Power metal is known for its triumphant, mythological and heroic music; it has its own fantastical world and stands loud and proud from other genres. Twilight Force’s debut album, Tales of Ancient Prophecies, was a breakthrough album and showed the world that a new force is here with the dragons and swords. The force strikes again with a more power and strength in the form of ‘Heroes of Mighty Magic.’ (Click Here To Read Our Review) Metal Wani’s Shivam Kalra had a quick chat with Twilight Force mastermind Blackwald. Here’s what he had to say:
Congratulations to you and rest of the Twilight Force for another epic album. To those who don’t know Twilight Force, how would you describe the band to them?
Greetings! Thank you so much! Twilight Force is the intertwined destinies of six adventurers, on an endless quest to bring back glory, hope and sparkling magic to power metal, and to hopefully infuse the genre with new light, ideas and soundscapes never before experienced. It is a bombastic and merry journey, and one that we hope will bring much joy to humans, elves and dwarves in all mortal realms for a long time to come.
There are lots of Power metal bands that write songs about mythology, dragons, or concept albums. According to you, what makes Twilight Force unique from the rest of them? What is that new or special element Twilight Force has to offer to the power metal fans?
I would humbly propose that there are quite a few elements that differentiate Twilight Force from what one might be used to. Musically, our tonal language moves more along the pathways of gleeful contemporary motion picture music, rather than the more classical or “baroque-esque” music often heard within the genre. A synergy that, to our knowledge, has hitherto never been explored. This is also something that opens up possibilities for storytelling like never before. We try to make each song a journey in itself, and the multi-faceted arrangements will hopefully let the listener dive deep into a world filled with ancient kingdoms, heroic deeds and arcane magic.
Also, the lore and world of The Twilight Kingdoms is something we are perpetually expanding, and as time goes by, more and more will be revealed; and the stories, tales and legends from The Twilight Kingdoms will evolve our mythical world into something intriguing and lasting. Furthermore, we strive enormously to make our live performances a feast for both eyes and ears; and let the audience join us in our quests and tales, to make it an unforgettable experience for everyone.
Twilight Force’s debut album is epic, Heroes of Mighty Magic is more majestic in the approach is what found. What is the general approach while writing new music, and what was the approach taken while writing songs for the new album?
Our approach to composing has evolved over time, but it all begins with a piano and a tiny spark of an idea. We always start with the piano, since we feel composing on a guitar or other instruments is rather limiting, considering timbres and possibilities. We add basic orchestral elements and melodies to the piano part until we have all the groundwork of a whole song laid out. Since me and Lynd write all the music and lyrics, and we share the same visions and tonal language, composing is a rather friction-less affair. And we are truly blessed to be able to work together and aiding each other with whatever obstacles we might encounter throughout the composing and arrangement processes.
Heroes of Mighty Magic, no doubt, is quite a mighty album. It’s well-written and executed, but it almost feels limited to some extent. It felt as if the band had written really great and majestic songs, but their majesticity couldn’t be contained by the album and it restricted me, as a listener, to fully enjoy the album as you and the other members might have intended to. What is your say on that?
Well, it is an interesting observation, and I can only speculate as to what you refer to. Perhaps the rather complex arrangements would be better suited for a large orchestra and live stage than the confinements of a limited digital medium, so let us aim for that, haha. Jokes aside, I know that one has to listen quite a few times, and truly immerse oneself, to fully discover all the tiny details permeating the album.
Explain a little about the concept of the album to the fans who don’t know Twilight Force yet?
Musically, our concept was to further explore and evolve our sound, and to delve deeper into the musical landscape of the aforementioned motion picture oriented tonal language. It was merely a natural step for us to take. A lot of emphasis has been put on orchestrations and arrangements, while still maintaining the essence of our foundation – memorable melodies and accessible soundscapes. Subsequently; upon experiencing our second opus, we hope that our honored listeners will be able to discover and discern additional and exciting details and traits in the periphery of the arrangements well into many listening. So in a way, we have strived for ‘complex simplicity’, if you will.
Conceptually, we have put a lot of time and effort into unveiling the lore and tales of our realm, The Twilight Kingdoms, and much of what has hitherto been held in mystery is finally revealed on Heroes of Mighty Magic. So prepare for a magical journey across mythical kingdoms and through arcane prophecies.
