Juicy Black Metal, Anyone?
CoC chats with Drako Arcane of Tidfall
by: Jackie Smit
Originally brought into existence more than a decade ago, the road to recognition for Norway's Tidfall has been steep and, more often than not, winding. After departing from the Nocturnal Arts roster in 2001, the band could very well have ended up in black metal obscurity, but for the watchful eyes of Nuclear Blast, who saw potential and snapped up the band, ultimately giving us the end product that is their latest record, _Nucleus_. A swirling, futuristic maelstrom of an album, _Nucleus_ is as intense and invigorating as it is bleak and aggressive. But, as it turns out, for all their dabbling in the dark side, Tidfall are also refreshingly self-deprecating, as I discovered when I hooked up with guitarist Drako Arcane recently for an e-mail interview.

CoC: If I were forced to describe your current sound, I'd say that it covers the middle ground between Dimmu Borgir and earlier Kovenant material -- would you agree?

Drako Arcane: No, that would sound like KovenBorgir? Or KovenBurger... juicy metal. Yeah, that's us! Juicy metal with spicy lyrics. Voila! A culinary evening with Tidfall.

CoC: You started in 1992, but it took until 2000 for you to start getting recognised and signed to a record label. What would you say, if anything, was holding you back or were specific obstacles in your path?

DA: There wasn't anything really holding us back, so to speak. We just recorded some demos and had fun playing some local gigs. We were pure underground in the beginning, and we liked it that way. After we recorded the demo _Black Psychotic Darkness_, we decided to seriously try to get ourselves a deal, and here we are today.

CoC: What was the reason behind ending your relationship with Samoth and Nocturnal Arts and moving to Nuclear Blast? Was the split amicable?

DA: The relationship ended because at the time that we were recording the _Instinct Gate_ album, Samoth was working really hard with Zyklon and their first release [_World Ov Worms_]. Things started to take more time than we could afford, and at the same time we had some communication with Nuclear Blast and they showed some interest in our music. So we spoke to Samoth and agreed that an album like _Instinct Gate_ had the potential to reach out to a very wide audience, and in order to do so, it needed to be backed by a very strong distribution network. And that was the end of that story.

CoC: The new record seems to be very conceptualised and obviously very futuristic -- how would you describe your vision of the future, and do you feel that _Nucleus_ does it justice?

DA: There are a million black metal bands out there, and almost all of them play the same type of "evil" black metal. It really bores me. I can't remember when I last found a black metal album that really gave something. Wait -- Emperor did! Getting back to Tidfall -- we will never stagnate when it comes to style and music. We don't like to be stigmatised. We just play the kind of music that works for ourselves. The future brings only more destruction and death, and we are the soundtrack to it. So to us -- yes, _Nucleus_ justifies the future, and there is more where that came from!

CoC: In what ways do you think our current global state of affairs is sending us toward your envisioned future, and do you think that there's any way for us to change that?

DA: There is a lot of shit happening around the world today, and we try our best to reflect on things around us in the lyrics and music. As I see it, religion will be the fall of man. Almost everything bad that happens concerns some kind of stupid religion. People's minds will in the end lose track of time and place, and I don't think it can be changed. The fanatics will always be there, with their terror.

CoC: With your use of electronics and the increasing number of black metal bands utilising electro and/or industrial influences, do you see this as an evolutionary step in black metal's sound as a whole?

DA: No, it's too early for that. Some elements within black metal have obviously changed, but hopefully the brutality will be there along with the use of new elements in the music.

CoC: What motivated or influenced Tidfall to implement these elements in their music?

DA: It came to us naturally, and after we had made some line-up changes it was easier to try out newer things on the rehearsals. We tried out some elements on the _Instinct Gate_ album, which we felt worked perfectly, so basically, here we are now.

CoC: Why do you think that these musical styles blend so well with black metal?

DA: I don't think it blends well if you don't use it right, you need to have the right sound at the studio to really make it good. You can give the riffs more feeling with the electronica, which we think is important.

CoC: What were your musical influences when you started Tidfall and what are you currently listening to at the moment?

DA: The influences must have been from the really early days when I discovered Slayer, Death and so on. And then the Swedish death metal band Morbid with Death on vocals, and then Mayhem, Burzum. At the moment I am listening to Turbonegro's _Scandinavian Leather_. Wow, they are genuine!

CoC: What are your plans for the future of Tidfall?

DA: Now the plans are to play live, go touring. And of course drinking Ringnes [Norwegian beer] and making some more futuristic music.

CoC: Any last words?

DA: Check out our latest website -- www.tidfall.net -- and join us there on a digital metalparty!

(article submitted 21/9/2003)


ALBUMS
9/12/2003 J Smit 8 Tidfall - Nucleus
8/12/2000 E Fishbein 8.5 Tidfall - Circular Supremacy
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