Dark Age | Interview with Martin

Since 1995, Germany’s Dark Age have been labouring in the shadows of the underground scene, grasping for a chance to reach a wider audience with their brand of Melodic Death Metal forged in the finest Swedish industries. A recognition that has yet failed to match the expectations generated by the four albums the band have released to date.
Things may well seem about to change with the recently released “Minus Exitus” that had a gestation period that rolled over four years during which the Hamburg quintet honed up their eclectic and memorable sound to rival with the highly demanding standards of today’s music.
Confident of Dark Age’s abilities, keyboard player Martin is extremely enthusiastic about their fifth work “Minus Exitus” and the exciting prospects that lies ahead, as he reveals during this small interview done by e-mail.

Dark Age have recently released their fifth full-length album “Minus Exitus”, in what ways do you feel it stands against your past releases?

“It’s better! :) I think that we combined all our strengths in the songs and mixed it up to various tracks that do not bore you for 50 minutes and hopefully make you enjoy our music.”

“Minus Exitus” was once again produced by vocalist/guitarist Eike Freese at his newly built Eikey Studio, is this process something the band feels comfortable with or would rather have some external help from someone who isn’t so attached to the songs?

“We feel very comfortable with this way of working on an album. As Eike composes nearly all of the music together with Jörn he knows exactly how we have to sound like and he really succeeded in letting our sound come to live.
For us it would make no sense to let somebody apart from the band produce our sound. Nevertheless a co-production with another producer could be something possible for the next album to get a little bit of other thoughts.”

The production work from Eike Freese is great and powerful it must be stated, will he try to make a career for himself recording other bands?

“He already does. He lives from producing other bands.”

If you envisage the possibility of working with someone else on future recordings, who would like to work with?

“As mentioned above a co-production with another producer could be possible. But then it has to be a bigger name, such as Jacob Hansen, or Andy Wallace or Collin Richardson. But these are just dreams for now.”

The album have been receiving rave reviews, including an Album of the Month distinction on the German version of Metal Hammer, are you happy with the end results?

“Of course! Now we know that all the work we have put into “Minus Exitus” was really worth it.”

The band has been compared to acts like Soilwork and Dark Tranquillity in recent times? Do you take these comparisons as a compliment, or does it become a bit stressful seeing fans and press pigeonholing the band in such a way?

“Mainly it is a compliment, because this means that Dark Age has finally arrived in the big league. And as long as the people do not call us copies and clones of the mentioned bands it’s all right for us. Because I think the style, approach to write songs and creativeness of all the bands is a bit similar. But yet I think we have our very own note and sound.”

What about some criticisms that “Minus Exitus” sounds too mainstream and polished, which puzzles me a bit because it’s not like we’re talking about D.A.D. or Scorpions? How do you react to such remarks?

“As soon as you are in the spotlight you get both: Positive and negative reactions. If somebody has the opinion that we sound too mainstream then it’s his opinion. We cannot do something about it and maybe he is even right in the end. I do not know, I do not have the distance and have always problems to judge our work on an objective level. As long as there are a lot of people who like the album we have done something right. :)

Do you have a favourite track from the new album, and if so, why?

“At the moment I really like “The Echoes Discipline”, because it is so complex and you can find a lot of details in it. But of course I think every track is worth listening.”

There’s a track that have particularly grabbed my attention since it starts with a sample from one of my favourite movies, “Seven”.
“Seven” the track, begins with Morgan Freeman reciting a phrase from American novelist Ernest Hemmingway, “the world is a fine place and worth fight for”. Is that overall theme or message of “Minus Exitus”, the world is a place worth fighting for?

“I think so, you can use this theme for the album. The world is not a fine place, but for sure things can be made correctly and better if you show the will to do so. Eike tells stories in his lyrics which are worth to think about and even though they have a negative character you can also read glimpses of hope and the will to fight out of them.”

And that particular song deals with the seven deadly sins concept?

“Yes. We appreciate if the listener makes up his mind about the lyrics so I will just give you a sum up. Religions, Christians in this particular case, tell you what to do and not to do. Come on, you cannot let an institution dictate your life. And who says that it is correct what the church says? The best way to live is to find your own way in this world, to have your own rules of life but yet respect others.”

So, what’s stored for Dark Age in the future? Do you already have some gigs lined up to promote the new album?

"At the moment we are planning on some tours through Germany and France and also plan to visit Japan."

“Minus Exitus” is available at Remedy Records.
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