German black metallers Cryptic Forest have recently released their debut full-length album “Ystyr”. They are not a new band though, since their first steps were back in 2003 as a one man band. Very slowly they got a complete line-up, consisting of many members from the epic folk black metal band Finsterforst. Their first work was the self released EP “Dawn of the Eclipse” in 2011 and after that they signed to Einheit Produktionen to release their full-length album on August 16th, 2013. So, it was the right time to ask them everything about this interesting project.
- Hello. First of all thank you very much for making this interview with me. Cryptic Forest is now 10 years old, but very few things are known about your beginning. You are often called as a Finsterforst side project, but theoretically you are older than them! Tell us a few words about the birth of the band?
That’s right. Before the release of our new album “Ystyr”, we were more like a side project of Finsterforst. Since then, a lot has happened and we’re now – more than ever – an independent band.
- What were you influences and ambitions back then?
I’d say that back in 2003, Simon was particularly influenced by Norwegian black metal bands like Emperor, etc. More and more influences, like some thrash metal elements – for example from Exodus – came over the years, while he proceeded with the songwriting. The material on “Ystyr” is all new stuff, it has got only little to do with the songs written back in 2003 to 2007. Anyway, some old riffs still exist in the new tracks! Now isn’t that old-school? Haha!
- Many people find about you through Finsterforst. What are the differences you see between the two bands? How would you describe Cryptic Forest’s music to someone who has never listened to you?
First of all in comparison, we don’t have an accordion! Haha. Besides that, I think
the sound of Cryptic Forest is a bit more brutal and more “directly into your face”!
- The band never released anything until 2011. Was the band on hold all these years? What made you delay so much to release your first work?
No; the project was never actually on hold. Simon proceeded writing songs now
and then, but his main focus lying on Finsterforst. Some day we just finally made
it to get the right people together and started to record the “Dawn of the Eclipse” EP, which was maybe the actual starting point of the project becoming an actual band.
- When was the line-up of the first EP complete? Were you a live band before the release of the EP?
No, it pretty much started after the release of the EP in 2011. More songs were
written, which we started to play live by 2012.
- Tell us a few words about your first work “Dawn of the Eclipse”. I find it quite different from your new album. Was it much earlier material?
Indeed, you could see the “Dawn of the Eclipse” EP like a short review of our musical history. That’s were we came from and “Ystyr” is where we’re going, into a more direct, brutal direction. Still, like with some older riffs on “Ystyr” that we overtook from older songs, we’re conscious about the stuff from the past and are going to keep it all in mind for new material.
- What has changed afterwards? Is the line-up the same? How did you finally decide to release your first full-length album?
We found a new singer for “Ystyr”. Besides that, I think the songwriting just naturally improved of course!
- How would you describe “Ystyr” compared to your previous work? What were your expectations with this release?
With the new album, we clearly made a huge step forward by signing to Einheit Produktionen for a worldwide release and distribution! The EP was simply self-released. We were also planning forehand to do live shows with the new material.
- What are your fans reactions about the new album so far? Is the press feedback positive? Are you satisfied with the album?
The reactions are just awesome! It’s unbelievable to see such great feedback coming in from people all over the world!
- Is there any concept behind “Ystyr”? Any message you’d like to share? What are its lyrics about?
You could say that there’s some deeper message behind the obviously fantastical lyrical themes on “Ystyr”. However, I think everyone sees and connects something different with the themes… however, and to keep it mystical… it’s all up to the interpreter!
- You have signed to Einheit Produktionen. Was this something that made you take more seriously the band? Do you see Cryptic Forest as a “permanent” band, or as a side-project?
We are definitively a standalone band! Well, the signing itself maybe gave us a little push, but over the last years it simply got clearer and clearer that this is going to stand on its own feet.
- Can you tell us a few things about your live shows? What should your fans expect from you on stage?
Expect some cold and brutal war!
- Are you planning any gigs to promote the new album? Is there any info about your upcoming shows you’d like to share?
Yes, we’re playing some shows at the moment. For next year there’s also something bigger in the works, but I cannot talk about that just yet.
- How do you see the future of Cryptic Forest? Are there any plans already? What are your future ambitions and how do you feel about the evolution of the band through the years?
We plan to do a lot of shows in the next time.
Other than that, nothing official to announce just yet.
- Thank you very much for your time. Last words are yours.
Thanks to everybody supporting us! Stay brutal and catch us at one of our shows!