SIN KILLER webzine – Interviews: Sylvan Fortress | Screams Of Abel Issue#32

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sylvan Fortress | Screams Of Abel Issue#32

||| Unblack  for those  who love the extreme|||

Sylvan Fortress  tem sido um difunto por  algum tempo. Todos os nossos membros originais se mudaram para outros estados, exceto para o Lord Charles. No entanto, o bateristado Throne Yeldah  esteve voando algumas vezes por ano para ensaiar. Possivelmente, talvez, apenas, Sylvan Fortress  vai dar outra chance. Veremos ... [myspace]

Confira entrevista [antiga] do extinto fanzine screams of Abel. 

Screams Of Abel Issue#32 
By --Phil

Lonewolf - Lead Vocals... Have you seen this maniac? Contact Sylvan Fortress. em Minhas Fotos por
Sylvan Fortress are one of the few American black metal bands that dare to take the step in incorporating "non-traditional" black metal musical concepts into their style, which I totally applaud. I felt that because of such a daring move that it be best for me to find out where they are as a band and to give everyone a chance to be introduced to them.

SOA: Describe to us what Sylvan Fortress is, as a band and as a concept. 

LORD CHARLES: Sylvan Fortress is a multi faceted entity. As a band, we are musicians who are exploring musical avenues to express our ideas and creativity. As a concept we are based on imagery dealing with medieval concepts and situations, fantasy, winter and nature, and situations in life that are often left un-addressed in the mainstream. We seek to intertwine all these ingredients in our conceptual lyrical approaches from a faith-based point of view.

SOA: Why do you think there is both: 1) a very small pool of black metal in America to choose from; 2) few black metal bands willing to take musical chances away from the "old school" formula? 

LC: For the first part of your question I would say there is definitely a small pool of "known" black metal to choose from. I would be willing to bet there are 100’s of small black metal bands roaming the local metal scenes in cities all across the USA. However, these bands have no financial or label support and forever lurk in the shadows of un-discovery. Also, there is a smaller fan base to support black metal in the USA. I would attribute this to the American media machine. I have seen how our TV, radio, and written text media entities in the United States have had a stunning impact on our culture as a whole. The USA media constantly tells us what we should like, what we should accept and so on and so forth. The end result is that extreme forms of music such as black metal do not fit into our cultivated lifestyles anymore. So ultimately there is a small fan base, which in turn supports a small pool of black metal bands. However, as I mentioned before, there is an underground scene that even though it is fragmented in local metal scenes, it will never die. There is a loyal underground scene that could be united. So the potential for more quality black metal bands does indeed exist in the USA. But this scene will never be as big as metal was in the 80’s.

For the second part of your question: I think the reason a lot of black metal bands are afraid to operate outside of the "old school" formula is because there is an attitude abounding right now that puts the music secondary to the lifestyle that black metal portrays. The groupies that follow these bands are more interested in creating an image of hate and evil than appreciating deep provoking music, so the bands that are starving for fan base will adhere to these inclinations and operate only within the pre-defined old school formula. This is not always the case, but it happens often enough that I have taken notice. Let me say that even the old school black metal style has many musical possibilities other than portraying a lifestyle of hate and evil. No music represents hate and evil better than old school black metal, but it has more to offer than just those elements. I very much like old school black metal. It has an awesome sound that can really transport me to another place. But I also think that the addition of synths and other variations to black metal has truly mapped a majestic art form to rival any creative format.

SOA: What is more important to you, the music being created or the music being "accurate to the style"? 

LC: On the surface, this appears to be a very simple question. I will not go into great detail with my answer, but I will expose the main idea. In short, my answer is the music being created is more important to me than being accurate to the style. I say this because I assume that when you say "accurate to the style" you are referring to the old school black metal style.

When I am writing music for Sylvan Fortress, I have a pre-defined style I am trying to achieve. The combination of words and music must stay close to the images and ideas I have in my head. This pre-defined style I am talking about has not been defined by any genre label that we are familiar with. It is instead based on the imagery and ideas I have in my head. So whatever the music has to do to accomplish this, so be it. I hope this answer makes sense. In doing this, there is no right or wrong way to write our music.

