How To Write Melodic Death Metal

Following the absolution of their aboriginal EP: “Under the Silent Meadow Skies”, I bent up with Britain’s atmospheric atramentous metal accumulation Cistvaen to altercate area the bandage came from, what aggressive the new absolution and area they see themselves in the abreast future.

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Hi, acknowledgment for abutting us, let’s activate with the bandage itself, what aggressive the name Cistvaen?

Chris: It’s Lee’s fault!

Lee: The name ‘Cistvaen’ comes from burying accommodation begin on Dartmoor of the aforementioned name. Aback I lived in Devon (I accept aback confused to London), I begin these landscapes to be absolute abandoned and bleak, and accordingly alarming to address music of that nature, so I capital to accept a name that affiliated our music to these landscapes.

How is Cistvaen altered to your added projects, both musically and affair wise?

Chris: Myself, Ed and James additionally accomplish in Mordrake which is Symphonic Blackened Adapted Death Metal.

James: I am the advance diva guitarist and song biographer in addition metal bandage alleged Mordrake so I do booty a backseat aback it comes to the absolute song autograph in Cistvaen. I’m blessed to add my bass curve and accept that as my agreeable input.

Ed: Cistvaen is altered to every added agreeable activity I’ve been a allotment of, aloof due to the appearance of the music. 10 minute continued dirges aren’t air-conditioned archetypal beyond the added acts I’ve played with. I anticipate we absolutely accept to booty a altered access to how we address and play, we’ve had some funny disagreements in the accomplished aback autograph songs: “No, that riff sounds too jolly! We accept to change it!!” As a drummer, it’s important for me to abide acquainted of the affectionate of music we’re playing. Can’t do annihilation too leftfield, it would aloof booty you out of the acquaintance to accept Peart appearance aerial tom fills. We all accept to accumulate the ambition in afterimage – the affection and atmosphere we appetite to create.

You’re declared as Atmospheric Atramentous Metal by best media outlets, is this accurate for you or do you accept your own way of anecdotic Cistvaen’s music?

Chris: Yeah I accede with that.

Ed: I anticipate Atmospheric Atramentous Metal is a acceptable abundant name for it, but there’s been all sorts of agreement befuddled around: Doomed atramentous metal, post-black metal. I apperceive bodies like to analyze their genres, so they apperceive if they’ll like something, but it’s adamantine to abbreviate what you appetite to do musically in a few adjectives. However, atmospheric is good, as we’re about absolutely accommodating with our songs and do try to actualize a affectionate of atmosphere for the listener.

Lee: To accumulate things simple, I tend to use the atmospheric atramentous metal label. However, the music absolutely has death/doom influences from bands such as Paradise Lost, Swallow the Sun, Katatonia, etc which sets us afar from abounding added atmospheric atramentous metal acts. Bodies accept additionally likened us to Insomnium and Cult of Luna!

Guy: I assumption it fits what we comedy rather than aggravating to accord ourselves a accomplished new sub-genre. Personally, I capital to go with ‘Doomed Atramentous Metal’ but was outvoted!

What was it like to assignment with artisan Hester Aspland, who advised your anthology artwork, and would you assignment with her again?

Lee: Hester is a acquaintance of ours who acclimated to animate in Devon (now lives up in Scotland!). She additionally takes a lot of afflatus from Dartmoor in her works, cartoon the circled stones of Wistman’s Wood for example, and she has a adulation for atmospheric atramentous metal, so she was a absolute best to accept some artwork commissioned! She is abundant to assignment with. She takes your ideas, draws up a draft, listens to your acknowledgment and absolutely works calm with the bandage to actualize a admirable piece. The magpies were her idea, and we accept aback become absolutely absorbed to those birds!

Ed: Hester’s art is aloof fantastic. She’s absolutely captured the affection of the music in a beheld way. It’s abounding of actuality from Mother Nature, but it’s additionally array of anxiety and dreary, in a acceptable way! The monochrome, the looming moon and the corvids, it’s all animate appear the aforementioned idea, like we try to in the bandage to actualize that atmosphere!

Guy: I adulation Hester’s artwork, she is absurd and absolutely nailed that anthology cover. We additionally formed with a dude alleged Joan who did the blow of the artwork for the concrete absolution – the aback awning and the disc itself. Both beauteous artists. I’m consistently afraid at how acceptable some bodies are – I can’t draw a amphitheater about a penny.

James: Hester has been a acquaintance for a while and has additionally formed with Mordrake designing our Dragon logo.

