Dark Horizon - Interview

Dark Horizon is a German black metal band that recently released their second full-length album "Darkness Falls Upon Mankind" (read review here). If you liked the Scandinavian melodic black metal scene back in the 90s and if you don't know Dark Horizon yet this band could probably be a cool new discovery for you. Completed with a fantastic cover by Juanjo Castellano and driven by cool icy melodies this album is probably one of the best newcomer stuff in 2024. But go on and read the interview I had with their vocalist Mike and check the album while you're doing it.


Hey, how are you guys doing? I hope all is fine?

Hi Michael, we are fine. Thanks for asking.

In my review of your new album "Darkness Falls Upon Mankind" I already told a little bit about your band history, maybe you can go a little bit more into detail so that our readers get to know you a little bit closer?

Dark Horizon started with another band name and music style in 2006. Just one year later there was a change of the music style, which remains until today. We recorded our demo "Surrealistic Existence" in 2008, as well as our full length album "Diabolic Agreement" in 2012 and the "Odyssey" EP in 2017. In the meantime we played several gigs and focused on songwriting.

I didn't have you on the radar until that album and I guess many other people had the same experience. With the new album you caught some more attention in the underground and also got a lot of good reviews so far. Are you a little bit surprised about that sudden success?

Yes, we actually had good acknowledgement and positive feedback by the listeners so far. Basically we have the feeling that "Darkness Falls Upon Mankind" brought Dark Horizon to a new level, despite following the way we did in the past. Nevertheless, we didn't expect this overwhelming feedback and therefore are thankful for all the support.

Musically you go back to the mid-90s, especially the Swedish scene. Which impact had the bands from these days onto you?

These bands of the 90s had a certain spirit. Most of them were young and had the "hunger" to bring out their music to the world. Partially the song structures were different than today and they managed to touch all of the possible feelings just with one album or even one song. Furthermore the sound didn't have the focus on perfection, which gives the music some kind of authenticity from the point of view nowadays. Another factor is their own activity during the past times or dealing with the 90s music and to have the opportunity for comparison. Probably there are omnipresent feelings and the association with the music.

Which albums from that era are absolutely essential to possess?

There are so many good bands and each band member of Dark Horizon has his own preferences. I guess that the usual bands like Dissection or Unanimated are expected to be named, which of course can be found at the most CD collections. But if we have to concretize, albums like the first two of Naglfar have to be named, as well as "King Of The Distant Forest" by Mithotyn, "Slaughtersun" by Dawn, "Silence Of The World beyond" by A Canorous Quintet and "At The World Of Untrodden Wonder" by Thy Primordial at least. In my opinion the latter deserved more attention, because they had impressive characteristics. We don't have a limited view on the Swedish bands, which had a big influence on us. Nonetheless we recommend other albums like "Age Of Cataclysm" by Cryptic Wintermoon or the "Morning Crimson" by Catamenia. You recognize that we can continue with a couple of bands, but basically this summary of the named band portfolio is a good overview to have a good journey through the past.

The lyrics deal with darkness, ancient times, and death. Is there a certain philosophy that you want to spread with the album?

In general "Darkness Falls Upon Mankind" is not a straight concept album as the "Diabolic Agreement" album. "Darkness Falls Upon Mankind" considers the destruction, death and finally the message of transience from different perspectives. At the end this combination coalesced and merged to a unity.

With 'Am Tag Meines Todes' you have a German track on the album, too. Why did you decide to do only one German one?

I've a personal relationship with 'Am Tag Meines Todes', because there were dark times when I wrote the song. The German language is very expressive and can be used in multiple facets. I think to choose the German language was the best way to transfer the emotions and moods from the consciousness of transience.

You also have two cover songs, one by Naglfar and one by Mithotyn. I mean, Naglfar is comprehendible but why Mithotyn? This band was more than some pagan party stuff for me….

The "In The Sign Of The Ravens" was a great album, but "King Of The Distant Forest" made a big step on top. I remember the first time I heard a preview track from a sampler. It blew me away. I didn't expect that. Rickards aggressive vocals, sawing guitars and epic hymns. A coherent sound. On these days the viking/pagan party bands, which had their peak between 2006-2014 were not yet on sight. On this point we can recommend the "King Of The Distant Forest" for those, who are not familiar with this album. But finally everybody has his own preference.

The fantastic cover artwork was created by Juanjo Castellano. Did you just ask him if he would like to do it or how did you get him on board?

Juanjo is a big artist! As soon as we saw his work we wanted to collaborate with him. We got in contact and sent him our concept. He picked up our ideas and transferred them to the artwork we have now. He did a great job!

What about purchasing the album? I know you can get it on Bandcamp and with SM-Metal-Shop there is a German mail order who is distributing it now. Are there any other options to get it?

You can only order the merch and stuff via Bandcamp or the CD's via sm-metal-shop (sm-metal-shop.de; M.)

Another good option is probably live. When can we see you guys on stage?

Based on the fact that our line-up changes regularly, we are confronted with this situation now again. Therefore we are looking for a guitarist, who makes the line up complete. The live activities depend on that situation.

The last words are yours!

Thanks for the fan support and their patience, especially for "Darkness Falls Upon Mankind"!

Thanks a lot for the interview!

Entered: 6/10/2024 2:03:32 PM

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