SOA: You have a few pieces available as free-download MP3 files. Do you see this as a way for an unknown band to "get the word out"? 

LC: Yes. In this day where people can just about download any song they want, it stands to reason that no one will pay money for music they do not thoroughly enjoy. If a new band is to have any chance of gaining a fan base, a few samples must be available.

SOA: Tell us about the cover version of Vaakevandring's "Some Day". What do you see is Sylvan Fortress' contribution to this original classic? 

LC: The melodies in this song are simple yet profound. The lyrics carry a message that holds deep meaning. This song came from a flesh and blood human being who journeyed through a time of trial. Morten was the author of this masterpiece. This song stands on its own and is perfect the way it is. They only thing Sylvan Fortress can contribute to this tune is to make it available to the fans again. The Vaakevandring demo on which this song appears is out of print and no longer available. The fact that Sylvan Fortress is covering this song now makes it available again.

SOA: What would you say is the direction of the overall message you wish to convey through your music to those unfamiliar with either your style or your faith? 

LC: Simply this: There is a real choice. The beauty of winter and nature speak of this choice. The mountains and rivers have whispered of it for centuries. The potential for evil and darkness exist, but in the same breath, the potential for good and hope burn with a fervent flame. What you choose has always been and will always be your own choice, just know that there is a choice. There is a God in heaven. He will not force Himself upon you or nag at you night and day. However, if you choose to "know" Him, He will fulfill your life in every capacity and secure you for eternity. Still, the choice is yours; just know there is a choice.

SOA: Do you believe that "corpse paint" is still relative to those involved into the black metal culture? Do you believe it can help to connect with those that are outside that culture? 

LC: I don’t believe that corpse paint is necessary any more for anyone other than the true old school black metal bands. But for the old school black metal bands, I do think it is still an element that is needed. Just close your eyes and try to imagine a true blasting black metal band of the old school style without their corpse paint. Corpse paint is just a part of that style. Black metal bands that incorporate more than the old school style can get away without wearing it I think. Sylvan Fortress could definitely get away without wearing it. We have worn it up to this point because it helps us create our performing image; it helps us get into our performing mode. I see black metal as an expression of sight and sound. The corpse paint adds to the sight aspect and adds to the visual performance.

The corpse paint does not help us connect with anyone outside of the black metal culture. It doesn’t give us any advantage or any edge. But in all honesty, our music doesn’t give any special advantages for connecting with people outside of the black metal culture either. We are a band seemingly built to connect with those inside the black metal culture. However, this is not an absolute. I think we have the potential to connect with those outside the black metal culture and I would indeed like to explore those possibilities. Don’t worry though; our music will not lighten up at all. Ha ha ha

SOA: Future plans that we might know about? 

LC: Yes. We are on a compilation disk with many other black metal bands called "Out of Darkness". "By the Blood Records" is releasing the comp. The CD should be ready for order in July of 2003. You can order this disk and many others by visiting the web site:
We will also be releasing our own CD later this year. Check our site for details:

SOA: Anything else? 

LC: Yes, we have had so many obstacles and delays. Our CD should have been released ages ago. I urge everyone to hang in there a little while longer. We have experienced massive drummer problems. We were determined not to use a drum machine or programmed drums on any of our products. All of our recordings so far have featured real human drummers. We want to give the fans real music by real musicians. We want to be able to perform on stage the exact songs in the same way that you hear on our recordings. Because of this painstaking commitment to realism, we have endured many delays in our releases. I do feel we are close to a resolution. However, if we receive enough mail from impatient fans, we might resolve to use programmed drums and have a CD out in a month. But the triumph of a real live drummer may be worth the wait. E-mail us and give us feedback on this issue.

I also want to thank you for this opportunity. You are a true brother to our beloved metal scene and will always be held in honor within the halls of the Sylvan Fortress.

Be blessed…


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