Chris: Hester’s artwork speaks for itself. She is abundantly talented, and aggregate she designs is authentic gold. In a heartbeat, we’d assignment with her again

Does “Under the Silent Meadow Skies” accept an all-embracing affair or are the songs stand-alone?

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Lee: All of them were aggressive by accepted animosity of blue as able-bodied as the desolate, yet admirable landscapes of Dartmoor, but there wasn’t a specific affair bond the songs calm in any way aback autograph the songs. In fact, ‘Waiting’ was originally accounting for a antecedent activity that Chris and I were animate on that never saw the ablaze of day.

Ed: It’s absolutely not a abstraction work, admitting I could see us accomplishing article like that in the future. One of the songs was absolutely accounting for a antecedent activity of Lee’s, so, it’s not a connected anecdotal or anything. But I anticipate it’s all cohesive, the songs are all absolutely agnate semantically, in one way or another.

Guy: The songs are angle alone, but I assumption a array of affair flows about throughout. It was not our ambition to address a abstraction anthology as such.

Do you accept a claimed favourite song on the new anthology and if so, why?

Ed: That’s a adamantine pick, alone I’d aces Under The Silent Meadow Skies – for me it marks a moment aback the songwriting started to advance into the array of affair we accept to action now. Out of the three on the EP it was the the newest and I feel that we all contributed a lot and it angry out fantastically.

James: The Voice of an Old God because the bass acquainted so accustomed and In places takes on a advance melody rather afresh actual a accomplishments instrument.

Chris: To comedy animate it’s apparently the appellation track, but there’s a appropriate abode for The Voice of an Old God as that was the aboriginal song as a bandage we had. Aback recording it, I added a adapted bandage at the acme of the allotment and now aback I apprehend it, alike aback on date arena it, I feel a blitz of affections ambit over me.

Lee: If I was absolutely pushed for an answer, I’d accept to say ‘Waiting’ is my favourite. It’s the ancient accounting song (dating aback to about 2015 afore Cistvaen was founded), so it has a cornball and afflicted amount to me, and it has absolutely developed and accomplished into a absolute emotionally answerable allotment with the accomplished bandage advancing calm to accommodate genitalia for the track. Guy’s vocals and lyrics are aloof heart-wrenchingly good!

Guy: Adamantine to say, but I anticipate the appellation clue overall. It was one of the aboriginal Cistvaen advance I wrote the lyrics for and there’s a lot of activity gone into it, which makes it a abundant song to comedy live.

What has been the best gig you’ve played so far and what fabricated it angle out?

Chris: Warhorns Anniversary 2019. I anticipate it was one of the aboriginal festivals we played and the acute we’ve travelled to play. We were the aboriginal bandage on the Saturday and had the archetypal complete analysis issues acceptation we were delayed by about bisected an hour and during that time the area had abounding up aloof watching us stood on date not accomplishing anything! Afresh aback we assuredly played it was such a beatific moment, so abounding bodies came up to us afterwards adage they enjoyed the set, our complete etc, the alpha of things to come

Lee: For me, I absolutely enjoyed the latest appearance we played in November at Eradication Anniversary in Cardiff the best because I aloof absitively afore the appearance to focus on adequate myself on date rather than annoying about arena altogether or annoying about annihilation activity wrong. The army was great, the area and apostle were absurd and the bandage played a absolutely bound set!

James: Warhorns Festival. Despite actuality the aperture bandage the allowance was arranged and the army were acknowledging and enthusiastic.

Guy: Ragnarok in Norwich was alarming – we were all abolition in an Air BnB that night, so I could absolutely stay, alcohol beer all atramentous and watch the bands afterwards our set, which I absolute rarely get to do! There was additionally a dent boutique abreast the area and the buyer gave me a chargeless allotment of cod! I’ve never been accustomed chargeless angle afterwards a gig afore – or since!

Ed: The best gig for me would apparently be our best contempo one, at Eradication Anniversary 2021, we were all in aerial alcohol accepting aback to gigging, we accept newer songs that we’re bringing into the set and we all enjoyed it to no end. Warhorns would be a abutting second, as that gig aloof acquainted huge and we had a abundant response. Met lots of abundant people.

You’ve maintained the aforementioned agency for the bandage over its five-year history, what is it you anticipate makes you all assignment able-bodied together?

Lee: Well, technically alone 2 of us accept been in the bandage from the absolute alpha (James and I), but as a activity animate act, yes, we accept been the aforementioned 5 guys aback 2018 with Ed abutting the bandage best afresh on drums. For our aboriginal animate show, our acquaintance Frank Dennis (Hybridize, ex-Cambion) abounding in for us on drums. We assignment calm able-bodied because we are all abundantly amorous about what we do and we acquaint well. We all accompany article of acute amount to the bandage and we all accept a aggregate abstraction of how we appetite Cistvaen to sound. I don’t accede any of us to be replaceable!

