Please tell us a few words about the new release, about the music on it as a whole or a few words on each track in part. How are you happy with the final release?
Nick Schneider (violin/vocals): ISENMOR’s debut EP, Land of the Setting Sun, will be 5 tracks of some of the finest folk metal Vinland has to offer. We feel we've got a pretty diverse track listing between slow and fast, heavy and melodic songs on the disc.
Mike Wilson (bass/vocals): The EP is a pretty wide array of metal influences combined with a lot of harmonious violin passages. Vocal styles range from growled to cleanly sung harmonies. We go from blasts to ballads, and I think it shows what we can do and who we are as a band. My favorite track on the album is the title track, “Land of the Setting Sun.”
Tim Regan (guitar/vocals): We are definitely satisfied with Land of the Setting Sun, especially “Pyre” and the title track. I am now very much looking forward to the full length. We can take what we learned from making the EP and take the next recording to another level.
How would you describe/label the music on it? Does it sounds like anything we might have heard before?
NS: “Dual Violin-Fronted Vinlandic Folk Metal” is the tag line we like to use, and I think it offers a good summary. I feel like we've got a pretty unique sound, but listeners will likely notice our influences from bands such as Eluveitie, Tyr, Heidevolk and Ensiferum.
MW: I guess I'd call it violin-heavy folk metal? We have an emphasis on violins in ISENMOR, and we try to interweave a lot of violin melodies and harmonies along with heavy riffs, accented by keys.
Where was it recorded and how much time did it take you to record it? Any interesting stories from the recording/producing the material?
MW: It was recorded entirely in both Tim's and my home studios. It actually took a while to record because we were trying to get the violins to sound just so. I think it turned out pretty great, though violin recording was definitely a learning experience!
NS: It took a bit longer than we anticipated, mainly through spreading out the recording sessions over too long a time. We'll be posting some studio updates on our Facebook page (http://facebook.com/isenmor) and YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCN6IoYTPhC2X7290YioxORQ) soon, there'll certainly be some interesting material there.
What can you tell us about the cover artwork? Is there a link between the artwork and the lyrics? What are the topics of your lyrics?
MW: The cover artwork is actually a painting by Knud Baade, a Norwegian painter who did a lot of epic landscapes. Tim found Fantasibilde fra den norske sagatid and it totally fit the album. We knew we wanted our title to be Land of the Setting Sun, and Baade's painting was a perfect match for it.
TR: The rest of the artwork within the CD version of the EP is art by John Charles Dollman, an English illustrator. They depict specific myths we refer to on the EP, including Shining Mane carrying the sun through the sky, and of course the Valkyries.
What do you expect to gain through this release? What are the band's aims at the moment?
MW: We're hoping to put our foot in the door, so to speak. We're essentially trying to put our music out there and hope that people enjoy it.
Is there a special format the material is released in? Or is it released in multiple formats? How many copies were pressed?
MW: It's being released digitally and physically on June 21st. The CD version includes a cover of Eluveitie's “Havoc,” a cover of Ensiferum's “In My Sword I Trust,” and acoustic versions of two of our own tracks, “Pyre” and “So Willingly Deceived.”
NS: We currently only ordered 100 copies of the physical CD, but we'll certainly do a second pressing if there is enough demand.
TR: Since we’re just starting out, we don’t have the kind of budget to do a major pressing, especially when we have to clear rights for the covers, so the physical copies of this EP are short runs that we will replenish as necessary.
Where and how will you promote this new release?
NS: We've been sending out for reviews and doing interviews with various webzines, as well as promoting through social media. We also plan on putting some flyers up before the bigger shows in our area. Anyone out there going to MDF XIII?
MW: We're also promoting it at our shows. We've got a CD release show coming up on June 19th at Club Orpheus in downtown Baltimore -- come out and pick up the EP a few days early!
Where can we order it from?
TR: CD versions of the Land of the Setting Sun EP can be pre-ordered from our Bandcamp page, http://isenmor.bandcamp.com. Digital versions can be pre-ordered from Bandcamp or Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Land-Setting-Sun-Isenmor/dp/B00VV1XO4Q/). Then, starting June 21st, Land of the Setting Sun will be available on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, and plenty of other online retailers.