Darkest Horizon is fresh off a European tour with the legendary WINTERSUN, a killer new album and also just partnered up with my promo friends in India Proximity Productions! This band is off to a great start, and will do you well if you’re into that epic melodic death metal sound. Check out my interview with the lads right below!
TMR: Tell me how Darkest Horizon was formed and what influenced the band name.
Darkest Horizon was “founded” in 2008 with one old friend Till (He’s now playing in Precipitation) and me (Olli). We had an idea for making old school Melodic Death Metal combined with catchy melodies and epic backround layers, so we got Chris as an talendet Main Songwriter. We worked together in a cool and relaxed way. We had like different drummers, bassplayers and a rhythm guitarist till 2010. So during that time we had to pick up musicians who fitted perfectly in our band. I think it was back in 2009, when I called Jonas for joining us as a bass player, the funfact was,that he wasn’t a bass player, he was an talented guitar techaer at this time, but he took it good like always, “Okay… then I think I have to buy me a bass”. So during 2010 we had a stable band (yes… we thought that at that point), 5 songs and were ready for some recordings. So we hit the Empire Studios under the direction from Rolf Munkes ( he’s working with bands and artists like Michael Schenker, Crematory, Bülent Ceylan and Labels like Nuclear Blast, EMI, Sony etc. ) During this process our old drummer Massimo Sardo left the band, because he had other plans in live, so I had to sample and play some drum passages for the record… me… as a guitarist. And after the recordings our session guitarist Kevin wanted to focus more on his projects and left the band. The funny thing was, on the same day, Daniel called me and told me that he has listened to our unpublished material and was blown away and if we need a fill in guitarist we should call him first. So I said to him that we won’t call him for this, because we want him as a proper member and he should come to the next rehearsal. I´ve known him for years, I´ve played with him in some bands before and he fits like the fist on the eye to Darkest Horizon. He was laughing and said of course he will join us and now we’re here. So during 2011 we prepared our live set up and the first shows and festivals came up and we decided to get Darkest Horizon to a professional band. The influence is quite intereseting because everybody is listening to different styles of music. Chris is making our main inlfuence beside our personal ones. Jonas is more the new metal guy, Daniel is more on Oldschool Melodic/Death, Pagan and Black Metal, Enis has the melodic death taste, same like me and Chris got the Epic stuff.
TMR: You guys recently opened up for the legendary Wintersun! How did that go?
That was funny as well. I recived a “What’s up” from Teemu if I´ve checked my e-mails and if we want to do this. I had no idea what it was. When I´ve checked my e-mails, I saw the invite for all the request shows and I thought we will definitly do this. So I got the green light from the other band members at the same day that we’ll supporting these guys.
I know Teemu in person since the Paganfest Tour in 2015 and met him for some guitar lessons in Helsinki as well. He´s a cool guy and during the Shows we all figgured out that we fit perfectly togehter, in person and from the music. These shows been the easiest and best we ever had, because everybody knows how to do it the professional way. Especally the hangovers with Asim..
TMR:” Your album “Aenigmata” was recently released. Go into detail about the theme, lyrics and what influenced it.
AENIGMATA is a collection of thematic songs, each containing conundrums or puzzling questions of our world and universe. “Can man become machine?”, “What is enlightenment?” and more. It also features the problems of enigmatic paradoxes like the “Omnipotence Paradox” and inexplicable phenomena known to mankind. AENIGMATA explores thought experiments on a philosophical as well as a scientific level. The songs often contain mysterious sounding notes, ranging from somber melodies to melodies with a more fantastic touch.
TMR: What was the best moment in Darkest Horizon’s history as a band?
We had a lot of great moments in our history, I think you can say every milestone we had were the best moment so far. For example, the first recorded album, the first big festivals, the festivals abroad from Europe, the first tour, the shows with Wintersun etc. But I can say from my point of fiew, that every concert or business we did with Darkest Horizon was filling the experience scale, if it was good or bad. Because you gain a lot of impressions on the road and this is what’s important for a band. You learn how to deal with anything and that’s a lesson in life you can’t probably gain beside having a band.
TMR: What was the writing process for “Aenigmata” like? Any struggles or was it easy? What did you do differently this time around?
That was a new experience as well. Because we thought we would release it in 2016. We had troubles with the recordings or some issues like some other bands had. We just wanted to have a 100% finis product. It was easy to record and nice to work in the process, but finding the right sound… dude… one year mixing and painting the details… that was pain in the ass.
And of course we did something different in the process. Everybody recorded their parts on their own. I mean of course we stayed in touch during the time, but everybody could bring his own influence down. So it was amazing. But next time we´ll check out a new kind of path during the process as well. Doing it all the same would be boring.
TMR: Does Darkest Horizon have any shows coming up?
Yes! But I am only allowed to say that we´re playing on the 22nd of December near our home area in Darmstadt at the Goldene Krone with Sapiency, Corbian and another band. We’re doing there a Christmas special, so get your tickets and get suprised! We are really looking forward to this event! There are a lot of other requests through Europe but I can’t say something more because we’re actually planning this beside the recordings.
TMR: Talk about your newfound partnership with Proximity Productions. Your band has had some good things going on lately, and this is just another one of them.
Yes! First I want to thank you guys that work togehter. Honestly I am more on the booking and songwriting level but we all experienced a great time when we have been to Sri Lanka where we met Harsha of Proximity Productions. So Jonas contacted him this year and we started working together. We hope that we will reach a higher level by his (Harsha’s) international contacts and especially in Asia for we would love to come back and visit more countries and cities (and of course play gigs there too!). This cooperation started very good and we hope that it will grow and grow and well… let’s see, where it leads us!
TMR: What are your goals for 2019? Anything cool planned?
Yes! We played a lot of shows this year in Germany and at the neighboring countries so after the awesome experience in Bucharest we are working to get our asses more abroad from Germany, for some club and festival shows. Beside this we’re working on new material. After releasing “Aenigmata” in October we have like 10 new songs and are working on them. We haven’t decided yet how and when we’re releasing these songs. But there is something cooking for 2019 and it smells definitely good.
TMR: How did everyone become a musician? What albums and artists helped you make that decision?
We all grow on each other. So everybody in the band did his part on the other one I think. Of course I wont be able to be that muscian I am right now without the guys and I think I can say this for the other members as well.
For my personal development beside Darkest Horizon was Wintersun. In the first point they blew me away with their first Album. So I started a year before their debut release the guitar playing business. But after listening to that high skilled guitar music, I saw the long path I had to go. Beside that Teemu Mäntysaari is my guitar instructor.
TMR: What is everyone interested in outside of music and Darkest Horizon?
Time besides music and the band is a very thin line. We’re all working beside our band and the rest of the time is focused and saved for the band. For sure we’re having a life beside the band but that’s more like calming down from the daily routine and enjoying good company with some friends or doing sports and other simple activite like anyone else does.