On September 21st Black Majesty will release their seventh album, called Children Of The Abyss. PowerMetal.no had a talk to Hanny Mohammed about the album. Check it out.
Congratulations with the new album! How does it feel?
Hanny: Thanks! As always, we feel relieved and satisfied every time we complete an album. Every album we make takes about 2 to 3 years to complete starting from the basic writing and demoing, to pre production and to the final production. So by the time it gets completed we are very happy, haha!
Children Of The Abyss is Black Majesty’s seventh album, and soon the band has been active for almost 20 years. How has that journey been?
Hanny: We have had a very interesting and fun Journey so far. Time has just flown by. We had a good kick start from the beginning . We just wanted to make an album together that was in the style we enjoyed. Before we had finished the album we landed a five album deal with Limb Music which opened the doors for us to be heard in Europe, USA and the rest of the world. By the second album we were playing festivals and our own shows in Europe and also getting the chance to play with some of the bands we love.
It’s been a lot of fun meeting fans and friends over the years and seen them again every time we return to city’s to play. Its also given us a chance to see Europe and Asia a lot of times, so we’re very thankful of the experience we have recieved from been in this band and playing Metal.
We are really looking forward to the future.
What can you tell me about the new album? I’ve heard it a couple of times already, and it sounds amazing!
Hanny: Thanks and glad to know what you hear so far. This album we actually wrote basically twice. We pretty much had enough material for a double album, haha! When we did the first lot, we sat down and listened to it. We found that it was lacking the energy or spark. So we decided to scrub most of it and start again. The second time through we found it to be exactly the right energy we were after and then were very happy from then on until the final result.
Is this how you normaly write an album?
Hanny: It’s only the second time we use this method. We also used this writing method when we did the In Your Honour album in 2010. So in the end, we are very pleased that the album came out to be a high energy Power Metal album.
So, how do you usually write an album? How prepared are you before entering the studio?
Hanny: Myself and Stevie [Steve Janevski, guitars] write the music. And John [Cavaliere, vocals] writes the lyrics and melodies. We all demo our ideas online as we all have our own recording set up at home. Then, when we have our basic demo idea’s, we run through them at rehearsals which then gets Evan [Harris, bass] and Ben [Wignall, drums] to get in their.
So in the end every song is written by Black Majesty. Once we are happy with the main direction of the tracks from the demo’s, we start laying the tracks down for final recording.
Again you have used Roland Grapow (Masterplan) in the studio. How is it to work with him?
Hanny: Yeah, we’ve been working with Roland for a very long time now. It’s great because not only we have been fans of his work with all his bands he plays with, but also to be good friends.
Roland knows our style and sound and is always awesome to work with. He has been mixing our stuff since 2010, so a lot of times he nails what we are after straight away due to the fact of already knowing were we want to take the mix.
Both you, Steve and John have been in the band since the beginning, quite a stable line up. How does that effect the band’s atmosphere and indirectly the music?
Hanny: In fact, also Evan Harris has been in the band since the first album Sands Of Time . He was just always announced as the session bass player due to the fact he joined after the contract was finalized with Limb.
But yeah, having pretty much the same line up since the start is a really cool thing. We know each other so well. Atmosphere is always good around us. I mean, seriously, you can never be in a bad mood with John around, haha! He is always making us laugh!
What are the plans for promoting the album? Will there be a tour in Europe?
Hanny: Yes! We do have a short run of shows from late September to first week of October, where we will play a few shows only in Germany, Belgium, Czech Republic and some last minute show, but then we will need to head back home for Our album launches in Melbourne and Sydney on the 26th and 27th of October. All European shows should be announced in the coming weeks.
How is the metal scene in Australia? Does the band get much attention from the press etc.?
Hanny: In general the metal scene here in Australia is pretty healthy. It’s at a point were there is always a show on the weekend, wether it will be a trash/death/power night or a mini festival with mixed metal bands. We do have one metal magazine in Australia called Heavy Mag which covers the whole metal genre which is cool. And we have some cool radio stations and a number of cool metal webzines. But on a serious note: it doesn’t get enough recognition compared to the commercial shit. Metal in general isn’t promoted enough in the media, which sucks!
What do you think about the power metal scene these days, compared to when Black Majesty first started?
Hanny: To be honest: back in the early to mid 2000’s Power Metal was at it’s peak. It was a great time, haha! It feels like it’s dropped a little, but it’s still here and healthy. I believe Power Metal will never die! It’s a heavier form of classical music in a lot of ways, and if classical music has lasted all those hundreds of years, so will Power Metal!
Children Of The Abyss is due for release on September 21st, on CD, vinyl and digitally, on Pride & Joy Music.