Isole | Interview with Henrik Lindenmo


Sweden's Isole third full-length album and first for Napalm Records, "Bliss of Solitude", was widely regarded as a gem of true Doom-Metal, boasting slow, emotional and gloomy compositions that were evocative of classic Doom-Metal acts like Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus and Solstice.
The new album "Silent Ruins" though, seems slightly more dynamic in style and pace, it's unmistakably bleak and Doomish like its predecessor, yet there are moments throughout the new work where Isole venture into a lightly faster and more epic song-writing.
Scratch the Surface traded e-mails with bass player Henrik Lindenmo to find out more about "Silent Ruins" and the inspiration behind its conception.

What were the predominant inspirations and driving forces behind the creation of "Silent Ruins", was there any conscious effort to break the mould and slightly stray from the genre standards?

“We wanted to do a faster album, with more traditional song writing and dynamics. More like our debut album. “Bliss of Solitude” was a rather difficult album, both to write and to digest.
I still like “Bliss” very much, but I feel we have done a better album this time.”

Isole are not bashful about their influences and those emanate from the likes of classic Doom acts like Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus, Solstice, etc.
Do you feel comfortable when Isole is placed in the same lineage to such icons of epic Doom-Metal?

“Of course you are honoured when you get compared to such great bands. But frankly, we are quite used to it, since we have been compared with those bands since the early 90’s, the Forlorn days you know.
Personally, I do not think we sound like any of those bands, but we are absolutely influenced by them.”

What other artists and sources of inspiration in general have had a profound influence on your music that might not be as obvious?

“Iron Maiden, Bathory, Veni Domine, Pentagram, The 3rd and the Mortal, Helstar, Possessed, Celtic Frost, Hypocrisy, Metallica, Mercyful Fate, King Diamond, etc.
More or less most of the music we listen to can be an inspiration in one way or another.”

"Silent Ruins" was once again produced by the band at drummer's Jonas Lindström studio Apocalypse, do you feel comfortable working this way without an outside influence to help chisel and shape the songs?

“It’s actually not only his studio, but ours. It’s our rehearsal place, where we have built a studio. It works out very well for us, because we can record whenever we have time. And Jonas is an excellent sound engineer and technician.”

Will you ever consider the possibility of trusting your own songs to a producer, someone that might be a reference to the band?

“We have never talked seriously about it, but you never know. Perhaps some time in the future. It could be a good thing to do, but I fear it might change our sound too much.”

"Silent Ruins" seems to have an interesting concept about a character that wakes up and realizes that the world he used to know is gone.
Care to elaborate more about this story and where did you drew inspiration for such story?

“Yes, the basic story is more or less that this person wakes up, alone and without any memories, within a dark and cold place. As he walks through the wasteland and ruins, he starts to realize that he might have caused all this devastation. He seeks forgiveness and finally tries do die. We talked a bit about doing a concept album last year when we travelled home from Rotterdam. I started to think out a story in my head and writing down the first draft. When we started recording the album, I sorted out all the pieces I had and worked out the story.
After a while I realized that we will need at least one more album to tell the whole story. So there will be a “Redemption part 2” in a few years. Not the next album, because then we are going to do something different.”

What's next for Isole, do you think there will be some kind of tour in support of the new album?

“First, we are going to Greece for a couple of shows in March. Then we are doing a two-week tour with Evoken and Officium Triste in April.
Check our webpage for more info on the dates!”

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