Ed: I’m the newest affiliate to the band, and aback I’ve abutting the agency has not changed, it’s great. I feel like we all apperceive absolutely what we’re about now that we’ve cut our teeth calm in this band. We all accept accepted interests musically, but accompany altered things from our preferences. It’s absolutely assuming through in our newer songs, which we achievement to almanac appropriately absolute soon!

Guy: We’re aloof a agglomeration of bodies who animate for abundant metal. We all allotment the aforementioned affection and the aforementioned goal. We don’t tend to disagree, and all decisions are diplomatic. We all accomplish anniversary added beam – and afterwards recording the EP we now apperceive that we can absorb at atomic 3 canicule bound up together!

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Chris: I anticipate we are aloof a agglomeration of accustomed people! Whenever we accept a altercation or article we aloof allocution it out, apprehend everyone’s ancillary and move on if it doesn’t go your way. That and a advantageous dosage of Egg accompanying memes.

How has the all-around communicable afflicted you, did you accept to accomplish any atramentous decisions like cancelling gigs?

Chris: Yeah our aboriginal bout was cancelled, due to booty abode in the afore times of Easter 2020. We would accept played with our acceptable accompany Deadwood Lake, in places like London for the aboriginal time, hopefully we can accomplish that assignment afresh in the future.

Lee: The communicable afresh abject on so continued it acquired us to accept to adjournment the recording of our admission EP ‘Under the Silent Meadow Skies’ not once, but twice! In hindsight, dabbling the recording of the EP angry out to be a acceptable thing. We were able to assignment on the songs for a best aeon of time, fine-tuning them into what they are now. And aback we were assuredly in the flat afterwards 12 months of delays, we all had a tonne of activity and affection that had been architecture up that we contrarily may not accept had in the studio.

Ed: The communicable was a absolute bang in the teeth for the band. We acquainted we were absolutely acrimonious up steam. 2019 was a abundant year, it captivated abounding festivals and gigs for us, and we weren’t slowing bottomward at all, we had a bout appointed and added on the horizon. Unfortunately, it all got annulled aback anybody realised aloof how austere the communicable was. But, there’s annihilation we can do about that. We were still animate throughout the lockdown and put our efforts into added things like autograph added songs and accepting actuality recorded. I’m appealing assured that things will aces aback up in time.

Do you accept any gigs lined up in the abreast approaching and you arena anywhere you’ve never played before?

Lee: Yes, we accept three absolute agitative shows lined up at the moment in 2022: The Ruin of Jorvik at The Fulford Arms, York alongside bands such as Fen, Wode, The Infernal Sea, Wolvencrown, Ante-Inferno, and abounding added on Sunday 10th April. This 2-day anniversary is absolutely awash out! We are aperture for 1914 and Ruadh at Fuel, Cardiff alongside Ethereal, Agrona and Drekavac on 29th April. And we are arena in Plymouth at The Underground acknowledging A Backwoods of Stars with Wolvencrown and Adder on 28th May. We accept never played in York before, so that should be a abundant new acquaintance for us! We’re acquisitive to defended a few added dates about that appearance and maybe accomplish a mini bout out of it.

Is it alone attributes and landscapes that affect Cistvaen, or are there added things like mythology, airy things, etc?

Lee: In the beginning, it was mainly attributes and Dartmoor, but in newer, unreleased material, I accept been cartoon access from depression, brainy illness, self-development and existential alarming arch to some of the best absolute crushingly agonizing riffs and melodies I’ve appear up with to date.

Guy: Annihilation is a abeyant access so continued as its fits the music and our vision.

What do you accomplish of the UK atramentous metal arena at present, what array of cachet do you see it in and how has it afflicted in your time?

Lee: The UK atramentous metal arena is a absolutely underrated arena that has a tonne of absurd bands aural it. Bands like Winterfylleth, A Backwoods of Stars, Saor, Fen, and Old Corpse Road accept been arch the way for appealing abundant the aftermost decade now, with newer acts like Necronautical, Ninkharsag, Abduction, The Infernal Sea, Argesk, Aklash and Wolvencrown advancing in added contempo years to become allotment of what is now a absolute exciting, able and rapidly growing scene. Festivals like Reaper Anniversary and Blackwood Gathering appearance that there is a appeal to see these bands en masse and that there is a absolutely committed fanbase in the UK who appetite added of this blazon of music.

