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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cruelty's Heart Interview

1. Can you tell us a little bit about the band for those that have never heard of you before? 
"Cruelty's Heart was formed initially between myself and original drummer Aske as a drunken idea at Wacken Open Air 2009, Germany. We then found a friend of mine to play bass and then I played guitar and tried to handle the vocals. We developed a couple of songs I had written for a previous band, wrote some completely new ones and learned to play Satyricon - Fuel For Hatred. Fast forward 18 months and we recorded the 'Die For Woden' demo with Simon on bass, me on vocals and guitars and then a drum machine. I had wanted to develop an Anglo-Saxon theme at this point but the tracks we had at that time just dealt with various Germanic and Celtic pagan themes as well as some Wiccan paganism. We were just experimenting with ideas at that point and had not cemented a theme. The overall sound was that of melodic black metal with some thrash involved. The musical influences were vast and ranged from Iron Maiden and Judas Priest to Shining and Immortal. However as I am now working on this project alone, I've pushed forward with the Anglo-Saxon historical theme and I am ready to continue with that period of English history for now."

2. How would you describe your musical sound?
"The initial melodic black metal sound that we began with in the 'Die For Woden' demo has now been developed. With the 'Rex Anglorvm Saxonvm' EP (due for release later this year under Wodfreca Records), I've gone for a more epic and atmospheric influence. There are more lead guitar parts and solos, clean vocals and clean guitars. These influences come primarily from Blut Aus Nord and Summoning. These inputs will hopefully push the listener towards song climaxes and the soundscape will build up higher and higher towards this. I don't know how much the music is black metal any more. That will be up for the listener to decide, if they so wish."

3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
"As mentioned earlier, some Celtic beliefs were explored in 'Die For Woden' (the song Samhain) as well as some Wiccan rituals (The Pentacle, the Sword, the Wand, the Chalice). But in the new release, I've focussed one hundred percent on Anglo-Saxon history and folklore. I feel this period of English history has been covered very little in metal, with most bands preferring to focus on other themes like Viking Scandinavia or the Second World War."

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?
"The name actually comes from a video game. My friend mentioned the words "Cruelty's Heart" to me and it just struck me as a cool idea for a song name or something. I mentioned this to the original band members and they liked it so it stuck."

5. Has the band had any oppurtunities to do any live shows or is this a studio project?
"The band did have some opportunities to perform live in its earlier days but we were unable to do so due to various work and university commitments. For now, this is a studio project but I will be looking to gain members within the next year as I relocate to Denmark."

6. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black and pagan metal?
"So far I've had one hundred percent positive feedback from fans of all genres of metal. That said, this project is still in its infancy so it would be foolish to take my small past and current successes as a given."

7. Are there any other musical projects besides this band or is this a full time line up?
"As of 04/09/12, I'm a member of an 80s metal and rock covers band on the South coast of England called Iron Tyger. However as I'm emigrating soon I'll sadly be playing my last show with this band within the next week."

8. What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
"I still have many ideas lyrically and musically for playing the same level of melodic black metal with Anglo-Saxon historical and folkloric lyrics. Topping the whole thing off with some melancholic, epic lead interludes to create a really atmospheric and awesome sound. I might move my lyrics forward in time to deal with later medieval English history at some point or other. But that won't be for a while."

9. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
" The album 'Memoria Vetusta II - Dialogue With the Stars' by Blut Aus Nord has had a significant impact on my current musical style. I cannot stress enough about how many doors that were sonically opened for me by this album. If you apply this to my old school Judas Priest, Dio and Iron Maiden influences (as well as other black metal ones) then you will begin to see the formation of Cruelty's sound. I still listen to all these bands and I'm always searching for new black, death, pagan, folk, and classic metal for influences."

10. How would you describe your views on Paganism?
"My views on paganism as a religion are the same as my views on all religions and paganism is not treated separately as such. These views do not hold any place within the creative and developmental spheres of Cruelty's Heart. However the religious culture of the Anglo-Saxon English peoples are of great interest to me from historical, cultural and folkloric perspectives. This includes the Germanic paganism of the early Angles, Saxons, Jutish and Frisian peoples that migrated to the British Isles as well as the Christianity that they converted to. Cruelty's Heart's lyrics currently deal with the history of the English during the whole of the Anglo-Saxon period and so to ignore either the pagan or Christian periods of history would create an imbalance."

11. Outside of music what are some of your interests?
"As you might have guessed by now, history is one of my biggest interests and it has a profound impact upon my music. But it's difficult to separate my music from what I do within the rest of my life. I travel which is usually musically related, I attend festivals which are more obviously musically related. Music is one of the central planks of my life in which most other social and recreational activities stem from, revolve around or are otherwise influenced. Music. Music and beer."

12. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
"Thanks for your interest in Cruelty's Heart and everyone else who has shown any support during the last three years. Wodfreca Records will be releasing the 'Rex Anglorvm Saxonvm' EP later this year, once I finish recording. In the meantime, you can hear a new track from Wodfreca's compilation album 'Leoþhord I; Hƿit Ƿyrm Ariseeþ ofer Angelcynne' on our youtube channel, Download tracks for free and read updates and informtation at "


- Bloodletter/Cruelty's Heart

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