Nightrage - ‘humans have always had a hidden agenda, a hidden darkness…’

We caught up with Nightrage to talk about humanities dark side and their new record.

AC SPEED  SENIOR EDITOR
Posted 03.04.2019 09:03 Updated 03.04.2019 10:13

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Multinational heavy metal heads Nightrage have just unleashed their eighth album "Wolf To Man". This unlikely combination of Greek and Swedish musicians have showcased some amazing musicianship on their latest record and could have written one of the heaviest and most cohesive metal thrash records of 2019.

The music delivers a delicate and well-balanced blend between brutality and melody, and also an intricate mix of thrashing riffs, airy instrumentals and hooking choruses to bang your fists to.

The creative power trinity of Marios, Ronnie and Magnus started the conceptional dive into the darkest parts of humanity on the previous album "Venomous", with "Wolf To Man" the band takes the listeners to the next chapter and to a whole new level. Armed with savage thrashing songs like 'By Darkness Drawn', heavy groovy rockers like 'The Damned' or the brutal title track 'Wolf To Man' leaving no ears unharmed. Nightrage is once again ready to conquer the world.

We caught up with guys in Nightrage to talk about the current state of Metal music, the inspiration behind their incredible new album ‘Wolf To Man’, and their upcoming European tour.

For those not familiar with your style and sound, can you tell us about your main influences in terms of genre, bands, and any other influential factors that help to create the powerful Nightrage sound?

We are lovers of pure heavy metal, Bay area Thrash metal and also old good pure melodic death metal, and we always trying to mix all these influences and make them our own. We have a very particular style of how we are playing the melodies and and riffs along with the aggressive vocals and that is making our signature sound.

I think its´also our passion to play metal and the fact that we don`t want to compromise for anything. We are playing music from the heart and we are not following any so called trends. We are very specific of what we want and we are always working very hard to achieve it even if we have to spend countless hours working on the songs. Every day life also can be a direct influence on us and gives us push to write new music and lyrics.

We humans have and always had a hidden agenda, a hidden darkness...
- Nightrage

You’re new record ‘Wolf to Man’ came out March 29. One aspect that really stands out is the incredible production on the record. Everything is so well balanced, yet powerful. Very difficult to achieve, especially with metal records. Was this always the main goal for Nightrage with this album and how did go about achieving this?

Thanks to the talent of Ronnie Björnström that did make the mix and the master of the new album we created a more powerful sound than the previous album ”The Venomous” We wanted to have a wall of guitars this time and also we worked a lot with the vocals and tried different new ideas to make them sound as tight and interesting as possible.

The bass also is in your face and sounds like a tractor machine and gives that extra bottom along with the drums. Thanks so much that you liked the sound of the new album I know it´s really hard to get the right balance when you have to mix so many powerful instruments trying to fight each other, but I think we are very pleased with the ending result and the production gives that extra depth and low end that the songs needed.

Wolf to Man is arguably the most cohesive record you’ve released in terms of professional musicianship and diversity. As a band, were you very conscious of how you’ve continually developed over the years as musicians during the recording of Wolf to Man, or was it a case of ‘We’re just going to do what we do’ kind of attitude when you hit the studio?

I can agree with you about the fact that the album has a lot of diversity and for us evolution and having varied songs it´s very important as well. We never have an actual plan for the songs when we are writing we just let the riffs come out and we are going with the flow. We have great chemistry between us and it´s a great trinity me Magnus and Ronnie Nyman, and that helps a lot so the material comes out very naturally and not forced. We never had a problem with new ideas with Nightrage and we are playing always from the heart and we make sure that our music is heavy with great melodic hooks.

Many people in the metal community have expressed how many metal bands have failed to progress their sound and the metal scene has become somewhat saturated with mediocrity recently, do you think the metal scene is suffering at the moment?

I dont really believe that to be honest, I can see so many young bands coming out with great talent and if you really search and look around you can always find great bands. I think metal is music from fans to the fans and will never get stale or boring. I think metal music is here to stay and there´s a lot of uncharted territory to be discovered in terms of songwriting and great musicianship. I think that the scene is really healthy and there is a lot of room for improvement still.

Is there a main theme or message you’re trying to get across with the new album?

