has a lot of opportunities to make themselves more known, but on the other hand, there are a huge number of groups and the fans are getting lost in this big metal sea. A lot of people just download mp3s from the internet, and instead of going to concerts they prefer to spit poisonous saliva on Facebook. How do modern technologies affect you as SHROUDED IN DARKNESS? What do you think about downloading music, google metalists, streaming music, etc.?

Daniel T: I don't really know… The most interesting thing for me is to have an outlet to create something. I guess the way the music industry has evolved, it’s gotten easier to spread your art, but it might also be easier to have your art drown in this sea of everything else.

I like to ask the musicians what death metal means to them. How would they define it, whether it is more the philosophy and lifestyle thing for them or "just" relaxation? What does it mean for you? How do you perceive and experience it?

Mike: We have been involved in the metal scene for many years (yes, we are quite old). When you were younger, you just went for it. Listening and finding new bands and records, going to concerts, rehearsing with your band, recording demos, playing live… It’s a kind of lifestyle. But listening to music is also sometimes just for relaxation. For us, too. Music is in my life everyday.

Finally, a classic but important question. What is SHROUDED IN DARKNESS planning in the upcoming months? Where can we see you at the stage?

Daniel T: We don’t play live, as Mike stated earlier. Not at the moment anyway. Mainly due to the fact that we are spread far apart across the country. But you never know if a golden opportunity will present itself. Our focus for the time being is with composing and recording; we’ve just begun work on our third opus.

Thank you so much for the interview. I wish a lot of success to the new album and let the number of your fans expand as much as possible. I will look forward to seeing you somewhere live again. I wish you a lot of success both musically and personally. I'm going to push „Be None of You“ into my head again!

Mike: Thanks for the interview! Yes, let’s see what the future holds for us.

Recenze/review - SHROUDED IN DARKNESS - Be None of You (2023):

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