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?
The latest album "Spirit in Flames" uses only a few nature interludes to set the stage for it's musical folk tales. Whereas past songs were mainly expressing my personal feelings about the failures of humanity to respect nature as our equal, the songs on "Spirit in Flames" center on a Pagan / Heathen rebirth and spirituality. Some of these songs are told in an original folk tale of a tribe of wolves bred by a vengeful and magickal outcast to bring about the downfall of man.
How would you describe/label the music on it? Does it sounds like anything we might have heard before?
When Bitter Spring Sleeps "Spirit in Flames" is pagan heathen black metal. Raw melodic black metal guitars with all clean vocals. You probably have not heard too many acts like it, but WBSS can be compared to Primordial, Isengard, and some of the later Bathory albums. I think I took a big chance with the vocals on this album. Though I personally love the sound of screams in black metal and always will, I felt that the lyrics of these WBSS songs needed to be clear. Many listeners will never purchase the CD, so the lyrics would be lost on them without clean vocals. While many black metal acts want to sound mysterious and obscure, I respect that, but the purpose of WBSS is to express the concepts as plainly as possible. And always, I want to be unique. Clean vocals with black metal has not yet been overdone. I wanted to show modern metalheads that clean singing can still be very heavy.
Where was it recorded and how much time did it take you to record it? Any interesting stories from the recording/producing the material?
The recording was all done in a small studio by myself. Of course it is very time consuming to write and record all the parts as a solo act. I strove to create the sound of a quality black metal demo. Raw, mean, yet powerful and where each instrument stands out with clarity. I grew up listening to underground metal, it just sounds perfect in my ears. I am not fond of major label over-produced metal. Most music on these labels sound impossible with ten guitar tracks and drums that sound like they are inside your head.
I spent a year writing and arranging various versions of all the songs for this album, throwing away some of the songs until I was content with the few that remain. I have always felt that quality was far more important than quantity. Just because there are 70 minutes on a CD does not mean you need to fill every minute. Rather, choose your finest works to represent yourself as an artist. Why share mediocre music? I realise "Spirit in Flames" is being billed as an EP, but I see it as a complete album. I planned it to easily fit onto a 12 inch vinyl LP. All these double LP editions are getting out of hand.
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?
The artwork is a direct representation of the title "Spirit in Flames". This image came to me during a moment of meditation. On the cover, a flaming wolf is drifting through a somewhat alien yet intentionally human city of buildings and as she passes through them, they are burned and transformed into a dark new forest. In the story behind the lyrics, an immense tribe of wolves is bred and set free by a vengeful outcast. The wolves are bred to bring about the downfall of modernity and man itself. The wolves are then led by a magickal matriarch - an alpha female - who is herself a spiritual being created to burn away the old world and usher in the new pagan world.
It's very literal and was inspired by the native american folk tales about wolves.
What do you expect to gain through this release? What are the band's aims at the moment?
ALL PROFITS of the album sales will be sent to
DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE to protect wild WOLVES in the USA. My usual rant: More than 1,100 wolves have been killed in the Northern Rocky Mountains since USA Congress stripped them of Endangered Species Association protection back in 2011. These wolves face rabid anti-wolf politics, aggressive lethal control, unsustainable hunting, intolerance and other threats across the entire country, and haven’t yet returned to suitable habitat in many parts of their historic range.
Do not misunderstand. I'm not xtian. I'm not into charity. In fact, I'm sick of all the charities for every human ailment and ideal. I'm trying to stand up for something NOT human that deserves as much attention. I'm trying to help bring back our nations proudest and most intelligent predator. The Native Americans respected the wolf and treated it as an equal. Modern man is full of fear and greed. The problem is that the balance has been lost. Man has allowed his fear to lead him to exterminate all competitors. It has been scientifically proven that the return of the wolf brings new life to an ecosystem that humans can never duplicate with our all-absorbing consumer societies.
Is there a special format the material is released in? Or is it released in multiple formats? How many copies were pressed?
The album has so far been pressed in a six panel wallet foldout CD digipack in 500 copies. The album was kept short to hopefully get it pressed on a single 12 inch vinyl LP at some point.
Where and how will you promote this new release?
Pagan Flames Productions at PaganFlames.com has released the CD and Metal Detector Music Promotions (themetaldetectormusicpromotions.com) is handing the promotion for WBSS.
Where can we order it from?
Please order from PaganFlames.com so the money can be properly directed to Defenders of Wildlife in their fight for wolves.