Ed: The UKBM arena is exploding at the moment, we accept been absolute advantageous to see the actualization of so abounding affection acts, and it’s acceptable to see them accepting recognition. Agrona and Necronautical aloof to name a couple. But then, the UK has consistently had a able acute metal scene, and you can see the accoutrement of access from one bandage to the next. Old Corpse Road, Fen and the like accept carved out a absolute altered abode in the apple of metal, and there’s countless bands about at the moment who are developing the genre, or aloof beating abroad at what we Brits are best at – actuality miserable. It’s wonderful.

If you could aces any bandage continued gone to allotment the date with, who would it be and why?

James: Not continued gone but I’d accept admired to be able to say I’d accurate Children Of Bodom on a Finnish tour.

Lee: Agalloch. 100%. They are my better access aback autograph the music for Cistvaen from a guitar arena point of view. Ashes Against the Grain is my favourite anthology of all time and I’m absolute sad they breach up aback in 2016. I was advantageous abundant to see them at atomic in 2015 at Bloodstock Festival.

Guy: Mayhem with the ‘true’ line-up!

What do you like to do besides music, do you accept any added big passions or pastimes?

James: As a abounding time music abecedary and musician, music takes up best of my time. I do additionally adore films, gaming, account and exploring the backwoods and acquiescently squishing my cat!

Lee: Chris and I are into running, consistently active 5ks and 10ks sometimes up to 3 or 4 times per week! I’ve become article of a bloom activist aback chief to lose weight aback in March 2019. I absent 45kg in about 1 year and accept kept it all off since.

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Ed: I’m a big nerd. That, sailing and beastly husbandry.

Chris: Lee and I are ardent runners. I absolutely like account fantasy novels

Guy: Hiking, camping, medieval history, visiting celebrated sites, reading, beer and barbecuing

What admonition would you accord to ambitious adolescent musicians who appetite to alpha their own bands?

Ed: Alpha drumming, there are alone 13 drummers in the country so you’ll be in aerial demand! In all calmness though, aloof try everything, acknowledgment ads or put out your own, it’s consistently account giving things a shot, sometimes you’ll comedy one show, sometimes you’ll end up arena loads! Also, practice.

Lee: Address music that agency article to you and accept fun with it. Don’t attending to added bands to barometer your own adeptness or worth. Sometimes your limitations are what allows you to breed a altered character rather than aloof aural like anybody abroad who can ambit aces air-conditioned fast!

Chris: Find a acceptable agglomeration of bodies that’s fun to be around, and the admonition I was accustomed in my academy canicule was ‘write the music you appetite to hear. There’s abundant bodies in the apple that addition abroad out there will like it’

James: Go to as abounding gigs as accessible abnormally the bounded ones. Accumulate bounded venues alive. Convenance convenance practice.

Guy: Not abiding what abundant chaplet of acumen I can accord absolutely added than – practice! And don’t alcohol too much.

Do you see your complete as the “future” of atramentous metal in any way, like you see added bands actuality like Cistvaen arising in your wake?

Lee: I anticipate atramentous metal is already a absolute assorted sub-genre, it’s adamantine to see area it could go next. I assumption we are on the abundant added adapted ancillary of things, so it would be nice to see added acute metal bands adopting a added adapted access to their autograph in the future.

Ed: I see our complete as a allotment of the accepted big beachcomber of BM in the UK, I wouldn’t go so far as to say annihilation like that. If we aggressive one being to alpha arena music I’d be absolute happy! Music is waaaay too ample to accept its approaching authentic by any one act or genre. Bodies are consistently accomplishing air-conditioned new stuff.

Guy: It’s difficult to say, there are so abounding added bands now than there anytime were – it’ll be absorbing to see which ones are remembered.

Finally, do you accept annihilation you’d like to say to our readers?

Lee: Absolutely acknowledge anyone who took the time to apprehend all of our answers! We achievement you analysis out our admission EP ‘Under the Silent Meadow Skies’ which is accessible on Spotify and on our Bandcamp folio (which is at the top of this interview). If you’re already a fan, afresh acknowledgment so abundant for your abutment appropriately far!

Chris: Analysis us out on Bandcamp, get yourselves to a gig, abutment your bounded arena and Stamp Out Prejudice, Hatred and Intolerance Everywhere.

Guy: Be accomplished to anniversary other!

James: Accept a tea break.

Ed: Eggs

Thank you so abundant for abutting us, I ambition you all the best for the future.

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