Yeah once again a concept album, if on the previous album “The Venomous” we were on our path to destruction, this time we are right there ready to jump on the abysm that we ourselves have created. We humans have and always had a hidden agenda, a hidden darkness that resides in all of us and unfortunately is that what always driving us. Ronnie Nyman did a great work this time writing all lyrics and vocal melodies and he got inspired from this Latin proverb “Homo Homini Lupus Est” that loosely translates to “Man Is Wolf To Man” and that unfortunately is who we are.

We are dealing with different concepts of that human darkness on the whole album, we as humans we are a cancer to this world, we are our own worst enemies, we believe in false gods, we believe in the lies that we are creating for a so called perfect life that in reality its not existing, we given up on real life and believe in any bullshit that comes from social media. All that different themes are connected on the new album and every song deals with that fact that this darkness will eventually bring us down. And we need to accept that as a fact.


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Can you tell us who the main songwriters are for Nightrage and what your process is for creating new material?

Main songwriters its me and Magnus that we are writing all music together and then Ronnie comes into the picture and writing his lyrics and vocal melodies. Also we all arranging together all songs and we are trying to be very honest to each other of what works or not. This time me and Magnus worked even more intense and I had to fly to Sweden several times to jam with him and write new ideas. Our chemistry never fails and along came Ronnie that wrote all the lyrics and vocal melodies and helped with the arrangement of the songs.

So that is a creative trinity that it´s the core of this band and we are happy that we have find the balance of how to work together efficiently. For us it´s really important that any idea that comes into the song-writing its damn good for the band and we look the songs from the band´s perspective and what´s best for Nightrage. There is a level of creative freedom and democracy in this band and this is always for us essential to be able to choose the best songs and leave the egos at the door.

You’re due to hit the road in May with tour dates across Europe, which dates are you looking forward to the most?

Yeah that wound be really awesome to play shows for the new album, and we cant wait to play the new songs for our beloved fans. We are making more plans as we speak now, we have confirmed a headline show in Athens Greece this April on the 12th of April, Euro tour 5 dates in May with Cryptopsy, also we have confirmed already our first headline festival appearance in the UK at Warhorns Festival late August. We also want to play in North/South America and get to Asia and Australia and get everywhere out there to share and get connected with all our fans. I´m looking forward to come back in North and South America for sure it´s been quite some time we haven`t played there and also South America will be our first tour and we can´t wait for that too.

Your single ‘The Damned’ received an amazing reaction from fans, did you expect it to be such a powerful track?

It´s a different song from the usual Nightrage songs we are usually doing, that song came from Magnus and even in the first place I didn`t really get it, later on I realize how much of a great song it is. Combines both worlds the old melodic death metal riffing with some more modern influences and I love also how the vocals came about, Ronnie did a great performance on that one showing that he can also sing some more melodic vocals and still be heavy. We are blown away that people liked the song a lot and embrace it so far.

Wolf to Man features a rather beautiful instrumental, ‘Lytrosis’. Can you talk about the inspiration for this and the meaning of the title?

It´s a tradition for us to have an instrumental song on each album and this time I wanted a very calm song with only 12 string acoustic guitar and some very slow and laid back leads. I wanted to create an atmosphere of the fact that you are getting forward with your life and finding yourself with your head up high after a lot of memories and bad recollections that you want to forget and the only that matter is to move on and do the right thing for yourself. Not looking back anymore, the only way to reach that goal is to believe in yourself, loving yourself and who you are, finding inner peace and your peace of mind, your Lytrosis from the people that treated you badly.

Your favourite track from the new record and why?

I love all the songs on the album and it´s always difficult for me to choose and that can always change any day. But for now I would say ”Embrace The Nightrage” Desensitized and ”Wolf To Man”.

Embrace because combines all the elements that characterize us with the brutal riffs and the sweet melodies, the triple harmony melody on that song in particular it´s one of my favorite on the album. Desensitized because of its different structure and great melody that follows through the whole song, the great bass lines and the brutal vocals from Ronnie Nyman. ”Wolf To Man” because it´s so damn strange and different for us and on this one we are experiment with paranoid riffs and almost cacophonous melodies, and the vocals are the clue doing some monk choirs on the chorus, along with Ronnie Nyman signature growling.

Any final words?

Wanna send our most passionate greetings to all our fans out there, the new album ”Wolf To Man” is out now, go and buy it or steal it haha, but listen to it and support us in every way you can. We love you all, so excited to see you all out there, and always keep in mind that ”Man Is Wolf To Man”, Maximum respect!