What is the concept behind Twilight Force’s albums till now, and why the fantastical names? What is the target that band has regarding its music?
We aim for Twilight Force to be a treasure chest filled with a wide array of content, all under the guidance of our music. The music is the sky, and the lyrics are the stars. And tales are written in those stars. We want our followers to be able to fully partake in our journey, and to be able to accompany us into The Twilight Kingdoms, both through our albums but also through our live performances. As well as through future endeavors. It is crucial for us that the personae we portray, and the visual and conceptual aspects of our existence is preserved and cultivated, so that the legends may live on and thrive. All who wish to embark on our journey is truly welcome, and we embrace everyone who pledges their allegiance to the Knight of Twilight’s Might. We are all in dire need of reveries, escapism and fantastical mirth throughout our daily lives, and it truly brightens our day if we can help bringing just a little additional light and joy into someone’s life.
The new album is great and even sets a new bar for power metal with its powerful music. What attribute would you consider as a prime source of inspiration for this album?
Thank you so much for your kind words, I feel truly humbled! Our inspiration comes from the world around us. All we experience, feel and behold. The mortal realm is teeming with magic for those who seek with wise and keen enough eyes. And to channel the emotions and magic harnessed from our reality is satisfying and fulfilling indeed.
You play the keyboards, handle all the orchestrations, and play the violin. What is the arrangement of instruments like in the music?
To be fair; me and Lynd actually share the burden of orchestration for all the songs, so it is truly a joint effort in that respect. That being said, the arranging phase is what undoubtedly occupies the lion’s share of our time when working together. It is a trial and error way of meticulously experimenting with different ideas, different instrumentation’s and sounds, before everything feels right and sparkling. Fortunately, most of the arranging is done in our own studio, ‘The Twilight Forge’, where we can spend endless hours striving for perfection.
In vocals, what I really love is chemistry between lead and the chorus; it’s very playful. On songs like “There and back Again” or “Rise Of A Hero”, the confluence of vocals and chorus is haunting and it kinda gets to your bones. How did you come about it?
That is an astute observation. Well, we are of the staunch opinion that everything that happens in an arrangement works together with everything else to create a single unity through symbiosis and interplay. I would of course never propose that a clarinet is as important as the lead vocals for example, but they both still play an integral part in the grand scheme of things. Following this philosophy, the interaction between the choirs and lead vocals brings something exciting to the arrangement, and hopefully keeps the listener intrigued by the music. It is vitally important that the songs live and breathe, and that the main elements are, as you say, ‘playful’ in their interactions.
All the members play equal and important part in their music which reflects unity and understanding between each other. The music has lots of ups and downs, guitars are pretty solid. What is your say on the orchestration in the music?
The orchestrations on Heroes of Mighty Magic is undeniably more prominent than on our first album. This is of course intentional, and was a natural progression for our music, and for us as composers. Orchestration in general is very intriguing in that all the instruments in a symphonic orchestra fills a purpose, and every player has an important role to play in a greater entity, even if that role is just a few notes here and there. This leaves room for much experimentation and work with details to make the composition an exciting ever-evolving adventure. As I previously stated, every element in our arrangements plays an important role; so for example for us to put the rhythm guitars more like an element in the orchestra rather than the main focus of the mix (that might be common practice within the genre), was a conscious decision in our quest to create a more cheerful soundscape bursting with life and magic.
You are soon to start touring with Sonata Arctica, what’s the plan for it? How many songs off the new album would fans get to hear live?
We are hard at work planning the tour as we speak. There are all kind of preparations to be made, and a lot of practice to do before we are once again venturing into the unknown. We are however very excited to go with Sonata Arctica once more, since they are such wonderful people, and we had such an amazing time on our last tour with them.
Regarding our live set…one would have to attend one of our performances to find out, but I can promise that it will be plenty of material from both our albums.
At last, what would you like to say to the fans that will be coming to see Twilight Force?
We deeply hope that you will enjoy our performance, and that we can bring both mirth, courage and comfort to all ears, human and elven alike. Together we will conquer and unite!